WHAT WOULD ACCOUNT FOR TWO VERSIONS OF THE SAME HEARING?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 3, 2011) — The transcript of the June 28, 2010 arraignment hearing for Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III was received on February 2, 2011 by The Post & Email a month after sending payment for it and reporting non-receipt of it to the Knoxville office of the FBI.
The hearing took place at the Madisonville courthouse located in Monroe County, TN pictured at right, but an introductory page of the document received from the court reporter states that the case was “McMinn County docket #10-213.”
Noted on the same page is the 22-page length of the document and a copying fee of $1.50/page.
The back page containing the court reporter’s signature originally had the date of October 6, 2010, which was crossed out and changed to “1/21/11” in pen, and the envelope was postmarked January 24. Therefore, Ms. Denise Barnes, the court reporter, kept her word to us when she told us on January 20 that she would send the transcript “in a few days.” The question remains as to why it couldn’t have been sent directly after payment for it was received, which presumably would have been no later than January 7, 2011. On January 20, Ms. Barnes told us that the money order was “in the vault at the courthouse.”
The Post & Email has compared the transcript received from the transcriptionist with the copy posted on Scribd by “Jack Ryan,” a member of the Politijab and Fogbow online communities, and found some differences.
The Scribd version identifies the case number as “10213,” whereas the copy we received from Ms. Barnes cites it as “10-213.” Our cover page is stamped with the word “COPY”, while the Politijab version is not. In fact, the Politijab version has no official stamp, signature or cover page noting the cost of the document.
Did “Jack Ryan” pay for the transcript, and if so, did he notice that the court reporter stated that the case was heard in McMinn, not Monroe, County? Or did his copy not have that page?
The first several pages of the two versions are paginated exactly the same. However, page 5 on the Scribd counter (marked page 4 on the bottom right of the transcript) shows two lines of text at the top, while The Post & Email’s version shows the text wrapping onto a third line.
The two versions then paginate differently, as the text “the peace and dignity of the State of Tennessee” runs onto page 5 on our copy but ends on page 4 on Ryan’s. The differences in page beginnings and endings carries through to the end of both documents, becoming more noticeable towards the end.
What is indicated as page 7 at the bottom right of both versions (Scribd counter shows it as page 9) shows a difference in the layout of the words on the page.
Judge Carroll Ross is noted as having said that the arraignment took place in McMinn County, not Monroe County, on page 7.
From page 7 forward, there is a one-line difference in the text between the two versions.
On page 9, Judge Ross refers to “Monroe County” twice in reference to a grand jury. On page 10, he refers to Monroe County again.
The one-line difference still exists between the two versions until page 14, when a two-line difference develops beginning with the text “everybody in the whole world.” In The Post & Email’s version, “whole world” occurs on line 19, whereas Politijab’s version shows those words at the end of line 17.
The difference in word placement widens between the two versions on page 16 (Scribd counter shows it as page 17).
At this point, not only is there a two-line difference, but the placement of the words on the pages is entirely different in the two versions beginning with the words “in this district.”
Page 17 shows that a three-line difference has developed between the two transcripts.
The last page of the transcript, page 20, is signed and stamped by Ms. Barnes, whereas the Politijab version has neither a signature nor a notary’s stamp. The Post & Email’s version has the “Certificate” heading at the top of page 20, while Politijab’s version shows it on page 19, with the text flowing onto page 20.
The Post & Email concludes that Politijab’s version of the June 28, 2010 arraignment transcript is unofficial. It bears differences to the version which we received directly from the court reporter, particularly the absence of an official signature and notary’s stamp.