Thursday, April 20, 2017

Missouri deputy claims in probable cause statement that I threatened to shoot any officers who might evict us -- but gives no clue about origins of that claim

Deputy Debi Wade
A Missouri deputy claims in a Probable Cause (PC) Statement that I had threatened to shoot any officer that attempted to evict my wife, Carol, and me. How did Deputy Debi Wade know that when you consider that I've never spoken with her, and prior to our eviction on Sept. 9, 2015, I had never spoken with anyone from the Greene County Sheriff's Office?

Maybe Wade was advised of this "fact" by the same unnamed party -- we've called him a ghost, an entity from the spirit world -- who advised her that my wife, Carol, had pushed Deputy Jeremy Lynn as he burst into our apartment to begin an eviction that was unlawful on at least four grounds.

Either way, Wade's statement raises the specter of a mythical 911 call, which I never made, but it keeps popping up in this matter anyway.

Wade's PC Statement was the basis for Carol's arrest in January on charges of trespass and assault of a law enforcement officer. Wade's account of actions regarding Carol are mostly fantasy and don't even make sense. But the deputy was not content to stop there; she also had to make false statements about me.

That raises more questions about Wade's credibility than already were present -- and it means I might have grounds for civil claims against her -- and anyone else responsible for perpetuating the myth of a 911 call. This is from Wade's PC Statement:

We were there to execute on an eviction for Roger Shuler at this address. After the initial service, Shuler made threats to shoot any officer that attempted to evict him from his residence, so we took more officer than normal to execute on the writ.

Notice that Wade seemingly pulls this statement out of the sky, from the ether, if you will. It isn't attributed to anyone, but she states it as fact, in a sworn document that plainly shows false statements are "punishable by law." A few obvious questions:

* The only way Wade could accurately testify about such a statement would be if I made it directly to her. But I didn't, and she makes no attempt to claim I did. So where did it come from?

* Is Wade claiming I said this to another officer, who then "advised" her on the matter? If so, that would be both false and hearsay?

* Is Wade saying a third party claimed to have heard me make such a statement and passed word to deputies or other authorities? Again, this would be both false and hearsay. I don't claim to be an expert on the law in this area, but I would think the lawful definition of a threat would require that the statement be communicated directly to the person or entity being threatened. If a third party -- a "friend," family member, a bus boy at a restaurant -- claims to have heard something . . . well, that does not seem to constitute a threat; it's just hearsay. In this instance, the sheriff's department took no action to investigate, never checked with me about anything, indicating they knew there was no threat or they didn't take it seriously.

As for a third party reporting such a "threat," they might be at risk of a civil claim for defamation or invasion of privacy -- or both.

We touched on the threat issue in Carol's Motion to Dismiss Charges, filed on March 14. (The motion and the PC statement are embedded at the end of this post.)

Roger Shuler states as follows: “Prior to 9/9/15, I never had been in Debi Wade’s presence, so she could not have heard such a statement from me. I’ve never owned a firearm and have no recollection of ever threatening to unlawfully shoot anyone, much less an officer. In the days leading to our eviction date, I received an email from my brother, David Shuler, a lawyer in Springfield. He stated that a Deputy Scott Harrison had contacted him and said dispatch informed him that I had placed a call to 911 and threatened to shoot anyone who tried to evict us, or words to that effect. On 9/9/15, after I had been handcuffed and led outside, several officers referenced such a 911 call. I’ve never called 911 in my life, and I certainly did not place such a call, as described by David Shuler to me. If such a call actually was made to 911, it was made by someone else, from a phone other than the one Carol and I share. I would be glad to provide an affidavit on this matter, if the court deems that necessary.”

There is the mythical 911 call again. That is where my alleged threat supposedly originated. But I never made a 911 call, and Debi Wade makes no claim that I did.

Do I have a defamation claim against Debi Wade -- and anyone else who contributed to publication of information about a threat I did not make? I'm studying Missouri law on that issue now, but I've found case law that indicates the answer is yes. In some circumstances, testimony related to court proceedings is privileged and cannot be the basis of a defamation claim. But a probable cause statement is not the same as court testimony or statements made in court documents.

Wade's statements are particularly dubious since they were made about someone who was not the subject of the PC statement. Cops were seeking to bring bogus charges against Carol, so there was no reason to mention me at all. The PC statement says I did nothing wrong during the eviction, and the only wrongful conduct alleged against Carol came from Debi Wade's fertile imagination.

We will continue our research, but I suspect Debi Wade has left herself open to a defamation charge -- as has anyone who passed false information along to her.


Anonymous said...

Why are they making this claim in a probable cause statement involving the alleged actions of your wife?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:13 --

That's one of many questions about this bizarro PC Statement. Pretty much everything in it about Carol is pure fantasy, and they had to throw in a little fantasy about me, I guess.

Anonymous said...

You don't have a gun? How were you going to shoot someone without a gun?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:24 --

I guess they thought Carol and I would buy one on the black market, since we long have been noted for our criminal activities.

Anonymous said...

Any semi-professional DA would have sent this PC Statement back, with a note: "We cannot include hearsay and unattributed statements in a PC Statement. Either fix it or drop it. If you choose to fix it, understand that we will prosecute you for any claims that prove to be false."

legalschnauzer said...

This is an example that too many cops and DAs don't take their jobs seriously. Taking away someone's freedom is an act of utmost seriousness. But they let a ridiculous PC Statement like this through the system. There's not a single word in it that points to "probable cause" that Carol committed a criminal act. And there is no reason to mention my name at all.

Anonymous said...

If there had been a real 911 call, the cops would have been at your house within minutes after the call was placed. That they didn't show, tells me the whole thing was cooked up.

Anonymous said...

When did you supposedly make this 911 call? I assume it was near the eviction date?

legalschnauzer said...

I first heard about the mythical 911 call in an e-mail from my lawyer brother, David, dated 9/2/15. That was exactly one week before the eviction on 9/9/15.

Anonymous said...

I looked up Missouri's castle doctrine law, and it looks to me like you would have been justified in shooting the cops since you "reasonably believed" the eviction had been stayed when you filed a notice of appeal.

Here is key part --

Use of force in defense of persons.

563.031. 1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person, unless:

(1) The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case his or her use of force is nevertheless justifiable provided:

(a) He or she has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident by the use or threatened use of unlawful force; or

(b) He or she is a law enforcement officer and as such is an aggressor pursuant to section 563.046; or

(c) The aggressor is justified under some other provision of this chapter or other provision of law;

legalschnauzer said...

@10:58 --

Thanks for sharing. Very interesting. The language in (b) about a law enforcement officer seems to limit their use of physical force.

I should make this clear: I had no intention of shooting anyone, and the fact I had no gun is evidence of that. The fact cops did not come on or about 9/2, when the threat supposedly was made, is evidence that they knew there was no threat or there wasn't one to be taken seriously.

legalschnauzer said...

I also should note that the Missouri statute -- at least the part @10:58 cited -- mentions only "physical force." A shooting probably would be considered "deadly force," so I'm not sure that is allowed. Either way, I made no such threat and no such 911 call.

Anonymous said...


Section 2 of the Missouri statute addresses "deadly force":

2. A person shall not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony;

(2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person; or

(3) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual, or is occupied by an individual who has been given specific authority by the property owner to occupy the property, claiming a justification of using protective force under this section.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:11 --

Hmmm . . . thanks for sharing. This does sound like deadly force would have been lawful in our situation. This seems to be the key language:

(2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters . . .

There's no question the cops unlawfully entered, and use of the word "person" indicates cops are not excluded from this provision. I need to study this more, but based on what you've sent, a shooting might have been justified in our situation, under Missouri law. The Missouri law sounds a lot like the Indiana law, which I've written about.

Again, I had no intention of using force against anyone. That's a big reason we filed the notice of appeal. We were trying to act within the law to prevent an unlawful eviction. We found the law doesn't matter much in Missouri -- and we already knew that was the case in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Missouri expanded its Castle Doctrine law about a year ago, to include a "stand your ground" provision.

legalschnauzer said...

FYI, here is URL to the post I wrote a month or so ago about Indiana law. The language in Indiana law is more explicit about shooting cops, but the gist of the Missouri and Indiana laws seems to be the same.

Anonymous said...

Here is another article about Missouri's Castle Doctrine. Don't think there is any question that you would have been justified in shooting the SOBs:

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for sharing, @11:27. I should point out that our incident took place on 9/9/15, and it looks like the Missouri statute was revised in fall 2016. Not sure how the law read on the date of our incident. It appears Missouri had some form of castle doctrine law already in place, and use of deadly force in our situation might have been lawful -- but I'm not certain about that.

At the time, I had no idea if Missouri had a castle doctrine law or not and wasn't even thinking along those lines. We were just trying to file a timely and lawful notice of appeal. I didn't have anything to impose force with, unless you count a fly swatter.

Anonymous said...

I think the cops probably knew you would be justified in shooting them, under the law, and that's why they concocted the 911 call and came with all of their SWAT team gear. I think they were protecting their own unlawful actions, which they knew were unlawful.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:33 --

Wow, that's a powerful comment. That idea had never occurred to me. Need to digest that one, but you might have nailed it.

e.a.f. said...

lets see why would she make this up? let me count the reasons. Most of them come to $ signs. The police didn't act in a lawful manner when the removed you and Mrs. L.S. from your home. They then caused Mrs. L.S a fair amount of physical harm which resulted in the need for surgery. When people do these things to other people, they file law suites and some times those lawsuits result in large settlements. My bets say the police will say whatever, no matter how outlandish because, 1. they can. 2. they need to in case of a lawsuit.

I would suggest all of the actions were motivated by something other than wanting you out of the accommodation. I'm just surprised you and Carol are still in one piece. I'm sure if you checked there wouldn't be these types of "evictions" around town for others. this was a "special delivery" for you and Carol. Now the police have to cover, cover, cover.

They may now perceive their problem to be you will not settle in an out of court settlement. So they need to lie, lie, lie or shall we say, give their version of the truth, what ever that may be or whatever they think they need.