- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 29, 2010) — The following press release has been sent to numerous news agencies worldwide, including CNN, Reuters, ABC News, various anchors at FOX News, CBS News, Le Monde, Rogers Media (Australia), and NBC Nightly News. If any reader has contact information for others, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some automated responses have already been received. The Post & Email has also been in touch with the FBI in Knoxville, TN regarding the Fitzpatrick case.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor email@example.com
The Post & Email, Inc. Phone/Fax: 203-987-7948
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Oct. 27, 2010) – LCDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) was arrested this morning at his home in Madisonville, TN on an unsigned “Capias” warrant dated October 22, 2010 charged with “failure to appear” at a hearing allegedly held on that date about which Mr. Fitzpatrick claims he was not given proper notice.
His attorney-of-record, who is reportedly withdrawing from the case for unspecified reasons, has not released a statement nor been available for comment. It is unknown whether or not Attorney Stephen Pidgeon received notification of or attended the October 22 hearing.
The judge’s order for Fitzpatrick’s arrest appears to have been written after the hearing and does not mention whether or not his attorney was present. The judge ordered that Fitzpatrick “be held without bond.” The order is date-stamped October 25, 2010.
Fitzpatrick was accused of “riot” and “intimidation” on April 1, 2010 after attempting to make a citizen’s arrest of the Monroe County grand jury foreman, who has been serving in that position for at least 20 years, according to the court clerk’s records. Section 22 of the Tennessee Code states that no juror can serve on the grand jury for a period of 24 months following the last date of service.
Both Fitzpatrick and his attorney have stated that a second jury member is serving in violation of the law, as court records show that she served in 2009. The judge stated in an undated Amended Order that “The Record however is devoid of any proof that the said [juror's name]…is one and the same person.”
Fitzpatrick has asked that a new grand jury be convened to hear his case since all current jurors are acquainted with the foreman. Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, a retired “special” judge from Roane County, has refused that request. Court records show that Roane County’s grand jury foreman has been in place for more than 23 years.
Fitzpatrick is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. He claims that he has done nothing illegal and was attempting only to enforce existing Tennessee law. Monroe County court personnel have been contacted but have refused to make statements on the record. The Post & Email interviewed LCDR Fitzpatrick by phone following his arrest, during which he reported that he sustained facial contusions, a ripped left ear, injuries to his right arm, shoulders, ribs and head as well as repeated tasering by the four police officers who arrested him.
Editor’s Note: Bloggers and other news media may repost this news release in full.
(Oct. 30, 2010) — As of 9:00 a.m. EDT today, we have received an original response from a news outlet in Australia. Fox & Friends deleted our message without reading it. Several others have sent automated responses acknowledging receipt.