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.