WILL THE PEOPLE TAKE BACK THEIR POWER?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 15, 2010) — A Monroe County, TN retired Navy commander has been denied a transcript of court proceedings in which he has been named as a defendant even though he was promised a copy of it both verbally and in writing.
Fitzpatrick has reported to The Post & Email that Ms. Martha Cook, the Monroe County court clerk, said that the court did not possess the transcript in question. He was told to contact Denise Barnes, the court transcriptionist, who “works at home.” When Fitzpatrick did so, Ms. Barnes told him that she had given the transcript to private attorneys Randy and Matthew Rogers, a fact confirmed by Randy Rogers in a telephone message received by Fitzpatrick dated October 12, 2010.
A call placed to the Monroe County Circuit Court Clerk yielded no answer and no voice mail system after ten rings.
“Special” Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood is presiding over the Fitzpatrick case wherein Fitzpatrick has been charged with “riot” and “intimidation,” having refused to dismiss the case on Tuesday, October 5. During last week’s hearing, Blackwood was told that the grand jury was contaminated because of Pettway’s longstanding position as foreman in violation of the law as well as the presence of another juror, Angela Davis, who had served on the jury for the term ending December 31, 2009 and also by law could not serve. Since Fitzpatrick had tried to arrest Pettway for violating the law, and all of the jurors currently seated know and have worked with Pettway on the jury during the new term, Fitzpatrick maintains that the current jury is fatally flawed and that an entirely new jury must be selected and seated. He has described Judge Blackwood as “a criminal and a dictator” for failing to implement corrective action on the compromised grand jury.
Judge Blackwood is from Roane County, TN, which has also been reported to have an illegally-acting grand jury foreman of more than 23 years.
The hearing of June 28, 2010 dealt with charges filed against LCDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, after his April 1, 2010 arrest. While Fitzpatrick has been denied a copy of the transcript, it appeared almost immediately afterward on the internet containing what Fitzpatrick claims is “falsification of the record and related charges as they go to Blackwood’s judicial misconduct.”
The Post & Email left a message for Ms. Barnes, the court transcriptionist, and can confirm that the number given out by the court clerk to Mr. Fitzpatrick and then to us is a residence number. We received a call back from her at 9:54 a.m. on Friday, October 15, during which Ms. Barnes asked us not to call her home number because her husband works nights and we were disturbing his sleep. When we explained that the number had been given out by court clerk Martha M. Cook to Mr. Fitzpatrick and we obtained it from him, she said she “cannot talk to the press,” and that if we had any questions, we should direct them to “Judge Blackwood.” She then curtly said, “Have a good day” and hung up. Ms. Barnes’s tone was distinctly hostile, and obviously the issue was not which telephone number we called, but rather, the fact that we contacted her at all.
Attorney Matthew Rogers is serving as public defender for another Monroe County defendant, Darren Huff, who was arrested on April 30 while en route to a hearing for Fitzpatrick. On October 12, 2010, Fitzpatrick received a telephone call from Attorney Randy Rogers, Matthew’s father, stating that his office was in possession of the June 28 transcript and that Fitzpatrick could obtain it from him. The phone message stated:
Mr. Fitzpatrick, this is Randy Rogers. I’ve talked with Mr. Pidgeon; he is fine with me giving you the transcript and letting you review it and then forward it on to him. So feel free to come to my office at regular business hours either today or tomorrow; I’ll instruct my secretary to give you the transcript copy that you’ve paid for, and you can deal with it further. Thank you.
Addendum to the phone message by Walter Fitzpatrick:
That message was left yesterday, Tuesday, the 12th of October, 2010, at 17:07 hours.
Attorney Stephen Pidgeon, who has been retained to represent Fitzpatrick, was also reportedly informed on October 12 that the transcript from the June 28 hearing was available. However, when Fitzpatrick went to the law office to obtain the transcript, he reportedly was asked to leave empty-handed by “a private investigator named ‘Butch.'”
Fitzpatrick has told The Post & Email that Ms. Barnes, the court transcriptionist, is actually a “personal employee” of Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood despite her compensation from the State of Tennessee.
Regarding the repeated jury service of Angela Davis, rather than ordering her recusal, Judge Blackwood issued an order on October 6, 2010 stating that there was no “proof” that she had served prior to 2010.
On June 2, 2010, Judge Amy Reedy had appointed Angela Davis to be foreperson of the Monroe County grand jury even though she had served as a juror in 2009 and was barred by state law from serving again.
The text of the order reads:
IN THE CRIMINAL COURT OF MONROE COUNTY, TENNESSEE
IN RE: GRAND JURY FOREMAN
It appearing to the Court that on June 2, 2010, Angela Davis is appointed to serve as Grand Jury Foreperson for the Monroe County Grand Jury effective for the day of June 3, 2010.
ENTER this the 2nd day of June 2010.
The order is signed by Judge Amy Reedy.
The following is LCDR Fitzpatrick’s account of the events transpiring in Monroe County, TN regarding the grand jury:
(Oct. 14, 2010) — I called the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation this afternoon at about nine minutes before 5:00, and there’s been no return call from them. I’ll try and contact them again tomorrow.
I am terribly frustrated. If you take everything else and put it off to the side about the issues that revolve around Gary Pettway and Angela Davis, this is what you have left. And it was predicted. It was predictable and predicted. The grand jury that sat on June 3 had to be picked brand-new. As I wrote, it had to be “immaculate.” If the State of Tennessee believes that the accusations are valid, they would have had to have gone through this process with extraordinary care. They were told that they needed to apply that extraordinary care up front, and they haven’t done that. The issue with the group that met on the third of June, and that goes to Darren Huff, shows everybody else that has been named by this group of people, this gang – it’s not a grand jury – their work is a nullity in the eyes of the law. It doesn’t exist.
We’re dealing with judges, prosecutors, and people who have been trained in this, and it is not difficult to understand. Everybody in the group which met on the third of June knows Gary Pettway as a workmate. In fact, they know him as the leader of their group because Pettway has been the foreman for January, February, March, April, and May; and then on the third of June they had Angela Davis for a moment in time, the “foreman pro tem,” if you will. Now she’s not the foreman anymore but has gone back to the grand jury. They met in July, August and September, and of course we know that Mr. Pettway returned to the grand jury building last week on the 7th of October. He’s not allowed to be there. All of these people know him, and they can’t hear a case which deals with his arrest for standing as grand jury foreman for 20 years.
The way that the government conducted itself on the third of June is every evidence that this government has been operating out of control and they don’t want to get caught in the act. So the attack is against the grand jury. We never get to the merits of this case until we get a legitimate grand jury. You don’t argue the merits. We’re not there yet. Of course, if we were to argue the merits, then there is no case, and the government knows that. A trial at this point is a distraction from the real issue, which is the grand jury. It’s not about the arrest of Gary Pettway; it’s about the grand jury.
The person who made Judge Blackwood aware of the compromised grand jury is Jim Stutts, the prosecuting attorney. He wrote in a response to a motion, saying, “Yes, we know that Amy Reedy picked Angela Davis as the foreperson. We know this.” And when the judge ruled, he said, “Motion denied” as it went to dismissing this whole case. Blackwood didn’t care; he accepted the government’s position. All he had to do was to know that this is about the grand jury, and Blackwood should be as concerned about the integrity of the grand jury in Monroe County as every judge should be. But he’s not. That tells you everything you need to know.
I told everyone in the Tenth Judicial District back in May, a week before, because no one had done it; no one had figured this out for himself in regard to “Doesn’t this involve Gary Pettway? Doesn’t anybody on the grand jury so far in 2010 know Gary Pettway? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to pick a new group of people to come in and get to the facts so that people know it’s going to be handled fairly?” They should have said, “Yes, that’s a good idea to get new jurors. We have plenty of people who could serve. We could put together another grand jury of 13 people.” Then we could let them choose their own foreperson amongst themselves and go forward from there.
If they had done it that way and they said, “Well, we’re going to go to trial,” I would have said, “OK, fine.” Then we would get to the merits of the case. But the state of Tennessee didn’t do that. From that day to this day, all we have seen the state of Tennessee do is commit one criminal act after the next after the next. We now know about two records that have been intentionally falsified. We know about the 28th of June arraignment transcript. There might be three doctored records. We’re being denied the audio version of that 28 June arraignment, and it was disclosed that Judge Carroll Ross committed a criminal act by openly provoking me that day. He was trying to get me to do something and they were bragging about it. The sheriffs had their hands on their guns, and they dropped me like a sack of potatoes. Ross intentionally went out of his way to provoke me, to get me to do something or say something that he could use against me. So with every step that we have taken so far, we have found a criminal act that is carried out by judges across the state, or sheriffs.
Where do I take that? To whom do I report that? What we decided today is that I report it to you.
You can call the FBI, you can call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and I would imagine that they’re going to say, “Well, you know there is a judicial process going on.” But there isn’t. This is an ambush done in plain view. It’s open; it’s naked. It’s not hard for people to figure out that there should have been a brand-new group of 13 people put into a jury box to hear the case as it went to the arrest of Gary Pettway. The old jurors couldn’t hear the case because Mr. Pettway was there, and they’re all infected with a bias. They all know him, and as I said today, if this thing goes to trial, I don’t have to do any kind of questioning voir dire; I could maybe stand up and say, “Does anybody here know Gary Pettway?” “Oh, you do, ma’am? How do you know him?” “Oh, he’s your neighbor.” “You know him because…” whatever. “I’m sorry; thank you for your service, ma’am, but you can’t serve on the grand jury because Pettway is known to you.” That’s a disqualifying factor for any juror coming in to the trial jury at this point and for anyone who was knowingly disqualified before the third of June.
Jim Stutts was the one who presented it, and he was the prosecutor. Of course, he paints me as a “dangerous person.” That’s what he has told the group which met on June 3. “This guy is a dangerous person because he’s taken the law into his own hands.” That’s a quote that Jim Stutts gave to Pam Sohn from the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Tuesday, the 5th of October. I’m a dangerous person because I took the law into my own hands? What do we see here? Who is taking the law into their own hands? They’re accusing me of what they’re doing, and they’re able to convince people in this community that that’s what’s going on. This extant grand jury is…”catatonic” is the only word that comes to mind right now.
I haven’t done anything that takes the law into my own hands. Instead, I’m trying to enforce the law that’s on the books, which is that you can’t have a jury foreman, or any juror on any jury in the state of Tennessee with a conflict of interest. It’s not hard to figure out. So what does this jury do? Well, because they know Gary Pettway and because they’re friends or associates with him or they know him as their foreman, they advanced this case to a trial. That’s not how our system of justice works, and that’s the whole issue in the larger scheme of things as it goes to the grand juries across the country.
The judges and prosecutors have taken over; many of these prosecutors, themselves former judges or about-to-be judges, are very closely networked in that world, one way or another. They’ve taken over. They’ve taken over completely, and they can lock up whomever they want. And they don’t have to do anything that is lawful because there’s nobody who is going to go in and arrest them.
We now know that there are three recorded documents that are being either withheld from public view or have been tampered with. One of them is the CD of Judge Carroll Ross speaking on the 28th of June. Another one is the written record of that hearing; it’s been doctored. And then of course we have this ruling that Judge Blackwood put down last week which put my name where Darren Huff’s was supposed to be. That was not an accident. That was not an accident. He did that the day after the 5 October hearing and signed out the order on 6 October. Again, there should have been extraordinary care and attention paid to that. It’s two pages long, and my name is there. I am not going to allow Judge Blackwood to get away with anybody saying that that was just a foolish, simple, harmless error; it was not. It was done with specific, purposeful, criminal intent. This is one of the reasons that they have tied my case to Darren’s: because they want to continue making these types of mistakes.
Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood stated that he recognized that there are two people on the 2010 grand jury in Monroe County who are not supposed to be there. He recognized that one of those people signed out the document that was the accusation laid against me: Angela Davis. He said, “We understand that she’s not lawfully on the grand jury.” And he said, “I know about Pettway and I know about Davis, but I believe that the rest of the grand jury was acting appropriately, and we’re going to rely upon the work product of the rest of the grand jury, not these two people who are here unlawfully. We’re going to look past that for a moment and press ahead.” That’s why he assigned a trial date of 1 December. So according to him, it was good enough; “Yeah, yeah, those two people aren’t supposed to be there, and certainly not Davis, because she was on a jury last year, but OK, we’re going to look past that and say that the rest of the jury was put together OK, and we’re going to rely on what they decided. We’re going to trial.”
In the same moment of time, Blackwood was under a lawful requirement to repair what had just been announced as a defect in the 2010 Monroe County grand jury. He had to fix the problem. He was under a lawful duty to do that, and they have alternates picked on any jury to address this very kind of unexpected emergency wherein suddenly, a juror or jurors cannot come to the jury box. Blackwood, on the bench on October 5, was under a lawful obligation to remove Pettway and Davis from the 2010 grand jury and order that alternates be put in place to replace them. He didn’t do that. And then, a day after his ruling, on October 7, Gary Pettway came back and stood as the foreman for the 2010 grand jury. Blackwood is now knowingly and demonstrably involved in the construction of an illicit grand jury. He is as much a criminal as everybody else who has known about this and has done nothing to fix the problem.
If he were sitting on the bench and he came in, and there were a group of jurors in front of him and the foreman stood up and said, “Your Honor, Miss Smith was involved in a car accident last night and is in the hospital and can no longer serve on this jury,” the judge could have fixed that in an instant. Now he has himself become a criminal. More than that, Blackwood knows that it’s not just the Monroe County grand jury that has people who are violating this term of service issue. There are people in grand juries across the state of Tennessee who are not allowed to be in grand juries this year. Judge Blackwood has been told that as well. He not only has an obligation to replace Pettway and Davis here in Monroe County, but as a special judge appointed to my case, he has a duty and a responsibility to cause the replacement of every other juror in the state of Tennessee who is found to be in a grand jury unlawfully. Blackwood’s own county, Roane County, has Mr. Charles Snow.
But Blackwood didn’t do that and now is himself participating in the stacking of the jury. Once he was alerted to the defect, he could have instantly repaired it and was under a duty to do so, and he didn’t. Then Pettway came back to the foremanship of the grand jury in Monroe County a day later, on the 7th of October. Blackwood is criminally complicit; it can’t be undone. Blackwood now cannot be the judge of my case. He is himself as unlawfully involved in this process as anyone else.
LCDR Fitzpatrick has told The Post & Email that during the court proceeding of 5 October, it was stated that the federal charges against Darren Huff would be separated from the case brought against him by Monroe County. However, in the order referenced above, Judge Blackwood or his transcriptionist substituted Huff’s name with Fitzpatrick’s, which now indicates that there is a federal case against Fitzpatrick, which is false. The name substitution also denies Huff the protection guaranteed to him during the hearing.