As I have noted before, the Tonya Craft trial did not occur in a vacuum. The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit has long made prosecution of alleged child molestation a top priority, and Ms. Craft was caught up in that web of deceit and prosecutorial misconduct.
Given the patchwork of lies that prosecutors Len Gregor and Chris Arnt had to put together in an unsuccessful attempt to throw Ms. Craft into prison for life, one would wonder why they believed they could convince a jury she was a child molester. I believe that the success the LMJC had in railroading Brad Wade into prison three years ago -- done pretty much under the radar, unlike the trial against Ms. Craft -- had much to do with the confidence that Buzz Franklin's office had as it rolled over the cliff.
I want to examine the conviction against Mr. Wade over a number of posts, investigating things like the dearth of evidence, the alliance of Gregor (who prosecuted the case) with "judge" Kristina Graham, and the utter dishonest testimony by Stacy Long of the (What else?) Children's Advocacy Center. However, in today's post, I want to explore what I absolutely believe to be true: Gregor never believed Wade had molested anyone, but pushed the trial anyway.
That is a terrible accusation to make against someone, I realize, and if I am wrong, I will have done a major wrong to Gregor. Because I cannot know what was going on in his mind during the trial, in the end all I can do is to surmise rather than have a definite answer. Nonetheless, from everything I can see and have been able to find, I am confident that although Len Gregor has not told me personally that he believed Brad Wade was innocent, nonetheless the facts of the case itself are such that it is hard to draw any other conclusion.
Unlike the case against Tonya Craft, there is the very real possibility that there WAS molestation of a young child. In fact, the three-year-old child who was the subject of part of the trial claimed "the boys" as doing things that clearly were molestation, yet the authorities were not interested. Furthermore, as we saw in the Craft case, there is other testimony from another child that differs wildly within a year's time, after constant questioning from (Who else?) Long.
Yet, why would Len Gregor and the LMJC go after Brad Wade instead of investigating what the child in question originally claimed? It seems to me that the answer is quite simple: there is nothing in it for Gregor if he goes after juveniles. The Big Prize for a prosecutor is to gain a conviction against an adult, not a teenager, and Gregor, who narcissistically refers to himself as "The Man," always likes to get the big enchilada, even if he must be dishonest to do it.
One thing "The Man" was able to do early was to have exculpatory evidence withheld on the basis of "rape shield" laws. Now, the "rape shield" laws were enacted not to keep exculpatory evidence out, but rather to keep the defense from delving into irrelevant aspects of a rape accuser's past. Unfortunately, prosecutors whose motto is "Win at all costs," have found ways to prop up questionable charges by scheming with judges (most of whom are former prosecutors themselves) to keep the jury from hearing information that could acquit someone.
Indeed, that is what happened in the trial against Mr. Wade. Gregor, as we shall see in upcoming posts, teamed with "judge" Kristina Graham to keep important information from the jury, information that certainly might have had an influence on a jury not to rush to the "guilty" verdict. There are a number of irregularities and incidents of misconduct, which would seem to fit any trial which "The Man" prosecuted, and future posts will examine them.
During the Tonya Craft trial, Gregor declared that Mr. Wade's mother, Glenda Shull, who often was in the courtroom, was not there because she cared about the fate of Ms. Craft, but rather "because she hates me." Indeed, after seeing how "The Man" railroaded her son and so many other innocent people, I don't think I would be surprised if Ms. Stull had some negative feelings toward this prosecutor.
(Mr. Wade's sister, Angie Granger, also was in attendance at the Tonya Craft trial, and her appearance also seemed to unnerve "The Man." She has been a tireless advocate for her brother, and one hopes that she will be able to see her brother vindicated.)
My purpose in writing on the Wade conviction is twofold. First, and most important, I believe that Mr. Wade was innocent of the charges and that Gregor either knew he was innocent or should have had his doubts about this case. Second, I want to demonstrate that the prosecutors in the LMJC are out of control and that their "win at all costs" mentality is destroying families, all in the name of "protecting the children," of course.
This is a very sad story. A man sits in prison, and lives are shattered. It did not begin with Tonya Craft, and I will be doing my best to show it does not end with her, either.