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by an Observer

Is anyone ever innocent in Monroe County?

(Sep. 23, 2011) — We went in a little before 9:00.  There were a few people there sitting behind Walter, supporting him.

It started with the prosecutor, Mr. Stutts.  He brought up all the past convictions of Walter, which really amounted to all of the Monroe County incidents.  So the prosecutor said that Walter had “all these” past convictions, but it amounted only to trying to invoke a lawful citizen’s arrest.

Mr. Stutts read the statement from Walter about not locking him up.  Then Walter made the statement that his probation was illegal.  Mr. Stutts was repeating Walter’s statement about his probation being illegal, and Mr. Stutts even included some statements Walter had made about Mr. Obama.

The state had asked for a six-month sentence to be carried out fully, and what that meant was that 75% of the sentence should be carried out under the law.  At this point, Walter read his written statement in its entirety out loud to the court.  The judge then asked the bailiff to retrieve a folder, and the bailiff returned from the judge’s chamber with a folder and handed it to the judge.  Walter proceeded to physically leave the courtroom according to the statement that he wrote.  At the point that Walter walked out, the bailiff asked Walter not to leave.   Walter ignored the bailiff and went out the courtroom doors, and before he could get to the steps, there were about five officers who restrained him from going down the steps.

Enlarged images of declaration written by Walter Fitzpatrick read in court by both Jim Stutts and Fitzpatrick on September 23, 2011 during his sentencing hearing

The five officers brought Walter back into the courtroom.  When Walter returned to the courtroom, it was very silent.  Several minutes passed, and the judge was deep in thought.  This was a tough situation for him, I could tell.  The way I perceived it, it was an important decision; the judge was thinking that this was a Naval man who had made a career of serving his country, and he would have to make a decision to put him in jail.

The presiding judge today was Donald Paul Harris

The court reporter was different.  It wasn’t the court reporter who is always in there.

After a few minutes of silence, the judge made the statement that his intention had been to release Walter to the community on community service.  That was what he stated his intention was.  But then he said that since Walter disrespected the court by walking out, he said he was going to carry out the six-month sentence consecutively.

It all happened within about 30 minutes.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is a visiting day.  Only one daily visitor is allowed.

He has to serve the  six months concurrently, but I think they’re saying that he’s already served two months, so he might have to do only 75%.  He may have to do four or four and a half months.


Editor’s Note:  Harris had refused to sign for a certified letter which had contained a subpoena from Fitzpatrick requesting any appointing orders Harris had signed while in office as a judge.  Harris had also signed a false statement which claimed that one-time defendant Carl Swensson had “provided information and material pertinent to the prosecution of co-defendants Walter Fitzpatrick and Darren Huff.”  Swensson provided no such information.