HAS THE GOVERNMENT BEEN STONEWALLING…PURPOSELY?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 12, 2012) — In recent days, Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III has spoken with two local reporters about the murder case of Jim Miller, the Monroe County Republican elections chairman who was brutally murdered on July 17, 2010.
Jessica Kennedy Powers has been in custody for nearly two years and is set to be tried for the murder beginning on Monday. Many in the community have expressed doubt that Powers could have committed the crime alone. Powers has said that she is “not a killer.”
On July 28, a hearing was held which Mark Boring, reporter for The Buzz, attended. In a telephone conversation on Friday, Boring told Fitzpatrick that during the hearing, it was stated that the FBI interviewed Powers about an unsolved murder in the state of Indiana. The latest article about the case appearing in The Buzz entitled “Judge to Rule on Miller Murder Confession. Prosecutors Say Kennedy-Powers’ Statements Freely Given” has been removed. However, the Knoxville News Sentinel published an article with that theme on August 1, 2012.
Fitzpatrick had asked Boring the name of the FBI agent or agents who questioned Powers and if the interview took place about the Miller murder. Boring did not have the names of the agents and told Fitzpatrick that they had met with her to discuss the Indiana case only.
The second reporter with whom Fitzpatrick spoke stated that he believes “something big is supposed to break” in regard to the Miller case. The reporter told Fitzpatrick that “an alternate theory” raised in the courtroom on July 28 has not been pursued. Fitzpatrick said that it is widely believed in the community that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has failed to adequately investigate the evidence in the case.
On Friday, Fitzpatrick called the FBI and a duty agent returned his call. Fitzpatrick said he told the duty agent that “Jim Miller was murdered for what he knew” and that Fitzpatrick was sure of the identities of those responsible. In May, The Post & Email published Fitzpatrick’s report of what he believes occurred based on the account of a Monroe County jail inmate and eyewitness accounts of two observers of men disposing of evidence from a crime scene which was never investigated.
Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email that the duty agent asked him twice to say the names of the men he believes were the perpetrators of the murder. Fitzpatrick has said that indications are that Monroe County government paid the men to commit the crime and then allowed them to go free. Powers has reportedly named several other people as those who murdered Miller.
Senior Judge Walter C. Kurtz is set to preside over the Powers trial. Kurtz is also the judge for the case brought against Fitzpatrick for “tampering with government records” set for trial on September 10.
Fitzpatrick believes that Miller was about to make public what he knew about corruption in Monroe County and that he was killed by “a government hit” aimed at deterring others from also coming forward. Captain Michael Morgan, one of four sheriff’s deputies who arrested Fitzpatrick on October 27, 2010 after beating and tasering him and nearly removing his left ear, has not been seen in Monroe County in recent months, which Fitzpatrick called “terribly suspect” and “disconcerting.” Fitzpatrick has reported that over the last 18 months, 11 members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department have left.
Fitzpatrick has labeled the sheriff’s department, judiciary and other government officials in Monroe County “a criminal syndicate.” “Nobody is happy with the investigation. Everybody close to this has been telling us that this thing has been badly handled,” Fitzpatrick said.
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.