As I write this post, Tonya Craft is preparing once again to take the stand in order to tell the rest of the world about the truth. As what happened more than six months ago in Catoosa County, her adversaries depended upon lies.
Six months ago, a jury believed her and set her free. Will Judge Marie Williams do the same?
During the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case more than four years ago, Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler urged then-Athletic Director Joe Alleva to look for the truth and not act rashly. Alleva answered with perhaps the most notorious statement in a case known for lies and notoriety: "It's not about the truth, anymore."
It's not about the truth. Think of the heartache and the acrimony and the outright personal destruction that could have been avoided had someone, somewhere, in an official position in the Duke case simply sought the truth. Think of what might NOT have transpired had Duke's administration and faculty demanded that the truth be told instead of running down the rabbit trail of Postmodern lies.
It certainly is not about the truth with Joal Henke and his wife Sarah. Both of them have been caught telling lie after lie, and right in front of Judge Williams. Tonya and her attorneys have documented time and again how Joal and Sarah openly and arrogantly violated the very court orders that Judge Williams set down.
One would hope that this would mean something not only to Judge Williams, but also to everyone else in the Hamilton County court system. One would hope that District Attorney Bill Cox, who apparently is pulling out all stops to throw a popular teacher in prison because he confronted a gang of kids who were out after hours, would take note that Joal and Sarah Henke are openly lying under oath in the very building where he works.
One would hope that anyone who sees what is at stake and has decision-making power can see that Joal Henke is a sociopath, and a serial liar and adulterer, and that such a person should not have primary care of children. One would hope that someone in a position to make decisions would understand that Joal and Sarah lied in a court of law in order to try to send a woman they knew was innocent of child molesting charges to prison, just to get her out of the picture and to destroy her life and to forever separate her from the children she loves.
One would hope that even though the courts of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit are not about the truth, that the people who make decisions in Hamilton County do care about the truth. One would hope that Judge Williams and others are willing to send men like "judge" Brian Outhouse, Len "The Man" Gregor, and Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt a message that their lies are not welcome in Tennessee.
One would hope that Judge Williams and others in the system would understand that if they permit Joal and Sarah Henke to get away with lying -- and telling transparent lies at that -- then they are sending a message to everyone else that taking an oath to tell the truth in a Hamilton County court means absolutely nothing.
One would hope that someone, somewhere would be willing to say: It IS about the truth, now and in the future. That is what is at stake in Judge Marie Williams' courtroom, and nothing else. It is not about custody; it is about the truth.