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DEFENDANT FILES CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS AGAINST COURT CLERK AND JUDGE
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 8, 2014) — An arraignment for Terry George Trussell, a 70-year-old Vietnam combat veteran who was chosen to be Dixie County, FL grand jury foreman in April and subsequently charged with ten felonies, will be held on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. EDT in the Dixie County courthouse.
After having been duly empaneled, Trussell volunteered to be the foreman. No grand jury meeting was necessary until Trussell received a complaint in July from a member of the community alleging that a crime might have been committed relative to the state’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards and its effects on Dixie County.
Trussell then asked state’s attorney Jeffrey Siegmeister for the contact information of the other grand jurors so as to assemble them to deliberate the evidence presented; however, Siegmeister refused to divulge it and sent letters to the grand jurors summoning them himself.
The grand jurors assembled on August 1 to deliberate the evidence without witnesses.
On that day, Siegmeister arrived with a court reporter, an assistant and a bailiff, all of whom inserted themselves into the grand jury room while deliberations were occurring in violation of Florida statute. When Trussell objected, Siegmeister reportedly insisted that he could “vouch” for his entourage.
Trussell told The Post & Email that the recordings apparently made by the court reporter of the grand jury’s deliberations have not been located, although state law mandates that they be maintained by the court clerk “in a lock box.”
After unsuccessfully approaching two judges, Munkittrick and Parker, about Siegmeister’s alleged interference with the grand jury without success, Trussell became aware that Parker and Siegmeister were likely communicating with one another to ensure Siegmeister’s protection.
Shortly thereafter, Trussell was informed that a common-law grand jury had been assembled in Dixie County. Believing the statutory grand jury over which he had presided to have been contaminated by Siegmeister’s influence, Trussell presented the Common Core evidence as well as a summary of Siegmeister’s actions to the common-law grand jury, which convened inside the courthouse on August 14. As the presenter of information, Trussell did not vote with the grand jurors. After approximately an hour of deliberation, the 25-member body produced two True Bills, one of which stated that Siegmeister was accused of “Obstruction of Justice and Tampering with the Jury.”
Trussell signed and took the True Bills to the court clerk, Dana C. Johnson, who assigned each one a number and filed them. Trussell told The Post & Email that he believed he had conducted himself according to his oath of office as foreman in presenting the complaints to a grand jury not compromised by the influence of government agents. He explained that he perceived his responsibility as having been fulfilled by the filing of the True Bills and that it then became the responsibility of law enforcement to take action or not.
Shortly thereafter, Trussell discovered that Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher had contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) because he was unsure as to how to proceed. Trussell believed that the FDLE would investigate the matter fully but found that its attention was focused squarely on him.
On September 2, Trussell was arrested based on an affidavit from an FDLE agent alleging that he had committed ten felonies having to do with “simulated legal processes.” Trussell does not believe that the “warrant” used to arrest him was valid.
As the FDLE agent wrote in his probable cause affidavit, a “special state attorney” should have been appointed by the court once the conflict between Trussell and Siegmeister became apparent.
Last week, The Post & Email reported that a two-page Bill of Information which Trussell submitted to Johnson alleging criminal activity on the part of Judge Greg Parker and Siegmeister had been removed from the official Record Book and replaced with two unrelated pages bearing the same Record Book number and page numbers. The Post & Email obtained the Bill of Information and two-page replacement filing from Trussell electronically and the replaced pages directly from Johnson electronically.
Trussell said that other parties have since questioned Johnson on why Trussell’s Bill of Information was apparently replaced by the unrelated two pages, which were time-stamped approximately one hour and 38 minutes later than Trussell’s filing on that day. According to Trussell, Johnson has admitted in emails to requesters to removing the two-page Bill of Information and replacing it with two other pages with the explanation that “I had to remove it because it was inappropriate for it to be filed.”
The court clerk is considered “a public trustee,” and altering or removing court records is a felony.
“Once you’ve filed a document, you cannot remove it,” Trussell said, citing state and federal law. He said that Johnson is no longer answering questions as to why she changed out the documents.
Trussell told The Post & Email that he has filed criminal complaints against both Johnson and Parker, although to his knowledge, neither has been arrested. Of Parker, Trussell told us, “He’s actually joined the prosecution of this thing.”
In June in McMinn County, TN, Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood clearly worked with Assistant District Attorney General A. Wayne Carter to ensure that CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) would be convicted of felonies without any evidence after indictments were issued by a tainted grand jury. Multiple similar cases from Tennessee have been related to The Post & Email over the last five years.
While Trussell is representing himself, he said he has several advisers who “really know the law.”
The hearing is open to the public and will take place in Courtroom A.