If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my free Email alerts. Thanks for visiting!


by Sharon Rondeau

For how much longer will Sheriff Bill Bivens be smiling?

(Nov. 28, 2010) — A telephone call from Walter Fitzpatrick at the Monroe County jail at 7:15 p.m. yielded the following discoveries:

LCDR FITZPATRICK: This is huge.  It was a rumor before but was substantiated last night:  Mr. Pettway was here in the jailhouse in March 2010 to try to extract a confession from a man named Bubba Cozart.  At the time, Bubba Cozart was accused of a burglary of a local fast food chain called SONIC.  Mr. Pettway, the grand jury foreman, came into the jailhouse, the booking room, and Mr. Cozart was brought to the booking room by deputy sheriffs.  There were deputy sheriffs in the room at the time who observed and witnessed Mr. Pettway’s attempt as the foreman of the grand jury to extract a confession from Mr. Cozart regarding the robbery of the SONIC restaurant.

Mr. Cozart was eventually cleared of those charges.  He’s here tonight still as an inmate on another charge or charges.  He related the story to me himself last night personally.  As I said, this was rumored before, but now it’s confirmed.

That’s the hard news.  Now what follows is speculation; I’m guessing at what’s going on here:  This is part of the reason why I’ve been locked up.  This is part of the reason why Judge Ross had me arrested for a charge of “riot” on a citizen’s arrest.  The citizen’s arrest was on 1 April.  Mr. Pettway’s adventure into the jailhouse was in March.  If there is any investigation into Mr. Pettway’s conduct as a grand jury foreman, it’s going to reveal that Mr. Pettway, as a court-appointed and judge-appointed officer of the court, is coming into the jailhouse and trying to harvest cases for a corrupt judiciary.  He’s become a law enforcement officer and has come over here and extracted confessions from people.  That’s highly against the law; you can’t do that.

Mr. Pettway said to me last October, in 2009, that he himself represents the grand jury in total; he himself stands as the full grand jury.  So for him to come over here and represent himself as someone who is trying to extract a confession by interrogating an inmate on a criminal event, just by himself, is absolutely obscenely illegal.  Sheriff Bivens knows about this; the judges know about this; everybody who’s involved in this knows about this, and I believe they’re not concerned about getting caught because they’ve been doing this over and over and over again for years and years and years.  And this comes back to the comment that Judge Carroll L. Ross made from the bench during my arraignment on the 28th of June 2010 when he said, “Gary Pettway is doing a great job for us.”

Gary Pettway has come to the booking room to interrogate inmates about alleged crimes all by himself.  That’s extraordinarily criminal.  Pettway is judge-appointed; I believe that Pettway has worked other cases in this way; he’s harvesting locals and getting them to a corrupt judiciary.  I believe that all concerned in the courthouse are very comfortable with Pettway’s criminal escapade.  I believe that this has been going on and on, but we now have Mr. Pettway caught in a criminal act.  And this is the kind of stuff they’ve been doing with the grand jury foreman.  So it’s not just the fact that he is part of the grand jury in 2010 after 19 years; he’s conducting himself criminally in these kinds of criminal investigations.  Of course, there was no attorney present when Mr. Pettway came over to interrogate the inmate.  This is what’s going on, Sharon.  This is what’s happening.

MRS. RONDEAU: As you’ve said before, there is nowhere for an accused person in Monroe County to go.  There’s no attorney, and there’s nowhere to go to file a complaint against this.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: Right, and these types of things are not being reported publicly in the local community.  This is huge, Sharon.  And as I say, there’s reason to believe that Mr. Pettway has been doing this over and over again for 20 years.  That’s what’s been going on.

I will remind you that we have to get the word out about the grand jury being selected for 2011 in these coming days of December, so people have to find out when that’s going to happen, and they have to be there to watch every detail of the selection process.

Also, there’s word today that there are community flyers; you and the others have been pivotal in getting out a community flyer in large distribution which is taking The Post & Email news and handing it out to local establishments throughout Monroe County.

I was also told today that people who come here, as I did, to visit an inmate, were  chased away by Officers Trent Prock and Pat Williams.  Other people have come to this facility to visit someone and they’ve been chased away.  Mr. Ellington’s brother was here to try and conduct business, and he was chased away by the sheriff.

On another event, and this is big, Sheriff Bivens came across the street himself.  This happened just a few days ago, although I’m not sure which day.  Sheriff Bivens came across the street to chase away a person who was standing out in front of the jailhouse, and it was an FBI agent.


LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yes.  And the FBI agent told Sheriff Bivens, “Go away.  I can stay here; I can be here as long as I want.”  So an FBI agent has actually been here to take a look at the building, at least, and Sheriff Bivens tried to make him go away.  Of course, he didn’t go away.

Mr. Pettway has conducted himself in a criminal event by coming over here to not only interrogate an inmate without the presence of an attorney, but to try and extract a confession for a crime the inmate did not commit.  He was cleared of this later.  This is huge, because if Pettway did it once, he’s done it before. Sheriff Bivens knows about this; Judge Carroll L. Ross knows about this; Judge Reedy knows about this; J. Reed Dixon knows about this; this is why they’re trying to deflect attention away from the grand jury and what Mr. Pettway has been doing.  Mr. Pettway can be arrested for this tonight.

So you can notify the FBI at any time that you choose, or have anybody else notify the FBI, that Gary Pettway has been in the jailhouse, in the booking room, trying to extract a confession from an inmate named Bubba Cozart.

MRS. RONDEAU: When you figure how long Gary Pettway has been in his “job,” so to speak, one must think of how many times he could have done it.  What would his motive be?

LCDR FITZPATRICK: They’re feeding on the local community to send as many innocent people to the grand jury and then to the judiciary.  They’re feeding them to the judges.  This is a profit center.  They’re preying on people in the community whom they know cannot afford high-priced attorneys, and they know that the attorneys and public defenders are in on the fix.  They’re feeding on the people, and the profit center here is the sheriff working against these local citizens to generate revenue for the government.  The more cases that come into the courthouse, the more people have to pony up to the government for one thing or another.  And then, once they lock them up, you become like a slave.  They get paid for putting prisoners into the jails and the prisons.  This is nothing but a profit center.  This is extortion; that’s what it is.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do the victims get sent straight to a judge, bypassing the grand jury?

LCDR FITZPATRICK: No.  What would happen is that Pettway would extract a confession, then he would take that back to his grand jury himself, and he would say to them, “I’ve gotten this confession from Mr. Cozart,” (for example), and then they get the presentment from the grand jury, the indictment goes in to the attorney general’s office, and then they send it to the criminal court, and then all the attorneys prey on this one person and say, “You either have to take a plea for this confession or we’re going to lock you up for a long time.”  They force the person into a plea deal.  And this goes on.  It’s a scheme; a racket.

Another question is:  How many jury trials do you think happen here in Monroe County?  Not a lot.  This is nothing but human trafficking. That’s what I’ve said before.  They’re preying on people whom they know cannot defend themselves and they chew ’em up.  There’s more I can say about how that happens once I leave here, but we have to use these phone calls the best way we can.  Mr. Pettway is now caught in a criminal act as the grand jury foreman. So that takes the whole issue of his foremanship right off the table.  He’s committed a criminal act:  trying to extract a confession from an inmate for a crime that the inmate did not commit is as obscene as it can be, but we keep finding this kind of obscenity wherever we look.

MRS. RONDEAU: Someone else I interviewed reported that Pettway said he “works for the state.” Evidently he really does.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yeah, oh, yeah!  This is a judge-appointed member of the grand jury, and again, Carroll Ross said that “Mr. Pettway is doing a great job for us.”  Now we know what Carroll Ross meant.

MRS. RONDEAU: I always wondered exactly what he meant by that.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: Well, now we know.  That’s why I’ve been arrested for “riot,” but there was no riot, Sharon, because they’re afraid that this kind of information is going to become public knowledge.  Mr. Pettway was arrested on the first of April, just days after he tried to extract a confession from an inmate.  Now if that arrest had been held up and Mr. Pettway’s conduct had been looked into by a legitimate law enforcement activity or agency, they would find out that just days before he was arrested on the first of April in a citizen’s arrest, Mr. Pettway had conducted himself  as obscenely unlawfully as we now know in trying to get a confession.  And deputy sheriffs were there to witness this.  Sheriff Bivens knows about this.

MRS. RONDEAU: They obviously supported the activity because they gave Mr. Pettway access to the jail and the inmate.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: Right, and the sheriffs can’t blow the whistle because they can’t sacrifice their paycheck. If they don’t play ball, they don’t get paid and they lose their job.  That’s the kind of scheme you have going on here.

Remember on the fifth of October, Judge Blackwood said from the bench, twice – he interrupted Steve Pidgeon twice – that the foreman of the grand jury is no different than any other juror on the grand jury, right?


LCDR FITZPATRICK: Well, what other juror on the grand jury do you think could…

Automated Operator: You have one minute remaining.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: have an inmate called out and interrogated in that way?  Only Gary Pettway.


Editor’s Note: The Knoxville, TN FBI office can be reached at 865-544-0751 or by email at knoxville@ic.fbi.gov

To leave a tip, please go here.

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Walt Fitzpatrick will be “in court” tomorrow morning (Wednesday) and there will also be folks in town to see what kind of crap the “Corruption Committee” will try to pull on this patently innocent and honest man. Undoubtedly, there will be about a gazillion cops getting paid overtime to guard against some paranoia-imagined disturbance to an otherwise sleepy little rural town. “Keystone cops a-go-go” is a more tempting label for what’s going on, but it could get serious if the Sheriff’s ding-a-lings act like idiots. Their guilt is obvious in their defensive attitude. If they’re lawful, why be paranoid? Heck of a question ain’t it?

  2. Let us be clear what the State of Tennessee has done to LCDR Fitzpatrick and countless other criminal defendants for decades: This is a calculated end-run on due process, and involves both the courts and the legislature. The purpose is to give the trial judge a covert, nasty little way to control, intimidate, and punish defendants at his/her whim. Perhaps the defendant has spoken out, or made his/her lawyer angry, or “disrespected” his lawyer — any tissue the court wishes to invent.

    LCDR Fitzpatrick’s lawyer MUST RAISE THIS ISSUE PRE-TRIAL OR IT IS WAIVED. This issue will have equal or more impact on the rights of criminal defendants in Tennessee than the illegal “key man” grand jury foreman issue.

    A lawful arrest can only be secured based on an indictment (which is considered to conclusively establish probable cause for arrest) or an arrest warrant (which must be supported by an affidavit that contains reasonable indications of probable cause; however, the finding of probable cause is open to argument and appeal via the constitutionally mandated preliminary hearing process). In Tennessee, a capias can ONLY be created pursuant to a true bill of indictment (or a true presentment or information). It is a ‘mesne’, an intermediate document that only empowers law enforcement to bring the named defendant before a magistrate. Long-settled federal law requires that the defendant be brought before a magistrate within 48 hours of arrest.

    Once that capias has been executed by effecting the arrest of the named individual, the capias is EXHAUSTED. It has expended all of its legal power and is now just a piece of paper trail. It cannot be resurrected again under any circumstance. Therefore, a capias in a particular case, pursuant to that case’s particular indictment, can be issued ONE TIME and one time only. A second capias issued in the same case (in the absence of a superseding indictment found true in a 2nd grand jury) is VOID ON ITS FACE and any resulting arrest, imprisonment, bond revocation, etc., is void. This is not an issue of first impression in Tennessee. The Tennessee supreme court outlawed the reuse of an already-expended capias back in 1836.

    OK, so a criminal case is opened against an individual and a case number is assigned. Upon indictment, a capias is issued, the defendant is arrested and brought before a magistrate for arraignment, bail is set, and the defendant posts bond. Release pending trial is subject to the conditions of bail specified in statute, the bond order, and the pre-trial release agreement, and Rule 43 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure.

    According to TRCP Rule 43, a defendant is only required to appear in court for the arraignment, trial, and, if convicted, the sentencing hearing. THAT’S IT, period, end of story. Rule 43 explicitly says defendants are not required to attend motions hearings, i.e., the kind of hearing Fitzpatrick was accused of failing to attend.

    Failure to appear is a criminal offense in Tennessee, with its own specific statute outlining a specific procedure for prosecuting the offense. When a person is charged with failure to appear, a new, separate case is opened, with its own case number, and a new physical or digital repository for all proceedings in that case is created. Probable cause must be established, summons must be issued to all stakeholders (including the bail bondsman, pre-trial release office, all lawyers, etc.), etc., etc., etc.

    Similarly, the procedure for bond revocation is set forth with particularity in statute. The district attorney (not the judge) must motion for bond revocation based on probable cause, a show-cause order must be sent to the bail bondsman, summons must be issued to all stakeholders, and then a hearing must be held.

    But Tennessee doesn’t require its judges to bother with all that “laws and rules” stuff. When a judge wishes to control or intimidate a criminal defendant, s/he simply declares a ‘hearing’ shall be held without adequate notice, finds the defendant has ‘failed to appear,’ and tells the court clerk to issue a “capias” for the defendant’s arrest. The “capias” is issued IN THE SAME CASE. The capias is void on its face. The defendant is illegally seized and imprisoned without a new, formal charge, i.e., without the opening of a new and separate case for the alleged statutory offense of failure to appear. (And after trial for the original offense, no “failure to appear” trial is held because the charge was a fake one.) The judge sua sponte revokes the defendant’s bond or sets it at a unreasonable amount, and cancels the current bail bond (it takes a LOT of talking, and the good faith of the bonding company, to convince the bondsman not to cancel the bond until all the legal wrangling over the illegal arrest has concluded).

    If the defendant demands a probable cause (preliminary) hearing on the illegal rearrest, the court denies the request by saying “you’ve already had your hearing” — meaning the original arraignment hearing after indictment/capias/arrest under the original case number! So here you rot, illegally imprisoned — punished, for purposes of double jeopardy — your bail money stolen, stripped of all due process, with the full complicity of the courts and the lawyers. If you have the money for a new bond, you can try to press your lawyer for a bond hearing. If not, you’re in the dungeon until trial.

    The logical recourse is a petition for writ of habeas corpus, right? Wrong. The Tennessee legislature has gamed the system there, too. Despite the clear, unequivocal language of the United States Constitution, Tennessee maintains its citizens have no right to pretrial habeas corpus relief! In essence, Tennessee can hold a defendant indefinitely without trial — days, months, years, as if one is a prisoner of war. [I have found only one instance in which pre-trial habeas relief has been granted: to a Chattanooga lawyer (LeCroy-Schemel v. Cupp, No. E2000-00024-COA-R3-CV).] So your recourse is a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal district court, right? Try it. The District Court in Knoxville has demonstrated that it can single-handedly nullify the Constitution and the will of Congress. It simply ignores your pretrial (section 2241) habeas petition — in which deference is to be given the petitioner — and allows you to be tried. Then it sua sponte converts your 2241 to a post-conviction (2254) habeas corpus — in which deference is given to the state. Then you’re off to the 6th Circuit for years of appeals, which is currently served by judges more inclined to uphold the power of the government than the rights of individuals.

    So this is a complete racket. These jailings on a second, void capias are a deliberate, knowing act of official oppression, which is a felony in Tennessee punishable by (iirc) up to 8 years in prison. Such jailings, being void and resulting from the crime of official punishment, cannot possibly serve any regulatory or remedial purpose. Therefore they constitute punishment in the original case, for purposes of double jeopardy. They are also grist for a federal conspiracy lawsuit under Section 1983 — the local federal district court will be more than happy to give the State of Tennessee a pass.

    Keep on keeping on, keep make lots and lots of noise, and continue to refuse to go away!

  3. Their was a FBI agent at my sister’s house for Thanksgiving and took the chance to ask her all sorts of questions about Fitzpatrick and Monroe County and the Obama stuff and I was flabbergasted to find out she hadn’t heard of any of this stuff. And she is from Chattanooga.

    Do you think the FBI really doesn’t even now this stuff or do you think they have some secret planned and she couldn’t let the cat out of the bag?
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: If your sister hasn’t been involved in the eligibility movement or done anything to warrant a visit from the FBI, why were they there?

    1. The fbi agent was their becasue she is married to my brother in laws brother. I dont know what relative that makes her. Not a cousin I think becasue we arent blood kin. all I know is that she brings the cranberry sauce each year. That horrible canned stuff. and she said she doesnt now who Walt is which I find weird .

      1. i think i messed up my first post. I ment to say I asked her all sorts of questions and she hadnt heard of Walt. reading back it looks like she was asking all sorts of questions. Sorry. I mean to say I asked her about Walt and she said she doesn’t now who he is even thou she is Tennesssee FBI.

  4. Before I call the FBI to complain, can someone tell me the exact law that Mr. Pettway allegedly broke by speaking to Mr. Cozart? Where is the Tennessee or Federal law that says he can’t do that?
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: I don’t have the link handy, but do a search for “Tennessee Code Annotated,” and look in the section which deals with Jurors and Jury Selection. I recall that the number ends in “314.” It will describe the role of the grand jury, and nowhere does it authorize someone who is supposed to be hearing evidence against someone to go and interrogate anyone or attempt to coerce a confession. The grand jury is supposed to be completely separate from the court and act as a supervisor of the court and government officials, thereby protecting those accused of crimes who are innocent. If Pettway was trying to extract a confession from an inmate or inmates, he was performing a law enforcement activity, which is not his role. Doing so without an attorney for the accused present makes it even more criminal.

  5. Mr. Pen, I think you misunderestimate the level of corruption in the government these days…It goes all the way to the top and vice versa to the lowliest civil servant. We need a total overhaul- acquaint yourself with the Restore America Plan (RAP) or similar offshoots, if you dare! These dark forces have feeding on our pancreas (meteorphorically) for many moons now and I think a movement built around the good Cmdr. is a definite possibility.
    If we could get the confirm. about the lawyer, that’d be great. Mr. Haffey: I assume you still can’t take a few hours to drive up and offer some solidification with your brother in arms??


  6. This will indeed be very interesting. In order for Mr Pettway to face prosecution it will be necessary for Eric Holder to have a hand in the matter as it will soon be revealed the extent of the judicial corruption in TN goes all the way to the top. Whether we see justice done thoroughly or as a token to pacify those who come forward to testify, if any dare. The repairing of the system must be done from the top down. Obviously the responsible elected state officials now are fully aware of the antics being carried out in several counties and it is up to them to set about cleaning house at the TBI as well as the state courts, public defenders office, Bar assn and take up this issue of Tennessee laws annotated being usurped by judicial precedent. No judge can make law, not even in TN.

  7. For what it’s worth, I’ve known the Roane Co. grand jury foreman for many, many years and while I know for sure he hears and knows EVERYTHING that goes on in the courthouse, and I assume he has wielded significant influence in service to the court, I can’t imagine he has ever tried to sweat a confession out of anyone. Talk about an action that shocks the conscience! The Anderson Co. grand jury is every bit as incestuous and stacked against the defendant. The whole TN system is rotten and needs to be ripped out by its roots.

    [A bit off topic: I also want the legislature to more narrowly draw the umbrella of immunity that shields judges and prosecutors.

    Finally, my other complaint about our grand jury system is that TN is one of only a few remaining states that allow grand juries an unlimited number of attempt to indict a particular individual for a particular crime. No matter how many times a grand jury returns a No-true-bill against you (i.e., determines that there is insufficient evidence to indict you for a particular offense), the district attorney or grand jury can come after you month after month, year after year, for the duration of the statute of limitation for the alleged offense.

    1. If an entry of appearance has been filed, it was done after early afternoon this past Monday, at least according to the report I mentioned I heard in an earlier posting. I hope it has been.

      And if there’s an attorney appearing for Mr. Fitzpatrick, I suppose I don’t understand all the secrecy surrounding that fact, but that’s obviously not my call. I hope he has one and I hope it’s a very good one.

  8. Was glad to get the email address. Just sent this:

    Dear Agent Bentley,

    I have been reading at http://www.thepostemail.com for some time now about all the alleged shenanigans/corruption taking place in the Monroe County Jail there in Tennessee. From what I understand has been happening to Cmdr Walter Fitzpatrick, et al, is absolutely astounding! If these things (unlawful imprisonment, unhealthy jail conditions, unlawful interrogation, excessive abuse and force by officers of the law, and the law of the jungle running roughshod over the citizens) were taking place 70 or 80 years ago in Al Capone’s Chicago, I could almost understand how it could happen, but today and in rural Tennessee? It sounds like the so-called law enforcement and judicial cadres are not just running amuck and causing mischief; they apparently are in serious violation of the law and trampling all over the Constitutional rights of Monroe County citizens.

    I can understand if you are actively investigating the situation there and unable to comment, but this has come to the attention of people all over the U.S. because of The Post and Email’s widespread readership (I live in Colorado). However, if the FBI has yet to actively pursue the criminals hiding behind the law in Monroe County, what are you waiting for? I strongly urge you to do so. Where there is serious smoke, there has to be serious fire. We are watching to see if the FBI will deal justice swiftly and surely for the citizens of Monroe County.

    Go get ’em, boys!

    Watching and waiting for justice,
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: Great job, as always! Let’s make it thousands by tomorrow morning!

    1. Yes, thousands! And please let the FBI know what state you are living in. They need to know that this issue is getting a lot of press all over this country. Let’s keep the heat on!

  9. My only comment at this time is,if all the Cmndr.says is true,why / how in the world are “they” allowing him phone calls-,outside contact? And,if all this is true,where is the Tn.Armed Militia? Seems with all this publicity,the TBI and / or FBI,Federal Marshalls would have stepped in long ago–just sayin–

    1. Due process. The rules require a complaint to be filed. The form and substance of that complaint must fit within the procedure set forth under law. Unless and until there is a proper complaint filed there is no reason for any law enforcement action or investigation. If all it took were an angry letter accusing another of a crime then half this country would be investigating the other half. Unfortunately there are times when it appears that may be necessary. The more closely one looks the worse it gets these days. People need to sit up and pay attention or they will get just what silence is seen as, acceptance.

  10. Lots going on here. First, I plan to fax to Susan Cooper, Health Commission, the article you wrote on the conditions at MCSD along with accompanying articles you included, and a personal letter from me. I am also calling the FBI in Knoxville and will specifically ask for Agent Bentley as a reader recommended. I also wanted to let you know, Sharon, that I mailed a cerified letter to Walter Fitz, Priority mail on Friday and will be receiving a mailed notification of arrival. This should arrive by Tuesday when I will be calling MCSD(as many times as necessary) to verify he has received it. When you speak to him next week please ask Walter if he did indeed get it. Tampering with the U.S. mail is a felony, you know…

  11. I think we need some clarity with regard to the FBI’s charter. Does it, in fact, investigate and pursue crime and corruption in government, or does it only pursue non-government individuals and organizations.

    It seems to me that for every instance I read about FBI pursuing government figures, the case has been blown off or lost in the system. I could be wrong.

    Does anyone know of active cases against government figures the FBI is, or has been pursuing that has ended up in trial and convictions during the last say, two years?

  12. Please don’t misinterpret this question, but I’m curious to understand; if the Monroe County jails are so corrupt, how is it that they allow LCDR Fitzpatrick to make these phone calls?

    For God and Country

  13. Thanks for this great article. I had not heard this update as I am sure the rest of the country has not with this illegal muslim communist usurping fraud’s massive coverup with the help of the corrupt “Pravda” style media.

    I no longer watch any TV news. They are all corrupt. Put that on your blackboard, Beck.