by Sharon Rondeau

(Oct. 8, 2019) — Last month, The Post & Email learned of a situation in which four children are believed by their father and his fiancée to be the victims of abuse in the home of their mother and stepfather in Madison County, TN. Based on statements the children made during their last visit over the weekend of August 3 and 4, 2019, the father and his fiancée went the next day to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) to file a report of physical and sexual abuse.

The same day, the father contacted the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) to request an investigation into his children’s welfare, but to date, he has been provided no documentation that any probe has been launched.

August 5 was not the first time the father contacted DCS.  “On November 15, 2018, we first heard about sexual abuse,” he told us on September 10. “I filed a DCS hotline referral. That night, the referral was screened out at the local level in Madison County, and we received an email from the children’s mother about two hours later stating that they had received the report, so it was a breach of confidentiality with local DCS.”

In addition to the leak of the report to the alleged perpetrators, the father has accused local and state officials of a “cover-up” in regard to the abuse his children described and which he and his fiancée have reported to officials on multiple levels.

A DCS worker, Crystal Jones, last month told the father by telephone that she met with three of the children at their school on August 14 and September 6, 2019. However, an email from the school principal indicates that Jones met with only two of the children and that the worker signed in as is required by school policy but did not sign out.

Inquiries made by The Post & Email to Madison County Sheriff John Mehr and the deputy assigned to the case, Sgt. King, similarly went unanswered.

The Post & Email subsequently contacted a media representative for the Jackson-Madison County Schools, who pledged to look into why a visitor to the school would have signed in but not signed out as is required by policy and as she confirmed.  We did not hear back from her.

According to the school system’s website, October 8-11 is “fall break” for the county’s schoolchildren.

The children’s father has sought answers from JMCSS Superintendent Ray Washington, also known as the “Chief Operations Officer,” who, along with the school principal and director of student services, promised to provide any “updates” regarding outside visitors coming to the school to speak with the children, a pledge which was not kept.

Jones has hung up on him, the father said, but his request to have her replaced by another worker has gone unaddressed, and he was threatened with closure of the case when he asked to speak with Jones’s supervisor.

The office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has been unresponsive, as there is no way to leave a voice message with his communications director, The Post & Email discovered last month.

In a recorded call which The Post & Email has reviewed requesting a health-and-wellness check on August 23 once he learned that his children were not in school that day, 911 dispatcher Jennifer Brandon informed the father that his children were “fine,” even though they were out-of-town, as the father learned later.

The father told The Post & Email on Tuesday that King eventually confirmed there were no wellness visits conducted, resulting in “multiple deputies from MCSO lying” to him, the father said.

A recurring anomaly which the father and his fiancée have noticed over time is the frequent misspellings of the last names of principles involved in litigation and documents issued by the Madison County Circuit Court in conjunction with the MCSO. The two are convinced that the misspellings are not simple clerical errors, but rather, purposeful misinformation so as to prevent administrative conglomeration of an individual’s criminal or civil history. The father noted that his and his children’s last name was misspelled by DCS and that the current Madison County District Attorney General, Jody Pickens, at times uses the middle initial “S” and at other times does not.

Similarly, a previous Madison County District Attorney General James G. Woodall is officially also known as “Jerry” and a former Assistant District Attorney General, Rolf Hazlehurst, is also known as “Hazelhurst” on official documents.

On August 13 and 16, protective orders lacking a notary’s stamp and containing other anomalies were issued by Circuit Court Clerk Kathy Blount by the children’s mother, stepfather and children, respectively, such that the father can have no contact with them.  The father has never been arrested or charged with a crime.

Continuing the narrative from our previous installment of September 24, the father told us:

I called in to the sheriff’s department to file a report of a parental kidnapping.  I wanted to get something in motion to find out where my kids were because they had been, to my knowledge gone for four days, and I didn’t know where they were at.  I’d been asking Ray Washington at Pope why I was taken off the automated notification list.

When I called back in to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office I was sent to Jennifer Brandon again because she’s head of dispatch. I stated that I wanted to file a report; she did not allow me to file a report because I was “combative and argumentative,” saying my children are fine, and “If they’re with their mother, they’re not kidnapped; you’re going to file a false report.”

In all my conversations with her, she immediately brought up the fact that there were protective orders from their mother and the boys and an order of “no contact.”  So I asked her, “How do you know that, because I don’t know that.” She did not allow me to file a parental kidnapping report because she said she had a burglary in process and put me on hold for a long time.  I hung up and called back in.

She kept telling me she had a burglary in process and all these other things that were happening. I finally got frustrated with her and said I’d call the Jackson Police Department or anyone else I can to start this process.  So I did.  While I was on the phone with a Police Department sergeant, he said he was getting a call from MCSO Sgt. King. When that conversation with the Jackson PD was ended, I called back in to MCSO and was told by Jennifer Brandon’s dispatch that this was now escalated to a lieutenant and that the lieutenant would call me back.

So I called back in and was transferred to Lt. Gill.  At first he was cordial and gathered information, then proceeded to tell me later on that this is a civil matter, that there wouldn’t be a need for a parental kidnapping report and I’d have to take it up with a judge and see what the judge would say.  I said that they’d been gone four days and his whole department had been lying to me.

Lt. Gill said that when I go in front of a judge with the protection orders, the judge would either extend it for a time period or for a year; he never mentioned the fact that the protective order could be dismissed.

Going back to the August 5 report and the misspellings of last names, the DCS report was filed on the 6th, which had the misspelling of the last name from King’s report from 2½ years earlier.

Over that time period, we had an agreement with my ex-wife and her husband through text messages that I could visit with my children at the bus stop in the mornings, but they would show up and say, “No,” then call the police and file reports.

The sheriffs told me the road is public and I was free to do that if I had a valid reason.  They stated visiting the children was a valid reason. I was never charged with a crime or arrested, but the incident reports contained mostly the other side of the story and a little bit of mine. They basically said that the sheriffs recommended that they get a protective order against me, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.

When I spoke with Lt. Gill on speakerphone so that my fiancée could add information – because he stonewalled me as well as far as filing a parental kidnapping report – he said, “Who’s that person coaching you?” So she introduced herself and said that she was not coaching; she was adding information.  He said, “This has nothing to do with you; you’re not a part of this, ma’am,” to which she responded, “I’m asking to be a part of this; I was one of the people who filed the report on August 5; I have information,” and he was trying to cut in as she was talking.  Then he hung up.

I called Lt. Gill back and tried to move immediately into the parental kidnapping report and find out what I can do with that. After multiple attempts to tell me I’d have to go in front of a judge or I’d have to go in in person, I asked if it was correct that if my kids were kidnapped I had to drive from wherever I was at to file it, he said, “I’m going to have somebody call you back.” He was directing what was going to happen and said they would file a report, but that it would be more of a general incident report.

So I got a call from Deputy Hamilton, who was going to take my incident report.  I moved into parental kidnapping and gave him specific information, including the August 5, 2019 report we made with the sheriff’s office for physical and sexual abuse.  He wrote it down; they took the report; I didn’t hear anything else that night.  I didn’t hear anything for the next 2-3 days; I had to call into the MCSO to find out who the investigator for the report is.  With Hamilton, I requested that this not be assigned to King because I was pretty close to asking him to recuse himself.  So when I called back in, I was told Sgt. Andrew Smith was the investigator.  I asked him for an email address; they gave it to me; I initiated an email. Smith replied that he was investigating the case and asked me for any information about the parenting agreement that notes that there’s a need for an agreement to take the children out of state.

I sent that to him, and he responded a day or two later that he hasn’t found that there’s anything that would be a parental kidnapping, etc.  Again, I referenced that there’s an ongoing DCS investigation and there’s an agreement that’s been in place that I’ll be notified if the children will be taken out of state.

So I finally got an opportunity to speak with Smith on the phone, and he said that he didn’t see that it would be a violation or if he needed to file a report to send it to the DA to see what they want to do with it.

I asked Smith, “Can you read off the report that you’re using?” I asked for a copy, and he said he couldn’t give it to me, so he read the report he was using, and nowhere in it does it discuss or mention the 8/5/19 report that we filed.  I told him about that, and he said he’d look into it.  In that conversation, I actually found out that he actually reports to Sgt. King.  He proceeded to tell me how great an investigator Sgt. King is, and I told him how un-great an investigator King is.  I then asked him, “Do you call the victims of the reports and ask them questions? Because King has never once called me.”

Smith in his emails to me misspelled my last name even though he had the divorce agreement about taking the kids out of state where my name is spelled correctly.  So I’m accusing these two premier “investigators” of deliberate intent to commit fraud with an incorrect last name.

I sent him an email asking him to recuse himself because he reports to King and asked who would be taking over the case, and I still haven’t heard back from either one.

In a new development, the father also told us on Tuesday:

We found out that a Ms. LXXXXXX identified my car and my face driving by the location my children’s mother was at on 9/3/19. She identified me “somehow” by a picture “someone” just happened to have of me when “somehow” this Ms. Logan crossed paths with “someone” that had Orders of Protection and “somehow” these two people started a conversation about all of this. Ms. LXXXXXX works at “The Positive Learning Group,” 112 Liberty Street, Jackson, Tennessee, where my children’s mother was on 9/3/19, the address noted in the police report that police used to move forward “violation of Orders of Protection.”  This happened 1 DAY BEFORE the 9/4/19 COURT DATE FOR Orders of Protection – 1 DAY BEFORE ARREST WARRANTS WERE IN HAND BY MCSO Deputy SISCO (the same deputy that took the 8/5/19 sexual and physical abuse report made by father and fiancée at MCSO headquarters) at 9:00 PM on 9/4/19 after the father did not show for court because the father did not want to defraud the courts as the petitioners did.

I sent documentation to legal counsel that I was out of town since 8/22/19 – location from phone and parking ticket showing that the car is still where I left it on 8/22/19.  So it is impossible that Ms. LXXXXXX saw me and the car. It is impossible that Ms. LXXXXXX could be so specific with a made-up story, especially when the car and I could not have been in Jackson, TN at the time of her suborned perjured testimony. How could she then be soooooo specific to know this information without ever meeting or speaking with me????

I spoke with the lady today – she said she does not know me – I told her it was impossible to identify me and my car unless she was told and furthermore my car and I were not anywhere near Jackson, TN the day she claims. She asked that I do not call her at work and I obliged – I left a message for Tawana Miller, the person that runs the business, to call me back regarding liability of the company about an incident that happened on 9/3/19 involving company employees on company time today – she’s did not call back.

DA Jody Pickens is recorded telling me that he recused himself and his entire team from “the case” – Pickens would not share anything other than recusing himself and his entire staff and that father would need to call Danny Goodman in Dyersburg. This is after Pickens moved forward with arrest warrants on what many have called “horse****” charges. So Pickens moved forward with warrants for arrest but then after setting that in motion realized that he needed to recuse himself and team so that I would “have belief in the process.” Interesting timeline – why did he not recuse himself before pushing the warrants through??? In basic Google searches Danny Goodman, Jody Pickens, Danny Kustoff (congressional representative related to and longtime friend of one of my children’s accused), and Sheriff Mehr all work and have worked closely with one another for years. How does “the case” get moved to Dyersburg to lend “belief” in the process when Goodman’s office is around the corner from Kustoff’s Dyersburg office AND Pickens admits in a recorded call that he has Danny’s cell but can’t give it to me.

On September 23 and October 7, the father sent an email to King, Smith and Mehr requesting  specific case and investigation numbers as well as the topics to which they pertained.  On September 23, King provided a one-sentence response without those details.

On Monday at 5:38 p.m. CDT, the father wrote to the same individuals, “Second notice – requesting ALL report and case numbers, specific identification data I.e. report numbers and case numbers to include all specific supplements to each and every report and case by specific data for report, case, and supplement of ANY and ALL reports, cases and supplements my name is attached – to include all spellings of my last name…used by MCSO noted previously to assist with pulling all other false entries of my last name.”

As of press time, he has received no response.  “This is how they are covering up and manipulating reports,” the father wrote to The Post & Email. “They won’t talk.”


[Editor’s Note:  The Post & Email has heard the phone call between Pickens and the father wherein Pickens said his office was recused from “the case.”  Pickens did not say what or who was under investigation at the time of his office’s recusal.]



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