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HAD ALSO BEEN IN MADISONVILLE ON APRIL 20 WHERE HUNDREDS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL WAITED FOR SOMETHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 13, 2010) — A person who had tried several times to visit Walter Fitzpatrick at the Monroe County jail was successful today. He reported that he spent about 20 minutes speaking with Fitzpatrick, who has been jailed since October 27 when his front door was broken down rather than the sheriff’s deputies announcing themselves with an arrest warrant the way it is done in other places across the country.
The arrest warrant does not bear a judge’s signature.
The visitor said that Mr. Fitzpatrick appears to be in good health, with no visible injuries. He described Fitzpatrick as “visually alert” and “looking well.”
However, a later call from Fitzpatrick to The Post & Email revealed that he is still experiencing numbness in his hands, which was reported by another person who was handcuffed by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department after being beaten and tasered, as was Fitzpatrick.
Last Wednesday, the visitor went to the detention facility and asked to see Mr. Fitzpatrick but was denied access. He reported that a “fat lady” at the sheriff’s office, which is across the street from the jail, told him that only one visitor was allowed on each visiting day, which occurs only twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday. That information was corroborated by Fitzpatrick.
The detention facility was reportedly in lockdown yesterday due to the escape of one of the inmates, Chris Cheatham. The inmate was on a “work detail” for which The Post & Email was told he did not qualify. The visitor related that the “fat lady” working in the sheriff’s office also has the last name of “Cheatham.” He also said that when he asked about Fitzpatrick’s welfare and mentioned some of the conditions which The Post & Email has been publishing from first-hand accounts, the lady said, “If you’re lookin’ for a fight, we’re ready. Everything on the internet is a lie.”
This man was also present in Madisonville on April 20, 2010 for the court hearing regarding the arrest of Walter Fitzpatrick and Darren Huff on April 1, 2010. He said that as people were being wanded as they entered the courtroom lobby, a police offer stood guard with an M-4 machine gun on his shoulder, which he thought was unusual. This was not the courtroom where the hearing took place, as there is a newer one which accommodates the actual hearings. However, he was told that the courtroom was full and if he didn’t have business there, he would have to leave. He reported that because he was not allowed to sit in the lobby outside the courtroom, he exited the building.
The visitor described the April 20 incident during which SWAT teams, snipers, state police, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department cars, unmarked cars, and other law enforcement officials were poised for action when Darren Huff and several others came to the courthouse for the hearing in Madisonville as costing somebody “a lot of money” which was spent “for no reason.” He also said that he had heard that the FBI had been present there as well.
Regarding the issue of corruption, he stated that the Monroe County judges, sheriff, his deputies, the grand jury foreman, and court personnel are “in on it,” and that the grand jury foreman has been serving for many years in excess of the statutory limitation. He and others have mentioned that Monroe County has the highest incidence of car accidents in the state, and that methamphetamine production is a major money producer there. Others have corroborated that story, and drug abuse and addiction appear to be a serious problem among the population, especially young people.
The visitor stated that by accident, Walter Fitzpatrick came across the corruption within the grand jury, tried to correct it by exposing it, and then had the force of a corrupt county government prosecute him. Fitzpatrick has heard that there is a bond for his release, but no specifics have been presented.
The Post & Email will continue its investigation into Fitzpatrick’s case as well as several others who have contacted us to describe their experiences in the Monroe County jail. On November 11, we published an editorial naming alleged perpetrators of beatings, taserings, assaults, and the framing of innocent people to extort money, and not one member of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department has come forward to deny the claims.