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by Sharon Rondeau

Is the Monroe County “criminal court” functioning as it should?

(Aug. 26, 2012) — Todd Sweet, who was forced to play a part in a confession provided by another Monroe County jail inmate several years ago, submitted two post-conviction petitions to “Monroe County Criminal Court Clerk” Martha M. Cook on June 29, 2012.

The petitions cite the then-longstanding grand jury foreman, Gary Pettway, as one of many reasons which Sweet believes he was denied a fair trial.  Also listed as grievances are “whether the trail court administered an erroneous jury charge by:

a. Instructing the jury as to “value” and “apparent value” under Tennessee law?
b. Failing to include an instruction to the jury on facilitation or attempt?
c. Failing to include an instruction to the jury on the credit card law (Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-14-118), as applicable to the forgery counts in this case?
d. Instructing the jury that all witnesses are presumed to tell the truth?”

as well as other questions about how his case was handled.

Sweet references a previous claim in the June 29 petition that letters he had written “were unlawfully intercepted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and turned over to the State.”

Todd Sweet has admitted to committing crimes in Monroe County, TN; Michigan and Arizona and is serving a 16-year sentence at the Turney Center Industrial Complex in Only, TN for “criminal simulation x2.”  Sweet now serves as law clerk in the facility and has written prolifically for The Post & Email over the last eight months.  He has described Monroe County as similar to “a town in Cuba.”  His accounts of the Monroe County jail, which was reportedly told to shut down, agree with those of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III and other former inmates.

Sweet had pleaded “not guilty” at his trial and appealed his conviction afterward, but the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals in the Eastern Division had upheld it.  In a previous article published at The Post & Email, we linked to a local story about Sweet’s alleged crimes which described him as a “con man,” but the article has apparently been removed.

Sweet has written about the “rigged” grand juries in Monroe County described by Fitzpatrick and others and in his 39-page petition and references the 1984 law which ordered the trial courts to reorganize into districts.

Sweet has written that “nothing is impossible with God” and asked the readership to pray for public officials in Monroe County and throughout the country.  On August 18, he requested a status update from the Monroe County court clerk, Martha M. Cook (typographical errors have been left intact):

Martha Cook – Monroe County Clerk
105 College Street South
Suite 3
Madisonville, TN. 37354

Re:  Status on Todd J. Sweet Post Conviction Petitions, Case No.(s) – 12192 &12217.

Dear Mrs. Cook,

Please inform me as to the status of the above referenced cases.  I would like to know if a status date has been set and/or an Attorney appointed?

I am assuming that due to the conflicts of interest that exist between Judge Ross, Amy Armstrong-Reedy and my cases as I spelled out in the Petitions, that a different judge would be assigned?

I would also assume that due to many Monroe County and Sweetwater Police Departments officers wanting me hurt, that an alternative housing location other than Monroe County Jail would be utilized when I am transported for a court date?

In closing I thank you in advance for your attention in these matters and I hope this letter finds you and yours well and in great spirits.

God Bless.

Respectfully Yours,

Todd J. Sweet, #453762 – 3B/116
1499 R. W. Moore Memorial Hwy.
Only, TN  37140

August 18, 2012 letter to Monroe County Chief Clerk Martha M. Cook requesting an update regarding his petition for post-conviction relief

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