May 11, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Kidderminster Shuttle "Plea hearing delayed for Kidderminster murder accused"

(See related story, other related posts and links within posts (and) public commentary on all here)

(See other (local) reporters styles on this latest Bebb-Jones story by clicking here and here

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 Jennifer Meierhans:
".....On Thursday, Matt Morriss, a deputy public defender, used the Ashworth development as part of an argument for asking Judge Dan Petre to delay the plea decision.

Mr Morriss said it called into question some of what happened at a recent preliminary hearing, which concluded with Petre binding Bebb-Jones over for trial.

Det Ashworth was a key witness in the hearing.

Judge Petre delayed the plea date until June 6 in hopes that a last-minute plea agreement might be reached to avoid a trial that 9th Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson said could last six to eight weeks.

Attorney Beeson told Judge Petre that Bebb-Jones rejected a previous plea deal and none were on the table now. Attorney Beeson said if the case goes to trial, as many as 200 witnesses might be called to the stand....."  (Read more?  Click title)

(This post is one of the infrequent commentary posts that I give regarding the 9th Judicial District.  Note disclaimer below)

"The Truth Hurts. 

Sometimes, the truth really hurts. 

Not just feuding strategies amongst attorneys and their cases, but lives that seemingly have nothing to do with those cases.  When does this happen?  That others get hurt in the cross-fire?

Sometimes because of power, politics, high ambitions and the funds to fuel super-lawyers that skillfully steer high media attention. 

Quite often 'collateral damage' happens in cases that are seen as 90% circumstantial and 10% possible substance.

Where the truth becomes corrosive to justice and/or outside the confines of ethics and law is in the failure of duty.  The law is absolute.  Duty is bound.  As Americans, in the greatest justice system in the world, we are led to inherently believe that law and duty walk hand-in-hand.  That 'collateral damage' just is not possible to become a factor in the administration of our courts.

The full truth hurts.

Here in the 9th Judicial District over the past couple of years, we have had a flurry of conflicts, accusations, dissent and very high media attention regarding our prosecutors and public defenders. 

Unfortunately coinciding with both historic and high-profile alleged criminal cases. 

A 'Perfect Storm', if you will. 

Of tragedy, politics, conflicting perception of what crimes are being committed and what crimes are not. 

Money, sex, star-filled names and glam, big power and big money walking alongside government officials that are ethic and duty bound.

Major and historic busts and arrests under the heavy- hanging umbrella of alleged public corruption and alleged failures of duty.  So much so, our cops are even in conflict and some agencies share little trust.

And yet, like the story of cases lost and the crazy battle over alleged cop-spitters and douche-bags, irretrievable consequences of the Scott DeGraffs and Daniel Bebb-Jones', we have made progress only in the past few days by finally getting to the core roots of the problems between our prosecutors and public defenders. 

As painful as it may end up being (and as historic) Chief Deputy Public Defender Tina Fang and Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin are finally getting the real core cards out on the table in front of District Court Judge Gail Nichols.

Unfortunately now, if we are to believe the media coverage,  to apparently have coming along behind them, deputy public defender Matt Morriss and his advisor,  retired public defender James Conway,  giving a toss of jet fuel  "gotcha" to the smoldering embers of District Attorney Martin Beeson's one valid point in his highly controversial 2010 "The Truth Hurts" op-ed column.

Which was that motion after motion that really are stall tactics were being filed. 

DA Beeson then went on in 2010,  to accusatory and inflammatory verbiage claiming such tactics were SOP for all criminal defenders in his district but specifically public defenders. Ironically, defenders fired back with a broad sweep of their own observations with the end result finally narrowing down to what we see now between Fang and Mordkin.

Nobody in the entire 9th Judicial District is more eager than the folks to get this war begun nearly eight years ago now under the control of our judges.  Fang and Mordkin are appreciated.

What a shame, in a case like Marcus Bebb-Jones where there are already questions of case validity for a variety of reasons, combined with the accused and the victim if she could, having serious considerations for the safety and well-being of their surviving son, Daniel; that these two public defenders cannot simply follow the stellar lead of Tina Fang and come from only the validity of facts. 

Rather than the potential of returning us all to the murky world of inflammatory and baiting language that comes from trying a case in the media. "200 witnesses" should be more than enough, one would think. 

Former Garfield County Sheriff Corporal Erik Ashworth's years of stellar reputed work, including his time on the Bebb-Jones case should not be taken away from him because of an as of yet unproven and totally unrelated accusation against him. 

No more than former Glenwood PD Paul Pedersen should be considered untrustworthy as a credible witness because of a human error in judgement that is entirely unrelated to the 40 year problem of the Aspen drug culture of which he has had stellar performances in combating.

This 'gotcha' tactic, if it is attempted by Morriss and Conway,  is sleaze and is also damning towards proving District Attorney Martin Beeson's one valid point in his attack on public defenders in  2010.

For the sake of deceased Sabrina Bebb-Jones and her son Daniel, civilians in the 9th can all be very grateful that Dan Petre is the judge who has his hands firmly on the reins."

"Truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident."

(Disclaimer:  "Now that DA Beeson has thrown his hat in the ring for district attorney in the 9th, please take note that there will be no special treatment given to any news press surrounding his race. His articles, if they are SandBox worthy or chosen in the daily agg run-up; will be put up just like anyone else in a political race. What SandBox Commentators will continue to do, is heavily moderate his articles. (We are the only news media that provides the courtesy of moderating commentary from the general public on 9th Judicial District and Mr. Beeson's articles. All 9th Judicial news articles are DA Beeson's articles)