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by Sharon Rondeau

Judge Donald P. Harris has not responded to subpoenas from Walter Fitzpatrick or Carl Swensson. Swensson learned on June 11, 2011 that the charges against him had been dropped. Could it be that Harris was reluctant to serve as a witness to Monroe County corruption?

(Jun. 11, 2011) — A third man who was accused of participating in a riot on April 1, 2010 during a citizen’s arrest was notified today that the charges against him will not be prosecuted.

Carl Swensson of Georgia told The Post & Email today that he received notification by U.S. mail in the form of three court papers, each stating that a charge against him was “nolle prosequi.”  All of the charges brought against Swensson have now been dismissed.

Swensson had been present on the day of the citizen’s arrest and entered the courthouse but had not entered the jury room.  He was not arrested until January 4, 2011, after attending a court hearing for a defendant in Knoxville, TN.

On April 25, Swensson learned that his case was scheduled to be heard by Judge Donald P. Harris. Swensson sent a  subpoena to Harris requesting court records of Harris’s appointments of any grand jury foremen during his time on the bench.

Although there is nothing within the Tennessee Code Annotated which allows judges to appoint the grand jury foreman, the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts has readily admitted that it is done routinely throughout the state and that “there are no term limits.”  The practice has been justified by the Rules of Criminal Procedure but not allowed anywhere in the law (TCA 22-2-310).

The Post & Email’s last coverage of Swensson’s case was subtitled “What Are These Tennessee Judges Afraid Of?”

Harris has also been subpoenaed on three different occasions by another defendant, Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, whose appeal on convictions stemming from the April 1, 2010 incident is scheduled to be heard by Harris on June 23, 2011.  Harris has refused to accept the certified-mail delivery of the subpoenas, and other judges similarly subpoenaed have failed to respond.

Because the indictments emanated from a grand jury which both Swensson and Fitzpatrick have stated is tainted, they have both subpoenaed the judges as witnesses to question them as to whether or not they ever appointed a foreman to a grand jury, and if so, how long that foreman served, legally or illegally.

Following Swensson’s last hearing at the Monroe County courthouse on May 16, Swensson told The Post & Email, “If Wiggins  (his public defender) does not act and they find me another public defender, then Wiggins will be called as a witness. Walt reminded her that there are criminal charges out there right now against these folks…I’ll hammer them all:  the Eastern District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney, the governor, the FBI…we’ll continue to hammer them.”

Swensson told The Post & Email that he had subpoenaed Judge Amy Reedy in addition to Judge Donald P. Harris.  He will be sending the documentation he received today to us shortly, as he was not at home when we spoke with him.  He added, “Now that I’m an injured party, I will be pursuing my options against Monroe County.”  He mentioned possibly taking his evidence to his county grand jury in Georgia.

If Swensson’s charges were dismissed, how can Fitzpatrick’s be prosecuted?

Update, June 12, 2011: After speaking with Carl Swensson this morning regarding the paperwork received from the Monroe County court, Swensson stated that the prosecutor and judge did not issue “an outright dismissal” of the charges against him.  He said that the “dismissed” box was crossed out and the box “Nolle prosequi” had been checked off with the accompanying statement:

Defendant provided information and material pertinent to the prosecution of co-defendants Walter Fitzpatrick and Darren Huff.

Swensson said that that statement is “perjury on record” and that there was “no communication at all” between the prosecution, any judge and himself regarding the charges against Huff and Fitzpatrick.  Swensson added that the false statements made by Assistant District Attorney General James H. Stutts and Judge Donald P. Harris “open up some serious liability” and that the offer not to prosecute him was “intimidation” and grounds for the “revocation of bond for Judge Harris and Prosecutor Stutts.”

“It’s issuing a false document based on perjurious statements,” Swensson said.

Monroe County, TN Judgment Sheet for the charge of "Riot" containing Judge Donald P. Harris's false statement that Mr. Swensson "provided information and material pertinent to the prosecution of co-defendants Walter Fitzpatrick and Darren Huff"

Monroe County, TN Judgment Sheet for the charge of "Disrupting Meeting or Procession" with "Nolle Prosequi" checked off with the same false statement asserted by the judge

Monroe County Criminal Court Judgment Sheet for the charge of "Retaliate for Past Action"stating "Nolle Prosequi" for the same reason


“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” — Thomas Jefferson