Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Missouri public defender Patty Poe likely will bail on Carol's case tomorrow, but her exit comes only after she's blown plumes of smoke about relevant law

Patty Poe
(From facebook.com)
Before seeking to withdraw from my wife, Carol's, "assault" case in Missouri, public defender Patty Poe had been blowing smoke up our fannies for months about relevant law in the matter. Poe's Motion for Leave to Withdraw and prosecutor Nicholas Jain's Notice of Jail Waiver will be heard on Wednesday (11/22) at the Greene County Courthouse.

We assume Judge Margaret Holden Palmietto will approve both documents, and we look forward to seeing Poe in the rear-view mirror. It might not, however, be the last she hears from us. The string of lies she told us should be subject to review by the Missouri State Bar, assuming this state has some requirement that lawyers deal with their own clients honestly. Also, more than one reader with experience in the "justice system" has noted that Poe could be called as a witness -- or be deposed -- in any criminal or civil proceeding that is down the road.

Carol and I certainly would like to see Poe forced to answer certain questions under oath. A big question: Who encouraged her to blow copious amounts of smoke up our fannies, and why did she do it? Did she ever take a course on legal ethics at the University of Missouri School of Law -- or did she sleep through that one, as my brother (David Shuler) apparently did 20-some years earlier?

Let's examine two of Poe's biggest whoppers -- and these involve basic matters in Carol's case. If you ever find your own lawyer lying to your face about such fundamental issues, you should know it's time to look for a new lawyer. Here are two key issues: (1) Was the eviction carried out lawfully? (2) Did prosecutors turn over discovery, as required? We'll zoom in for a closer look:

(1) Did deputies have lawful grounds to even be on our rented property?

We have written sporadically about various issues that made the eviction itself unlawful. Just yesterday, we wrote about four more grounds that made the eviction unlawful -- bringing the total to 10. We submitted that it might have been the most screwed up eviction in history; it literally was screwed up 10 ways to Sunday -- and it's possible we haven't caught all the screw-ups yet; I wouldn't be surprised to see the list grow to 12-13 before it's over. (The 10 grounds by which the eviction was unlawful are embedded at the end of this post.)

The "10 Grounds" document includes 19 links to law or evidence that shows deputies had no lawful grounds to be on our rented property -- much less inside our home -- and landlord Trent Cowherd and his lawyer (Craig Lowther) had no grounds to seek our eviction. (We have one piece of evidence that has not been scanned, and when it's in a digital format, will create a 20th link.)

Why do these grounds matter? That question perhaps is best answered by turning to Mapp v. Ohio, one of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court cases from the second half of the 20th Century. Here is the introduction to Mapp:

Appellant [Mapp] stands convicted of knowingly having had in her possession and under her control certain lewd and lascivious books, pictures, and photographs in violation of . . . of Ohio's Revised Code.As officially stated in the syllabus to its opinion, the Supreme Court of Ohio found that her conviction was valid though "based primarily upon the introduction in evidence of lewd and lascivious books and pictures unlawfully seized during an unlawful search of defendant's home . . . ."

As noted by the highlighted words above, Mapp was about material that police "unlawfully" seized during an "unlawful" search. Hence, the importance of our "10 grounds" document embedded below, outlining 10 ways our eviction was unlawful.

At the time of Mapp, the legal doctrine that excluded evidence obtained via an unlawful search or seizure, violative of the Fourth Amendment, applied only to federal cases. The Mapp ruling extended the so-called "exclusionary rule" to state cases and threw out the unlawfully obtained evidence against Mapp.

That means any evidence obtained against Carol, such as the Probable Cause Statement where an unnamed individual advised that Carol had pushed Officer Jeremy Lynn  (although Lynn's own words show he caused physical contact with her), must be excluded by law, as a violation of the Fourth Amendment. That leaves the prosecution with no case.

(2) What about discovery?

No progress has been made on this issue, and Poe made it clear (before seeking to withdraw) that she had no intention of trying to make progress.

The issue should not be controversial. At a hearing on Sept. 20, the sides agreed the prosecution would turn over the following:

(a) Various forms of media related to our eviction, including CAD logs and recordings (computer aided dispatch), 911 calls, dash camera recordings, and photos;

(b) Copies of all communications between or among sheriff's office personnel regarding the Sept. 9, 2015, eviction;

(c) Notes for reports from deputy Scott Harrison regarding Carol's injuries, which included a shattered left arm requiring trauma surgery;

(d) Statements of any officer present at the scene for the eviction;

(e) Citizen complaints or allegations of excessive violence against any officers on the scene from the past five years.

Item No. e was ordered produced by the court. Prosecutor Nicholas Jain had agreed that he would produce items a-d. In an e-mail, Poe asked for a copy of the Greene County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) Policies and Procedures Manual, and Jain indicated he would produce that only via a court order -- although one has not been filed. This is the same manual that had been available online to anyone in the world with an Internet connection, but it disappeared not long after it became clear cops had broken Carol's arm.

We scheduled a meeting with Poe on Oct. 30, mainly to learn about any progress on discovery -- and to press her on numerous dubious statements she had made about relevant law in Carol's case.

As for discovery, we learned zero progress had been made. Poe informed us that the prosecution claimed it did not have copies of any citizen complaints made against officers involved in our eviction -- and the prosecution apparently also claimed it had no relevant media and no communications (emails, texts, etc.)  When asked what she intended to do to make sure the discovery was produced, Poe said she would do nothing. "I can't prove that they don't have it," she said.

Let that sink in for a moment: The GCSO has a special page on its Web site for citizens to file complaints, but we are to believe none have been filed against the 6-8 officers present for our eviction? We're supposed to believe there were no CAD logs, dash-cam recordings or any other form of media -- not to mention no communications between or among officers, in any format (digital or analog)? Perhaps Poe noticed the looks on our faces that probably seemed to say, "You expect us to believe this heaping helping of cow feces?"

So what discovery do we have? We have photos that Deputy Harrison took of Carol's injuries, and a copy of a 911 call, which I supposedly made, but we now know came from an employee at Burrell Behavioral Health. And we've had those two items for months, even before Poe filed a Motion to Compel, if my memory is correct.

Poe also mentioned photos that cops had taken of the back seat of the patrol car where Carol was placed after they had broken her arm. We assume this includes a photo of the safety harness that restrained Carol's movement (not to mention her handcuffs) and would have made it impossible for her to break her own arm by flailing around in the back seat, as officers had suggested. But that's it for discovery -- photos of Carol's injuries, the 911 call from Burrell, photos of a patrol car's back seat.

Under Patty Poe's "I can't prove they don't have it" standard, no one ever would turn over discovery. I don't pretend to be an expert on all the steps a lawyer can take in response to such stonewalling, but I'm pretty sure they include seeking a court order or subpoena, asking to have the stonewaller held in contempt of court, asking to have the charges dismissed for failure to obey court orders and discovery rules.

These are just two of many examples where Poe has blown plumes of smoke up our fannies. It's a wonder the local fire marshal hasn't responded to our residence.

You can see why we will be glad to see Poe in the rear-view mirror, although she might have cause to deal with us in the future -- and it might come with her bar card, or even her freedom, on the line.

(To be continued)

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