Friday, July 30, 2010

The LMJC Wrongful Prosecution of Eric Echols: Beyond Stupid and Into Outright Criminal Behavior

I would not keep coming back to the Eric Echols case, except that the utter lawlessness of the LMJC accompanying these baseless charges is both disgusting AND fascinating. Earlier this year, a friend of mine was on trial in federal court in Brooklyn in a high-profile case, and the defense was chewing up the prosecution in big gulps.

My friend would call or text me every day to tell me the day's events, and it was clear that unless the jury was sleeping or the judge was the Second Coming of Brian Outhouse, he was going to be acquitted. After a particularly good day (when the prosecutors especially were running into brick walls), I remarked to him that if it were not for the fact that the prosecutors were trying to throw him in prison for 40 years, he might be able to sit back and enjoy the show.

Fortunately, the judge and jury did their jobs and Ralph was a free man. Likewise, Eric Echols is not going to jail; he is not going on trial (which would be a real train wreck for the prosecution), and sooner or later this charade will come to an end. However, in the meantime, the guy is having to pay for legal help that he never should have had to hire and his life is on hold.

Now, had Mr. Echols done something wrong or had acted recklessly, that would be one thing. However, we do know from the transcripts of his interview with Jerry McDonald and from his confrontation with Sandra Lamb that he was a real professional and a guy who knows his way around in this business.

This is a case that has produced some, shall we say, interesting moments in Georgia jurisprudence, the latest caper being the four LMJC judges announcing (for no official reasons) that they had recused themselves from the case altogether. Coupled with the fact that Chris Arnt no longer is interested in personally prosecuting this case and has dumped it off on a lower-level ADA, and it is clear that this thing is not looking good for Buzz Franklin and his henchmen.

However, there is more, much more, and the documents I have in my possession demonstrate that, indeed, a felony was committed, but it was committed by Sandra Lamb, not Eric Echols. (Having committed perjury during the Tonya Craft trial and having assaulted Mr. Echols -- while using a racial slur -- on video, it looks as though Lamb is a one-woman crime wave in Catoosa County. Of course, this desperado apparently has an insurance policy when it comes to breaking the law.)

First, on July 27, 2009, Lamb filled out a complaint form against Mr. Echols that clearly did not reflect the events of that his visit to her place to deliver legal documents. What makes it even more interesting is that the form clearly states the following:
Under Georgia Code 16-10-71 False Swearing is a Felony!!!!!!! A person convicted of False Swearing can receive 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine of $1000.00.
Yet, no one can deny that "false swearing" is exactly what Lamb did, and she managed to demonstrate on a video that she was lying. Yet, the LMJC manages to pretend that did not happen.

Second, the judge at the hearing, R.V. Wells III (after which Mr. Echols was arrested on false felony charges of "interfering with a witness"), said that since Lamb did not have an attorney present, he would not be ruling in that case. However, in a telephone call (I have the recording in my files), Mr. Echols is told by the magistrate clerk that Wells already ruled on the hearing and the ruling was no warrant issued on Sandra Lamb and had issued a no contact order, something that clearly is contradictory to the SIGNED documents by Wells (that I also have in my possession).

It gets better. In the official Incident Report (Case Number 090700613), Lamb claims that she when she refused to receive the legal documents, she was acting under the advice of "Chris Arnt, an attorney friend of hers." That would be the same Chris "Alberto-Facebook" Arnt who served as second chair in the Tonya Craft trial and lied throughout and suborned perjury.

However, if Lamb's contention is true, then Arnt stepped out of his role as a prosecutor and acted as a legal adviser in a private case, which means he loses prosecutorial immunity, and that also means that Eric Echols can sue him. In other words, if you want to know why the LMJC is holding onto this case, that is one reason. Arnt knows that if the charges are dismissed, he not only is likely to be facing a lawsuit, but almost surely will be turned into the Georgia State Bar for misconduct.

As you can see, this case is like the Energizer Bunny, in that it goes and goes and goes. However, because Tonya Craft and Eric Echols are determined people, and because they have the law on their side, they are proving to be formidable foes to the bad guys who run the LMJC. Stay tuned, as there promises to be MUCH more.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

The thing with criminals is that they believe that they are smarter than everyone else. Arnt demonstrates the truth of this axiom. It really is Catoosa-in-wonderland in that corner of Georgia.
cks

Kaye said...

Not that it changes anything really, but I was told by a couple of media sources that the Magistrate that was on the bench at the time of Eric Echols arrest was Anthony Peters. He's the one that was recently led out of the courthouse in handcuffs after arguing with his boss, Sonny Caldwell.

So where is this Echols case at exactly? Is there is a judge out-of-district that is willing to hear this case? Last I heard, there was a September courtdate, but as far as I can tell, this case is just sitting in limbo.

Buzz Franklin, do the right thing, drop these bogus charges! You continue to look like a complete fool....

KC Sprayberry said...

Another bit of business as usual for LMJC. It's a well known fact that the LMJC puts off cases by any means possible when they face sanctions, letting the defense attorneys rack up fees and continuing them for ages and ages. I've read several complaints from people who have gone through this scenario and their legal bills are astronomical for relatively minor charges, especially if they live outside the area. Chris Arnt isn't stupid, just acts that way. He knows he can keep this case from coming to trial as long as possible - under his rules of a fair and speedy trial. Unfortunately, his problems are about to get worse since the world is now watching his one person side show.

Kaye said...

KC, I've seen a few people comment about cases that are delayed, delayed, delayed, but I'm curious as to what happens with these cases eventually. Are they dropped? What happens?

Anonymous said...

Bill said "Arnt knows that if the charges are dismissed, he not only is likely to be facing a lawsuit, but almost surely will be turned into the Georgia State Bar for misconduct."

So what if he is turned in? Hasn't he and his buddy Gregor already been turned in because of the Craft trial? Will the state bar really do anything? It seems to me there should have already been an investagation started...

Doc Ellis said...

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KC Sprayberry said...

Kaye, all the cases I've read about are still being continued. This is from blog links I picked up doing research on LMJC for a project. Some of these cases have gone on as long as five years. Not sure how we can fix this other than a complete housecleaning and starting from scratch, but even that's no guarantee of fixing the problem. Time will tell.

Lookout Spy said...

One constant focus of their future practice that would be attorneys in law school are drilled with constantly on a near daily basis, are the American Bar Association Model Code of Ethics and subsequent state codes of ethics based on the ABA model.

While attorneys describe the model rules and actual codes as being "ethics", they are actually being taught "C.Y.A.", same as is practiced to such a fine art in the military. The law and military protocol goes back to before historic times, and as we all know, C.Y.A. translates as " Cover Your Ass".

These guys are experts at it, or they would have gone into true public service, which is working the private domain to curb the system's gaping maw of recklessness and utterly unconscious, craven, abusive, life destroying mechanisms that eat people alive in the siege of the citizens by the powers of the existing order.

Jodie said...

Here in WV there is a provision in the code that a criminal defendant may seek the costs of his/her defense if the case was dismissed or he/she was acquitted. Of course this is not mandatory but discretionary on the judges part.

Anonymous said...

I just hope Eric can wrap them up and put a bow on them and send them away, I can't stand any of them, they are all lyar's.

Trish said...

"However, in the meantime, the guy is having to pay for legal help that he never should have had to hire and his life is on hold."

This is exactly what happened with my son's case. They didn't have a legitimate case, yet they tied up my son's life (and ours) for almost four years, cost us over $50,000 in legal fees, and then got off scott free for what they did, because the statue of limitations had expired!! Believe me, if they had known the jury would see thru the farce of a prosecution in Tonya's trial, they would have delayed it another six months so she couldn't sue!! However, in their arrogance, they got greedy, thinking they would have a jury who would buy the lies hook, line, and sinker!! Thank God, the jurors were intelligent and thank God for all the exposure that this case brought to the real criminals in the LMJC!!!! Thank God also for the incredible defense team that Tonya was able to put together!!!

liberranter said...

This is exactly what happened with my son's case. They didn't have a legitimate case, yet they tied up my son's life (and ours) for almost four years, cost us over $50,000 in legal fees, and then got off scott free for what they did, because the statue of limitations had expired!!

This is why I long to see the day when a society that respects and follows the Rule of Law puts one on the books making restitution awarded in any civil judgment against an agent of the State who violated their oath of office and is found guilty of misconduct liable for restitution to the victim OUT OF THEIR OWN ASSETS! In other words, no more "insurance settlements" that cost innocent taxpayers money and drive up the cost of government: YOU, the cop/judge/DA/"child advocate" get to pay the tab yourself! If that means having to hock your house or jewelry, or sell off every precious thing you own and take food out of your childrens' mouths, so be it. You brought it on yourself, you made the conscious decision to commit wrong, therefore it is on YOU to own up to the responsibility for your actions. Maybe THAT will make vermin like the Three Stooges of Craft trial fame, their partners in crime, and their enablers think twice, thrice, four times or more about even thinking of dropping on anyone else in the future a number like they dropped on Tonya Craft, Brad Wade, and God knows how many other innocent people.

The odds of any such law being passed or enforced in the current "society" in which we actually now live: zero, or less. But we can always dream, can't we (at least I don't THINK they've made dreaming illegal - yet)?

Mary Jane said...

I am wondering. Aren't the African American communities in GA and across the nation saying anything about Mr. Echols' case? I am usually not the kind who would instigate racially charged protests, and in fact I hate it when people make a racial issue out of something that is not, but the crime Sandra Lamb committed is clearly racial. I am surprised that I don't hear about local African Americans gathering in front of Sandra Lamb's house or one of Mr. Echols "brothers" in Washington D.C. publicly talking about this hate crime.

KC Sprayberry said...

Mary Jane, honestly, most folks around here are just interested in making a living and taking care of their kids quietly. There aren't many African Americans in Chickamauga and those in the rest of the county do as every other person, go to their job, come home, and sigh their paycheck doesn't go as far as it a couple of years back. Putting up with a wild card like Sandra Lamb is too tiring and who wants to put up with her mouth anyway? It's the best way to handle a bully - take away their ammunition so they don't have a reason for people to talk about them.

Lame said...

You all need to read this article:

http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?291126-They-called-me-a-child-pornographer


It describes exactly what we have been discussing over the past several weeks how the government has completely run amuck with chile protective agencies from the perspective of a person who almost was crushed by it.

All it takes is one person with a telephone to destroy your life. And, even if they don't find what they're looking for, they'll fish for something to make sure their time investigating wasn't a total waste. They remind me of the line from Magna Carter "by hook or by crook." If they go in looking for wood, even if they don't find any logs laying on the ground, if they can spot something up in the trees that might possibly be of use, by hook or by crook, they're going to pull something out of that forest. The bit of possibly charging them with child endangerment for allowing children near an open flame (the camp fire) is the height of absurdity. Why not charge every person who drives their child somewhere in a car with wreckless endangerment, because there's a chance that an 18 wheeler will cross three lanes of traffic and side swipe the car where the child is sitting? Or, why not charge every person who gives birth to a baby with murder, because in 50, 70, 90 years, that child is gonna die?

William L. Anderson said...

The law permits anyone who reports someone else to be anonymous, so it is obvious that people who wish to settle scores -- as did Dewayne Wilson and Sandra Lamb -- can do so.

The difference is that Wilson reported Tonya to the police and not to DFACS. My sense is that Wilson never believed any of it, but thought that he could cause trouble for Tonya.

Another interesting thing to me is that Lamb at the time had a son who went to McCallie School. (For the record, I went to Baylor when it was a military school and long before it went co-ed.)

The reason I point out this fact is that McCallie has an honor code, and I only can hope that her son did not lie at school or participate in the lying. We do know that one of her children drove a car across the road to keep Eric Echols from being able to leave after trying to serve a subpoena to Lamb. That was against the law, and I would be curious to know if that was the McCallie student doing it, and what his participation in this whole scheme was at the time.

Granted, we are dealing with liars throughout Catoosa County, and if this McCallie boy was part of that, who would be surprised? Apparently, for some families and people in "high place" in Catoosa, lying is just part of the landscape. Just thinking out loud.

Anonymous said...

Your thinking out loud is right on it.
And these people are getting away with it. WHAT CAN WE DO... just asking..

William L. Anderson said...

The best thing we can do is what we are doing: speaking out. We cannot make the authorities do right, but we can loudly expose them and shine some sunlight on their misdeeds.

Mary Jane said...

KC,

That makes sense, and I understand. Thank you.

Dr. Anderson,

I didn't realize that Sandra Lamb has more than one son. How tragic it must be for all of her children to have a mother like her even though they probably don't realize it because she spoils them rotten (as RL said during one of the interviews by the "professionals", "My mother is the best kind of mother, you know." (or, something to that effect) SL is definitely not the kind of mother who teaches her kids what's right and what's not, and she must have hated it when Tonya wanted to teach RL manners because Tonya really cared about RL's well being. As a teacher, I deal with all kinds of parents, but people like SL are the worst kind to deal with. (Always making excuses and justifying their kids bad behaviors.)

Anonymous said...

More lawyer posturing as Thorne and Greenhouse's mouthpiece tries to stop Mrs. Craft's suit before it starts.

http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_180995.asp

Based on the reporting in this article, the state's attorney for Thorne and Greenhouse want the facts of the case laid out so that they can start attacking it now rather than let it go to trial. The decision as to whether or not the amended suit satisfies Judge Murphy's instructions will be his alone. Wonder how long before the rats, oops, defendants, on this sinking ship begin to turn on each other.

kbp said...

Bill said:
“The difference is that Wilson reported Tonya to the police and not to DFACS.“

Most states have built in immunity for those which report to the protective services. This approach created some problems there, I would assume.

It gets real tricky trying to understand what evidence can only be provided only as proof in showing another act created liability (the intent or reckless nature of that act) and cannot create liability itself (testimony, calls to CPS,,,).

kbp said...

Anon 3:29,

Unfortunately, I agree with some of what the attorneys for Thorne and Greenhouse had wrote in their "SECOND MOTION FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT"

This is only a request for another statement on why their clients are liable, so it does not let those clients skate away.

I hope the response to this filing (and others that will come from more defendants) can get to the point better.

William L. Anderson said...

Suzi Thorne did two things. First, as one reads the transcript of her interviews with the children, they clearly are both manipulative and coercive and violate all standards that the CAC supposedly has.

Second, Thorne perjured herself on the stand with the claim that RL "disclosed" to her about the "hand rape," which clearly did not happen. That she was a participant in an attempt to frame an innocent person certainly is damaging. However, I will be interested in seeing the response, too.

kbp said...

Bill, that "Second" brings up where I get confused!!

The videos are open to showing liability, be it intentional or reckless conduct (if her unprofessional interview techniques could be classified as so reckless they create that liability, instead of just some ‘oops, sorry‘ problem that Greenhouse should have prevented.).

The testimony could show it was intentional, BUT can't be the evidence that creates the liability for such conduct, so we‘re still needing evidence of intent elsewhere.

As I understand it, testimony, by itself, can’t be the proof of that liability, may only add to the certainty of other evidence for it.

You’ve followed cases more than I, so I am certainly open for input or correction here.

Anonymous said...

I saw Wendy Murphy on Stossel last night discussing sex crimes. I could swear I heard her say that her father should have been prosecuted for what he did with her mother. (She got pregnant at 16). She is definitely a nut.

This occured as she was put on with a couple where the husband is on the offender list for what happened in high school with his now wife and family of 4 kids.

William L. Anderson said...

She was debating Radley Balko, who used this blog during the case to point out how Tonya was being railroaded. Radley had done some great work in the area of criminal justice.

Wendy Murphy is evil.

Narcissist07 said...

Wendy Murphy's father SHOULD be prosecuted... For having such a self serving witch of a child as herself, and not taking his belt to her backside more often when she needed it.
The fact that the media even gives her face time just proves that they are no longer seekers of the truth, just sensationalized gossip media, who daily sells their souls and credibility for ratings. It is like when a tornado goes through a community. They seek out the most backward, uneducated trailer dwellers, and interview them to.

Lame said...

Insanity is the cornerstone of any bureaucracy.

Anonymous said...

What degrees does Ms. Murphy hold? They should be rescinded by the Universities from which they were granted.

Reader from NYC