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JUDGE ROSS “A BIT PERTURBED”
by Todd J. Sweet, ©2014
(Mar. 5, 2014) — [Editor’s Note: After a long break, Tennessee inmate Todd J. Sweet sent a letter to The Post & Email with an update on his post-conviction appeal against the Monroe County, TN Criminal Court verdicts rendered in 2010 which convicted him of criminal simulation. The trial was presided over by Judge Carroll Lee Ross, whose decisions in the convictions of George Raudenbush in 2011 were called into question and then reversed by an appeals court on December 3, 2013. Raudenbush is now free on bond awaiting a new trial.
Last August, and just prior to Raudenbush’s having notified The Post & Email that he expected his convictions to be reversed, Ross announced that he would retire in August 2014. Ross has been named as a criminal by Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, who was ejected from the courtroom without cause when he attempted to attend Raudenbush’s trial.
On June 28, 2010, Ross menacingly told Fitzpatrick that he was forbidden from entering the courthouse or speaking with any local public officials to gather information for his own defense. The transcript of the hearing, prepared by Denise Barnes, who doubles as Ross’s secretary, did not accurately reflect the proceedings, according to Fitzpatrick.
As with all of the Criminal Court judges in eastern Tennessee and possibly the entire state, Ross sees nothing wrong in reappointing a grand jury foreman for consecutive years and even decades. In a brief filed in a case on appeal from Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Deputy Attorney General Kyle Hixson stated that the grand jury foreman “is not a juror” and is chosen by an unknown vetting process to be the 13th person on a grand jury. However, state law requires that 13 jurors chosen by random means populate a grand jury.
The grand jury foreman in McMinn County, also part of the Tenth District, is an active member of the Tennessee Bar Association with an interest in “criminal prosecution” now serving his third term as “foreman” appointed by Judge Amy Armstrong Reedy.
Other defendants whose cases have been heard by Ross and Reedy have stated that the court transcripts are “doctored.” Following Fitzpatrick’s June 28 hearing, after paying the required fee, The Post & Email received a transcript which differed from that which was published unsigned on the internet by Politijab, the precursor to The Fogbow, whose members may have participated in criminal activity which at present could be under investigation by the Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff’s Office.
Sweet has similarly accused Ross of criminality and misconduct. He has described Monroe County, TN, one of the four counties in the Tenth Judicial District, as “a town in Cuba.”]