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LT. COL. FIELD MCCONNELL GIVES MEDIA INTERVIEWS
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 20, 2014) — On Monday, Lt. Col. Field McConnell and locals from McMinn County, TN hosted a prayer breakfast and barbecue for CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.), who was facing sentencing for convictions on the charges of “aggravated perjury” and “extortion” from a jaundiced grand jury, trial jury, judge, prosecutor and victim who denied having accused Fitzpatrick of a crime.
Fitzpatrick had also been charged with “harassment” and “stalking,” which resulted in an acquittal and the judge dismissing the charge, respectively.
In Tennessee, courts are used to target people who the local government wishes to silence in a manner reminiscent of George Orwell’s “1984,” where people “disappeared,” or “The People’s Court” hearings conducted by Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man, Roland Freisler, which ended in the gruesome death of those who plotted to assassinate Hitler in July 1044.
On Tuesday, Fitzpatrick was sentenced to three years in prison after Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, who officially retired in 2004 and presides over cases when specially called, chastised Fitzpatrick for being a whistleblower on government corruption, tore apart his Naval service, character and intentions, and called him a “moral coward.” At that point, an attendee walked out of the courtroom, according to an eyewitness.
The same witness said that anyone who planned to give testimony as a character witness was told to leave the courtroom afterward so as not to hear others’ statements made to the court. “The only thing I heard after my testimony was closing arguments. What Blackwood said…oh, my goodness, it was unbelievable. What he said – I can’t remember word-for-word, but ‘the grand jury foreman wasn’t chosen like he was supposed to…So what? Who cares?’ It was ludicrous that he thinks he can come in here and tell us what we need to do and how to run our government. He [Fitzpatrick] never threatened anyone, nor did he stalk anyone on the grand jury or on the jury panel at all. And that’s what they’re saying, that he had stalked and is threatening the jury.”
Both Channel 9 and Channel 12 were present with cameras in the courtroom. As of this writing, Channel 9’s article on the hearing does not appear to be available. James Mahon of Channel 12 quoted Blackwood as having said of Fitzpatrick, “He is perverting the constitutional rights of this state to have a legally orderly form of government and he shows no signs, no signs, no signs whatsoever of abating or even learning his lesson.” At the same time, however, Blackwood also disparaged defendants who demanded their “constitutional rights” in the courtroom.
The eyewitness affirmed Channel 12’s report that Blackwood invoked George Washington as “the best president.” She said that McConnell’s statements given to the media afterward were not reported on the news.
Irion said he will appeal the conviction in this case as he has in a previous case involving Fitzpatrick in which a jury convicted him of “tampering with government documents” after five minutes of deliberation. In that case, Irion was prevented from presenting a defense in violation of the Tennessee constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Paraphrasing Blackwood’s insults hurled at Fitzpatrick during the sentencing, the eyewitness related that Blackwood had said “obnoxiously loudly,” “I would rather have someone slap me in the face so I could defend myself than for someone to use words that accuse me of a crime that I did not do. The only person who would do that is a moral coward.”
Slapping someone in the face could be considered “assault.”
The Post & Email asked the eyewitness if the crowd had a reaction when Blackwood said it did not matter if a grand jury foremen were serving illegally. “You could hear the crowd sigh,” she said. After the hearing ended and Fitzpatrick was taken into custody, she said that someone stood up and shouted, “We love you, Walt,” and the attendees clapped vigorously to show their support.
For the last five years, since Fitzpatrick inadvertently discovered the corruption in Tennessee courts, Fitzpatrick has referred to the system as “the dictatorship of the judiciary.”
When we asked the eyewitness what action, if any, she believes members of the community will take, she responded, “What’s sad to say is that probably most people there were not from my community. I know three were from Wisconsin and Georgia, and there were two from Monroe County.”
The Post & Email is awaiting comment from the spokeswoman for the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (TAOC) on Blackwood’s comments made during the hearing.