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The memory of a beloved pet inspires one couple's fight against injustice.
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    David P. Rush
    Court documents show Missouri resident Scott J. Wells has been detained for more than two years on child-pornography charges because of  statements from a prosecutor and the judge that range from incomplete to deceptive to downright false.

    Could the statements, made by officers of the court in official proceedings, amount to fraud on the court, possibly rendering subsequent rulings void? Our research indicates the answer is yes.

    In fact, it appears Wells has been held largely based on his 2004 conviction in a child sexual-abuse case. That conviction, however, was overturned due to the court's finding that my brother, David Shuler, provided ineffective assistance of counsel as Wells' defense attorney. How flimsy were those state charges against Wells, and what impact have they had on the pending federal case? From a post dated January 30, 2019:

    Chief prosecutor James J. Kelleher apparently pushed for detention (in the federal case) based on the child sexual abuse case where the conviction against Wells was overturned. Let that sink in for a moment: A U.S. citizen has been behind bars for almost two years largely because of an earlier case where a conviction was overturned after a complaining witness was found to have lied under oath about Wells having scars on his penis. Kelleher was the state prosecutor in the child sexual abuse case, so perhaps he wants to punish Wells for beating weak charges the first time around

    The 2004 state case ended when Wells entered an Alford plea to child endangerment. Here is how we described that outcome in an earlier post:

    Wells agreed to an Alford plea of child endangerment to dispense with the first case. Trial Judge Don Burrell probably could have dismissed the whole case once a complaining witness was found to have lied about penis scars. But Burrell chose to overturn the conviction and give the state a chance to re-try, meaning Wells faced the prospect of going before a pro-prosecution jury in conservative Southwest Missouri.

    With an Alford plea, a criminal defendant does not admit to the unlawful act and asserts his innocence. In essence, it is a type of guilty plea that allows the prosecution to save face for bringing a weak case. Nothing in the record even hints that Scott Wells actually endangered a child. Federal prosecutors now are trying to hold that case against Wells, even though he ultimately won it.

    We know the highlighted section in yellow above was on target because we now have transcripts of two key hearings in the federal case. (Both transcripts are embedded at the end of this post.) The first proceeding in question involved a probable-cause and detention hearing on March 31, 2017.The second proceeding involved a status conference on February 6, 2019, focusing primarily on the exit of Shane Cantin, Wels' second court-appointed attorney in the case.

    Together, the transcripts show Kelleher pushed for detention, and Judge David P. Rush granted it, based on the state case that ended in 2004. Neither officer of the court mentions during oral argument that Wells' conviction in that case was overturned -- and no document related to his Alford plea indicates he actually endangered a child. If anything, children (in the general age range of 10-12) endangered Wells by lying under oath in court. Let's consider prosecutor Kelleher's statements from the transcript of the probable cause/detention hearing:

    The complaint obviously sets forth the facts supporting Mr. Wells' most recent involvement with child exploitation. There is also reference to the fact that back in 2004, he was convicted of sexual misconduct, statutory sodomy, incest, and child molestation in Circuit Court of Greene County. I am, of course, aware of that conviction, as I was the prosecutor who handled that -- that trial. It's frankly unbelievable that he is back before this court after being given the break that he was in relation to that case. The fact that he admitted that child pornography popped up on his computer is, obviously, ludicrous. The evidence in this case is overwhelming. The defendant's pleas to child endangerment, as well as the most recent conduct, clearly mark him as a danger to society. And consequently, Your Honor, I respectfully suggest to the Court that pretrial detention in this matter is appropriate.

    There you have it: Kelleher clearly bases his call for detention on a 2004 conviction that was overturned -- and Kelleher conveniently fails to mention that to the court. Kelleher also fails to mention that Wells' plea to child endangerment was an Alford plea, with no indication in the court record that Wells actually endangered anyone.

    U.S. public defender David Mercer, Wells' court-appointed attorney at the time, made no written argument to Kelleher's motion, but he did offer this pearl in oral argument: "Your Honor, on the issue of probable cause, we have nothing to add." So, Mercer is admitting there is probable cause to arrest Wells and search his home, even though the criminal complaint alleges Wells uploaded two separate computer files at the exact same time (down to the second), which cannot physically be done. In short, there is no probable cause in this case, but Scott Wells' own lawyer admitted there was more than two years ago. That's the kind of "defense" you get with a court-appointed lawyer.

    Mercer obviously did not read the criminal complaint closely, and neither have Kelleher nor Rush. As for Rush, he was anxious to rubber stamp anything Kelleher wanted. From the judge:

    I will find probable cause and order the matter held for Grand Jury or other appropriate proceedings. With regard to the detention portion, I concur . . . that he's not a flight risk. And I also concur . . . and intend to find, by clear and convincing evidence, that he is a danger to the community, and I will issue a written order with that finding and the reasons in support of that.

    Rush's detention order (embedded at the end of this post) is based almost entirely on the 2004 case, where Wells was charged with sex offenses involving children -- and Rush makes no mention that the conviction was overturned, and Wells was the victim of under-age accusers who lied under oath and a defense attorney (David Shuler), who the court found provided ineffective assistance of counsel. In other words, Rush's "clear and convincing evidence" means you can be held behind bars for more than two years because the government charges you with something, even though they failed to prove you actually did it.

    Scott J. Wells
    As for the February 6, 2019, status conference, that dealt with Wells'pro se motion to have Shane Cantin removed as his court-appointed lawyer -- plus Cantin's own motion to withdraw. That prompted a soliloquy from Rush, portraying Cantin as a paragon of legal virtue. From the transcript:

    Mr. Wells, I would first tell you, you don't get to fire an attorney you didn't hire. And I'm going to make some inquiries of you as to what your complaints are, and we'll attempt to address some of those complaints. I would also tell you Mr. Cantin is . . . probably one of the finest criminal defense attorneys in southwest Missouri. If you were to hire him, I don't know that you could afford him. That's how good he is. And I'm going to take up your request, and in the end, I'm likely to appoint you new counsel. You won't get anybody . . . better than him. He is well respected by the Court. He's well respected by the judges in the Western District of Missouri . . . . This court has found very few defendants that have had difficulty getting along with him. . . . So I would say be careful what you ask for because you're not going to find a finer criminal defense attorney in this area.

    That Rush considers Cantin to be an excellent attorney -- and that Cantin generally is respected by judges and other defendants -- says nothing about his performance in defending Scott Wells. The transcript makes clear that Rush's real concern is that Cantin's letter to Wells (while the accused was detained at the CCA in Leavenworth, Kansas) became public. Cantin's letter, stated his own client had no defense to the charges against him and he surely would be convicted -- . shockingly, Wells and his family took offense to that letter and sought to have Cantin removed from the case.

    As for Wells' complaints regarding Cantin's "defense," they generally come under three headings:

    (1) Cantin had done nothing to get Wells' removed from detention or even moved from the facility in Leavenworth;

    (2) Cantin had done virtually nothing on discovery -- going over the government's evidence with his client, taking depositions, etc.

    (3) Cantin had not sought expert witnesses, which often are critical in the defense of child-porn cases.

    Here is how Rush addressed Wells' concerns. From the transcript:

    Court: If you're wanting copies of the alleged child pornography, that is not allowed, so tell me what has not been provided to you? 
    Wells: I just have been informed, I mean, by other people that I should have got at least a copy of the discovery. I have been informed at different times that things have happened. I just had a lot of questions about it. . . . 
    Court:Again, you're in federal court, and you don't have a right to depositions. So, there's nothing Mr. Cantin can do. If your complaint is he hasn't taken depositions, he's not allowed to. Your last two are contacting experts or filing motions as to bond. Your attorney is not required to file what he determines to be frivolous or non-meritorious motions. You have no right to an attorney who will docilely do as told. He is to apply his legal knowledge and experience and training. And filing frivolous or non-meritorious motions . . . doesn't rise to the level of him not providing you adequate representation . . .
    And so, I don't know what motions . . . I guess it's to bond. I mean, he can file a motion for reconsideration of bond, but if he believes . . . it will not be granted, he's not required to do everything you tell him to do.

    Did Rush speak the absolute truth to Scott Wells? Not exactly. Here are places where the judge went  off the tracks:

    * Rush's claim that depositions are not allowed in federal criminal cases is plainly false. A quick look at Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure makes that clear. Why would Rush lie to a party about this issue? I don't know, but it's troubling.

    * Rush's claim that Wells is not entitled to a "copy" of alleged child pornography is, at best, deceitful. First, it's not clear Wells asked for a copy of any child pornography, and such a copy -- if taken outside a secure government location -- would, in fact, be improper under the law. However, Wells absolutely is entitled to review every piece of evidence -- including images of child pornography -- that the government intends to use against him, per 18 U.S.C. § 3509(m), as outlined at this article.

    * There is no evidence in the record that Wells asked his attorney to file a frivolous or non-meritorious motion. As we have shown in multiple posts, any of the following motions -- to dismiss for a deficient criminal complaint, to dismiss for a deficient indictment, to overturn detention for lack of probable cause, to suppress evidence as gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment -- all would be meritorious. If Cantin and Rush are not aware of that, they haven't read the case file.

    As for Cantin, even he seems to indicate he didn't do all that much on Wells' case. From the transcript:

    Cantin:Well, when we still had the trial set several months away. I made a trip to CCA and took all the discovery with me and met with him for a couple of hours there at that time. Since he came back down here for . . . this docket, we had several weeks in which to prepare for a one-count indictment, and I've spent five or six hours at the Greene County Jail attempting to go through discovery and review electronic information and answer all his questions and get ready for trial.

    Note that Cantin says he took discovery with him to the CCA in Leavenworth, but he doesn't say he reviewed it with Wells. Also, Cantin says he "attempted" to go through discovery at the Greene County (MO) Jail, but does not say he actually accomplished that. Since the law would not allow Cantin to take images of alleged child pornography outside a secure prosecution site, that likely means he never reviewed image evidence with his client at all.

    That suggests Scott Wells' concerns about discovery are legitimate. That Judge Rush and Prosecutor Kelleher twisted the truth, or eliminated key details, in open-court statements suggests Scott Wells is being railroaded.

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    Jeffrey Epstein and New Mexico ranch
    (From The Daily Beast)

    A New Mexico real-estate agent saw signs more than 25 years ago that accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein had a perverse taste for the flesh of underage girls, but she did not know what to make of it at the time, according a report yesterday at TheDaily Beast.

    Pat French encountered Epstein while the wealthy New Yorker was looking to buy a ranch in New Mexico. Epstein wound up buying from another agent, but not before leaving some disturbing and indelible images in French's mind. From reporter Michael Daly at TheDaily Beast:

    Saying something when you see something—the post-9/11 adage about terrorism—should also apply to the sexual abuse of underage girls.

    Of course, not everybody could be expected to have understood the significance of what they were seeing before Epstein’s proclivities became widely known. That included realtor Pat French of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Back in September of 1992, French was on the way to take her tween-turning-teen daughter and a friend to see the first woman to lead the Cherokee tribe, when she stopped at a luxury hotel to drop off some papers to a mega-rich New Yorker who was shopping for a ranch.

    When she rang the doorbell to the suite at the Rancho Encantado that September day in 1992, Jeffrey Epstein was not who answered.

    “There were all these girls,” French told TheDaily Beast this week. “A little bit older than my daughter. Not much.”

    French made what seemed at the time to be a completely reasonable assumption.

    “I thought, ‘Oh, these must be his daughters and friends he took along on the trip,’” French recalled.

    In time, French realized her assumption was off target:

    She did not know at the time that Epstein had no children.

    The girls took the papers, which described properties that French thought might interest Epstein. He had told her he was seeking isolation.

    “He wanted really far away from people,” French recalled.

    French proceeded on with her daughter and friends to see Cherokee Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller receive an an award from the International Women’s Forum. Mankiller—now deceased, from cancer in 2010—was a leading champion of women’s rights as well as Native American rights and human rights in general. Mankiller was taking particular steps to combat the sexual abuse of children in her tribe. French never imagined that the girls she saw back at the plush Rancho Encantado were victims of evil such as Mankiller battled.

    “I had no idea about this man,” French later told TheDaily Beast.

    Epstein wound up buying a ranch that came with political attachments:

    French had no further dealings with Epstein. He chose to buy a ranch through another realtor, Rhonda King, who was also then a representative to the New Mexico state legislature. The purchase of the 10,000-acre Zorro Ranch came with an additional, instant political connection, as Epstein bought it from the realtor’s uncle, former Gov. Bruce King.

    Epstein proceeded to build a 26,700 square foot hacienda-style hilltop mansion, the largest private home in Santa Fe County, perhaps the state. The former governor’s brother, New Mexico State treasurer David King, was quoted saying of Epstein, “He’s building what you want as a heavenly ranch.”

    Epstein was reported to have bought $600 bed sheets. He was said to have his bread flown in from New York.

    “They do have money,” a local builder remarked.

    Money apparently helped provide cover for Epstein's dark side:

    Visitors to the mansion included the leading candidate for governor in 2002, Bill Richardson, who was later quick to say that he was accompanied by his wife. Epstein contributed $50,000 to Richardson’s campaign. Epstein kicked in another $50,000 towards Richardson’s successful run for reelection in 2006.

    Gary King, the former governor’s son, was running for state attorney general that year and Epstein donated $15,000 to his primary campaign. Epstein also donated $10,000 toward Jim Bacca’s campaign to become head of the land commission and $2,000 toward Santa Fe County Sheriff Jim Solano's bid for reelection.

    In the meantime, Epstein was apparently flying in underage girls as well as fresh bread, usually through Santa Fe when he was using his Gulfstream, or the larger Albuquerque airport when using his Boeing 727. One of his accusers would say that she was raped at the ranch when she was 15.

    No doubt people at the airports and ranch workers and folks in town saw the girls. But nobody seems to have contacted the authorities even after the news broke in July 2006 that Epstein was being charged in Florida with having sex with underage girls.

    The following year, Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to just one count of engaging a minor in prostitution. This unconscionable deal allowed him to serve just 13 months of nights and weekends in a private section of the Palm Beach County Jail. A resident of Santa Fe recalled to TheDaily Beast that when she went into a local newsstand, the proprietor remarked, “Oh, he always used to come into town with all these girls.”

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    Image from Block Grain Belt Express

    Missouri GOP attorney Douglas L. Healy has shown a propensity to harass and threaten the mother of his "bastard child in Poplar Bluff" when she refused his demands to get an abortion or give the child up for adoption. DeAnna Kelley, the child's mother who is raising their son (now age 4) on her own in Butler County, MO, has shown a willingness to fight back -- standing up to Healy's demands and unmasking him as a hypocritical creepy-crawly of the highest order, one who has willingly skipped out on three years of child-support payments. (See email embedded at the end of this post.)

    But what about Healy's professional life, where he serves as general counsel for the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC), which is pushing for the Grain Belt Express (GBE), a controversial $2.5-billion project that is designed to transmit wind energy from the Midwest to population hubs in the Northeast?

    Healy, it appears, faces stiff opposition on that front, too. Rural property owners, who stand to lose chunk's of their property via eminent domain, seem less-than-thrilled that the Grain Belt Express could be zooming into their lives. The project, initiated by Texas-based Clean Line Energy now is led by Invenergy of Chicago.

    Two groups -- Missouri Landowners’ Alliance (MLA) and Eastern Missouri Landowners' Alliance (EMLA)-- are leading the opposition in The Show-Me State and have stated they will take the matter to court following the Missouri Public Service Commission's approval of GBE earlier this year.

    Block Grain Belt Express, a Web site affiliated with MLA, portrays BGE as essentially a land grab, driven by elites like Doug Healy -- a project that will be a blight on rural communities across the Midwest. From the Web site:

    The Grain Belt Express is a massive 4,000-megawatt, direct-current electricity transmission line proposed by Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, a startup company from Houston, Texas. If completed, the line would originate in southwest Kansas near Dodge City, and would span 780 miles to the east and terminate in Indiana, where it would connect with the PJM grid that services the heavily populated northeast states.

    The company claims the line would carry only wind generated power. However, Federal Law prohibits any transmission line from discriminating against any source of power. The northeast states, where the power would be transported, are home to some of this country’s very best wind resources just off their shores, according to the U. S. Department of Energy.

    Grain Belt Express would impact upwards of 600 landowners in its 220 mile path across Missouri alone and would require more than 5,000 acres for the easement. Only a handful of landowners voluntarily signed an easement agreement prior to the first application.

    Therefore, the project would constitute one of the largest condemnations of private land in Missouri history.

    Will the transmission lines be unsightly? Block Grain Belt Express says the answer is yes and provides images (see top and bottom of this post) that support its position. From the Web site:

    If approved, the use of eminent domain for a project with little or no benefit to our state would be a violation of property rights. The transmission line would place an enormous burden on landowners, as it would greatly decrease property values and farm productivity, while negatively impacting the quality of our lives and potentially affecting our health, safety, and environment.

    Finally, the approval of the line would set a very dangerous precedent as other private companies will likely ask for the power of eminent domain for their business ventures with or without any benefit to the state of Missouri.

    How far might Doug Healy and his brethren stoop to force the Grain Belt Express down the throats of Missouri landowners? Healy has shown he will take jaw-dropping steps against the mother of his "bastard child" -- including hiring multiple private investigators to tail her, and at least one of them even resorted to drone technology in an apparent effort to dig up dirt.

    Image from Block Grain Belt Express

    Previously in series:

    (1) Doug Healy got female acquaintance pregnant and pushed for an abortion -- 6/18/19 

    (2) Doug Healy threatens mother of his "bastard child in Poplar Bluff" -- 6/20/19

    (3) Doug Healy backs controversial $2.5-billion Grain Belt Express -- 6/25/19

    (To be continued)

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    U.S. Attorney General William Barr two weeks ago visited the New York City correctional facility where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein supposedly committed suicide early Saturday, according to a report from a D.C.-based investigative journalist. That makes Barr, at a minimum, a person of interest in Epstein's death, writes Wayne Madsen. It also suggests the claim that Barr was "appalled" by Epstein's death is phony.

    Several detention procedures were violated regarding Epstein's stay at the federal jail in Lower Manhattan, according to The New York Times (NYT).

    A post at the subscription-based Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), published yesterday under the headline "Epstein-Barr:'Justice' in a quasi-dictatorship known as the United States," states:

    The Rupert Murdoch-ownedNew York Post reported on August 11, 2019, that Lewis Kasman, a one-time top accountant for Gambino family mob boss John Gotti – and who visited Gotti while he was incarcerated at the [Metropolitan Correctional Center, MCC] in 1992 – claims the MCC guards have a history of corruption. Kasman told the paper that MCC correction officers often deliver food or cellphones to wealthy inmates. Kasman dropped a major bombshell in his interview with the Post, claiming Attorney General Barr, whose father was the headmaster who helped arrange for Epstein’s first teaching job at the school in 1974, made a “hush-hush trip" to the MCC two weeks ago, about the time Epstein was found in his cell with bruises around his neck.” Kasman added, “When does that happen? The attorney general never visits jails. Something’s not right there.”

    If Kasman can be believed, Barr’s visit to the MCC would make the Attorney General -- who claimed he was “appalled” over Epstein’s death and is in charge of the FBI and Department of Justice Inspector General investigations into Epstein’s death – a person of interest or even a prime suspect in Epstein’s death. There is scant reason to doubt Kasman since he has very little to gain as a former mob figure who turned state’s evidence.

    Here is more from the New York Post article:

    The jail where Jeffrey Epstein apparently hanged himself was a nest of corruption in the early ’90s, according to one of late mobster John Gotti Sr.’s top associates — who insists it’s still a place where almost anything can be bought if you have the bucks.

    “If he killed himself someone had to have helped him,” said Lewis Kasman, a onetime close confidant of the Dapper Don who visited the godfather several times at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 1992.

    “There are cameras going 24/7 and they’re watching 24/7. Someone had to give [Epstein] the equipment to kill himself and he had to pay for it dearly,” said Kasman, who has kept abreast of conditions in the lockup.

    Kasman added: “That facility for years had issues of corruption, with correction officers bringing in food or cellphones for wealthy people.”

    The former Gambino bean counter noted that Gotti, who did time both in the jail’s 9 South and 10 South units, its most secure wings, still managed to get his favorite steak dinner sneaked in: “He had Peter Luger’s whenever he wanted.”

    As for violations of detention procedures, The NYT reports:

    Mr. Epstein was supposed to have been checked by the two guards in the protective housing unit every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed that night, a law-enforcement official with knowledge of his detention said.

    In addition, because Mr. Epstein may have tried to commit suicide three weeks earlier, he was supposed to have had another inmate in his cell, three officials said. But the jail had recently transferred his cellmate and allowed Mr. Epstein to be housed alone, a decision that also violated the jail’s procedures, the two officials said.

    What could all of this mean for the United States? For one, it suggests the White House, Justice Department, federal prisons, and federal courthouses are infested with organized crime -- which is not breaking news to us or our readers. Writes Madsen:

    One of the biggest threats to Donald Trump’s presidency – his former good friend and fellow uber-wealthy sex pervert Jeffrey Epstein – died in a federal detention center in Manhattan of what was officially termed a “suicide.” Suspicious deaths of incarcerated politically-sensitive inmates are common occurrences in countries like China, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Russia, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, the Philippines, Uganda, Colombia, Guatemala, and now – the United States. These are countries where the rule of law is supplanted by the whims of government leaders eager to eliminate those who have knowledge of corruption at the highest levels of state power.

    Epstein, who was arrested on July 6 at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after returning from a trip to Paris, was being held at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan while awaiting trial on federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. Epstein had been under a suicide watch after a previous incident where he was found unconscious with bruises on his neck from what was widely reported to have been a suicide attempt. However, MCC officials reported that Epstein’s suicide watch had been vacated just prior to his alleged suicide.

    There are also reports that the surveillance camera system dedicated to the MCC’s Special Housing Unit (SHU) for high-profile inmates had malfunctioned, yielding no video evidence of Epstein’s so-called “suicide.” This, of course, is very unoriginal window dressing designed to establish the false narrative that Epstein evaded all maximum security prison controls in order to take his own life. Epstein’s death came a day after thousands of documents on Epstein’s recruitment of underage female sex slaves were released pursuant to a federal judicial panel’s order.

    Some knowledgeable and influential voices have made it clear they do not believe the MCC's official story. Writes Madsen:

    Although the usual suspects emerged to deride any notion of a “conspiracy theory” involving Epstein’s homicide, those questioning the MCC’s official story included former federal prosecutors, Justice Department officials, correctional officers, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate and House, a former New York Police and Corrections Department Commissioner, former federal prison wardens and public defenders, former MCC inmates, and Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, who tweeted: “People close to Epstein fear he was murdered . . . as Epstein told authorities someone tried to kill him in a previous incident weeks earlier. He was described as being in good spirits in recent days.” The skepticism about Epstein’s so-called suicide is punching holes right through the official story tellers – including certain quarters at the Washington Post and New York Times -- thus reducing their “conspiracy theory” accusatory pabulum to very weak sauce.

    As for security cameras and guard checks, The NYT reports:

    Eric Young, president of the national council of union locals that represents guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, said there were cameras in hallways and common areas, but not in the cells of the unit where Mr. Epstein was being held.

    “From the moment you walk onto that property, you are under camera surveillance, ” Mr. Young said, adding that there should be video evidence of when the last checks were made and of anyone who approached Mr. Epstein’s cell.

    Mr. Young said overnight checks in the protective unit are typically done every 30 minutes, but sometimes the schedule varies a bit, so that inmates cannot precisely predict when guards will come by their cells.

    Mr. Young would not discuss whether the two guards on duty at the time of Mr. Epstein’s death were doing regular checks on him.

    Prominent figures took to Twitter to express their doubts about the official story of Epstein's death, reports Politico:

    The furious reaction from mainstream public officials as well as a swelling chorus of prominent voices on social media — it wasn’t just from professional conspiracy theorists or guys at the bar — as soon as news of his death broke showed how pervasive this reaction is.

    “If we were living in a paranoid fantasy universe,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman posted on Twitter, “I would be very suspicious about the Epstein suicide, even about whether it was really suicide. And you know what? The Epstein case itself shows that we *are* kind of living in a paranoid fantasy universe.”

    “A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably….Russian,” tweeted MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

    “Something stinks to high heaven,” agreed former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) “How does someone on suicide watch hang himself with no intervention? Impossible. Unless….” 
    Actually, Epstein had been on suicide watch after an earlier incident on July 23, but was no longer.

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    An Alabama lawyer and conservative talk-radio host might have put his bar card and sponsors at risk recently by launching into a profane, threat-filled rant against the executive director of the Eagle Forum of Alabama. Yes, we are talking about an internecine feud among right wingers -- and it all started because of a disagreement about medical marijuana, of all things.

    The episode has unmasked Baron Coleman as a bully, who makes Rush Limbaugh sound like Dale Carnegie and has a tendency to make alarming references to violence -- especially with tough-guy talk involving guns, ammunition, and threats to "burn your damned house to the ground." In fact, Coleman seems to have an obsession with fire and likes to boast about costing perceived enemies their jobs.

    Based on our experience with Coleman -- see here, here, and here -- none of this is a surprise. Jill Simpson -- whistle blower, opposition researcher, and activist -- has stated publicly several times that evidence points to Coleman and his client-felon Ali (Akbar) Alexander being involved with my "arrest for blogging" in 2013 and multiple fires that were set at her property in northeast Alabama.

    Baron Coleman
    Coleman is the host of News and Views at Montgomery's WACV (93.1 FM, 9 a.m. to noon, weekdays), and it's hard to see how station owner Bluewater Broadcasting allows him to spew the kind of vitriol he directed at Becky Gerritson -- Eagle Forum executive, 2016 Congressional candidate, and co-founder of the Wetumpka Tea Party.

    How did Gerritson cross swords with Coleman? It started with Coleman voicing his support for a medical-marijuana bill in Alabama. Gerritson had the temerity to appear before the state legislature in May and voiced opposition to the bill. Coleman, with his usual class, responded by calling Gerritson a "big pharma whore" and a "bitch."

    For some reason, Gerritson took exception to that and filed a complaint against Coleman with the Alabama State Bar. She also sent a letter to sponsors of his radio show and encouraged them to consider whether they wanted to be affiliated with a guy who comes across as slightly deranged on the radio.

    Clips from News and Views (see audio at the top and bottom of this post) suggest Coleman might be coming unhinged -- and they certainly suggest he might be dangerous. From the first clip, which aired on July 9, 2019:

    I've got renewed vigor and purpose. . . . 
    I've hired lawyers, and I'm pursuing a strategy of slash and burn, seek and destroy. If you come after me, you'd better be ready to go to the mat. . . . 
    I never let someone come after me and don't take them out. Never. I will lose everything in search of making sure your life is hell. . . . 
    I've got a new enemy, and her lawyer sucks, too. I'm going to destroy this bitch. I'm going to absolutely destroy her. Her life will never be the same. . . She has a bad lawyer who gave her terrible advice.

    Having already called Gerritson a "whore," Coleman calls her a "bitch" and threatens to ruin her life. Gee, imagine how ugly it would get if Coleman weren't such an upstanding Christian and Catholic, with seven kids. Coleman then boasts about others he supposedly has destroyed:

    Mike Hubbard is going to prison; we did battle for years. Matt Hart and I did battle, he lost his job. An AM radio host and I did battle, and he lost his job. I don't lose, and I will blanking destroy you and everything you hold dear. Don't come after me unless you are fully ready to engage. Do not send me half-ass letters; that will not end well.

    If you threaten me, I will burn your damned house to the ground. Not in the physical sense, but I will have you running back to Texas, I promise.

    Apparently aware that he might be digging his own grave, Coleman tried to walk back the "I will burn your damned house to the ground" line by adding "not in the physical sense." Could that mean he won't burn your house himself, but someone else might -- at his behest? That's how I read it -- and he has ties to a convicted felon named Ali (Akbar) Alexander. Coleman keeps some pretty seedy company, so perhaps these threats should not be taken lightly. Is anyone awake at Bluewater Broadcasting? Are they aware of the liability they could face if something happens to Becky Gerritson, her loved ones, or her property? (It could run way into the millions.) Does anyone pay attention to the filth Coleman spews forth on the airwaves?

    It doesn't get any better with the second clip (embedded at the end of this post), which aired on July 10, 2019:

    I am on fire, en fuego I am ready to destroy people, and I can't wait to get started. I am going to win. I do not lose, ever.

    You come at me, you lose everything. You threaten me, I sue you or destroy you. That's it. there is no third option.

    There is going to be some real fireworks across this state in the near future. Some once-proud organizations will be brought completely to their knees and bankrupted. That's what I do. I don't "F" around. . . .

    Have your gun under your arm. Bring your ammo.

    Do Bluewater Broadcasting officials think that kind of rhetoric is appropriate in an environment where we just experienced two mass shootings in one weekend? Do sponsors support that kind of talk in the wake of El Paso and Dayton? What about the liability they could face? Does anyone hold Baron Coleman to standards?

    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
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    Gabby, the Investigative Tabby
    (Photo by Carol Tovich Shuler)

    We would like you to meet the newest member of our Legal Schnauzer journalism team. (See photo of the handsome feller above.)

    His full name is Gabriel Alexander Shuler -- "Gabby," for short. For journalistic purposes, he is known as "Gabby the Investigative Tabby," and he has been a monumentally positive and refreshing presence in our lives -- especially when you consider that Mrs Schnauzer and I have been the targets of legal and political corruption (in both Alabama and Missouri) for 20-plus years now.

    Our pets have always been at the heart of our journalistic efforts. This blog started in June 2007, in large part, as a way to honor Murphy Abigail Shuler -- "The Original Legal Schnauzer," who was a source of endless joy during her 11-year journey with us, ending with her death in 2004.

    Next came Chloe and Baxter, the biological brother-sister Tonkinese combo, who fell into our laps thanks to one of Carol's friends in Birmingham. The friend had her hair done in Hueytown and knew the hair dresser had two cats who needed a new home because of allergy issues in the family. The hair dresser preferred the cats go to a home with no children, so that seemed to put us near the top of the list for new Tonk parents. Chloe and Baxter joined our household in July 2004 -- and over the 11 and 12 years, respectively, that we had them -- showed cats (like dogs) can provide companionship, comfort, adventure, and hilarity in copious amounts.

    What about Gabby? Well, his story proves that sometimes the best things in life appear out of nowhere, on your doorstep, unannounced -- and if you can overcome all of the problems and fears swirling in your life to extend a welcoming hand . . . well, it can be among the most rewarding experiences of your life.

    Is Gabby really a journalist? Well, we tend to humanize our pets, so we like to think that -- when he isn't taking a nap, engaging in "grappling" sessions with yours truly, taking a nap, running like "a bat out of Joplin" (as folks tend to say here in the Missouri Ozarks) around our not-too-roomy living quarters, or taking a nap -- he is on the alert for any stories that might materialize in his little world.

    In fact, Gabby has a "beat," as we call it in journalism. He is assigned to report on the activities of the birds, squirrels, and bunny rabbits that tend to frolic outside our window. Gabby keeps a diligent eye on their festivities, and while he hasn't written any posts about them yet, he considers himself more of a "long-form journalist," a documentarian, if you will. We hope to publish his first documentary in early 2020, just in time for Sundance.

    It's appropriate that Gabby is on the wildlife beat because he came to us out of the wild. We were aware of a feral-cat community that nested near us here in Missouri. Most of the cats appeared to be full grown and were skittish around people. A handful would approach us, and we figured that meant they had been dumped after once having been family pets. Carol and I, and at least one of our neighbors, tried to keep the cats regularly fed.

    After being in the area for a while, we started noticing a few kittens in the group. One ginger kitty was so bold that she marched right into our neighbor's apartment, and we hope they eventually adopted her.

    While feeding the cats one day, I noticed a little gal (or guy) huddled on the periphery of the group, obviously needing food but unable to get any as the larger cats pounced on every morsel as soon as it hit the sidewalk.

    This kitten, it turned out, was no dummy. He took several steps to make sure he could get some "noms," and before I knew it, my heart was taken in. (See photo at the bottom of this post.) One might say that moment changed his life forever. But it probably changed our lives even more.

    (To be continued)

    (Note: The Legal Schnauzer journalism family -- including "Gabby, the Investigative Tabby," needs your help. Loyal readers have sustained this blog for years, and support is urgently needed now, as we fight for justice and transparency on multiple fronts, for ourselves and for the many other victims who have been the subjects of our reporting. Perhaps most importantly, we want to make sure Gabby has no shortage of "noms" in his bowl.

    If you believe America's broken court system needs to be restored; if you believe our courts should dispense justice for all Americans, not just an elite few; or maybe if you are a fellow animal lover who happens to enjoy a good legal tale now and then . . . we hope you will consider making a donation. 

    If you are able to help along our journalism journey, please click on the yellow donate button in the upper right corner of the blog, under the "Support the Schnauzer" headline. We are deeply grateful for your support through the years -- and we are especially grateful now to have Gabby, so he can join in a big round of thanks.)

    Gabby, the Investigative Tabby . . . in repose between
    reporting assignments.
    (Photo by Carol Tovich Shuler)


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    Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan

    Some 40 minutes before Jeffrey Epstein's death broke on mainstream news outlets -- and before federal officials made the announcement -- it appeared at an anonymous message board favored by far-right trolls and white nationalists. How the news first appeared on 4chan remains a mystery and has helped heighten conspiracy theories swirling around the alleged sex trafficker's death.

    At first, the post was thought to have come from an employee of the New York City Fire Department, but that does not appear to be the case. From a report by Jane Lytvynenko, of BuzzFeed News:

    The New York City Fire Department looked into whether an employee posted about Jeffrey Epstein’s death on a notorious internet message board prior to officials announcing it to the public, BuzzFeed News has learned.

    After telling BuzzFeed News the post was "under review," an FDNY spokesperson said authorities "determined this alleged information did not come from the Fire Department."

    "An investigation is a formal act which brings about a process which includes interviewing witnesses, serving notice, determining credibility of witness statements — and that was not warranted nor did it take place here. This determination was made after a review of the incident. We looked at the information provided by [a BuzzFeed News] reporter and we looked at our own records and there was no match," said FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer, who added that the FDNY's Office of Healthcare Compliance conducted the review. "It doesn't match our medical records."

    Authorities want to know who created the 4chan post, according to  report at NBC News:

    Less than an hour before the first news reports surfaced that Jeffrey Epstein had been found unresponsive in his jail cell, a post about his death mysteriously appeared on a far-right message board.

    Authorities now want to know who was behind the post, which contained medically accurate details about the financier and accused sex trafficker. . . .

    "[D]on't ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this," the post reads. The text was accompanied by an image of Pepe the Frog, an internet meme that is popular among far-right internet trolls. (See image at the end of this post.)

    Troll posts looking to capitalize on the initial post immediately began pushing elaborate conspiracy theories about body doubles, which were later refuted by the original poster.

    How did a 4chan user scoop some of the world's most vaunted news organizations with his "Don't ask me how I know" post? Reports BuzzFeed:

    That message was posted 38 minutes before the first tweet about Epstein’s death from Aaron Katersky, an ABC News reporter, at 8:54 a.m. Five minutes later, the main ABC News account tweeted an article about Epstein's death.

    After publishing the post, other 4chan users egged on the author. When they expressed doubt, the original poster added more information to the discussion thread, including a detailed breakdown of the procedures allegedly used to resuscitate Epstein, which suggest the poster may have been a first responder, medical worker, or otherwise privy to details about efforts to resuscitate the disgraced financier.

    Dwyer told BuzzFeed News he “could not verify the accuracy” of information in the 4chan post. But he said any medical professional who divulges patient information without consent is in violation of a federal health privacy law, HIPAA, and that FDNY would look into it.

    The 4chan poster appears to know his stuff about emergency-medical procedures. From BuzzFeed:

    The full details of Epstein’s death won’t be known until the final coroner’s report is released, meaning the 4chan post laying out the alleged treatment he received cannot be fully verified. An EMS expert contacted by BuzzFeed News said the details in the post are consistent with standard practices. Information released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons also appears to line up with some of what was posted on 4chan.

    Dr. Keith Wesley, an emergency medicine physician who has authored several EMS textbooks and articles, viewed the 4Chan post at BuzzFeed News’ request and said it lays out standard procedures for paramedics.

    “This sounds like standard American Heart Association guidelines, which most EMS agencies use,” Wesley said.

    Part of the post refers to “telemetry advised bicarb.” According to Wesley, this could mean the first responders were also speaking with the hospital as they were trying to resuscitate their patient.

    “Telemetry implies the paramedics were in contact with a medical control hospital who then gave orders to give Sodium Bicarbonate, bicarb which is designed to reverse the acid buildup in the blood from prolonged cardiac arrest,” Wesley said in an email.

    “If one of the medics posted this separately that’s a breach of protocol,” he added. “If there was identifying information on the patient, that is a violation of Federal HIPPA law.”

    The 4chan post seems to come from an insider's point of view. How that insider wound up on 4chan might be the question of the moment:

    The 4chan user made six posts about Epstein’s death. One of them claimed that attempts to resuscitate Epstein were made for 40 minutes before he was transported to the hospital, at which point medical personnel tried to revive him for another 20 minutes. Those details are at least partially consistent with the information regarding Epstein’s death that have been publicly released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    “Pt transported to Lower Manhattan ER and worked for 20 minutes and called. Hospital administrator was alerted, preparing statements,” said the 4chan post.

    “Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued,” said a statement released by the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons on Saturday. “Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff.”

    4chan post about Jeffrey Epstein's death

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    Gerald Bard Tjoflat

    "The House Case," a federal lawsuit over the theft of our home of almost 25 years in Birmingham, AL, via a wrongful foreclosure, shows corruption runs strong and deep in federal courts -- at both the trial and appellate levels. The good news: Crookedness in "The House Case" is so brazen that it might mean a ruling can be attacked as void, and we have unlimited time to do that. The same concept might be used to breathe life back into other cases that were dismissed on unlawful grounds.

    We still are researching this issue and will address it in future posts. But of all the cases of court corruption we've reported on this blog over 12 years -- some involving my wife Carol and me, some where I was not involved, other than as a journalist -- "The House Case" might be among the two or three most grotesque cases we've encountered.

    We've already shown that U.S. Judge R. David Proctor butchered "The House Case" at the trial level in the Northern District of Alabama. (See here, here, and here.) The case might have been butchered even more grossly in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, thanks to Gerald Bard Tjoflat, a Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford nominee who happens to be the longest-serving federal appeals-court judge in active service. Tjoflat has a long and disturbing history of serving on three-judge panels that issued shockingly unlawful rulings, which includes upholding the convictions of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

    Tjoflat seems to be at his worst when the defendant/appellees include financial institutions, and our research reveals a likely reason Tjoflat almost always sides with banks, mortgage companies, brokerages, and the like -- as he did with Chase Mortgage in "The House Case." (Details about Tjoflat's conflicts re: financial institutions will be in upcoming posts.)

    Our problems on "The House Case" appeal started with a mistake I made. For reasons I'll never fully understand, I stated in our Notice of Appeal that we were appealing denial of our Rule 59 Motion to Reconsider in the district court. I did not specify that we actually intended to appeal the entire case, especially the Order of Dismissal and all of the orders leading up to it. It was frustrating to learn that I had somehow screwed up our Notice of Appeal, but there is good news: Such a mistake essentially is a "no harm, no foul" matter, one that does not preclude an appellate hearing on our entire case, especially when the appellate brief makes it clear (as ours did) that our goal was to seek a full appeal.

    We filed a Motion for Panel Rehearing (see here and here), seeking to overturn the three-judge panel's (Tjoflat, Stanley Marcus, Robin Rosenbaum) wildly erroneous ruling. How badly did Tjoflat and Co. botch our appeal? Well, they admit that our appellate brief shows out intent to appeal the entire case, including multiple unlawful rulings by both Proctor and Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins, who took over after Proctor finally acknowledge he had a conflict that required recusal -- and essentially meant he was disqualified from hearing the case at the outset.

    Here is the gist of the Tjoflat panel's ruling:

    In their appellate brief, however, the Shulers challenge three rulings outside the scope of their notice of appeal: Judge Proctor’s order dismissing their complaint, Judge Hopkins’ February 27 order insofar as it denied their Rule 15 motion, and Judge Hopkins’ order denying their Rule 60 motion. Defendants-Appellees (Jessica Medeiros Garrison, Luther Strange, Rob Riley, etc.) contend that under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 3(c) and related case law, we have jurisdiction over only the District Court’s denial of the Shulers’ Rule 59(e) motion. We agree.

    “The notice of appeal must . . . designate the judgment, order, or part thereof being appealed.” F. R. App. P. 3(c); Osterneck v. E.T. Barwick Indus., Inc., 825 F.2d 1521, 1528 (11th Cir. 1987). “Where the appellant notices the appeal of a specified judgment only or a part thereof,” moreover, “this court has no jurisdiction to review other judgments or issues which are not expressly referred to and which are not impliedly intended for appeal.” C. A. May Marine Supply Co. v. Brunswick Corp., 649 F.2d 1049, 1056 (5th Cir. 1981). Otherwise, because the intent to appeal is not clear, prejudice would likely fall upon the adverse party. Id. But we also recognize that “the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure ‘were not adopted to set traps and pitfalls by way of technicalities for unwary litigants.”’ Finch v. City of Vernon, 845 F.2d 256, 259 (11th Cir. 1988) (quoting Des Isles v. Evans, 225 F.2d 235, 236 (5th Cir. 1955)). We may thus show some leniency when an appellant’s exhibited intent is contrary to a technical mistake that would otherwise impede his appeal. See Pitney Bowes, Inc. v. Mestre, 701 F.2d 1365, 1374–75 (11th Cir. 1983); C. A. May Marine, 649 F.2d at 1056. This is especially so for pro se litigants. See Finch, 845 F.2d at 259–60.

    How do Tjoflat and Co. start sliding off the road? They cite two cases, highlighted in yellow above, from 1987 and 1981. Those cases are more than 30 years old, and no longer are good law -- as we pointed out repeatedly in our Motion for Panel Rehearing.

    On top of that, the Tjoflat panel admits that, even by 1980s law, "We may thus show some leniency when an appellant’s exhibited intent is contrary to a technical mistake that would otherwise impede his appeal" -- as ours was. The panel further admits, "This is especially so for pro se litigants" -- which we were.

    In essence, the panel swallowed the Garrison/Strange/Riley argument completely, while admitting the argument is full of holes.

    Unbelievably, the panel punished us for being too specific in our flawed Notice of Appeal. Get a load of this:

    The Shulers’ notice of appeal specifies with precision what they are appealing, down to the relevant dates and docket numbers. This specificity indicates that appealing only the denial of their Rule 59(e) motion was not a technical mistake; their notice of appeal does not illustrate intent to bring a broader appeal. See Pitney Bowes, 701 F.2d at 1374–75. Further, allowing the Shulers’ brief to dictate the scope of this appeal would be unfair to the DefendantsAppellees, who from the notice of appeal could derive only that the Rule 59(e) motion was at issue. This appeal is therefore limited to the District Court’s denial of the Shulers’ Rule 59(e) motion.

    Did the panel cite any law from this century -- any law that hasn't been overridden since the 1980s -- to support its finding? Nope. Did the Tjoflat Gang even respond to our Motion for Panel Rehearing? Nope, they just issued a document declaring heir bogus ruling was the "mandate" of the court. I can only assume that means they had no legitimate grounds to counter our rehearing motion, that they already had blown all the smoke they could up our fannies.

    How thick was that smoke? We will answer that question in an upcoming post.

    (To be continued)

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    Debi Wade
    Corruption among law-enforcement and correctional officers has become a hot topic since the so-called suicide of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in New York City.

    It's not a new subject here at Legal Schnauzer because we've seen the corruption firsthand, perhaps most glaringly in the case where Greene County (MO) deputies broke my wife Carol's arm during an unlawful eviction and then hit HER with the bogus charge of "assaulting a law-enforcement officer."

    Why should this be a particularly troubling topic for anyone living in the US of A? Countless Americans wind up behind bars, based almost totally on the words and observations of law-enforcement officers (LEOs). Because of that, many of our countrymen tend to view LEOs as exceptionally honest people, who take their authority seriously. Those who hold that viewpoint might want to give it a second thought after examining the actions of Missouri deputies in the "assault on an LEO" case against Carol.

    We've already shown that Judge Jerry Harmison Jr.'s guilty verdict against Carol was procured via perjured testimony from Deputy Scott Harrison -- and we will have more on that subject in an upcoming post. The perjured testimony, under Missouri law, is a fraud on the court and requires that the judgment be set aside -- or, based on U.S. Supreme Court law -- vacated. (More on that in an upcoming post.)

    Harrison was not the only cop-witness in Carol's case to play fast and loose with the truth. In fact, his three colleagues -- Jeremy Lynn, Debi Wade, and Christian Conrad -- all made statements under oath at trial that conflicted with their written statements in incident reports or the Probable Cause Statement (which Wade wrote). That means they, too, committed perjury or they filed false police reports -- both of which are crimes -- and like Harrison, they are subject to criminal prosecution.

    In her Motion to Vacate Judgment That Was Procured by Fraud, Perjury, etc., Carol examines the dishonest statements of cops under oath. This all presents disturbing evidence that cops -- despite their ability to deprive citizens of freedom -- are less truthful than the average person. (Carol's motion is embedded at the end of this post, along with video evidence that Deputy Harrison committed perjury.) We'll start with Debi Wade, and Carol's motion is supported with relevant exhibits:

    DEBI WADE (Exh. C, No. 2) 
    Per Probable Cause Statement (9/22/15): “Just as [Carol] appeared to be getting into the passenger side door to the car, she started screaming that she needed her cat’s litter box. I was trying to tell her that I would go back into the residence for it, when she suddenly took off on a dead run toward the front door to the residence. Knowing that Deputy Harrison would be exiting that door any moment, I feared that she would catch him off guard, so I jogged up behind Carol and attempted to tell her that I would get the litter box for her. Just as I caught up to her, she suddenly pivoted and barreled into me head first. I was caught off guard . . .” 
    Per Incident Report (9/10/15):“I came up on her right side from behind her and was making an attempt to calm her down when she suddenly pivoted around on me and immediately charged into me head first. It happened so fast that it caught me off guard . . .” 
    Per trial testimony (5/17/18): “Carol Shuler than charged Wade like a bull since she wanted in the residence, but the doors were being locked. Carol Shuler was handcuffed and placed in Harrison’s car. She threw herself against the cage and car door once in the vehicle.”

    Summary: In her previous statements, Wade said she came up from behind Carol Shuler, and described Carol turning around and the two running into each other. Both Carol and Roger Shuler testified at trial that Wade and Carol never made contact with each other – that Wade was in front of Carol on the porch, and they were talking in a fairly standard manner, when “Mr. Blue Shirt” brutalized Carol and broke her arm. Neither version of Wade’s story actually happened, but assuming something like that did occur, Wade’s earlier statements describe an accident, where Carol Shuler turned around, not knowing Wade was there, and a collision ensued. Wade is describing an accident, which is not a crime and might be the reason even DA Dan Patterson did not charge it. At trial, Wade changes her tune, placing herself in front of Carol and making Carol’s alleged act seem more intentional. Also, Wade repeats the “throwing herself against the cage” canard, even though Dep. Harrison admits Carol might have been seat-belted the whole time, making it impossible for her to throw herself about.

    Debi Wade wrote the Probable Cause Statement, so Carol's arrest and prosecution was based totally on her word. And yet, you can see that Wade is so reckless with the truth that she makes no discernible effort to ensure her accounts match each other. What about Jeremy Lynn, the guy Carol supposedly pushed as he unlawfully entered our residence, amounting to an "assault"? He's no better than Wade:

    JEREMY LYNN (Exh. C, No. 1)

    Per incident report (9/21/15): “Mrs. Shuler then grew very upset and became emotional and charged towards the front door. Lt. Wade tried to explain to her that she would get something if she needed it. Mrs. Shuler then tried to force her way past Lt. Wade with her head dropped. She intentionally ran directly into Lt. Wade. Lt. Wade then backed up and bladed herself away from her.”

    Per trial testimony (5/17/18): “After backing her car back, [Carol Shuler] started back in the residence and was told she could not go in again. At this point, she lowered her head and charged Lieutenant Wade.” Lynn proceeds to say he “observed her thrusting around in all four directions and yelling loudly,” even though Harrison admitted Ms. Shuler may have been seat belted throughout her stay in the patrol car, which would have made such action impossible.

    Summary: Lynn appears to have Lt. Wade in front of Ms. Shuler throughout this incident and insists Ms. Shuler engaged in a thrusting motion in the patrol car, even though Officer Harrison admits she may have been seat-belted the entire time.

    The key point, regarding Lynn's statements, is that he has Wade in front of Carol throughout the "bulling incident" (which didn't happen) -- and that is consistent with testimony from Carol and me, and it directly contradicts Waid. These Keystone Cops can't even support each other's version of events.

    Lynn's trial testimony regarding the alleged push also differed from his written incident report. This is from Harmison's judgment, about Lynn's trial statement: "Lynn grabbed the person behind the door [Carol] and pulled her out to apprehend her. Carol Shuler kept pushing Lynn and trying to pull away from him to resist custody."

    Here are Lynn's own words from his incident report: "She was grabbed by her arms and restrained to stop her from harming one of us or herself. During this process she was pulling her arms away from me and tried to push me back with her arms and body."

    We summarized Lynn's written statement in an earlier post:

    What do we learn here?

    (1) Lynn says he grabbed Carol by the arms -- he caused physical contact with her.

    (2) Lynn says Carol was trying to pull away from him; she didn't "get physical" with him or "push him repeatedly," as Debi Wade claims. Lynn grabbed Carol, and she tried to pull away.

    (3) Lynn then claims Carol "tried to push [him] back with arms and body." This is pure nonsense. Lynn already has stated Carol pulled away, and now he's claiming she "tried" to push him. How can one pull and push at the same time? Those are contradictory terms, and indicate Lynn's whole statement is rubbish.

    For the record, Lynn claims Carol "tried" to push him, but he never says that she did push him. Under the law, the "push" issue is irrelevant. Missouri law clearly frames the question: Who caused contact with whom, against whose will?

    Jeremy Lynn admits that he grabbed Carol, that he caused physical contact, not the other way around.

    The bottom line: Officer Lynn said in his original written statement that Carol did not push him. At trial, under oath, he changed his tune and claimed she did push him -- even though, in both instances, he said Carol was trying to pull away from him. How can someone pull away and push someone at the same time? I took enough high-school physics to know that can't be done. One of Jeremy Lynn's statements is false, and either way, he committed a crime for which he is subject to prosecution.

    What about Officer Christian Conrad? Well, he has a fractured relationship with the truth, too:


    Per Incident Report (9/22/15): “Carol then went out to their vehicle and placed another bag in the trunk. She then began walking back towards the house and took off running towards the front door. Carol ran toward Lt. Wade on the front side walk . . . “

    Per Trial Testimony (5/17/18): “Conrad later saw Carol Shuler charge Wade and run into her . . . On cross-examination Conrad verified he saw Carol Shuler “out of control” in the back of Harrison’s vehicle, as she was thrashing and screaming loudly.

    Summary: Conrad contradicts Debi Wade’s original statement in every way. He has Wade in front of Carol, on the sidewalk and near the porch, and says nothing about Wade coming up from behind Carol. How could Carol be “out of control” in the back seat of Harrison’s vehicle, when Harrison himself admitted she might have been seat-belted the whole time (and Carol testified she was seat-belted the whole time.) The answer is “she couldn’t,” which suggests Conrad, Wade, and Lynn all committed perjury or filed false police reports.

    We will repeat this point because it's profoundly important. Debi Wade was author of the Probable Cause Statement, so Carol's arrest was based entirely on Wade's word. That means it's kind of important that Wade get things accurately. And yet two of her cop colleagues -- Jeremy Lynn and Christian Conrad -- contradict her account on almost every point.

    Prosecutors ultimately took jail off the table in Carol's case, so loss of freedom was not a possible punishment. But she's on two years of unsupervised probation -- with a guilty finding (unsupported by fact or law) on her record -- based on the word of cops who can't even agree with each other on what happened.

    (To be continued)

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    Scott J. Wells

    A Missouri resident recently pleaded guilty to baseless child-pornography charges after his own attorney pressured, threatened, enticed, and harassed him into entering the plea, family members say.

    We have shown in a series of posts here at Legal Schnauzer that the government had no case against Scott J. Wells for a number of reasons, particularly because (1) The criminal complaint alleged no offense that was physically possible to perform; and (2) The indictment was deficient, merely copying from the relevant federal law without citing any "particulars" (specifics) about what unlawful actions Wells allegedly took.

    Wells reportedly is seeking to have the guilty plea withdrawn this week, and that will require a judge's approval.

    Why would attorney Brady A. Musgrave, of Springfield, MO, pressure his own client to plead guilty to charges the government clearly could not prove? Specifically, why didn't Musgrave file two simple documents -- a motion to dismiss due to a defective criminal complaint and indictment, plus a motion to suppress evidence that was obtained via a search at Wells' home that violated the Fourth Amendment?

    Brady Musgrave
    A Legal Schnauzer investigation has unearthed public documents that point to a possible motive for Musgrave's actions. Hint: It involves money -- and it should be a concern for anyone who considers using the legal services of Musgrave or his law firm, Jones and Musgrave.

    How did Brady Musgrave con his own client into a bogus guilty plea? The tactics come under several headings, family members say:

    (1) "If you go to trial and are convicted, you will be sentenced to 18-20 years in prison."

    (2) "If you go to trial, you will be convicted."

    (3) "The government can show that you made certain searches related to child porn." (Musgrave apparently did not explain how such a search would be unlawful. Wells was charged with receiving and distributing child pornography, and it remains unclear how conducting a simple Web search, by itself, would amount to proof of either offense.)

    (4) "The government has 60-some images of child porn that were found on your computer during the search of your home." (Can the government prove Wells "knowingly" placed those pictures on his computer -- as opposed to them appearing via malware, viruses, etc. -- and exerted "dominion and control" over them; that Wells knew individuals in the photos were minors [under age 18]; or that the images even amounted to child pornography [which is unlawful contraband] as opposed to child erotica [which is not illegal.]? Our research indicates the answer to all of those questions is "no." And family members are not aware that any of Wells' three court-appointed lawyers has reviewed all of the government's evidence with him -- and none of them retained an expert witness to examine Wells' computer and determine if he caused certain images to appear there, apparently in the cache, or if someone else [maybe the government itself?] put them there.)

    (5) "If you take a plea, given that you've been detained for more than two years, you might walk out of here a free man, with a sentence of "time served." (Never mind that you will have pleaded guilty to a crime you didn't commit, that the government can't prove you committed, and you have zero guarantees about the sentence you will receive.)

    (6) "I will not file any pretrial motions because they would not be meritorious."

    That last one is a flat-out lie. Anyone with functioning eyesight, three brain cells, and two days of law school should be able to file a motion showing the criminal complaint and indictment are deficient and due to be dismissed.

    Musgrave is not the first lawyer to pull such a stunt on Scott Wells. While Wells was behind bars at Leavenworth, KS, Missouri lawyer Shane Cantin sent him a letter that included the following. (Full letter is embedded at the end of this post.)

    Dear Scott:

    . . . If the government is allowed to present testimony as outlined in the discovery file, you will be convicted as charged.

    I see no viable defense to these charges. Further, because you proffered to federal agents with your prior counsel (federal public defender David Mercer), your admissions made during the proffer will be used to impeach you, should you testify at trial that you did not knowingly obtain an image of child pornography from the internet.

    The government computer forensic expert will testify that the images found on your device did not come to that device by means of "pop-ups," nor were they saved in a location on your hard drive that would suggest otherwise. Further, the internet search history is consistent with a user seeking out images of child pornography. This is consistent with the forensic expert at the Federal Defender's Office who also examined the device. You will not overcome this evidence at trial, and you will be convicted.

    (Notice that Cantin makes no mention of retaining an expert witness for the defense, countering the government's expert. Cantin's idea of a defense, it appears, is to allow the government's expert to go unchallenged. Gee, that's impressive.)

    Wells' family members say Musgrave told them he agreed to take the case after Cantin's letter became part of the public record, prompting him to withdraw. The two met over lunch to discuss the case -- in clear violation of Wells' attorney-client privilege rights? -- and Cantin more or less offered the case to Musgrave, which he apparently accepted with fervor.

    Family members say it is not clear that Musgrave ever was appointed by, or accepted by, the court, which might mean he isn't officially Scott Wells' attorney. Also, details of any plea agreement apparently are not remotely clear. In fact, Scott Wells might not even be aware of what he supposedly agreed to.

    As for withdrawing the guilty plea, family members say Musgrave instructed Wells to write a letter to a judge. But if Musgrave is Wells' attorney of record, it appears he has a duty to file a motion to withdraw the plea and actually argue it before the court -- without applying pressure tactics to his client.

    As for Musgrave's possible motive for selling his own client down the river, we will address those in upcoming posts? Did we mention they involve money?

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    Kevin Newsom
    While many Americans wonder if Donald Trump will attempt to buy Greenland or officially be named "King of the Jews," Trump-appointed federal judges are chopping away at the fundamentals of our democracy. Do Americans notice?

    One such judge is Kevin Newsom, who now sits on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta (covering Alabama, Georgia, and Florida) and used to work at Bradley Arant in Birmingham. An acolyte of former Trump attorney general and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and U.S. Circuit Judge Bill "Bad Puppy" Pryor -- both closeted gays, by the way -- Newsom served as Alabama's solicitor general when Pryor was AG.

    Before that, Newsom worked at the D.C. law firm Covington Burling, which produced horrible Obama AG Eric Holder and brags about its ties to right-wing luminaries, such as Karl Rove. In what should be a surprise to no one, Newsom is a member of the Federalist Society, which has hand-picked many of Trump's judicial nominees.

    What do these nominees stand for? It certainly is not the U.S. Constitution. Earlier this year, Newsom cast the deciding vote in a ruling that chips away at a bedrock principle of American law. People for the American Way (PFAW) addresses the case as part of  a blog series titled "Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears. From the post about Newsom's ruling, titled "Trump judge erodes the 'reasonable doubt' requirement for a guilty verdict." Writes analyst Paul Gordon:

    In January 2019, Trump judge Kevin Newsom of the Eleventh Circuit authored a 2-1 opinion in U.S. v. Munksgard upholding a felony criminal conviction even though the prosecution had failed to prove a key element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Newsom cast the deciding vote to allow this constitutional violation.

    Because tyrannical governments misuse the criminal law to imprison people for illegitimate reasons, the Constitution requires prosecutors to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That requirement applies to every element of the crime. So when the United States charged Matthew Munksgard with making false statements in 2013 and 2014 in order to get a loan from an FDIC-insured bank, the prosecution had to prove that the bank was, in fact, FDIC-insured during that time frame.

    But all they did was show that the bank had been FDIC-insured in 1990 (when it was chartered) and in 2016 (at the time of the trial). For Judge Newsom, that was enough for a jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that it had been FDIC-insured in 2013-2014, because there is (according to him) a “universal presumption” that a bank is so ensured. 
    This is straight from the Munksgard opinion, which Newsom wrote:

    Matthew Munksgard admits to knowingly making false statements in order to obtain bank loans—indeed, four times over. Even so, he contends, the government failed to show beyond a reasonable doubt, as it had to, that the institution he swindled was FDIC-insured. This case presents the (irritatingly familiar) question whether the government presented sufficient evidence to prove that pesky jurisdictional prerequisite. The proof of FDIC insurance here—as in other cases in which we have rapped the government’s knuckles—was hardly overwhelming. And given the ease with which insurance coverage could have been demonstrated—certificate, contract, cancelled check, etc.—inexplicably so. Having said that, “overwhelming” isn’t the standard, and when we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, as we must, see United States v. Frank, 599 F.3d 1221, 1233 (11th Cir. 2010), we conclude—albeit reluctantly—that the proof was adequate to demonstrate Munksgard’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But let this be a warning to federal prosecutors: You are (as the author’s mother used to say) cruisin’ for a bruisin’. Don’t apologize—do better.

    Even Gerald Bard Tjoflat, the hideously crooked geezer from the Richard Nixon era, seemed taken aback by Newsom's "reasoning." Writes Gordon:

    But as Republican-nominated Judge Gerald Tjoflat pointed out in dissent, knowing the bank’s insurance status in 1990 and in 2016 does not tell us much about 2013 or 2014, because that status is up for renewal four times each year: It could have changed as many as eight times between the alleged crime and the trial. That is hardly proving its status “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In addition, the jury was instructed to only consider evidence presented in the trial, so they could not base their ruling on some “universal presumption.”

    Judge Tjoflat correctly stated that:

    "If the majority’s statement of the law were correct, the government would be relieved of its duty to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. That would violate the Constitution."

    Nevertheless, Judge Newsom was willing to erode this bedrock of our liberty.

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    Gerald Bard Tjoflat

    A fundamental of the American "justice system" is that no judge should hear a case in which he -- or a member of  his immediate family -- has a financial interest. That is particularly spelled out in the federal court system, but a Legal Schnauzer investigation shows a U.S. appellate-court judge in the Deep South has been violating that principle for years, maybe decades.

    The judge in question is Gerald Bard Tjoflat, who serves on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta (covering Alabama Georgia, and Florida), from his base in Jacksonville, Florida.
    Tjoflat is the longest serving federal judge, still in active service, in the country. Richard Nixon nominated Tjoflat to a federal judgeship in 1970, and Gerald Ford elevated him to the appellate bench in 1975. Think about that; this guy has been hearing federal court cases pretty much since the Beatles broke up.

    We've seen signs for several years that Tjoflat might be one of the most crooked judges in the country. He was on a three-judge panel that upheld abominably unlawful convictions in the political prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. He was on a panel that upheld summary judgment for the University of Alabama Board of Trustees in my employment-discrimination/First Amendment case against UAB. How outrageous was that ruling? Black-letter law, including Eleventh-Circuit precedent, holds that summary judgment cannot be considered (much less granted) in a lawsuit until sufficient discovery has been conducted. In the UAB case, no discovery was conducted at all -- meaning there was no factual record in the case -- but the late (and monstrously corrupt) district judge William Acker granted summary judgment anyway. A Tjoflat-led panel upheld  the ruling, even though a case styled Snook v. Trust Company of Georgia, 859 F. 2d 865 (11th Cir., 1988) holds there can be no summary judgment without discovery; the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in slightly different language, says the same thing -- so the principle is firmly established across the country.

    That Tjoflat would intentionally botch such a long-held and simple concept suggests he is a deeply compromised judge. Now, we know why, at least in part: He makes a habit of hearing cases where he has a financial conflict. And he has an astonishing record of siding with the party where his financial interests lie.

    We are aware of at least two Alabama cases (both since December 2017) where Tjoflat did not let clear financial conflicts keep him from ruling. One of those was "The House Case," where our home of 25 years in Birmingham essentially was stolen from underneath us via a wrongful foreclosure. The other, also a wrongful-foreclosure case, involved a Daphne, AL, couple named Karun and Ursula Jackson. In both cases, a Tjoflat panel ruled against the plaintiffs/appellants -- siding with large banks -- and the record suggests he had a financial incentive to do so.

    Let's first examine Jackson v. Bank of America, NA, 898 F. 3d 1348 (11th Cir., 2018), which was the subject of a Schnauzer post in May of this year. Tjoflat authored the panel ruling that denied the Jacksons' appeal, ranting that their attorney -- Kenneth Lay of Birmingham -- had engaged in an abuse of the judicial process by producing "incomprehensible shotgun pleadings." From our May post:

    Tjoflat used his opinion in Jackson v. Bank of America, NA, 898 F. 3d 1348 (11th Cir., 2018) to label the pleadings of Birmingham attorney Kenneth James Lay as frivolous "garbage." Tjoflat further claimed Lay and his clients -- Karun and Ursula Jackson, of Daphne, AL -- "obstructed the due administration of justice."

    In short, Tjoflat was so incensed about the Jacksons' pleadings that the merits of their appeal hardly got considered. Is that because the Jacksons (and Lay) really conducted their appeal so poorly? Or was Tjoflat protecting his financial stake in Bank of America (BOA)?

    The public record is clear that Tjoflat holds stock (or perhaps other forms of securities) in BOA. And yet, he heard the Jackson case and issued a one-sided ruling in favor of the bank, largely ignoring issues the Jacksons raised on appeal.

    Was this a rare oversight on Tjoflat's part? Nope. Our research indicates he has made a habit of hearing cases where the law holds he should be disqualified. One of those cases hits close to home.

    (To be continued)

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    Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump

    Missouri attorney Douglas L. Healy, taking a page from the playbook of the late convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, has sicced private investigators on the mother of his "bastard child in Poplar Bluff."

    Epstein, of course, recently committed "suicide" at a U.S. holding facility in Manhattan, according to federal authorities. Numerous prominent voices, from all sides of the political spectrum, have taken to social media to express doubts about what really happened to Epstein. This much is certain: While still alive and free, Epstein hired private investigators to harass and intimidate his accusers in Florida.

    Healy, who admits in court documents that he is the father of a boy (now age 4) in Southeast Missouri, has engaged in similar behavior. Healy has been angry at the mother (DeAnna Kelley) since she refused his demand to have an abortion or give the child up for adoption.

    A Republican and a prime backer of the $2.5-billion Grain Belt Express wind-energy project, Healy apparently thinks he has the financial and political clout to make others bend to his wishes. He hired at least two private investigators to tail Kelley, and she caught one roaming around in her back yard.  When she confronted the PI and asked if she could help him, he replied, "I've got everything I need."

    Kelley eventually met the man at a Burger King for coffee, and he said he had been hired to help convince her to turn over custody of her son to Healy, "or they would make my life hell." The PI's unwelcome presence in Kelley's back yard points to a crime (criminal trespass), and his words point to another crime (extortion). He claimed to be operating on behalf of, and with funds from, Healy -- suggesting the attorney could be an accessory to said crimes. A finding that Healy was an accessory to  criminal acts could place his standing with the Missouri Bar Association in jeopardy -- and might give Grain Belt Express supporters pause about being connected to him.

    Doug Healy
    Kelley has not caved to Healy's demands, and his use of PIs to threaten and harass her suggests his moral code is similar to that of Jeffrey Epstein. A recent article at CNN alleges Epstein used private investigators to help intimidate victims of child sexual abuse into silence. From the CNN report, with the headline "Jeffrey Epstein allegedly hired private investigators and engaged in a campaign of intimidation against accusers in Florida":

    Not long after a 14-year-old girl reported Jeffery Epstein to authorities in 2005, she says she received a warning from someone who claimed to be in contact with the well-connected financier.

    The girl would be paid cash if she agreed not to cooperate with law enforcement, the person told the accuser, adding that "those who help him will be compensated and those who hurt him will be dealt with," according to a Palm Beach, Florida, police report reflecting the accuser's statement.

    The threat was one of many intimidation and bare-knuckle tactics that accusers and witnesses told police they faced after Florida authorities opened their first investigation into Epstein.

    Epstein was charged on July 8, 2019, by the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York with sex trafficking of minors. He pleaded not guilty and faced as much as 45 years in prison if convicted -- prior to his apparent death early on August 10. The first investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Epstein began more than a decade ago -- and his response to the accusations sound an awful lot like Doug Healy's actions in Missouri. Reports CNN, on Epstein's tactics in the early 2000s:

    During that probe, at least three private investigators who police believed were working on Epstein's behalf tracked down accusers and possible witnesses to the alleged attacks, according to the police reports. They sat in black SUVs outside the homes of accusers, questioned their current and former boyfriends, and chased one parent's car off the road, according to police reports and a lawyer for three accusers. Epstein's current attorney Reid Weingarten, denied in a court filing Thursday any knowledge of the alleged car chase and said if it happened, it was not authorized by Epstein. 
    "It was incredibly intimidating," Spencer Kuvin, an attorney for three accusers, told CNN. "You have to remember these girls were 14 and 15 (years old) when this was happening."

    Epstein even played hardball with prosecutors. From CNN:

    The aggressive tactics didn't stop with witnesses or accusers, according to court filings, police reports, and attorneys, but also extended to the prosecutors.

    Prosecutors with the US attorney's office for the Southern District of Florida, led by Alex Acosta at the time, considered charging Epstein with obstruction of justice or witness intimidation in 2008, according to court filings. Weingarten, in Thursday's filing, said it was a hypothetical idea prosecutors debated with Epstein's previous counsel and prosecutors "ultimately did not believe there was factual support for the allegations."

    Acosta described a "year-long assault on the prosecution and prosecutors" in a 2011 letter that was cited in part in court filings and published in its entirety by the Daily Beast.

    "I use the word assault intentionally, as the defense in this case was more aggressive than any which I, or the prosecutors in my office, had previously encountered," he wrote.

    How did Epstein's use of PIs unfold in Florida? CNN explains:

    The Florida investigation began in 2005 when the parent of one of the accusers, a 14-year-old girl later represented by Kuvin, reported Epstein to the local police.

    A few months later, private investigators police believed were working with Epstein appeared. One private investigator contacted one of Epstein's former house managers looking to "meet with him to ascertain what he was going to tell the police," one police report said. Epstein's local attorney told authorities that "they" were under the direction of Black, the other attorney, according to the police report.

    "Our firm, like most lawyers, engages private investigators who typically worked in law enforcement for many years, when appropriate to assist in gathering information in support of our clients' interests," Black, Srebnick, Kornspan and Stumpf said in a statement. "We have no knowledge of any improper conduct by any of the private investigators who assisted us."

    How invasive and intimidating did Epstein's investigative tactics get? The answer is "very," according to CNN:

    The private investigator often made telephone contact with accusers either just before or after a police investigator spoke with them, according to the police report.

    Several months later in February 2006, as the state grand jury was under way, [lawyer Alan] Dershowitz provided the state prosecutor with information apparently intended to discredit the accusers. He provided postings from MySpace, the social media website, that appeared to show some of the accusers using drugs and alcohol, according to the police report and court documents.

    Grain Belt Express route across Missouri
     "I had absolutely no role in investigating or arranging any investigation," Dershowitz wrote in an email to CNN. "I'm an appellate lawyer who did only legal research and negotiation. I don't own a computer and wouldn't even know how to access (MySpace)."

    In some instances, Epstein's accusers (and their families) experienced invasions that sound very much like what DeAnna Kelley went through as Doug Healy's target in Poplar Bluff, MO. From CNN:

    The father of one accuser later told authorities that a private investigator was "photographing his family and chasing visitors who come to the house," according to a police report. The police identified this investigator as the second one involved in the case and said the investigator was likely hired by a new attorney Epstein brought into the case. Black was no longer on the case at the time.

    One week later, according to the police report, that accuser was approached by the person who claimed to be in touch with Epstein and given the warning about cooperating for compensation or facing consequences.

    Kuvin, the lawyer, said Epstein's team also tried to obtain the medical records of his accusers.

    By June 2006, the same month the state announced an indictment of Epstein on soliciting prostitution, one parent called the police multiple times alleging he was followed by someone; police later identified the vehicle as belonging to a third private investigator. It isn't clear which lawyer hired that investigator.

    The father "stated that as he drove to and from work and running errands throughout the county, the same vehicle was behind him running other vehicles off the road in an attempt to not lose sight of (the father's) car," according to the police report. The same car, which was linked to a private investigator, according to the report, later ran the mother of the same accuser off the road.

    How does Doug Healy's actions in Missouri compare, in terms of ruthlessness, to those of Jeffrey Epstein in Florida? Our answer is that they are quite comparable. The expense involved, the technology used, and sheer brazenness of Healy's efforts to make the mother of his child look bad . . . well, they seem to be in the same ballpark of anything Jeffrey Epstein did.

    They are likely to shock the conscience -- of anyone who has a conscience-- and we will be providing details of Healy's intimidation campaign in upcoming posts.

    (To be continued)

    Previously in series:

    (1) Doug Healy got female acquaintance pregnant and pushed for an abortion -- 6/18/19 

    (2) Doug Healy threatens mother of his "bastard child in Poplar Bluff" -- 6/20/19

    (3) Doug Healy backs controversial $2.5-billion Grain Belt Express -- 6/25/19

    (4) Doug Healy faced opposition from mother of his "bastard child" and from landowners trying to block Grain Belt Express -- 8/8/19

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    Brady Musgrave
    Many Americans seem to assume all attorneys rake in fistfuls of dollars. Brady A Musgrave, a lawyer from Springfield, Missouri, is proof that is not true. In fact, our research shows Musgrave, his wife (Amy Michelle Musgrave), and his law partner (Kristin Jones, of the Jones and Musgrave Law Firm) are running on financial fumes.

    That leads to this question: Does operating in an environment of financial distress -- like a member of "the great unwashed" -- affect the cases Brady Musgrave takes and how he handles them? Specifically, did it cause him, at least in part, to pressure and threaten Scott J. Wells into a guilty plea on federal child-pornography charges the government clearly could not prove? (See here and here.)

    Wells currently is trying to get the plea withdrawn, but it does not appear Musgrave is doing anything to help him, even though he remains the attorney of record in the case. Is Musgrave simply refusing to do his job? If so, why, and will the court let him get away with it?

    From the moment I started investigating U.S. v. Wells, it emitted noxious odors -- the kind you might get from members of the legal tribe retaliating against Wells for beating prosecutors in a 2002-04 case of alleged child sexual abuse, which fell apart when a court found my brother, David Shuler, provided "ineffective assistance of counsel" and an accusing witness was caught falsely claiming Wells had scars on his penis. Or perhaps they were retaliating against Wells for bringing a legal-malpractice case against David Shuler, which Wells almost certainly would have won if his lawyer, John J. Allan of St. Louis, had not mysteriously pulled out at the last minute, claiming he needed more money from his client -- even though the docket shows he likely had the case, and a sizable damage award, already in the bag.

    Amy Musgrave
    Would a member (or several members) of the Missouri legal tribe want to get Scott Wells badly enough that they would offer a hefty payday for any attorney who can get Wells unlawfully incarcerated for 15 to 20 years? We don't have a rock-solid answer to that question yet, but public records suggest such a payday might be particularly enticing for Brady Musgrave, given his shaky financial picture. It's so shaky, in fact, that if I were looking for legal services, I would be concerned about hiring a firm where both partners (and one partner's spouse) are in arrears to a variety of entities.

    As for Brady Musgrave himself, he does not even own his home. Public records show his house -- at 3494 W. Erie Street, Springfield, MO -- is owned by Charles Musgrave of Kansas City. Is that Musgrave's father? We posed that question to Brady Musgrave via email, but he has not responded.

    How bleak is the Musgraves' financial picture? Let's start with this: The Missouri Department of Revenue has filed tax liens against them each of the past two years. (Certificate of Tax Liens are embedded at the end of this post.) The 2017 tax lien is for $1,224.44, and records show it has been satisfied. The 2018 tax lien is for $1,313.48, and records show it has not been satisfied.

    This is just the first of many signs that financial turmoil is swirling around Brady Musgrave, counselor at law.

    (To be continued)

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    Gerald Bard Tjoflat

    By the time a three-judge panel of the U.S. Eleventh Circuit -- led by 89-year-old Gerald Bard Tjoflat -- denied our appeal in "The House Case," my wife Carol and I had been cheated enough in court to be highly jaded about the whole process. The ruling came in December 2017, and we would have been shocked if any court ruled correctly, according to facts and law, in one of our cases. But the finding in Shuler, et al v. Garrison, et al was so off-the-charts crooked that even we were taken aback.

    "How could federal judges -- three of them -- be so brazen about ruling contrary to black-letter law?" we said to ourselves. The answer to that question now is apparent. Tjoflat had a financial stake in the case, and he ruled in favor of his own pocketbook. That, of course, is wildly unlawful; a cornucopia of law holds that a federal judge is not to hear a case in which he or an immediate family member has a financial interest. Tjoflat, however, ignored that rule in "The House Case," and our research indicates he's been ignoring it for years, maybe decades. We are aware of at least one Alabama case from last year -- and it, like "The House Case," involved an alleged wrongful foreclosure -- where Tjoflat heard a case in which he had a financial stake. That case is styled Jackson v. Bank of America, NA, 898 F. 3d 1348 (11th Cir., 2018), which we wrote about back in May.

    This is not a "no harm, no foul" situation, where Tjoflat (in at least a few cases) rules against the party where his financial interests lie. Rather, Tjoflat has an astonishing record of ruling in favor of the large financial institutions in which he has invested -- as we will spell out in upcoming posts.

    How did "The House Case" intertwine with Tjoflat's financial incentives? Chase Mortgage, a division of JPMorgan Chase, held the mortgage on our home of almost 25 years in Birmingham and launched the wrongful foreclosure -- with assistance from a number of legal/political entities and individuals in Alabama. According to his financial disclosures, which are available online, Tjoflat holds stock (and perhaps other forms of securities) in JPMorgan Chase.

    That casts considerable illumination on the Eleventh Circuit's bogus dismissal of our appeal. Tjoflat ruled in a way that would protect his own financial bottom line. Court corruption does not get much uglier than that.

    It's not like the governing law on "The House Case" appeal was complicated. I did not help matters by mistakenly indicating on our Notice of Appeal that we intended to appeal only a portion of the district court's ruling. But current statutory and case law is clear that such a mistake is not grounds for dismissing an appeal -- especially if the appellate brief makes clear, as ours did, the intent is to appeal the entire case. Here is how we described it in a previous post:

    The Tjoflat panel based its denial of our appeal on a 1980s version of FRAP 3, holding in its 2017 ruling that a mistake in the declared scope of our Notice of Appeal meant the court had no jurisdiction to hear our full appeal:

    “The notice of appeal must . . . designate the judgment, order, or part thereof being appealed.” F. R. App. P. 3(c); Osterneck v. E.T. Barwick Indus., Inc., 825 F.2d 1521, 1528 (11th Cir. 1987).“Where the appellant notices the appeal of a specified judgment only or a part thereof,” moreover, “this court has no jurisdiction to review other judgments or issues which are not expressly referred to and which are not impliedly intended for appeal.”C. A. May Marine Supply Co. v. Brunswick Corp., 649 F.2d 1049, 1056 (5th Cir. 1981). Otherwise, because the intent to appeal is not clear, prejudice would likely fall upon the adverse party. Id.

    As shown in the green highlighted areas above, the panel relied on case law from 1987 and 1981, respectively, ignoring important changes made to FRAP 3 in 1993. We described those changes in our Motion for Panel Rehearing: (See here and here.)

    A 1993 advisory committee amendment to FRAP 3, plus a string of case law, has changed the landscape for notice of appeal requirements and made the panel’s cited law obsolete.

    A case styled Bogle v. Orange County, 162 F.3d 653 (11th Cir., 1998) holds: “The test for determining the sufficiency of a notice of appeal is "whether it is objectively clear that a party intended to appeal."Fed. R.App. P. 3(c) advisory committee's note (1993 amendment). Signs that the Shulers’ intended to appeal are all over the documents filed with this court and served on adverse parties.

    Our intent to appeal the entire district-court dismissal is objectively clear in our appellate brief -- and the Tjoflat panel admits this. From our Motion for Panel Rehearing:

    As the panel notes, the Shulers make it clear in their appellate brief – in two places – that they intended to appeal the dismissal, in its entirety. In their “Statement of Jurisdiction” on page 1, the Shulers’ state regarding the Eleventh Circuit: “. . . this court has jurisdiction to consider an appeal of the district court’s order dismissing the case. . . .

    In the “Statement of the Issues” on page 2 of their appellate brief, the Shulers specifically raise three issues on appeal, including this: Did the district court unlawfully dismiss the Shulers’ case . . . ? It could not be more clear that the Shulers intended to appeal the dismissal, plus all orders leading up to that.

    In short, Tjoflat and his crooked crew used outdated law, directly counter to their own precedent in Bogle, to cheat us. To make matters even more seamy, Tjoflat dismissed both "The House Case" and the Jackson case in ways that meant the cases would not even be considered on the merits. What does that tell us? It tells me that Tjoflat knew both Carol and I, and the jacksons, were cheated raw in the district courts, so he concocted ways to dismiss the appeals without calling attention to the butcher jobs we experienced at the trial level.

    What about details of Tjoflat's financial holdings -- the ones that, by law, disqualified him from hearing our appeal? Stay tuned. That information will be revealed in upcoming posts.

    (To be continued)

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    Deputy Scott Harrison
    Corruption and incompetence among law-enforcement and correctional officers has become a hot topic since the so-called suicide of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in New York City. But it's not a new topic here at Legal Schnauzer, and we've seen a shocking level of dishonesty play out under oath in a court of law.

    A Missouri sheriff's deputy committed perjury in my wife Carol's "assault on a law enforcement officer" trial in Greene County. That means, by law, the guilty verdict against Carol is due to be vacated or set aside, and Deputy Scott Harrison is subject to criminal prosecution.

    Harrison's false statement under oath is one of several such statements cop-witnesses for the state made in Carol's trial. But Harrison's is the one we can prove -- right this minute, with no additional investigation or discovery -- is perjurious. Other deputies' sketchy statements generally were inconsistent -- their trial testimony differed from written statements in incident reports -- so it would take some research to determine what might rise to the level of perjury. Either way, they apparently committed perjury or filed false police reports, both of which are crimes.

    At least one statement from Harrison -- the deputy who burst into our apartment and pointed an assault rifle at my head during an unlawful eviction in September 2015 -- leaves no doubt. This is from page 3 of Judge Jerry Harmison Jr.'s judgment in Carol's case: (The judgment and Carol's Motion to Vacate Judgment That Was Procured by Fraud, Perjury, etc. are embedded at the end of this post.)

    Harrison stated he initially focused on Roger Shuler once the front door was open because Roger Shuler had called and expressed threats to law enforcement on August 12, 2015.

    We have recorded evidence that Harrison's statement is false, and we presented that evidence in a recent post, with more relevant posts to come. (The video/audio is embedded at the end of this post.)

    How is perjury described under Missouri law? It can be found at RSMo 575.040, and Carol cites it in her Motion to Vacate:

    Perjury is defined at RSMo. 575.040:

    1. A person commits the crime of perjury if, with the purpose to deceive, he knowingly testifies falsely to any material fact upon oath or affirmation legally administered, in any official proceeding before any court, public body, notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths;

    2. A fact is material, regardless of its admissibility under rules of evidence, if it could substantially affect, or did substantially affect, the course or outcome of the cause, matter or proceeding;

    3. Knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of this crime, and it is no defense that:

    (1) The defendant mistakenly believed the fact to be immaterial.

    Is there any doubt that Harrison's statement was material? Absolutely not. At least two deputies -- including Jeremy Lynn, the "victim" of Carol's assault -- stated they were only on the scene because of Harrison's false claim that I had made a threatening 911 call. The only problem? Audio evidence shows that Josh Davis and Kathryn Mays -- a case manager and social worker at Burrell Behavioral Health, respectively -- made the 911 call. And I had nothing to do with it.

    Carol and I, of course, knew all along I never made a 911 call or a threat to law enforcement -- and I've reported that here -- but how did we obtain evidence to prove Harrison's trial statement was false? Carol explains in her Motion to Vacate:

    During the course of discovery in the instant case, the Shulers obtained a copy of the 911 call – it was among the 2-3 discovery requests the prosecution actually produced, and Shuler didn’t get it until almost the trial date – and the call came from Josh Davis, a case manager at Burrell Behavioral Health, with Kathryn Mays, a social worker, whispering instructions in his ear. Roger Shuler had nothing to do with the 911 call, and he never made a threat re: cops or anyone else to a member of his family – contrary to the hearsay testimony presented by multiple prosecution witnesses in this case.

    As for the important element of materiality, here are details about that, from the Motion to Vacate:

    Harrison’s statement clearly was false, with intent to deceive the court, and it was material. The other three cop-witnesses also testified in some fashion, via hearsay, about such threats from Roger Shuler, and two of them – Debi Wade and Jeremy Lynn – stated at trial that they were present for the Shulers’ eviction only because of a “threat” Roger Shuler never made and/or a 911 call he never placed. Carol Shuler wound up falsely accused of “assaulting” Jeremy Lynn, but he was only there because of Scott Harrison’s bogus 911 story. Debi Wade went on to falsely testify that Carol Shuler charged into her “like a bull” – a canard even prosecutors apparently did not believe because they did not charge Carol with it. 
    Also, Wade falsely testified that Carol flailed around in the back seat of a patrol car– even though Carol was seat-belted – suggesting Carol produced a comminuted fracture (broken in more than two places), a feat that likely is physically impossible and has never happened in human history. This was not a hairline fracture of the arm; it was about as bad a trauma-induced break as is found in medicine. Bottom line: The officer who falsely claimed Carol Shuler assaulted him and the officer who authored a bogus Probable Cause Statement on the subject were only present at the Shulers’ eviction because of Scott Harrison’s phony 911 story. It’s very likely Harrison’s perjury is the reason Carol Shuler was found guilty of an offense even the “victim” (Jeremy Lynn) admits she did not commit.

    Let's drive this point home because it's important: The officer who falsely claimed Carol assaulted him (Jeremy Lynn) and the officer who wrote a false Probable Cause Statement on the subject (Debi Wade) stated under oath that they were only present because of Scott Harrison's phony 911 story.

    X-ray of comminuted fracture
    in Carol Shuler's left arm.
    Without the 911 canard, one deputy likely would have been on the scene -- and he might have stayed in his vehicle, scratching himself in indelicate places throughout the eviction. Our research indicates that's how most Missouri evictions are handled, with one deputy usually providing a "presence" to help ensure a tense process remains peaceful. In our case, we were confronted with a heavily armed SWAT team, whose members wound up brutalizing Carol and breaking her arm so severely that it required roughly eight hours of trauma surgery for repair.

    Do courts view perjury during a criminal trial as a serious matter? On paper, they sure do? What impact can a finding of perjury have on a verdict? On paper, it can turn the results upside down.

    How could Scott Harrison's perjury affect the judgment in Carol's case? We will examine that subject in an upcoming post.

    And what about the Missouri Attorney General's Office? That likely is where a case of suspected perjury should be reported. Do they take it seriously?We have our doubts, but we intend to find out.

    (To be continued)

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    Gerald Bard Tjoflat

    You might think that when changes are made to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (FRAP), U.S. judges would be capable of keeping up with them. But that apparently is too much to ask of the three-judge panel, led by Richard Nixon-era geezer Gerald Bard Tjoflat, which cheated us raw in "The House Case" -- a federal lawsuit over the theft of our Birmingham home via a wrongful foreclosure.

    The Tjoflat panel based its denial of our appeal on a 1980s version of FRAP 3, holding in its 2017 ruling that a mistake in the declared scope of our Notice of Appeal meant the court had no jurisdiction to hear the full appeal:

    “The notice of appeal must . . . designate the judgment, order, or part thereof being appealed.” F. R. App. P. 3(c); Osterneck v. E.T. Barwick Indus., Inc., 825 F.2d 1521, 1528 (11th Cir. 1987). “Where the appellant notices the appeal of a specified judgment only or a part thereof,” moreover, “this court has no jurisdiction to review other judgments or issues which are not expressly referred to and which are not impliedly intended for appeal.”C. A. May Marine Supply Co. v. Brunswick Corp., 649 F.2d 1049, 1056 (5th Cir. 1981).Otherwise, because the intent to appeal is not clear, prejudice would likely fall upon the adverse party. Id.

    As shown in the green highlighted areas above, the panel relied on case law from 1987 and 1981, respectively, ignoring important changes made to FRAP 3 in 1993. We described those changes in our Motion for Panel Rehearing: (See here and here.)

    A 1993 advisory committee amendment to FRAP 3, plus a string of case law, has changed the landscape for notice of appeal requirements and made the panel’s cited law obsolete. 
    A case styled Bogle v. Orange County, 162 F.3d 653 (11th Cir., 1998) holds: “The test for determining the sufficiency of a notice of appeal is "whether it is objectively clear that a party intended to appeal."Fed. R.App. P. 3(c) advisory committee's note (1993 amendment). Signs that the Shulers’ intended to appeal are all over the documents filed with this court and served on adverse parties.

    Our intent to appeal the entire district-court dismissal is objectively clear in our appellate brief -- and the Tjoflat panel admits this. From our Motion for Panel Rehearing:

    As the panel notes, the Shulers make it clear in their appellate brief – in two places – that they intended to appeal the dismissal, in its entirety. In their “Statement of Jurisdiction” on page 1, the Shulers’ state regarding the Eleventh Circuit: “. . . this court has jurisdiction to consider an appeal of the district court’s order dismissing the case. . . .

    In the “Statement of the Issues” on page 2 of their appellate brief, the Shulers specifically raise three issues on appeal, including this: Did the district court unlawfully dismiss the Shulers’ case . . . ? It could not be more clear that the Shulers intended to appeal the dismissal, plus all orders leading up to that.

    Do objectively clear statements in the appellate brief override a flawed Notice of Appeal? Case law flowing from the 1993 committee amendment to FRAP 3 shows the answer is yes. In fact, the Bogle finding goes beyond that, invoking the U.S. Supreme Court in the process. From our panel-rehearing motion:

    Bogle then mentions the notion that an appellate brief may serve as a notice of appeal (“Assuming that an appellate brief may serve as a notice of appeal.”) That notion later was confirmed with clarity by the U.S. Supreme Court in Smith v. Barry, 502 U.S. 244 (1992), finding: “In this case, we hold that a document intended to serve as an appellate brief may qualify as the notice of appeal required by Rule 3.” Thus, the Shulers’ appellate brief lawfully serves as a notice of appeal, and the panel admits that the brief shows the Shulers’ intent to appeal the entire district-court case. 
    Barry further holds: “Courts will liberally construe the requirements of Rule 3. . . . Thus, when papers are "technically at variance with the letter of [Rule 3], a court may nonetheless find that the litigant has complied with the rule if the litigant's action is the functional equivalent of what the rule requires." The Shulers’ appellate brief, where they mention in two places their intent to appeal the entire district-court case, clearly serves as the functional equivalent of Rule 3 requirements.

    It cannot be disputed that current law, under FRAP 3 and its progeny: (1) Allows statements in an appellate brief to override a flawed Notice of Appeal; (2) Allows an appellate brief to qualify as a Notice of Appeal; and (3) Calls for the requirements of Rule 3 to be liberally construed, especially where the litigant's actions are the "functional equivalent of what the rule applies."

    Do you need more evidence that Tjoflat and the Gang screwed us, big time? Consider the holdings of Rinaldo v. Corbett, 256 F.3d 1276 (11th Cir., 2001). Consider this from our panel-rehearing motion:

    Rinaldo v. Corbett, 256 F.3d 1276 (11th Cir., 2001) drives home the totality element of the Shulers’ appeal:“When a district court enters a final judgment, `all prior non-final orders and rulings which produced the judgment' are merged into the judgment and subject to review on appeal." The record shows the district court entered a final judgment – meaning all non-final orders and rulings which produced the judgment are merged into the judgment and subject to review on appeal – especially where the Shulers’ appellate brief makes clear their intention of appealing the entire district-court case.

    And then, we have this:

    Rinaldo holds: “Now, Rule 3(c)(4) directs that "[a]n appeal must not be dismissed for informality of form or title of the notice of appeal, or for failure to name a party whose intent to appeal is otherwise clear from the notice."Fed. R.App. P. 3(c)(4). Explaining this new subsection, the 1993 Advisory Committee Notes state that: “Finally, the rule makes it clear that dismissal of an appeal should not occur when it is otherwise clear from the notice that the party intended to appeal. If a court determines it is objectively clear that a party intended to appeal, there are neither administrative concerns nor fairness concerns that should prevent the appeal from going forward.” There can be no dispute that the Shulers intended to appeal. They say so in their notice of appeal and they say so again, twice, in their appellate brief. And the law is clear this presents no fairness or prejudice concerns for adverse parties.

    If this were a case of incompetence in the 11th Circuit, that would be alarming enough. But this involves intentional cheating, which probably rises to the level of fraud on the court. And that, by law, should give us grounds to reopen "The House Case," along with all of the other federal matters -- including our employment cases against UAB and Infinity Insurance -- where we were intentionally cheated due to fraud on the court.

    As for Tjoflat, our research reveals a clear reason why he tends to favor big financial outfits like Chase Mortgage, which wrongfully foreclosed on our home of almost 25 years.

    We will provide details in upcoming posts.

    (To be continued)

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    Burrell Behavioral Health
    A 911 call that I supposedly made, threatening to shoot any sheriff's deputy who tried to evict Carol and me, actually came from an administrator at Burrell Behavioral Health -- a guy I never had met. The call was based on statements from my lawyer-brother David Shuler and not on anything I said.

    In other words, my brother put his words in my mouth, made the whole "threat" story up, and caused a bevy of cops to barge into our home with assault rifles and handguns -- damned near getting Carol and me killed. And yet, the words I've repeatedly heard about David's efforts are that "he's just trying to help."

    A copy of the 911 call, obtained in discovery for the bogus "assault" case against Carol, shows David has a strange way of helping. (A video of the 911 call is embedded at the end of this post.) And get this: We had cancelled any releases allowing David (or any other family member) to speak with Burrell personnel -- and we did that after catching him in an earlier lie.

    In other words, Burrell had no lawful grounds to talk to David, and case manager Joshua Davis admits that on the 911 call. Burrell spoke with David anyway, violating our directive and probably violating state and federal law, and apparently placed a wildly defamatory 911 call at his insistence.

    Joshua Davis is the primary voice from Burrell heard on the 911 call, although Kathryn Mays, a social worker who had been assigned to my case, can be heard whispering to him through the phone line. I've never met Joshua Davis and spoke with him briefly via phone one time. So, where did he get this misinformation about me? It apparently all came from David, my brother.

    Did anyone at Burrell bother to check with me, to see if David's story was remotely accurate, if I had spoken with him about cops and evictions and guns? No, they did not ask me a thing about communications with David, and no, I did not talk with him about any of those subjects.

    We had canceled our releases for David and other family members after Katherine Mays told me that David had called her, saying I'd asked him to do so. I told her that was a flat-out lie, and we immediately withdrew permission for Burrell to speak with him.

    Did Burrell trample my patient rights by speaking with someone I had withdrawn permission for them to speak with -- and then placing a 911 call filled with false information, at my brother's insistence? It sure looks that way to me -- and it's all on the 911 call.

    At 4:11 on the video below, Joshua Davis (with Kathryn Mays whispering information in his ear) had the following conversation with a 911 dispatcher named Maggie:

    Maggie: When was the last time you talked with him (me)?

    Josh: My caseworker is sitting here with me, she talked with him on 8/4/15 . . .

    Maggie: That's when he said this?

    Josh (w/ helpful whispers from Kathryn Mays): He said that, and he's also made threats to relatives, I believe, and they called and wanted to let us know and that would have been Aug. 6-7.

    Maggie: The relatives called you?

    Josh: Yes. We couldn't really speak to them because we don't have any releases, but we did make a hotline call to the Department of Mental Health.

    Maggie: What hotline was it?

    Josh: The Department of Health and Senior Services.

    Maggie: I do have some contacts, if you would like that after they [cops] talk to him . . .

    Josh: Do you have any other questions?

    Maggie: Do you have Roger's phone number?

    Josh: (205) 381-5673.

    Did anyone from the Greene County Sheriff's Office bother to call me or stop by our apartment after this call? Nope, they just came barging into our home on eviction day, even though the eviction had been stayed by our notice of appeal and there was no final court order, approving the eviction.

    What about Kathryn Mays' claim, during her whispering session, that I threatened to shoot officers during a visit with my caregiver, Matt Charles, on Aug. 4, 2015? I have Matt Charles' notes from that session, and he never includes a word about me threatening to shoot anyone. Earlier in the 911 call, even Joshua Davis admits I never made such a statement.

    That apparently all came from David Shuler, and I never discussed any such subject with him.

    (To be continued)

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    Gerald Bard Tjoflat

    How does a federal judge get away with unlawfully ruling on cases where he has a financial stake in one of the parties? Gerald Bard Tjoflat, an 89-year-old geezer from the Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford era, still serves on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta (covering Alabama, Georgia, and Florida), and his hatchet job on "The House Case" -- where we lost of our home of almost 25 years in Birmingham via a wrongful foreclosure -- provides a classic example of how ethically bankrupt our federal courts have become.

    One of the basics of American law is this: A federal judge automatically is disqualified from hearing a case in which he or an immediate family member has a financial interest. But our research shows Tjoflat has been hearing such cases for decades -- almost always ruling in favor of his own pocket book.

    That was the situation in "The House Case," where one of the defendants was Chase Mortgage, which held the mortgage on our home. We are aware of at least one other such case, involving an alleged wrongful foreclosure, where a three-judge panel led by Tjoflat ruled against a Daphne,, AL couple named Karun and Ursula Jackson -- while ruling in favor of the Jacksons' mortgage company, Bank of America (BOA).

    How does this happen? The decision on whether to hear a case often is left to the crooked judge himself -- with little or no oversight waiting in the wings. We invite you to follow us on the money trail for details about how Gerald Bard Tjoflat has made a habit of scamming the American people, especially those who live in the Deep South.

    The money trail begins with Tjoflat's financial disclosure forms, One of the most recent disclosure forms we can find on the Web for Tjoflat is from 2012. It shows he has investments in the following entities:

    (1) Alliance Bernstein Global Techology (Mutual Fund)

    (2) Columbia Marsico Focused Equities Fund (Mutual Fund)

    (3) Manulife Financial (401K)

    (4) Quaker Strategic Growth Fund (Mutual Fund)

    (5) Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (401K)

    (6) Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones and Gay P.A.(401K)

    What holdings are included in these financial instruments? Let's take a look:

    (1) AllianceBernstein (AB) Global Technology -- This instrument now is called the AB Global Thematic Growth Fund, and a 2014 document from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows it has a forward currency exchange contract with JPMorgan Chase Bank. In 2017, AB picked long-time JPM Chase executive Seth Bernstein as its CEO

    (2) Columbia Marsico Focused Equities Fund -- A report from Kiplinger's says two of this fund's largest positions are in JPMorgan Chase and Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark. This fund also is intimately connected to Bank of America, with founder Thomas Marsico buying the firm back from BOA in 2007, seven years after selling it to the No. 2 U.S. bank.

    (3) Manulife Financial (401K) -- Manulife, based in Toronto and operating as John Hancock in the United States, issued a $750-million U.S. public offering in 2017. JPMorgan Securities LLC acted as one of the joint book-running managers for the offering.

    (4) Quaker Strategic Growth Fund -- According to MarketWatch, JPMorgan Chase is among this fund's top 10 holdings. According to mutualfunds.com, Bank of America also is among the fund's top holdings.

    (5) Merrill Lynch Wealth Management -- According to brightscope.com, Bank of America is the largest fund in this plan.

    (6)  Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones and Gay P.A. -- This appears to be a retirement fund for a Florida-based law fim, and information about the fund does not appear to be publicly available.

    The public record is clear: Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat's finances are tied up with JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America -- and it's hard to imagine he does not know it. Does that keep him from hearing cases involving those two parties? Nope. Does it keep him from ruling in favor of those two parties? Definitely not -- and we have the evidence to prove it.

    (To be continued)

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    Burrell Behavioral Health
    I threatened to shoot any Missouri sheriff's deputy who attempted to evict Carol and me back in 2015, according to the statements of two Burrell Behavioral Health employees in a 911 call they made. Mental-health workers might get their jollies from spreading such rubbish, but when the story is not true -- and this one wasn't, on multiple grounds -- it becomes a problem, both for the patient and the entity that violated his rights to medical confidentiality.

    In this instance, I obviously knew the Burrell employees' statements were untrue, but I only heard the 911 call via limited discovery we received in the bogus "assault on a law enforcement officer" case brought against my wife, Carol.

    Had the Burrell folks bothered to check their own records, they would have learned: (1) My lawyer-brother, David Shuler, called a Burrell supervisor and concocted the "threaten to shoot" story without providing any evidence that I actually said that; in fact, David is one of the last people on earth with whom I would discuss such a subject, or any subject of substance; (2) Records from my caregiver, a psychiatric nurse named Matt Charles, show I never made such a statement to him, and he repeatedly describes me as "not having suicidal or homicidal thoughts."

    We learn about a level of coordination between my brother and certain Burrell employees that is downright devious. The Burrell personnel had every reason to know my brother was lying, and they had no lawful grounds to speak to him anyway.

    How did Burrell case manager Joshua Davis and social worker Kathryn Mays (she was whispering in Davis' ear throughout the 911 call) come up with such a tale? For one, they admit near the end of the 911 call that my "relatives" (which is shorthand for David) called Burrell with the allegation that I had threatened to shoot eviction-minded cops. (Video of the 911 call is embedded at the end of this post.)

    They also admit that someone at Burrell talked to David, even though we had rescinded our release that allowed them to communicate with any of my family members. We did that after Mays reported to us that David called and claimed I had asked him to call her. I never asked David to call her, and we knew then that he was pulling the kind of con games for which lawyers have become known.

    In other words, we had reported David as an unreliable source of information about us, but Burrell personnel apparently took his words as gospel and placed the 911 call. That caused Greene County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) deputies to arrive for our eviction with a squadron of officers (6 to 8, at least), armed with assault rifles, handguns, and all sorts of weaponry that could have gotten us killed.

    Did Davis and Mays intentionally spread false information via the 911 system? They say in the call that Mays had last seen me during an appointment with Matt Charles on August 4, 2015 -- and I threatened on that date to go all Rambo against cops. They also claim I had a gun, even though (at the time) I had never owned a gun, other than a BB gun I received as a Christmas gift when I was about age 12.

    Now, let's compare the Davis/Mays 911 statements against Matt Charles' notes in my medical records from that appointment on 8/4/15 (five days before our eviction):

    Progress Note

    MRN: 151401

    PATIENT: Roger Shuler

    DATE OF BIRTH: 11/25/56

    Date of service: 08/04/15

    Time of service: 10:10 am. to 10:33 a.m.

    Service Code: 9214


    Follow-up for medication management


    Patient reports that he has been feeling okay since his last visit. He states that "nothing much has changed." He reports that his mood has been good and he has been sleeping well at night. He denies having suicidal or homicidal thoughts. He denies any problems with anxiety or panic. He denies hallucinations.

    Patient continues to be preoccupied with legal issues. He states that his current landlord has been causing problems for him and his wife. He states that their lease recently expired, and they have not signed a new lease. He is under the impression that the lease was to go month to month at this point; however, he is not certain his landlord is going to want him to stay there. [Note: I had the month-to-month "impression" because that's what the lease said.] He is concerned that his mother and brother have "said things about me and my wife" to the landlord and that they are going to try to evict him.

    Patient has some difficulty describing the details of the situation. Patient continues to perseverate on the issues that occurred in Alabama. He reports that he is unwilling to go through another situation such as that, where he was "harassed by the police and their goons." He states that he would protect himself if this ever were to occur again. He is very evasive when asked about what he means by "protecting himself." 

    Does Matt Charles say I threatened to shoot anyone? No. Does he say I had a gun? No. Does he say my brother, David Shuler, had called Burrell with the "threaten to shoot" story? Yes, he does -- in an update the next day, 8/5/15 -- as we reported in an earlier post. Does he note any evidence to suggest David's story is remotely true, or that Burrell had any lawful grounds to communicate with David? Nope.

    For the most part, I think Matt Charles gives a pretty fair summary of things at that time. But I do take issue with at least three items. It's possible that the medical-records process at many facilities is much more sloppy, and much less accurate, than most of us would like to think:

    (1) Charles states: "Patient has some difficulty describing the details of the situation." Given adequate time, I had no problem describing "the details of the situation," as I've done on this blog numerous times. As you can tell from the time stamp on Charles' notes, our meetings usually lasted 15 to 20 minutes. I did not have time to go into great detail about a complex tenant-landlord situation, and I don't recall Charles asking for a lot of details. I did make it clear that the the planned eviction was unlawful, but did Charles seem interested in details about the law? Not that I could tell, and I didn't have time to tell him anyway.

    (2) Charles states: "[Patient] is very evasive when asked about what he means by 'protecting himself.'" This came near the end of our session, and I did not have time to go into details. Also, I was -- in my view -- being honest, not evasive. I didn't know what we could do to protect ourselves, but Charles' own account indicates it did not involve a gun or shooting anyone. I think it's axiomatic that a homeowner (or renter) is entitled to protect himself against unlawful intruders, which the cops were going to be, in this instance. If I'd had more time, I likely would have tried to explain the legal options we had, including filing a notice of appeal that would have put an automatic stay on execution. In fact, that is what we did, but cops ignored the stay and evicted anyway -- breaking Carol's arm in the process.  In other words, the cops acted just as unlawfully as we had feared they would.

    (3) Charles states: "Patient continues to perseverate on the issues that occurred in Alabama." Perseverate is a fancy verb that means "to repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased." In my case, a simple way of saying it would be that I "continued to think about certain key events in Alabama after they had happened." As regular readers know, those events included my unlawful arrest (for blogging) and incarceration of five months, the loss of our home of 25 years to a wrongful foreclosure, and a forced move to Missouri (where certain of my family members proved they had developed into backstabbers.) Does Matt Charles think we are supposed to have a robotic reaction to such jarring events? We are supposed to snap our fingers and forget about trauma that creeps into our lives? After all, I already had been diagnosed with PTSD (by a physician) for a reason. Matt Charles left Burrell a few months after this appointment, but I really would like to ask him, "What does your use of the term 'perseverate' mean? Do you think it's abnormal to continue thinking about traumatic, life-altering events after they happened -- even when the victim knows the events happened way outside the law? Is the war veteran supposed to 'switch off'' memories of horrific scenes he might have witnessed?" As for me, I would be concerned about the sanity (and maybe the honesty) of anyone who claimed they could switch off thoughts about such events.

    Charles describes me throughout his notes as "not homicidal," so I'm not sure why the "protecting himself" comment would raise concerns about any activity outside the law. And, in fact, the record is clear that Carol and I acted within the law 100 percent.

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    Jeannine Dorroh
    Jeannine Dorroh lives in Birmingham, AL, and is a senior accountant at Southern Research (SR). She lives in Broken Bow South, the same Shelby County neighborhood where Carol and I lived for 25 years.

    Dorroh was pulling her vehicle out of the neighborhood one morning when she looked to her left and saw Mike McGarity, our neighbor with a lengthy criminal record, strike me in the back with a roadside sign. Dorroh's window was rolled up, and I didn't want to scare her by walking up to her vehicle after she had seen such an unusual event. I mouthed the words, "Did you see that?" and she nodded her head yes.

    As I was walking away from the neighborhood entrance/exit, I noted her license-plate number and wrote it down as soon as I got home. I called the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, and a deputy soon arrived at our house to take a report of what McGarity had done. The deputy said he had spoken with McGarity and received a radically different version of events from mine.

    I rolled up my sweatshirt to show him the bleeding welt on my back. "I didn't put that there myself," I said. I also informed the deputy of an eyewitness and gave him the license-plate number I had jotted down.

    We obtained a copy of the deputy's report a few days later, and it included Jeannine Dorroh's name and address, which was a couple of streets over from ours. I called her one evening, explained who I was, and she was kind enough to state what she saw and express concern about my well-being. I told her I was going to be OK, but explained our difficulties with McGarity in the past, and this was just an extension of those.

    Mike McGarity
    I tape-recorded the conversation and have her statement, word for word. (A video with our phone conversation is embedded at the end of this post.) When you hear her voice, and learn about her background, it becomes clear this is a highly intelligent woman who is used to dealing in details. I would put her word up against Mike McGarity's any day of the week. Here is how our conversation began:

    Roger Shuler (RS): I was the guy I think you saw get hit in the back with the sign the other morning . . . .

    Jeannine Dorroh (JD): I told the officer what I saw. He came to my house and I gave my statement.

    RS: We've had problems with this guy, he lives next door to us . . . It's a long-running thing; It's not been much fun.

    JD: I looked out the window (of my vehicle) and I saw you two conversing, and all of a sudden you were walking away, and the other gentleman hit you in the back of the head. (He actually struck me in the upper back, but from Dorroh's vantage point, it probably looked like the blow landed on the back of my head.) I was shocked when I saw that. First, I thought you were joking, and then I saw it wasn't a joke. Then, you came up to my window, and said, "You saw that?," and I said, "Yes, yes I did. . . .

    RS: I appreciate you being honest about it.

    JD: Are you OK?

    RS: I've got quite a welt on my back. If you have a second, I can tell you what caused the whole deal. . . . As you know weeds grow high down there, and it's hard to see, and people put up signs that aren't supposed to be there. It's against the law to put a sign in a state right-of- way, and it makes it hard to see when you pull out. So I went down there to remove the signs, and he followed me. He follows me and my wife. He started putting the signs back up, and I said, "Mike, those signs are gong to come down. It's against the law, and I can't see around them. He started saying, "I'm going to fight you" and called me names, and I shot back a thing or two, but didn't threaten him, and I started walking away, and you saw what he did.

    With Jeannine Dorroh's help, we've established what really happened. We've also learned that McGarity resorted to his natural instincts and lied to the deputy who took a report. That's not a surprise to Carol and me because we've seen McGarity lie under oath in court.

    Jeannine Dorroh pretty much puts the kibosh on McGarity's efforts to sell a phony story. We will address that issue in an upcoming post.

    As we've reported previously, McGarity works in operation services at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBSAL), and he has a lengthy criminal record, which includes at least eight convictions. (All convictions that we have found are misdemeanors, although several are offenses that involve  violence or sex.) In this most recent incident, McGarity committed a felony assault and filed a false report with a law-enforcement officer, although neither was prosecuted. (More on that in upcoming posts.)

    Does BCBSAL care that one of its employees engages in such unsavory and dangerous behavior, while having a sketchy record that pre-dates his employment at the company? We posed several questions about McGarity -- including whether he disclosed his criminal history on his job application -- to Koko Mackin, vice president of corporate communications at BCBSAL. She has not responded to our queries.

    We take that to mean the company does not care about such issues.

    (To be continued)

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    Judge Carole Smitherman

    An Alabama judge could face a petition to remove her from office for her handling of a lawsuit where she appears to have favored a large, scandal-plagued law firm in downtown Birmingham that reportedly attempted to steal the lucrative collections business of a solo practitioner, according to reports at banbalch.com.

    Burt Newsome -- the solo attorney who allegedly was targeted, falsely arrested, and defamed in a scheme designed to allow Balch and Bingham to swipe his business and ruin his law practice -- has filed a 100-page appellate brief with the Alabama Supreme Court. It is unmasking details that might turn a common man's stomach and become Exhibit A of just how seedy Alabama's "justice system" can get.

    Bad actor No. 1 in what banbalch,com calls "The Newsome Conspiracy Case," is former Balch partner Clark A. Cooper, who apparently led the effort to undermine Newsome's law practice. Writes K.B. Forbes at banbalch.com:

    Balch and Bingham partner Clark A. Cooper, who was abruptly fired on March 3, 2017,  by the embattled law firm, appears to have been the spearhead of the conspiracy that targeted and defamed Burt Newsome, a successful attorney who serviced banks, in an alleged attempt to steal his business.

    The defamation occurred after a staged arrest in which Newsome’s mugshot was allegedly distributed via email to several bank executives on a Saturday afternoon by Cooper.

    According to Newsome’s appellate brief filed with the Alabama Supreme Court, Cooper looks like a habitual liar who tells half-truths and contradicts his own testimonials.

    Need more specifics? Forbes provides them:

    Balch  and Bingham likes to boast that they have over 200 attorneys throughout the Southeast. Why in heaven’s name did Balch target a one-man office, sole-practitioner attorney in Shelby County who services banks?

    In 2012, Burt Newsome was minding his own business, and had not a shred of animosity towards Balch and Bingham.

    Was Balch and Bingham really that desperate?

    Clark A. Cooper, the Balch and Bingham partner who allegedly spearheaded the conspiracy against Newsome in an attempt to steal his successful business servicing banks, appears to have falsely claimed that Newsome’s bar license was in jeopardy to banking executives in 2013.

    Cooper, who was fired by Balch in March of 2017, allegedly sent emails to banking executives with Newsome’s mugshot on a Saturday afternoon, two-days after Newsome’s staged arrest, writing, “Not sure how this will affect his law license.”

    Newsome had been set up in a staged arrest, yet 48-hours later Cooper appears to have already found Newsome guilty.

    Cooper reportedly has been reduced to selling mattresses. But before this seemy mess is over, Judge Carole Smitherman might be the biggest loser. Reports Forbes:

    Clark Cooper
    Balch and Bingham’s trail of rotting carcasses may have one more soon: Judge Carole Smitherman.

    A petition for the removal of Balch’s biggest stooge from the bench is a realistic option now that it is known she dispatched 44 retaliatory orders in the Newsome Conspiracy Case all based on a counterfeit order.

    Judge Smitherman, who sealed the Newsome Conspiracy Case for over 500 days to allegedly hide criminal acts and perjury, engaged in what appears to be judicial fraud.

    She held the counterfeit order as the central pillar in a case, and demonstrated lop-sided bias for Balch and Bingham.

    Entities linked to Balch and Bingham and the alleged co-conspirators in the Newsome Case funneled over $30,000 in campaign contributions to her and her husband, State Senator Rodger Smitherman. Shockingly, the Senator sat in on numerous secret hearings of the Star Chamber, where the Newsome Conspiracy Case was heard.

    Judge Smitherman stupidly trusted Balch and Bingham, who allegedly have made her now look like the most corrupt, dumbest, and most worthless jurist in the State of Alabama.

    What about the counterfeit oder and its central role in the scheme to ruin Burt Newsome? Forbes provides details:

    Burt Newsome, the attorney who allegedly was wrongly targeted, falsely arrested, and defamed by Balch and Bingham and other co-conspirators has filed a 100-page appellate brief with the Alabama Supreme Court, and it is a devastating indictment of the Keystone Cops at Balch and Bingham.

    The cornerstone of all defendants’ legal arguments, the 44 retaliatory orders signed by the Queen of the Star Chamber, Judge Carole Smitherman, and the order for summary judgement against Burt Newsome is all based on a counterfeit order.

    A fake, bogus, 100% fictitious order.

    And where did the counterfeit order come from?

    When Newsome was wrongly arrested in 2013 in a staged arrest by the son of a long-time Alabama Power executive, Newsome vigorously fought the phony criminal charges against him.

    In April of 2014, the bogus criminal case collapsed and was dismissed with prejudice.

    On February 19, 2015, Newsome filed a request to have the staged criminal case and records expunged, and was granted that petition in September of 2015, since “neither the district attorney nor the victim filed any objection to the Petition for Expungement within 45 days,” according to the judge’s order.

    Almost a year later, in the summer of 2016, the legal representatives of the co-conspirators in the Newsome Conspiracy Case presented to Judge Smitherman the counterfeit order stating that the expunged criminal case had been resurrected from the dead while making all sorts of scurrilous and false accusations inside the fabricated order against Newsome.

    The counterfeit order was allegedly “signed” by another judge in Shelby County, who had no knowledge of the case, without a hearing, without any supporting transcripts, and most importantly never, ever filed in the state judicial information system.

    Forbes provides perspective on the chicanery that seems to blossom and thrive in the Birmingham metro legal community:

    The counterfeit order is worse than the ghost-written letters of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal because it is blatant judicial fraud.

    The bogus criminal case against Newsome remains expunged and even the Alacourt electronic records system declares that “no case detail available.”

    We always have said the secretive and unconstitutional Star Chamber where the Newsome Conspiracy Case was tried was possibly hiding criminal acts and perjury.

    Judge Smitherman and her husband State Senator Rodger Smitherman received over $30,000 in “contributions” from entities linked to Balch and Bingham and the co-defendants at key intervals during the case.

    The Queen of the Star Chamber is not only a Balch and Bingham stooge; she is a fool, an utter fool who engaged in judicial fraud.

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    Baron Coleman

    Alabama lawyer and talk-show host Baron Coleman, who is making a bid to become one of the most insufferable pricks in the right-wing mediasphere, has lost his radio gig in Montgomery roughly one month after calling a female political figure a "whore" and a "bitch" and hinting he might burn her "damned house to the ground."

    Coleman's departure is the good news. The bad news is that, according to a Coleman post on Facebook, he has another radio gig already lined up -- and it starts today, on WRBZ (95.6 FM and 1250 AM). Citizens of Montgomery, which might be the most corrupt city per capita in the United States, should be ashamed their community has media executives and sponsors who are willing to give voice to a bomb-throwing hack like Coleman.

    Word of Coleman's exit from his News and Views program at Montgomery's WACV (93.1 FM, 9 a.m. to noon, weekdays) came via a Facebook post last Thursday, according to a report from Yellowhammer News (YH) The post was dated Sept. 12, not even a month after we reported on August 13 about his profane tirade against Becky Gerritson, executive director of the Eagle Forum of Alabama -- all because she dared disagree with him about medical marijuana (he's for it, she's against it). Here is how Coleman announced his exit from WACV:

    As of this afternoon, I no longer work at Bluewater Broadcasting or News Talk 93.1FM WACV.

    The on-air staff and sales professionals at Bluewater are some of the finest people in the world. I've had an amazing experience at Bluewater for the past five years, but it's time to move on.

    I'll be making an announcement very shortly (days, not weeks) about my next step, but I'll be available to you again in the same format in the very near future.

    In the meantime, I'm on Facebook and available by text, phone, or email if you need me.

    Notice that Coleman makes no attempt to apologize to Gerritson or admit the words he directed at her were horrifically inappropriate. YH sought comment from Bluewater executives, who shrugged off the whole episode and gave no indication that Coleman deserved to be fired. Reports YH:

    Yellowhammer News also reached out to Bluewater Broadcasting president and general manager Rick Peters, who downplayed Coleman’s departure but revealed Coleman’s sometimes co-host political consultant Jack Campbell and station host Joey Clark would be taking the time slot.

    “No big whoop,” Peters said in a statement to Yellowhammer News.“Irreconcilable differences. It’s a free country. People come and go. Been through it a hundred times. Baron’s a good broadcaster and will do fine for himself. Jack Campbell, who’s been there from the beginning will continue with News and Views. Joey Clark will be joining the show from 9-noon.”

    Peters says it's "no big whoop" that one of his on-air "talents" called a woman a "bitch" and a "whore" and suggested her house could mysteriously burn to the ground. Sounds like Bluewater has stringent standards for the broadcasters it puts on the air.

    Here is how Coleman announced his new landing spot in the Montgomery market:

    The last couple of days have been wild.

    I made the choice to leave Bluewater and WACV after more than five years. And to put a rest to any rumors, nobody was fired and it had nothing to do with any controversies or news stories from the past months or years.

    I left Bluewater on my own accord and my own terms.

    It was just time.

    And, in the end, this is a better move for me, for David Mowery, for my family, and for everyone involved in the program.

    I hope you’ll find the new show on WRBZ at 95.5 FM or 1250 AM, the WRBZ station app, the TuneIn Radio app, or online at wrbzradio.com.

    It will be the same show. The same advertisers. The same intellectually honest and philosophically consistent content.

    You’ll still be informed and entertained.

    Even the hours are the same: Nine to Noon.

    I’ll see you on Monday.

    Again, no hint of remorse for his vile attack on Becky Gerritson. No sign of an apology to Bluewater for violating about every rule of broadcasting decorum while behind its microphone.

    That's real Southern conservative "manhood" right there. And that might to go the real story about Baron Coleman. His verbal assault on Gerritson shows he is a non-talent as a broadcaster. We already have seen signs that he is a half-wit as a lawyer, one who keeps political company with felons and Grindr devotees like Ali (Akbar) Alexander.

    But those are mere quibbles when compared to the deeper story on Baron Coleman. The sad truth? He's a rotten human being. How do we know? His own words tell us.

    (To be continued)

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    Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump

    Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of a New York Times report over the weekend about new allegations of sexual misconduct in Kavanaugh's background.

    Those who have followed this blog from its earliest days know the latest on Kavanaugh might be a national (even international) story, but it hits close to home here at Legal Schnauzer.

    Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, and Julian Castro were among 2020 presidential hopefuls who called for Kavanaugh's impeachment, claiming the new revelations provide fresh evidence that he lied under oath to Congress in his confirmation hearings last fall. From a report at CNBC:

    2020 presidential contenders including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke on Sunday called for the impeachment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh after an article in The New York Times surfaced a previously unreported allegation of sexual misconduct against the justice when he was a undergraduate at Yale University.

    “I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people,” Harris wrote. “He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.”

    Warren said Kavanaugh’s nomination was “rammed through the Senate” without proper analysis into the slew of misconduct allegations against him.

    “Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing,” Warren wrote. “Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.”

    Later in the day, O’Rourke weighed in as well.

    “We know he lied under oath. He should be impeached,” O’Rourke tweeted.

    The latest allegations against Kavanaugh grew from a book excerpt the Times published on Saturday. From a report at Vox:

    [These presidential-candidate reactions] were prompted by a New York Times piece published this weekend, which featured an excerpt from an upcoming book by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. (The book's title is The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.)

    That excerpt details an incident similar to the one described by Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez. Ramirez had alleged that Kavanaugh drunkenly exposed himself and forcibly thrust his genitals in her face without her consent, something Kavanaugh denied. A second Yale classmate has now levied a similar allegation from another party attended by Kavanaugh:

    We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)

    How does the Kavanaugh story touch on personal ground here at Legal Schnauzer? We invite you to read our first post, titled "Is Your Honor Really Honorable?" and dated June 3, 2007. The post does not include the name of Shelby County, AL District Judge Ron Jackson, but it is based on Jackson's failure to abide by his oath to uphold the law in our first courtroom experience -- a criminal trespass case against our criminally inclined neighbor Mike McGarity.

    In a series of subsequent posts, we provided details about how Jackson butchered the law in State of Alabama v. Mike McGarity. Perhaps the most thorough examination came in a post titled "The trial of former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard suggests confederate principles, and distrust of U.S. Constitution, never have died in the Deep South":

    All of our legal problems flow from the date a criminally inclined individual named Mike McGarity moved next door to us. McGarity, his kids, and his guests started trespassing on our front yard with regularity, essentially turning it into the neighborhood playground, without asking what we thought about the use of our own yard. When I informed McGarity multiple times that we did not want him, or anyone connected to him, coming on our property, his response was, "I'm going to sue you for harassment. . . ."

    When my warnings only drew threats from McGarity, I consulted an attorney named Bill Lewis, and he made it clear that McGarity was violating both criminal and civil law -- trespassing by a person is a crime; an intrusion by a person, thing, or substance can be a tort. Lewis said a civil case might cost $10,000 or more, so it didn't make much sense to go that direction, especially since McGarity was committing a crime. Lewis said he would write a letter to McGarity, explaining the criminal statute, and stating that McGarity would receive no more warnings. Lewis said he hoped that would take care of it, but it would be up to us to swear out a criminal complaint with the sheriff if the trespassing continued, and we wanted it stopped.

    McGarity continued to trespass, along with a cast of thousands, so we felt we had no choice but to swear out a complaint. We met with an attorney in the Shelby County DA's office, she filled out paperwork for the complaint, and we took it to the clerk's office to be sworn.

    McGarity pleaded not guilty and refused to discuss a settlement, which District Judge Ron Jackson had encouraged us to reach, so the case went to trial. McGarity was charged with criminal trespass (third degree), which is not even a misdemeanor under Alabama law; it's a violation.

    The applicable law hardly was complicated -- although McGarity and his attorney, William E. Swatek, apparently couldn't grasp it -- and here is how we spelled it out:

    The issues at hand are covered under Code of Alabama 13A-7-4, and the offense has two components:

    (1) "A person commits the crime of trespass in the third degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises."

    (2) "A person enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises when he is not licensed, invited or privileged to do so."

    Law doesn't get much simpler than that, and these two issues were easily resolved at trial. The trial transcript shows that McGarity admitted he had knowingly entered upon our premises. As for the second part, it helps to have some definitions. My research indicates that being "licensed" to enter premises refers to someone who has a professional reason to be there -- a fireman, meter reader, police officer.

    Being "privileged" to enter premises refers to someone who tries to address an unexpected occurrence. For example, if your hat flies off your head and lands in my yard, you have a right to retrieve it. If your dog gets loose and winds up on my yard, you have a right to retrieve him. If you see someone on my property who appears to be in medical distress, you have a right to come and check on him.

    As for "invited," that's pretty obvious: It applies to someone who knows he is on friendly terms with the owner/occupants of the premises and has reason to believe he is welcome.

    McGarity never claimed he had been invited to enter our property, and he never claimed to be licensed or privileged. In essence, he confessed to the crime, but Judge Jackson still acquitted him. (Bet you didn't know that could happen in an American court; well, it can, and it has.)

    How does a judge acquit a defendant who has unwittingly confessed to the offense as charged? He does it by going off the rails, completely outside the law, making stuff up on the bench and pulling it out of his ass, as he sees fit: Here is our description of how Jackson went rogue:

    For some reason, the court focused on only one instance of McGarity trespassing, even though our complaint said we had witnessed him trespass on multiple occasions. McGarity admitted he had received Bill Lewis' warning letter via certified mail, but he said he wasn't sure of the date it arrived -- that it might have come after the one trespassing incident the court considered.

    Here is what Jackson said to Carol and me: "I'm going to find that you had to give written warning, and there is reasonable doubt about whether the warning was received prior to the trespass. Therefore, I am going to acquit. But Mr. McGarity, you certainly are on notice now, and if you return here on these issues, the result might be different."

    Jackson said this as if he was trying to be a thoughtful, even-handed judge. But the acquittal allowed McGarity to sue us for malicious prosecution, which is a tort that essentially means a case was brought without probable cause. Heck, testimony showed that we had not only probable cause, we had actual cause -- McGarity admitted to breaking the law as charged.

    So was Jackson's ruling legally sound? Not even close. Jackson held that we had to give McGarity written warning. In fact, Alabama case law holds that we had no responsibility to give McGarity a warning at all. (This makes sense under the concept of private property, one of our most cherished American ideals. If a homeowner or occupant had to give a warning to keep unwanted individuals off his premises, we essentially would have no private-property rights. Someone could place a massive tent on your front yard and host a party for thousands, and when confronted, say, "Hey, you didn't warn me not to do this, so I lawfully can use your land for whatever I want.")

    What is the real law, which Judge Jackson ignored? This is from a case styled Chambers v. City of Opelika, 698 So. 2d 792 (Ala. Crim. App., 1996):

    "The appellant has cited no authority for his position that to be guilty of criminal trespass the intruder must be aware that he or she had no license or privilege to enter or to remain on the premises. There is authority, however, that states that when those premises are private and not open to the public, there is no requirement that the prosecution prove that a prior written or verbal warning was given to the intruder."

    Under the Fourteenth Amendment, we were entitled to due process, which means (in part) having an impartial arbiter. That Jackson could not get this simple law right indicates he was somehow compromised. We also were entitled to equal protection, to have Alabama law applied to us as it would be to anyone else. That obviously did not happen.

    The bottom line? Under the law, we had no obligation to warn McGarity, either verbally or in writing. And he admitted under oath that we had warned him multiple times verbally. In other words, we went over and beyond what the law calls for in an effort to resolve this problem, and we still got screwed because Jackson found we had to provide written warning -- which we did, but McGarity claimed he had not received it prior to the one trespassing incident the court considered. (The truth? McGarity almost certainly received the written warning from Bill Lewis that day, and McGarity got pissed and went on our yard to try to figure out a way to run a fence up to the street, between the properties. That was a problem, of course, because McGarity had built his fence on our property, taking up about 400 square feet of our back yard -- and extending the fence, in a straight line, meant it would cross our driveway. Ooops. For some reason, Bill Lewis' office could not find the returned certified-mail receipt, so we (the prosecution) could not prove when McGarity received the warning.)

    How does Brett Kavanaugh connect to our reporting on State v. Mike McGarity?  Since exposing Ron Jackson as a crook, we have reported on numerous other corrupt judges -- at both the state (J. Michael Joiner, G. Dan Reeves, Don Blankenship in Alabama; plusJerry Harmison and Margaret Palmietto in Missouri) and federal levels (William Acker Jr., Abdul Kallon, Mark Fuller, Gerald Bard Tjoflat)

    Now, more than 12 years after our first point, the entire country might be forced to reckon with the notion that our "justice system" is awash in deceit -- even at the highest levels, as Brett Kavanaugh has shown, judges cannot be trusted to act with honor and integrity.

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    Jessica Medeiros Garrison and Luther Strange

    Luther Strange, former U.S. senator and attorney general of Alabama, is playing a central role in a tentative multibillion-dollar settlement with a company at the heart of the U.S. opiod crisis, according to a report from Associated Press.

    The news roughly coincides with the disappearance on social media of Jessica Medeiros Garrison, Strange's one-time campaign manager and mistress. A source contacted us on Sept. 6 to say Garrison's social-media presence had gone pretty much dark. Earlier, the same source noted this had happened several times before, especially when Garrison or Strange were connected to potentially touchy situations. Does this suggest now that Garrison and Strange are trying to hide something that could have a negative impact on his involvement with the opiod case?

    That question is filled with irony because the AP report indicates Strange got involved with the opiod case, in part, because of his ties to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), for which Garrison served as executive director before bailing out in January 2016 and winding up in an of-counsel position with Birmingham law firm Balch and Bingham. Garrison exited at Balch in early 2017, about the time news reports had Luther Strange involved up to his neck in the North Birmingham Superfund bribery scandal.

    How did Strange get involved with the opiod case? It appears he had connections to the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin. From the AP report:

    The opioid crisis has hit virtually every pocket of the U.S., from rural towns in deeply conservative states to big cities in liberal-leaning ones. But a curious divide has opened up.

    The nation's Republican state attorneys general have, for the most part, lined up in support of a tentative multibillion-dollar settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, while their Democratic counterparts have mostly come out against it, decrying it as woefully inadequate.

    Exactly why this is so is unclear, and some of those involved suggested it can't necessarily be explained by the fact that the Republican Party is considered more friendly to big business.

    Some of the attention has focused on the role played by Luther Strange, a Republican former Alabama attorney general who has been working for members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma.

    People familiar with the negotiations say he was at a meeting of the Republican Attorneys General Association over the summer, sounding out members about a settlement months before a tentative deal was struck this week.

    Why would Strange (and Garrison, for that matter) feel compelled to offer a helping hand to the company behind OxyContin? It appears to involve cold, hard cash, according to AP:

    Purdue has been generous in recent years to RAGA, contributing more than $680,000 to its campaign operation from 2014 through 2018. The company also gave to the organization's Democratic counterpart, the Democratic Attorneys General Association, over the same five-year period, but far less: about $210,000.

    Strange would not comment Friday.

    The proposed settlement with the Stamford, Connecticut-based drugmaker could ultimately be worth up to $12 billion, though critics doubt it will be close to that much.

    Nearly half the states and lawyers representing some 2,000 local governments have tentatively accepted the settlement deal, according to people familiar with the talks. Under the deal, the company would declare bankruptcy and remake itself as "public benefit trust," with its profits going toward the settlement. An Associated Press survey of attorney general offices shows 25 states and the District of Columbia have rejected the current offer.

    Purdue is perhaps the highest-profile opioid maker, but governments are also suing other drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies to try to hold them accountable for a crisis that has claimed more than 400,000 lives in the U.S. since 2000, including deaths linked to illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.

    The first federal trial over the toll exacted by opioids is scheduled to start next month in Cleveland.

    Why would Strange refuse to comment on his role in the Purdue negotiations? Perhaps he was concerned that uncomfortable questions might arise about his ties to RAGA and Jessica Medeiros Garrison? Perhaps Strange is trying to help the Sackler family get off lightly, and he doesn't want to address questions on that subject? Reports AP:

    North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, was one of the lead negotiators on the settlement and said that Strange played a big role.

    "He was lawyer to the family, and so we had multiple discussions with the family in which I indicated that a supermajority of states could agree to a deal if the Sacklers would simply provide more certainty as to the payment," Stein said in an interview. "Almost all states would agree to the deal if the Sackler family would guarantee it 100%. Just make a payment. Those were discussions we had. The Sacklers rejected those offers and said it was take it or leave it, and I'm leaving it."

    This much seems clear: The negotiations are tense enough -- with enough big dollars at stake -- that Jessica Garrison does not want anyone nosing around in her social-media profile. Our source says he has seen such behavior before, as he noted in a 2017 email:

    The same week Luther Strange was accused in print of being involved in a bribe, Jessica Medeiros Garrison's Facebook was taken down without a trace.

    She did this once before - the same week Luther got the senate appointment from Bentley.

    When something is up they don't want anyone going through her old Facebook posts. There must be bombs in there.

    We sought comment from Jessica Garrison, but she has not responded to our queries.

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