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“THEY’RE GOING TO LOCK ME UP IN JAIL”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 12, 2014) — On Saturday, a falsely-accused defendant in Monroe County, TN, Marvin William Young, was notified by mail that because a hearing on his request for a restraining order against Larry David Godwin did not result in his presentation of proper “evidence,” the Tenth Judicial District has asked that a revocation of his bond be adjudicated at his status hearing on August 25.
Young was accused of “especially aggravated kidnapping” and “aggravated burglary” in August of last year by Larry David Godwin. The Monroe County grand jury then issued a “true bill” which was signed by assistant prosecutor A. Wayne Carter, the same man who falsely testified during a trial for Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III on June 23.
Grand juries in Tennessee are commandeered by a judicially-appointed foreman who serves at the pleasure of the judge in violation of state law. Last fall, the Tennessee Attorney General’s office stated that the practice of judges appointing grand jury foremen is customary and accepted. Fitzpatrick has argued that no grand jury indictment or presentment is valid because of the illegally-serving foremen, which has transpired for decades.
Tennessee code makes no differentiation between the grand jury foreman and the other grand jurors.
In February 2011, Young’s father, Charles William Young, died with a very large estate which went to his wife, Deborah Jean Grey Young. Seven months after Charles’s death, Deborah Jean married Godwin. Seven months later, Deborah Jean passed away. Instead of the coroner, Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens was called to “identify the body,” Young told us.
Young requested a restraining order against Godwin because a witness had told him that Godwin had said to her, “The next time I see Young, I’m going to kill him.” Godwin has an extensive criminal record in Polk County, FL which includes battery, burglary, possession of stolen property, and assault.
Young related that Deborah Jean had used a blind attorney, Clifford Wilson, “to make both of her wills.” Marvin said that his father did not make out a will, and he later found that his father’s misspelled signature was applied to a one-page document filed with the General Sessions Court, which handles probate matters.
Following Deborah Jean’s death, Godwin took possession of her estate. Marvin explained in a video posted in February of this year the breathtaking criminality among public officials in the Tenth Judicial District who are aware that crimes have been committed relating to Charles Young’s fraudulent will but have instead taken action against him rather than the perpetrators. Former District Attorney General R. Steven Bebb, investigator Calvin Rockholdt, Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr., and Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens are involved in the cover-up.
On Saturday, Young told The Post & Email that he had spoken to Cooper directly on the phone early on after discovering the crimes committed to keep Godwin in possession of the estate, but after several calls, Cooper had claimed that he could not investigate the actions of the District Attorney General because he was “elected.” However, Cooper’s claim was false, as Cooper was tasked with investigating Bebb in 2012 after Bebb was accused of numerous violations of state law, misappropriation of public funds, and abuse of a state vehicle in the course of his activities directing the Drug Task Force.
After Cooper’s “investigation” into Bebb’s conduct, he concluded that “Bebb’s decisions fall within the exercise of his prosecutorial authority.” In August 2012, The Chattanooga Times Free Press had reported that it “investigated allegations that under Bebb, the prosecutor’s office botched important cases through ineptness or misconduct, misused taxpayer money and played favorites in criminal prosecutions in the 10th Judicial District of Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties.”
After state lawmakers were dissatisfied with Cooper’s findings, they called upon the Board of Professional Responsibility (BOPR) to cite Bebb for ethics violations, which it ultimately refused to do. Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville demanded Bebb’s resignation, which came at the end of May and took effect on June 6 after Fitzpatrick’s attorney, Van Irion, issued numerous subpoenas in the case against his client.
On Wednesday, The Post & Email called the General Sessions court in Madisonville, the county seat of Monroe County, and asked to speak with Judge J. Reed Dixon, who presides over probate matters and reportedly signed off on the settlement of Charles Young’s estate. We were courteously told that Dixon was presiding in court that afternoon and were asked for our contact information, then promised a return call which never came.
On Friday, we called the court a second time and spoke to the same person, who identified herself as “Beverly” and was not nearly as friendly as before after we reminded her of our previous call. She put us on hold for a few minutes and upon returning, she told us, “That estate has been settled for more than two years.” We then asked, “Is there a statute of limitations…?” to which Beverly replied uncomfortably, “You’re asking for legal advice…” She then said, “This is not a criminal court” and reiterated that the estate was “closed,” making it clear that further questions would not be welcome.
In his video, Young states that on April 10, 2013, he approached Godwin with the paperwork showing that his father’s signature had been forged on the will (26:30). “He totally agreed that things didn’t look right…and that he was more than willing to help me make things right. Little did I know in less than an hour he would have me locked up on criminal charges. I had no doubt it’s because I had undisputed proof that everything he had he was going to lose,” Young says in his presentation.
Young was arrested and jailed for ten days, borrowed money to bond out of jail, lost the business he had owned in Florida, and is now indigent, mainly living out of his truck.
On Tuesday, when Judge J. Michael Sharp asked him to show evidence that his life had been threatened by Godwin, Young said he had emails and text messages from the witness. However, the judge ruled that those were not sufficient and denied the restraining order.
Young told The Post & Email that Godwin’s attorney, a sheriff’s deputy, the owner of the real estate office where he was arrested, and many others were there in support of Godwin, while Young attended the hearing alone. As he left the courtroom after less than five minutes, Young noted that Godwin’s supporters were congregated together chatting amiably, including the deputy and the prosecutor from the District Attorney General’s office.
Young said that the letter he received on Saturday stated that he is now considered a “menace to society” and that he expects that “they’re going to lock me up” after the status hearing on August 25.
Judge Carroll Ross, who hung up on The Post & Email last week, ordered Young to come to the hearing with an attorney even though he is indigent. In August 2011, Ross similarly denied defendant George Raudenbush his constitutional right to an attorney, and the convictions against Raudenbush were reversed last December after he spent more than two years in state prison.
Ross is reportedly retiring in August, but Young is expecting him to preside on the 25th for the status hearing. Young is predicting that on that day, “The deputy attorney general, Carter, is going to stand up and say exactly what this letter says, and the judge is going to say, ‘I agree with you’ and slam the gavel: ‘Bailiff, lock him up.'”
Young told us that “Every level of it [government] has corruption in it. If you called any law enforcement agency and said you had undisputed proof of a crime, that should be the end of it, and then they would push it to the appropriate areas where it needs to be dealt with. If you think that crime don’t pay, you’re obviously on the wrong side of the paycheck.”
The FBI has told Young that the crimes he has reported are not actionable by the agency and referred him to Cooper’s office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), which has said it cannot investigate a public official unless the District Attorney General requests it. The Post & Email recently asked a TBI agent, “But what do you do if the District Attorney General is the perpetrator?” to which the agent provided no intelligible response.
Also last week, The Post & Email contacted Bebb’s replacement, Steve Crump, who was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to fill the remainder of Bebb’s term. On his campaign website, Crump states, “The system is failing the people and must be changed. I have the experience, leadership skills and judgment to make that happen.”
We did not receive a return call to the information we left with Crump on Wednesday.