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“A PERSONAL VENDETTA”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 23, 2014) — The following consists of two first-hand accounts from the sentencing hearing for CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.), who was sentenced to three years in prison for “extortion” and “aggravated perjury” after submitting evidence of criminality on the part of judges, court clerks, grand jury foremen, and prosecutors in Tennessee’s Tenth Judicial District to the McMinn County grand jury on March 18.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
Carter was unprofessional and emotional. He denigrated the Commander’s military career and service.
Blackwood was also emotional and unprofessional. In what I would characterize as a pre-sentence tirade, he made personal attacks on Commander Fitzpatrick calling him a “moral coward”. He attempted to present the Commander’s efforts through the court to correct the problem of a permanent foreman, hand-selected by the judges, as an “attack” causing injury to Cunningham. He said that he would “prefer that someone walk up to him and slap or hit him in the face”, rather than have his service as a grand jury foreman questioned (referring to Cunningham’s position). Sort of ironic, don’t you think?
Blackwood admitted that the state statutes had not been followed in the selection of grand jury foreman, but said, “So What?! So What?!”
He also stated, “I am sick and tired of these people coming in here and talking about the Constitution!”. Near the end of his rant, he made a fist with his left hand, and shook it in the air.
He, Carter, and the female from the prosecutor’s office (would love to know her name as well) all painted Commander Fitzpatrick as dangerous and violent and a threat to the community.
It truly was a sickening and shocking display.
Another observer reported:
Corruption at its worst. Total disrespect. Travesty. I don’t have any other words to explain it.
The judge not only handed down his decision, which he could have done in a professional way; he actually made this personal. He actually had a vindictive attitude to all of his responses. I saw several officers point and talk behind their hand and look at me, so they obviously knew I was there, so a lot of what was being addressed was being addressed to the public.
The total disrespect for who Walt is was a shame, and the district attorney who was up there talking…what an evil individual.
There was a woman who did the majority of the talking. There was Channel 9 there and Channel 12. We just now had an interview with Chattanooga Times [Free Press.] Ben Benton is the guy. I confronted him immediately before he started talking, asked him who he was and informed him that we have been continually trying to contact his newspaper for better than a year.
When the judge started talking and banging his hand on the desk…he said that Walt was a moral disgrace, and he was tired of people coming before the court talking about their constitutional rights. He was very adamant about getting the point across that he is tired of us Americans trying to exercise our rights: that we are just to shut our mouths and do as we’re told.
Every time he said something, he showed anger. He banged his open hand on his desk. He also said, “So what if the grand jury foreman is serving illegally? So what? Who cares?” There’s proof that the law is being broken, and he says, “So what? Who cares?”
This is what we witnessed today: a total disgrace, not only how Walt was treated, but it’s a disgrace on this country and what we can expect for justice. I told the reporter as he was talking, “The very amendment – the First Amendment that you use to report on the news – is exactly what was violated here today. I said, “You’re already basically censored, and it’s going to come to you personally; it’s going to come to you, your family; you are going to be affected by this eventually.”
“What did he say?”
He doesn’t think so. He did the typical “reporter” thing; he stayed neutral and had his little line to read from. We told him, “Don’t believe a word we’re saying. Go and find out for yourself and prove this to be true or not to be true.”
History was made today with a blatant, in-your-face trampling of our rights.
A. Wayne Carter used the word “appalled,” and he constantly said that Walt had every opportunity to come before the grand jury with proof and he had none. A. Wayne Carter said he was “appalled” at what Walter had done. They basically disgraced Walt’s military service and disgraced him as a human. They wanted to belittle him for the record and in front of the cameras before they sentenced him. It was definitely a personal vendetta.
When Walt was put up there to testify, the judge and the prosecutor both attacked everything he said and disrespected him through the whole process. A lot of the questions are tricky and you have to put them in context, and when Walt attempted to do that, the district attorney asked the judge to tell him “yes or no,” and the judge instructed him, “This is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer” and shut Walt down.
There was no reason to degrade him and his service to this country during the sentencing. It wasn’t what was required to hand down a sentence. The judge had a personal vendetta.
Fitzpatrick has called the Tennessee court system “the dictatorship of the judiciary.”
After Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the early 1940s in Germany, he established “The People’s Courts” which were actually the opposite: led by Roland Freisler, defendants were belittled by Freisler’s shouting, then led away to be killed by the most gruesome means, the footage of which Hitler later reviewed in private, relishing his enemies’ demise.
“Someone had to be the perpetrator,” a Discovery Channel narrator says of Freisler (1:30). “Nazi justice made people disappear, and it only needed a suspicion of guilt.”
The documentary continues, “There was the so-called ‘Treachery law.’ Under this law, they could do anything they felt like doing…it was so elastic and flexible that anyone accused under it was doomed. That was what the court wanted” (2:35).
Hitler’s cameramen became so ill while filming the murders that they were unable to return in many cases. In the Discovery Channel documentary, Hitler is referred to as “the dictator.”
Tennessee law states that any citizen may bring evidence of a suspected crime to his county grand jury. While the petitioner must swear that he believes the information to be true and correct, he does not have to have criminal-investigation-level “proof.”
The observer believes that the sentence will be served concurrently with another from a previous case originating in Monroe County in which Judge Walter C. Kurtz assigned a suspended sentence of 11 months, 29 days in jail. The case was denied upon appeal but has been appealed by Fitzpatrick’s attorney, Van Irion, to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
“I heard that Blackwood was specifically called in for this case,” the observer continued. Blackwood had presided over Fitzpatrick’s first Monroe County case in 2010 and had denied him an order of protection without a hearing on March 17, 2014, the day before his latest arrest.
“Back in the day, this would have brought on the Battle of Athens, but today, it’s exactly like we said: people aren’t going to do anything. They’ll just shuffle some more papers, and that will be the end of it.”
We applauded for Walt, shouting, “We love you, Walt!”
There are 24 parking spots around the courthouse, and I would say that 20 or 22 of them had a “McMinn County” car in it or a prisoner transport van – which I’m sure was there for Walt – or a Tennessee Highway Patrol, and across every intersection, there were two or three officers on all four corners. So we’re probably looking at 30 or 35 police vehicles. The reason we were given for that was that they had over 100 inmates come through today, so they’re using it as an excuse for an overwhelming force. But, as soon as we cleared the courtroom, we didn’t even get out and get to talking to the people in the hallway, and they locked the courtroom. The officers couldn’t even get back in.
The whole front of the McMinn County courthouse had police “Do Not Cross” tapes across the steps. They took everybody in through a very small side door. As soon as we cleared the courthouse, all the police cars were moved, so they weren’t there for the 100 inmates. They were there strictly for us.
They said there was a federal presence today. There were quite a few “suits” that were sitting over on the prosecution’s side.
On the Abel Danger radio show on Friday, Lt. Col. Field McConnell, USMC (Ret.) observed that the McMinn County Sheriff’s deputies were “consummate professionals” during the sentencing proceeding. However, on his website he also hypothesizes that the juries in both Monroe and McMinn Counties were paid bribes from federal slush funds to convict Fitzpatrick.
Another observer told The Post & Email: