“A CRIMINAL SYNDICATE”
by Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III
(Jun. 6, 2011) — Editor’s Note: The first part of an eyewitness account of the murder trial of Michael Dewy Ellington in Monroe County, TN described events as they occurred through the first day of testimony on May 16, 2011. The events from the second day through the declaration of the verdict are provided here.
On May 18, Mr. Ellington was convicted of premeditated, first-degree murder by a compromised jury, biased judge who revealed an acquaintance with one of the jurors, and by a new theory presented by the prosecutor during the closing arguments phase of the trial which had not been supported by any evidence.
State Witness #5 (Day 2): Prosecutor Stutts called Monroe County Sheriff Detective Douglas W. Brannon to the witness stand first up on the second day of the Ellington hearing.
Brannon’s duty was to process the scene at and around where Julia Kinsey lay.
Brannon said Kinsey was first observed as a bloodied human form, down on the floor of the bedroom.
It was Brannon who made the decisions about what represented evidence and what was to be collected up initiating a chain-of-custody record.
Brannon worked the scene with two other detectives: Pat Henry (who took notes which Brannon dictated) and Shane Harrold, who took pictures. Harrold took a lot of pictures.
Brannon struggled mightily during his courtroom appearance.
Brannon apologized a few times, reaching for his glasses for his poor eyesight. Brannon was unable to read from the several photographs he was handed to consider.
Doug Brannon complained more than once about his poor memory.
Brannon commiserated throughout his appearance regarding his inability to reconcile the pictures Harrold took and the notes Pat Henry had scribbled down.
Detective Henry’s unofficial and incomplete notes failed to fully describe in writing what the Detective Harrold’s pictures were supposed to represent.
Brannon described his discomfiture more completely, whining that Harrold had snapped some 160 pictures that Brannon “had not looked at in two years.” And now Detective Henry’s log record was realized as grossly defective to the point of uselessness.
Doug Brannon squirmed as he grudgingly agreed with Defense Attorney Jeanne Wiggins how “critical it was to document everything. Because the evidence should tell a story to the jury, it was critical to recognize and preserve the crime scene and events.”
Defense Attorney Wiggins asked Doug Brannon to identify Michael Ellington, sitting in the courtroom to Brannon’s left. Brannon said he’d never seen Michael Ellington before in his life. Brannon had never been “up close and personal.”
Brannon was unable to described Ellington in any way. Brannon didn’t know how tall Mr. Ellington was. Brannon didn’t know Ellington’s height or weight.
Not until Brannon was handed a copy of Mr. Ellington’s booking sheet and picture was the detective able to make a connection between the object of Brannon’s inquiry and the man on trial sitting just feet away at the defense table.
Shane Harrold’s photo scrapbook was entered as many individual exhibits, one picture at a time.
Pat Henry’s notes, unofficial as they were, did not match what Harrold’s scrapbook photography exhibited. Neither did Henry’s notes match up at all with Brannon’s memory (which Brannon displayed is as horrible as is Doug Brannon unreliable).
Brannon recalled how he had seen one expended shotgun round casing. Brannon talked about “wadding” from an expended shotgun round.
Brannon remembered seeing one live round on the bed. Several other live shotgun rounds were found.
Doug Brannon said he walked through the bedroom where Julia Kinsey lay. Brannon walked with photographer Shane Harrold side-by-side, or Harrold in front, with Scribe Pat Henry close by. In this formation of three detectives Brannon narrated how the trio discovered the knife in an “as found” condition.
The knife and shotgun were offered and numbered as exhibits.
There was no ballistics report.
There were no crime lab reports for the kitchen knife or the shotgun.
Brannon clearly evaded giving direct answers responsive to concerns regarding failures of sheriff’s detectives to send the knife or shotgun out for professional and objective analysis by crime lab experts.
Brannon said that he could look at an item for fingerprints, for instance, but “can’t say whose they are.” Brannon said that we “can send [articles] out to TBI” for investigation, but did not explain why he didn’t.
The shotgun was wrapped in brown paper and sealed by tape. Brannon had to break the tape seal and tear away the packaging to display the weapon in public. Brannon then declared that the gun was in the exact same “as found condition” as it first appeared to him in the early morning hours of March 18th, 2009: “A smooth-bore shotgun broke open.”
Because there was no crime lab report, Brannon substituted his own personal observation describing the long-gun as a “simple barrel, manual loading shotgun requiring three or four operations to load and fire. Load, close, lock and fire.”
On cross-examination Brannon further described the shotgun as “old enough, no serial number, 30-years or older.”
It appeared to this writer that the evidence property seals for the knife were already broken when it came time to enter the knife as an exhibit. (Note: This observation was reported immediately to Mr. Ellington’s defense team via Attorney Kevin Miller.)
Brannon did not recognize his own words regarding comments he made about the kitchen knife even after Wiggins handed Brannon the transcript of Brannon’s testimony given during Mr. Ellington’s June 2009 preliminary hearing (J. Reed Dixon presiding).
Detective Brannon confirmed Travis Jones’ declaration that the Sheriff’s Department had conducted no tests of any type or kind on the physical evidence gathered.
Brannon further admitted that nothing (save for Michael’s blood sample) had been sent off for independent forensic inspection and report.
So instead of producing hard scientific analytical work product regarding the story the shotgun shells could tell, Stutts and Brannon displayed Harrold’s scrapbook pictures of shotgun shells found near a dead body to dramatize and traumatize the already infected jury.
Brannon was asked about gunshot residue on any of the evidence pieces collected. Brannon told the assembly that his Monroe County Sheriff’s Department was not equipped to check articles of evidence for gunshot residue.
Brannon proclaimed the large kitchen knife was not examined for gunshot residue.
Brannon was questioned regarding the recovery and whereabouts of Michael’s clothing. Brannon edgily shot back, “Not party to me!”
Doug Brannon was pressed to tell what he knew regarding Julia Kinsey’s purse.
Brannon was noticeably upset with Wiggins’ line of questioning about Kinsey’s purse. Brannon said he did not recall opening the purse. Brannon couldn’t remember any details about what was in Kinsey’s purse except to say the purse and its contents had been returned to Kinsey’s family.
Pieces of the bed were unsealed from their brown paper wrappings and entered into evidence. Public Defender Wiggins took advantage of the opportunity to lay out a mockup of the bedroom. Using blue masking tape, the bedpost, and bed frame railings, Wiggins provided content and perspective to all of what had been, up to this point, pretty-much a picture show.
Brannon admitted that he never read nor reviewed interview notes taken by Travis Jones or Mike Morgan of Mr. Ellington’s interview. Brannon did not read or review interview notes of anyone else involved in the case who might have been questioned. (Note: No official record exists of any other interview besides that of Michael Ellington.)
No one in Mr. Ellington’s doctored jury wrote down anything Brannon said or did. They took no notes.
State Witness #6 (Day 2): TBI criminal lab evidence technician Adam Gregg told those in the courtroom audience that Gregg was the evidence lab technician who recovered the “blood box kit” containing Michael’s blood sample at the end of the workday (4:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 (nearly six months after the main event of March 17 and six months after the autopsy of Julia Kinsey on 18 March).
Prosecutor Jim Stutts had to force Mr. Gregg’s appearance by way of subpoena.
Toxicologist Gregg reported a break in the chain of custody regarding the handling of Michael’s blood sample. Gregg recovered the blood alcohol content box kit (BAC kit) from a drop box at TBI’s Knoxville Regional Crime Laboratory. Gregg didn’t know who put the BAC kit in the crime lab drop box.
Prosecutor Stutts handed drug screen technician Gregg one page of what was once a two-page toxicological report. Gregg recognized the report and then said that one page was missing. Gregg’s supervisor approval page was gone.
Gregg’s forensics analysis was focused specifically on the presence or absence of controlled substances.
Gregg, reading from the one-page report, said he had found Mr. Ellington’s blood sample free of any controlled substances.
Jim Stutts handed the blood sample brown printed envelope to Gregg who displayed the envelope to the assembly. Reading from the envelope, Gregg identified registered nurse K. Howard as the medical professional who did Michael’s blood draw. Stutts did not ask Gregg, nor did Gregg give the date the blood sample was taken.
State Witness #7 (Day 2): TBI forensics scientist Margaret Massingale is a co-worker with Adam Gregg. They both work at TBI’s Knoxville Regional Crime Laboratory.
Massingale’s forensics analysis was focused specifically on Michael Ellington’s blood alcohol content (BAC).
Analyst Massingale used the blood sample that analyst Gregg used.
Massingale reported Ellington BAC “negative.” Massingale’s report was marked and entered as an exhibit.
Mr. Ellington’s only motive to do anything on Saint Patrick’s evening 2009 was to save his own life. Mr. Ellington fought back to repulse a surprise knife attack by a person drunk on alcohol and overdosed on Prozac and methamphetamines.
Neither sheriff’s investigators nor Prosecutor Stutts ever made out a motive for premeditated murder in the first-degree.
Stutts in closing argument
The government can’t keep its story straight
Prosecutor Stutts trotted out the state’s theory #3, the Ellington family conspiracy theory, for the first time during Stutts’ final, closing argument.
Stutts made up every syllable of his surprise fable! His extraordinarily prejudicial comments in the moments just before the jury repaired to the jury room represent an outrageous, sinister and premeditated criminal act.
Sheriff Bill Bivens and Bivens’ boys gave Stutts a free hand to expound his evil and vicious vitriol. Stutts didn’t have to concern himself with any official investigation report or any crime lab report.
Stutts used the dirty jury to bury an innocent man alive. Stutts had direct evidence available.
Stutts opted instead with his crooked sheriff buddies to present instead pictures of indirect, inconclusive stuff.
Contaminated and compromised evidence
Important to mention here, Sheriff Bill Bivens is working hard to keep the lid on; well, keep the lid on his physical evidence property locker.
Next Bivens wants to keep the lid on a scandal close to the surface regarding the tens of break-ins to the property locker over the past year or two.
Physical evidence kept in that locker is compromised now for a very long time. This includes any indirect physical evidence held by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department in the Ellington-Kinsey case.
Shane Harrold and Mike Morgan walked into the courthouse with some of the physical evidence on May 17th (the first day of Michael’s hearing). The packaged shotgun and boxed knife were in clear view.
These evidence articles were left overnight unguarded in the Courthouse.
The evidence protection tape was observed already broken on the box containing the knife when displayed in the courtroom the next day, May 18th.
Consider the following
Defense Attorney Jeanne Wiggins drove the point home over and over in her two days of cross-examinations as to how essential it was to preserve the crime scene and crime scene evidence.
Prosecution witnesses Clint Brookshire (road deputy), Travis Jones (detective) and Doug Brannon (detective) all agreed that the protection of a crime scene and protection of crime scene physical evidence was an elemental duty of a law enforcement officer.
Physical objects available at the suspected scene of criminal activity is central in “telling the story” of what had occurred, a story potentially making its way into a courtroom for a jury’s examination and consideration.
The knife especially has a story to tell as defender Wiggins insists, if only allowed to speak. Whose fingerprints are on that knife?
The prosecution case against Mr. Ellington was totally circumstantial. Direct evidence was available in quantity, but never sought after.
Confronting Theories #1 and #2 presented previously (the only prosecution theories in play during the trial), Defense Attorney Jeanne Wiggins gave everyone listening pause to seriously consider the importance of physical evidence taken separately and apart from the statements of witnesses (testimonial evidence).
Chief Detective and lead detective in the Ellington-Kinsey case Michael Morgan did not testify.
No law enforcement investigation record is properly on file anywhere with any law enforcement agency.
None of the “unofficial” physical evidence in the Ellington-Kinsey is reliable. None of it!
No one working for Sheriff Bill Bivens can account for discarded physical articles agreed were once held in the possession of Sheriff’s Department employees. Property receipts are gone.
There is no ballistics report. Nothing connects a specific bullet to a specific gun.
There is no physical evidence regarding whether the shotgun in question was fired St. Patrick’s Day evening, or ever fired.
Detective Travis Jones lied about the knife being “covered in blood.” According to Prosecutor Stutts, fingerprints could have been lifted from the handle at least, but no attempt was made.
Direct physical evidence was always available by way of an independent, objective forensics analysis, fingerprints for instance, but never captured.
Julia Kinsey was legally drunk on the night of March 17, 2009.
Julia Kinsey had taken an overdose of Prozac (toxic to lethal level).
“Fluoxetine (Prozac) is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that won’t go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), some eating disorders, and panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). Fluoxetine (Sarafem) is used to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. Fluoxetine is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.”
People who overdose on Prozac are reported to experience:
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- Rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- Seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist (hallucinating)
- Fainting, and
- Coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
In his first-person, eyewitness account of the St. Patrick’s evening’s episode, Mr. Ellington was describing the actions of person who, as Dr. Cogswell proved, was overdosed on Prozac.
Stutts and his boss Steve Bebb, in agreement with Sheriff Bill Bivens and his gang of “detectives,” never once considered the Ellington-Kinsey case a drug case. Rather, they declared openly, “It was obviously a murder.”
Amy Reedy blocked attempts by Mr. Ellington’s defense team to enter additional hard physical evidence regarding Ms. Kinsey’s drug use around the time of her assault on Ellington.
There is no evidence whatsoever to support the notion regarding premeditation on Mr. Ellington’s part.
With that, please understand that Mr. Ellington had no motive for murder.
There is no evidence that Mr. Ellington was an aggressor.
The last thing the stacked jury heard and saw
Stutts’ Theory #3
Jim Stutts’ Theory #3 accusing the Ellington family of a conspiracy to “doctor” the area where Kinsey died was nothing but dissembling. Theory #3 was first born as a transparent contrivance a few weeks ago in the courtroom on May 18th.
Amy Reedy sat as silent as a stone. Reedy obscenely allowed Stutts’ to preen and parade his dog and pony show before the counterfeit jury sitting as complicit as stone and statuesque as Reedy.
Sheriff’s detectives never considered the notion, never investigated the notion and yet, sat silently as Stutts trotted out his dog for 22 minutes in a stupid pet tricks performance. Stutts’ animal act was the last thing Mr. Ellington’s stacked jury saw before Reedy dismissed them.
Hangin’ judge Amy Reedy, intent upon sentencing one million man-years before she steps down from the bench, knows the foreman to Mr. Ellington’s fixed jury on a first-name basis in a social setting in the community outside the Courthouse.
(Note: The Post & Email’s last report gently suggested that “Jaundice Joe” might have become the foreman to pretend jury in Michael Ellington’s make-believe trial. In retrospect it was realized that Jaundiced Joe” really was the foreman to the stacked jury. Joe gave public witness against himself as he was seen holding the recorded verdict walking into the courtroom on May 18.)
Dictatorship of the Judiciary: Indecent judges, prosecutors, sheriff’s and clerks
There’s more information in public view to arrest, prosecute and convict R. Steve Bebb (district attorney general), James H. Stutts (assistant district attorney general), Amy Armstrong Reedy (judge), Carroll L. Ross (judge) Bill Bivens (county sheriff), Doug Brannon (sheriff detective), Pat Henry (former sheriff detective), Gary Pettway (former pretend grand jury foreman), and Martha Cook (circuit court clerk) for their criminal adventures than ever existed to even charge Mr. Michael Ellington.
Sheriff Bill Bivens was placed under Citizen’s Arrest on the first Thursday of April 2010 for official oppression and additional related charges.
Amy Armstrong Reedy and Carroll L. Ross are named in a Citizen’s Arrest Warrant dated the first Thursday in April 2010 for official oppression and additional related charges.
James H. Stutts is named in the same Citizen’s Arrest Warrant as Reedy and Ross suffering under the same accusations. Jim Stutts is the Assistant District Attorney General in the 10th District and former mayor of the City of Sweetwater.
Doug Brannon and Pat Henry are known in the community as criminals.
Tenth Judicial District Attorney General R. Steve Bebb worked with former colleague Judge Amy Reedy to cover for the outrageous outlawry of Brannon and Henry.
Pat Henry “resigned” as a sheriff detective. Henry is believed to be working in security for the Regions Bank.
Sheriff Bivens inexplicably keeps Doug Brannon on the force.
Steve Bebb, himself once a judge sitting on the bench in Monroe County and throughout the rest of the 10th District, is presently covering for the “demonic” Judge John B. Hagler.
Back in 2005 when Steve Bebb was still on the 10th District’s bench, Bebb illegally picked and installed a member to the McMinn County Grand Jury.
Amy Reedy has illegally appointed the same man into the McMinn County Grand Jury a couple of times since.
Amy Reedy illicitly appointed Gary Pettway to the Grand Jury that passed the Ellington-Kinsey case to the criminal trial jury that Martha Cook customized and tailored.
Travis Jones is presently known in the community as a criminal. Inspector Jones perjured his oath to tell the truth by stating in declarative sentences that the large kitchen knife wasn’t sent out for fingerprint analysis because the knife was covered in blood.
Stutts betrayed detective Jones the next day by holding up the large knife for public view, describing it three-quarters clean, blood found only on one side of the handle.
Martha Cook rigged Mr. Ellington’s trial jury as Martha Cook rigs all trial juries. We have this on the authority of three Tennessee State and federal lawmen.
Under Cook’s supervision judges have been handpicking jurors “from wherever they choose” for decades.
Gary Pettway was illegally serving as foreman to the Monroe County Grand Jury in August 2009 when Mr. Ellington’s case was handed to a criminal trial jury.
Gary Pettway was placed under Citizen’s Arrest on the first Thursday in April 2010 for official oppression and other related offenses.
Unending criminal complaints are filed and continue to be filed with every law enforcement agency one can think to name. There’s been no police reaction.
Now, you be the judge!
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.