If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my free Email alerts. Thanks for visiting!
“IT WENT REALLY, REALLY WELL”
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 4, 2012) — Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III attended a hearing earlier today at the Monroe County courthouse relating to a charge advanced by a “grand jury” in March for “tampering with government records.”
Senior Judge Walter C. Kurtz of Nashville was appointed by Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark to hear the case, as several judges who regularly preside in the Tenth Judicial District were admittedly compromised. Kurtz reportedly described himself as a “fair” jurist at the beginning of the hearing.
Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email that the hearing lasted about 45 minutes. The judge began by offering Fitzpatrick three weeks in which to find an attorney. Fitzpatrick told the judge that “no one will take any of my cases.” The outcome was that Fitzpatrick will be defending himself as he has in the past.
The judge went on to discuss dates and scheduling when Fitzpatrick stated that he was not sure of his status. “I told him that I didn’t see where I faced a charge,” Fitzpatrick said. A back-and-forth discussion of points of the case ensued.
Judge Kurtz set a date for motions to be submitted by May 25. Responses to motions are to be submitted by June 15, and the date set for the next hearing is June 28 at 1:00 p.m.
Fitzpatrick stated that he was given a chance to tell the judge that the charging documents are “counterfeit” and that Assistant District Attorney General Paul D. Rush has “self-admitted” to being the accuser in the case. “I let him know that the two charging documents – the affidavit of complaint and the arrest warrant – are forgeries,” Fitzpatrick said, “and the judge said his method is to go through this ‘motion’ process which I’ve just described.”
There were at least six observers acquainted with Fitzpatrick at the hearing. “Everybody was very uplifted by the way the judge allowed me to speak,” Fitzpatrick said. “He’s a really good guy.”
Fitzpatrick wore his Navy uniform to the hearing, and when the judge asked him why, Fitzpatrick replied, “I’ve been described as a ‘sovereign,’ and the Department of Justice and the Obama White House use that term, and I’m not a ‘sovereign.’ I’m a retired Naval officer; a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1975.” In deciding if Fitzpatrick should defend himself, Judge Kurtz then asked Fitzpatrick if he had “ever been in a court-martial,” and Fitzpatrick responded, “Yes, sir, I have.” “Have you ever been on a board?” “No, sir,” He said, “Well, how were you engaged in a court-marital?” to which Fitzpatrick said, “I was court-martialed.” Kurtz then asked, “And you received an honorable discharge?” to which Fitzpatrick said, “Yes, sir, I did.”
“He was taken back by that, which most people are,” Fitzpatrick said. “An honorable discharge brings question upon the court-martial.” He stated that the information from a CD containing the PowerPoint presentation with his photo and that of Darren Huff was entered into the record.
The Post & Email is investigating Fitzpatrick’s court-martial of 1991.
Fitzpatrick then said, “I’m wearing this uniform as much as for anything in recognition of a guy who was awarded four bronze stars” meaning Judge Kurtz. “That caught him by surprise,” Fitzpatrick said. “He then talked about each of his four bronze stars and why he got them,” Fitzpatrick told us. “It was an interesting back-and-forth.”
Asst. District Attorney General Paul Rush was then asked if he had any objections to Fitzpatrick wearing his uniform to court, to which Rush responded that he or someone in his office had “called somebody in the Navy” to find out if Fitzpatrick’s wearing of his uniform was acceptable and that the Navy had said that “it dishonors the uniform under the circumstances.”
Published protocol for the wearing of a Navy uniform by a retiree does not appear to preclude its being worn to a court hearing.
Fitzpatrick said that as Rush was speaking, he was thinking, “You know what dishonors the Navy as it goes to my court-martial? I’m thinking that all these admirals that stand behind the forgery and Bitoff’s court-martial and how it was rigged and how it’s been covered up now for almost a quarter of a century. I’m thinking that these Navy officials you’re talking to, if they think it’s dishonorable, have some explainin’ to do about the court-martial of Walt Fitzpatrick.”
“But the judge was taken back by the fact that I was court-martialed and honorably discharged,” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s a very big deal.”
Fitzpatrick then spoke about the training package being used by the FBI across the country naming him as a “sovereign citizen.”
To the knowledge of The Post & Email, there were only a handful of people who knew that Fitzpatrick planned on wearing his Navy uniform to the status hearing which did not include Paul D. Rush.
Fitzpatrick reported that a trial date was not set today. “Right now we’re a period of time where we’re going to establish what my status is, and if the judge sets a date for trial, then we’ll go forward from there, but that won’t happen until June 28, 2012,” Fitzpatrick said.
In regard to the deficiencies Fitzpatrick described about the charges, the judge said, “I’ve seen some of these things before.” Regarding the charging documents, Fitzpatrick told the judge, “We don’t know the name of the person who forged the documents,” but it “was not given out” in court.
Fitzpatrick’s original hearing was set for April 30, 2012,. The following day, May 1, was designated “Law Day” by Gov. Bill Haslam, with events planned through the month of May. The designation “provides an important opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the unique elements of our legal and judicial systems.”
Because a letter allegedly sent to Fitzpatrick notifying him of a postponement of the April 30 date never reached him, the judge ascertained Fitzpatrick’s mailing address. “The judge made sure that he had the correct address to send things to Walter,” an observer said.
Fitzpatrick reported that several members of the local press attended the hearing, including Michael Thomasson from the Advocate & Democrat.
Others in attendance were members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, including Travis Jones; Jennifer Bledsoe, who was involved in the SWAT team raid on Fitzpatrick’s home on December 7, 2011; and Detective Conway Mason, who signed the arrest warrant with the unknown accuser’s signature, and another deputy. “There were four sheriffs there, but they weren’t answering the question ‘Who forged Martha Cook’s name?’ That’s a very big deal for a number of reasons. I told the judge that as far as I could tell, I don’t face a charge. We don’t know who my accusers are. I get to confront the person who signed Martha Cook’s name. Paul Rush put Cook on the stand and I was blocked from asking her questions back on 17 January because she didn’t sign her name, and then she said she was not my accuser.” The judge then responded by setting forth the aforementioned dates for the various motions.
“I made it clear that J. Reed Dixon had ordered a brand new group of people and that that hadn’t happened,” Fitzpatrick stated. “Faye Tennyson was in the group although she had been disqualified by J. Reed Dixon. The judge responded, ‘These issues that you have raised up are not new to me. These problems have arisen before, and I have dismissed cases before.'”
“Paul Rush didn’t say very much at all. He stood there silently…I don’t think he interjected anything once, but when he did speak, it was when the judge asked a question,” Fitzpatrick said.