The republic is dead, and a storm is coming

“Wake up, America,” people cry. “Have hope, faith, and heart that the republic can survive,” others proclaim. Honestly, I don’t know why everyone can’t face the reality that it’s dead already; the dream, the great experiment of America, has failed. While the idea of an American republic has been kept alive to assuage the masses, the reality is it was taken from us years ago while we slept.

Face it; liberty is gone. Freedom exists now only in the ideology of the Constitution, not in the practice of “democracy” and a U.S. government that rules us with tens of thousands of “laws” that yoke us to an indentured servitude of paying for its spending spree. Those in government have completely usurped the power of the people, all under the guise of protecting the people from, well, themselves. That’s because, left to their own devices, the people would choose to do things that are bad for their bodies or maybe even good for their bodies, but bad for corporate profit bottom lines — lobbyist corporations, the bedfellows of government. The people, however, should have the absolute freedom to do, say, eat, be or think whatever they want; but they don’t, because Big Bro says, “no.” And that’s that. No more republic.

So where is the outrage? Where are the people fighting the overthrow of their God-given liberties? Where are the true patriots? Nowhere. They’re still talking about preparing for action while not even realizing the game is already over; the past inaction all these years has assured the king’s victory.

But, what if it weren’t over? What would be the threshold that government would have to cross to make the people rise to take back their Creator-given rights?

During a “Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event” a while back, six sheriffs told their stories and imparted upon the constitutionally patriotic attendees that they would stand for the peoples’ constitutional rights. As I was listening, I found myself inspired to hope for the future by their stories. Then an analogy sprang to mind…

What if the people were like Israel, fighting against others who didn’t believe they should even exist — the people just wanting to be free and left alone, to have a country that is theirs.

The U.S. government is like Iran. It has grown ever powerful and believes it is because of it that the world is different today. It believes that the people shouldn’t freely have a country to call their own, and it is doing everything it can to make sure they don’t. In fact, it is building the potential to nuke the people’s constitutional rights once and for all and has plans to sell off their lands. The people, as intended, would cease to exist.

The Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs, those who are in positions of power that truly believe in the constitutional republic, are likened to the international community that has protected the people all these years. They believe that you have to work within the confines of the government itself (“play by Iran’s rules”) in order to make a difference. They believe the courts aren’t corrupted beyond belief; they believe government still believes it is accountable. But they are wrong. And because of these beliefs they refuse to draw that line and truly support the people.

Right now, you could say I am like Benjamin Netanyahu. I am asking: “Where is the red line in the sand? What line does the government cross before we act? Dare I say before we revolt?” The question is, of course, moot, as the republic is gone already and the question was answered before it was asked: There is no line. We are ruled now by an elite few who can simply create law through executive order and administrative processes. We the people are slaves to our own insecurity while clinging to old ideologies long gone.

God bless America. You were loved.

–Ron Lee

The one about the fast defense attorney

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — I was working swing shift out of the Gold Hill Sub-Station, driving eastbound on Highway 234 in Sam’s Valley when I observed a vehicle coming toward me. The vehicle appeared to be hopping up and down, which usually indicates a very fast moving vehicle. When it was nearer to my patrol car, the moving radar started beeping, locked and indicated a speed of 97 mph. I unlocked the radar to get a second speed reading and again it locked on the same speed. The third time it locked on 99 mph.

I slowed and waited until the vehicle was near. I turned on my overhead warning lights and made my turn-around in preparation of stopping the vehicle. The operator pulled over, and I stopped behind it. As I got out of my patrol car, the operator also got out. As he walked back to me, I recognized him as a local defense attorney.

He began to speak telling me, “The only reason I was going that fast is I had read in the newspaper there was not going to be any cops on the roads due to all the layoffs.”

I turned his ticket over and after writing “unsolicited statement of citizen violator on the back,” I wrote down his statement verbatim.

He asked me, “Are you writing down what I said?”

I responded, “Yes,” completed the ticket, thanked him for his time, suggested he slow down and drive safely, and served him with the ticket.

The following day, I had the opportunity to contact the Justice Court judge on another case. On contact, the justice of the peace told me a story.

He told me: “I was in my office yesterday when an attorney came in and threw his speeding ticket you wrote him on my desk and asked, ‘Did you see what that red-headed SOB did?’”

The judge picked up the ticket, read it, leaned his chair back and tapped on the bulletin board behind him, saying, “Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger; he got me, too.”

–William Holden “Red” Smith

Note: In upcoming editions, the US~Observer will be featuring stories from the career of Red Smith, one of the most ethical individuals to have ever worn a badge. Besides, he has some really good stories
About the author: My name is William Holden Smith, but most people know me as Red Smith. That’s easier for people to remember, especially the young people. I’m married to a beautiful woman who was also a deputy sheriff, and I have three adult daughters and three adult stepsons. I’m proud of them all.
I graduated high school, also completed some college courses; if I had a degree, it would be in dealing with people. I think communication is the most important tool any person can have and especially a police officer. I’ve worked ranching, farming, manufacturing, construction and heavy equipment; and I’ve driven a truck and a school bus. I’ve also worked as a firefighter and emergency medical technician, as well as a cop. I’m retired from the sheriff’s office after being a reserve for years and then 28 years full-time. In retirement, I drove an armored truck and worked for three different municipal police departments and a constable’s office. Now, I’m trying the retirement thing again. Fair warning, though, I like to stay busy.

Parents enduring nightmare over charges related to their daughter

Rob and Nedra McKell were charged with various offenses related to their daughter, Summer McKell. Nedra McKell’s felony charges have all been dismissed in a plea deal that includes buying a two-year health insurance policy for her adopted, adult daughter, Summer McKell, and the stipulation that she not talk to the press about her husband’s upcoming trial or talk negatively to or about her daughter. If she plays nice for a period of one year, the remaining misdemeanor charge, violation of a protective order, to which she pleaded “no contest,” will be dismissed as well. This came just days after Nedra McKell fired her attorney, Mike Petro, for allegedly failing to adequately represent her and for borrowing a large sum of money from her husband while he was working on the McKells’ defense.

According to Rob McKell (who provided documented proof of the loan to the US~Observer), Petro had borrowed the money with the promise that he could make Nedra McKell’s charges all go away. He reportedly made the claim that he knew the prosecutor and that it shouldn’t be a problem to make the charges disappear. However, when Petro brought a “deal” to the table that would have meant Nedra McKell couldn’t testify effectively on Rob McKell’s behalf and that she would have been considered a felon, it was obvious he had to go. According to the McKells, Petro paid the loan back in full.

Is it a coincidence that the state made its second and acceptable plea in abeyance just days after Petro was fired? The second plea bargain was facilitated by new attorneys who had stepped in to represent Nedra McKell.

One thing is sure: Had the state really had such great evidence of crimes being committed by Nedra McKell, it wouldn’t have cut such an overwhelmingly pro-defense deal. Still, it smacks of being patently extortive, being that one of the requirements has to do with paying for the insurance. It doesn’t matter that she was going to be carrying health coverage on her daughter anyway. The state is just lucky that Nedra McKell had already opted to take a deal and not fight the obviously weak charges, for the sake of her family.

After receiving the previous offer from the state by Petro, Nedra McKell talked with individuals close to the US~Observer and made it clear that her intentions were to take a plea in abeyance if it meant that she could be an effective witness on behalf of her husband in his upcoming trial. Had she been considered a felon, her testimony would have been discredited. Nedra McKell also stated she wanted to do what was best for her family and thought that taking her charges to trial would put undue stress on everyone involved. Nedra McKell was especially fearful that her daughter, Summer McKell, would be forced to recall events that just never took place, all in an attempt to prosecute her and, ultimately, her husband Rob McKell. It’s something Nedra McKell feared would further harm her daughter’s psyche.

Rob McKell’s upcoming trial, featuring ‘no legitimate evidence’ of guilt

Nedra McKell’s fears aren’t unfounded. Rob McKell is facing an upcoming trial, charged with multiple counts of sexual misconduct with Summer McKell — something both Rob and Nedra McKell maintain never happened. During Rob McKell’s preliminary hearing, Whitnie Tate, the detective assigned to the case, admitted under oath that during an initial interview she had laid out ideas for Summer McKell as to the chronology of events, how many times things may have happened and even the finer details of those encounters. So, in essence, Summer McKell was led to recall events that were influenced by someone else. Furthermore, it’s been suggested that there was a plan by several of the children to get Rob McKell out of the home, because they thought he was “mean and controlling” and they wanted direct access to Nedra McKell’s wealth. This was covered extensively in the US~Observer article “‘$10-million and this goes away’ — Accuser’s ‘brother’ orchestrates false sex allegations?.”

According to a psychological assessment, Summer McKell needs to act out and she desperately wants attention — perhaps even going so far as reportedly sending nude pictures of herself to others on the Internet. It is something for which Summer McKell found herself in the center of an investigation. Utah County Deputy Jeff Wabel was involved in investigating her unwanted solicitations and was later called as a witness in Rob McKell’s preliminary hearing. Due to laws protecting the “victim,” he was not allowed to testify to the events that took place in that previous case. But he was allowed to state his opinion on whether or not Summer McKell was capable of lying, saying, “At the time I interviewed her… I didn’t feel she was completely truthful.”

Also during the preliminary hearing, even Tate claimed that Summer McKell told her that she wasn’t always truthful. And then again in more court proceedings, it came to light that Summer McKell admits to not always telling the truth. Yet here we have a case where the word of this one person can literally seal another’s fate, and the jury will most likely never be allowed to hear an accurate portrayal of a young woman who obfuscates the truth in order to get what she wants.

And it could just be that she wanted to mirror her sister Cheyenne McKell’s stated wants on the day she made the accusations. While they were all about to leave for a trip, Cheyenne McKell had suggested a way to call the police and get Rob McKell out of the house by claiming he was a felon in possession of firearms (according to criminal records, Rob McKell has never been a felon). It was then when Summer McKell spoke up and, from witness statements, said that she knew something that would get him in trouble. The next stop was the sheriff’s department where the accusations were formalized. One has to wonder about the integrity of the “witness” statements, as they were allowed to write their statements while sitting in their car together. A logical assumption can be had that they all discussed what to say, but that would be mere speculation. I would hope that Brooke McKell (who was present during this apparent conspiracy), Nedra McKell’s biological son, would come forward and tell the truth about this and make things right.

You can bet that Utah County Attorney Jeff R. Buhman doesn’t want the jury to hear about Cheyenne McKell conspiring. Nor does he want the jury to ever hear how troubled Summer McKell is and has been (long before the abuse was alleged to have occurred): that without “controlling” (caring) parents or guardians, she allegedly gets into drugs and sex and reportedly winds up hospitalized after overdosing and being found naked, as was recently told to the US~Observer.

While Buhman isn’t prosecuting the case himself, he is the elected official who signs off on all the prosecutions moving forward. This is one case of “he said she said” that should be causing him a little heartburn, as more statements of the alleged victim saying nothing ever happened are coming to light. You can rest assured that Buhman will want these witnesses barred from testifying, too.

We’d like to thank the responsible members within the Utah County Bureaucracy who have stepped forward with information on this case. True victims’ advocacy might not be about blindly believing the accusations of one person against another, but rather letting fact and material evidence determine who is and isn’t a victim; we thank you for recognizing that and knowing that justice can and will be had.

As the trial approaches, it has been reported that Rob McKell has fired his attorney Ron Yengich for ineffective assistance of counsel — as Yengich’s concerns have been for his own well-being, since he is purportedly fighting cancer, and not for the case of his client — and it is expected and highly likely that the trial will be pushed back yet again.

People close to the McKell family are shocked that these charges have gone as far as they have, as there is no physical evidence of, or admission to, any wrongdoing on the part of Rob McKell.

A long-time family friend even said, “I know that Summer has a problem telling the truth. I know that she can be manipulated. I also know that if I thought for one second that Rob had molested her sexually, I would have called the police myself.” This potential witness had a personal relationship with Summer McKell that pre-dates Rob McKell’s marriage to Nedra McKell. As a trusted friend, she had a conversation with Summer McKell about her problems during the time the alleged abuse was occurring. The friend maintains that she “asked her point blank if Rob had ever, ever been inappropriate with her. She adamantly said no.”

The US~Observer investigates each case on the evidence. From what we have found, Buhman has no proof of Rob McKell’s guilt other than the word of the alleged victim, who is on the record admitting that she lies and who has reportedly denied her own allegations. It’s a little unsettling to think that one person would be allowed to pursue the incarceration of another on such baseless grounds. But then again, any way the government can get its man, it usually tries to do it, especially when the officials are being pressured by overtly biased victim’s advocates.

Still, we here at the US~Observer hold out hope that Buhman just might grow a conscience, do what is right and just, and instruct his assistants to drop this case.

–Ron Lee

Note: Jeff Buhman has to understand by now that his office is conducting a false prosecution. The fine people of Utah County should contact his office immediately and demand that “witch hunts” not be tolerated and that to incarcerate someone for a crime should be dependent upon physical and or conclusive evidence, not off of one person’s say-so. He may be reached at 801-851-8026. It will be interesting to see if Buhman is indeed interested in a just outcome, or if he is the same as most other prosecuting attorneys, whose interest is a conviction, at all cost — blind to true justice.

Congressman ignores justice

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

In early December, Independent News International published an article about 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard C. Tallman titled “Veteran falsely convicted by a lying judge.” Overwhelmed with the factual veracity achieved in the article by its author, investigative journalist Pat Shannan (, the US~Observer carried the article nationwide.

I was left shaking my head in disgust after reading Shannan’s exposé of the actual crimes that Tallman allegedly committed in the process of helping the Department of Justice send David Hinkson, an innocent veteran and entrepreneur, to prison in 2005.

On Dec. 22, I wrote to Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, as it is his responsibility to investigate a member of the judiciary when he has been accused of committing perjury from the bench. Goodlatte has refused to respond to the US~Observer. I should note that the accusations contained in Shannan’s article went well beyond perjury, listing the actual crimes allegedly committed by Tallman in open court. In fact, it is said: “Judge Tallman turned his courtroom into a crime scene” in order to convict Hinkson, and Tallman was one of the alleged criminals. Goodlatte and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have now both turned their backs on justice and the public they purportedly serve.

Justice screams for information

The US~Observer intends to hold both Goodlatte and Tallman accountable; however, we need the public’s assistance to accomplish this. Do you know Tallman? Do you know someone who knows him? How about Goodlatte? Please realize this fact: If Tallman was brazen enough to allegedly commit actual crimes in the process of helping prosecute an outstanding citizen like Hinkson, he has most likely done other things in his past that are either unethical or illegal or both. If Goodlatte can ignore Tallman, then he is no better. Did you go to college with Tallman or Goodlatte? Were you married to one of them or one of their relatives? Did either of these worthless human beings abuse you or someone you know?

Also, if there is any person who is a resident of the Virginia congressional district that Goodlatte represents, please contact him, because he and his staff refuse to take calls, emails or letters from anyone who is not a constituent. He is violating his oath to the citizens of the United States because he does not simply represent constituents; he is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and, thus, represents all Americans. How can he even pretend to be fair-minded if he consistently refuses to hear about judges who violate their oaths of office and “commit high crimes and misdemeanors in their courtrooms?”

–Edward Snook
Investigative Reporter

Note: Please be responsible and help the US~Observer obtain justice for David Hinkson. Call 541-474-7885 or send an email to All calls and emails will be confidential.

Previous article: “Veteran falsely convicted by a lying judge”

Minister arrested 5 times

Fred Luongo has spent more than 10 days in jail for “five false arrests.”

This is the second installment of a two-part series, which began with “Minister who fed homeless harassed, allegedly poisoned by neighbor.” The article was published originally in its entirety by the US~Observer.

VERO BEACH, Fla. — In early 2009, Fred Luongo’s plants were killed again. He contacted law enforcement to file a complaint for trespass and destruction of his property. Luongo thought the only people possibly responsible for the damage were his neighbor, Jeff Gomez, or Gomez’s employees. Responding to the claim, Deputy Teddy Floyd arrived at Luongo’s property and allegedly convinced him to drop the complaint. According to Luongo, Floyd said, “Forgive the driveway (damage). Forgive the plants. You’re a man of faith.” Luongo reluctantly agreed with Floyd, giving Gomez the “benefit of the doubt.”

Shortly before the situation was resolved, Gomez arrived. Having had “no luck” dealing with Gomez, Luongo began walking away to avoid any conflict. As Luongo walked away, Floyd attempted convincing Luongo to “stay and fix the problem like men.” Luongo continued to walk away. He stated that Gomez shouted: “That’s OK. My wife’s at the courthouse right now getting an injunction on you. You threatened my kid on Saturday morning!” According to Luongo, he’s never threatened any child. Furthermore, he’s “never knowingly talked to Gomez’s kid.”

At this point, Luongo immediately contacted his attorney and was advised to lock his door and stay in his house. Sure enough, the next day, deputies knocked on Luongo’s door and served him with a temporary injunction (restraining order). Luongo claimed that Floyd lied on his report, which likely attributed toward the granted injunction.

The injunction was for “500 feet.” How could Luongo work at his food bank, which was obviously much less than 500 feet away? Eventually, the injunction was modified to “50 feet.” But soon after, Luongo wasn’t even willing to go back to work, in fear of being falsely arrested. According to Luongo, false claims from “flipping off Gomez” to “drawing religious symbols in the dirt with a garden hose” have all resulted in Luongo’s being wrongfully arrested.

Having back problems and a previous back surgery, Luongo’s false arrests have worsened his back problems. Luongo stated that in 2009, he was “handcuffed and put in a small chair by Deputy Henry Makaruo for 11 hours during Thanksgiving weekend.” Luongo alerted the deputy that he was hurt and tried to stand up, only to be told that if he “kept getting up,” he’d be “bound in a wheelchair hand and foot and (his) mouth would be gagged.” All of this was a direct result of “false allegations and arrests,” according to Luongo.

In all, Luongo has spent more than 10 days in jail for “five false arrests.” He’s lost his business, and he hasn’t lived at his personal residence in fear of being wrongfully arrested. Multiple Indian River County Sheriff’s deputies have aided in Luongo’s false arrests. One deputy stated to Luongo that Gomez “knows somebody at the Sheriff’s Office,” which allegedly was the reason why Luongo was having numerous unresolved problems with Gomez.

False conviction?

Luongo recently went to trial for “violation of injunction” and “resisting arrest.” The crime he allegedly committed: “flipping off Mr. Gomez.” Who arrested Luongo for his alleged crime? It was Lt. Kent Campbell of the Indian River County Sheriff’s Department. What is the significance of Campbell’s arresting Fred? Campbell is a lieutenant. It’s not common for someone holding that title to make an arrest for violating an injunction order. You see, according to Campbell, he is “in charge of the entire county (Indian River) at night.” Campbell also stated he was responsible for two sergeants, a K-9 unit, patrol and 18 deputies. Campbell’s car wasn’t even equipped to transport criminals during Luongo’s arrest. Even more troubling, there was “no video or audio evidence gathered from Lt. Campbell’s car or person that supported Lt. Campbell’s claims.”

During a conversation with Eric Flowers, the sergeant of public affairs for the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, he stated, “All of our vehicles are equipped with dash cameras. We have several deputies who are wearing body cameras in a trial phase.” He continued, “The policy is that if they’re (deputies) involved in an incident ah, you know, they, they are required to record it. It is part of the policy.” Going even further, Flowers stated that “dash cameras have been used by the department for over 11 years.”

Is Campbell exempt from department policy? Why wasn’t there any video footage from his person or his vehicle? After all, he was the arresting law enforcement officer. Shouldn’t he, the person “in charge of Indian River County,” be setting the standard for other deputies?

Causing even more doubt, Campbell “knows” Luongo. He knows him well enough to refer to him by his first name, “Fred.” Are they friends? Doubtful. Furthermore, Campbell’s wife works for Gomez. Yes, Campbell has a direct connection to Gomez, who made the complaint. According to Campbell, he is also “friends” with Gomez. Conflict? Apparently not.

I found it interesting that Luongo’s attorney, Jacob Noble, asked Judge Joe Wild during Luongo’s recent trial to give a particular instruction to the jurors while they deliberated. The particular instruction, according to Judge Wild, was: “The fact that the witness is employed in law enforcement does not mean that his testimony deserves more or less consideration.” It was obvious that Campbell was seemingly biased, thus the need for that particular instruction. Wild continued, “OK. You are the first person to ask for that.” Not one other attorney, according to Wild, has asked that testimony of law enforcement be given “more or less consideration because of the job title.” Despite that instruction, Luongo ended up convicted of “resisting arrest without violence” and was acquitted of the injunction violation.

There are many issues with Luongo’s conviction, which will be addressed during his appeal.

It’s concerning that the alleged police abuse leveled against Luongo and others has increased distrust between law enforcement and the public. Luongo had “never been arrested in his entire life (44 years)” until Gomez moved next door. What is to become of Luongo, a minister who ran a food bank for more than two decades while preaching the word of God to the homeless? This writer believes that Luongo has a bright future ahead. The US~Observer is actively investigating this case and will continue to keep the public informed.

–Joseph Snook

Note: Do you know Jeff Gomez? Are you a resident of Vero Beach, Florida? Do you know Deputy Teddy Floyd or Lt. Kent Campbell? Have you been, or do you know others who have been, abused in Indian River County? Call 541-474-7885 or send an email to

Minister who fed homeless harassed, allegedly poisoned by neighbor

This is the first installment of a two-part series. The article was published originally in its entirety by the US~Observer.

VERO BEACH, Fla. — Fred Luongo, a minister and food bank owner of more than 20 years from Vero Beach, Florida, has been forced to close down his nonprofit food bank. Fearing for his life, Luongo hasn’t even lived at his own home for over a year. His problems began in 2002 when his new neighbor opened up several businesses surrounding his home and nonprofit food bank, which are located on the same street. Since the arrival of Jeff Gomez, Luongo ‘s neighbor and also the owner of Coast to Coast Landscaping, among other businesses, life has been “anything but normal,” according to Luongo.

Luongo continued, “The neighborly relationship started out like you’d expect, friendly and respectful. Mr. Gomez first approached me offering to trim some bushes between our businesses. He was a landscape guy, and I was OK with that. Everything seemed normal.”

It wasn’t long before problems ensued. Sprinklers from Gomez’s property were reportedly spraying onto Luongo’s property, constantly hitting his food bank cargo truck. After addressing the issue in a respectful way, Luongo thought the problem was resolved, yet “the sprinklers continued.” The continuous spraying of Luongo ‘s truck caused rust, eventually requiring new paint. At this point, Luongo wondered, “Why?” Unable to resolve the problem peacefully, Luongo contacted code-enforcement and filed a complaint.

After receiving the complaint, Gomez entered Luongo’s food bank and confronted Luongo. Gomez asked that Luongo “personally contact him with any future problems,” according to Luongo. It wasn’t long before Luongo noticed his truck was still being sprayed by Gomez’s sprinklers.

Luongo approached Gomez, attempting to handle the problem like neighbors. But once he informed Gomez of the ongoing problem, like he was asked to do, Gomez allegedly responded, “I don’t have time for that.” Gomez then “slammed his door, nearly severing my thumbnail,” Luongo stated.

It was then obvious to Luongo that Gomez “wouldn’t peacefully resolve the problem.”

As time passed, Luongo grew increasingly worried about Gomez’s businesses. It was reported that Gomez owned around 40 large work trucks that were constantly speeding down the dirt road they shared, creating large amounts of dust. Luongo was also concerned for the safety of others, as some of the truck drivers consistently failed to make a “full stop” at the stop sign by Luongo’s food bank. The drivers were also constantly honking their horns, creating more concerns.

Next, Luongo noticed that his plants were “being hacked with machetes by Gomez’s employees.”

Looking back, Luongo recalled a time when Gomez inquired about buying Luongo ‘s property. Luongo originally claimed that he wasn’t interested in selling. Luongo responded to the request, “The food bank will stay open until I retire.”

Was Gomez purposely creating problems with Luongo to force the sale of Luongo’s property?

Luongo finally offered to sell above market value. The price Luongo wanted reflected the payoff for the land, along with the cost to reimburse contributors of the food bank. As Gomez rejected the offer, Luongo remembered Gomez saying: “I’m gonna take it from you, and there’s nothing you will be able to do about it.”

Soon after, Luongo’s plants at his food bank started dying. Unable to determine why they were dying, Luongo replanted them. They died again. Luongo replanted again. They died. Eventually, Luongo “discovered employees of Mr. Gomez were spraying my plants with what appeared to be poison.” Luongo eventually contacted the EPA, resulting in an investigation that led to “confirmation of poison present on his vegetation.”

During the time Luongo’s plants were “being sprayed,” Luongo suffered from several health complications before he found out about the poison he was constantly touching on his plants.

In 2007, prior to discovering the poison on his plants, Luongo had a fever of 104.1 on his birthday but was not able to pinpoint the exact cause. Luongo was hospitalized temporarily. He had fluid in his lungs, which confirmed an infection. Coupled with a high fever and wheezing while breathing, he was prescribed an antibiotic. Luongo was bedridden for several more weeks. After the prescription ended, Luongo was still ill, so he went to the emergency room three more times over a period of six or seven months. Luongo also went to several other doctors in the meantime, trying to find out the exact cause of his illness. In total, Luongo sought help from seven other doctors/specialists, but nothing was confirmed as the cause for his failing health. His appetite was extremely less than normal. His urine was burning for four consecutive years. He was bloating after eating minimal amounts of meals. The more he consumed, the worse he felt. Luongo began waking up with severe acid reflux, to the point he had to go to the emergency room again. Luongo had never had any problems with acid reflux.

His eyesight was dramatically affected. He went from using only reading glasses to permanent glasses in a short period of time. Luongo was finally diagnosed with blepharitis and conjunctivitis. His eyes were constantly burning, sensitive to light, sore, itchy and dry.

Was the spraying of his plants causing Luongo’s health problems? Luongo was continuously replanting vegetation without knowing his plants were “contaminated with poison.”

–Joseph Snook

No justice for property owner

VERO BEACH, Fla. — For years, Manuel Casares enjoyed the respect of his community. As a highly successful business professional, not only did he financially advise nationally prominent money managers with their personal investments, but he managed money for retired CEOs and wealthy businessmen. He was intimately involved with a number of local charitable organizations, and he was the president of Indian River Land Trust during the Campaign for McKee Botanical Gardens. According to others, Casares is “well-known and widely liked.”

These types of activities were just business as usual for members of his family and heritage. Casares was born in Washington, D.C., the son of diplomat parents from Spain and Ecuador. His father, who worked at the Spanish Embassy, was the son of prominent “hero” political journalist Manuel Casares Sanchez, who received the Civil Medal of Merit for his contributions in fighting communism. Two of Casares’ paternal great uncles were the lexicographers of the “Ideological Dictionary of the Spanish Language.” One great uncle, Julio Casares Sanchez, is considered to be “the Webster of Spain, writing language translation dictionaries in six languages.” Fluent in 17 languages, he had an academic career at the Real Academy of Spain and served in the Ministry of State in several Foreign Service envoys, including a delegation to Tokyo.

Casares’ forefathers were one of the founding families of San Sebastian, Spain, and they served as scribes and knights of the feudal kingdom in medieval times. Today, the family home serves as one of the cultural centers of San Sebastian, Spain.

Casares’ mother, Caridad Casares Urgelles Puente, shared equally in noble heritage, serving Ecuador as social secretary at the embassy in Washington, D.C., and then as a business development liaison at the consulate in New Orleans, followed by being Consul General for Ecuador in London, where her humor and liveliness got her personal invitations to dine with Queen Elizabeth. Her father, Jose Luis Urgelles Caamano, an attorney, left Spain, where he was born, to work in Ecuador and develop the family land grants in the province of El Oro. Working for a large banana grower/exporter near Guayaquil, he moved to Havana, Cuba, where he married Caridad Puente Duany. Returning to Ecuador, he developed some family lands into five plantations, growing bananas, rice, cacao and coffee. He eventually entered politics, becoming Ecuador’s Minister of Agriculture.

Casares’ political learning was greatly attributed to his father’s extensive home library. At age 16, he wanted to know why the U.S. was a republic. His father handed him a book containing the five dialogues of Plato, including “The Republic” (a discourse with Socrates). Abruptly, when Casares was only 18, his father died in an accident, making Casares “head of the household.” His duties included escorting his mother to black-tie functions at the U.S. State Department and other prominent Washington, D.C., social affairs. Casares soon found himself socializing with presidents, ambassadors, Henry Kissinger and other prominent world leaders. The most lavish event he attended was the Shah of Iran’s 50th birthday jubilee at the Iranian Embassy. Putting himself through college while working part time with some of Washington’s best caterers, Casares overheard many closed door deals between congressmen, senators, prominent businessmen and even some Supreme Court justices.

As Casares grew up, he continued living up to his family legacy. His life was full of family, and he was a very productive individual in his community. His life as he knew it would soon change, dramatically. While purchasing a “historic” home in 2005, he entrusted a realtor, with whom he is still in litigation today. Casares bought the historic home advertised as “restored” by Norris & Co., soon finding out that the home was anything but “restored.”

The freshly painted home was not restored at all. The renovations “hid the material defects” that negatively affected its value. Realtor Ron Hughes of Norris & Co. reportedly failed to disclose the flooding, hurricane repairs, termites and water-intrusion issues with Casares before the home was sold.

Shortly after purchasing the home, Casares was informed by professionals that it should be “torn down.” Hughes, as it turns out, allegedly had other issues with non-disclosure of material defects affecting the value of homes he was selling. Casares informed Hughes and Norris & Co. of the issues and sought legal help from attorneys. Casares eventually compiled enough evidence, begging the question: Does corruption in the legal system in Indian River County, Fla., rival that of Cook County, Ill.? Casares believes without any doubt that the answer would be “yes.”

After a year of wasting time with his first attorneys, Casares hired a Fort Pierce, Fla., attorney who filed a simple two-element claim: Johnson v. Davis, non-disclosure of hidden but known defects materially affecting the price of a home.

Attorneys who begged anonymity stated their firms had a policy not to take on cases like this one, where the unlawful acts of other attorneys had to be exposed for justice, for fear of the Bar finding any excuse to retaliate against them. Impartial Attorneys stated to Casares that “as neither fraud, nor negligence were pled in his complaint, under Florida law defenses for either would be unlawful, impertinent, and subject to sanctions both for the defendant and his or her attorney. Norris’ liability insurer knew, or should have known about Hughes/Norris non-disclosure issues as party to other suit(s) (the insurance agent was the spouse of a Norris principal partner).”

Defending claim under a “reservation of rights letter,” Norris’ insurer “threatened non-payment” if immaterial, non-judicial fraud was proven (no plaintiff would have either as part of claim or case as either would insure non-payment by insurer exclusions). Owners and managers of Norris and Hughes under defenses controlled by their insurer asserted an “unlawful negligence claim” and “fraudulently asserted no knowledge of defects” (which was impeached by six witnesses under oath in depositions).

Casares’ attorney failed to file a requisite motion (Fl. Statute 57.105) for sanctions against defendants Hughes and Norris and their attorney for the alleged fraud and negligence defenses. Negligence (when asserted as a count in complaints go to comparative fault under Florida law), would likely reduce Casares’ ability to recover his losses by 40 percent to 60 percent.

Casares, forced to maintain a water-damaged home eventually became ill form toxic black mold, hidden beneath the “freshly painted walls.” Making matters worse, Casares stated he was eventually “preyed upon by my (Manny’s) own attorney and defendants in a conspiracy which included adding negligence elements language to my amended complaint without my knowledge. The amended complaint included a personal injury claim for mold injury and damages (excluded from coverage by insurer).”

After nine years of legal battles, Casares finally sought alternative resolution to his ongoing legal issues. Deciding to take his case public, Casares contacted the US~Observer with hope of bringing justice to him and his family. All he originally wanted was to hold the realtor accountable. Now, he has discovered, “there are many more people involved than my original realtor — and the ability to get justice is largely obstructed by the good ol’ boys who are ‘deeply rooted’ in Indian River County, Fla.”

–Joseph Snook

Note: Many names were omitted from this article until further investigations are conducted. If you or anyone you know has any information regarding the people mentioned in this article, please contact the US~Observer immediately; this is an active investigation. You may reach us at: or by calling (541) 474-7885.

24 arrests or citations, years of harassment

This is the third in a series. Read the first part, “Police harass bedridden woman,” and the second part, “Sheriff Mack witnessed mistreatment of woman by police.” The article was published originally in its entirety by the US~Observer.

TOMBALL, Texas — While waiting to legally evict Summer Marie Presswood and Ryan Roch, Nannette Carley was given no way to enter the property she so graciously allowed them to live in, and she had no legal method by which to remove her possessions. When Carley tried to ensure her property was not damaged or stolen by hiring private investigators and security to follow Presswood, the Tomball Police Department threatened to charge her with harassment. It was not the first time.

According to Carley, once she was finally allowed to enter the home she owned, she discovered that all of her new solid-wood and leather furniture and new appliances had been stolen, along with office equipment, sinks, faucets, showerheads, the garbage disposal, cabinet knobs, curtains, curtain rods, a trampoline, about $6000 worth of religious books, and other stored items and appliances. Carley explained, “The house was basically trashed and gutted!”

Carley immediately called TPD. The police first informed her that it was a civil issue, not theft. But upon her insistence, they hesitantly filed a report and promised to “arrest Presswood.”

Detective Albert Chambers was assigned to the case. After a brief investigation, he informed Carley that there was no way to prove that Presswood had stolen the items. This he insisted in spite of the fact that Presswood had returned Carley’s stolen cellphone and stolen car title to Chambers himself. Carley recalled, “a flat-screen television the same size and description of the one stolen (from Carley’s house) eventually turned up at the local pawn shop, pawned by Presswood; and at Presswood’s new home, a nearly new trampoline identical to the one missing (from Carley’s rental property) was proudly displayed,” but Chambers and his fellow officers at TPD did nothing.

Former Police Chief Robert Hauck was directly involved with this investigation, and he too failed to serve justice. Hauck, a Tomball, Texas, transplant from Los Angeles has a history of “covering up crimes,” allegations leveled by his department. And internal investigations all too often lead nowhere. One witness stated, “Police policing other police usually ends with nothing being accomplished for the real victims.”

Presswood and Roch were never arrested or charged with any crimes associated with the theft of Carley’s property.

Continuing with their harassment of Carley, TPD finally got the Harris County District Attorney’s office to bite on the bogus charge of felony evasion. Reportedly, Carley’s attorney, Andrea Kolsky, stated that charge should never have been filed in the first place. Hauck allegedly insisted that the District Attorney’s office “get her for something.” Succumbing to pressure from TPD and Hauck, the DA’s office refused to do the right thing and began prosecuting Carley.

On the day of her hearing, Carley stated that she “fell ill, vomiting and defecating blood.” Showing up late due to her physical condition, Judge Susan Brown sentenced her to five days in jail to “teach her a lesson about tardiness.” In no condition health-wise to spend time in jail, combined with fear of the lewd victimization she’d been subjected to by fellow prisoners during previous stints in jail, she took a plea bargain for “failure to stop,” avoiding jail time.

During this period of time, Tomball Police Officers Chris Burns and Alfred Hernandez were spotted by neighbors on at least “two occasions” performing illegal searches of Carley’s two properties while she was away. These same officers also allegedly sought entry to her home on four separate occasions, claiming 911 calls were received from the residence. Carley and her employees confirmed that all phone lines in the house had been previously disconnected, cut and capped. With no phone lines connected in Carley’s residence, there is absolutely no possibility that any 911 calls were made, begging a number of questions. Why were there claims of calls being made? If there were calls made, who made them and where did they come from? Is it possible that no calls were made and TPD chose to act in accordance with its own set of abusive rules?

Tomball, a small town (I’ve been there) of barely 11,000 people, has a police force that embraces the “police state” mentality. Does a town this small really need a police force like this?

Not one public official or employee has been arrested for their alleged crimes against Carley. According to Carley, Gary Hammond, the Tomball PD Internal Affairs officer, “investigated” a number of these issues and “failed to find any crimes committed by TPD.” Go figure.

In a desperate act to protect their own interests, “TPD refused to release video-taped footage of many incidents involving (Nannette),” stating that they, “lack the proper equipment to redact (edit out private information such as addresses, ID numbers, etc.) the footage.”

During all of the arrests, searches, citations and investigations, Carley was never found in possession of anything illegal. Furthermore, aside from the “failure to display” charge, which is currently in the appeals process, TPD had only two charges stick, both of which are highly suspicious. After more than 24 arrests or citations, years of harassment and numerous dropped charges, only one citation and one misdemeanor remain today.

The cost of all of this is astonishing. Carley closed her previously successful business, moved, attended dozens of court dates, lost $4,000 cash in the purse incident, suffered $60,000 in damage to her house, spent several nights in jail, spent thousands on jail bonds, paid $25,000 in security and investigative fees to protect her property, and racked up $25,000 in legal fees.

How much money has the city of Tomball spent to get one citation and one misdemeanor conviction of an ill woman described by many as a generous, successful, “Citizen of the Year?” Furthermore, how much more is it going to cost Tomball to undue this mess?

The US~Observer will be moving forward with further investigations until the issues and questions raised in this article are addressed and Carley is both vindicated and compensated for the unjust events that have taken place. We are confident that we will obtain evidence that forces the filing of charges against those who violated Carley’s rights.

–Edward Snook

Note: If you have any information regarding anyone in this article, please contact the US-Observer immediately at (541)-474-7885 or

Sheriff Mack witnessed mistreatment of woman by police

This is the second in a series. Read the first part, “Police harass bedridden woman.” The article was published originally in its entirety by the US~Observer.

TOMBALL, Texas — On Feb. 25, 2012, Nannette Carley was driving home after running errands when a Tomball Police Department vehicle began following her just a few blocks away from her house. She pulled into her driveway and removed her keys from the ignition only to be met by two TPD officers with their guns drawn, ordering her to step away from her vehicle. While in her own driveway, having committed no crime, Tomball officers arrested her for felony evasion. Unbeknownst to the two officers, former Sheriff Richard Mack, whose car they had passed in pursuit of Carley, witnessed the entire wrongful arrest and has provided a signed affidavit regarding this information.

Carley was taken to police headquarters. A little less than an hour later, her purse, which had been locked in the car she was ordered to exit at gunpoint, arrived at the police station, allegedly missing $4,000. Officer Chris Burns was responsible for the chain of custody of the purse, and he claimed to have no knowledge of the money or of what may have happened to it.

Having witnessed the arrest, Mack went to the police department to offer his assistance. He tried to reason with Tomball police officers, pointing out that the arrest he had just witnessed had no legal grounds. Nonetheless, they refused to give in, continuing their pursuit against Carley. Unfortunately for the Tomball Police Department, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office refused to charge Carley for felony evasion. Once again, she was released without any formal charges filed, but only after spending the entire day in jail before being released after midnight to walk home alone in the dark.

Mack later signed an affidavit, attesting to the abuse he witnessed (we strongly recommend reading this).

Tomball Police Department continued to “harass Nannette’s family, friends, and co-workers, constantly stopping and ticketing them for no apparent reason.” Nannette almost got used to the “sight of guns pointed her direction” every time Tomball police officers “unfoundedly pulled her over.” According to Carley, eventually, “the gun-wielding cops began to point their pieces at anyone riding along with me.”

In spite of the fact that the charges against Carley were consistently dismissed due to insufficient evidence for prosecution, the harassment escalated.

While Carley was on her way home from the pharmacy, Burns pulled her over. Knowing she had been unsuccessfully cited four or five times in the past for diving with a suspended license, Burns allegedly tried a new tactic. Since each of the previous citations had been dismissed on account of the fact that Carley did not have a suspended driver’s license, he charged her with failure to display driver’s license on demand. Well aware that a conviction for this charge could not be obtained without bending the truth, Burns allegedly “committed felony perjury” by reportedly lying on the witness stand to convict Carley.

Four witnesses subsequently came forward, attesting to the fact that Burns had committed felony perjury to get Carley convicted of a simple citation. They even sent affidavits of probable cause for Burns’ arrest to Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, but Garcia allegedly, “did nothing, ignoring the affidavits, and refused Nannette’s requests for a meeting.”

After spending a number of nights in jail for another false arrest, Carley was released in late 2012, just in time to travel to Las Vegas to receive a “Citizen of the Year” award from the Constitutional Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association. Sheriff Jeff Christopher of Sussex County, Delaware, bestowed on her the title of “Honorary Deputy Sheriff.” These don’t sound like the kind of accolades given to criminals; nevertheless, Carley would be locked up by TPD again within 24 hours of returning home.

In June 2013, Carley had another encounter with Tomball PD. Carley had allowed one of her staff members to stay free of charge in a fully furnished home she owned a few doors down from where she lived herself. Unfortunately, Carley learned that this staff member was allegedly “stealing from her.” During a confrontation with the alleged thief/employee, the police were called. They threw Carley off of her own property, where she had been graciously allowing the alleged “thief” to stay. TPD allegedly threatened to charge Carley with trespass if she didn’t vacate the premises.

Witnesses recall that the woman who was staying in Carley’s home, Summer Marie Presswood, and her boyfriend, Ryan Roch, were “discovered with over $2,000 in stolen company products previously destined for Nannette’s customers.” Additionally, “$400 worth of stolen office supplies were found in the custody of Presswood and Roch.” Rather than arrest the alleged “thieves,” TPD threatened to arrest Carley if she insisted on pressing charges. A search of the home also allegedly revealed drugs and drug-use paraphernalia, but “TPD ignored the drugs.” Presswood and Roch were reportedly allowed to illegally squat in Carley’s newly furnished home.

Witnesses continued, “TPD promised Nannette that if she submitted a three-day vacate notice to the residents of her property, they would force Presswood and Roch to vacate once the three days were up.” In the meantime, Carley spent $7,000 to have private security officers ensure that none of her possessions or business products left the property. Three days passed, and TPD told Carley that she still needed to file a formal eviction notice if she wanted Presswood and Roch gone. Why?

Over the next 45 days, Carley worked tirelessly to legally evict Presswood and Roch. Several encounters between Carley, the two alleged “thieves” and TPD took place. Former Police Chief Robert Hauck, well aware of Carley’s situation as well as the alleged thievery and drug use going on in the house, promised Carley that he would “arrest Presswood and Roch if any of Nannette’s property was missing.”

–Edward Snook

Police harass bedridden woman

This is the first in a series. The article was published originally in its entirety by the US~Observer.

TOMBALL, Texas — Nannette Carley’s life was seemingly normal. She owned a small business, paid the bills, enjoyed her family — the kind of things most people take for granted. When she moved to the quaint, little city of Tomball, Texas, everything changed.

Within four years of her relocation to Tomball, the Tomball Police Department had reportedly charged her with infractions/crimes 24 separate times, arresting her on numerous occasions, which caused her to spend many nights in jail. Due to the arrests and incarcerations, Carley stated that she, “missed work, lost over $60,000 in personal property and spent countless, tireless hours along with her hard-earned money defending herself.” Nonetheless, she still had felony charges and impending court dates looming. At one point, Carley stated, she had seven cases with 16 separate charges set for trial on the same day. To complicate matters, Carley was battling a life-threatening thyroid disease that often left her bedridden. This same disease had killed Carley’s mother when she was Carley’s age.

The nightmare started in 2008 when Carley called the Tomball Police Department to report a stolen credit card. After an uncomfortable encounter with police regarding the matter, Carley regrettably remembers laughing in an attempt to ease what she described as an “awkward interaction.” Thus began Carley’s tumultuous relationship with the Tomball Police Department.

A few weeks later, Carley was pulled over just a few blocks away from her home by Officer Kenny Yoho. Her ex-husband, who was nearby, offered to produce Carley’s auto insurance documents, but Yoho allegedly refused acceptance. Yoho then inexplicably ordered Carley’s ex to leave. After Carley’s ex-husband obliged, Yoho wrote Carley a ticket for, of all things, not having current auto insurance. The ticket was later dismissed.

It wasn’t more than a month later that Carley had her next run-in with Tomball police. While visiting a nearby apartment complex, Carley was detained and questioned for almost an hour, despite the fact that no victim came forward and no crime had been committed. When she asked the Tomball Police Officers why she was being held against her will, they informed her they had received a complaint that “someone was trespassing at the apartments and wouldn’t leave.” Carley was eventually told she could leave.

As weeks passed, Carley stated that she received, “one ticket after another.” While she was able to prove her innocence against the unfounded accusations and citations, her health began to deteriorate, making it more difficult for her to keep up with the constant “barrage of attacks” by the Tomball police. The seemingly endless cycle of paperwork and court dates grew overwhelming, and she simply was not able to keep up. “In the beginning,” Nannette said, “I just thought they had me confused with someone else. What I later came to find out was that Tomball Police Officer DeWayne Eickenhorst was spreading lies about me at the department, touching off a ‘get her’ mentality amongst other Tomball police officers.” Ironically, it was actually other Tomball police officers who reportedly “informed” Carley of the slander.

It was only a matter of time before Carley missed a court date. After suffering a demobilizing heart attack and surgery, she asked to reschedule one of her court dates or for the court to dismiss the charges on account of her compromised state of health. According to Carley, in spite of her heartfelt and seemingly reasonable requests, Municipal Judge Andrea Jay Walker, along with Judge Laryssa Korduba-Hrncir and Judge George Covington “declined to help, resulting in Walker’s issuing warrants for (Carley’s) arrest.”

The harassment of Carley increased, and she soon suffered another heart attack, again requiring surgery. While Carley recovered at home, Officers Chris Burns and Alfred Hernandez parked their squad car nearby, reportedly setting up watch on a regular basis in front of Carley’s home. On one occasion, Carley remembered the officers “banged on her front door for over 45 minutes.” Meanwhile, Carley was suffering from her chronic illness, trying to recover from a heart attack, as she lay in bed unable to respond or get the rest she needed.

According to multiple sources, Burns and Hernandez would hide around the corner in the church parking lot or behind another car at the end of her street and monitor Carley’s friends, family and visitors — never wasting an opportunity to pull them over and write a ticket as they came and went. With seemingly unbreakable focus and patience, they waited to “pounce on me whenever I left the house,” Carley stated, “which wasn’t often, due to my compromised health.” While her caretakers did most of her errands, the few times she did leave the safety of her home, Tomball police were usually there to meet her.

According to Carley, Officer Virginia Gorman went as far as knocking on Carley’s door, demanding her identification so she could write her more tickets. When she refused to oblige Gorman, which she undeniably had the right to do, she was cited five times. Two weeks later, the U.S. Postal Service delivered the citations: two for a dog at large, two for an unvaccinated dog and one for failure to supply Gorman with identification. Carley stated that “these charges were absolutely false.”

Documents obtained through the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA) subsequently revealed that Gorman lied on sworn statements in order to file charges and issue warrants against Carley.

–Edward Snook


Did prosecutor threaten alleged victim?

This article was published originally by the US~Observer.

BEND, Ore. — On March 22, 2012, Nicholas Waldbillig was speechless as the jury’s verdict was read to him in court: “Guilty.” Nicholas had just been convicted of kidnapping, along with multiple sex crimes. His sentence was 20 years in prison for raping and kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, Julie Driskell.

Waldbillig had previously turned down several plea deals, thinking it was all just a bad dream that would be sorted out once the facts — or the untruths (prosecutor’s lies) — were presented to jurors. In return, he expected the jurors to find him innocent. After all, he knew what did and didn’t happen; and he believed his innocence was clearly evident.

Unfortunately, the system doesn’t always work that way. And today, Waldbillig is sitting in a prison cell fighting for justice. He not only claims his innocence, he believes important factors played a significant role in his conviction. His attorney “wasn’t there” for him when it counted. Looking back, money was a big factor. And Waldbillig believes: “Once the money ran out, so did the perception of legal representation.”

More concerning, Assistant District Attorney Kandy Gies (prosecutor) reportedly threatened the “victim” with criminal charges if she didn’t give false testimony against Waldbillig. Without the “victim’s” testimony, it was reported the facts didn’t represent a crime. Waldbillig firmly believes that instead of dismissing the charges once the evidence showed his innocence, the prosecutor made sure to create the evidence by threatening Driskell. He believes that it was this “evidence” that convicted him in the eyes of the jury.

Driskell, the alleged victim, has avoided this writer like the plague. There are, and will continue to be, reports involving her and this case until questions are answered. Witnesses stated that “her father Michael K. Driskell is a convicted sex offender” who has an undeniably odd grasp over Julie Driskell’s state of mind and her unwillingness to communicate. It was also alleged that Julie Driskell’s mother, Kathy A. Driskell, is a “patient at a California mental institution who suffers from multiple mental disorders.” Kathy Driskell’s alleged mental condition has caused concern for Waldbillig as he tries to understand why Julie Driskell would accuse him of such horrible crimes he “never committed.”

If Waldbillig is correct in his assessment that his ex-girlfriend was scared and threatened into lying about the events, there’s still hope for him — hope that the three years he has already spent behind bars will be his last if Julie Driskell does what is right.

Julie Driskell has since moved from Bend, Ore., and it was reported that she may have had a change of heart about helping imprison Waldbillig for 20 years. If so, we strongly urge her to come forward. Lies perpetrated by government can cause extreme mental anguish. If Julie Driskell was threatened to frame Waldbillig, there are advocates here to help. Time is a beautiful thing in this case. The statute of limitations has reportedly passed. So if Julie Driskell was threatened by the prosecutor, she can now speak freely without fear of being prosecuted. If Waldbillig is guilty, then come forward, too. I know that news reports regarding a dark period of my life would be enough to make me put this issue to rest, one way or the other.

Julie Driskell: If not for the sake of Nicholas, do it for yourself. Help us confirm or lay our suspicions to rest. You deserve to get on with life, and if Nicholas is truly innocent, he absolutely deserves freedom.

Waldbillig recently filed an appeal. He still believes in justice. This writer believes there’s much more to this story than what has been told and I will keep digging to inform the court of public opinion.

–Joseph Snook

Note: We’ve just received notes about this case that weren’t previously obtained. We will be conducting further investigations, likely resulting in more reports. If you have any information regarding Julie Driskell, prosecutor Kandy Gies or anyone else involved, please contact us immediately at or 541-474-7885. Log on to for the original article about Nicholas Waldbillig’s case by using our search engine located on our home page.

Railroaded by the government

This is the final installment of a two-part series that began with “Veteran falsely convicted by a lying judge. The article was originally published by the US~Observer

Anyone railroaded by the government (as was David Hinkson) who can demonstrate he is truly innocent of a crime (as Hickson now has) is entitled to his day in court at an evidentiary hearing to prove his case. So we are all waiting; when will Hickson have his hearing?

Hickson, who is serving 43 years for tax crimes and solicitation of murder, now seeks review by an en banc panel (probably by another 11 judges) of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to see if the judiciary will:

  • Hold Judge Richard C. Tallman accountable for his alleged crimes and remove him from Hickson’s case.
  • Allow Hickson an evidentiary hearing.
  • Look at the totality of all the evidence.
  • Acknowledge Hickson’s claims of innocence.
  • And eventually permit Hickson to go back to his family.

The issue has been that each time Hickson has applied for review, the case was sent back to the “sentencing judge” (Tallman — the one with a vested interest in covering up his own alleged crimes committed from the bench in Hickson’s trial). The only solution, if fairness is to prevail, is to remove Tallman from Hickson’s case.

All that is left in this veteran’s David-versus-Goliath struggle for freedom is the truth. However, federal judges today often make arbitrary rulings, excluding evidence of innocence (as Tallman did) because proving innocence does not support the government’s program of repressing the outspoken. When a judge will not allow the accused to present his evidence of innocence, a wrongful conviction is a certainty.

Hickson has begged and pleaded with the Ninth Circuit to look honestly at his full situation. At first, on his direct appeal, he won. The three-judge 9th Circuit panel composed of Judges William A. Fletcher, Proctor Hug Jr. and M. Margaret McKeown ruled that Hickson had not had a fair trial, and they reversed his conviction. However, over time, the influence of Tallman with many other 9th Circuit judges was so persuasive it caused the Fletcher-Hug decision to be overruled in a very close 6-5 vote by the first 11-member en banc panel with Judge Alex Kozinski changing his vote to favor Hinkson, recognizing that revealing to the jurors all of Swisher’s lies about being a decorated veteran would have had a very strong impact on their decision. The first en banc opinion was nothing less than a slap in the face to veterans and meant that the official stance of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is that military valor is of no significance, an insulting message to veterans as a whole.

The above confabulation against Hickson has now changed because Tallman has been exposed as a liar, lying for Swisher, as if he was in league with him. In Tallman’s August 2012 order refusing to withdraw as the judge of Hickson’s case, he brashly confessed that he did conduct the unethical ex parte meeting with Swisher during the 2005 trial and stated that the meeting was of no consequence. Yet, over time, the significance of that illegal meeting had a profound effect on the outcome of the case consistent with the ancient Greek maxim: Truth is the daughter of time. As the truth has leaked out, even the government had to admit Swisher was lying, which means the prosecutor also lied to the jury. In a country that claims justice under the law, how can a conviction predicated on lies from the judge, prosecutor and star witness stand?

Now, the following truths are known about Tallman:

  • He lied on the trial court record (perjury).
  • He enabled Swisher to lie (subornation of perjury).
  • He protected Swisher from cross examination about lying to the 2002 and 2004 grand juries (judicial bias).
  • And he conducted an ex parte meeting with a witness (Swisher) immediately before he took the stand (showing extreme judicial bias because he obviously helped prepare Swisher for his testimony).

The question is: Who can hold this out-of-control judge accountable?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that no man or woman should ever be convicted based on lies. So is it now time to follow the law and release Hinkson? In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is the job of federal courts “… to see that federal constitutional errors do not result in the incarceration of innocent person.” Instead, Tallman created errors to imprison the innocent.

The problem is that Tallman, with a personal ax to grind, started telling tall tales about Swisher’s fake secret-Korean mission. By doing so, he gave authenticity to that fiction by stating Swisher landed in North Korea by “amphibious” craft, which is a detail not known previously and was new information introduced exclusively by Tallman. Despite Tallman’s knowledge that Swisher never set foot in Korea, he lied to enhance Swisher’s credibility and the veracity of his story that he had killed “many” in combat (an essential piece of the government’s theory of the case).

Neither Tallman nor the prosecution informed the jury of the falsehoods before deliberations despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court requires government lies to be revealed to the jury in order to prevent a fundamental miscarriage of justice because people can’t be convicted based on lies in a free society. By vouching for Swisher as a Korean combat soldier, Tallman suborned Swisher’s perjury, which itself is a crime. The association of Korean War Veterans has already indicated its disgust of Swisher for his crimes and stolen valor, which cheapens the sacrifice of all veterans, especially those who gave their lives in conflict. Anyone who has ever sat on a jury knows it makes a huge difference if the government witness is considered a pathological liar or a reliable truth-teller. If the jury could not believe Swisher because his Korean secret mission was faked, how could they believe that Hinkson solicited him to commit murder? But with the Judge and prosecutor certifying that Swisher was authentic and no contrary evidence permitted, what else was the jury to believe? That’s how Hinkson was convicted. And that’s how the government convicts so many other innocent people; they never get their day in court to tell their side of the story.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), needs to know that all of us who love liberty will stand up and be counted because we still believe judges must have integrity. We who deplore the kind of false accusations made by Swisher, along with crimes committed by a federal judge and the Justice Department, must stand together or the alternative is a police state. None of us has any hope of maintaining our liberty when there is no judicial accountability for misconduct. If not called to responsibility by the House Judiciary Committee, then who will hold Tallman accountable? Remember, 9th Circuit judges are a part of a “crony system,” scratching each other’s backs. They cannot be expected to hold him accountable.

A card, letter, fax, phone call or email from each person who reads this article, demanding an investigation into the illegal and unethical behavior of Tallman for lying in open court and for suborning perjury, with an eye toward his impeachment, is the only thing that will stop these evil practices that have now reached epidemic proportions and are a fast growing cancer in America.

Tell Goodlatte that you believe no judge should be allowed to lie and get away with it. Remind him that the Constitution requires him, as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, that it is his job to impeach federal judges like Tallman who commit “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Contact Goodlatte by calling, faxing or writing him at one of his offices to register your concern and ask him: “What will it take for you, Congressman Goodlatte, to start an investigation?”

Goodlatte’s main office is located in Washington, D.C., and he can be contacted at:

2309 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5431
Fax: 202-225-9681
Committee Phone: 202-255-3951

Remember, Goodlatte is not just a representative for the people of Virginia. Oh, no. He is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. That job is national in scope, so don’t allow his staffers to tell you that if you are not from Virginia, your input does not count. He represents the entire nation since he became the chairman of this extremely powerful and prestigious committee.

–Pat Shannan

For more information go to: or To see this article with all of its footnotes, click here.

Veteran falsely convicted by a lying judge

This is the first in a two-part series. The article was originally published by the US~Observer

David Hinkson discovered and manufactured mineral replacement health products that combine with vitamins to rebuild the body’s own natural disease-fighting immune system. His God-given instincts and talents, not unlike those of Nikola Tesla a century earlier, have allowed him to see the world through a scientific lens as few humans can. So why would the Department of Justice target and jail a man so valuable to his generation? Did Big Pharma fear his success? It wouldn’t be the first time.

Hinkson enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 during the Vietnam conflict and served honorably as a helicopter mechanic. After his discharge, his pursuit of truth took him on two separate missions at once. In addition to developing natural preventives for the human body, he also took on the dangerous task of exposing the deception of the Internal Revenue Service to the American people via his Las Vegas radio show. Both such pursuits have proven to be fatal to other truth-seekers preceding him.

A mineral is not a drug; and since Hinkson kept the minerals in their pure form, the FDA and Big Pharma could not stop him from selling them. But it was within their power to falsely accuse him of mislabeling his products: a felony. Whether he mislabeled or not wasn’t their real motivation. He became a force they could not control. Hinkson, like many veterans today, has been persecuted by his own government — a government that he (like other veterans) supported unconditionally when he was in the service. (So what happened to reciprocal support for veterans today?)

Shocked to learn that he was the target of false accusations in 2002, Hinkson could not overcome the stampede of government agencies that worked in tandem with the FDA to ambush and take him down. With the help of a lying judge, a deceiving prosecutor and a “perjuring government witness,” the U.S. government (through fraud and deception) managed to stop Hinkson’s contribution to health. “You lie, and I’ll swear to it,” is the federal government’s mantra. Now in his 11th year in prison on a 43-year sentence, Hinkson awaits ultimate justice — his release — because he has again asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review his case, but this time for actual innocence rather than some minor technical trial defect like in his direct appeal years ago. Hinkson languishes in jail, convicted of a crime that he did not commit and, in fact, never happened.

Judge Richard C. Tallman, who conducted Hinkson’s sham trial in 2005 on murder solicitation charges, sentenced the then-49-year-old Hinkson to what amounts to a life sentence — or death by time. This appellate court judge was designated by the 9th Circuit to handle the trial when district judges withdrew from the case. According to former prosecuting attorney Wesley W. Hoyt, Tallman “proceeded with disregard for the Constitution and his sworn oath to uphold the law. He lied from the bench on the record, then converted his own courtroom into a crime scene by suborning perjury and conducted a secret, illegal and judicially unethical ex parte meeting with the government’s star witness, Elven Joe Swisher, a known pathological liar.”

Hoyt added: “The trial record shows that this meeting was held to refine the government’s plot to convict David of a ‘thought crime’ that Swisher made up and attributed to Hinkson. The crime was a total figment of Swisher’s imagination, who lied to two grand juries in 2002 and 2004 and then to the Hinkson jury in 2005. It was not until 2008 that Swisher was convicted and sent to prison for telling these exact same lies to the VA while stealing veteran’s benefits. Both Judge Tallman and the prosecutor were aware of Swisher’s grand jury perjury, but it is evident that part of the payoff for putting Dave Hinkson in prison for life was a free pass, letting Swisher get away with his grand jury lies.” (Swisher should have been charged with perjury for lying to the grand juries but wasn’t.)

The government’s lying “star witness,” Swisher, fictionalized that Hinkson offered to hire him to kill federal officials based on Swisher’s so-called reputation as a “Korean combat hero.” The prosecuting attorney presented Swisher to the Hinkson jury as the real deal, a “Korean veteran,” even though Swisher never even set foot in Korea. Swisher’s 2008 conviction for perjury, forgery, theft of government property and stolen valor (the crime of wearing medals he had not earned) came after Hinkson’s trial and was based on Swisher’s lies to the VA in 2004, as he fraudulently sought medical and disability benefits for war wounds he never sustained.

But what about this judge? A federal judge is supposed to be neutral and is required to help the jury find the truth. Instead, Tallman led the jury to believe in Swisher’s fantasy of a secret mission to North Korea. In supporting Swisher, Tallman actually became the perpetrator of several crimes committed in his own courtroom, all aimed at silencing Hinkson, who dared to challenge the authority of government agencies. In this hoax of a prosecution, the IRS and FBI joined in falsely accusing Hinkson of soliciting Swisher to commit unthinkable torture and murder of federal officials and their families, a ruse to shock the jury into convicting Hinkson.

Hinkson has recently petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for another review of his case based on his “actual innocence” (as is now clearly shown in Appendix C, the Affidavit of Wesley W. Hoyt filed in the public record of Ninth Circuit Case No. 14-16507). Proof of his innocence begins with the fact that Swisher was hospitalized from a massive heart attack in June of that year and was physically incapacitated. Nonetheless, he testified in July or August of 2002 that he was being solicited for murder by Hinkson in Grangeville, Idaho, at a time when Hinkson’s passport (with official stamps) shows he was actually in Ukraine negotiating the purchase of a factory building to produce his mineral dietary supplements for worldwide distribution.

Tallman personally controlled Pretrial Services, which had confiscated Hinkson’s passport upon his arrest. Thus, Tallman had control of the passport and only had to say the word for it to be delivered to the courtroom. A truly neutral judicial official would have done so. But when asked to produce the passport, Tallman denied it, saying: “It will only confuse the jury.” Although subsequently requested from the government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), neither the passport nor a copy thereof was returned, according to Roland C. Hinkson, David Hinkson’s father.

Tallman could have presented the passport to the jury or allowed Hinkson to submit it as a part of the exculpatory evidence showing innocence, but he refused, causing the jury to be deceived rather than just possibly confused.

What motivated Tallman to prohibit the jury from considering Hinkson’s passport? Could it have been his desire to placate the Justice Department and thus win its support when eventually seeking higher office? These and other questions are being asked at the 9th Circuit, which has already broken the law by assigning only a two-judge panel (instead of three) to summarily deny Hinkson’s request for review under the actual innocence standard. On direct appeal the 9th Circuit could, and did, “pot-shot” Hinkson’s case, overruling the reversal in the Fletcher-Hug decision. But now, under the actual innocence doctrine, the court has no choice; it must consider the “cumulative effect of all the evidence” — not just one detail, as in the previous appeal. This doctrine will allow Hinkson to finally have his day in court, if the 9th Circuit follows the law.

–Pat Shannan

For more information go to: or To see this article with all of its footnotes, click here.

Note: The US~Observer has a keen interest in this case. Anytime one of our military veterans is falsely and maliciously targeted or prosecuted, we take it personally. As such, we are beginning a cursory investigation and ask that anyone with information about any wrongdoings of Judge Richard C. Tallman contact us immediately. Also, we are asking anyone with personal information on Repr. Bob Goodlatte to please pass it on to us. A good judge doesn’t prosecute innocent people, and a good representative doesn’t hesitate to hold bad judges accountable. Contact us at 541-474-7885 or by email at

It’s the climate

This article originally appeared on the US~Observer.

A picture is worth a thousand words. At least that’s what I’m told. I wonder what this image will conjure to those involved in the making of the subject matter.

We live in a society, now, that relies on others to clean up after us, all the while believing and bellyaching that global change must occur in order to save our planet from a “man-made” planetary climate change.

For those of you old enough to remember, back in the ’70s there used to be public service announcements that would show images of rivers and streams, forests and meadows, all covered in garbage and then an image of an old Native American man with tears streaming down his face. The message was clear and simple. Perhaps if we had listened then, we wouldn’t be living in an over-polluted world now. The PSAs were eventually pulled, the lesson was lost and the littering continues unabated.

Perhaps if this personal responsibility were enforced and littering fines were actually levied and not just left to be another unenforced law, things would change. I wonder, too, just how much money would have been raised through the fining of these wrongdoers. Would it have offset the tax burden on law-abiding, non-polluting citizens?

When traveling abroad, I found the amount of trash in the streets was a telltale sign of how good a country was. Unfortunately for us, we are no longer leading by example. Living in this service-oriented, capitalist-driven experiment has left us lazy and complacent. Someone gets paid to clean up after us, right? Fortunately for Grants Pass, Oregon, where “It’s the Climate” is the motto, this is thankfully true and the massive amount of personal debris that remained on the sidewalks and in the streets after a celebratory parade was removed by city employees. Generally, that’s a thankless job.

Thank you.

I, however, wish we didn’t need you. I wish people lived with a sense of personal responsibility for their environment and world, a world which is much better off with far less garbage destroying its beauty, ecosystems, rivers, oceans and forests.

And for those of you who throw your crap out of your car or onto the streets, or just leave it lying around: Shame on you. You are worse than locust plagues that leave nothing behind. Trash your house, not mine.

It is truly the current climate of personal thinking that has mired us in our own muck and left our world aching. I wonder, however, if it is too late or if we can learn the lessons of a lone Indian crying for what has already been lost.

Can we ever live in a climate of change for the better, or are we already doomed by our own overindulgent laziness? Time will tell.

–Ron Lee

Everything I know about politics I learned from ‘Star Wars’

This article originally appeared on the US~Observer.

“Duh, duh, duh, dah-dee-duh, da-dee-duh…” The Imperial March by John Williams

You know it; it’s a piece of musical composition magic that evokes images of dark lords and ominous agendas of absolute control over everything good and free.

Never before had the concept of politics been introduced to me in my youth better than when I was gripped by the intense sci-fi drama that was “Star Wars.” I was 7 years old when “Star Wars” first made its way onto the silver screen, and the impact it had on me was life-altering.

“Star Wars” made real-world history exciting for me. For not only was the drama of good versus evil prevalent in our history as a country, it is all that has ever been throughout world history. For instance, the similarity between our forefathers’ fight for independence from an oppressive monarchy and that of a rebel alliance fighting a dark emperor who yoked the people to his will was not lost on me. However, in “Star Wars” the rebel alliance fought to restore its representative form of governance (the Old Republic, as it was called in the films). Our forefathers fought to establish the first (and only) of its kind, constitutional republic. So perhaps the analogy is better served in these modern times of ours as our country devolves into a centrally controlled regulatory state that determines for its people what is best for them.

“Star Wars’” bold vision of a political polarity became affirmed for me as truth when I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the political differences between a “free” state and that of a “controlled” state.

I was traveling through Europe with my grandparents at about the same time “The Empire Strikes Back” was first released, and we toured West Berlin. It was a glorious city with happy people who were very willing to show hospitality and friendliness. What a stark contrast to that of East Berlin. Even the passage into the East through the famed Checkpoint Charlie was reminiscent of moving through an Imperial Stormtrooper stronghold. As we moved deeper into the city, I looked out of our tour bus’ window and noticed that the citizens of East Berlin walked solemnly, with heads held low. There were no cheery faces, no glee, no children’s laughing voices echoing through the streets playing in the parks. But there were armed army men scattered throughout watching the people move about the streets.

Our tour guide, an East German who got on at the checkpoint along with a new driver, refused to answer many of the questions we asked him, simple questions like “Is life good here?” and “Don’t you ever want to leave?” I mean we were free Americans trying to understand an oppressed people’s perspective. At one stop, a beautiful cathedral in East Berlin, our tour guide stepped off the bus with us. He walked close and spoke softly, “I couldn’t answer your questions; the bus driver watches me.” He went on to tell us that he had evacuated his family and had come back to his home to get a few things but was caught by the closing of the border between the East and West. He told us that he missed getting back to them by five minutes. His eyes welled with tears as he told us he hadn’t seen them since, that he only had limited contact with them over the years. “But,” he said, and I will remember this always, “life is good if you do what you are told.” He went on to say he had a good job and a nice apartment, but all he wanted was to be with his family — something he said could happen for him soon. He explained that East Germany had been “releasing” retired senior citizens to the West because it couldn’t afford to pay for them, and that he wasn’t that far away. It was then that I realized the polarizing truth between the light and dark side of what George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars universe, coined as “the Force.” Not only was it a way to look at the world in a quasi-religious fashion, it was the clear-cut difference between political styles: oppression and freedom.

“Star Wars” introduced the concept of freedom to me by showing that darkness could manifest itself through the complete control of a people, and it helped me realize that my life had meaning beyond being a production drone or faceless stormtrooper controlled by some far off regime. It was through my imaginary battles between Jedi and dark lords that I concluded I would dare to fight for freedom and for my country, which embodied freedom’s very essence; that I would fight for everything that is just and true and right; that I would be a Jedi.

Here we are today. Our government is taking control. Everything is emergent, now. The economy, healthcare, the automotive industry, tobacco, immigration, the Internet, Ebola: all are dire issues, and guess who is here to save you from these catastrophes — the U.S. government. Like Palpatine, the once-senator from Naboo turned emperor in “Star Wars” who created a war and rallied the old republic behind him (and his ultimate agenda for controlling everything) by propagating a fear of the proposed alternatives, Obama the once-senator from Illinois turned president has presented to the public the frightening future without government intervention, and the picture he paints is of a broke country whose people are sick and intolerant of each other. In reality, the opposite is true and has been proven time and again throughout history. Less control has always equaled more prosperity.

Bottom line, a just society is one based on personal freedoms and restrictions on government control; anything else becomes an evil empire, and people are waking up to this fact. They are seeing the writing on the wall and viewing reality through the fictitious truths told on the silver screen like in “Star Wars,” where a righteous few fight for their sovereignty against all odds. The Rebel Alliance, the Jedi, the common people and the little Ewoks all rose to meet the challenge and fight against corrupt evil control. Will it happen here, now? Will a united alliance emerge to rescue the country and save the day? Cheesy, I know, but true nonetheless.

With all of my heart, I hope the political lessons of “Star Wars” have not been lost on the multitude who found themselves so enthralled with the films.

–By Ron Lee

Our Broken System: Lessons from Ferguson

This article was published originally by the US~Observer.

We, the people, lost in Ferguson, Missouri — not because the people took to the streets and smashed and burned and shot and looted, however mindless those activities were and made humanity seem. It was a greater loss, the further erosion of our rights and just superiority as sovereign citizens above government officials who are nothing more than our employees. In a system of justice that I know — and report on regularly — that lies and steals and cheats to get its man, I know, too, it protects its own with the same vigilance. And the lack of an indictment was, to me, no exception. It was a reminder that the system is broken and the media manipulative, that the world we live in is controlled — and not fairly or justly.

What I personally took away from the explanation of how and why the grand jury came to its decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson is that had he been anyone other than a police officer, he would likely be facing charges.

Let’s be real. A grand jury isn’t a magical group of people who know all and see all; it is a group of people who get to see only the evidence the prosecuting attorney decides to show them. So if the prosecutor has an agenda to not prosecute, the evidence will reflect that agenda. And the grand jury will come back with the corresponding ruling. It’s that simple, and everything is supported by the government’s own statistics. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in only 11 of them.

It really is an “us” and “them” thing now. And no matter what your ethnicity, we as citizens just got reminded that to be them means they get treated differently than if they were us.

It’s sad. And what is worse is you have the mainstream media out there promoting this as either right (Fox News: a triumph of a system that you can trust in) or wrong, but both sides are calling it a race issue and not seeing it for what it really is — a miscarriage of justice, pure and simple.

Police agencies have paid out millions of dollars in civil liability claims across this country where bad police officers have killed, maimed or otherwise harmed the citizens they are supposed to protect. But few, if any, ever face criminal charges for their obviously criminal actions. If they are held civilly liable, they should be held criminally liable as well.

Every day, there is more evidence of corrupt police officers overstepping their bounds and abusing their authority. And there are more people facing false charges, stacked by scum-sucking prosecuting attorneys who just want a conviction. What a joke.

So what is the solution?

In our day and age of technology, there is no reason that every police officer shouldn’t be mandated to wear a personal recording device to ensure that all of the unadulterated evidence is available to the public.

Also, we have to eliminate the immunity prosecutors and judges enjoy. With their protections gone, bad police officers will have no one to protect them. The system will be taken back by the public it is supposed to serve.

We have to ensure our justice system blindly seeks justice and the corruption that now plagues it is extinguished.

I invite all righteous prosecutors, police officers, public defenders and truly unbiased judges to join me at the US~Observer as we continue our fight against everything that is wrong in the system. Join us as contributors and expose those who violate their oaths and harm the citizens.

We have to make sure that what happened in Ferguson, and in every other city where the system has overstepped its bounds, doesn’t ever happen again. That is something I am sure we can all agree on.

Read my last article, “Obstruction of Justice.”

–Ron Lee


Fighting for innocence from behind bars

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — Imagine for a moment, if you will, that you are in prison. You’re there for one of the most heinous crimes anyone can be accused of; and you are, in fact, innocent. You see, you were a wrestler and, after a severe knee injury, a wrestling referee. You loved the sport and being able to mentor the young wrestlers in your community, especially those who were having trouble in life. You had been likened to being everyone’s big brother.

One night, you allowed two of these troubled youths to spend the night at your home. It’s your first mistake. Because of the pain in your knees, you take some strong, yet effective, pain medication and head off to bed, leaving the two youths unaccompanied. That’s your second mistake.

While you were sleeping, one of the boys, Patrick O’Neil, who just happens to be a former Washington state champion, “rapes the other young man,” Steven Atter, who is semi-homeless at the time. According to Atter, O’Neil then “messes” with you while you’re “out” by taking sexually explicit pictures in what could be considered a professional “setup” and then places the pictures on your computer.

When you find out what happened, you confront the young “rapist.” And the next thing you know, he has gone to the police and accused you of sex abuse. The police immediately place the blame on you, because you are the “adult.” They start their one-sided investigation, ignoring your story. When other young wrestlers, including Atter, try to tell the police that it was O’Neil who molested them and many others and that you would never do anything out of line with any of them, the police ignore this extremely relevant and valid evidence. A corrupt prosecutor named Mark Roe becomes involved. In your third mistake, you hire an allegedly incompetent, thieving attorney named John Crowley. The news media start their false, yet sensational, stories about the “monster who rapes children.” And your life begins to take an uncontrollable, downward spiral that you can’t stop — all for a series of mistakes, none of which were crimes.

It plays like a movie, doesn’t it? A sick, twisted tale of deceit, where you are the innocent victim. Sadly, this is the true story of Eugene Brian Garvie, who has had to endure this miscarriage of justice since 2006.

Enter the US~Observer

In what can be described as a break in the case, the US~Observer began investigating and found more than enough evidence that proved O’Neil was the sexual predator and not Garvie. In the article “Wrestling Champ O’Neil — Serial Rapist? Innocent Referee in Prison?,” we outlined our case of Garvie’s innocence — the bombshell being, of course, the statement of the supposed victim himself, Atter. There were also several other people who stepped forward claiming to be sexually abused by O’Neil and also indicating that there were as many as 100 other victims. We made all of our evidence available to Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe’s office, who should have pursued O’Neil and applied this information to Garvie’s case. But what came of it? Nothing!

Then we ran our follow-up, “‘Serial Rapist’ Headline Brings Silence,” and again we were met with… silence. Not one person stepped forward in objection or denial of anything that had been written; no demand for retraction or lawsuit claiming libel was received. That in itself can be offered as proof that if it were untrue, Edward Snook and the US~Observer would have been sued long ago. It proves, as well, how depraved and destructive the criminal justice system in Snohomish County, Washington, is — to let an innocent man rot in prison while the real perpetrator is free and, according to US~Observer sources, (up to six months ago) is reportedly snorting cocaine and still raping other young men.

Garvie’s legal options

Garvie was sentenced to 158 months to life at his sentencing by Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Wynne on Aug. 1, 2007, after Garvie gave in and agreed to a coerced plea deal. The plea agreement was deceitfully crafted by Snohomish County prosecutor Roe’s office and Garvie’s then-attorney Crowley. Biased and prejudiced Judge Wynne rubber-stamped the corrupt agreement.

In short, Garvie wanted to enter an “Alford Plea,” which means that the defendant is pleading guilty because he believes he can’t win at trial, yet wants to maintain his innocence. Garvie pleaded to four felony counts of sex abuse, when he had no idea whatsoever that he would eventually be forced to admit his guilt or remain in prison for life.

At sentencing, Garvie stated: “Yes, I have something to say, Your Honor. For the record, I’m taking advantage of the plea because, with the allegation and lack of testimony from my witness, I feel I will be convicted. I see it as my best course of action. I am maintaining my innocence.” (Ex. H, Sentencing Hearing, at 5-6.)

WA State CrR 4.2(d) provides: “The court shall not accept a plea of guilty, without first determining that it is made voluntarily, competently, and with an understanding of the nature of the charge and the consequences of the plea. The court shall not enter a judgment upon a plea of guilty unless it is satisfied that there is a factual basis for the plea.” Wynne has absolutely no excuse for accepting the plea.

Without question, Wynne violated the law; Roe conducted a false and malicious prosecution; and Garvie’s own attorney did nothing to help his innocent client.

Garvie is now represented by a highly qualified attorney from Spokane, Washington, named Ken Kato, who on Nov. 4 filed a personal restraint petition (PRP) with the Court of Appeals Division 1 of the State of Washington. The US~Observer has closely reviewed the PRP that Kato prepared and filed for Garvie, and we find it to be not only sufficient but expertly drafted. The only question is: Will the Court of Appeals cover up for Wynne’s corrupt acceptance of Garvie’s extorted plea or will it hold Wynne accountable?

The system’s obstruction of justice?

In the article “Wrestling Champ O’Neil – Serial Rapist? Innocent Referee in Prison?,” we told how eyewitness Atter had been threatened and basically told to remain silent regarding the truth about this case or he would be “imprisoned.” Well, Atter did not remain silent and he is currently in jail; is this a coincidence? We are informed that people are currently attempting to place money on his inmate account to enable him to make calls and that Roe or those he is directing have intercepted the funds in an effort to silence him. We are also informed that Garvie supporter Michelle Hill has been contacted by Roe’s office for the purpose of taking part in a deposition. Hill reportedly has refused to cooperate; we commend her for this action. You see, Roe is plenty worried after reading Kato’s PRP. He is reacting as any cornered criminal would; he is attempting to obfuscate the truth.

It is highly recommend you get on the computer and read the entire history of this case at You will be shocked and most likely find that this is probably the most alarming and tragic story you have ever read — one that not only reads like a movie, but will most likely end up being one. The ending, however, has yet to be written. It will either be an inspiring film about how an innocent man was vindicated or a tragedy describing how the system fails the innocent and lauds the truly guilty.

–Edward Snook and Ron Lee

Note: Anyone with information on those involved in destroying Brian Garvie’s life are urged to contact Edward Snook at 541-474-7885 or by email sent to All communications are strictly confidential.

What will John Goodman do?

SCREENSHOT/John Goodman appeared in court on Wednesday, but his sentencing was delayed.

This article was published originally by the US~Observer.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Jurors have found John Goodman guilty of DUI manslaughter vehicular homicide, failure to render aid, and vehicular homicide, failure to render aid, for a second time. Goodman’s sentencing was scheduled for Wednesday but delayed until today. Appeals, bond and other issues will be addressed in the near future. So what does all of this mean for Goodman?

Statistically, there’s a 94.4 percent chance that he will lose his appeal in Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal. However, I believe Goodman has a higher chance of winning. But the figures don’t lie; it will be a challenge. Even if his appeal is granted, he’s back to square one: a new trial.

Considering other case(s) similar to Goodman’s, there’s no telling whether he will be granted bond today. Sitting in jail, Goodman will have limited time to weigh his options. Another key issue is Goodman’s financial situation. Despite being deemed the “Billionaire Polo Mogul,” it’s likely the mainstream media had it all wrong, very wrong. Goodman’s status is now likely to be indigent. That means broke!

Despite the evidence in favor of his innocence, his attorneys were limited at trial by Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath regarding what evidence they could use, especially considering this was Goodman’s second trial. (The state intentionally disposed of Goodman’s vehicle — the main piece of evidence.) The jurors did not see every piece of evidence. Furthermore, I believe Goodman’s attorneys were easily outperformed by prosecutors Alan Johnson and Sherri Collins.

Other options are still on the plate for Goodman, and we don’t expect him to be idle in proving his innocence. Facing a possible 16-year sentence, Goodman should consider all options, as the choices he’s made thus far have fallen well short of proving his innocence. Having looked at every aspect of Goodman’s case, I believe he should not have been convicted and his innocence is still possible. If he makes the right decisions moving forward, which now requires more help from family and friends, it’s likely Goodman’s conviction could be overturned. Having the right team in his corner is more important now than ever.

What will Goodman do?

Subscribe to US~Observer news alerts to stay informed on this case.

–Joseph Snook

Note: The US~Observer urges anyone with information of any nature on Judge Jeffrey Colbath or any others involved in this case to contact us at 541-474-7885 or by email to

Utah lawmaker: The key to statehood rights is the transfer of public lands

This article was published originally by the US~Observer.

If we fail to secure our statehood rights to the transfer of the public lands, it will not be because it is illegal, unconstitutional or impossible. If we fail to enforce this “solemn compact” of statehood, it will be because our leaders lack the knowledge or the courage to do what has already been done.

Raising a voice

As much as 90 percent of the lands in Illinois, Missouri and several other states were federally controlled for decades when Thomas Hart Benton was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1821. In “A Thirty Years View,” Benton recounts: “My election to the Senate of the United States… found me doing battle for an ameliorated system of disposing our public lands; and with some success. I resolved to move against the whole system…”

Thanks to one man, Illinois, Missouri and neighboring states have, on average, less than 5 percent federally controlled lands today. So distinguished was Benton’s courage that President John F. Kennedy featured him in his best-selling book, “Profiles in Courage.”

Is that just ancient history? Well, upon admission to the Union in 1959, the state of Hawaii exercised courage and compelled the federal government to transfer title to all the public lands directly to the state. Its Enabling Act of March 18, 1959 includes, “The United States grants to the state of Hawaii, effective upon its admission into the Union, the United States’ title to all the public lands… title to which is held by the United States immediately prior to its admission into the Union.”

A federal obligation

Some ignorantly assert that it would be illegal or unconstitutional for Western states to compel the federal government to transfer title of the public lands to the states even though it’s been done before — repeatedly.

Public lands held in trust

The public lands question is older than our nation. By 1780, in the midst of battling for independence, the 13 states had run completely out of money. In this dire circumstance, seven states pledged in trust to the confederated government their claims over all the Western lands, but only to:

  1. Create “distinct republican states,” with “the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independence as the other states.”
  2. And use the proceeds from the transfer of these Western lands, if any, to pay the debts from the Revolution.

Courts, Congresses, presidents and the language of the statehood-enabling acts reaffirmed these solemn compacts, but for which our nation may have perished at its birth.

String of broken promises

In 1976, Congress enacted a policy to unilaterally alter this 200-year-old obligation, moving to retain forever the public lands in federal ownership with the Federal Lands Policy Management Act. Under FLPMA, Congress promised there would be multiple use/sustained yield with local planning on the public lands. Congress also promised to pay Western states and communities for not using their lands and resources to fund the education of their own children and care for their own communities. These promises are known as payment in lieu of taxes (PILT), secure rural schools funds (SRS) and federal mineral lease payments (FML).

PILT payments, by some estimates, were only 13 cents on the dollar of the average taxable value of the land. SRS payments were only a fraction of the revenues local communities had generated from harvesting timber. Traditionally, timber harvesting kept the forest fuel loads in check and local economies thriving. As for FML, states east of Colorado with the same statehood promises retained 100 percent of their mineral lease royalties instead of the 48 percent promised to Western states by Congress.

FLPMA imposed an untenable deal upon the Western states to be paid paltry amounts for not using their own lands and resources. This year, under the guise of “sequestration” to cut federal expenses, the federal government began limiting Western revenues in the form of PILT, SRS and FML cutbacks.

So Congress breaks its 200-year-old obligation to dispose of the public lands. Instead, it promises PILT, SRS and FML concessions, as well as multiple use/sustained yield with local planning to placate Western states. Now it is reneging on even those terrible substitute promises while imposing ever-increasing restrictions on states, communities, businesses and individuals, preventing them from using their own lands and resources to care for their own communities, lands and forests and grow the national economy in the process.

Blessing state sovereignty

Fortunately, in 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for a resolution of this economic and environmental dilemma facing not only Western states but also our nation. In Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that “the consequences of a State’s admission are instantaneous,” such that Congress does not have the authority to unilaterally alter or diminish “the uniquely sovereign character of that event” particularly “where virtually all of the State’s public lands are at stake.” This makes sense. If Congress could unilaterally alter or diminish the very terms of statehood, states would cease to be states and would become mere administrative subdivisions of an all-powerful national government.

The only solution big enough to promote the health, access and productivity of our lands is within our reach. We must choose this to fund education, better care for our lands and forests, protect access, create jobs, and grow local, state and national economies and tax bases. If we don’t, we will answer to our children, to future generations of our states and to our nation as a whole that we failed, not because it was illegal, unconstitutional or impossible, but because we and our leaders simply lacked the knowledge and the courage.

–Ken Ivory

Ken Ivory is a member of the Utah House of Representatives and the president of American Lands Council. He sponsored HB148, the Transfer of Public Lands Act, and is building a coalition to spread the knowledge that statehood promises to transfer title to public lands are the same east and west of Colorado. “It’s been done before and it’s the only solution big enough.” For information or to offer support, go to

Obstruction of justice

This article was published originally by the US~Observer.

What is justice exactly, and what does it mean to you? Does it mean that someone gets what he deserves? Does it mean that truth is adhered to and reason is afforded to those who stand in front of it? Does it mean that when someone goes through the system and they are ruled or determined to be guilty or innocent, they have been served with it? Or, is it simpler? Justice being blind, does a simple fact establish it? No matter how it is determined, justice can almost always be defined as a state of being that is right, without wrong.

The cornerstone of our system of justice was established in the Constitution. Even in the preamble, the founders set forth their intentions:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

And then in the bill of rights under the 5th Amendment:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Then again in the 6th Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

It is clear that the founders of the United States took the role of justice seriously.

Today, establishing justice for an individual has become a tricky affair. More laws, rules and processes have been added over time in an effort to clarify the procedures of the system rather than ensuring an individual’s right to impartiality and fairness. The result is that facts are dismissed because of objections, precedence and shortsighted legislative actions that end up obscuring truth from those who are to judge.

This system is a mechanized behemoth beholden to no one. If you disagree, you are scrutinized and ostracized. If you stand against it, you are guilty of obstructing it.

We now have a system that pursues the accused without regard for truth. Its sole purpose is to convict. Prosecutors, and even judges, often turn a blind eye to evidence if it “inconveniently” challenges their assertions. From the moment of an arrest, the machine grinds out press releases informing the public of the dirty deed. The mainstream media gluttonously laps up any presumed guilt and passes it on.

The system knows the benefits of a public whose opinion is that a charged person is a guilty one; the verdict is secured before the trial even takes place. This has resulted in a growing number of falsely charged people facing the fight of their lives while mistakenly thinking that our justice system is designed to be just. Justice can’t be had when impartiality is lost.

The system itself is guilty of obstruction of justice. We either live with it, knowing that you will be considered guilty until proven innocent; or we change it, fighting it with everything we have because it is the right thing to do.

It comes down to how you define justice. For me, justice is truth. It is sacred. It is an absolute, and it is our right to seek it on all those who deny it.

–Ron Lee

Writer’s note: Only through meeting force with force can an individual who is wrongfully charged be victorious and truly find vindication. Let the US~Observer take your case and force justice.

Vindicated, but at a high cost

This is the second installment of a two-part series. Read the first installment, US~Observer client acquitted, another corrupt prosecutor exposed.” 

Crook County, Ore. — Matthew Rinehart faced charges related to a sexual encounter with Diane Pike. As US~Observer previously reported, the charges were “all for one allegedly routine and common event that took place on October 6th at his grandparents’ home where the two were living and sleeping together.”

To make it more difficult to prepare for Rinehart’s trial, the state had the court put Rinehart in jail two weeks before trial because, the state said, he had contacted minors in violation of his pre-trial release conditions. The conditions of Rinehart’s conditional release were a byproduct of false and malicious charges. And I assure any who punish him for this that they will, in turn, be punishing themselves publicly.

Rinehart’s attorney, James E. Leuenberger, did not reveal the state’s greatest weakness in its case until he cross-examined Pike during the trial. It was then that he got her to admit that she had told a Crook County deputy sheriff that shortly after she had awoken on the floor, she had gone back to sleep and been awakened by Rinehart’s 6-year-old, 40-pound sister getting on Pike’s bed. Remember that she supposedly had just slept through Rinehart’s being on top of her.

The second greatest weakness in the state’s case was Pike. She put put on the worst, least convincing performance of her acting career. Whenever the jury was in the courtroom, Pike looked sad and faked tears. Shortly after Leuenberger began cross-examining her, she jumped off the witness stand and ran out of the courtroom. When the jury was not in the courtroom, Pike laughed and smiled. Pike even smiled at Rinehart in the courtroom when the jury was out. Leuenberger got Pike to admit to the jury that she was laughing and smiling immediately before the jury returned to the courtroom.

Leuenberger also demonstrated that Pike had a motive to lie. On Oct. 1, 2012, Pike’s parents had kicked her out their home because she had spent the prior night with Rinehart. The next day, Pike’s mother continued to condemn Pike. The next day, Rinehart made sure Pike got examined and treated for what turned out to be a urinary tract infection. Two days later, when Pike was starting to recover from her urinary tract infection, she decided that she wanted to return to her parents. Pike figured that the way to have her parents accept her back was to accuse Rinehart of a crime. Pike accused Rinehart. Pike’s parents took her back.

Pike had enough of a conscience to send Rinehart text messages telling him she regretted sending him to jail.

A responsible jury

On July 7, 12 Crook County jurors began hearing the state’s case. They heard two deputies, a nurse and Pike.

As the case continued, the jury endured warm afternoons as the heat in the courtroom rose to more than 90 degrees because air conditioning could not be used when the jury was in the courtroom. Notwithstanding the heat and the seriousness of the charges, the jury remained cheerful throughout. There is a saying among defense attorneys: “A happy jury is a defense jury.” That old saying proved true.

The jury heard closing arguments and received its instructions from Judge Daniel Ahern at about 11:15 a.m. on July 10. It took them just long enough to finish their lunch to reach their “not guilty” verdicts for all three counts.

Justice was done. The cost was high. Rinehart spent a year and half in jail awaiting his trial. His grandparents spent thousands of dollars for his attorney. The state (actually the taxpayers) paid for Rinehart’s experts and well-known, professional private investigator Mike Kastelic, who helped Leuenberger prepare for trial. The taxpayers also paid for the work of Dr. Robert Julien and forensic nurse Shirley Fitzgerald, each of whom testified for Rinehart.

And then there is the anxiety, the real damages

Rinehart’s grandfather suffered a heart attack early on. His grandmother suffered a heart attack shortly before trial. His mother has a brain tumor. Rinehart faced a possible 20-year sentence or longer had he been convicted and he would have been a registered sex offender for life.

That cost is too high, readers!

–Edward Snook

Note: All of us at the US~Observer highly commend the jury in the Rinehart case. They paid attention and saw right through the attempted false prosecution of Matthew Rinehart.

One juror stated, “I was a Juror in this trial. Unbelievable. I am glad Matthew is back with his family. It sickens me that he was incarcerated for almost 2 years for something he didn’t do. Diane Pike is the one that should be tried!”

The work of Rinehart’s jury is far from over. They need to continue showing their responsibility by sharing this tragic story with others in Crook County, Oregon, and then the voters of Crook County need to get rid of corrupt District Attorney Daina Vitolins and those who assist her in attempting to prosecute the innocent. Rinehart is not Vitolins’ first victim, and he will not be her last — unless residents of Crook County take action.

Most hardworking taxpayers have no idea about the vast amount of money it takes to conduct an attempted false prosecution, nor do they realize the pain and grief that it places on innocent defendants and their families. We sincerely hope that Rinehart’s story sheds much-needed light on both.

US~Observer client acquitted, another corrupt prosecutor exposed

Crook County, Ore. — As previously reported in the US~Observer:

18 year old Matthew Rinehart and his live-in girlfriend Diane Pike were sleeping together on October 6, 2012. According to witnesses, the two were involved in a very sensual and continuing sexual relationship. Pike was the same age as Rinehart and she was reportedly the aggressor during many of their intimate encounters.

Pike’s parents were very upset about the relationship and were applying severe pressure on Pike to end her “love affair” with Matt. Apparently, on October 6th, their pressure finally produced the intended results. Diane Pike accused Matthew Rinehart of “taking advantage of her,” of sexually assaulting her while she was “physically helpless.”

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office took over and teamed up with the District Attorney’s Office to file not only false, but completely ludicrous criminal charges against Rinehart.

Matthew Rinehart was arraigned on October 10, 2012 on three counts – Sexual Abuse in the 1st Degree, Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree, and Sodomy in the First Degree, all for one allegedly routine and common event that took place on October 6th at his grandparents’ home where the two were living and sleeping together.

The US~Observer laid out more than sufficient evidence of Rinehart’s innocence in the two articles we published on this case to have his case dropped: “Innocent Matt Rinehart Jailed On Unbelievable Rape Charges” and “DA Vitolins Continues Rinehart Abuse — Blatant Crook County Corruption.” Instead, Crook County District Attorney Daina Vitolins continued wasting tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars and continued her vicious and unwarranted attack on an innocent young man. Vitolins was aided by an either completely ignorant or corrupted Crook County deputy sheriff named Theresa Plinski, who was more than willing to assist Vitolins in this attempted false prosecution.

Trial charades and expert defense

Plinski and Vitolins promoted Pike’s absolute lie that she was asleep while a man who was roughly her height, weight and age was on top of her for more than five minutes because an antibiotic Pike had been taking had “knocked her out.”

There must be only three people on Earth who would say that Pike’s antibiotic could have knocked her out: Pike, Plinski and Vitolins. The nurse who examined Pike on Oct. 6 testified at trial that she had never heard of the antibiotic causing unconsciousness. Esteemed physician and drug expert Robert Julien testified at trial that there is no known incident of Pike’s antibiotic ever causing unconsciousness in any adult when administered orally in the dose she took.

Keep in mind as you read on that Pike’s charges against Rinehart were recognized by the US~Observer to be both false and ridiculous well more than a year and a half ago, at which time we presented our absolute evidence to Vitolins.

With the US~Observer’s help, Rinehart’s grandparents found and hired James E. Leuenberger to represent him. Leuenberger brought several of the weaknesses of the case to the attention of the state. He showed the state that the medical literature did not show that Pike’s antibiotic had unconsciousness as a side effect. He told the state that no normal woman would remain asleep while a man of her size and weight dry humped her unless she was under the influence of intoxicants and there was no evidence that either Pike or Rinehart had taken any alcohol or any drug other than Pike’s antibiotic. He reminded the state that Pike and Rinehart had a consensual sexual relationship for several months prior to Oct. 6, 2012. He reminded the state that Pike had gotten into Rinehart’s bed willingly a few hours before she alleged she was “knocked out” and “taken advantage of.”

Months before trial, Leuenberger sent the state a picture of Pike taken by the nurse who examined her on Oct. 6. The picture showed Pike with a big smile on her face. Leuenberger told the state that a picture is worth a thousand words and that the picture of Pike’s smile said she was not distressed. Vitolins paid no attention to the facts presented by Leuenberger, as she continued her bloodthirsty pursuit of Rinehart.

Shortly before trial, Leuenberger told the state that he intended to use an audio recording of Pike’s Oct. 8, 2012 statement to Plinksi to show that on that date, Pike was happy and lighthearted and laughing.

Unlike victims of sexual abuse who are almost universally distressed, hurt and sad, Pike exhibited no nonverbal cues in the Oct. 6 photograph or the Oct. 8 audio recording that she was distressed, hurt or sad.

Notwithstanding the weaknesses in the state’s case, the state insisted on a trial. Why? The best explanation for the state going forward, apart from the fact that this district attorney is an extremely evil person, is Vitolins must have thought they could use Rinehart’s words against him. Rinehart, a very immature 18-year-old in October 2012, had confirmed that he had told Pike that he might have taken advantage of her and that he had broken her heart. Vitolins must have thought that Rinehart would convict himself if he were to testify at trial. Vitolins knew that Rinehart had been badly hurt physically and emotionally when he was a child. Damaged people often hurt themselves. In short, Vitolins was merely exposing her own corrupt and perverse nature as she continued her attempts to destroy an innocent Rinehart. She certainly wasn’t seeking justice, by any stretch of the imagination.

–Edward Snook
Investigative Reporter

Practical solutions for freeing the innocent

This is the second installment of a two-part series from the US~Observer. Read the first installment, “What every American needs to know.”

There are many writers who have opined about the causes and the conditions that create the “perfect storm” countenancing the imprisonment of the innocent. There are few who offer solutions, and most look back and see what’s happened but can’t see the pathway for the future. “I can see what went wrong,” they say; but they have no generally applicable remedies.

There are three causes to abuse of the innocent: corrupt investigators, corrupt prosecutors and corrupt judges.

There are three remedies: honorable defense attorneys, knowledgeable trial support and public opinion influenced by fair and honest news reporting.

Public opinion must be expressed in socially acceptable ways to be effective, such as when Mark Taylor, the first male victim shot in the Columbine massacre, was imprisoned by the state of Arizona in a phony mental-health hold from 2010 to 2011. He was prohibited from contacting or being contacted by his family. Taylor was guilty of politically incorrect advocacy against antidepressants and Big Pharma, which he said was responsible for the deaths at Columbine.

It was a so-called “human rights” worker from the Arizona governor’s office who was principally responsible for Taylor’s false imprisonment, which provoked the flood of cards, letters, faxes, emails, phone calls and protest signs into Gov. Jan Brewer’s Office in droves with the message: “We are informed. We know what you’re doing. Let Mark Taylor go or we are going to make a huge stink that will come upon you.” The public was alerted and responded well, as did the alternate talk-radio media, abuzz with the story. The court of public opinion was in full swing. Two attorneys, one from Arizona and the other from Colorado, collaborated by filing parallel suits, one in each state, as a platform to release Taylor. And on March 29, 2011, the pressure was too great, the governor’s office relented and Taylor was sent home.

Could lightning strike again? Could an informed public with unrelenting demands secure the release of other innocent people? All it takes is the will of the people exercising the prerogative to be involved, staying vigilant and demanding for others the liberty we need most for ourselves — understanding that if we don’t take a stand, it will be everlastingly too late. Even the mainstream media is covering the fact that President Obama is systematically deconstructing the American republic. Hello, are we in the last days or what?

“Who’s next?” is the first question we should ask, and the second is: “Who will come to our rescue when it’s me or a member of my family?”

Consider the following three abbreviated case studies:

  1. David Hinkson was an effective advocate for the underdog. He is a veteran who was in the Navy during the Vietnam conflict. He helped others protect their property rights from those embedded in the crony system. Hinkson’s passport proves he was out of the United States when accused of soliciting to murder federal officials. It was suppressed by Federal Judge Richard C. Tallman, an appellate level judge who sat as an Idaho trial court judge. And no offer of proof was made by Hinkson’s attorney, who let him down. (
  2. Edgar Steele, also a veteran of the Vietnam era, helped protect individual rights for those persecuted by the so-called child protective system; and then he had the unmitigated gall to defend those who wanted to exercise religious freedom. Steele’s expert witness proof that the government’s audio recordings were fabricated was suppressed by another federal judge, Lynn Winmill of Idaho. And no offer of proof was made by Steele’s attorney who let him down. Sadly, Edgar Steele died on Sept. 4.
  3. Schaeffer Cox, a minister, exercised religious freedom and freedom of speech. The FBI put out a bounty offering $350,000 to anyone who could get him to commit a crime, which attracted a “take-down team” of criminals who regularly worked with the FBI as confidential informants, willing to make up stories. Audio recordings made by the FBI that absolutely proved he had no intent or involvement in any crimes or plans to commit a crime were suppressed by a corrupt federal judge in Alaska. Bail was set at $3 million so that he could not assist in his own defense. (

What these and so many others have in common is that they committed no crime, were falsely accused of law violations that never occurred (actually accused of crimes made up by corrupt FBI agents) and were convicted with lengthy prison sentences that exceed their life expectancies.

The other common elements for these three are that the prosecutors knowingly introduced false testimony and the judges suppressed exculpatory evidence. In other words, each of them was set up and convicted of fictitious crimes made up by the government simply to silence them.

These statements are provable in the absolute, but no court will hear them because the judges use procedural excuses to block the accused from proving their innocence. Make no mistake about it; the presumption of innocence is dead in the American justice system. But what’s worse: If accused today, you must prove your innocence or you will be found guilty; and the judges are programmed to prohibit you from presenting exculpatory evidence. The only defense is to have as your attorney, one who is well schooled in the corruption of government officials and who has the integrity, fortitude and chutzpah to make an offer of proof on the record each time the trial judge denies the admission of evidence that would show innocence.

It takes great preparation, foresight and guts to stand before a judge who can hold you in contempt and send you to jail for defending your client and say these words: “If you will not allow this witness to testify, I will make the following offer of proof as to what that witness would have said.”

Judges consider it an affront to their dignity if someone demands the right to honorably defend himself when Constitutional rights are being systematically denied. But that’s what it takes, because the innocent must present evidence at trial or they will have nothing for an appeal court to review on appeal; then they will never see the light of day again.

A warning to all: Even if you are innocent and can prove you are innocent, you must assume you will be convicted. Then you must stand your ground and find the way to make your case through offers of proof. You must get the court of public opinion to send out continual messages that you are being persecuted. If the judge denies the right to present the offer of proof, you’d better have it in writing and have a legal assistant immediately file the written version with the court clerk to make a record, or you will ultimately lose because the appellate court must have evidence that was presented at the trial which can be considered. This is about taking action when the opportunity presents itself by those knowledgeable and skilled in the art of defending the innocent.

There is no glory in defending the innocent any more, there is only satisfaction when, like the starfish thrown from the sandy beach back into the ocean, it makes a difference to that one. I hope and pray that those who read this article are willing to step up and send cards, letters, emails, faxes and make phone calls to the officials responsible for imprisonment of the innocent, just as they did with Taylor, so that when it happens to you or one of your loved ones, others will do it for you. In this way, maybe, just maybe, a defense can be etched from the government’s foregone conclusion of guilt; and then if others are willing to step up, we can save each other from the guillotine — or, frankly, all will be lost.

There is a ray of hope: The U.S. Supreme Court, in May 2013 handed down a ruling in McQuiggin v. Perkins that allows one who is actually innocent to pass through a “gateway” in order to avoid the procedural bars that prohibit him from proving his innocence, even years after his conviction occurred. There may be light at the end of the tunnel for some, if they get the right help in time.

–Wesley Hoyt
Former Prosecuting Attorney

Wesley W. Hoyt is now in the private practice of law admitted in Colorado and Idaho with special “pro hac” admissions in several other western states. He spends the majority of his time representing the innocent who have been falsely accused of crimes they did not commit. He can be contacted through Independent News International World Report or by email at