What every American needs to know

This is the first installment of a two-part series from the US~Observer.

Is there doubt that we live in perilous times? Anyone who has missed this point, please go back to History 101 and consult 2 Timothy 3:1 “… in the last days perilous times shall come.”

Ancient writings show mankind obtained its basic needs in spite of perils. Call it survival; humans are a hearty bunch when they work together and put their collective minds to it. Perils are a part of life in all ages. Spoiled we are with more than 200 years of peace in America, forged from the evils of a king that allowed those loyal to him to rape, plunder, pillage and burn fellow humans with impunity. (Quartering soldiers in your house meant that the soldiers could and would rape your women; why do you think so many were outraged? See the Declaration of Independence.) The secret to success for all tyrants is in allowing their lieutenants to have anything they want as long as they are loyal to the dictator.

“A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it,” was the watchword of our forefathers. Who questions that the Constitution was divinely inspired? This generation must decide if we will be able to keep it, with all its warts and imperfections. Our Constitution worked fairly well in the pioneering and post-World War II eras because cleansing flowed from adversity; it was truly “do or die,” which causes most people to “buck up.” Prosperity, on the other hand, has made us soft as a nation; the entitlement mentality today breeds an unhealthy loyalty and a lack of resolve to stand up for what’s right.

Now, far too many people are lulled into a deep sleep by the distractions of today and ignore the iconic lessons of the past. We threw off tyranny once; but continual vigilance requires acknowledgment of repeated patterns of despotism, else they pass right over our heads unnoticed and will visit us again.

When it comes to the innocent being persecuted in America, those aware are asking the proverbial question: “Who’s next?” And those suffering cognitive dissonance are in denial, qua: “It couldn’t happen here” and “my government wouldn’t do that” are common retorts. The voluntarily uninformed claim the ostrich privilege (head-in-the-sand style ignorance) and will say in the crunch: “I didn’t know,” “nobody told me” or “how did that happen?”

Let’s cut to the chase. Who among you would not defend a child wrongfully accused or a loved one indicted for something they did not do? Yet, there is a plague of fabricated charges and an epidemic of false accusations sweeping the nation, spawned by unscrupulous officials, sending numerous innocent people to prison for life-long sentences.

–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 hoytlaw@hotmail.com.

Corruption in Goodman’s second trial may be worse than in the first

WPTV Contact 5

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The US~Observer reported recently that “Polo Mogul” John B. Goodman is factually innocent. In our article “Florida’s John B. Goodman NOT GUILTY,” we provided documented proof of corruption, both in the literal manufacturing of the case and during Goodman’s first trial; we also present absolute proof of John Goodman’s innocence in this article.

As Goodman’s second trial approaches, more issues are appearing in the mainstream media to prejudice Goodman and his due process rights, just as the state-fed media did in his first trial.

Motions designed to save time and minimize the chance of more bad rulings during the upcoming trial have been either denied or pushed off until trial by Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath. Of great interest is Colbath’s decision to pick a jury of Goodman’s peers from a different district and then bring them back for sequestration in West Palm Beach. The defense has argued vehemently for a change of venue given the negative press generated nonstop for the past four years since Goodman’s alleged crime. Colbath has denied numerous change of venue motions and insists on trying the case for the second time in his home court, most likely for political reasons. A juror faced with three to four weeks of sequestration might just be resentful of the defendant. Colbath is quick to point out that it worked just fine in the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman cases, which shows yet another nod to the media of his perceived self-importance.

More troubling about the press is that they are now gaining momentum in blaming Goodman for the cost to taxpayers. He is entitled to a fair trial. By no fault of his own he was granted a new trial due to jury misconduct. How is he to blame for the costs? Additionally, the court has imposed onerous costs on Goodman in the form of deputy escorts and a hearing in Tallahassee that was unnecessary, yet forced on him by the prosecutor’s office. Goodman was willing to defend his blood motion exposing that Officer Troy Snelgrove of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) facilitated the use of the wrong needle size in front of Colbath, without dragging the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) into it.

The clincher

Technically, there should be no second trial; and Colbath knows it. The state prosecutor’s office released both the Bentley and Hyundai after Goodman’s initial conviction and before his sentencing. The defense has maintained since 2010 that Goodman’s Bentley malfunctioned in the moments before the fatal car crash that killed Scott Wilson, thus making the cars key pieces of exculpatory evidence necessary to present a complete defense. The prosecutors knew the case would be appealed and unilaterally released these critical pieces of evidence without notice to the defense or the court. So, based on the fact the evidence was destroyed, Goodman can’t have a fair and impartial trial. Both the prosecution and Colbath know this fact quite well, yet pro-prosecution Colbath keeps on covering for and protecting these totally corrupted prosecutors.

The fact is Goodman is entitled to a brand-new trial, provided for by the U.S. constitution, as if no trial had previously occurred. But because of Prosecutor Ellen Roberts’ seemingly premeditated actions and Colbath’s collusion, Goodman factually can’t receive a fair trial as federal law demands. Let’s not forget that the sworn job of the state prosecutors is to seek truth and justice — a job that, at least in this case, has gone unfulfilled.

The state prosecutors and, in particular, Colbath are the ones costing the taxpayers millions of dollars by pursuing this case. The judge had the duty to uphold the law but instead chose to ignore it when he summarily denied the motion to dismiss back in March and again in September, when it was presented to him for reconsideration. Along with their wasted tax dollars, people should be worried that their constitutional rights may be denied in the future just like Goodman’s have now.

Again, I want to stress that an innocent Goodman has been forced to spend many millions of dollars to defend himself against patently false and manufactured criminal charges in Florida’s 15th Judicial District. We should all be asking ourselves why the media in West Palm Beach have all failed to demand an answer to this question: Why would a legal system force a man who is to be presumed innocent to spend millions of dollars on his defense when justice should administered openly, freely and without cost?

That’s the kind of information and awareness that should be coming from the local press on this trial. Instead, the fine people of Florida keep getting mainstream media that tow government line, and interject their own commentary as if it were truth.

–Edward Snook

Note: We would like to thank all who have provided information on Colbath and the prosecutors in this case. Much of that valid information will be used at the appropriate time. We would also continue to urge anyone with information of any nature on Colbath or any others involved in this case to contact the US~Observer at 541-474-7885 or by email to editor@usobserver.com.

Deputy failed to preserve evidence

WPTV Contact 5

This is the sixth and final installment in a series by the US~Observer. Read “Florida’s John B. Goodman is not guilty,” “Not enough evidence to prove Goodman is guilty,” “Failure to render aid? He didn’t see another car,” “Making Goodman the fall guy” and Drinking? Yes. Drunk? No proof.” 

“Polo Mogul” John Goodman is facing a retrial on charges related to a 2010 accident that resulted in the death of Scott Wilson. Jury selection begins Monday.

Apparently, not one single photo was taken by Deputy Troy Snelgrove of Wilson’s car upside down in the canal. Is it not important to document where Wilson’s car was found? According to the prosecution, it is considered “hyperbole” to ask such a question.

As Snelgrove documented Goodman’s belongings, he managed to take a photo of Goodman’s bag, along with financial documents that were found in the back seat of his Bentley. But the bag and documents have allegedly disappeared. According to the West Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, they were never there.

With a photograph taken showing they were there, followed by a claim they were never there, it shows the sheriff’s department is perfectly capable of compulsively lying to obtain a conviction. It’s either that or they are completely incompetent. Either way, they can’t be trusted.

Can Snelgrove, who can’t even account for evidence that he took photos of and can’t even take photos of other pertinent evidence, be relied upon to conduct an accurate accident reconstruction?

Prosecutor Sherri Collins: Obstruction of justice?

In 2012, Goodman was on house arrest while appealing his conviction. His ankle monitor broke in October. During a December bond violation hearing wherein Goodman was alleged to have “broken his ankle monitor” himself, prosecutor Sherri Collins outright threatened former West Palm Beach deputy Bridgette Bott “not to testify.” According to Bott, the threats occurred just outside the courtroom and kept her from testifying in the first hearing. However, an attorney (a prior assistant prosecutor) who has no association with Goodman also overheard the conversation and came forward, which allowed for another hearing on the matter, wherein Bott did testify.

Bott had been working as part of Goodman’s court-ordered security detail, and her account of Goodman allegedly breaking his monitor was significantly different from the other deputy who testified for the state. According to Bott, Goodman did not break his monitor as the other officer claimed. Her testimony proved that some members of the sheriff’s department were willing to lie to put Goodman behind bars.

Goodman was released from jail and his bond was reinstated.

As for Collins’ threatening Bott, Collins walked away scot-free with no punishment whatsoever. Collins is still part of the state’s prosecution team for Goodman’s upcoming trial.

Bott has since been suspended by the Sheriff’s Department and has a pending lawsuit against West Palm Beach Sheriff Rick Bradshaw.

Judge Jeffrey Colbath biased?

Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath is assigned to preside over Goodman’s upcoming trial. Is Colbath biased? If so, why? Colbath disallowed the blog written by the state’s main witness, Lisa Pembleton, from being entered as evidence for the jury to see in Goodman’s first trail. This was evidence specific to her accounts of that night, yet the jury was not allowed to see it. Was this because she talked about a dream that happened before the events unfolded? Could Colbath have kept the jury from questioning the state’s main witness’ credibility?

I’m not one to delve into speculation, but why in the world would Goodman feel comfortable with Colbath presiding for a second time? Considering the following statements during Goodman’s sentencing after his original conviction, it would seem impossible to expect that Colbath could be a neutral referee in any further court proceedings involving Goodman.

Statements made by Colbath include:

  • “I agree with the jury’s verdict.”
  • “Mr. Goodman was extremely intoxicated. His blood alcohol level verified that …”
  • “He had an opportunity to try to save Mr. Wilson.”
  • “He could have gotten in that canal.”
  • “He knew he pushed that car in the canal. He left because he tried to save himself.”
  • “Mr. Goodman seems to me to be the perfect candidate to be a flight risk.”

Juror misconduct

Juror misconduct is the reason for Goodman’s new trial.

Two jurors wrote to the judge about their “pressure to render a guilty verdict.” This was not disclosed to Goodman’s defense until one of the jurors contacted them directly. Didn’t Colbath have a duty to inform both parties? Again, is this fair? It hardly shows impartiality.

Why would one juror lie during voir dire (jury selection), then vote to convict Goodman?

Closing argument

This case exemplifies the saying “It’s hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

Sadly, a life has been lost; and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Wilson family. Yet certain facts still remain. Several people in charge of handling this case have consistently used speculation as fact in order to portray Goodman’s guilt. Some of those very people may have even committed crimes in an attempt to obtain another “win.”

One thing is sure: Wilson was failed by some of the same people who claim Goodman is guilty. Perhaps if they had acted, Wilson would be here today.

The evidence in this case justifies a “not guilty” verdict. It is the state’s burden to prove Goodman’s guilt, and it has failed miserably to do so.

–Joseph Snook

Note: For those who still have doubt, or would like to see something that is not made available through US~Observer’s hyperlinks, please email: editor@usobserver.com. We will gladly supply you with more evidence.

Drinking? Yes. Drunk? No proof

This is the fifth in a series by the US~Observer. Read “Florida’s John B. Goodman is not guilty,” “Not enough evidence to prove Goodman is guilty,” “Failure to render aid? He didn’t see another car” and “Making Goodman the fall guy.”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “Polo Mogul” John Goodman is facing a retrial on charges related to a 2010 accident that resulted in the death of Scott Wilson.

Goodman had consumed alcohol before the accident. But was he impaired? He claims that he was not intoxicated, not even close. He had just wrapped up a charity event with professionals who were likely gracious givers. Goodman then went to a restaurant and bar for roughly one hour, before he headed home. When he closed his tab at 12:37 a.m., his bill was $212. Eighteen drinks were purchased. The state will argue that he was intoxicated, based off of this information alone. Goodman claims to have purchased nearly all of those drinks for friends; 16 of the drinks were shots. That’s the only answer that was given to this writer. So without speculating, I ask: Where is proof otherwise? There isn’t any.

The bartender, the manager, the valet crew, the servers, Goodman’s friends and the people in attendance whom he didn’t even know won’t say he was drunk. Not one of the witnesses at either establishment where Goodman was that night will testify that he was drunk or that he “drank several drinks.” Is this because they are all liars? Doubtful. The state, fighting tooth and nail to get its assertions confirmed, reportedly threatened the bartender, among others. It continue to get nowhere. Could this be because Goodman was telling the truth? To assume different would again be mere speculation.

According to Goodman, he drank at a polo barn shortly after the accident. He informed Deputy Ricardo Safford about going to the barn during their communication while they were driving back to the scene. Safford not only denies that this conversation ever took place, he still to this day denies ever going to Kris Kampsen’s barn, where Goodman drank post-crash.

Why would Safford lie? Could it possibly be due to the fact that Goodman consumed alcohol post-crash? Wouldn’t that ruin the state’s alleged .17 blood draw from Goodman while he was at Wellington Regional Hospital?

Three (1, 2, 3) witnesses have already stated on the record that Safford came to the property where the polo barn was, went to each of their trailers and woke them up, and asked them questions at about 3:30 a.m. on that day. But Safford still claims that he wasn’t there.

Unfortunately for Safford, Goodman’s defense is armed with more than two witnesses this time. Now, the third witness has been deposed and confirms what the other two have said all along. More importantly, Safford’s own GPS unit from his patrol vehicle (click here to verify Safford’s unit ID, then click here and scroll down to page 3, for 20100212034458ES, look at time and location, double check coordinates here, you will have to re-enter the coordinates under ” Show Point from Latitude and Longitude”) confirms that he was at the polo barn where Goodman was post-crash (see image below). During Safford’s deposition, he agreed with every location his GPS indicated he was at that night, except for the polo barn. Will he be charged with perjury? Doubtful. It seems that three witnesses and a state-owned GPS unit are no match for a sheriff’s deputy’s word in Florida.

So why wouldn’t Goodman’s defense just subpoena the deputy’s dash cam or audio/video camera? Easy, right? Well, there are no dash cam videos. Magically, it is all gone. There is no personal audio or video from Safford. It, too, has seemingly disappeared into thin air. Again, the state of Florida (Safford) has failed to do something as simple as preserve evidence. Or did the deputies have this evidence but it didn’t confirm the lies they created, so they decided to cover it up?

Finally, the blood draw. Experts for both the prosecution and defense fought over the admissibility of this evidence. While at the hospital, Deputy Troy Snelgrove’s blood draw kit was not used in its entirety. Instead, a nurse drew Goodman’s blood, using all of the contents from the deputy’s blood draw kit, except one thing: the needle. She used a smaller, 25-gauge butterfly needle. This might not seem like a big deal to a normal person, but it has proven to be significant. According to many doctors, including Adam Bromberg, M.D., (who, by the way, was not retained by the defense), this needle issue presents a big problem. During a deposition, Bromberg was asked if a smaller-gauge needle could cause hemolysis in blood samples. Bromberg replied: “There’s a lot of factors that cause hemolysis in blood samples. Needle size is definitely one of them.” The destruction of red blood cells can cause inaccurate test results, like a .17 blood draw that the state maintains would be Goodman’s at 3:30 a.m., almost three hours after the accident occurred.

Bottom line, experts state the blood draw procedure was inaccurate. And Goodman is said to be appealing its inclusion as evidence, something that could have far-reaching effects on Florida law regarding blood draws. Regardless, if he had consumed everything the prosecution claims, Goodman would have been so sloppy drunk upon leaving the bar that everyone would have noticed. Yet not one witness claims he was intoxicated. So Goodman had to have had drinks in the barn as he has maintained. This makes the state’s charges of DUI at the time of the accident completely unprovable.

Making Goodman the fall guy

This is the fourth in a series by the US~Observer. Read “Florida’s John B. Goodman is not guilty,” “Not enough evidence to prove Goodman is guilty” and “Failure to render aid? He didn’t see another car.”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “Polo Mogul” John Goodman is facing a retrial on charges related to a 2010 accident that resulted in the death of Scott Wilson. In his first trial, Goodman was found guilty of DUI manslaughter failure to render aid. But Goodman didn’t see Wilson’s vehicle.

The US~Observer interviewed a witness, the girl who stated she found Wilson’s vehicle. She said: “I was there, they didn’t take my information… It still haunts me, that night, because no one helped.”

Q: Did you in fact state to the deputy on the scene that you wanted to help save the person in the canal?

A: Yes, of course! Who wouldn’t want to try and help? There was a car flipped over.

Q: Were you at any time instructed not to try and help?

A: Yes.

It was also reported that one deputy stated he would not enter into the canal because he was concerned with getting “pesticide poisoning.”

None of the witnesses were ever mentioned in any law enforcement report other than dispatch records. Does that cause concern?

The facts show that the witnesses were likely on the scene eight to 15 minutes after the accident. Law enforcement was likely on the scene within 15 to 18 minutes after the accident. Since it was determined that Wilson drowned, wouldn’t it be safe to consider that Wilson could likely have been alive when the witnesses and/or sheriff’s deputies first arrived? And no one helped him. It is outrageous and, in my opinion, criminal that the state is trying to make Goodman the fall guy and accountable for something only speculation can imply, claiming he saw the vehicle, when others who had not just been in a traumatic accident did not. The fact is 911 was informed of it and advised bystanders to do nothing. The police saw it and did nothing. Where are their criminal charges of failure to render aid?

None of the nine Fire Rescue responders found Wilson in the canal. It was reported that one responder put on a wet suit (no mask or oxygen tank) and felt around the car with his hands. He claimed no one was in the vehicle. Did they fail to render proper aid? None of them was charged with a crime, yet they reportedly failed to do their job. Interestingly, two rescue responders out of the nine on the scene were disciplined. One responder received a “written warning.” The other received a “written reprimand.” The Palm Beach Post reported: “A written warning, said Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Don DeLucia, is the mildest form of punishment for firefighters.” Is there a double standard here?

An hour and a half passed before the tow truck pulled Wilson’s car out of the canal. At 2:31:52 a.m., Wilson’s body was discovered. “CONFIRMED, S/7.. THERE WAS A BODY IN THE VEH…”

Other than speculating that Goodman was completely aware of Wilson’s car being in the canal, only one piece of evidence I’ve seen thus far suggests (erroneously) that Goodman knew Wilson’s car was in the canal before he left the scene: Deputy Troy Snelgrove’s co-authored article, with animation attached. According to the article, Snelgrove created an animation that is “worth a million” words. As Snelgrove reconstructed the scene, his article stated:

Although this information and technology was compelling, Snelgrove still wondered how he could validate the scanner’s representation of evidence. He decided that by overlaying the 2D diagrams on top of the 3D scanned crash scene, this would provide the verification Snelgrove needed.

Did his reconstruction represent fact, or was it created to allusively prove Snelgrove’s unfounded assumptions?

Snelgrove’s animation “showed that Goodman spent approximately six seconds in front of his vehicle, standing in the sand on the top of the canal bank, presumably watching the Hyundai sink into the water.” Wow. What scientific algorithm did Snelgrove use to determine the exact time Goodman stood there? Maybe Snelgrove has a crystal ball that we could use to see everything Goodman did after the crash, not just during the six seconds he allegedly stood in front of his car. Snelgrove’s “determinations” are nothing more than pure speculation.

It is also important to note that Goodman, 50, had no criminal history prior to this accident. He has never had a DUI. He has never had a speeding ticket as an adult, and he had never been arrested prior to this tragic accident. Does that sound like a person who fails to render aid? Remember, Goodman had sustained several injuries himself, and his phone was dead. So I ask: How was he to help, especially considering he did not know about Wilson’s vehicle? It is an absolute fact that Goodman sought out a phone and called 911 after the accident. At this point, the only logical answer would be to indict everyone involved and to drop Goodman’s failure to render aid charges.

–Joseph Snook

Failure to render aid? He didn’t see another car

This is the third in a series by the US~Observer. Read the first part, “Florida’s John B. Goodman is not guilty,” and the second part, “Not enough evidence to prove Goodman is guilty.” 

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “Polo Mogul” John Goodman is facing a retrial on charges related to a 2010 accident that resulted in the death of Scott Wilson. In his first trial, Goodman was found guilty of DUI manslaughter failure to render aid. But Goodman didn’t see Wilson’s vehicle.

Shortly after hitting his head during the accident, Goodman regained consciousness. As he stepped out of his car, he stated, he thought at first that it was a hit and run, as there was no other vehicle in sight. Visibility was reportedly very poor. He then thought that perhaps he’d hit a horse trailer being pulled by another vehicle, and it continued, leaving the scene. He reached for his phone to call someone for help, but it was dead. This was later confirmed through phone records and also by responding deputy Ricardo Safford.

Goodman’s car was totaled and his phone was dead. Being in the Wellington, Florida, countryside at almost 1 a.m., staying on the dark road waiting for someone to drive by didn’t seem to be the best option. His next thought was: Find a phone. Still shaky and disoriented from the accident, Goodman started walking down a dirt road, having seen what he thought was a light in the distance. It was later determined to be a large polo barn. Goodman walked around the bottom level of the barn, thinking there should be a landline phone, which is common in polo barns in case of emergencies. Goodman found nothing.

As he continued to search, he found stairs that went to the upper level. Finding the upstairs door unlocked, he went inside to what he described as a “man-cave” with a fully furnished office, a large flat-screen television mounted on the wall, desks and a shelf with liquor. Injured and thirsty, Goodman looked for water, but there was none. He consumed alcohol from the bar in an attempt to ease his pain as he continued searching for a phone. As he walked around the upstairs portion of the barn, he saw photos of his friend Kris Kampsen on the wall and finally realized where he was. Knowing now there was no phone, he looked from the balcony and saw another light in the distance. Goodman left the barn and headed toward this next place where he could hopefully get assistance.

Goodman approached the light and saw it was a small horse stable; he continued through the stable unable to find a phone. Next, he continued walking past the stable and noticed a small trailer. Goodman knocked and opened the door. Lisa Pembleton (now Del Mundo) was inside the trailer, and Goodman asked her if he could use her phone. She was obviously cautious and startled, as a complete stranger had just entered her trailer; but she provided her phone. Goodman’s first call was to his girlfriend. He informed her of his accident, completely unaware that there was another vehicle at the scene. Next, he called 911. It was reported that 54 minutes had elapsed between the time Goodman left the scene to find a phone and when he made his 911 call.

During his conversation with 911, Goodman was informed that sheriff’s deputies were looking for him. Goodman then flagged down the deputy as he left Pembleton’s trailer. At that time, Goodman was informed there was another vehicle at the scene of the accident.

If you did not know there was another vehicle involved, who would you call first? During a discussion with others regarding Goodman’s not knowing there was another vehicle at the scene, I was told their first call would be to a close family member or friend, next would likely be to insurance, followed by a tow truck and/or 911. I personally know from past vehicle accidents, my insurance company has always asked that I contact them first, if the accident is not life-threatening.

Pembleton later became the state’s main witness after speaking at length with deputies and prosecutors. She also allegedly had her legal counsel provided, free of charge, by an attorney friend of the Wilson family’s civil attorney. Conflict? Interestingly, Pembleton also wrote about the night in question on a blog. She stated, “I had a dream the week prior of a guy coming into my camper, saying he was in an accident and needed a phone…” Maybe she did have that dream, or maybe not. Would you give much weight to Pembleton’s testimony, given these statements?

Meanwhile, there had already been four other civilians who stopped at the scene. Two of them actually called 911 before deputies arrived. The first witness was Nicole Ocoro. She was returning home when she found Goodman’s Bentley “crashed on the side of the road.” Ocoro was asked “what did it hit” four separate times during her call to 911. First, Ocoro stated, “I — I don’t even know; I just saw it pulled off on the side of the road.” Ocoro, again, was asked twice what it hit before she gave her second answer. She stated, “I have no — It looks like another car hit it. There’s like (unintelligible).” Finally, Ocoro stated, “It — It must’ve been something else that hit it because there’s a nasty, like — the inside is all banged up and the wheel is at a slant. Like, it looks terrible.”

Ocoro never mentioned seeing another vehicle during her 911 call; and to this day, she states that she never saw Wilson’s vehicle before she left the scene.

Shortly after Ocoro left, Eli DeRosa and Stephen Chiappa stopped at the scene and called 911. During their call to 911, there was no mention of another vehicle. This is important, because these two witnesses were on location when deputies Mitch Reiger and Ricardo Safford arrived. Their names, information and a statement was reportedly never taken by responding deputies Reiger, Snelgrove or Safford.

Another witness, a young female who asked to remain anonymous, also arrived on the scene shortly after the two boys, just minutes before deputies. She stated she found Wilson’s vehicle in the canal, and the boys called 911 for a second time. This was the first time Wilson’s vehicle was discovered. According to transcripts, the boy who called was told by 911 dispatch, “I don’t want you going into the canal.”

Joseph Snook

Not enough evidence to prove Goodman is guilty

This is the second in a series by the US~Observer. Read the first part, “Florida’s John B. Goodman is not guilty.”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “Polo Mogul” John Goodman is facing a retrial on charges related to a 2010 accident that resulted in the death of Scott Wilson. To claim first degree vehicular homicide, the prosecution must prove that Goodman caused Wilson’s death by “… the operation of a motor vehicle … in a reckless manner likely to cause the death …” and that “At the time of the accident, the person [Goodman] knew, or should have known, that the accident occurred; and … The person [Goodman] failed to give information and render aid as required by s. 316.062.”

Goodman was driving a 2007 Bentley GTC when the accident occurred. During the first trial, Goodman’s defense claimed that his vehicle”surged” without his manually employing the throttle, which led to the collision. The reported speed at impact, by both the prosecution and the defense experts, clearly suggests that Goodman never “stopped” at the stop sign. But according to the state-provided 911 transcripts, Goodman told a 911 dispatcher that he had stopped. Could he have suffered a concussion and not known exactly what happened? Absolutely.

Have you ever been in a collision at more than 50 mph? The likelihood of trauma, not to mention misstated details of events, is highly plausible.

So could a Bentley surge out of control? After looking at online forums and after spending many hours talking with people who could possibly answer this question, I found a logical answer.

I talked to a technician at Carrera (Porsche) Motors. He stated he has “worked on Bentleys in the past.” At first, he laughed at the probability that a Bentley, known as one of the world’s most prestigious automobile manufacturers, could possibly surge. Then, I explained the circumstances. Later, his laugh became an “ahh!” after he looked further into the issue. During our second conversation he said, “There is an electronic control unit (ECU) or module that has proven to be a big problem for this year, make and model when it gets wet.” He continued, “There are currently 79 Bentley GTs (including GTCs) for sale in the U.S., and one of them lists that the ECU needs replaced.” He also stated that this module, if compromised, could possibly cause the vehicle to “advance uncontrollably.”

One certified technician verified that this issue exists, but I was still not entirely convinced. Next, I went to another exotic vehicle (vehicle type omitted intentionally) certified technician who has worked on”hundreds of Bentleys.” He explained in detail the issues that can arise from this particular module failing. The tech informed me that this particular module controls “air, fuel” and yes, “acceleration.” He stated that Toyota, VW (owns Bentley), GM, Lexus and other manufacturers have had similar problems. He continued, “Toyota has manufactured vehicles where it was estimated that 140 out of every 1 million cars would result in sudden accelerations. Was it unlikely to happen? Yes. But did it happen? Yes.”

Although the cause of the malfunction in Toyota was different than what has been reported in Bentley, the result is likely the same, possible surging. Bentley is obviously nowhere near as common of a vehicle as Toyota, so this issue is definitely not as common with Bentley, but it still exists, according the tech.

I was informed by the tech that vehicle manufacturers use what is known as “Technical Service Bulletins” (TSB) to inform techs how to fix certain problems. He stated that he has worked on roughly 200 Bentleys that were the same year, make and model as Goodman’s. He said it is common for techs to print these bulletins and keep them in a readily-accessible folder to refer back to when servicing each vehicle. He recalled fixing three Bentleys where the same particular module as Goodman’s was compromised, each time using the TSB to accurately fix the problem. But the problem that exists today: that particular TSB is nowhere to be found online, according to both techs I talked with.

The second technician believes that he knows someone who has that particular bulletin, but he was fearful of coming forward with that document, afraid he would never be able to retain employment in his line of work again. Apparently, Bentley did go to great lengths to keep this information private, according to the tech. He informed me that Bentley can also “update their bulletins, or delete them entirely.”

Why would Bentley do this? Could Goodman’s case be the cause of why this information was allegedly deleted? Could a $40 million insurance ($6 million more paid by another source) payout to Wilson’s family be an incentive to keep this a “hush-hush” issue with Bentley? Bentley would assuredly have liability if it was ever proven that Goodman’s car surged.

The second technician I spoke with gave very compelling details. It would be very wise of Goodman’s defense to use his knowledge to educate the jurors on all of the very technical information during the next trial.

Presumably, Bentley will be supplying their own “expert” for the prosecution during Goodman’s upcoming trial. You can bet they will be doing everything possible to protect their prestigious name.

It has also been reported that former prosecutor Ellen Roberts knew that deputy Troy Snelgrove had been given information by Bentley that suggested five or six other people had the same issues that Goodman’s defense claimed, but she reportedly did not disclose this information to the Defense. Is this withholding exculpatory evidence?

So what about that Bentley Goodman was driving on the night of the accident?

The new defense won’t be able to examine that Bentley. The defense experts won’t be able to examine it either, prohibiting their ability to conduct many necessary tests. Most importantly, the jury will not see the Bentley. They won’t see the reportedly problematic $5,000 module, which, by the way, was not replaced on Goodman’s vehicle according to service records (1, 2). Arguably, the jury won’t have the single most important piece of evidence to help them make an informed decision that could cost Goodman 30 years of his life.

Why not just get the Bentley back?

Goodman’s Bentley has been scrapped, sold for parts, and is currently in the hands of its third owner since Roberts released it from the state’s custody. Ask almost any attorney and he’ll tell you that all evidence should be preserved pending any appeals in a criminal case. So why would a “seasoned” prosecutor like Roberts do such a thing?

According to emails obtained and according to witnesses, Roberts had a very close relationship with the Wilson family’s civil attorney, Scott B. Smith of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey and Fronrath, sharing all sorts of information well before Goodman’s first trail was over. In fact, Roberts retired shortly after Goodman’s trial and took a job with the firm (Scott B. Smith) that represented the Wilsons. Could that be considered prosecutorial misconduct? Could Roberts have been guaranteed a spiff for her help?

Could Bentley have encouraged Roberts to dispose of Goodman’s vehicle? Could the Wilson’s civil attorney have coordinated this? There is no excuse for her actions when it pertains to getting rid of crucial legal evidence.

According to the Florida Bar, Roberts presumably violated her duty to preserve evidence:

…courts cannot tolerate the wrongful destruction of relevant evidence if litigation is reasonably foreseeable. By so doing, courts undermine the foundation of the legal system and destroy public confidence in our judicial process, which depends on the evidence.

What about Wilson and his vehicle? Was he really going the speed limit? How many driving violations did Wilson have prior to this accident? Why was his speedometer displaying 120 mph after it was pulled out of the canal? Why were his headlights in the “off” position? Could he have had any culpability in the crash itself? Wilson’s phone records suggest he may have been preoccupied with his cellular phone at the time of the accident.

Simply, there is not enough valid evidence to prove Goodman operated his vehicle in a reckless manner.

–Joseph Snook

 

Florida’s John B. Goodman is not guilty

This is the first in a series by the US~Observer.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Guilt is supposed to be determined by an impartial jury of our peers. Today, however, guilt is generally assumed upon the reading of charges and state-authorized and released details in the local daily paper, national tabloids if you’re “worthy” enough, and/or online on Facebook or Twitter. This poisoning of the jury pool is a delight to every prosecutor’s office across the country. However, fact is often very different from the state’s accounting of the details and, once revealed, paints a much different picture — often resulting in a truth-based perception that the charged person is not guilty or, in other words, innocent.

Now, you will finally be able to read about “Polo Mogul” John Goodman’s case from a significantly unique perspective based on the evidence. This is not what the assigned West Palm Beach prosecutors and a few deputies have reported to the mainstream media to pass on to the public. This reporting is the result of months of digging through evidence, testimony and communication with eyewitnesses and experts. More so, when the research began, the presumption was that Goodman was guilty. What I uncovered was that there is more than enough evidence to elicit a preponderance of innocence, not guilt, and that unless the state continually lies about the facts, or the jurists have a vendetta to convict, Goodman cannot be found guilty. Quite simply, there is no definitive evidence that can be considered beyond a reasonable doubt in favor of a guilty verdict; it is quite the opposite. Remember, the burden of proof is the state’s, not Goodman’s.

The John Goodman Case

On Feb. 12, 2010, Goodman, 47, was returning home from a YMCA charity event, then a dinner/social function, when his car suddenly collided with another vehicle driven by 23-year-old Scott Wilson. The events that followed tragically ended Wilson’s life and left John Goodman fighting for his innocence — for the second time in almost four years. The evidence obtained in this case gives convincing details of how sheriff’s deputies Ricardo Safford and Troy Snelgrove, along with prosecutors Ellen Roberts (retired) and Sherri Collins, allegedly committed crimes. The evidence reveals they lied, withheld exculpatory evidence, threatened one law enforcement officer to not testify (because it would hurt the states’ case), willfully and negligently destroyed key evidence, obstructed justice, failed to render aid and possibly accepted what could amount to bribes.

Goodman was originally convicted of DUI manslaughter/failure to render aid and vehicular homicide/failure to render aid on March 23, 2012. Legal experts have stated that trial errors “warranted a new trial” and most likely would have resulted in a successful appeal. However, juror misconduct was discovered. Because Goodman did not receive a review by an impartial jury, he secured the right to a new trial, currently scheduled for Oct. 6. The trial is supposed to take place as if the first trial’s outcome did not even exist, and Goodman is once again facing charges that carry a reported 30-year sentence if convicted.

The Accident

The accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. am on a dark February night. There were no eyewitnesses. The road conditions were normal, and the temperature was reported to be in the 50s. Visibility was an issue due to the accident’s rural location combined with a thumbnail moon. This made it difficult to see, which was expressed by two post-crash witnesses who called 911 and several other responders. In fact, five people claimed to have not seen Wilson’s car initially, as it was turned upside down and was mostly underwater in a nearby canal.

Goodman hit his head as a result of the collision, losing consciousness. When he “came to,” he was incredibly “disoriented” and concussed by the sheer momentum of the accident. The prosecution claims Goodman was traveling about 63 mph at impact. The previous defense claimed “between 49-58″ mph. Assuming either of those speeds, impact would cause someone’s head to be extremely jarred, at the very least. Goodman also sustained a wrist fracture, a “questionable fracture of the sternum” with “soft tissue swelling,” and a laceration and hematoma above his left eye. Goodman was transported to Wellington Regional Hospital, where he received medical attention from Dr. Adam Bromberg, who confirmed Goodman’s injuries.

Analysis of the skid marks show Wilson’s car spun violently after the collision. According to the prosecution in Goodman’s initial trial, Wilson died as a result of drowning. Wilson’s car was found just minutes after the accident by the fourth bystander to arrive on the scene; nobody else had seen his car. About five minutes later, the sheriff’s deputies arrived. But the responding deputies and fire and rescue personnel failed to find Wilson until 2:31 a.m. Why? It took authorities nearly an hour and a half after arriving on scene, fully aware of where Wilson’s vehicle was, before his body was discovered. The canal was shallow enough that the Hyundai Wilson was driving had its back tires sticking out of the water, according to witnesses.

The prosecution has, and will again, painted a picture that Goodman, whose blood alcohol level was allegedly above the legal limit, was drunk at the time of the accident; that he was the sole cause of the crash; and that he stood there callously watching Wilson’s car sink and then fled into the night. Case closed, right?

Not so fast.

–Joseph Snook

Editor’s note: Check back next week for the next part of the story.

Father’s Fight To Be Reunited With Daughter Pays Off

After the sudden loss of her mother in 2011, then-3-year-old Roselynn Sanchez became the unfortunate pawn in a custody battle between her living relatives. Roselynn’s biological father, Ryan Sanchez, who had separated from Roselynn’s mother prior to her death, was issued a court order to appear in Montana regarding custody of his daughter.

Roselynn’s two maternal grandparents, who were divorced, wanted Roselynn to remain in their custody and filed for custody in Montana, despite Roselynn’s only living parent (Sanchez) residing in Kansas.

Sanchez rushed to an attorney like most people would in a similar situation. Sadly, Sanchez quickly found out that his decision to do that was one that will weigh on him for many years to come.

The grandparents were given custody, all while his attorney was collecting legal fees.

Three years later, and after spending roughly $40,000 on his attorney, Sanchez is still baffled when trying to understand how he lost custody initially.

As the legal bills kept piling up, Sanchez had to work out of state in the oil fields in South Dakota, attempting to do everything possible to keep up with the financial strain. His wife, Andrea, was in Kansas, working hard herself and taking on this fight as her own, doing everything to help have her stepchild brought home.

As the bills continued to pile up, combined with the headache of dealing with an attorney who allegedly failed Sanchez greatly, Sanchez quickly found himself almost two years further into the seemingly never-ending custody battle without any meaningful resolution.

At that juncture, Sanchez’s father hired the US~Observer. After looking into the case, it was obvious that very little had been accomplished in court. Either Sanchez’s attorney Chris King of Wyoming was failing miserably to effectively assist his client, or the court was simply not interested in Roselynn’s being permanently reunited with her only living parent. This writer believes that Sanchez was being financially drained by his attorney.

The facts of the case were simple, yet the final outcome was not. The US~Observer reported on this case in March 2013.

It was reported that the judge presiding over this case, Blair Jones, had a direct connection to Roselynn’s maternal grandfather. No evidence of this was ever found. Shortly after the publication of our only article on this case, a final plan to determine permanent custody was arranged.

As the final custody hearing of Aug. 8, 2014, neared, Ryan and Andrea Sanchez were deeply concerned. What would the judge do? They had been labeled horrible things by the maternal grandparents. The claims were never proved as true, but it still caused them much grief. They had fought so hard for so long just to have their little girl. Making things worse, they received an email from their attorney just days before the hearing, demanding an extra $2,000 to “finish” the case. At a meeting with their attorney, just one day prior to the hearing, King allegedly threatened to “remove himself” from the case. The meeting ended abruptly, with tempers reportedly flaring.

What would you do if had paid almost $40,000 to an attorney who spent three years on your case without getting you custody of your daughter, then he suddenly demands an extra $2,000 along with allegedly threatening to drop your case?

Despite the troubles with King, the Sanchezes walked out of the meeting with their heads held high. They had done everything humanly possible to prove they deserved to parent their child. The next morning was a big day, and they needed to stay positive and look past King’s reported threats.

On Aug. 8, I received a phone call that brought tears to my eyes for many reasons.

“She’s coming home. We’re picking her up tomorrow at noon!” Ryan and Andrea followed by stating they were “happy, very happy!”

Jones finally ruled in their favor. He did the right thing in this case, despite the animosity between the two parties involved. Ryan Sanchez is Roselynn’s father — a damn good father, who has fought very hard to have the right to raise his daughter.

The US~Observer commends Jones for his just ruling. You never know what a judge is going to do these days, despite how obvious it may seem.

The US~Observer conducted a thorough investigation and subsequent report, along with other pertinent work, which Ryan stated “helped tremendously.” It was stated several times that our efforts caused “a big change for the good in this case.”

The US~Observer would also like to commend Andrea Earhart, the guardian ad litem in this case who helped give Roselynn a permanent foundation in her young life. Ultimately, Roselynn will be the one who benefits most from this.

On Aug. 12, Roselynn started school for her first time in Kansas. There will be many adjustments ahead, but one thing is certain: Roselynn is finally where she deserves to be — home.

It is this writer’s opinion that when going through a custody battle, an attorney is not always the most important “first” option, although legal counsel will likely be required at some point. You need to understand that having a good balance of advocates other than an attorney is equally as important. The US~Observer provides that option. Not all attorneys are the same. Before you hire one, ask them pertinent questions, talk to some former clients, be prudent in your decision-making process.

Congratulations to the Sanchez family. They truly deserve this moment.

As for King, if you ever consider hiring him, I would highly suggest contacting Ryan and Andrea Sanchez before writing him a check. They might just give you some wise advice.

–Joseph Snook

 

Return Of The King

King George III once believed that America was his land, the land of the crown of England, to be ruled over without the consent of the governed. His powers, even though partially limited by England’s ruling-class parliament, were sweeping through the use of royal proclamations, much like today’s executive orders.

It was one such decree that created further animosity between the colonists and the crown and is said to have contributed to the rising conflict that would later flare into the Revolutionary War: The Royal Proclamation of 1763. In effect, the king sought to manage the expansion of the colonists as well as control the headwaters of all rivers that flowed into the Atlantic by forming a line along the Appalachian Mountains. It was a line the colonists were forbidden to move beyond.

Per Wikipedia:

Colonial officials could not grant lands without royal approval, and the proclamation gave the crown a monopoly on all future land purchases from American Indians.

Needless to say, it didn’t work out all that well for King George; and I am perplexed as to why the same tactics are being put up with today under the guise of national monuments.

A national monument in the United States is land confiscated by the stroke of a presidential pen under the Antiquities Act of 1906 by an executive order asserting that certain lands are now protected under federal law and jurisdiction. In essence, if the king decrees it such, it is to be.

If there is land owned by citizens within the borders of a national monument, it does not become part of the monument until such time as the federal government acquires title. However, restrictions on land use will be imposed so as to not affect the monument. The land owner is essentially landlocked and forced to ultimately transfer title to the government.

All water rights within national monuments fall to the federal government. How interesting that the proposed Siskiyou Crest National Monument completely confiscates the headwaters of the Rogue and Applegate rivers; all of this, of course, is done under the guise of protection.

But who protects the people’s interests and the rights that we inherently have when the Constitution — the instrument that mandates the government not trample these rights — is utterly ignored by the whim of whatever president is in power?

The usurpation of land for use determined by a government and not by the people becomes, in essence, the king’s land. And with a reported 136 million acres in 71 national monuments located in 26 states, there is a lot of land owned by the crown.

The Power Of The King

The taking of land wouldn’t be possible without the power of the executive order, an instrument that has been used since 1789 to typically keep management in the executive branch and its agencies functioning. This could include something as small as extending one’s service beyond retirement age (something that if you look into the records happened quite often). But the power of the executive order has grown and is almost limitless, especially in times of crisis. The only challenge comes from Congress or by the courts; and this hasn’t happened as often as one might think, and definitely not often enough to curtail the ever-expanding power of the orders.

According to a Phyllis Schlafly Report titled “Power Grab Through Executive Orders”:

The term Executive Order does not appear in the Constitution. The Executive Order authority derives from the President’s Article II, Section 3 power to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” However, “laws” must mean laws that are already passed, not laws that an Executive Order purports to create. The validity of particular Executive Orders has often been questioned, but neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has ever defined the extent of their power, and courts have rarely invalidated or even reviewed EOs.

In a February 2010 opinion piece in The News Record, the student newspaper at the University of Cincinnati, Jeremy Davis wrote:

The Founding Fathers didn’t draft the Constitution with a central leader with extensive power in mind. Their experience of living under the rule of a despotic king fueled their attempts to prevent a tyrannical centralized government from taking hold here.

The nature of the presidency and its expanding power has been evolving more and more with each passing administration.

Then there are the chilling words of Harry V. Martin, who wrote:

the President now has the power to transfer whole populations to any part of the country, the power to suspend the Press and to force a national registration of all persons. The President, in essence, has dictatorial powers never provided to him under the Constitution. The President has the power to suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in a real or perceived emergency. Unlike Lincoln and Roosevelt, these powers are not derived from a wartime need, but from any crisis, domestic or foreign, hostile or economic. Roosevelt created extraordinary measures during the Great Depression, but any President faced with a similar, or lesser, economic crisis now has extraordinary powers to assume dictatorial status.

Clearly, the king has returned, with decree in hand; and the people are left powerless — left to tell tales of a once-great republic when liberty, freedom and justice existed for all.

Executive Orders Per President Since Franklin D. Roosevelt:

Barack Obama: 184 (so far)
George W. Bush: 291
Bill Clinton: 364
George H.W. Bush: 166
Ronald Reagan: 381
Jimmy Carter: 320
Gerald Ford: 169
Richard Nixon: 346
Lyndon Johnson: 324
John F. Kennedy: 214
Dwight Eisenhower: 486
Harry Truman: 896
Franklin D. Roosevelt: 3,728

Source: National Archives

–Ron Lee

An American Citizen’s Duty

Who are we anymore? Do we even know?

America has changed, folks. And though many people would like to pretend our society’s newfound political correctness has fostered a worldly humanity, nothing is further from the truth. This “correctness” has literally destroyed our own sense of belonging to, what was once, the greatest nation on the Earth. It has, literally, stripped us of the ability to unite in one American spirit.

Due in part to the lack of involvement by citizens, Big Brother and Uncle Sam have become Mom and Dad. Because of this, citizens are viewed as children who need to be told what to do, eat, listen to, buy, say and be. How sad it is that many revere this philosophy of irresponsibility? They believe if the government weren’t involved, people would get hurt or killed. They believe people would eat tainted meat and drive cars that are unsafe. They believe everyone would starve in the streets, and no one would be protected from the bully on Facebook. They believe that employers would enslave their employees and that, without government, the world would catch fire and would cease to exist. They also believe that they would no longer feel special; because if it weren’t for government, other people could call them plain Americans — not using the hyphenated term of their own desire to set them apart from the rest. And they readily believe that they are special and that they should have rights above everyone else.

So just what does it mean to be an American citizen anymore? Are we so far removed from having to do that we are simply complacent to just be whatever we’re told to be? When did the spirit that was the American way die? When was the American dream attained so the rest would be a nightmare of authoritarian rule? When did we give up on ourselves?

It used to be a citizen’s duty to protect the Republic and his or her neighbor. Well, we got so caught up with competing with our neighbors on a material level that kindness and fellowship fell from our way of life. We have, literally, become islands unto ourselves — afraid of everyone and everything around us.

The sad fact is most people need the government to be their parents and to protect them – even from themselves.

People are so far removed from the citizen’s duty of old that they have even lost the knowledge of the Republic, instead replacing it with a democracy that has been designed to give everyone the feeling of having a voice.

It’s a fake feeling, let me tell you.

It is time to do our citizen’s duty. Just what is that, you wonder?

Well, according to conventional modern interpretations, in order to be a good American you must (as Chris Seabury, an eHow contributor, lists):

Follow All Regulations

In America, it is a citizen’s duty to obey the laws enacted by the government, interpreted by the courts, and enforced by the police.

Jury Duty

Citizens are often called for jury duty, which they are required to perform. In the United States, all suspects have a right to due process and a trial by jury. Part of ensuring that the criminal justice system works properly is having citizens serve on juries in trials.

Witness

If you are witness to a crime, you could be summonsed [sic] as a witness. It is your duty as a citizen to inform the authorities of everything that you saw. You could also be called if you did not witness the crime but have information relevant to the case.

Taxes

It is all American citizens’ constitutional duty to pay taxes. Taxes are necessary to ensure that various services can be provided, such as national defense, infrastructure, public works, government operations and more.

Selective Service System

When American male citizens become 18 years old, they must register with the Selective Service System. Should the government employ a military draft, this is how the government would choose those who would be drafted.

Poppycock! Yeah, I just used that word. That list outlines a good little boy or girl who does what he or she is told. It has nothing to do with being an American, and honoring that which sets us apart.

I believe that to do our citizen’s duty, we have to become champions of the Constitution. Know it. Show it. Fight to your last breath to protect it. It is the Republic — at least the foundation that it was created upon. Get to know your neighbors and offer them a hand with something they need. Go to your city council and county commission meetings and be involved.

Perhaps the most applicable outline for a modern citizen’s duty comes from Jan. 26, 1883, when Theodore Roosevelt wrote “The Duties of American Citizenship.” It, in part, states:

It ought to be axiomatic in this country that every man must devote a reasonable share of his time to doing his duty in the Political life of the community. No man has a right to shirk his political duties under whatever plea of pleasure or business; and while such shirking may be pardoned in those of small means it is entirely unpardonable in those among whom it is most common — in the people whose circumstances give them freedom in the struggle for life. In so far as the community grows to think rightly, it will likewise grow to regard the young man of means who shirks his duty to the State in time of peace as being only one degree worse than the man who thus shirks it in time of war. A great many of our men in business, or of our young men who are bent on enjoying life (as they have a perfect right to do if only they do not sacrifice other things to enjoyment), rather plume themselves upon being good citizens if they even vote; yet voting is the very least of their duties, Nothing worth gaining is ever gained without effort. You can no more have freedom without striving and suffering for it than you can win success as a banker or a lawyer without labor and effort, without self-denial in youth and the display of a ready and alert intelligence in middle age. The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community. Their place is under a despotism; or if they are content to do nothing but vote, you can take despotism tempered by an occasional plebiscite, like that of the second Napoleon. In one of Lowell’s magnificent stanzas about the Civil War he speaks of the fact which his countrymen were then learning, that freedom is not a gift that tarries long in the hands of cowards: nor yet does it tarry long in the hands of the sluggard and the idler, in the hands of the man so much absorbed in the pursuit of pleasure or in the pursuit of gain, or so much wrapped up in his own easy home life as to be unable to take his part in the rough struggle with his fellow men for political supremacy. If freedom is worth having, if the right of self-government is a valuable right, then the one and the other must be retained exactly as our forefathers acquired them, by labor, and especially by labor in organization, that is in combination with our fellows who have the same interests and the same principles. We should not accept the excuse of the business man who attributed his failure to the fact that his social duties were so pleasant and engrossing that he had no time left for work in his office; nor would we pay much heed to his further statement that he did not like business anyhow because he thought the morals of the business community by no means what they should be, and saw that the great successes were most often won by men of the Jay Gould stamp. It is just the same way with politics. It makes one feel half angry and half amused, and wholly contemptuous, to find men of high business or social standing in the community saying that they really have not got time to go to ward meetings, to organize political clubs, and to take a personal share in all the important details of practical politics; men who further urge against their going the fact that they think the condition of political morality low, and are afraid that they may be required to do what is not right if they go into politics.

The first duty of an American citizen, then, is that he shall work in politics; his second duty is that he shall do that work in a practical manner; and his third is that it shall be done in accord with the highest principles of honor and justice.

Finally, the man who wishes to do his duty as a citizen in our country must be imbued through and through with the spirit of Americanism. I am not saying this as a matter of spread-eagle rhetoric: I am saying it quite soberly as a piece of matter-of-fact, common-sense advice, derived from my own experience of others. Of course, the question of Americanism has several sides. If a man is an educated man, he must show his Americanism by not getting misled into following out and trying to apply all the theories of the political thinkers of other countries, such as Germany and France, to our own entirely different conditions. He must not get a fad, for instance, about responsible government; and above all things he must not, merely because he is intelligent, or a college professor well read in political literature, try to discuss our institutions when he has had no practical knowledge of how they are worked. Again, if he is a wealthy man, a man of means and standing, he must really feel, not merely affect to feel, that no social differences obtain save such as a man can in some way himself make by his own actions. People sometimes ask me if there is not a prejudice against a man of wealth and education in ward politics. I do not think that there is, unless the man in turn shows that he regards the facts of his having wealth and education as giving him a claim to superiority aside from the merit he is able to prove himself to have in actual service. Of course, if he feels that he ought to have a little better treatment than a carpenter, a plumber, or a butcher, who happens to stand beside him, he is going to be thrown out of the race very quickly, and probably quite roughly; and if he starts in to patronize and elaborately condescend to these men he will find that they resent this attitude even more. Do not let him think about the matter at all. Let him go into the political contest with no more thought of such matters than a college boy gives to the social standing of the members of his own and rival teams in a hotly contested football match. As soon as he begins to take an interest in politics (and he will speedily not only get interested for the sake of politics, but also take a good healthy interest in playing the game itself — an interest which is perfectly normal and praise-worthy, and to which only a prig would object), he will begin to work up the organization in the way that will be most effective, and he won’t care a rap about who is put to work with him, save in so far as he is a good fellow and an efficient worker. There was one time that a number of men who think as we do here tonight (one of the number being myself) got hold of one of the assembly districts of New York, and ran it in really an ideal way, better than any other assembly district has ever been run before or since by either party. We did it by hard work and good organization; by working practically, and yet by being honest and square in motive and method: especially did we do it by all turning in as straight-out Americans without any regard to distinctions of race origin. Among the many men who did a great deal in organizing our victories was the son of a Presbyterian clergyman, the nephew of a Hebrew rabbi, and two well-known Catholic gentlemen. We also had a Columbia College professor (the stroke-oar of a university crew), a noted retail butcher, and the editor of a local German paper, various brokers, bankers, lawyers, bricklayers and a stonemason who was particularly useful to us, although on questions of theoretic rather than applied politics he had a decidedly socialistic turn of mind.

Again, questions of race origin, like questions of creed, must not be considered: we wish to do good work, and we are all Americans, pure and simple. In the New York legislature, when it fell to my lot to choose a committee — which I always esteemed my most important duty at Albany — no less than three out of the four men I chose were of Irish birth or parentage; and three abler and more fearless and disinterested men never sat in a legislative body; while among my especial political and personal friends in that body was a gentleman from the southern tier of counties, who was, I incidentally found out, a German by birth, but who was just as straight United States as if his ancestors had come over here in the Mayflower or in Henry Hudson’s yacht. Of course, none of these men of Irish or German birth would have been worth their salt had they continued to act after coming here as Irishmen or Germans, or as anything but plain straight-out Americans. We have not any room here for a divided allegiance. A man has got to be an American and nothing else; and he has no business to be mixing us up with questions of foreign politics, British or Irish, German or French, and no business to try to perpetuate their language and customs in the land of complete religious toleration and equality. If, however, he does become honestly and in good faith an American, then he is entitled to stand precisely as all other Americans stand, and it is the height of un-Americanism to discriminate against him in any way because of creed or birthplace. No spirit can be more thoroughly alien to American institutions, than the spirit of the Know-Nothings.

In facing the future and in striving, each according to the measure of his individual capacity, to work out the salvation of our land, we should be neither timid pessimists nor foolish optimists. We should recognize the dangers that exist and that threaten us: we should neither overestimate them nor shrink from them, but steadily fronting them should set to work to overcome and beat them down. Grave perils are yet to be encountered in the stormy course of the Republic — perils from political corruption, perils from individual laziness, indolence and timidity, perils springing from the greed of the unscrupulous rich, and from the anarchic violence of the thriftless and turbulent poor. There is every reason why we should recognize them, but there is no reason why we should fear them or doubt our capacity to overcome them, if only each will, according to the measure of his ability, do his full duty, and endeavor so to live as to deserve the high praise of being called a good American citizen.

This is the citizen I want to be. How about you?

–Ron Lee

Free After 4 Decades Of Wrongful Imprisonment

Oklahoma, 1970 – President Nixon sent combat troops to Cambodia to destroy the North Vietnamese headquarters. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. It was the year of the first Earth Day and New York Marathon. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died. Zip-Loc bags were invented. Violence erupted at Kent State University resulting in the death of four students. Former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry was in the first grade. 1970 was also the year that Reno Francis, a young Native American man, was wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to life in prison.

In the small eastern Oklahoma town of Holdenville on an August evening of the same year, Cathy Scott was murdered. Reno 23, had been at a party where Cathy was also in attendance. After leaving the party, Reno was arrested by local police while trying to use a pay phone in a nearby parking lot under suspicion of being “high on an unknown substance.” It wasn’t until two days later that Cathy’s parents reported their 13-year-old daughter missing. Her body was discovered shortly thereafter in a storage shed near the party site. Reno, who was in jail at the time, was charged with the crime.

Wrongful Conviction

Reno pled innocent and cooperated with police, even agreeing to take part in a police line-up. Knowing he was not guilty, Reno assumed he had nothing to worry about. Reno was wrong. The police lineup included only one person – Reno Francis. With no witnesses to the alleged crime, why was a line-up necessary? The assistant DA handling the case threatened Reno with the electric chair. Fearing for his life, Reno caved to the threats and reversed his plea. At the advice of his court-appointed attorney, Reno waived his right to a trial, appeal, and to remain in county jail for 10 days. For reasons still unknown to Reno, his family was not allowed to visit or watch his hearing. After facing the judge alone, save his second-rate attorney, Reno arrived at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester as a convicted murderer just 17 days after his arrest.

Reno knew nothing about the murder. Years later he still has no idea who may be responsible for ending Cathy’s life and sending him to prison. Rather than speculate and possibility incriminate another innocent party, Reno remains silent about who the murderer might be. He states, “I’m sorry for what happened. I feel for them (Cathy’s family). I wish I could do something, but there’s nothing I can do. Whoever did this is either deceased by now or is still out there. I believe the person, or persons are still out there.”

Prison Life

While serving over four decades in prison, Reno participated in every program available to him. He joined Speak Out, a program designed to keep troubled youths out of prison. He ran over 20 times in the Prisoners’ Run Against Child Abuse, even winning one year for running 44 miles. A spiritual leader amongst his peers, Reno encouraged inmates to change their lives. Known as a peacemaker on the prison yard, Reno was well-liked and respected by prison staff and inmates alike.

Reno Francis is a positive person with an unbreakable faith in God. He loves to laugh and joke around. He is thankful for each day on this earth and tries to make the most of it. His wife, Verna, supported him during a large portion of his prison stint, only missing three Saturday visits over a number of years. Despite being locked up, Reno was a strong father figure for Verna’s young son, Dusty. Watching them interact, you’d never guess that they aren’t blood related. Visitors to the prison commented on the love shared between Reno and Dusty, noting the pleasure it was to watch them together. Every winter, they would play board games. Every summer, they could be found on the visiting yard practicing Dusty’s pitches with a baseball made of trash and rubber bands.

In March of 2014, Reno celebrated his 67th birthday behind bars.

Investigation

During our investigation into Reno’s case, we discovered an absolute lack of evidence to support the state’s claim against Reno other than the guilty plea the assistant DA extorted from him. There was no evidence, no witnesses, no DNA – nothing! According to records, “Mr. Turner (Reno’s prosecutor) was fired from his position as assistant district attorney shortly after Reno’s conviction for using underhanded tactics and threatening defendants who refused to plead guilty.”

It’s not surprising, then, that Reno was told “that the State’s evidence against him was destroyed in a fire” before being told on another occasion that “the file was destroyed in a flood.”

The lack of evidence combined with the tactics used to convict Reno should make anyone with a sense of justice cringe.

Freedom

On April 30, 2014, Reno walked out of prison a free man. Legal experts agree, “This is an extremely rare case. Given the status quo, Reno should have spent his dying years behind bars. He was convicted and sentenced to life.” Nonetheless, Reno was “discharged” and his life sentence was commuted.

The US-Observer championed Reno’s case, supplying numerous letters along with pertinent information to legal authorities. Additionally, the US-Observer published numerous articles that influenced his release. Reno graciously said, “I’m proud of what you (the US-Observer) are doing. You have all of my respect. Ed (investigative reporter) has all of my respect. I love him very much.”

Debra Hampton, Reno’s attorney, relentlessly pursued his freedom. Reno stated, “She stayed on top of everything and did what she could. It took time. She kept her faith in me and believed in me. I’d recommend her to anyone.”

Reno’s loving wife, Verna, dedicated decades to helping free Reno. While talking about Verna, Reno lovingly said, “I love her to death. That’s my heart. I wouldn’t be here without her. It wasn’t easy. I would give my life for her at the drop of a hat. I’m gonna be a tick on her for the rest of my life!”

Reflecting on his experience, Reno is surprisingly content. He says, “I have no bitterness towards anyone. I know that’s kind of hard to understand why, but I’ve seen a lot of hate, and I live with that every day. What bothers me is that I have many brothers in prison. I’m here, and they’re still there. Many people who are still incarcerated for things they didn’t do.

Prison was a rough place to grow up. I had to do everything I could to keep my name good in there. I’m content to enjoy life and enjoy every day. I put the night in question behind me years ago.

No matter what happens, just keep on pushing – don’t ever give up. That’s the worst thing you can do. Keep searching for people that can help you. I was able to walk around with my head up.”

reno-verna-2

On June 13, 2014, Reno and Verna Francis were officially married. Verna reflected on what it’s like to have Reno home, “It’s wonderful. One of the pleasures is just watching him eat and enjoy good food. Knowing he’s safe and not having to worry. The kids are really enjoying him too. He’s taken some weight off of my shoulders that I’ve had for so long.”

Congratulations on your freedom, Reno! This moment will never be forgotten.

*Verna Francis helped contribute to this article.

Anonymous Call Prompts Abuse Of 9-Year-Old Girl

After a fun-filled week of camping for spring break, “Sarah” and her children unknowingly returned home to what she could only describe as “a real-life nightmare.” While Sarah and her family were away, the Oregon Department of Human Services received an anonymous “call of concern” regarding her children. According to documents, the anonymous caller alleged that Sarah’s children “were filthy and living in unsanitary conditions.” After attempting to contact Sarah, a DHS employee left a message with her parents. Shocked at the allegations, Sarah rushed to defend herself and her children against the horrific allegations.

It was too late.

Without permission from or direct communication with Sarah, DHS went to her children’s school and interviewed all but one of her children. During the interrogation, one of Sarah’s young sons allegedly stated that his 9-year-old sister (the one who wasn’t interviewed) had been “sleeping with a 20-year-old man.”

When the interviews were complete, DHS contacted Sarah. Finally made aware of the interview without her consent, Sarah, a very protective mother, grew extremely distressed at the situation and became increasingly skeptical about DHS and its practices.

Uncertain about what to do and concerned for the safety of her children, Sarah kept them home from school. She no longer trusted the school officials in charge of protecting her kids.

DHS set an appointment to interview Sarah’s daughter; but due to her skepticism about DHS, Sarah brought her father, “Dennis,” instead. In a meeting Sarah described as “intense,” Dennis, knowing Sarah as a protective mother who would never let anything inappropriate happen to her kids, defended her against DHS’s accusations.

The DHS caseworker inquired about a man present on the spring break camping trip, and Sarah responded that the man present “was a very close family friend” who was decades older than a “20-year-old man,” as described by her son. Witnesses stated that the family friend “never slept with any of Sarah’s children.”

Sarah said that during the DHS meeting, “what I had to say didn’t matter. I repeatedly told the case worker that nothing inappropriate happened with my daughter or anyone else.” Nonetheless, the situation worsened.

Even though DHS officials knew Sarah would be unable to attend, they mandated that Sarah return the next day with her daughter for another appointment. After Sarah missed the meeting, DHS mailed her a letter requesting an appointment for April 17.

Sarah brought her father to that meeting as well, and again the meeting went anything but well. When Dennis and Sarah asked “who made the phone call to DHS,” they were informed that the caller’s identity would remain anonymous. Feeling they had the right to face their accuser, Dennis then told the caseworker that all further communication with DHS would take place through their family attorney. A court hearing was scheduled for the following day.

The caseworker’s notes from the meeting allege that Dennis responded to the possibility of a court mandated “pick-up order” (for Sarah’s daughter) by stating that this “will be bad.” According to the notes, “This was interpreted as a threat.” But was it really a threat?

At that point, Sarah and Dennis contacted the US-Observer.

Sarah had only a court-appointed lawyer with her at the hearing, where the judge informed Sarah that she must “have her daughter present for an interview within one hour, or the police would be there to pick her up.” The judge also informed Sarah that her daughter was presently “in temporary legal care and custody of DHS Child Welfare.” Sarah could retain physical custody of her daughter, “providing that” Sarah “comply with the following conditions…”

Sarah complied and brought her daughter to the interview; however, Sarah was barred from the building while the interview took place. Sarah, who has never been convicted of a violent crime, waited nervously until the interviewers returned her daughter without saying more than a few words.

A few days later, DHS called Sarah to inform her that her daughter required a physical examination to determine whether she had been sexually abused. Sarah was mortified at the thought that her innocent, 9-year-old daughter would have to endure an intimate examination from a complete stranger all because of one “anonymous phone call.” Sarah was then told she would not be allowed into the medical examination to support her daughter.

What could Sarah do? She was stuck. If she defied the order for a physical examination, she risked losing her children to foster care and getting arrested. There’s something wrong with the system when a mother like Sarah is unable to fight against a group of people who were willing to steal her daughter’s innocence based on a single “anonymous allegation” and a dubious interview with a child.

Sarah was forced to comply and bring her daughter to the medical exam. The results were negative. No evidence of sexual abuse was found.

Sarah’s story is a prime example of total police control. You may think you have rights, but you don’t. The only rights you truly have are what the government decides at the time.

So what happened with Sarah?

Since there was nothing to indicate sexual abuse and no evidence that Sarah’s children were “filthy or uncared for,” DHS would have to leave Sarah alone, right? Wrong. The DHS caseworker threatened Sarah with “child neglect,” due to the fact that Sarah had not enrolled her daughter in public school. The real fact is that Sarah was already in the process of enrolling her children in private school. Sarah was forced to comply with further DHS requirements including doctor’s appointments, interference rules and allowing DHS “access to the home and daughter at both scheduled and unscheduled times.”

Sarah complied.

Sarah even took her daughter to a DHS-designated dentist. After her daughter was found to have a cavity, Sarah couldn’t help but wonder if DHS would call it neglect.

On May 29, a status hearing took place to determine future DHS involvement in Sarah’s case, including the possibility of “an alternate plan” for Sarah’s daughter. Nobody from DHS appeared at the hearing, and Sarah was informed that the case was now “closed.”

In an instant, it was over. Sarah and her family got their lives back from the almighty DHS and the rubber-stamping family court.

Although relieved to have the ordeal behind her, Sarah said, “Even though it has only been a few weeks since the ‘real abuse of my daughter by DHS’ occurred, I’ve noticed a very distant and angry child.” Dennis agreed.

Sarah admits to not making the best life decisions in the past, but she insists that she is a fit parent who would never neglect her children or knowingly allow any form of abuse.

Some things can’t be undone. How do you reconcile forcing a 9-year-old to endure a medical exam where a complete stranger spreads her legs and touches her private area based on completely anonymous information? Sarah’s father, Dennis, may have been right when he said, “DHS is the actual predator.”

–Joseph Snook

Editor’s note: We do not dispute that many children are harmed and require DHS intervention. However, in this case and in numerous other documented cases across the U.S., DHS has overstepped its bounds and abused its power. So I ask, could there be any legal liability on behalf of DHS?

Due to the fact that DHS backed off of this case, the US~Observer has chosen to withhold the names of those involved; however, it is highly possible that DHS and the legal system involved will hear much more from Sarah and her family.

Billionaire Polo Mogul John Goodman Is Innocent

Have you heard the name John Goodman? It has something to do with polo, right? And a car crash? What else have you heard? Have you heard he was drunk and speeding and that he caused the crash? Did you hear that he fled the scene? Or that he is guilty? … Is he guilty? Are these statements of fact, or are they only what you have read as reported by the mainstream media and those attempting to convince you that Goodman is guilty? The facts just might surprise you.

After college, Goodman came home to Texas to become chairman of Goodman Global Holding, Inc. Taking advantage of his keen business sense and college education, Goodman grew the business into the largest privately held heating and air conditioning manufacturer in the United States.

On Feb. 12, 2010, Goodman was in an automobile accident that, tragically, resulted in the death of 23-year-old Scott Wilson. In what was a highly publicized initial trial, Goodman was convicted. However, the conviction was overturned due to jury misconduct. According to legal experts, other evidence and appealable trial errors warranted a new trial, but the juror’s misconduct guaranteed it.

Now, Goodman has a new trial slated for Oct. 6, which could be delayed since Goodman’s blood evidence has been called into question. Its admissibility will be decided by a Tallahassee administrative court by August, something to which trial court Judge Jeffrey Colbath should pay very close attention. If convicted in October, Goodman faces 30 years in prison for DUI manslaughter and failure to render aid — charges of which Goodman has always maintained his innocence.

With media hype focused on who Goodman is and what he is alleged to have done (rather than the facts of the case), it’s difficult to separate the truth from conjecture. In the midst of this confusion, a jury will be asked to determine Goodman’s fate. But will jurors be presented all of the facts? With evidence having been destroyed at the hands of the prosecution and with motions filed to keep the jury from hearing convincing testimony for the defense, it is highly unlikely. But the public will.

Enter The US~Observer

The US~Observer is currently investigating Goodman’s case. Not only does our cursory research indicate corruption and/or crimes committed by the State, but the evidence the US~Observer has collected thus far also casts absolute doubt upon the State of Florida’s case against Goodman.

As part of the US~Observer investigation, we are also looking into the people in charge of “putting Goodman behind bars.” Since Goodman has been labeled a criminal by prosecutors Ellen Roberts, Alan Johnson and Sherri Collins; deputies Mitch Rieger, Troy Snelgrove and Ricardo Safford; Judge Jeffrey Colbathl; and the mainstream media, the US~Observer believes it is equally important to investigate these parties and their actions — not only in Goodman’s case, but in any case they have been involved with that exemplifies corruption. Do you know instances of wrongdoing by these individuals unrelated to court cases? We find these applicable, too; contact us.

These people are public servants, but are they serving the public in the way they should? Or are they trying to win a name for themselves by going after a high-profile figure? The US~Observer will provide you the answers.

Questions Of Concern

Did the deputies performing Goodman’s criminal investigation lie? Have they lied before? Did Safford lie under oath? Did Snelgrove lie under oath? Was any other key evidence withheld from the defense?

Did Snelgrove deceitfully create evidence that “provided” him the “verification needed” to obtain a conviction? Does Snelgrove have a crystal ball that allows him to see what others can’t and what experts claim to be “humanly impossible?”

Did the State’s main witness, Lisa Pembleton (now Del Mundo by marriage), lie to authorities? Did she receive legal representation paid for by the alleged victim’s family and/or their civil attorney’s former legal partners?

Did Roberts use her public position as a prosecutor to aid in the civil suit against Goodman in order to secure a more lucrative position with the firm suing him? If so, isn’t that an ethics violation?

Did Roberts knowingly dispose of Goodman’s vehicle to prevent a future jury from seeing it as evidence? Isn’t it safe to assume that important evidence such as Goodman’s car should be preserved in the event of an appeal? Could Roberts have colluded with the civil attorneys to get rid of Goodman’s car before any appeals were filed?

Did Collins obstruct justice by threatening a deputy in order to prevent testimony on Goodman’s behalf?

Did Goodman’s car malfunction? Did the State withhold evidence of other vehicles like Goodman’s having similar malfunctions?

Could Wilson have been alive when emergency personnel arrived on scene?

Did the first responding deputies fail to render aid to Wilson? Were certain deputies more concerned with “pesticide poisoning” from the water in the canal where his car lay than they were with saving his life? Did a 911 dispatcher instruct a civilian responder “not (to) go into the canal” to rescue Wilson? Did a deputy instruct a witness to stay out of the canal?

Did other emergency personnel fail to render aid to Wilson? Were they reprimanded for their actions?

Where are the photos of Wilson’s car as it was found after the accident?

Was the evidence obtained from the vehicles involved properly preserved?

Did Goodman, in fact, drink after the accident? And did deputies hide evidence of Goodman’s actions and whereabouts after the accident?

Where are all of the dash-cam and audio recordings from the multiple sheriff’s vehicles that responded to the scene of the accident?

Did the Sheriff’s Department choose to deviate from the standard on-hand law enforcement blood draw kit to obtain Goodman’s blood sample? Was his blood test conducted according to medical and legal standards? Was his blood-alcohol level even relevant at the time it was drawn?

Is the judge biased against Goodman? If so, why? Is it possible for Goodman to have a fair second trial with Colbath presiding? Is it even possible for him to have a fair trial at all?

Why have the mainstream media already condemned Goodman when the facts of this case prove he is innocent?

These are logical, relevant questions; and there are answers to each one. And there are many more questions and answers that disprove the State’s case completely.

The US~Observer will publish our full investigative report the last week of August. Our conclusions, as well as all supporting documents, will be made available so that you can make an informed decision regarding Goodman’s innocence.

While none of us is in a courtroom yet, the court of public opinion will soon have the unabridged, accurate, objective information it needs to make an informed decision. It’s too bad the jury won’t be so informed.

–Edward Snook

Editor’s note: The US~Observer can use your help. If you have any information that could be considered relevant to or beneficial in the case of John Goodman, please come forward. If you have any information on Bentley and vehicle malfunctions, don’t hesitate; please call immediately. And don’t forget to send us information on the “public officials” pursuing this case!

Contact: editor@usobserver.com or call 541-474-7885.

U.S. Attorneys Attack Elderly Woman

OMAHA, Neb. — The Federal trial of a completely innocent and elderly Nebraska resident, Donna Kozak, is scheduled to begin on July 28 in Omaha, Neb. Kozak is represented by Omaha attorney David R. Stickman.

As previously reported in the US~Observer:

Donna Kozak is currently charged with nine felony crimes. Two counts pertain to tax crimes and seven counts pertain to filing false liens into the public record regarding an unrelated event. The U.S. Attorney’s Office via their indictment sums the tax charges up: “Beginning as early as 1997, and continuing until at least on or about December 13, 2012, in the District of Nebraska and elsewhere, the defendant, DONNA MARIE KOZAK, corruptly endeavored to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws by not filing federal individual income tax returns.”

First off, Donna Kozak is completely incapable of “corruptly endeavoring” to do anything. In 1996, Donna was a member of a local college faculty in her third of ten years of teaching adults English as a Second Language. According to witnesses, Donna is exceptionally academic and she is a wonderful Christian, mother and wife.

The Prosecution

Department of Justice attorneys Brian D. Bailey and Matthew R. Hoffman are currently prosecuting Kozak for the U.S. government. Neither attorney has questioned Kozak, and neither knows the facts of this case. The same can be said of the grand jury whose foreman — along with Deborah R. Gilg and Michael P. Norris, assistant U.S. attorneys in Omaha — signed an undated and unattested indictment without calling Kozak to give any testimony or to submit any evidence documents on her behalf. My previous article, “The Tax Protestor Trap — And Resulting Nightmare” explains very well how Kozak was deceived by professional scam artists into believing that she wasn’t required to file a Federal 1040 income tax form.

Many well-educated and polished “tax experts,” including some former Internal Revenue Service agents and former government employees taught Kozak that Federal income taxes were “voluntary.” And they provided plenty of “proof” in the form of past Supreme Court decisions, statements by IRS officials and the Internal Revenue Code itself to convince her they were correct. When the IRS and Kozak became at odds, these same professionals and others convinced Kozak that they had the “legal” remedies to resolve her disputes and the disputes of others associated with her.

These so-called experts left out one very important fact. The fact was that if Kozak were to be indicted and put on trial, the Federal judge would instruct the jury that all U.S. citizens are required to file income tax forms if they earn beyond a specific amount of money. You see, Kozak paid her taxes, but she simply refused to file the Form 1040 because she came to have a specific belief about using that form. In fact, the withholding system actually created an overpayment of taxes for her and her husband for some years. The way the IRS system works is that if you file for past years, which the Kozaks have now done in order to bring closure to their circumstances, and there is a tax owed, you still must pay. But if you have an overpayment and the filing is beyond three years, the IRS will not return any of that money. They keep it without crediting it to other taxes owed.

It will also be well-established at trial that the liens Kozak submitted to a public record for a third party are not recognized remedies by the current system of government which is operating this country. During one interview, Kozak said: “I feel very humiliated for having believed these people about alternate remedy processes. I had no idea that I was being deceived. I actually thought that I was being patriotic and attempting to correct my government that has gone so far off course.”

While there is sufficient evidence to prove that Kozak is innocent, much of it will be inadmissible during her trial due to corrupted laws, court rules, etc. Actually, the only defense Kozak will have when she faces her jury will be her good-faith belief that she wasn’t required to file and her belief that the liens she filed were appropriate remedies to keep court and IRS officials in check.

It is an absolute fact that Kozak did not have any intent to commit a crime, just as it is an absolute fact that, just like hundreds of thousands of Americans, she believed her government was dysfunctional and corrupt and that she was doing her patriotic duty when she refused to file the forms when she process-served a third-party’s liens for filing.

Kozak was factually a victim of extremely deceptive tax-protestor professionals, making it completely impossible for her to be a perpetrator of a crime. This situation is actually no different whatsoever from the countless elderly people in America who fall victim to phone scammers on a daily basis. The scammers easily convince the elderly they owe money for one thing or another; the scammers access the accounts of the elderly, and the rest is history.

Kozak should be found not guilty. If there is any other finding, it will be due to the very same corruption Kozak was attempting to correct. If her jury finds her guilty, the members will all eventually read my articles — and they will live out their days knowing they have ruined a completely innocent fellow American. Each and every public official, including the Federal judge in her case, will live each day of their lives wondering who has read about their treachery and abuse. And I assure them that I will completely ruin their legacy and reputation before I am through.

Nothing could be worse than for an American public servant to wrongfully attack the citizens they are supposed to serve, especially the elderly. The US~Observer takes such things very seriously. It is hoped that other men and women in the Omaha area will pack the Federal court trial, currently scheduled for July 28 at the Omaha Federal Courthouse, in support of learning about their public servants and the kind of (in)justice they are planning to carry out, because you never know if you will be next.

–Edward Snook

Bond Granted After Three Years In Prison

This article originally appeared in the US~Observer.

On June 5, Jamie Clark was finally given another chance to prove his innocence. After nearly three years in prison, Clark was granted a bond, giving him temporary freedom to work on his DUI Manslaughter appeal. Clark has maintained his innocence for almost eight years. In a very complicated case, with twists and turns that have basically left everyone involved speechless, Judge John Kastrenakes unexpectedly approved Clark’s bond at his most recent hearing.

Kastrenakes had already ruled against a previous bond for Clark, so this news was shocking. Prior to the bond being granted, Clark’s father said, “The only punch that is sure ‘not to land’ is the one you don’t throw. So, we are still throwing as many punches as we can.”

Something Worked; This Punch Landed

Content from the US~Observer’s articles on Jamie’s case was “read in front of the judge prior to the bond being granted,” according to witnesses.

Clark now plans on assisting his defense for the upcoming appeal scheduled for the end of this summer. Although he will be released, he will be on strict monitoring, pending the outcome of his appeal.

For a complete background on Clark’s case, read this. The article has links to all previously written articles, which give an in-depth report on this case.

The US~Observer plans on producing a short documentary on Clark’s case this summer. You can follow the US~Observer on our Facebook page or check the Jamie Clark Deserves Justice Facebook page to stay informed about this case and the upcoming documentary.

Congratulations to Clark and his family. They are real-life examples of a family that has fought a long, hard battle and managed to stay positive throughout the process.

The US~Observer fully expects to help exonerate Clark. The evidence is there, and it proves his innocence.

–Joseph Snook

 

In Sex Abuse Cases, Children Don’t Mean To Lie, But They Do

This article originally appeared in the US~Observer.

We, as a society, have been made to believe that if you are arrested and your picture appears in the local paper as having done something, you must be guilty. This is simply a tactic used by the state to get convictions. Another such tactic, which has swept the country, deals with false sex-abuse charges; children are being made to invent testimony.

After an initial allegation, children are assigned advocates or investigators who promote to the child that the appropriate behavior is to give them the information they are wanting, which might not necessarily be the truth. The result is a false allegation: the child caving in to what the authoritative figure wants. The allegation quickly turns into a charge, an arrest and then prosecution.

In many of these cases, there is only one witness to the crime: the child “victim.” In a life-altering game of “he said, she said,” the state, the jury and the justice system as a whole typically rule on the side of the victim. Ruling anything other than guilt would be considered tantamount to participating in the abuse itself, right?

In one such case outlined in a video produced by the US~Observer and titled “Life, plus 25 years,” the man accused and convicted was found guilty on the testimony of the child alone. There was no other witness testimony and no admission. And there was no physical evidence; the sex-assault exam was negative.

Now, the US~Observer is seeking justice in this case: a new trial.

Take a few minutes out of your day to watch this intriguing video and weigh in with your comments.

While it is true that not all allegations are unsubstantiated, it is equally true that not all are substantiated. Keep this in mind the next time you hear that someone is charged with a crime, especially sex abuse.

Find the truth, seek justice and always demand accountability.

–Ron Lee

Allegedly Fraudulent Survey Creates Nightmare For Landowners

This article originally appeared in the US~Observer.

IDAHO COUNTY, Idaho — Property disputes between neighbors just outside of Grangeville, Idaho, began in 2009 and they escalated, until a lawsuit was filed by Sydney (Butch) and Dorothy Walker in late 2011. The Walkers named Bessie Harmon, Etta Harmon, Ellan Hoiland, Thain Hoiland, Elvin Hoiland and the Grangeville Highway District as defendants in their suit. However, our current US~Observer investigation is uncovering what appears to be a history of possible out-and-out fraud, as opposed to a dispute.

The Walkers were represented by attorney Dennis Charney until he filed a declaratory judgment motion, which, according to the Walkers and experts we have consulted with, basically gave away a good portion of their land. The Walkers fired Charney and demanded he withdraw his “ill-conceived” motion. Much more can be written on this issue if the need arises.

The Walkers have since hired attorney Wes Hoyt.

On June 12, the defendants in this case filed a motion for partial summary judgment “upon the grounds and for the reason that there exists no genuine issue as to any material fact.” I have never read a more frivolous motion in my more than 30 years of investigating such matters. I have found that there are four records of survey and various corner records filed, with little to no agreement on boundaries and corners. Yet there is very good evidence that possible fraud was perpetrated in a survey and corner record back in 1977. Not one surveyor is using the original corners that were in place when the Walkers purchased their land.

Idaho District Judge John R. Stegner is presiding over this case, and I will closely analyze and report on his rulings.

History

Dorothy Walker has conducted an extremely thorough investigation and study into surveying laws, the surveys on the properties in question and deeds and issues involved. She said: “Everything is wrong with the current surveys. None of them match up with our original corners and they don’t match each other.”

After studying the surveys myself and again, speaking with our experts, I completely agree with Dorothy Walker. How is that for “a genuine issue as to any material fact?”

Our investigation shows that the Walkers started purchasing their properties in 1968. They are the third family to own the land, and their property was purchased based on the original Government Land Office (GLO) corners. By law, these corners should be unchangeable; however, forces appear to have been at work for many years to alter these original corners.

According to one witness, in 1977 (nine years after the Walkers purchased their property), their neighbors hired a surveyor to divide their property. Their licensed surveyor allegedly moved original section corners or created new corners, redefined deeds, changed rights of way and changed the neighbor’s property description to fit his new corners. Without the Walker’s knowledge, this surveyor allegedly changed their corners in the process.

The US~Observer has received reports that there is no record of this survey on file at the courthouse and that the records of these new corners were not filed until 1996, 20 years after the survey problems were created. The law states they had to have been filed within 90 days.

Since 1977, this surveyor’s changes have allegedly been causing all the chaos, property disputes and lawsuits in this Grangeville area. The property disputes and chaos allegedly started when the original corners were moved, and the disputes and chaos will not stop until the original corners are restored. I should note that all of the Walkers’ deeds match the original GLO corners, not the alleged false corners that this surveyor set and other surveyors have used.

The Bombshell

The Walkers have hired a well-known and respected surveyor to validate a corner that was actually discovered by a surveyor the Walkers had previously hired. This surveyor has already placed the corner and filed on it. When I confronted the surveyor who originally discovered it, he stated, “I just didn’t have enough facts at the time and I had to get my survey done, because the attorney needed it.” When I told him that I believed fraud was involved back in 1977, he responded, “I thought that might be possible myself.”

I now have two surveyors stating that it appears that the survey that started this entire mess was fraudulent.

The Resolution

At this juncture, it would be easy for the surveyors and attorneys involved in this alleged scam to just say they made “mistakes.” All property lines can be corrected and the Walkers can be “made whole,” so to speak.

If this charade continues or if those involved start lying, they can look forward to gaining notoriety in the US~Observer. At that point, all involved can rest assured that the US~Observer won’t be going anywhere until all facts are public and until the Walkers are totally vindicated.

While I currently use the word “mistake” in an attempt to leave those involved a “backdoor out,” I strongly expect that I will be using the term fraud in the very near future if this wrong isn’t corrected. I will also be naming names and providing a wealth of information publicly that will leave absolutely no room for doubt. My strong advice to those who have made “mistakes” or who committed fraud is to take the backdoor without delay.

–Edward Snook

Editor’s note: Anyone with information on surveyor Carl Edwards or regarding this case is urged to contact Edward Snook at 541-474-7885 or by email to ed@usobserver.com.

The Gross Injustice Of Obamacare

This article originally appeared in the US~Observer.

As a writer for the US~Observer, I’m accustomed to finding injustice within government and the justice system. But one injustice among many from the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is particularly shameful.

I’m talking about the fines that people will have to pay for not signing up for having their money taken and receiving little, if anything, good in return from Obamacare. Many people who didn’t have healthcare before the implementation of Obamacare either didn’t want it or couldn’t afford it.

For those wanted healthcare but couldn’t afford it, they really can afford Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which is anything but affordable with rates for healthy individuals doubling, or even tripling. But if people didn’t sign up for it because they can’t afford it, they’ll be fined.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, which will be enforcing the mandate, fines in 2014 will be $95 per person or 1 percent of household income, whichever is greater. In 2016, the fines will increase and start at $695 per person, or 2.5 percent for households making between $9,500 and $37,000 a year, then go up from there for households with greater incomes, according to Henry Blodget of Business Insider.

Imagine fining someone for something he is physically unable to do. And therein lies the most egregious injustice of Obamacare.

For those who don’t want Obamacare or any other health insurance, one can hardly blame them.

Back in 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that doctors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The study upon which the article was based found that many deaths in hospitals for patients under doctor “care” were a result of: unnecessary surgeries, infections, medication and other medical errors, and “non-error, negative effects of drugs.”

As of 2011, the statistic hadn’t changed much, with nearly 784,000 deaths in that year attributed to doctor screwups or 24.5 times more than all gun-related deaths combined. It’s a small wonder why some people choose to opt out of healthcare coverage altogether, and there is every reason to believe that things will be far worse under Obamacare.

Also, just because some opt out of health insurance, it doesn’t mean they can’t afford to pay for it. Some people choose to pay out of pocket or carry catastrophic coverage instead.

In 2009, when Obama was busy misrepresenting the alleged 46 million people who did not have healthcare coverage in the Nation, he conveniently left out the fact that approximately 17.6 million of the 46 million made enough money to be able to afford it but for various reasons simply chose not to buy it, which was and still should be the right of every American.

It is a travesty of justice to fine people for something they don’t want or can’t afford and shouldn’t have to pay for to begin with. But when you allow socialism/communism to slither into power, this is what you get.

Lorne Dey

Life After ‘Not Guilty’

This article originally appeared in the US~Observer.

THE DALLES, Ore. — Armando Garcia’s last year of high school was abruptly put on hold for what could have been his last year of freedom. Instead of the little things most teenagers stress about, like what to wear tomorrow or studying for a test, Armando was facing myriad stacked rape charges — all while not being allowed to attend his senior year of high school. Why? His ex-girlfriend accused him of rape shortly after her parents found out vivid details about their intimate relationship via Facebook.

Armando’s innocence was easy to prove — especially given the mountain of evidence in his favor. But the evident things in life do not initially matter in a courtroom. His ex-girlfriend, her parents (her father is a sheriff’s deputy) and the prosecution pursued the freedom of young Armando at all costs. All that was needed was an accusation. That’s it. There is no more innocent until proven guilty — technically. Today’s court’s put the burden of proof upon the defendant, despite what the Constitution says. The Constitution is a valid argument, but it gets you almost nowhere in a court of law today. The courts have police power, and that is all that is needed.

Fortunately for Armando, he found the right support system. He is truly one in a million, literally. Imagine for a moment that you are a minority in a small, rural Oregon community. Now, imagine you are accused of raping a Caucasian female who is two years younger than you. Her father is in law enforcement. You are charged with rape, based solely on one person’s word. Next, you are forbidden from attending school and told, “You won’t be allowed to return until your case is resolved.” Armando was pretty much told: “Go prove you are innocent. Then you can return to a normal life.”

The charges were brought against Armando after his junior year of high school and lasted throughout what would have been his senior year, continuing through what would have been his first summer as a high school graduate.

Not succumbing to the pressure that could have easily ruined his life, Armando stated that he stayed positive.”

Armando continued, “Towards the end of it all, I was tempted to take the last plea deal (numerous plea deals were offered) because I was so tired of everything. Knowing that I didn’t do it, I fought it all the way to the end.”

On Aug. 27, Armando was found not guilty. Finally, he could focus on moving past this traumatic life experience. Witnesses, Facebook messages, intense planning by his attorney and a full investigative report and article by the US~Observer worked. Armando was now officially a free man. Or was he?

His case was resolved. He was found not guilty. But was he really vindicated? No. Unfortunately, people like Armando still have a record — even after they are found innocent. Again, the burden of erasing his record was Armando’s responsibility. In essence, Armando was still a target for future abuse. His arrest and charges would have remained on his record, despite his being found innocent. Attorney James Leuenberger successfully defended Armando and subsequently filed documents to expunge Armando’s record. Finally, in October, the existence of his ever being arrested and charged with rape was finally dissolved.

Armando stated that he, “really appreciates” what the US~Observer did for him. “Not many would’ve been on the side of someone who was being accused of such charges. People tend to think because someone is charged… that they did it and sadly that’s just humanity’s view on things.”

Armando was allowed to finish his senior year of high school — one year late.

On Saturday, June 7, Armando graduated high school. He is finally moving on with life.

He has no grudges against his accuser, Kelsey Floyd, or her family. Armando stated that he thought “she was scared… The information was found out by Kelsey’s family and she could have reacted out of fear. This was her first relationship with sexual intercourse.”Obviously, her father being a deputy probably didn’t help his situation.

Armando was very forgiving and understanding, considering what he endured.

Giving advice to others who may be in a similar situation, Armando said, Try not to worry. I had a 50/50 chance of going to jail. I stayed positive. Don’t lose hope and don’t forget that you didn’t do it.”

Today, Armando plans on “working for now and hopefully starting college in the fall with future plans of majoring in psychology.”

Life after not guilty is something Armando will proudly carry on his shoulders. Fortunately for this young man, he has freedom on his side. His mentality is that of someone carrying a cup “half-full, not half-empty.”

How many others like Armando have been falsely charged with sex crimes? How many of them didn’t find the right support system? Although Armando wasn’t facing life in prison, he would have had a lifelong sentence had he been convicted. He would have been required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. In our society, that is a lifetime sentence.

If you or anyone you know have been falsely charged or convicted of a crime, contact the US~Observer immediately at editor@usobserver.com or 541-474-7885. Time is not on your side.

–Joseph Snook

 

Invasion Of The Mind Snatchers

While recently watching the sci-fi classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” I couldn’t help but notice the parallels in the movie of the goals of the aliens from another world to the goals of modern liberals/socialists/Marxists. If you remember the story, the extraterrestrials take over people’s bodies and minds in order to create a utopian society that is devoid of worry, want, love or hate. Sound familiar? Does Marxist propaganda come to mind?

And like the body snatchers in the movie, the peddlers of such utopian ideology — or the mind snatchers of today — transform perfectly normal minds of the wide awake but sleeping and replace them with stupid gullible ones. The main departure from the movie is that today’s liberal mind snatchers transform their victim’s minds by disseminating a constant stream of lies and politically correct claptrap. The methodology is different, but the end result is the same: functionally brain-dead adherents.

For people who think and follow things through to their logical conclusion, a Marxist/socialist Shangri-La can end only one way: misery for the vast majority of people with only a relative handful of elitists, as in any oligarchy, enjoying the forced fruits created by the powerless majority. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Only if you’re nuts! Yet that is the road to ruin that America is on. And the vast majority of people don’t seem to care because their dumbed-down minds have been fried by the false promises from slick-talking Marxists like Barack Obama, formerly known as Barry Soetoro, the pot-smoking neighborhood rabble-rouser.

So how has America naively accepted such a shady individual whose past is a complete fabrication and who has worked so diligently to: destroy our economy; push for a religion of adherers who want to subjugate or kill us; compromise our military by turning it into a politically correct farce for the radical atheists, homosexuals and feminists; and reduce our nuclear and conventional military arsenal to the point where we are now vulnerable to our traditional ideological enemies like communist China and Russia and even rogue nations like communist North Korea and jihadist Iran. This is certainly insanity on a national scale from people who seem to have a death wish but are too stupid to realize it!

The answer to how all this could happen lies with the fact that our Nation’s downfall has coincided perfectly with its gradual abandonment of the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible and the biblical principles upon which our laws were originally founded and have thrived under for so long. Any intelligent, thinking person could not argue with the fact that America is no longer a Christian Nation, even though there is a significant number in our population who still believe and trust in the all-but-abandoned God of the Bible. Rejection of God leads to a mind that is devoid of any semblance of wisdom and that ultimately becomes susceptible to every hairbrained notion advocated by almost anyone with a greased tongue and wearing a monkey suit and tie.

So how is the spell of the mind snatchers broken?

Since evolution-based Marxism is nothing more than a weak and implausible, humanistic alternative to the Judeo-Christian Creator-God, it is the responsibility of that Creator’s followers, those who have refused to bow to the Baal of our day, to get on their knees and ask for His intervention to change the hearts and minds of the people of America.

If this kind of political discourse seems out of place today, let me remind you that it wasn’t out of place during the time of the American Revolution, when Gen. George Washington and the Congress of the United States regularly called citizens to national days of “prayer, fasting and humiliation” to ask for God’s favor, because our leaders at that time knew that our Nation could not prevail against Britain, the greatest world power of the day, without such favor.

Today, let those of us who revere this same God do the same and then stand, like those before us, and demand accountability on all levels.

–Lorne Dey

Accuser’s ‘Brother’ Orchestrates False Sex Allegations

This article originally appeared in the US~Observer.

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Blending a family isn’t always easy. In fact, it can have disastrous effects, as Rob and Nedra McKell have found out. It has been alleged that several of Nedra’s children conspired to remove Rob from the family because they felt he was overbearing and “mean.” Their actions, along with those of several overzealous victims’ advocates, sheriff’s deputies and county attorneys, have left Rob facing multiple sexual abuse charges, and Nedra facing charges of neglect and of violation of a restraining order, among other things. Exemplifying the allegations of the children conspiring was when Nedra’s son, Brooke, said in a phone conversation to her that it (the charges) could all go away for $10 million. It’s a statement he verified later on the court record.

History

Nedra Roney McKell co-founded Nu Skin Enterprises, a multimillion-dollar corporation. Though her personal life brought many ups and downs, especially with marriages, one of the constants has been the love of family and the belief that orphaned children deserve a home, love and a future. Nedra expanded her family beyond her one natural son, Brooke, by adopting seven children from around the world. Each child had his own significant issues to overcome in life, and Nedra felt her affluence and love could afford them the chance to succeed. And, finally, Nedra found a man she could make a permanent home with for herself and her whole family, Rob McKell.

Rob McKell, being successful in his own right with McKell Construction but having grown up with meager means, had his own five grown children when he met Nedra. Soon after Rob and Nedra married, Rob adopted her children as his own and treated them as such.

Surmising about the family and why the charges have been leveled against him, Rob stated, “I grew up learning hard work and sacrifice. It’s how I was raised and how I disciplined my five children and how I approached raising these children. Because Nedra had profited from Nu Skin, her older children had been brought up in an environment of extraordinary privilege. They lived in mansions, went on exotic vacations, flew in private jets and had personal chefs. They had nannies and were home-schooled. Their mother doted on them and spoiled them. They were her world. It was no surprise that they resented my new place in their lives and in Nedra’s heart.”

It has been reported that through the years, several of Nedra’s adopted children, who had issues when they were younger, started showing signs of having serious physical and mental problems. According to witnesses, with troubles ranging from lying and violence to sexual promiscuity and abuse, two of the children found themselves in treatment programs and proctor homes because they became such a threat to the safety of the rest of the family. Family members tell of one adopted boy who was even convicted of sexually abusing a younger sibling.

Both Rob and Nedra tried everything they could to protect their children. They got them what they thought was the best help available and tried to make every decision in their best interests.

The Accuser

Summer McKell is one of Rob and Nedra’s “troubled” children. She was born in Siberia and reportedly was never touched or held as a baby. She suffers from what Nedra describes as attachment disorder.

According to Randy Hyde, a clinical and child psychologist who saw Summer on multiple occasions and administered a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) test (which is a widely used adult psychopathology and personality assessment), Summer likely has a “thought disorder” and is “blatantly paranoid.” The MMPI-2 showed that Summer is “likely to use projection as a defense mechanism” and “tends to be angry and is prone to fighting others.” The report indicates Summer scored as a typical “runaway delinquent,” and Hyde went on to state that “with similar profiles there is a probable history of antisocial behavior, such as promiscuity and deserting their family.” He went on to assess that “sexual acting out is probable.”

Throughout high school, Summer reportedly did, in fact, do that. She acted out sexually, among other things. According to reports, Summer sent nude pictures and videos of herself in the shower to various men, both young and aged via her online profile accounts that she managed with her iPod. In fact, it came to the attention of the local sheriff’s department, which reportedly contacted the McKells with the request that Summer not be allowed to be on the Internet. According to a family member, this, along with her increasing promiscuity and a drug deal Summer orchestrated when she was 18, bounced her from one school to the next, her parents trying desperately to keep her life together.

They restricted her use of online capable devices, which enraged Summer, and enrolled her in various schools or high-school equivalents whenever her behavior warranted.

When they were faced with Summer being 18 and a legal adult, they approached Summer about the McKells being her conservator. It was a stipulation of her staying in their home. The McKells wanted to be able to make legal, medical and other necessary decisions for Summer’s well-being. Summer agreed. Having her own attorney, Summer described how she wanted to stay in the McKell residence and that she was happy being there.

In an affidavit obtained, Sherrie Cozzens, a paralegal who was in court with Summer for her conservatorship hearing, had this to say: “I asked Summer if she understood why she was at court that day, I asked if she understood what a conservatorship was. She answered that she did. Her only concern that morning was that she didn’t ever want to leave her home. She said that two (2) other siblings had moved out and she didn’t want to move out like they did.”

In Cozzens’ affidavit, Summer’s attorney, Marie Bramwell, stated Summer had no concerns about the conservatorship.

Interestingly enough, Summer’s statements came during the time she eventually claimed Rob was sexually assaulting her.

The Conspiracy

Nedra’s children were constantly at odds with Rob’s parenting style. They either didn’t like or couldn’t understand being held accountable for their actions. It has been reported that Brooke was furious to have to get a job. Summer was constantly upset that her online privileges were being revoked and her behavior monitored. Cheyenne, Summer’s older sister, who was initially put into a facility for her purported violent outbursts toward her mother, blamed Rob for being sent away.

All of these children would rather see Rob gone, and they have gone on the record admitting it.

Interestingly, not on the court record, but can reportedly be verified through Brooke’s phone and credit card records is the allegation that Brooke left one weekend for a trip he told his parents was to Las Vegas. Instead, he traveled to Los Angeles, where he met with an ex-stepbrother and reportedly conversed with his ex-stepfather — both of whom, according to Nedra, are people who hold a grudge against her. This is where the McKells believe the plot was hatched to bring ruination to their family.

Soon thereafter, Brooke, Cheyenne and Brooke’s girlfriend, Alex, planned a trip leaving on March 22, 2013. They asked if Summer could go. According to Rob and Nedra, they not only agreed to let Summer go, they thought it was a wonderful idea and gave Brooke $400 toward gas and hotels.

It was a trip that never happened.

Instead, as the initial statements claim, the girls were waiting outside the family home in the car for Brooke, who went in to get some jewelry he was going to sell, so they had money for the trip. Really? According to the girls, this is when they started talking about how much they disliked Rob and how they wanted their mother to leave him. And this is when Cheyenne claims Summer said, “I know something that would get him in trouble.”

As reported, Summer went on in limited, but graphic, detail about how Rob allegedly did things to her. She even claimed that just the night before he had drugged her with some cold medicine and she awoke to find him, as she put it, “eating my —–.”

The statements claim that Brooke was called out of the house and told what happened, and they decided to go to the sheriff’s department to make their accusations.

But Rob and Nedra truly believe that this was the culmination of a carefully orchestrated plot by Brooke to have Rob removed from the home so the kids could have full access to Nedra’s money.

Rob and Nedra also believe that the claims Summer is making are a result of her complicity in her other brother’s sexual abuse of a younger sibling, wherein Summer reportedly held the door closed while her brother molested the younger sister in a strikingly similar manner to the claims Summer has leveled at Rob. It is alleged that Summer is using projection as a defense mechanism, just as Hyde determined in his psychological profile. In fact, Hyde’s profile also states that, “It is probable she is exaggerating her symptoms,” and says that, “given all that she alleges to have gone through … it is interesting that Summer is experiencing, at best mild anxiety and depression…”

The Charges

In any good investigation, you want to collect as much evidence as you can. With a supposed victim saying she was sodomized the night before, you would think the deputies at the Utah County Sheriff’s Office would have thought to send Summer to the hospital to have DNA evidence collected. It is common practice when someone is claiming rape, which in essence is what Summer did. Yet we have found no record of any evidence of this kind having been collected. Why?

Instead, investigators had Summer place a call to Rob and vaguely talk to him about one of Summer’s sibling’s room where some of the activity allegedly took place. It’s called a pretext call and the transcript of this one presented no clear admission, or even suggestion that anything other than a disagreement had taken place between Summer and Rob. But for the sheriff’s office, the call, along with Summer’s statements, were apparently enough. It was handed over to the county attorney, who made the final decision to prosecute.

Rob McKell is currently charged with two counts of object rape and one count of forcible sodomy — of which there is no physical evidence and no corroborating testimony, just innuendo and accusations from a troubled young woman.

The State Versus The McKells

As the story goes, Summer bounced around for a time after the allegations were made. Brooke had taken her, and Nedra took her back; but she couldn’t keep her in the family home as there was a protective order against Rob and Nedra didn’t believe the allegations at all. So Summer resided with multiple people. One was Robbie McKell, Rob’s son.

Summer had a room to herself and all the amenities. It is here that Victim’s Advocates Maria Blanchard and Brianne Wilkes befriended Summer and reportedly tell her that she is being emotionally abused. According to records, they tell her she has nothing and that the ones who care about her are in their office. They ridicule Nedra to Summer. Eventually, they are able to use their self-described leverage over “AGs” and “big wigs” — you know, people who know them by their first name — to bring charges against Nedra, whose only “crime” is not believing her daughter’s accusations.

Nedra McKell is charged with retaliation against a witness, intentional abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult and violation of a protective order.

During Rob’s preliminary hearing, the witnesses’ testimony changed. Sheriff’s Deputy Whitnie Tate admitted to leading Summer during her interview (putting words in her mouth), and Summer had to be reminded when to claim Rob had become “touchy.”

Frankly, it was a joke.

It is amazing that these charges haven’t been dismissed already. It all boils down to what one person says another person has done. You either believe a psychologically evaluated “runaway delinquent” who is allegedly a recorded liar or a man who has never before been accused of any of these behaviors, a man whose five grown children and all of their friends are staunch supporters of his.

And as for Nedra’s charges, the amount of affidavits that show how many camping trips, outings, gifts, dinners, etc., that Summer went on and received when she was supposedly being isolated makes an average person’s life seem dull — not at all the confined poor lass she and Adult Services would have the court believe.

Unfortunately, short of Utah County Attorney Jeff R. Buhman getting involved and personally looking into this case and dismissing it on its ridiculous merits, both Rob and Nedra await their trials. Unfortunately, Buhman didn’t return our multiple calls to his office.

Also, if this case does go to court, you can bet that most of the real evidence that support Rob and Nedra won’t be allowed due to overprotective rape shield laws.

But then again, there is one option if Buhman doesn’t do what’s right and dismiss the case, maybe they can take Brooke up on his $10 million offer and have it all go away… Yeah, right.

–Ron Lee

US~Observer note: Our initial investigation into this case shows that without question this is the perfect example of an attempted false prosecution. While Julia Thomas is the Utah County Assistant Attorney conducting this travesty of justice, County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Buhman is ultimately responsible. Rest assured the US~Observer fully intends to hold him accountable publicly. For those who are concerned with justice as opposed to a manufactured and vindictive prosecution, Buhman’s phone number is 801-851-8026.

Tax-Advice Cons And A Deceitful DA

This article was originally published by the US~Observer.

Waukesha County, Wis. — District attorneys and government taxing authorities throughout the country are repeatedly coming down hard on individuals and entities they view as lawbreakers attempting to sidestep their taxation responsibilities. In most cases they are attempting to make an example out of them as a deterrent for others.

Often, these individuals are anything but lawbreakers; they are merely patriotic people who have allowed themselves to become conned by a growing list of individuals and organizations spewing propaganda that the U.S. taxation system is unConstitutional and that, even according to Internal Revenue tax code, the average citizen is not subject to the income tax.

Much of what these individuals and organizations offer in the way of evidence can be very convincing. They use actual documentation and manuals produced directly by the Internal Revenue Service and many State departments of revenue in conjunction with the law itself, and they apply certain implications that would make even some of the best legal scholars think twice. Many of these patriots are suckered into spending thousands of dollars with these tax-advice cons in efforts to supposedly learn the methods to hold their government responsible for unlawfully siphoning money from their pockets.

One such patriot is Michael Gengler from Wisconsin. Gengler and his brother learned of a local “tax group” through a work associate and they began attending some meetings. This group chartered itself with educating people of the overreaches of the government and attempting to help individuals they viewed as victims of the government. They then attempted to get them in contact with local or national entities that could allegedly help these patriots.

Many of the members, with the help of these organizations, often boasted of victory, holding up checks from the IRS where money reportedly taken as a tax collection was being returned to them. Many national organized groups like We the People were bringing their arguments to Congress and other government entities where their questions and evidence were met with silence. One filmmaker, Aaron Russo, created documentaries where he interviewed the IRS commissioner and several politicians who all refused to answer for the claims against them. The evidence seemed so overwhelming, how could someone like Gengler not fall victim?

Gengler, like many of the other attendees, quickly became infatuated with ideas that a government that is supposed to be doing the work of the people was actually taking advantage of the people. Just like countless people before him, Gengler was drawn into the con, making him feel he was becoming part of something bigger than himself, a sociopolitical movement that could not only attempt to hold government responsible to the people again but also help those viewed to have become the victims of the government.

After several years of becoming very active in the movement and spending thousands of dollars with the tax-advice cons to educate himself and others in an attempt to find the silver bullet that would unravel the lies believed to be hidden in a web of government cover-up, Gengler found himself in trouble with the State of Wisconsin. Under the direction of Vern Barnes from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (WDOR), Waukesha District Attorney Brad Schimel in January 2012, criminally charged Gengler with multiple felony counts of tax fraud.

Gengler spent several months communicating his beliefs and positions to the DA, attempting to learn why his office felt what he had done was criminal. The only response Gengler ever received was that he was considered a taxpayer and, therefore, needs to pay his taxes.

Unsatisfied with the response from Schimel and further convinced he was being wrongfully charged with a crime, Gengler contacted the US~Observer. However, instead of finding another advocacy that would further instill the web of deceptions Gengler had been consuming for years, he met Edward Snook, who began painting a picture quite contradictory to his beliefs.

After countless hours of phone conversations, Snook was able to factually explain the issues and convince Gengler that he had been deceived by providing him example after example of others like him who had chosen to stick with their misguided beliefs, only to have suffered the consequences of the legal system.

In November 2012, Snook sent Schimel a letter explaining to him that Gengler’s actions had all been in good faith and was only acting upon beliefs he formed, listening to those who deceived him. The letter also reinforced the fact that he was able to convince Gengler of his false beliefs and that Gengler would be making efforts to correct things. Snook urged Schimel to also do the right thing and meet Gengler halfway, where both parties could walk away whole.

On Dec. 20, 2013, Schimel responded to Snook, indicating that he was skeptical of Gengler’s turnaround since “he made those arguments repeatedly and vehemently” that he felt he was not subject to the income tax. Schimel’s letter went on to say, “No member of my team has any desire to ruin Mr. Gengler. If Mr. Gengler wishes to demonstrate that he has had a change of heart relative to his legal obligations, the ball is in his court.”

Consistent with how Gengler has always viewed himself as a responsible citizen trying to keep the government honest, Gengler — now realizing he was incorrect and the ball was certainly in his court — immediately filed all of his tax returns and started making past and present tax payments. Over the next six months, Gengler spent more than $15,000 in legal fees and payments to the IRS and State of Wisconsin showing that actions do speak louder than words.

DA Deceives Gengler And US~Observer

As this case was being resolved, Schimel’s office “did a 360” and forced Gengler to plead guilty to a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. In doing so, Schimel totally deceived the US~Observer and Gengler, who said: “I thank God for Mr. Snook’s help as I would have been stuck in the tax arguments for probably the rest of my life and there is no question that I would have been sent directly to prison. Mr. Snook stopped this, but I’m really disappointed in the DA for basically lying to us.”

Gengler related that Snook is still preparing an effort to attack his case politically and hold Schimel accountable.

I would pose the following questions to Schimel. Why did you deceive Gengler and the US~Observer, and why in the world would you abuse a victim of deceit and false information and not go after the real perpetrators: the tax-advice cons?

In the end, Snook will get his pound of flesh and Schimel will be sorry that he deceived the wrong people.

–Kelly Stone

Editor’s Note: DA Schimel is currently running for Wisconsin’s Attorney General. If he is deceptive now as the District Attorney, one would have to wonder how he would act as AG. Perhaps the fine people of Wisconsin shouldn’t take the risk in finding out.