Sunday, April 09, 2006

we visited and inmate in the Thurston County jail...


But before I go into a little bit of that discussion I think I should offer some insight regarding my own personal history so you’ll understand I’m not simply an ill advised, overly compassionate, finger pointing government basher.

I’ve been a public servant for over 35 years. The last 31 of those years have been in the law enforcement profession.

I’ve processed well in excess of one thousand crime scenes and have investigated well in excess of one thousand criminal offense allegations. I’ve investigated alleged criminal acts including theft, robbery, assault, rape, homicide, burglary, arson, weapons violations, drug violations, kidnapping and more.

As a result of some of these investigations I’ve assisted and am continuing to assist in putting hundreds of criminals in jail or prison… where they belong.

Also, as a result of some of these investigations I’ve assisted and am continuing to assist in keeping hundreds of innocent citizens out of prison or jail… sending them back to their homes where they belong.

I've served on the stand as an expert witness many times. I'm known as being thorough, professional, honest and fair.

But, I'm certainly not perfect... never will be and wouldn't want to be!

My job is a simple job. I investigate… put the puzzles together… to determine (at the very least):

1- What happened?
2- Was the incident a result of a criminal act or omission?
3- If so, who is responsible for this act’s or omission’s occurrence?

I collect the facts, information and evidence available through scene processing, interviews, search warrants, etc. to make these determinations. Interviews involve discussions with witnesses, victims, other police officers and the person who is allegedly responsible... provided that person wishes to chat with me.

In short I insist that the facts, information and evidence leads me to a person responsible, if appropriate. I do not determine a person to be responsible for the act or omission then put the puzzle together around that person… there’s no room for that type of detective work… investigation… in law enforcement.

That’s the way I investigate, that’s the way I teach… mentor and that’s the way I expect those who work with me to put their assigned puzzles together as well.

I shudder at the thought of putting an innocent person in jail or prison for a crime they didn't commit. I have always shuddered at that thought.

Also, do not think for a minute that I am fond of bi-polar brother in law... I'm not. He's caused "the wife" and I worlds of grief over the years. He's not my favorite person at all... not even near... but I can't hate him.

...I certainly don't think he deserves this and I will continue to stand by him. There are mitigating factors involved.

So, with that in mind I’d like to share some of my bi-polar brother in law’s Saturday discussion with “the wife” and I.

As many of you know bi-polar brother in law is in the Thurston County Jail in Olympia, Washington. He's being held there on a combined $20,000.00 bail for two misdemeanor offenses... otherwise known as "low level" offenses that, in reality he never committed.

...but, no one will listen to him. No one will hear his story. No one in any position of authority that is.

His "Defense Attorney"... assigned to him from the county's OFFICE OF ASSIGNED COUNSEL. This assigned "Defense Attorney", Deborah Murphy evidently doesn't see any need to hear bi-polar brother in law out... doesn't see a need to listen to what he claims actually happened.

At least, she doesn't see the need yet... who knows, maybe she'll surprise us all.

Before we go on it's somewhat imperative that you understand our "system" out here in Washington State. The accused indigents... those without proper income or funds are assigned a "county appointed" attorney who are there to provide for the accused's defense. These attorneys are, for the most part very eager to settle the case. With exceptions, they're normally not the sharpest knife in the drawer. They either have little ambition or experience, make a relatively moderate salary (not the hourly fees of $100.00 or more like those of their private counterparts) and... quite frankly just don't appear to be all that inerested in doing their job... well.

It is my experience and subsequently my opinion that most public defenders are too lazy or too inept to adequately and effectively perform, let alone complete their jobs... defending the indigent.

Around here, money buys justice... simple as that! And quite often money buys the travesty of justice... It seems to be the attorney's way.

She tried to get him to "cop a plea" and accept an offered “bargain” to one of the two charges against him... malicious mischief, 4th degree… a misdemeanor offense that is “punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Whenever the performance of any act is prohibited by any statute, and no penalty for the violation of such statute is imposed, the committing of such act shall be a misdemeanor.” The malicious mischief charge included alleged damage to a dresser drawer valued at less than $50.00.

I have every reason to believe Ms. Deborah Murphy… his county assigned defense attorney will encourage and suggest that bi-polar brother in law plead guilty to the second allegation… Assault in the fourth degree… a gross misdemeanor.

A gross misdemeanor is punishable “by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than one year, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than five thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

My primary question is "why is my bi-polar brother in law being held on bail that is four to twenty times in excess of the amount imposed by statute for the level of each offense?"

Of course, this question continues to go unanswered.

The Thurston County Detective assigned to gather all of the facts, information and evidence relating to these alleged criminal acts hasn't seen a need to discuss the case with the alleged perpetrator, bi-polar brother in law. Rather, the detective has charged him based upon information provided by the alleged "victim"... bi-polar brother in law's wife and on statements obtained from her daughter and her son in law… both who were not present when the incident occurred.

Bi-polar brother in law's wife has failed to appear in court on April 07th. and 12th. regarding events associated with these allegations and, according to the detective on April 07, she has not returned any of his (the detective's) calls in his attempt to obtain more information.

As a career investigator myself, I'd be ensuring his wife would be talking to me if this were my investigation. If she refused to talk to me then I'd be searching for answers as to why she's refusing. One of my most productive tools I use in my investigations is obtaining multiple statements from all parties involved. I compare each of those statements with the previous ones to determine accuracy, reliability, etc... noting discrepancies and searching for the truth.

It's painfully obvious that this has not happened here. And in light of bi-polar brother in law's criminal history... theft, drugs... he'll probably end up doing a year or so of county jail time for two offenses he actually didn't commit. Until he married this particular wife he's never had any "violent" charges levied against him.

His parole officer has already told him she wouldn't be violating his parole... she believes he did not commit these offenses. Of course, she did talk to him... she did talk to "the wife", his sister. She did talk to his wife, Hilliary and made an educated, informed decision.

It's so painfully obvious that his wife set him up again... big time!

So much for an unbiased, informed, complete and professional investigation supported by all of the facts, information and evidence relevant and available. It's obvious that this type of an investigation... a thorough, complete, unbiased, honest investigation simply will not occur.

This type of an investigation is simply outside of the scope and capabilities of the Thurston County Sheriff's Department.

...especially if he already has a prior criminal history.

And his feet will continue to go unattended... gangrene, diabetes and all.


Cathy said...

It's not only Thurston county, but the entire U.S. that has been corrupted by money hungry lawyers and a judicial system that doesn't care as long as the case is gotten off the dockets.

I would think though, that as long as he is in the custody of the county that they would be obligated to make sure he gets the medical attention he needs.

D. H. said...

Amen re: money grubbing attorneys.

And yah, he's getting his needs tended to. His feet look better already though gangrene is irreversible. He's gonna lose his feet. There's no doubt about that. We're trying to keep his legs alive via the county and his inability to smoke in the jail.

DG said...

Lazy are these attorneys. Ya don't even get what you paid for. Sad part is the state is paying more to keep him than what it is worth to prosecute. Unfortunatly, everyone is into this "victim" thing. sorry, but I thinkit's all political...

D. H. said...

and I'm afraid you're right DG!

Political on "their" part (the county)...

Vindictive on hers.

Anonymous said...

"money hungry lawyers" Are you serious? Do you know how much a public defender makes? I can assure you, PDs are about as far away from being money hungry as social workers and non-profit workers. They're in the trenches, doing the Lord's work. As are Prosecutors, doing the Lord's work, and not "money hungry" either.

D. H. said...

Anonymous- Thanks for your comment. I do know how little a public defender makes... I alluded to that in my post. And I do realize they are in the trenches along with the prosecutors every day but my point is this particular public defender has yet to even hear BIL out... has yet to even discuss his side of the story with him (so I'm told by BIL). So the very fact that you posted to this blog suggests she (the public defender) has by now learned of these posts and most likely has already downloaded them, printed them up and passed them around in her office for all to read.

Public defenders are a thick skinned lot. I'll give you that.