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“LOOKING FORWARD TO 15 DAYS”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 25, 2012) — The following report came in from a visitor to Walter Fitzpatrick this morning at the Monroe County jail. Fitzpatrick was rearrested on December 7, 2011 for allegedly under-serving his last sentence and stealing government documents.
Upon his release on December 3, 2011, Fitzpatrick had told The Post & Email, “They want me dead.”
The visitor told us:
A deputy told me that another deputy and his wife were somehow involved in something going on in the jail, so that’s what the story was all about the other day.
Walter told me that a bunch of people were moved out at 4:00 a.m. today.
Sgt. Mullins came in to see him yesterday from Veterans’ Affairs. His office is in the courthouse and he was sent there by the State Veterans Affairs Commission. Somebody had told them that Walter had been beaten up by jail officials. We have no idea where that came from. Walter told him, “No, that wasn’t true. ” The only problem Walter had was one of the deputies pushed him one day.
Sgt. Mullins’s office is in the courthouse, and he knew absolutely nothing about what was going on. He was in complete darkness. He spoke with Walter for about a half-hour and said he had to go, and that was the end of it. He was sent there by the State Veterans’ Affairs Commission.
The foot is healed, and Walt is looking forward to 15 days. He said his blood sugar is fine.
Our understanding is that Fitzpatrick is scheduled to be released on February 9 at 9:45 p.m. He was first arrested on April 1, 2010, following an attempted citizen’s arrest of then-grand jury foreman Gary Pettway, whom Fitzpatrick stated had over-served his term. Later, Fitzpatrick discovered that the Monroe County grand jury was illegally constructed by allowing jurors to serve consecutive terms. Fitzpatrick claimed that the juries were actually selected by the Chief Court Clerk, Martha M. Cook, rather than in a random manner. The Post & Email is in possession of handwritten notes provided to Fitzpatrick at his December 1, 2010 trial which contain cross-outs and checkmarks next to individuals’ names, appearing to indicate human intervention in the juror selection process. Tennessee law, or TCA, 22-2-314, states that “automated means” must be used to select jurors and that a period of 24 months must elapse before a juror can serve again.
Following a sentencing hearing for allegedly resisting arrest and assault on September 23, 2011, Fitzpatrick was jailed until December 3. Fitzpatrick has stated that the December 7, 2011 selection of the two grand juries for 2012, which he observed in person, was “rigged,” with the judge actually hand-selecting the jurors.
Fitzpatrick had a “show cause” hearing on January 17, 2012, although The Post & Email was initially provided a different day for the hearing by Martha Cook.
Following Fitzpatrick’s rearrest on December 7, on Monday, December 19, 2011, we sent the following email to Martha Cook:
Good morning, was Mr. Fitzpatrick arraigned after his most recent arrest? Someone at the sheriff’s department wasn’t sure.
If so, is there a transcript of the proceedings, or an audio recording?
Also, did you mail the arrest and search warrants on Friday? I realize the fax problem was most likely on my end.
The Post & Email
and she responded:
From: Marty Cook (email@example.com)
Sent: Mon 12/19/11 10:08 AM
To: Sharon Rondeau
Mr. Fitzpatrick was arraigned on Dec. 8, 2011 and his case is set for hearing in the Gen. Sessions Court on Tuesday Jan. 8, at 1:00 p.m.
The copies you requested were mailed on Friday. There is no recording available.
However, January 8 was a Sunday.
Cook was referring to the copies of the arrest and search warrants executed on December 7, which she had attempted to fax to us, but our fax malfunctioned that day. Local media had reported that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “went to Fitzpatrick’s home to execute the search warrant.”
The documents received by The Post & Email from Martha Cook have incorrect addresses for Fitzpatrick. One address reads “504 Mayes Street” and the other “504 Maye Street.” The Post & Email does not release personal information, but we can confirm that that is not Fitzpatrick’s correct address.
On Tuesday, January 10, we were told that Fitzpatrick was in the courthouse briefly to retrieve some paperwork, but the hearing was held a week later on January 17.
On December 19, we responded to Cook:
OK, thank you very much. Will a transcript be produced?
The Post & Email
and she replied:
No, arraignments are not recorded in General Sessions Court
Despite what we were told, we know that an audio recording of the hearing was made during which Martha Cook states that one of her “deputy clerks” signed her name on the arrest warrant. “I’m not the one that signed it,” she said. “So somebody else signed your name?” Fitzpatrick asked, and Cook replied, “Yes, they do that quite often.”
The telephone number for the Monroe County courthouse is 423-442-9537 to reach Sgt. Mullins.
The press is the best instrument for enlightening the mind of man, and improving him as a rational, moral and social being — Thomas Jefferson
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