As I noted, the first one will have to explain a number of calls that she and Joal Henke exchanged, far more than one might thing would be the situation between the father of an allegedly abused child and the therapist. It should be interesting.
The other one, Holly Nave Kittle, already made an appearance, giving a "thumbs up" to an inflammatory Facebook post by prosecutor Chris Arnt that clearly violates the standards set by the Georgia State Bar, Specifically Rules 3.6 and 3.8. Here is the problem; in most states, judges will disqualify "expert" witnesses who already have involved themselves in a public way in a case.
Arnt's Facebook incident is bad enough, but when a prosecution "expert" witness publicly affirms the post, that brings double trouble, especially since the post itself was a gratuitous remark about Ms. Craft's defense and not the facts of the case itself. If Kittle were to have made that statement in a number of states other than Georgia, she most likely would have been kicked off the witness list.
Obviously, Georgia permits much more misbehavior on behalf of the prosecution than other states, and it remains to be seen what happens when the inevitable complaints are filed about Arnt, Len "The Man" Gregor, and Judge Brian House. I can tell you already that a preliminary complaint about one of those three has been examined by the Georgia State Bar, and the way is paved for a formal complaint to be filed by a person who will not be named by this blog.
I have had lengthy discussions with people from other states who either are expert witnesses or have testified in court, and it is absolutely clear that a number of the people who testified to the jury in House's court would not have been permitted to do so in other states. For example, when presented with the "credentials" of "Forensic Investigator" Suzi Thorne, one of the witnesses just laughed.
The idea of someone who has not finished college and is taking some on-line classes being a "forensic investigator" is a joke, this person told me. She then listed all of her credentials, well through master's studies, and then told me that even she could not be considered an "expert" witness in her state in her field. Yet, "Facebook" Arnt and "The Man" Gregor have been getting conviction after conviction against people who very well might be innocent of the charges by using unqualified charlatans like Thorne and Sharon Anderson.
For example, this person told me of interviewing a girl who had been engaged in underage sexual intercourse with an underage male, and she asked a number of questions that were recorded. After the tape was turned off, the girl told the interviewer of a situation between her father and herself.
The interviewer quickly went back to the tape, turned it on, and repeated the questions, which the girl answered. That is how such things are done. Contrast that action with what Thorne claimed while under oath happened when she was interviewing one of the three girls. After having asked approximately 16 questions of the child while videotaping her, with the child giving not one bit of incriminating evidence of sexual abuse, Thorne says she turned off the tape.
According to her testimony under oath, Thorne then claimed that the child walked up to her and then claimed that Ms. Craft had put her hand down her pants and did some other things. Now, I can assure every reader that had such a thing actually occurred, Thorne would have run back to the video camera, turned it on, and made sure that her star witness was on tape.
Instead, she claimed that an unknown detective took notes, and a day later, Det. Tim "Dirty" Deal came to the rescue and claimed he was the man. Let's face it; Deal's claim does not pass the smell test, which is what happens when the state does not have real evidence and it uses unqualified, and, frankly, dishonest people to give "expert" testimony.
Of course, as bad as the "expert" witnesses might have been, it got worse when Tonya Craft's ex-husband Joal Henke took the stand Friday. All of a sudden he "remembered" a number of alleged "bad acts" against Tonya, those "acts" allegedly being committed before they were married.
The "bad acts," as the prosecution and judge called them, were alleged homosexual liaisons between Ms. Craft and another female friend. However, there are two problems here. The first is the truthfulness of Henke himself, and a guy who suddenly became forgetful of his alleged sexual prowess is not likely to all of a sudden remember something that he had forgotten to tell investigators before the trial began. His allegations do not ring true, and I don't think they are believable.
Second, the "bad act," had it actually been committed, was perfectly legal. For all of House's explanations, there is no connection at all between lesbian acts and child molestation, and psychologists have not established such links. In other words, Henke's claims were not made in order to enlighten the jury as to some facts, but rather it was done to smear Ms. Craft and inflame the jurors.
But, what trial is not complete without the state presenting hearsay statements as "proof" of something? In fact, in one situation, a witness was providing hearsay of hearsay, which is something falling into the category of the absurd. I will not go into detail except to say that not one of those teachers provided evidence that should be permitted to convict anyone in a court of law.
Unfortunately, the witnesses were not the only people to provide outrageous behavior. There were two incidents involving House which are very telling and ultimately are going to create problems for him in his career.
Two days before she was appeared on the stand as a witness, Sandra Lamb called House personally in order to complain about television coverage of the proceedings via a local TV station. House did not report this ex parte conversation to the defense, even though he is duty bound to do so. Furthermore, he pretended as though nothing had happened when Lamb took the stand at the beginning of last week.
For people not familiar with the law (and apparently that includes House, "Facebook," and "The Man"), judges are NOT supposed to have ex parte conversations with witnesses, the prosecution, and the defense, and if there is meaningful contact between the judge and any of those parties, the other party is supposed to be notified. That clearly did not happen with the Lamb conversation, and it allows one who might be suspicious to wonder if House has had any other ex parte conversations and not reported them.
Unfortunately, House was not through with his own set of "bad acts." The other morning, before testimony began, House was having a conversation with a bailiff in the courtroom and a number of things that he said were recorded. While I am not at liberty to say what the judge uttered, let us say that it is the sort of thing that demonstrates that he might not be exactly even-handed in his approach to justice in this case. Furthermore, the contents of the conversation, though I am not giving them, are the kind of comments that can get a judge in big trouble if his conduct is scrutinized by those people with authority over him.
To put it another way, it was not a good week if Brian House wished to enhance his judicial career.
In looking at the upcoming defense witnesses, the first thing you will notice is that they are going to be much more professional than the dishonest hacks paraded around by "Facebook" and "The Man." Furthermore, these people not only read the literature in the field covered in this trial, they have written much of it.
I have no doubt that they will present themselves well, but the cross-examination should be most interesting. First, neither "Facebook" nor "The Man" really are able to have an intelligent conversation with intelligent people, much less ask appropriate questions of someone who is shredding the prosecution's dishonest and fabricated "evidence" from the stand.
Thus, I predict that what they will do is to abuse the witnesses or try desperately before they appear to have them disqualified. This should be humorous, given that any one of the defense's "expert" witnesses has more credentials and real-world credibility than all of the prosecution "experts" combined. However, given the way that House has been running this trial, I have come to expect the unexpected and have learned that no outrage is outrageous enough for these people.
Second, I predict that these witnesses will be forceful and authoritative in their testimony, creating more problems for "Facebook" and "The Man." In the cross-examination, observers will see the prosecutors engaging the ad hominem to the fullest, attempting to inflame the jury to reject anything these "outsiders" might have to say.
Actually, if "Facebook" and "The Man" want to channel someone for this daunting task, they might look to the former Morgan County, Alabama, Solicitor Wade Wright, who made the state's closing arguments in the infamous Scottsboro Boys trial. In closing, Wright thundered:
Don't you know these defense witnesses are bought and paid for? May the Lord have mercy on the soul of Ruby Bates (who testified for the defense). Now the question in this case is this—Is justice in the case going to be bought and sold in Alabama with Jew money from New York?Indeed, I think we can see the prosecution team giving some repeat performance of Wade Wright, although they most likely will try to appeal to the mentality of the locals that they are under siege from "outsiders" trying to bamboozle them.
While I have no idea as to what the jurors are thinking, given that no one is "supposed" to contact any of them of speak of this case (and I only can hope that is the case, given the audacity of some of the prosecution's supporters), I can say forcefully that the prosecution and House clearly are losing the public relations battle outside the courthouse. This isn't Scottsboro, where guilt was determined before a trial began and the townspeople would hear of nothing else. Tonya Craft is a much more sympathetic defendant than I could have imagined, and the prospect of three men ganging up to manipulate the law and abuse their powers to railroad an innocent woman into prison is not playing well outside the households of the Lambs and the Wilsons, along with the faux "investigators" of the Children's Advocacy Centers.
Look for week three to be most interesting, because once the defense puts on its own witnesses, I believe that the prosecutors and House will demonstrate an even uglier side than what we have seen so far. However, I also believe that everyone else outside the small circle of accusers is going to recognize their brutality and lawlessness for what it is. Stay tuned.