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by Sharon Rondeau

The Monroe County courthouse is located in Madisonville, TN.  In 2012, The Volunteer State had one of the highest number of methamphetamine lab “incidents”, according to The Tennesseean

(Dec. 15, 2014) — Early on Monday morning, Monroe County, TN convict George Joseph Raudenbush, III informed The Post & Email that the time of his sentencing hearing, which was to be at noon on Monday, was changed to 9:00 a.m. without notice to him.

Raudenbush wrote in an email this morning, “I received a phone call tonight from a friend that went on line stating that the clerk changed the time of appearance from 12:00 pm noon to 9:00 am without noticing me about the change. This tactic will eliminate most of our wittiness [sic] scheduled to arrive at 11:00 am. I am sure they were waiting to put an arrest warrant out on me when I did not show up at 9:00 am. We have changed gears and some of us will be there at 9:00 am.”

As part of Tennessee’s Tenth Judicial District, Monroe County government is known for its systemic corruption involving drugs, the illegal seizure of land and other property by the sheriff, rigged grand juries and trial juries, and criminally-complicit judges, prosecutors, police, sheriff’s deputies and defense attorneys.

At present, Raudenbush is without counsel, as the office of the public defender assigned to him is compromised because of Raudenbush’s civil suit against the State of Tennessee claiming unlawful incarceration between August 2011 and January of this year.  Nevertheless, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood would not consider appointing other counsel for Raudenbush.

On August 27, 2011, Raudenbush was tried on seven counts and convicted of eight during a 16-hour trial in which he was denied defense counsel.  He was sentenced to four years in prison with a three-year concurrent jail sentence.  After spending nearly two and a half years in state prison, an appellate court reversed the convictions and remanded the case back to Monroe County, where Raudenbush claimed he could not obtain a fair trial.  Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood had denied the request for a change of venue made by the public defender, Leon Shahan.

Shahan did not make himself available for comment to The Post & Email while he represented Raudenbush.  Raudenbush told The Post & Email after the November 25 trial that Shahan did not use the strategy he had laid out beforehand and that Blackwood prevented the key evidence of the 911 recordings made during his altercation with officer Brian Millsaps on December 30, 2010 from being played for the jury.

A witness to the trial corroborated Raudenbush’s statement regarding the 911 tapes.

Over more than five years, The Post & Email has reported on the cases of Michael Ellington, James Thunder Quill Wilson, Dennis Burnett, and CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.), all of whom were convicted by Tenth Judicial District county juries without evidence and sentenced to years in Tennessee state prisons, where they all remain today.  All of the indictments in their respective cases arose from tainted grand juries wherein the foremen were commandeered and compromised by the criminal court judge, who hand-picked them.

At the opposite end of the state in Tipton County, Mike Parsons was convicted under similar circumstances.  A man in Lawrence County is also fighting a corrupt judiciary by means of a federal civil lawsuit.

The corruption within the Tennessee courts has been reported to the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees, particularly as it goes to the involvement of the U.S. District Court in Knoxville and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, OH.

Immediately after hearing from Raudenbush on Monday, The Post & Email sent the following message to Martha M. Cook, chief criminal court clerk in Monroe County:

From: Sharon Rondeau
Sent:Mon 12/15/14 7:33 AM
To:Martha Cook (marty@monroecircuitclerk.com)

Was the time of George Raudenbush’s sentencing hearing changed?  If so, by whom, and when?  Was Mr. Raudenbush noticed about the change?

Thank you.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email

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