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The memory of a beloved pet inspires one couple's fight against injustice.

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    Legal Schnauzer
    In the roughly 18 years we've been fighting corrupt lawyers, judges, cops, and prosecutors, we've heard quite a few individuals make peculiar, even mind-blowing, statements. But the most curious statements of all might have come from -- of all people -- my 88-year-old mother, Gondy Shuler. Didn't a wise person once state you must be careful what you say around kids and old people because they have little or no verbal filters, and the truth (or something very close to it) is likely to spew from their mouths at any moment.

    All three of my mother's odd statements came in the summer of 2014, after a college "friend" (who has proven to be anything but a friend) deposited me in Springfield, MO -- while Carol remained in Birmingham, packing our belongings for a move to the Midwest because of the wrongful foreclosure with which we had been targeted. All of this came just a few weeks after I had been released from a five-month stay at the "Shelby Sheraton," otherwise known as the Shelby County Jail in Alabama.

    My mother's comments certainly are open to interpretation. But as probably the most observant of her four children -- I'm the one who went into journalism, after all -- I think I can come as close as any living person to making an accurate read on my mother's words. I must say, however, that I barely recognize the person she has become over the past several years. But I suspect there still is at least a sliver of the wonderful mother I thought I had for the first 35 years or so of my life.

    With that in mind, here are her three curious comments, plus my analysis of what they might mean:

    (1) "Oh, Roger, you shouldn't have named names" --  My brother-lawyer, David Shuler, regularly spins the yarn that nobody in my family knew or cared much about my blog and the legal woes Carol and were facing because I dared to report, accurately, about legal and political corruption in Alabama. My mother's statement suggests that's not exactly true. What does it tell us specifically -- or, more accurately, what does it tell me.

    a. She knew quite a bit about my blog, and the abuse that prompted me to write it. Since I've seen no sign that she's ever had a computer or an Internet connection, that information almost had to come from my David, my brother.

    b. By saying I shouldn't have "named names," my mother indicates she has a general idea of who is behind the abuse Carol and I have suffered, probably going back to being cheated out of our jobs, maybe earlier. I doubt my mother knows the specific Alabama legal and political names involved -- or if she once did, she's probably forgotten -- but I have little doubt my brother knows the specific names. And he almost certainly has shared at least some details about them with my mother -- enough that she knows they are dangerous, corrupt people. My mother said this in a tone that suggested she was talking about the Mafia, and she probably was -- at least a Southern version of it, known as the Dixie Mafia. Given what we've learned about Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration, she might have been (unknowingly) talking about the Russian Mafia -- or what some have come to call the Eurasian Mafia.

    c. My mother has some idea of what my reporting has been about -- and she knows it has been accurate. She could have said something like, "Oh, Roger, you've written a lot of untrue stuff about these people, and it has really made them mad." But that's not what she said. The only problem with my reporting, from her perspective, was that I "shouldn't have named names."

    (2) "Why did Carol let you stay in jail all that time?" -- This is part of the "evil mother-in-law" act my mother has been practicing -- at least to our knowledge -- since at least 1992. It probably dates to our marriage in 1989, and maybe to our two-year period of dating before that. I swear, if the moon's glow suddenly went out -- and the sun lost its ability to produce warmth -- my mother would find some way to blame Carol.

    But I think this statement involves more than my mother playing the bitchy, "no way to please 'em" mother-in-law role that she has perfected. What else could be going on here?

    a. Part of me is grateful for this comment because it indicates my family has no clue how jail works -- and that's because we generally have no experience with that kind of thing. The notion that Carol had the power to magically get me out of jail is absurd. But it sounds like the kind of thing someone in Alabama might have said to David, and he passed it along to my mother. Never mind that political thugs Rob Riley and Liberty Duke, via a baseless defamation lawsuit that ran contrary to 230 years of First Amendment law, were the reason I was in jail. And a corrupt judge named Claud Neilson, who clearly was a patsy for the state's white, racist, right-wing political machine, was responsible for keeping me there. I know, from experience, that jail cuts you off almost totally from the outside world -- and I was lucky if I could get one 15-minute phone call a day with Carol. I could only hear a few words here and there amidst the relentless and ear-splitting noise in our jail block; I doubt Carol could hear much of what I said.

    b. My mother was unaware, or didn't care, that Carol was subject to arrest, too. Riley and Duke included her as a defendant in their lawsuit -- even though Carol had nothing to do with my blog, at the time -- because they wanted both of us to be captured. That clearly is because they wanted something they thought we had, and I believe they were prepared to kill us if they didn't get it. At the very least, they wanted both of us out of our home, so someone would be free to go through all of our things. With both Carol and me in captivity, that would have meant sure death for our two kitty kats at the time (Baxter and Chloe). Carol was willing to fight through fire to make sure that didn't happen. And that's why, at my insistence, she never came to visit me at jail. Had she come for a visit, I had no doubt she would have been arrested -- and Baxter and Chloe would have starved to death, or been killed by bastards ransacking our home.

    c. My mother's comment is not the only one I've heard that indicates someone was frustrated at their inability to capture Carol. During out trip to Missouri, my college "friend" asked, "Does Carol drive?" I thought it was a strange question at the time, but I said, "Yes, she drives, and she's a very good driver, probably among the top 10 percent in Alabama (although that isn't saying much)." It later hit me that the "friend's" question probably was driven by law-enforcement types who were frustrated because they had not been able to nab Carol -- and that allowed her to get news out to the world about my arrest, causing whatever plans they had for us to more or less fail. This suggests the "friend" is compromised -- and probably has been for a long time -- receiving "intel," directly or indirectly from Alabama thugs, possibly via my brother.

    d. The "friend," like many others underestimated Carol. The title of this blog comes from a genuine love of our pets -- and animals in general. And Carol demonstrated that love by her actions while I was in jail. Carol knew Baxter and Chloe's lives were on the line, and she took extreme measures to go underground. I'm not going to reveal what those measures were, but I'm pretty sure cop/thugs never came close to capturing her, even though they probably had regular (maybe constant) surveillance on our house during daylight hours. Comments from my mother and "friend" tell me that quite a few people were highly frustrated at their inability to grab Carol. Needless to say, I'm damned proud of Carol that she outsmarted them and kept our pets alive. Others might not have cared about their well-being -- or ours, as a matter of fact -- but we sure as hell did.

    (3) "Maybe You and Carol shouldn't be together" -- This wasn't the only time my mother and brother brought up the subject of Carol and I splitting up. It happened several times in the days before Carol arrived from Birmingham. ("Oh, she'll never come up here," my mother said; news flash: She did come up here, and she's still here.) Given my family's increasingly conservative religious leanings over the previous 20-plus years, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

    "Are you suggesting divorce as a way to solve our problems?" I asked my mother.

    "Well, if two people are miserable together . . . "

    "Who said we're miserable together? We're miserable about the stuff evil people have done to us, but that doesn't mean we're miserable together -- that we're miserable with or toward each other."

    She didn't have a response to that one, as if the notion never had occurred to her. I'm not sure if I said this or if I just thought it: "You've never shown any respect for Carol and me and our marriage -- and you wonder why we haven't been up here in 25 years?"

    What was with this divorce talk. Was it just another sign of the dysfunction that has engulfed my family? Or was it the product of some warped political/legal mind in Alabama, thinking Carol and I would be less of a problem (threat?) if we were separate rather than together?

    Quite a few folks reading this probably are dealing with screwed-up families too, so I will close with a thought that many of you might relate to. I mentioned earlier our love for our pets, and how it drove Carol to make sure cop/thugs did not apprehend her in Alabama. Well, that goes not just for the animals who belong to us, but for domestic animals of all types. I can't tell you how many times we've been driving and seen what appears to be a stray dog or cat and stopped to see if we can learn more about it -- and possibly help find it a good home. These often prove to be some of the most downtrodden, sickly creatures on earth, usually too skittish to let us get near.

    We've not had much success at trying to help these creatures, but we have tried. Here is the sobering part: Carol and I care more about stray animals than my mother and brother (or anyone else in my family) care about us. They've proven since summer 2014 that they literally don't care if we live or die, if we even have a roof over our head.

    They undoubtedly know who has abused us -- who has taken criminal actions against us -- but they refuse to speak up or do anything about it. They have sided with political/legal scum like Rob Riley and Liberty Duke (and probably Doug Jones and Jessica Garrison) over their own flesh and blood. I can only assume they've taken that stance because they believe it somehow furthers David's interests in the legal "profession."

    That's sad, but I think I've come to grips with it -- realizing my family is "bad company" that "ruins good morals," the kind of twisted individuals of which The Bible warns us. I would help them if I could, but I've seen numerous signs that they are beyond help.

    My mother, by the way, is not the only family who can spew some mighty curious statements. We'll look at another in an upcoming post.

    (To be continued)

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    Mike McGarity
    Mike McGarity, our criminally inclined neighbor in Birmingham, generally has been portrayed here as the guy who launched all of our legal headaches -- and he is that. But McGarity also is a violent thug who lies to police officers. And I'm not the only one who has seen evidence of that.

    We've reported several times about McGarity's physical attack on me, which ended with him striking me in the back with a roadside sign. (See here and here.) That did not come as much of a surprise, given that McGarity has at least eight criminal convictions in his background, including offenses that involved sex and violence (not to mention a drug charge that was nolle-prossed).

    It is ironic, however, that McGarity would become a long-time employee at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. As a federal Medicare contractor, BC/BS of Alabama is supposed to follow strict guidelines for employee screening -- and that makes one wonder how McGarity slipped through the cracks, especially if he filled out his application truthfully.

    McGarity's criminal record -- at least the part we've been able to uncover -- involves misdemeanors. But his attack on me, under Alabama law, was a felony. I did not file charges because multiple law-enforcement types in Shelby County insisted it would have to be charged as a misdemeanor, and I was not going to move forward with a complaint that wrongly classified what McGarity did. (More on my interactions with Shelby County "law men", on the felony vs. misdemeanor element of McGarity's assault, in an upcoming post.)

    As for the assault itself, I have an eyewitness to the event -- and she is about as credible as a witness can get. Here is how I described the attack in a post last year, comparing my experience with that of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) after he was attacked by a neighbor:

    I can identify with [what happened to Rand Paul]. Mike McGarity, our former Birmingham neighbor with an extensive criminal record, once assaulted me by hitting me in the back with a roadside sign. It left a bleeding gash on my back, which likely would have been worse except it was a fairly cool fall day and I was wearing a heavy sweatshirt. Such an assault with a "dangerous instrument," under Alabama law, is a felony. But Shelby County officials insisted on treating it as a misdemeanor, so I did not file charges.

    I noted, at the time, my long-standing concerns that McGarity might someday turn violent:

    Carol and I lived next door to McGarity for more than 15 years. I can recall often being concerned that, while doing yard work, I would be attacked by the loon next door -- much as Rand Paul was. In fact, I often would mow our yard while keeping one eye on the mower and the other on what might be lurking next door. As it turns out, McGarity did not assault me on my property.

    What exactly did McGarity do? Here is how I described it in a November 2017 post:

    What did I do to incur McGarity's wrath? I walked to the entrance of our neighborhood to remove signs (for-sale signs, garage-sale signs, etc.) that had been unlawfully placed in the right-of-way and were obstructing the view of drivers trying to pull onto a busy highway. [See note at the end of this post.] I was trying to keep someone from getting hurt or possibly killed. But McGarity was having none of that.

    He followed me and started putting the signs back up. When I told him why I was taking the signs down, he said, "Let's get it on, right here." I said I wasn't interested in fighting him, but the signs were going to come back down. When I turned and walked away, he swung a sign as hard as he could and hit me in the middle of the back.

    What is it like to be attacked by a thug with a lengthy criminal record? It's not fun, as I made clear in the earlier post:

    Reading about the Rand Paul incident drove home the possible danger from living next door to someone who is more than a little unhinged. It also reminded me that I haven't written all that much about what McGarity did to me, especially when you consider the serious nature of any assault. McGarity's behavior was particularly creepy because he essentially stalked me -- followed me to the entrance of our neighborhood, where he had no business.

    Much more about McGarity's assault on me needs to be told, and I intend to tell it. As noted previously, a woman who lived in our neighborhood was an eyewitness to the attack. I have her name and statement about what she saw, and I soon will be sharing that with Legal Schnauzer readers. It will make clear that I was, in fact, the victim of a felony assault.

    Now, it's time to identify the eyewitness and present her statements about what she saw McGarity do to me. We will have that in an upcoming post.

    Note: Placing unauthorized signs (garage-sale signs, political signs, real-estate signs) in the right-of-way of a state highway is illegal in Alabama. The relevant law is Code of Alabama 23-1-6, which reads: "Signs, markers, and advertising on the rights-of-way of state controlled highways are prohibited except those official signs or markers placed thereon by the State Department of Transportation or under its authority." Here are links to two articles on the subject:

    Signs on the state highway right-of-way are illegal . . .

    Wrong-of-way: Yard sign laws often ignored . . .

    (To be continued)

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    I recently watched the Don Siegelman documentary for a second time and noticed something I missed on initial viewing: The movie includes a Forrest Gump-type of character, a guy who always is around when key events are about to happen -- especially if they are underhanded acts designed to harm Siegelman.

    The character is Republican operative and Homewood, Alabama, attorney Rob Riley. We often refer to him here as Rob "Uday" Riley, the oily son of former Gov. Bob Riley. Let's review five key moments where Rob Riley appears in Atticus v. the Architect: The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman:

    (1) "We'll win"-- Former Birmingham broadcast journalist Rick Journey appears in the film to recall his coverage on election night 2002, when a tight governor's race had been declared for Siegelman over Bob Riley.

    "I would guess around 11 or so . . . Rob Riley came out, and I was live . . . , and Rob Riley looked at me and said, "Rick, do you want a story?"

    On television, Rob Riley said: "Due to the fact the media has been reporting what we now can confirm is a 6,000-vote discrepancy . . . the numbers simply don't add up."

    From Rick Journey: [Rob Riley said] "We win this race," and at that point, it was off to the races."

    Did Rob Riley know what was about to happen? Rick Journey's words indicate the answer is yes.

    (2) "The hanging judge"-- From Bob Abrams, former attorney general of New York: "Jill Simpson indicated Rob Riley further went on to tell her that they had a judge picked out to preside over any Siegelman trial. And this judge was Mark Fuller, and he could be counted upon to hang Don Siegelman."

    Rob Riley knew in advance that Siegelman was going to be cheated in court? Is this a crime, such as obstruction of justice? It sure sounds like it.

    (3) "Hiring Rob Riley?"-- Narrator: "Bob Riley summoned Milton McGregor, owner of VictoryLand, the state's largest casino and primary competition for Indian casinos, to his office and had a point-blank demand."

    McGregor: "Within 10 minutes of walking into that conference room, he made it real clear what he wanted to talk about: He wanted me to hire Rob Riley as one of my attorneys. It wasn't a request; it was like a demand, which didn't sit very well with me. I didn't tell him I would think about it. I told him no."

    Did Bob Riley seek extortion money, via legal fees for his son? Sure sounds like it.

    (4) "The Prosecutor-Rob Riley affair" -- Narrator: "During the House investigation into the matter, an email surfaced from an unidentified federal prosecutor, sent to Rob Riley, who was working on his father's campaign. In the email, the sender complained that he had been "thwarted" for beginning an investigation into the Siegelman administration.

    "That person also stated it was 'frustrating for me and a small group of like-minded conservative prosecutors to fight the tide in order to do the job we were going to do.' The question is why would a federal prosecutor who helped begin the Siegelman investigation make such a plea to Rob Riley unless they and the Rileys were united in their efforts. A bigger question arises: Why did this prosecutor identify himself as a conservative to another conservative if politics were not involved?"

    The unknown prosecutor is widely believed to be Matt Hart, now with the Alabama attorney general's office.

    (5) "Jill Simpson and Rob Riley" -- Whistle blower Jill Simpson testified that Bill Canary said on a conference phone call that "his girls" (his wife, Leura Canary, and Alice Martin, both U.S. attorneys) would take care of Siegelman.

    Simpson also stated that Rob Riley would have Mark Fuller assigned to the case, and he was "willing to hang Siegelman."

    If you have not watched the Siegelman documentary, we encourage you to do so. As you watch, we encourage you to make note of Rob Riley's role in the Siegelman case and ask yourself, "Just how sleazy is this guy?"

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    Carol's lower lip is split and bleeding after Missouri cops brutalized
    her and broke her arm.

    Prosecutors have been stonewalling for about 12 months on turning over discovery in the pending "assault on a law enforcement officer" case against my wife, Carol. But the dab of discovery we have received tells a lot about what really happened during the unlawful eviction at our duplex apartment on Sept 9, 2015, in Springfield, Missouri. (See here and here.)

    Consider the photo at top. It addresses one of Carol's injuries that I have not mentioned here on the blog. And the story behind that injury helps reveal the con game the Greene County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) and prosecutors are playing.

    In this photo, taken just before she had X-rays that revealed a comminuted fracture in her left arm, Carol's lower lip is split, bad enough to cause slight bleeding.

    How did this injury occur? We're not certain, but near the end of our eviction, Carol briefly got into the passenger seat of our car (with me on the driver's side); we looked at each other, and I do not recall noticing a split lip. Without saying a word, Carol apparently remembered that we needed our cat's litter box, opened the car door, and started toward the front door. After all, she had been told by cops that she could retrieve as many of our personal items as she could handle; I had been told the same thing, but a cop later changed course and said I could not go in.

    As Carol approached the front door, officers Debi Wade and Scott Harrison blocked her path. I could hear Carol say "I'm just trying . . . " and I think the remaining words were "get our cat's litter box." I could not hear the rest of the discussion, but Carol was not acting in a threatening manner and never came close to touching either Wade or Harrison. From my vantage point, she simply was trying to convey our need to have our cat's box. Before any resolution could be reached, an officer who remains unknown (15 months after Carol's arrest), came from behind, grabbed Carol and body slammed her viciously, butt first, to the ground.

    Wade, in her Probable Cause Statement, claims Carol "barreled" into her "head first" and assaulted her along the sidewalk -- and that is pure fantasy. In fact, it's such an obvious lie that even prosecutors did not bring the charge against Carol. It's the kind of false statement, under oath, that could help put Wade behind bars. Several of her colleagues are in danger of landing in the same place.

    I believe Carol was slammed down so violently that she bit her own lip, and that is the injury you see in the photo. As Carol sat stunned on the ground, probably with a concussion, the cop we call "Mr. Blue Shirt" (he wore a blue shirt and reflective sunglasses) yanked on both of her arms in an upward and backward motion that caused Carol's left arm to shatter, just above the elbow.

    Sheriff Jim Arnott, standing about five feet away, pointed at the victim of grotesque police brutality and said, "She assaulted a police officer." Arnott's words created the phony "cover charge" (to cover for civil liability) Carol has been fighting for 15 months.

    In incident reports, cops have hinted that Carol must have broken her own arm by flailing about in the back seat of a patrol car. That's loopy for several reasons: (1) Carol was restrained by handcuffs and seat belt while in the patrol car; (2) A comminuted fracture is a severe injury, generally caused by trauma. Any suggestion that someone could produce such an injury to herself is laughable; (3) Carol's arm was broken when she was slammed to the ground and "Mr. Blue Shirt" violently yanked on her limbs; I saw it happen, so did Arnott and several of his officers, and it likely was caught on dash-cam video that the prosecution in Carol's criminal case has refused to turn over; (4) The photo above suggests Carol was, in fact, slammed to the ground.

    That brings us to a key point that proves the bogus nature of the criminal charge against Carol. In fact, lie-filled police documents confirm this point.

    Carol is charged with "pushing" Officer Jeremy Lynn as he burst through the front door of our duplex apartment for an eviction that was unlawful in more than 10 ways -- even though Lynn admits in his written report that he grabbed Carol, initiating contact with her, not the other way around.

    If Carol had committed a crime, you might expect her to be arrested at that moment. But that didn't happen. As even the cop reports indicate, we both were taken outside and sat on the grass for a period of time before Carol was allowed to go inside and retrieve as many personal items as she could carry. This all took about 30 minutes, and never did any of the 6-8 deputies on scene indicate Carol had committed a crime or was under arrest.

    That came when Carol was slammed to the ground, and her arm broken, with Arnott's finger pointing being the first sign that Carol -- the victim of an assault -- was being charged with a crime.

    What does this tell us? I can think of two key points:

    (1) The cops' own actions -- letting 30 minutes or more go by without making any move to arrest Carol or making any verbal statement indicating she had committed a crime -- suggest she did not "assault" Jeremy Lynn. That idea only came to someone's depraved mind after X-rays showed the cops had broken Carol's arm.

    (2) Even if you buy the cop's version of events -- and only a cop would do that -- the two incidents are not connected. The alleged push of Jeremy Lynn happened at the beginning of the eviction, and Carol was not arrested until about 30 minutes later, after allegedly barreling into Debi Wade (even though prosecutors don't buy that tall tale and did not bring the charge against Carol). In the cops' own words, there is no connection between the alleged push of Jeremy Lynn and Carol's arrest. (Cop documents are embedded at the end of this post.)

    The truth -- and the photo above helps show this -- Carol was charged with a crime because she was the victim of police brutality. Police reports say nothing about "Mr. Blue Shirt" slamming Carol to the ground, but her split lip is evidence that is what happened.

    Jim Arnott saw it from a few feet away and knew in an instant that his department was likely to face major civil liability -- and it had better start developing an alternative version of reality, in a hurry.

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    Paul Littlejohn III
    A sex offender who resigned from Sue Bell Cobb's gubernatorial campaign on Friday also worked on the campaigns of U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, according to published reports.

    Paul Littlejohn III resigned from his paid position with the Cobb campaign one day after his arrest for allegedly violating the state's sex offender registration and notification act. Cobb angrily called Littlejohn's arrest "politically motivated." From a report at al.com:

    "It's as politically motivated of a charge as I've seen," Cobb said, noting that the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is headed up by a Republican Sheriff Mike Hale. "Why? The Republicans don't want to run against Sue Bell Cobb. Governor Ivey doesn't want to run against Sue Bell Cobb. They found that as an opportunity to take advantage of information that had been sent out into the public forum."

    She said an arrest warrant was issued after she held a news conference defending Littlejohn's character after news reports surfaced about his background.

    Republican operative Rob Riley, son of former Gov. Bob Riley, serves as an attorney for Hale and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

    Littlejohn served a 30-year sentence for three crimes: rape by forcible compulsion, sodomy and robbery. His political activities have not been limited to Cobb. Reports al.com:

    Since Littlejohn's release in 2014, he has worked for two Democratic campaigns: Randall Woodfin's victory in last year's Birmingham mayoral election, and for the Doug Jones campaign ahead of his win in last year's special Alabama Senate election.

    A representative for the Jones campaign said late Saturday that they do not have any records of Littlejohn working for the campaign, and that he was not paid for campaign-related work.

    Littlejohn said his 30 years behind bars came after he naively entered a guilty plea to the charges against him:

    It was a plea deal Littlejohn took, he says, because his attorney insisted that if it went to trial, he could get life without the possibility of parole.

    "I didn't know any better," he says. "When he said 'life', I thought it meant life. Thirty years sounded better. [My attorney] thought he made a good deal."

    Doug Jones
    "I can't put into words," Littlejohn says now, "how much it hurts me that I hurt somebody. I regret what happened, regret I was in position to stop what happened and didn't.... I have a daughter, a mother, a sister. I regret not standing up for another person's rights; that's counter to the way I was raised."
    Littlejohn says he employs 12 people full-time for canvassing neighborhoods up to six days each week and three others for phone-banking. He pays $10 per hour, higher than the minimum wage.

    "I have 12-to-14 people," Littlejohn says, "who depend on me to eat."

    Not surprisingly, he is passionately loyal to Cobb, the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. They met initially, he says, after he had done canvassing work for the Doug Jones and Randall Woodfin campaigns.

    Littlejohn doesn't think of himself as an ex-con, doesn't dwell on the three decades spent behind walls topped with barbed wire, or the years after his release when he could not secure a job. "It got so bad, I got turned down by Burger King," he says.

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    Margaret Palmietto
    The Missouri judge in charge of the "assault on a law enforcement officer" case against my wife, Carol, has stepped down following a series of wildly unlawful rulings on pre-trial motions.

    Carol filed an Application for Change of Judge, for Cause, under Missouri Supreme Court Rule 51.05(D) -- and Judge Margaret Holden Palmietto did step down, but not for the right reason. Palmietto could not even get recusal right, which was in keeping with her actions on pre-trial motions.

    Palmietto denied Carol's motion for cause -- which called for her to step down due to comments and actions taken from the bench -- but did grant a change of judge under Rule 32.09(a). Due to timeliness factors, Carol was not entitled to a recusal under Rule 32.09(a). But she received one anyway, apparently because Palmietto did not want to call attention to the fact she had been cheating Carol and engaging in blatant impropriety from the bench.

    After Palmietto stepped down on 5/7, the case was assigned to Judge Becky Borthwick, who recused two days later, without explanation. Carol's case then wound up with Judge Jerry Harmison Jr., an appointee of scandal-plagued Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

    Will Harmison be an improvement over Palmietto? I've learned to have low expectations for judges, so I doubt it. But he can't be any worse.

    Carol filed six dispositive motions -- meaning, by law, they should have settled the matter and forced dismissal of the state's case, short of a trial -- and they were scheduled for hearing on 3/26. Palmietto butchered every motion, not coming close to ruling correctly under the law on any of them.

    On that many motions -- involving important and fairly complex matters of law and fact -- you would expect a judge to take matters under advisement before issuing rulings. But not Palmietto. The minute argument was over, she summarily denied all of Carol's motions -- providing zero indication she had read the motions or given her rulings any thought.

    Carol's most important document was a Motion to Suppress Evidence, which is a common pre-trial filing in many criminal cases. In essence, the motion claimed any evidence against Carol was obtained via an unlawful search and seizure, violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Given that our eviction was unlawful on at least 10-12 grounds, this should have been a no-brainer. With all of its evidence suppressed, the state's case would have been kaput. But Palmietto refused to suppress evidence that clearly was unlawfully obtained.

    There was no evidence to speak of anyway. Officer Jeremy Lynn, the "victim" of Carol's alleged push, has admitted in an incident report that he grabbed Carol, not the other way around, and he never says that she pushed (or even touched him). In fact, he says Carol tried to pull away, which is the opposite of a push. Even though the state obtained no legitimate evidence via its unlawful search and seizure of our rented duplex apartment, Palmietto's denial still was a massive clunker. Carol's motion describes the inanity of the judge's rulings, especially on a central issue. (The full motion is embedded at the end of this post.)

    A big issue in this case: Was there a judge-signed, court-approved writ of execution that gave approval to proceed with the eviction? Under Missouri law, per State ex rel Turner v. Sloan (MO, 1980), “An enforcement of judgment by execution supposes a judgment not merely interlocutory but become final.” Was there a final judgment in the rent-and-possession case landlord Trent Cowherd brought against the Shulers? The docket shows in at least two places that the answer is no. The possession order twice is listed as interlocutory (non-final), with a hearing scheduled for roughly a month in the future to consider other issues, including the Shulers’ counterclaim for breach of contract. The Shulers never have been presented with a court-authorized eviction notice, and one does not exist in the record – and that’s because there could not be one, given that the judgment was only interlocutory and not final. At the suppression hearing in Carol Shuler’s criminal matter, the state called two witnesses – Officers Scott Harrison and Jeremy Lynn – in an apparent effort to show the eviction was lawful. That effort failed miserably. Harrison admitted under oath that the writ of execution in his hand, the one upon which the eviction was based, did not contain a judge’s signature or any form of court approval. Despite that, Harrison burst into the Shulers’ home and pointed an assault weapon at Roger Shuler’s head. Officer Lynn stated under oath that he never had even seen a writ of execution for the Shulers’ eviction.

    The state's two witnesses essentially claimed ignorance as an excuse for their actions. They undoubtedly are ignorant, but that excuse does not cut it under the law:

    At the suppression hearing, the state’s witnesses – Officers Harrison and Lynn – sought to excuse their actions by essentially claiming ignorance of the law. The U.S. Supreme Court has held on multiple occasions that ignorance of the law does not excuse constitutional violations: “In sum, a Fourth Amendment violation occurs when police engage in a warrantless search and no exception to the warrant requirement applies, or when police search pursuant to a warrant not based on probable cause. That the police officer acted in an objectively reasonable (i.e., non-negligent) manner is irrelevant to the existence of a constitutional violation. See, e.g., Anderson v. Creighton, ___ U.S. ___, 107 S.Ct. 3034, 97 L.Ed.2d 523 (1987); Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 106 S.Ct. 1092, 89 L.Ed.2d 271 (1986); United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 104 S.Ct. 3405, 82 L.Ed.2d 677 (1984)

    Palmietto showed no sign that she knew who carries the burden of proof in a suppression hearing, even though Carol's motion spelled it out:

    Trent Cowherd and wife, Sharon

    Under Missouri law, per State v. Hernandez, 954 S.W.2d 639, 642 (Mo.App. W.D.1997), the burden in a suppression hearing is on the state to prove that evidence is admissible. Here, the state failed in spectacular fashion. Neither of its witnesses could point to a court-authorized writ of execution that would have made the Shulers’ eviction lawful. Thus, it was unlawful, and all evidence resulting from it, by law, must be excluded. Palmietto’s failure to rule correctly on this central issue might be the most glaring example of her impropriety in the instant case.

    How wrong was Palmietto's finding on this one key motion?

    Palmietto ruled at the suppression hearing that officers’ actions were reasonable under the circumstances, citing the “good faith exception” articulated in U.S. v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984). Leon, however, applies only to searches with a warrant. Missouri case law holds: “"Subject to only a few specific and well-delineated exceptions, warrantless searches and seizures are deemed per se unreasonable."State v. Johnson, 316 S.W.3d 390, 395 (Mo. App. W.D.2010). There was no warrant in the Shuler case because there were no allegations of criminal activity. This was an eviction, a civil matter, and it did not involve even a lawful, court-approved eviction order. Thus, the officers’ actions, by law, were per se unreasonable – and Palmietto butchered this issue and displayed glaring and actual impropriety.

    Bottom line: The state had the burden of proof, and its two witnesses admitted they broke into our home without seeing a court-authorized, judge-signed eviction order. In other words, this was a classic "self eviction," which landlord Trent Cowherd perpetrated with his lawyer (Craig Lowther), but Palmietto found it constituted "reasonable" police work -- even though she cited no law that the "reasonableness" standard even applied in a warrantless search.

    Palmietto's prejudicial statements from the bench also played a role in the whole circus:

    On multiple occasions during recent hearings, Palmietto has said, in terms of possible punishment that Shuler faces, “It’s just a fine.” That suggests Palmietto has a predetermined outcome in mind, a guilty verdict, so that she easily can dispose of a case that has been dragging on for more than 15 months. It suggests Palmietto does not care if Shuler is found guilty of a crime she did not commit – and for which there was not even probable cause for issuance of a warrant.

    (To be continued)

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    Eric Greitens
    Prosecutors yesterday dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens after an "unprecedented" ruling by a judge with close ties to the governor's defense lawyers.

    Judge Rex Burlison ruled the defense could call St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner as a witness. The prosecution responded by dropping the charge, which stemmed from Greitens' admitted extramarital affair with his hair stylist, but members of the prosecution team said they intend to refile the charge -- with a special prosecutor or another member of Gardner's team handling the case.

    From a report at stltoday.com:

    A spokeswoman for Gardner said the case would be refiled. Gardner left the courtroom just before 5 p.m. She did not answer questions.

    Circuit Judge Rex Burlison's "unprecedented" order "places the Circuit Attorney in the impossible position of being a witness, subject to cross-examination within the offer of proof by her own subordinates," Gardner spokeswoman Susan Ryan said in a statement.

    But St. Louis University law Professor John Ammann said Gardner did not have to dismiss the charge. Because she could not be a prosecutor and witness in the same case, she could have simply let other prosecutors take over, he said.

    The move by Judge Burlison caught many legal analysts off guard, and Greitens hardly is out of the legal woods. From a report at cbsnews.com:

    Nationally, it's "super, super rare" for a judge to allow a prosecutor to be called as a witness, said Hadar Aviram, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law.

    Some legal experts said prosecutors would have about a month to decide whether to file charges, because that's about how much time was left in the three-year statute of limitations when the original charge was filed. . . .

    Greitens also remains charged with a second felony in St. Louis for allegedly disclosing a donor list from a St. Louis-based veterans' charity he founded for use in his political campaign. No trial date has been set for that case.

    Judge Burlison's credibility might now be questioned in the court of public opinion. In late March, stltoday.comreported that Burlison had eased concerns about his impartiality by denying a defense motion for a bench trial. Those concerns likely will be raised anew after yesterday's unexpected ruling, forcing Greitens' prosecutor to testify. From the March report:

    St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison went far [recently] in dispelling any public doubts about his impartiality as he presides over Republican Gov. Eric Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy case. Doubts have surfaced because of Burlison’s links to the law firm defending Greitens. Burlison dashed our concerns Monday by refusing a request by Greitens’ lawyers to allow a bench trial, which would have let Burlison judge the governor’s guilt or innocence without a jury trial. This high-profile case is being monitored across the state, if not the country, for its impact on the Republican Party in the November elections. . . .

    Nevertheless, Burlison has troubling links with the influential Dowd Bennett law firm representing Greitens in the case, which stems from an extramarital affair in 2015. Burlison was a longtime aide to former Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat who appointed him to the bench. Nixon also appointed Burlison’s daughter to be a judge in St. Charles County, and Burlison’s wife to the judicial panel that recommends judges for the city of St. Louis.

    Nixon now is a partner at Dowd Bennett. Three partners in the firm — Edward Dowd Jr., Jim Martin and James Bennett — are on Greitens’ six-member defense team. Burlison’s challenge moving forward will be to maintain strict impartiality regardless of the various political forces tugging at him.

    Based on his ruling yesterday, Burlison appears to be playing favorites with the Dowd Bennett law firm -- and that benefits a governor who has scandals coming out of every orifice.

    That does not speak well for justice in Missouri -- or anywhere else.

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    Jerry Harmison Jr.
    The new judge in the bogus "assault on a law enforcement officer" case against my wife, Carol, has ties to a politician who seems to be earning the title of "the nation's sleaziest governor."

    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, in September 2017, appointed Jerry Harmison Jr. as an associate circuit judge in Greene County. Harmison was assigned Carol's case last Friday after original judge Margaret Palmietto granted a motion for change of judge and Becky Borthwick recused without explanation. Palmietto stepped down, at Carol's request, after a string of unlawful rulings on pre-trial motions.

    Will Harmison be an improvement over Palmietto? If his "integrity" is anything like that of the governor who appointed him, the answer is no. And Harmison already made some highly questionable decisions on the case. (More on that in an upcoming post.)

    An invasion-of-privacy criminal charge against Greitens was dropped on Monday -- after an "unprecedented" ruling, allowing the prosecutor to be called as a witness, by a judge with close ties to Greitens' defense lawyers -- but it still might be refiled and handled by a special prosecutor or member of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's staff. That charge stems from an extramarital affair Greitens had with his hair stylist.

    Greitens remains charged with a second felony in St. Louis for allegedly misusing a donor list from a St. Louis-based veterans' charity for campaign purposes. No trial date has been set for that case.

    As sewage stacks up around Greitens, a Missouri House committee announced yesterday that it is investigating Greitens' possible use of shell companies to conceal the identity of donors to his 2016 campaign. From a report at stltoday.com:

    The Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens is probing whether Greitens’ 2016 campaign used so-called “shell companies” to conceal the identity of donors.

    The revelation came Tuesday morning as Rep. Jay Barnes, who chairs the panel, announced that the committee was releasing two email strings it had obtained from Michael Hafner, a former Greitens campaign adviser who later worked for businessman John Brunner during the 2016 GOP primary.

    In one email dated July 2016, Will Scharf, who at the time was working for GOP gubernatorial contender Catherine Hanaway, wrote to Hafner about research he had done suggesting the Greitens campaign worked to conceal donors.

    Scharf now works for Greitens as his policy director.

    The new allegations are reminiscent of Sean Hannity's forays into real estate:

    At issue were two companies — White Impala LLC and ELX83 LLC — that were formed in December 2015 and subsequently donated a combined $30,000 to Greitens for Missouri at the time of the email string on July 9, 2016.

    “By all appearances, these two entities were created to channel contributions to the Greitens campaign from an anonymous donor or donors,” reads a memorandum attached to an email Scharf sent to Hafner. “Missouri law explicitly prohibits campaign contributions made ‘in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the actual source of the contribution.’

    “The use of this arrangement to hide donors certainly runs counter to Greitens’s repeated attacks on ‘corruption’ and ‘insider political games’ in Missouri,” the memo states.

    Barnes said Tuesday that the committee would seek Scharf’s testimony.

    As for Harmison, his task with Carol's case should be simple -- if he has the slightest bit of integrity (always a big "if" with a judge). Here are four straightforward reasons the case cannot go to trial and must be dismissed. These all are issues that Palmietto got wrong:

    (1) The "victim" admits there was no crime -- Officer Jeremy Lynn is the "victim," the guy Carol supposedly pushed as he burst into our duplex apartment. But Lynn admits in his own incident report that he grabbed Carol first, not the other way around, and he never says she pushed him or even touched him. In fact, Lynn says Carol tried to pull away from him, which last time I checked, is the opposite of a push. The central element in the statute is "knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical contact." Missouri appellate courts have determined the key question is "Who initiated physical contact?" (See State v. Armstrong, 968 SW 2d 154 [Mo. Court of Appeals, 1998]) Lynn admits that he initiated physical contact. I don't call the case bogus because the defendant is my wife. I call it bogus because the words of the "victim" prove it's bogus.

    (2)Accuser? What accuser -- Officer Debi Wade, author of the Probable Cause Statement, admits she did not see Carol push Jeremy Lynn. But she states that an unnamed person "advised" her of such. This is sub-hearsay, and the PC Statement includes none of the corroboration or verification required in such a case. (See State v. Kirby [MO Ct. of App., 2004]) Carol has been fighting this charge for almost 16 months, based on the word of . . . well, nobody. The lack of an accuser makes the PC Statement defective, meaning there never was probable cause to arrest Carol, much less prosecute her.

    (3)An eviction without a court order -- The state's two witnesses in the original suppression hearing -- Officers Scott Harrison and Jeremy Lynn -- could not point to a judge-signed writ of execution that gave them authority to evict. A prosecutor gave Harrison a copy of the writ, and Harrison admitted under oath and cross-examination that it did not have a judge's signature or any other form of authorization. Lynn stated he had never even seen a court order in our case -- but that didn't stop him from being the first to break into our home. An eviction without a court order is unlawful, and means all evidence illegally obtained under the Fourth Amendment must be suppressed.

    (4) Why bother getting a final judgment? -- The docket in our rent-and-possession case shows in at least two places that the ruling was interlocutory, meaning it was non-final, with issues still to be determined at a hearing set one month from entry of the judgment. Under Missouri law, there cannot be execution on a judgment that is not final. (See State ex rel Turner v. Sloan [MO, 1980]) That means we were the victims of an illegal "self eviction," perpetrated by landlord Trent Cowherd and his lawyer, Craig Lowther, and any evidence gathered must be suppressed.

    By law, Carol's case cannot go to trial, and she cannot be found guilty. But that requires a judge with integrity, and it would be a shocker if Harmison shows he has any.

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    Jerry Harmison Jr.
    The incorrect rulings Margaret Palmietto made before stepping down as judge in my wife Carol's "assault" case, by Missouri law, have no impact moving forward. In fact, new judge Jerry Harmison has an obligation to rehear issues raised in Carol's Motion to Suppress and other dispositive motions. Harmison also has an obligation to make sure the state does not get away with wildly bad-faith efforts to stonewall on discovery?

    Does Harmison know any of this? Does he have enough integrity to rule correctly and ensure a case that cannot go to trial is dismissed, as the law requires? Does he have the cojones to issue subpoenas and force the state and Greene County Sheriff's Office to turn over documents that are essential to Carol's defense? We've seen no signs of it. (Of course, if Harmison acts lawfully and dismisses the case, there will be no need for discovery.)

    Harmison has put nothing on the docket that suggests he intends to rehear the motions Palmietto butchered on the first go-around. Given that Harmison is an appointee of scandal-plagued Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, we have little confidence the judge has any integrity at all.

    Carol has filed motions on both issues -- to have the suppression and other motions reheard and to have subpoenas issued on discovery after the state repeatedly has failed to make disclosures. (Motions are embedded at the end of this post, and discovery clearly will require a continuance.) Harmison has not ruled on either motion.

    What is the law on these issues. It's very clear. On the rehearing issue, controlling Missouri law is found at State v. Pippenger, 741 S.W.2d 710 (Mo. App. W.D. 1987). From Pippenger:

    The Supreme Court in State v. Howell, 524 S.W.2d 11, 19 (Mo. banc 1975), held that the trial court ruling on "a motion to suppress evidence prior to trial is, in a sense, interloctory in nature." The court continued, "[t]he real damage is not done until the evidence is introduced in the trial of a case for consideration by a jury. Thus, a trial court can receive additional evidence and change its ruling prior to admitting the objected-to items in evidence before a jury." Id. This court has stated that the trial court's decision on interlocutory motions is not conclusive or binding on future proceedings.Noll v. Noll, 286 S.W.2d 58, 60-61 (Mo.App.1956); State v. Beaver, 697 S.W.2d 573, 574 (Mo.App.1985); see also Cook v. State, 281 Md. 665, 381 A.2d 671, 674 (1978), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 839, 99 S.Ct. 126, 58 L.Ed.2d 136 (1978).It is, therefore, incumbent for the trial court in the instant case to hear the evidence and rule thereon and not rely upon what some other trial court may have done before in another cause.

    Language does not get more clear than that. Palmietto's faulty rulings mean nothing at this point; they are not binding and they are not conclusive. For Harmison, it is "incumbent" on him to rehear the evidence -- whether he knows it or not.

    As for the law on discovery, Carol spells that out in her reply to the state's effort to continue stonewalling. Much has been written across the country recently about dishonest and deceitful prosecutors, and Carol has been subjected to two of them -- drunk-driving Nicholas Jain and smarmy hack Nicholas Bergeon -- not to mention their ethically challenged boss, Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson. From Carol's motion:

    Missouri Supreme Court Rule 25.04 C says, “if the state’s efforts [to disclose] are unsuccessful . . . said court, upon request, shall issue suitable subpoenas or orders to cause such material to be made available to the state for disclosure to the defense.” Shuler has made such a request.

    Throughout his response to Shuler’s Motion for Disclosure Via Court Order or Subpoena, the state’s APA Nicholas Bergeon repeatedly says he is “unaware” that relevant and material disclosures exist for Shuler’s defense. The state essentially admits it has been unsuccessful at obtaining disclosures. Also, Bergeon conveniently omits the fact that Shuler filed a Motion to Compel almost a year ago, dated 5/30/17, and Judge Palmietto never ruled on it. In fact, Shuler filed multiple dispositive motions, and Palmietto let them sit for more than a year – yet, Bergeon claims he is weary of delays, laying them at Shuler’s feet. Bergeon wasn’t even involved in this case when the delays started.

    You read that correctly: Bergeon claims he is weary of this case. (His motions re: discovery and a continuance to allow for discovery are embedded at the end of this post.) Yet, he and his colleagues repeatedly have ignored Carol's discovery requests altogether or claimed they are not "relevant" or "material." Almost all of Carol's requests go to these two issues: (1) Why was she arrested for an offense even the "victim" admits she did not commit? (2) What evidence will discovery yield about the utter lack of credibility among the officers who brutalized Carol and then made up a "crime" to hinder her chances at civil justice?

    This is not a normal criminal case; it's one where cops committed a crime, and they are trying to cover it up -- with assistance from Nicholas Bergeon. From Carol's motion:

    All of Shuler’s requests are relevant and material under the extraordinary nature of this case. Consider: (a) From the outset there has been no accuser in this case, no one with a name who claims in the Probable Cause Statement that Shuler “pushed” Officer Jeremy Lynn. This is sub-hearsay, and there is no corroboration or verification, as required in a hearsay case under State v. Kirby (Mo. Ct. of App., 2004). With no accuser and no corroboration, there never has been probable cause in this case – to arrest Shuler, much less prosecute her; (b) In in his incident report, “victim” Jeremy Lynn admits he grabbed Shuler first, not the other way around, meaning Lynn “knowingly caused physical contact” (the central element of the offense under statute). That means Shuler is not guilty, even in the words of the “victim”; (c) Two witnesses at the earlier suppression hearing – Jeremy Lynn and Officer Scott Harrison – admitted they either did not have or had never seen a court-authorized (with judge’s signature) writ of execution for the Shulers’ eviction. That means they had no grounds to be on the property, the search and seizure violated the Fourth Amendment, and all evidence derived from an unlawful/unreasonable search must be suppressed. Judge Palmietto found Lynn and Harrison acted “reasonably”; Lynn and Harrison admitted they did not act reasonably – they burst into a home, while knowing they had no lawful grounds for doing so; (d) The PC statement failed to mention that deputies broke Shuler’s left arm, so severely that it required trauma surgery. Incident reports indicate Officer Christian Conrad, wearing a blue shirt, broke Shuler’s arm. Multiple officers state in incident reports that they knew Shuler’s arm had been broken, but they claim to have acted “reasonably.” Criminal charges were brought against Shuler as a classic “cover charge” to hinder her efforts at civil justice and cover up police brutality. Such a gross omission means the PC Statement is defective and due to be stricken; (e) APA Bergeron claims with a straight face the state has not stonewalled on discovery. Over more than a year, Shuler has requested 30-40 disclosures – all relevant and material under the facts of this case – and she has received exactly two responses. If that’s not stonewalling, what is? If that kind of bad faith does not require the issuance of subpoenas, what does?

    How desperate is Bergeon to avoid disclosing anything of substance via discovery? First, note how many times he claims something doesn't exist -- or he isn't "aware" that it exists -- and Carol is supposed to just take his word for it? Second, Bergeon claims (item 5) that Carol received a CD including CAD (computer-assisted dispatch) logs regarding our eviction, but the only CAD logs Carol has received are of a 911 call that Burrell Behavioral Health personnel made -- regarding a threat I never made, and a gun I never had. Third, consider just a few of the items Bergeon objects to disclosing because they are not "relevant"or "material":

    Carol Shuler's broken arm, which Missouri cops
    conveniently failed to mention in their
    probable cause statement.
    * All communications, in any format between the Greene County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) and the Prosecutor's Office related to our eviction;

    * All communications, in any format, between Public Defender Patty Poe and her office and the GCSO, the prosecutor's office, and any judges;

    * All reports about other citizens that GCSO personnel have left with broken limbs or serious injuries;

    * The name of the GCSO attorney who gave the go-ahead for our unlawful eviction, per Officer Debi Wade, author of the Probable Cause Statement;

    * Copies of all citizen complaints against officers involved in our eviction, going back three years. (Bergeon says the GCSO claims there aren't any. Do you believe that? Would anybody believe that?)

    * Copies of CAD logs and recordings to all patrol units and officers involved in our eviction. (Bergeon claims he has provided this. But he's lying. He's provided only CAD logs of a 911 I never made.)

    * The ID numbers, with assigned deputies, for each vehicle present at our eviction;

    * All video or audio that was recorded from each vehicle on 9/9/15, the date of our eviction;

    * Copies of all communications, in any format, between or among GCSO officers re: our eviction. (The state agreed at a motion to compel hearing last September to produce this information, but it never has done so.)

    Bergeon likes to claim that Carol has not made a showing of "good cause" on her discovery requests. First, he cites no law that shows that is the standard for a defendant. But more importantly, Carol is charged with a crime she did not commit -- and the "victim" admits she didn't commit it -- so that (in my view) provides plenty of "good cause" on all of her discovery requests. You can double or triple that point when you consider that cops broke her arm and are trying to cover it up -- with ample assistance from Nicholas Bergeon and his crooked office.

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    Dan Patterson
    Greene County (MO) prosecuting attorney Dan Patterson hired a drunk driver for his staff, so you might expect that he would be squishy soft on issues related to DUIs. But based on Patterson's tough-guy Republican rhetoric, you would be wrong -- and we suspect his talking points become particularly rugged around election time.

    So, it appears that Dan Patterson talks like Charles Bronson about drunk drivers, especially if it helps him get elected -- but then he hires a convicted drunk driver, Nicholas Jain, to be one of  his assistant prosecutors. I think, somewhere in the dictionary, that's called hypocrisy.

    To make matters worse, Patterson assigns Jain to prosecute DUI cases, such as the recent one involving Charles Hollis Roux, of Springfield. Together, Patterson and Jain have a habit of bringing criminal charges without probable cause -- as they did in the Roux case and in the "assault of a law enforcement officer" case involving my wife, Carol.

    Our previous articles in this series about the Roux case can be read here, here, and here. Documents related to the Roux case are embedded at the end of this post.

    How gross is the hypocrisy in all of this? Jain has left his position in Greene County and is running for prosecuting attorney of Dunklin County, in southeast Missouri. Jain apparently is so arrogant that he thinks he can hide his DUI from voters -- or he thinks they simply do not care about his criminal record.

    What is Patterson's rhetoric on drunk drivers -- when he isn't busy hiring a drunk driver for his staff? Let's look at some examples.

    This is from a 2017 county press release, published last July at fox5krbk.com:

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – (7/31/17) Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announces that Joshua Xavier Oswald, 23, of Springfield, MO was sentenced last Friday by The Honorable Thomas Mountjoy to a five year prison sentence on each of four counts of Assault in the Second Degree relating to a drunk driving crash that occurred on December 5, 2015. Probation was denied by the Court.Oswald’s charges stemmed from a motor vehicle crash that took place at the intersection of South Campbell and West Sunset in Springfield, Missouri.

    So, if you drive drunk and crash into somebody, Patterson will throw you in prison for five years. If you don't crash, he might offer you a job. Here is a 2016 Springfield News-Leader article (by columnist Steve Pokin) where Patterson gripes that a drunk driver was placed on five years' probation for a crash that caused a fatality. Nicholas Jain, a member of Patterson's own staff, received two years' probation:

    On Feb. 19, [Circuit Judge David] Jones sentenced [Dylan] Meyer to five years' probation. He could have sent Meyer to prison for 5 to 15 years. The prosecutor has asked for 10. Meyer had been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

    The sentence was a "slap on the wrist," says Dan Patterson, Greene County prosecuting attorney.

    Meyer, a 2012 graduate of Kickapoo High School, took the life of Kelly Williams in the early morning of Feb. 10, 2015. He slammed his pickup into her car at Campbell Avenue and Battlefield Road. He was driving 95 mph, according to police, when he ran a stoplight.

    His blood alcohol level was .266 percent, three times the legal limit — a level where many can no longer walk.

    The sentence was a "slap on the wrist"? What is it when Patterson offers a convicted drunk driver a job? A kiss on the butt? From a 2011 county press release. (Notice that Patterson touts the convictions he gets in DUI cases. I haven't received a press release about the hiring of a convicted drunk driver to his staff.):

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Dan Patterson, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney announced that Jeremy William Arata, 23, of Springfield, Missouri, was convicted today by a Greene County Jury of the class B felony of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree. The jury found that Arata was intoxicated on November 15, 2007, when the vehicle he was driving struck a vehicle driven by Mr. Paul Fain. Arata’s vehicle was going at speeds near 60 miles an hour in a residential area when it collided with Mr. Fain who had just pulled out from a stop sign. Mr. Fain died as a result of the injuries he suffered in the collision. Arata’s blood alcohol level was measured at .146%. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before returning its verdict.

    The jury trial was presided over by The Honorable Calvin Holden. The defendant is subject to a sentence of a minimum 5 years to a maximum 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

    Finally, we have a 2014 press release about a plan to obtain blood samples from drunk drivers who refuse to take breath tests:

    Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announces that his office will assist local law enforcement agencies by seeking search warrants to obtain blood samples from drunk drivers that refuse to consent to a breath test after their arrest. This pilot project resulted from a collaboration of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Springfield Police Department and the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

    To combat the often deadly problem of impaired driving, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Springfield Police Department will kick off the “no refusal” policy with a joint DWI check point in November and will be out in force cracking down on impaired drivers. Following the kick-off event, the “no refusal” strategy will be applied to all DWI arrests by those agencies when a driver refuses consent.

    It is called a “no refusal” policy because all impaired drivers arrested who refuse breath testing will be subject to blood testing for alcohol if a judge approves a warrant. The ability of law enforcement officers to submit their search warrant applications to judges electronically make this process both easy and relatively quick.

    “Impaired driving remains a major public safety threat that still claims thousands of innocent lives on our roadways every year. A ‘no refusal’ policy represents one more tool in our battle against this public safety threat,” said Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson.

    So, drunk drivers are a public safety threat, except when they apply for a job at the Greene County Prosecutor's Office -- and then, Patterson is likely to hire them.

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    David Shuler
    We've established that my elderly mother has made several curious statements indicating she has at least a general idea of who is behind the abuse directed at Carol and me in recent years -- and why we've been targeted. But my mother hardly is the only family member to make such statements. My lawyer-brother, David Shuler, has done the same thing. And given his status as a member of the legal tribe, it likely will surprise no one that he has engaged in flagrant falsehoods. In fact, we recently discovered evidence that shows David concocted stories that almost got Carol and me killed during an unlawful 2015 eviction that directly led to Carol's broken arm.

    What about David's most peculiar statement? It came in summer 2014, shortly after Carol and I had arrived in Missouri, and I made a statement to the effect that, "Our No. 1 goal, in light of all that has been done to us, is to achieve justice."

    David's response? "It's not gonna happen."

    In addition to being rude and thoughtless, David's words could cause the following response in any rational human: "How in the hell do you know?"

    As noted in the post about my mother's peculiar statements, these words from David perhaps can be interpreted in different ways, by different people. But I can conjure only one interpretation: David knows who is behind the abusive actions taken against Carol and me, he likely knows some of it is criminal, he has communicated with someone in Alabama (or elsewhere) who is closely aligned with the perpetrators, and he is determined to align himself with our adversaries -- probably because he knows some (or all) of them are fellow members of the legal tribe. Also, David has decided to stay silent about actions that likely are felonies, which can be a federal crime in itself.

    As for David and falsehoods, it's going to take more than one post to deal with that subject. But here is one of the most alarming instances: A woman named Kathryn Mays, who was my social worker at Burrell Behavioral Health, said she had talked to David via phone after he called and said I had asked him to talk to her.

    Just a slight problem with David's story: I never asked him to call Kathryn Mays, or anyone else. After Kathryn shared that story with us, Carol and I withdrew the releases we had signed allowing family members to communicate with personnel from Burrell. Once the releases had been canceled -- and Burrell knew exactly why they had been canceled -- the organization was strictly forbidden from speaking to David, my mother, or any other family members. We also withdrew the release for Don Schlueter, the so-called friend from my college days who convinced us to give up the fight for our house in Birmingham and move to Missouri.

    Speaking of Burrell, it is involved in the evidence that suggests my brother's capacity for lying has grown to Goliathan proportions.

    (To be continued)

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    Franklin Haney
    A Tennessee businessman with a history of dumping cash on Alabama governors Bob Riley and Robert Bentley joined Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen in a meeting last month with a Qatari official, according to a new report at Mother Jones (MJ).

    The meeting came days before federal agents raided Cohen's office and could be of interest to investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    Franklin Haney, of Chattanooga, TN, reportedly was seeking an investment in an inoperative nuclear plant he owns in Alabama. Cohen likely was seeking a lucrative finder's fee. Reports MJ:

    At a meeting in Miami on April 5, Franklin Haney, the owner of an inoperative nuclear power plant in Hollywood, Alabama, sought a major investment for his facility, according to two sources familiar with the gathering. His target, the sources say, was Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, Qatar’s minister of economy and commerce and deputy chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, the $300 billion sovereign wealth fund of the natural gas-rich Persian Gulf state. Also at the meeting, according to the sources, was Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer. (Several days later, Cohen’s office and home would be raided by federal agents.) Now, as the Trump scandal expands to include Cohen’s business deals and possible interactions between Trump associates and officials of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, any relationship between Cohen and Qatar would likely be of interest to federal investigators.

    No one should be surprised that the meeting was about money -- big, big money. And once again, it offers an Alabama connection to possible national and international criminality:

    The two sources familiar with the discussions between Cohen and Al Thani tell Mother Jones that the two men met with Haney to discuss possible Qatari investment in his nuclear power plant. Marinetraffic.com, a website that tracks the location of large ships, shows that Haney’s $50 million, 167-foot yacht, the Emelina, was docked in Miami’s Miamarina from April 2 through April 7. (Haney’s yacht is usually based in Washington, DC.)

    If a deal were struck, Cohen could have expected to receive a finder’s fee, according to the sources. “Michael doesn’t do anything without getting paid,” said one of the sources, who knows Cohen. It’s unclear whether any agreement was reached.

    Who is Franklin Haney? His name cropped up just as the Mike Hubbard trial was getting started in Alabama. From MJ:

    Haney, 77, a Chattanooga, Tennessee, native who made a fortune largely through leasing office space to federal agencies, bought the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant from the federal Tennessee Valley Authority for $111 million in 2016. Work on the plant started in 1975 but was halted in 1988 and never completed. Haney still needs to line up financing—an estimated $13 billion—to complete work on two nuclear reactors at the plant. Haney also needs Trump administration help. He is seeking an extension of an Energy Department loan guarantee, nuclear power tax credits, and various Nuclear Regulatory Commission approvals. And if the plant is eventually completed, Haney will need business from the TVA, the only viable customer for the plant’s electricity.

    Haney has aggressively courted the Trump administration. After giving heavily to Democrats for years, he donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee through one of his companies. He has also contributed at least $125,000 to the Republican National Committee this year, according to Federal Election Commission records. Bloomberg reported last year that Haney had bragged to associates that he has dined with Trump at least a dozen times since the election. Haney is also a member of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida club, according to the report.

    Haney also has aggressively courted Alabama governors and walked away with sweetheart deals. From a May 2016 post at Legal Schnauzer, quoting an al.com report:

    Let's start with former Gov. Bob Riley.

    Haney, a big Democratic donor over the years who in the last election gave $2 million to the Obama re-election campaign, put a load of cash into Alabama Republican politics in 2006, and Riley got a bunch of it.

    Haney, according to the Alabama Secretary of State's office, passed at least $130,000 to Riley through PACs run by noted PACman Clark Richardson, much like he did last year with the Birmingham City Council. . . .

    Riley, later, would become a big advocate for Haney and the Birmingham building.

    One of his last acts as governor was to sign a lease that would consolidate Jefferson County's Department of Human Resources and move that agency into 290,000 square feet of Haney's building. Annual rent on that building began at $1.2 million a year, according to the lease, but rises this year to $5 million for the remainder of the term, plus possible extra costs for operational expenses.

    That's higher than any of the 63 state tenants in any of David Bronner's newer and shinier RSA buildings, according to state records. It appears to be the highest rental rate for any state agency.

    Riley not only signed the lease as he left office, he lobbied for Haney in Birmingham.

    What about Gov. Bentley? According to published reports, Mr. Haney, from Tennessee, might have helped pay for the "Luv Guv's" mistress, Rebekah Caldwell Mason:

    Haney has resurfaced under the Bentley regime. This time, Haney dumped cash on Bentley--possibly even helping support a slush fund to pay Bentley's mistress, Rebekah Caldwell Mason--and wound up getting support for a project involving a partially built nuclear reactor in northeast Alabama. Haney also got more support for his office building. Write Whitmire and Archibald, in an article dated May 13, 2016:

    Michael Cohen
    Just the traceable donations from Haney's businesses to Bentley's last campaigns total about $300,000, much of which moved into Bentley's campaign account after the last election was over. . . . That campaign account subsequently paid the salary of Rebekah Caldwell Mason, the governor's senior political advisor with whom he is accused of having an affair.

    Meanwhile, the governor has helped Haney, too, finalizing a state lease in Haney's Birmingham office building which costs the state $5 million a year.

    And more recently, the governor threw his support publicly behind the sale of a partially built nuclear power plant currently owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority north of Scottsboro.

    Haney's name reportedly is familiar to investigators examining money funneled into a non-profit organization that helped pay Mason. Haney, however, does not seem anxious to discuss the situation. Reports al.com:

    In the most recent election cycle, Bentley's re-election campaign received at least $200,000 through such transactions — $75,000 of which moved to Bentley after the election, when the governor was raising the money he'd later use to pay Mason's salary during his second term.

    Haney's name has popped up repeatedly in recent months as investigators and lawmakers have sought to learn more about the money paid into ACEgov, a shadowy 501(c)4 that also was used to supplement the pay of Mason.

    Asked this week if he contributed to ACEgov, Haney referred questions to his lawyer.

    Note the highlighted sections above about Bentley's support of a nuclear-plant project near Scottsboro -- after receiving donations from Haney that helped pay Rebekah Caldwell Mason. That's the same plant for which Haney, with help from Trump fixer Michael Cohen, sought investment from a Qatari official.

    If Mueller investigators really want to follow the money trail involving Franklin Haney and his Alabama properties, they might want to start with former governors Bob Riley and Robert Bentley -- not to mention "Home Wrecky Becky" Mason.

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    David Shuler
    The person who arranged our unlawful eviction and a bogus 911 call almost got Carol and me killed; the individual largely did cause Carol's arm to be broken. Evidence increasingly shows the person behind both events is my lawyer-brother, David Shuler.

    David's role in our eviction has been apparent since I received the following email from him on 6/2/15 -- three months and one week before our eviction in Springfield, Missouri:

    Hi Roger: 
    I hope you and Carol are doing well. Mom asked me to contact you regarding the lease on your duplex. She said she tried to talk to you about it when she recently stopped by to visit, but was unable to do so. She talked to the people at Cowherd Construction and they are willing to extend your lease without a co-signor in that the rent has always been paid in full and on time. The lady suggested that you meet Mom at their office on 6/29 and they would allow you to execute a new lease. This lease would be in your name and would be your responsibility. I do not know if they would require Carol to be on the lease. I would think that they would also want her to sign since she would be living there. I also do not know how they would handle the deposit and pet deposit since those were paid by Mom.

    Mom will make the last rent payment on 6/29 which will cover the month of July. You have the option to renew and stay there or of course, you could vacate and pick some place else to live.

    Again, I hope you guys are doing well. Mom just wanted me to e-mail this information to you to avoid any confusion.

    David, it turns out, was the one in a state of confusion. Our lease required no provision that we execute a new lease in the event the co-signer wanted off the lease. And there was no reason to have such a provision because my mother's responsibility ended when the lease was up at 13 months -- with Carol and I set to take over payments on a month-to-month basis, per the lease. (Lease is embedded at the end of this post.)

    The landlord, Cowherd Construction, never contacted us and said we had to sign a new lease. That all came from David, as if he concocted the whole charade, and Cowherd went along with it, in silence. The landlord also never made a demand for rent because our rent always had been timely paid -- and it would have been timely paid on a month-to-month basis by Carol and me. If we had been unable to pay, we would have moved out on our own, without the need for an eviction.

    Again, that is in line with the lease and Missouri law. (Notice to vacate, with no mention of late rent, is embedded at the end of this post.) Failure to demand rent, in a rent-and-possession case, is one of about 12 grounds that made our eviction unlawful.

    How ugly were David's motives? It's hard to say for sure, but an ex parte letter he wrote to the judge in our rent-and-possession case was flagrantly improper, prejudicial, and well . . . evil probably is not too strong a word. (Letter is embedded at the end of this post.) Consider these words from the letter:

    Dear Judge Halford:

    I am writing regarding the above referenced case. Roger Shuler is my brother who has been estranged from my family for approximately 25 years. Recently, a family friend helped him relocate to the Missouri area. Unfortunately, my 85 year old mother made the mistake of agreeing to co-sign a lease for Roger with Trent Cowherd Construction. She agreed to pay his moving expenses and his rent for thirteen months to help him get back on his feet. She never dreamed that Roger Shuler would then refuse to pay his rent and/or vacate the property.

    My purpose in writing this letter is to let you know that I intend to appear on behalf of my mother. Gondolyn Shuler intends to cooperate with the Petitioner (Trent Cowherd) in the matter and assist in any way to help them regain possession of the rental property currently occupied by Mr. Shuler.

    It's hard to get much lower than this. And as has become David's custom, he reveals that he and the truth have a distant, dysfunctional relationship, as I pointed out in a March 2017 post:

    You will notice that this is the unvarnished David Shuler, with all the phony sweetness and light removed. He says our mother made a mistake by trying to help Carol and me, as if that's a decision for him to make. Has our mother (and our father, when he was living) provided financial assistance to David and his family when they encountered rocky waters? I strongly suspect the answer is yes. But to help Carol and me? What a dreadful thought.

    David then falsely claims I had refused to pay the rent or vacate the property. David's letter was dated August 21, 2015, meaning Cowherd still was at least 10 days short of being able to initiate eviction proceedings, much less have a court date. David Shuler conveniently ignores this little matter of law.

    The second paragraph is so crooked that is makes the mind swim. From one side of his mouth, David claims to be representing our mother. From the other side, he admits that he (and our mother) are working on behalf of Trent Cowherd, trying to make sure Cowherd regained property that he was not entitled to regain because he untimely filed his rent-and-possession case.

    "Fraud on the court" is a legal term that is more complex than most lay folks realize. I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but this probably comes pretty close to a "fraud on the court."David Shuler admits he was representing one person when his real interest was in assisting another -- and he even roped our elderly mother in on such a crooked act.

    We recently discovered evidence that shows David Shuler can take dishonesty, deceit, and fraud to dizzying heights. The evidence involves the 911 call that David tried to lay at my feet, but actually was placed by an administrator at Burrell Behavioral Health, our health-care provider at the time.

    Guess who encouraged Burrell to make the call and told some Whopper-sized lies in the process.

    We will reveal that in an upcoming post, but here is a key point to remember: The 911 call is the excuse Greene County Sheriff's Office officials used for bringing 6-8 officers to an eviction, many of them heavily armed. It's apparently the reason Officer Scott Harrison -- upon bursting into our home with no court-approved eviction order -- pointed an assault rifle at my head. It's likely the reason the officer we call "Mr. Blue Shirt" brutalized Carol and broke her arm. Without the 911 call, he probably would not have even been on the scene.

    So yes, David Shuler put our lives at risk, which raises this question: Was he intentionally trying to get us killed? Given what I've learned about his depraved sense of right and wrong, I would not put anything past him.

    (To be continued)

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    Bellefonte Nuclear Plant
     A Tennessee developer, with the help of Alabama Congressional Republicans, is asking the Trump administration to expedite the purchase of an unfinished nuclear plant near Scottsboro -- based on foreign investment from the Middle East. A prominent Alabama whistle blower and researcher says the deal, if completed, could be a disaster of Biblical proportions.

    Franklin Haney, of Chattanooga, has a history of dumping cash on Alabama governors and receiving favorable treatment on the back end. He joined Trump lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen at a meeting last month in Miami with an official from Qatar. Haney bought the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 2016. Construction on the facility started in 1975, and it has been sitting idle and uncompleted for 30 years.

    Bellefonte likely has been a drain on Haney's substantial resources, and he wants Trump and the federal government to help him out -- all while possibly placing nuclear technology into the hands of financial elites in the Middle East and putting the environment and public health at risk in northeast  Alabama. From a report at al.com:

    A company led by Chattanooga businessman Franklin Haney is seeking the help of President Trump to move along its purchase of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant in Jackson County.

    Nuclear Development LLC has also applied for federal loans of about $5 billion to help pay for completion of the mothballed facility so it can produce its first watt of electricity, according to U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, the Huntsville Republican whose district includes the plant site outside Scottsboro.

    That's the same Mo Brooks who recently suggested sea levels are rising, not because of global climate change, but because of rocks falling into the oceans. We really want this guy involved with issues of nuclear power? Here's more from al.com:

    Brooks said officials from Nuclear Development approached him and asked if he could send the letter to Trump. Dated May 14, the letter was also signed by Republican Alabama Congress members Robert Aderholt of Haleyville, Bradley Byrne of Mobile and Martha Roby of Montgomery as well as Tennessee Republican Congressman Chuck Fleischman, whose district includes Chattanooga - about 60 miles northeast of Bellefonte.

    "I said, 'What can I do to help?'" Brooks said. "(Nuclear Development) said a letter to President Trump signed by you and other congressmen would be beneficial. So I've added my name, along with the names of other congressmen, to resume of a project I hope will bear fruit and generate thousands of short-term and long-term jobs for Tennessee Valley residents."

    Jill Simpson, a retired lawyer who testified before Congress about corruption related to the Don Siegelman prosecution, says (in so many words) that Brooks and his colleagues are a bunch of dangerous loons. She says several Alabama GOP con artists -- Jeff Sessions, Bob Riley, Robert Bentley -- have been seeking to benefit from the Bellefonte deal. From a post at Simpson's Facebook page:

    We found out that Mr. Sessions, the Riley folks, Bentley folks, Alabama Gang folks and Mr Franklin Haney were in cahoots trying to get control of a nuclear facility . . . I must admit I was pretty clueless as to why, but now it appears the picture is getting clearer. They are trying to take in foreign Arab investors and let them see the whole uranium-making process at a facility in northeast Alabama. . . .  
    Who knows what this crowd will do next, as their ability to exploit our country's industries and resources are endless and beyond the imagination of most folks. These are evil dark forces, selling out our country's technology. I have a feeling this time they are caught in a deal to make nuclear equipment for foreigners and nuclear material for Trump's foreign buddies -- or at the very least to show them how it is done here, when they invest and get the plans to complete the facility. 
    I might add it is dangerous to let foreign investors in on our nuclear facilities, even if the plants are eventually torn down or completely modernized after being studied by foreigners. Haney and his associates are caught in a trap of their own making about nuclear technology, of how to enrich uranium, and are just now starting to be exposed to the world.

    Simpson grew up not far from the Bellefonte site and says her neighbors need to think hard about what this deal could mean to the area. From another Simpson Facebook post:

    Everyone in northeast Alabama needs to be thinking about whether we want to put our beautiful environment at risk for some Trump and Alabama Republican Gang members to bring up a nuclear power plant that TVA says we don't need.
    I don't want an Arab country's nuclear plant in my back yard, dumping into our beautiful Tennessee River when a tornado goes through. Every Jackson County citizen with good sense knows Bellefonte is right in the middle of the tornado alley that runs through our area. Can you believe this is where the Alabama Gang wants to teach countries in the Middle East how to build nuclear reactors capable of enriching uranium for weapons? 
    Wonder what Sessions, Riley, and the Alabama Gang are going to make off being traitors on that deal? First, we deal, literally, with New York shit being driven into Alabama on trains. Now, we are to teach Middle Eastern investors how to make weapons-grade uranium, U.S. style. I certainly don't see how the Alabama Creeps can do much worse, and their asses are busted on this deal.

    Because of Michael Cohen's involvement in the Haney/Qatar meeting, this all could land in the middle of the Robert Mueller investigation, Simpson writes, and it points toward treason:

    Now you all know how Cohen got his office raided. The jackass was plotting to help foreign investors get in our uranium-enrichment reactors and get the plans for them. What dumb asses these Alabama Gang thugs are. Wonder how big a campaign donation these thugs got, promoting this deal in recent weeks. Mo Brooks has been all for this deal, as have many others. Selling uranium reactor plans to Middle East folks I hear can be very profitable. 
    This is the kind of crap the Alabama Resistance has been outing on this bunch ever since I first came forward, and we outed them for training Saudi pilots to create wars all over the Middle East -- and selling out our refueling-tanker deal. The Alabama Gang is a bunch of dirt bags who would sell their dead grandmother's bones out of her grave for a few pieces of silver from a foreign investor. 
    The way I see it, the Alabama thugs are traitors and should be treated as such. Selling nuclear-reactor info to the wrong folks in the Middle East can cause the end of planet. I generally am not an advocate of the death penalty, but when folks sell out the planet and all the people on the planet, I am for the death penalty for those kinds of traitors -- and that is what we dealing with. 
    We must protest with all of our might before these end-of-time, far-right extremists own a nuclear reactor in northeast Alabama -- in cahoots with investors from the Middle East.

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    Newly obtained evidence shows the Alabama State Bar has been interfering with at least one of our pending federal-court cases ("The Jail Case") and probably has been interfering with the other ("The House Case"), which likely explains the string of unlawful rulings in that matter.

    I've suspected for about eight years or so that someone has been interfering with our court cases, both at the state and federal level. Now, I have evidence that points to the origins of at least some of the interference -- and it appears to come straight from staff members at the Alabama State Bar.

    This all points to likely violations of federal criminal law -- obstruction of justice, misprision of a felony, wire fraud, honest-services fraud, conspiracy -- and they could form the "predicate acts" for a civil and/or criminal complaint under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

    Yes, the organization that is supposed to police lawyers and ensure that our courts are honest appears to be engaged in racketeering. That should be comforting to all Alabama citizens, and it's little wonder that our courts have become corrupt sewers, at every level. But it will not be a surprise to those who have known the ugly reality of the Alabama State Bar. For years, it has been infested with cronies of crooked Republican political figures, including Jeff Sessions, Bill Pryor, Bob Riley. Ali (Akbar) Alexander, and others.

    The interference in our situation definitely takes one form: Trampling our Sixth Amendment right to counsel and ensuring that we are not able to obtain the services of a lawyer. I suspect it takes another form: Collusion with judges to ensure that we receive one unlawful ruling after another, many of which have been documented on this blog, going back to Legal Schnauzer's beginnings in summer 2007.

    I recently called the state bar office and asked to speak to Jeremy McIntire, the individual a Birmingham-area attorney identified as making statements that strongly suggested the attorney should not get involved in our Jail Case and could even come to some form of harm if he remained engaged. The attorney was "75 to 80 percent sure" he spoke with McIntire, not one of the other two assistant general counsels -- Tripp Vickers or Mark Moody.

    When I spoke with McIntire by phone, he denied having talked with the attorney. When I asked if he could check with Vickers or Moody, he declined to do so. When I asked why, he rudely informed me that it's "not my job."

    I wound up speaking with Acting General Counsel Douglas McElvy, who immediately went into whitewash mode -- saying he found it almost impossible to believe that a member of his staff would interfere in a pending court case. I informed McElvy that I had the evidence in a word-for-word format, so he invited me to send a written complaint (which I did), and he promised to investigate.

    Douglas McElvy
    Do I expect anything of substance to come from McElvy's investigation? No, I do not -- especially after learning last week that Judge Roman A. Shaul, had been selected as full-time general counsel at the bar, meaning McElvy soon will be hitting the exits. The esteemed acting general counsel made no mention of that in our phone conversation.

    McElvy did  provide one tidbit of interest. If the Birmingham-area attorney had an ethics question, McElvy said, the call almost certainly went to Vickers and not McIntire. For now, I'm assuming Vickers made the improper statements pointing to interference, but it remains less than 100 percent clear.

    McElvy has not responded to my written complaint, which I sent via email, as instructed.

    I made it clear to McElvy that I consider this a matter of utmost seriousness, and I intend to use every possible avenue -- up to, and including, RICO -- to seek justice for gross violations of our constitutional rights.

    If the interference is as blatant and long-running as I suspect, members of the Alabama State Bar staff and its attorney roster, could wind up in federal prison.

    How did all of this come to light? We will have details in an upcoming post.

    (To be continued)

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    New Jersey cops pummel Emily Weinman on beach

    Police punched a woman on the New Jersey Shore over the Memorial Day weekend, and much of the incident was captured on a video that has gone viral.

    Emily Weinman, age 20 of Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault by spitting bodily fluids at/on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction and minor in possession of alcohol. The officers involved have been assigned administrative duties while the Wildwood, N.J., Police Department conducts an investigation.

    Bruising on Carol Shuler's arm, moments before X-rays
    revealed multiple breaks, inflicted by Missouri cops.
    The incident is reminiscent of police brutality here in Springfield, Missouri, against my wife, Carol, where deputies from the Greene County Sheriff's Office left her with an arm broken so badly that it required trauma surgery. The beating of Carol came during an eviction that was unlawful on at least 10 grounds. There are quite a few differences between our experience and the New Jersey incident, and we will address those in a moment. But first, here are more details about the Emily Weinman incident, from a report by Gina Tron at oxygen,com:

    The involved officers have been re-assigned to administrative duty while the investigation is conducted, Wildwood Police said Sunday. 
    “Chief [Robert] Regalbuto stated that while he finds this video to be alarming, he does not want to rush to any judgment until having the final results of the investigation,” police said.

    That video appears to show two officers wrestling a young woman to the ground and punching her in the head on a beach in Wildwood. People can be heard shouting at the woman to stop resisting. A woman who was sleeping on the beach woke up to the disturbance, recorded it on her phone and posted it on Twitter. (Video is embedded at the end of this post.)

    The mayor of Wildwood, N.J., said Weinman spit at an officer, as if that somehow justifies the beating that was captured on video. From a report at cbsnews.com:

    Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the episode was a "shame," but said police would soon release body camera footage showing officers being insulted and spat upon. Weinman is also charged with spitting at an officer.

    "It wasn't just that this officer decided to beat her up," he said. "That wasn't the case."

    Troiano declined comment on the use of force, saying he didn't know the whole story, but added: "We don't like to see anyone get hit, period. But then again, when you have someone who's aggressively attacking you or spitting at you. I wasn't there. I don't know."

    Notice that the mayor admits cops beat up Weinman? It appears he considers that acceptable.

    As for comparisons of police brutality against Carol in Missouri and the Weinman incident in New Jersey, a few issues appear clear:

    (1) Weinman apparently escaped with no serious injuries; Carol was not so fortunate, winding up with a comminuted fracture of the left arm, meaning it was shattered in more than two places.

    (2) New Jersey police, at least, are making a show of holding officers accountable; in Missouri, cops, prosecutors, lawyers, and judges have engaged in a cover up that has grown more blatant and corrupt in recent days. (Details on that in upcoming posts.) Just one example: Cops have conducted no investigation of the beating, contrary to their own policies, and suggested in both oral and written statements that Carol broke her arm by flailing about in the back of a patrol car. Never mind that Carol was handcuffed and seat belted in the patrol car, and comminuted fractures are caused by trauma, as in a car crash -- and are not the kind of injury one inflicts upon herself.

    X-ray of Carol Shuler's broken arm,
    a comminuted fracture.
    (3) Both Carol and Weinman face criminal charges that would have to improve to be dubious. In Carol's case, she was charged with "assault on a law enforcement officer," even though "victim" Jeremy Lynn admitted in his incident report that he "knowingly caused physical contact" with Carol -- and under Missouri law, that means Carol did not "initiate" contact, and she is not guilty; Weinman was charged with aggravated assault on an officer, and that smells funny, based on the report from Oxygen:

    In a now-deleted Facebook post, Weinman wrote that before the arrest, she passed a breathalyzer test. Then, she claimed police followed her on the sand.

    "I asked them don't they have something better to do as cops than to stop people for underage drinking on the beach,” she wrote on her Facebook, according to New Jersey.com. She said that an officer replied, “I was gonna let you go but now I'll write you up."

    She went on to write that she then refused to cooperate with police and didn’t give them her name. As she was backing away, she tripped and fell and she said that’s when one of the officers grabbed her and began tackling her.

    Police are asking that anyone present during the incident contact them to assist with their investigation. They should contact Detective Lieutenant Kenneth Gallagher at 609-522-0222.

    That suggests Weinman was arrested because she dared question a cop, not because she violated any laws. It also suggests cops instigated the larger incident by following Weinman, rather than just letting her go.

    That is in keeping with the dishonesty, intimidation, and thuggery we've experienced in Missouri -- and others have experienced around the country -- in the past three years or so.

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    Eric Greitens
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, once considered a possible GOP presidential candidate, resigned today amid a sex scandal and multiple investigations, according to an Associated Press report filed at 4:30 p.m.

    The resignation hits close to home here at Legal Schnauzer because Greitens appointed Greene County Associate Circuit Judge Jerry A. Harmison Jr., who is overseeing the bogus "assault on a law enforcement officer" case against my wife, Carol. Greene County sheriff's deputies brutalized Carol during an unlawful eviction in September 2015 and left her with a comminuted fracture of the left arm, requiring trauma surgery and months of physical therapy. She is expected to regain, at most, 80 percent usage of that arm.

    We've uncovered evidence that Harmison knew he was going to be appointed shortly after Greitens' election and took steps to ensure the judgeship would be his. In other words, Harmison is a political hack, and his prime supporter now is a fallen political embarrassment.

    Jim Arnott, the sheriff who caused the charges to be brought against Carol, also has been tied to Greitens and claimed to be a supporter before the governor's election in November 2016. Arnott stood about five feet away and watched an officer slam Carol butt-first to the ground and then yank on her arms in an upward and backward motion, causing severe bruising on her right arm and breaking her left arm.

    Arnott's response to such police violence? His immediate inclination was to lie. He pointed at Carol and said, "She assaulted a law enforcement officer," and then apparently ensured (with the help of prosecutor Dan Patterson) that a "cover charge" was brought to help cover up gross civil-rights violations.

    Arnott and Harmison, both Republicans, appear to be politically aligned, and we have seen signs that there is not an ounce of integrity between them. We have obtained substantial evidence in recent days that Harmison has acted in a wildly unlawful and corrupt fashion on Carol's case.

    Jerry Harmison Jr.
    In essence, we've seen signs that Harmison is every bit as corrupt as the sleazy governor who appointed him. This is from the AP report on Greitens' resignation:

    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has resigned amid criminal and legislative investigations stemming from an extramarital affair and campaign finance questions.

    The 44-year-old Rhodes Scholar and ex-Navy SEAL made the announcement Tuesday. The resignation takes effect Friday.

    A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on Feb. 22 on one felony count of invasion of privacy. The charge was dismissed during jury selection, but a special prosecutor was considering whether to refile charges. Prosecutors say he took a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an affair without her consent in 2015, before his election.

    The woman told a legislative committee Greitens restrained, slapped, shoved and threatened her during sexual encounters.

    The Missouri Legislature began meeting in special session less than two weeks ago to consider impeachment.

    The Kansas City Stae reports that Greitens' problems go way beyond an admitted extramarital affair with his hair stylist:

    Along the way, Greitens was accused of using a self-destructing text message app called Confide to circumvent the state's open records laws.

    He was accused by former campaign staff of exploring the idea of raising money from foreign donors, which would violate a federal law that prohibits campaigns from knowingly accepted money from foreign nationals.

    He was accused of using shell companies to filter donations to his campaign to hide the source of the money.

    Most recently, he was accused of using his political nonprofit, A New Missouri Inc., to illegally circumvent the state's campaign disclosure laws.

    How was Harmison so certain that Greitens would appoint him as judge, even before Greitens took office? We don't have a clear-cut answer to that question yet, but much of the governor's problems stem from efforts to procure and hide campaign donations.

    If it proves Harmison was involved in donation issues, a most unwelcome spotlight might wind up shining on a most crooked judge.

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    Virginia Emerson Hopkins
    How did evidence surface that the Alabama State Bar is interfering in one of our pending federal court cases and probably has been interfering in our court matters -- federal and state -- for eight to 10 years? It started with Gregory L. Morris, an attorney in Fultondale, AL.

    I learned that a reader had hired Morris for a legal matter and was pleased with services rendered, so I made arrangements to speak with Morris about our "Jail Case," -- the one about Shelby County cops kidnapping me (with no apparent warrant) out of my own home and tossing me in jail for a five-month stay. All over a civil matter, alleged defamation from Alabama GOP crooks Rob Riley and Liberty Duke -- plus a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that has been prohibited by more than 200 years of First Amendment law.

    Morris informed me that, as a solo practitioner, he almost certainly could not take on our full case because it involved more than 15 defendants and simply was too wide-ranging for his small shop to handle. He did, however, agree to help with one matter -- a Rule 26 meeting, where parties were to develop a schedule for discovery and filing of dispositive motions.

    This normally is a routine proceeding, and lawyers have told me it often is handled via telephone conference if some parties are at a distance, as we were in this instance. U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins ruled that, if we could not find an attorney to handle the meeting, Carol and I would have to appear in person. Hopkins set no such requirement for any other party and cited no law to support her requirement for us; it was a judge's blatant attempt to cheat a party that the court knew had been granted in forma pauperis status and lived more than a 1,000-mile round trip from the courthouse.

    Hopkins, however, was not content to abuse us; she decided to heap abuse on our representative. Shortly after Morris arrived at the meeting, which I'm told normally doesn't even involve the judge, Hopkins pounced. Here is how Morris described it to me:

    I tell you what, I was professionally scolded yesterday. I think it falls under the one of two categories: Either I did a horrible job of explaining -- I guess this one is more likely -- or I didn't truly understand the nature of the hearing. Roger, I did attend the meeting; I thought we were going to discuss deposition time frames, and interrogatories. I believed my scope of duty was to take notes and prepare you a report. I truly didn't understand [Hopkins] did not want to hear what I was attempting to say. Certainly that is her prerogative.

    It did not take her long to explain to me her position. I absolutely told her the truth, in that I knew about the meeting, I attended the hearing, and was on time. I explained that I did not represent you vs. the 40-plus defendants. I am just not set up for that kind of onslaught. I would have to hire an attorney, a paralegal, and a legal secretary to handle this one case. She did not want to hear that I was at the meeting on your behalf, but my scope of duty was to attend the meeting and relay info or questions back to you.

    I am certain I could have represented you with honor at the hearing. Most, if not all, of the claims were routine. Now most of the other attorneys were fine with this option; however, the judge was not. I am not complaining about the judge; she makes the rules. That gets me back to my failure to adequately express myself to the judge, or that I assumed that the hearing was routine. Regardless, I would have been glad to have represented you at the hearing and make some suggestions for you to consider at this point, I believe my good deed has certainly backfired on me, and certainly I was just trying to help. I am not sure I got a full sentence out during the entire 20-minute hearing. It is obvious that the judge doesn't want to see me again and at this point I don't know what else to type. Except, type the words "I am sorry." I truly mean it.

    Morris added a few more words to describe his experience:

    It was painful and it went on for 20 minutes, pretty much non-stop. Of course, 20-something attorneys were there as well. I don't believe I said a single word that could have angered her. But that is moot now. . . . Again, it was brutal.

    The brutality and stupidity did not end there. In her fit of pique, Hopkins refused to allow anything of substance to take place while Morris was there. The meeting was a complete waste of time, and she then had it rescheduled, ordering that Carol and I had to attend in person, even if we had an attorney. We wound up driving to Birmingham and completed the meeting -- all of which could have been handled by phone conference.

    Not content with that piece of injudicious behavior, Hopkins hinted in one or two documents that we were due to be hit with sanctions for failing to abide by her orders on the initial Rule 26 meeting -- even though we clearly were allowed to have an attorney represent us, we did have an attorney represent us, and we even notified the court in advance that an attorney would be representing us. (Hopkins'"show cause" order, and our response to it, are embedded at the end of this post.)

    But Hopkins apparently was incensed, to a large degree, because Morris did not file a Notice of Appearance. I had suggested to Morris in an email prior to the meeting that it might be a good idea for him to file a Notice of Appearance. I didn't push the matter because I thought, "Well, he's the attorney here, and I don't want to come off as trying to tell him how to do his job."

    Morris wound up not filing a Notice of Appearance, and Hopkins used that as an excuse to rail at him and threaten us with sanctions. Morris later admitted to me that he didn't file a notice because he did not trust Hopkins to let him out of the case once he officially was in. In other words, the vibes from her were so negative that he thought she would try to punish him by forcing him to take a case he wasn't equipped to handle -- and that could have caused all sorts of damage to  his entire practice.

    With Hopkins still threatening us with sanctions, Morris was kind enough to prepare an affidavit, explaining that we had, in fact, asked him to appear on our behalf -- whether he filed a Notice of Appearance or not.

    While preparing that affidavit, a question came to Morris that he decided to pose to someone in the Alabama State Bar's Office of Professional Responsibility.

    That's what led to evidence that the Alabama State Bar was interfering with our case.

    (To be continued)

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    Eric Greitens
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigned yesterday just hours after a judge ruled that his "dark money" non-profit would have to turn over documents by the end of this week to a Missouri House investigative committee.

    On the personal front, we have this question: Could the scandal engulf Greene County Associate Circuit Judge Jerry A. Harmison Jr., the Greitens appointee who is overseeing the "assault on a law enforcement officer" case against my wife, Carol? Prosecutors brought the "cover charge" against Carol after sheriff's deputies broke her arm, requiring trauma surgery for repair, during an unlawful eviction in September 2015.

    It's too early to tell if Harmison could be part of the Greitens dark-money scandal, but we reported this yesterday:

    We've uncovered evidence that Harmison knew he was going to be appointed shortly after Greitens' election and took steps to ensure the judgeship would be his. In other words, Harmison is a political hack, and his prime supporter now is a fallen political embarrassment. . . . 
    We have obtained substantial evidence in recent days that Harmison has acted in a wildly unlawful and corrupt fashion on Carol's case. In essence, we've seen signs that Harmison is every bit as corrupt as the sleazy governor who appointed him. . . .

    How was Harmison so certain that Greitens would appoint him as judge, even before Greitens took office? We don't have a clear-cut answer to that question yet, but much of the governor's problems stem from efforts to procure and hide campaign donations.

    As for Eric Greitens and the real reason he resigned, here is this from The Kansas City Star, published at 11:34 a.m. yesterday:

    Gov. Eric Greitens’ political nonprofit has until Friday to turn over documents to the Missouri House committee investigating allegations of misconduct against the governor as a precursor to possible impeachment.

    Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem issued a ruling Tuesday ordering the organization, A New Missouri Inc., to turn over communications and documents showing potential coordination among the nonprofit, the governor and the governor's campaign committee, as well as expenditures related to advertising.

    The House committee issued subpoenas to the nonprofit and campaign seeking documents lawmakers believe might demonstrate efforts to illegally circumvent the state's campaign disclosure laws. Greitens' attorneys objected, and the House filed a lawsuit seeking an order from Beetem enforcing the subpoenas.

    Roughly five hours after that was published, reports came that Greitens was set to resign. Perhaps the best summation of the resignation came from TPM editor Josh Marshall, in this tweet:

    Okay, Greitens refuses to resign in the face of merciless, insanely damaging sex and blackmail scandal, resigns immediately when forced to turn over records of his dark money group? Gonna go out on a limb and say there's probably something bad there.

    What could this mean for Greitens' donors, including (perhaps) Judge Jerry A. Harmison Jr.? Greitens has been dangling from a cliff for some time, due to allegations regarding dark money. Consider this from a report three weeks ago at St. Louis Public Radio, focusing on former Greitens aide Mike Hafner:

    At the time, in early 2015, Hafner says he and allied consultants still thought Greitens was exploring a bid for lieutenant governor – not governor.

    Hafner says he also was unaware when he drew up the call list that there could be legal problems with using The Mission Continues donor list without the charity’s specific approval.

    Jerry Harmison Jr.
     Hafner has been subpoenaed several times.
    Now, more than three years later, Hafner is among the witnesses at the center of probes by several law enforcement and governmental entities to determine if Greitens broke the law by his use of the list – or by his initial denials.

    The Associated Press first broke the story of the donor list in October 2016. Greitens denied using it, but changed his stance in a “consent order’’ filed in April 2017 with the Missouri Ethics Commission. In the order, Greitens admitted using the donor list, but said it had been obtained by then-campaign manager Danny Laub in March 2015. Laub has denied that account.

    Greitens now faces a felony criminal charge of misusing the donor list. The Missouri attorney general’s office, the St. Louis circuit attorney, the Ethics Commission and a House committee have all subpoenaed Hafner.

    The report hints that donors, and not just the Greitens campaign, might have engaged in wrongdoing:

    The donor list was crucial in those early months of fundraising, Hafner said. The Associated Press has calculated that at least $2 million was raised from the donor list for Greitens’ successful campaign for Missouri governor.

    Hafner suspects the tally could be higher, because some of the donors broached early on the idea of forming nonprofit groups so that their contributions could not be tracked. “There was, in the very embryonic stages of the campaign, discussions already being had about C4s and LCs (two types of outside groups) and not disclosing the source of those contributions,” Hafner said.

    It all is about deceiving the public -- and it got Greitens elected, but it also led to his fall:

    Hafner said he simply wants to make sure the record is correct about his involvement in Greitens’ early campaign, and why he believes the public should pay attention.

    “I do believe in transparency in campaigns,” Hafner said. He contended that Greitens was misleading the public when he appeared on St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking podcast in January 2016, and declared that his campaign was transparent and his donors would be public.

    Although Hafner was with Brunner’s campaign by then, “I knew what they were already planning’’ with the secret money going to outside groups.

    By Hafner’s calculation, “Eric had (at least) $6 million in untraceable money.”

    Does this have an impact on other candidates, from both parties? Absolutely:

    Greitens’ success during his campaign, and as governor, in raising so much from unidentified donors has caused some dissent within GOP and Democratic ranks. Some of that money has been used to run ads and phone banks attacking fellow Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly.

    Hafner cited his previous work for such Republicans as former Sen. Jim Talent, former Gov. Matt Blunt and former Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. “These guys put the party ahead of themselves. . . . Eric has kind of redefined all of that in the last year and a half, and I don’t think he’s redefined it for the better.”

    Hafner said that the public needs to pay more attention. “Voters didn’t take into consideration the dark money that came into the race,” he said, referring to Greitens’ 2016 bid.

    “That’s something people should be concerned about, going forward. People should know who’s funding these campaigns.”

    Was Jerry Harmison (or his allies) helping to fund the Greitens campaign in an undisclosed and underhanded way? We will do our darnedest to find out in the coming weeks and months. We know this much already:

    * Harmison has left a paper trail showing he is a crooked judge, who unlawfully favors right-wing, law-enforcement interests;

    * Harmison took actions that show he knew, weeks before Greitens took office, that a judicial appointment was coming his way.

    (To be continued)

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    Jerry Harmison Jr.
    Missouri Judge Jerry Harmison Jr., an appointee of scandal-plagued Gov. Eric Greitens, has found my wife, Carol, guilty of "assault on a law enforcement officer," in a ruling that defies fact, law, logic, and common sense. In the almost 11 years I've been writing this blog, Harmison's "judgment" might stand as the most blatant example of judicial corruption I've ever seen -- and as regular readers know, that's a mouthful.

    Sentencing for the "crime" Carol did not commit -- and Harmison's findings show she didn't commit it -- is set for June 11. (Judgment is embedded at the end of this post.) The prosecution removed jail time from the table months ago for the misdemeanor offense, and that seems like a good thing. But that move took away Carol's right to a jury trial and forced her to a bench proceeding before a judge, who proved to be every bit as sleazy as the governor who appointed him.

    Harmison, apparently looking to burnish his right-wing, pro-police street cred, was willing to turn a blind eye to a prosecution case that was filled with enough lies to make Donald Trump blush. All four prosecution witnesses lied under oath -- and Carol can prove some of the lies; she probably can prove all of them, with an opportunity to conduct the discovery she was denied prior to trial.

    Get this: Harmison apparently based his "judgment" on the following statement: "This court finds the testimony of the state's witnesses more credible and persuasive than the defense witnesses (Carol and me). Is this guy serious? Is a witness "more credible" because he's wearing a uniform and has a gun strapped to his waist -- no matter the garbage he spews forth in court?

    Speaking of credibility, every prosecution witness testified that Carol flailed about in the back seat of a patrol car, suggesting she broke her own arm -- and they had nothing to do with it. Never mind that Carol testified she was handcuffed and seat-belted while in the car. Never mind that I testified that an unknown deputy -- who was not present at the trial -- slammed Carol butt-first to the ground, grabbed both arms above the elbow while she was seated, and yanked on them in an upward and backward direction, breaking her left arm before she ever was placed in the patrol car.

    But Jerry Harmison is dumb enough to believe a person can inflict a comminuted fracture in her own arm? This man isn't qualified to be a judge in a pissing contest. Does Harmison cite anything that caused him to conclude Carol and I were less credible than the cop witnesses? Nope, not one thing.

    Here are a couple of nuggets of good news:

    * Under Missouri law, Carol can file a number of post-trial motions -- seeking to have the judgment vacated or set aside for various reasons. She also can seek a judgment of acquittal or a new trial. She also can seek criminal charges for perjury and "deprivation of rights under color of law."

    * Under Missouri law, a judgment based on "fraud and collusion" cannot stand and will not preclude Carol's federal, civil-rights claims. [See Kapp v. Naturelle, Inc., 611 F. 2d 703 (Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 1979).]

    What is wrong with Harmison's judgment? I don't have room to go into everything in one post. We will provide more analysis in upcoming posts, but here are several key points for now.

    (1) Statute? What criminal statute?

    You might expect a judge to make note of the statute that governs a criminal case he is deciding. But we did not get that with Jerry Harmison. His "judgment" makes no mention of RSMo 565.083 -- which was repealed, by the way, effective Jan. 1, 2017 -- the statute governing Carol's alleged offense. Here is the key language from the statute, saying a person commits the offense if:

    Such person knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical contact with a law enforcement officer . . . without the consent of the law enforcement officer.

    When that language is applied to the facts, as stated in Harmison's own "judgment," Carol is not close to being guilty. But Harmison makes no mention of the applicable law; it appears he did not even read it. If a judge is going to convict someone of a crime, doesn't he have an obligation to use the law under which she was charged? I kind of think he does? What do you think?

    (2) Well, what law did Harmison use to convict Carol?

    On page 7 of Harmison's "judgment," we find this rationale: "The relevant evidence in this case is that the Greene County Deputies evicting Roger and Carol Shuler were acting in good faith."

    Harmison is citing the so-called "good-faith exception," which defense lawyers routinely use in lawsuits alleging excessive force and Fourth Amendment violations against cops. In other words, Harmison decided a criminal case . . . with civil law. Carol's case is governed by the criminal statute mentioned in item No. 1 above. The charge is against her, and the statute is about her alleged actions; it has nothing to do with whether cops acted in "good faith" -- and there was overwhelming evidence at trial that they did not act in good faith, anyway.

    (3) What about that key word, knowingly?

    Under the statute, Carol had to act "knowingly" to be convicted, meaning "she was aware of the nature of her conduct or that those circumstances exist." Did the prosecution prove this? Nope. But it didn't matter because Harmison didn't apply the law and make them prove it. From page 5 of Harmison's "judgment":

    The defendant, Carol Shuler, testified on her own behalf. She stated the judgment for possession was an interlocutory judgment in the landlord tenant case and did not authorize the Sheriff's Department to evict her and her husband. She stated that on September 9, she was napping and got up for some water. She heard loud noises outside the front door and looked through the peep hole, but it was covered. She saw the door knob moving, and she got scared and grabbed her cell phone. She said the door flew open, and she went flying against the wall. She felt hands grabbing her, and her head was pounded against the wall several times. She was placed in handcuffs, and then she saw it was the police.

    Here are four points we can take from this:

    (a) Carol was correct that the rent-and-possession judgment was interlocutory (non-final). Officer Scott Harrison admitted this under oath, on page 1 of the Harmison document. Under Missouri law, there cannot be execution on a judgment that is not final. (See State ex rel Turner v. Sloan [MO, 1980]) Neither Harrison nor Harmison could be bothered to look up the law. But Harrison inadvertently admitted that the cops had no grounds, under the law, to be on our rented property, much less to break into our home. Also, Carol believed (correctly) that the judgment was non-final, so there could be no eviction. She believed cops could not possibly be at her home, so she could not have "knowingly" assaulted one of them.

    An X-ray of the arm a Missouri judge
    apparently thinks Carol broke on her own.
    (b) First, Carol did not testify that she heard "loud noises"; she said she heard noises, and that allergy problems caused her hearing to be off that day. Further, her testimony was that she looked out the peephole, and it was covered, so she could not see who was outside. Is this "good faith" in HarmisonWorld? For goodness sakes, the cops intentionally covered the peephole, so Carol could not see who they were, and that is good faith?

    (c) Carol testified that she felt hands grabbing her, and she never said she "caused contact" with a cop; he caused contact with her, and the key prosecution witness admitted this. No kidding.

    (d) Carol did not know she was dealing with cops until after her head had been pounded against the wall, and she was placed in handcuffs.

    Did Carol "knowingly cause contact" with a cop? Hell, she did not even know they were cops, and they covered the peephole to ensure she would not know they were cops. The prosecution did not come close to proving Carol acted knowingly -- even if she did cause contact with a cop, and she did not.

    (4) How can you be so sure Carol did not cause contact with a cop?

    Because the "victim," Officer Jeremy Lynn, admits it -- as we've been reporting here for months. From page 3 of the Harmison document:

    When [the door] was three-fourths open, resistance was experienced. Lynn used his left foot to block the door and forcefully opened the door. Lynn saw a male in the living room, approximately 15 feet away. The male was sitting in a chair with his hands palm down and his feet on the floor, apparently demonstrating he was not a threat. Lynn grabbed the person behind the door and pulled her out to apprehend her. Carol Shuler kept pushing Lynn and trying to pull away from him to resist custody.

    Who caused contact here? Lynn admits he did, by grabbing Carol from behind the door. The statement goes on say to Carol "kept pushing Lynn," but that is different from Lynn's written incident report, where Lynn never says Carol pushed him or even touched him. And that goes to possible perjury -- or the filing of a false police report. Does Lynn say what Carol had done to merit being "apprehended"? Nope. Don't you have to do something wrong to have a cop grab and attempt to apprehend you? Not in Missouri, I guess.

    Once again, the cop-witness and the judge seem to be clueless about the law. Missouri appellate courts have determined the key question in such cases is "Who initiated physical contact?" (See State v. Armstrong, 968 SW 2d 154 [Mo. Court of Appeals, 1998]) So, who initiated physical contact? Jeremy Lynn admits he did -- in order to apprehend someone who had done nothing unlawful.

    Just how incompetent is this Missouri court? At case.net (1631-CR07731--ST V CAROL T SHULER) -- under charges, judgments, and sentences -- it has Carol being found guilty of trespass, first degree. The court bounced that charge almost one year ago. Again, I don't have the imagination to make this stuff up.

    We'll stop for now with the above four primary points, but there is much more to examine in this horror show of a "judicial process."

    (To be continued)

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