|Scott J. Wells|
The United States government has detained a Missouri man for more than two years on child-pornography charges that, according to the feds' own narrative, involve alleged offenses that were physically impossible for him to commit.
That means there was no probable cause to arrest Scott J. Wells or search his home, which led to his incarceration in spring 2017. It also points to gross misconduct (or incompetence, or both) from federal prosecutor James J. Kelleher, who is directing the case against Wells, and U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush, who ordered Wells' arrest. It also raises questions about the competence or integrity of James D. Holdman Jr., the special agent (SA) with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who prepared the criminal complaint and affidavit seeking an arrest warrant for Wells. (The complaint and affidavit, in one document, are embedded at the end of this post.)
Where does Wells go to get back the two years of his life the feds stole from him? That question now rests in the lap of Springfield attorney Brady Musgrave, who became the third court-appointed defense attorney assigned to the case, back in February. That came after we reported on a letter private attorney Shane Cantin sent to Wells, saying he had no defense and surely would be convicted. That, in blunt terms, was pure horse excrement. It remains to be seen if Musgrave will be any better than Cantin -- or public defender David Mercer, whom the record suggests did nothing to provide a defense for Wells.
For now, a trial is set for August, but if Musgrave does his job, it should not get that far. To be sure, Kelleher and Rush will pull every trick at their disposal to ensure that Wells unlawfully goes to trial and is wrongly convicted.. But any competent defense lawyer, who is not compromised, should be able to quickly ensure the indictment against Wells is dismissed, and he is released from custody.
We already have shown the case against Wells lacked probable case -- mainly because the feds provide zero evidence that Wells acted "knowingly" or that Wells knew individuals in the alleged images were minors (under age 18) -- both statutory requirements for a conviction. But the newly discovered hole in the feds' case is so enormous that it should force dismissal ASAP.
In fact, the new hole in the Wells case is of such substance that it raises this question: Have the charges against Scott J. Wells been a hoax from the outset? Did the feds actually receive "cyber tips" about Wells' alleged activity from Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)? Or did someone -- pissed off that Wells fought state child-sexual abuse charges, which fell apart due to Wells' apparent innocence and the ineffective assistance of counsel provided by Missouri lawyer, David Shuler (my brother) -- create the federal charges out of whole cloth as a form of retaliation?
What is the newly discovered evidence -- apparent right in the government's own documents -- that should set Scott Wells free? We will spell it out in an upcoming post.
(To be continued)