Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WikiLeaks, "Progressivism," and "National Security"

One of the most overused terms in this age of the overwhelming state is "national security," and I always am amazed at how people who think clearly on other subjects fall all over themselves when someone manages to breach the secrecy of government agencies. Not surprisingly, when this flimsy "security" line actually is crossed, the typical response is to try to kill the messenger.

A favorite blogger of mine is Tom Kirkendall, a Houston attorney who also runs the Houston's Clear Thinkers blog, and Kirkendall's comments on the latest WikiLeaks release of hundreds of thousands of documents involving international wheeling and dealing is on the money. Before looking at his comments, however, I have a few of my own.

The Progressive Era, which really was a massive assault on the constitutional order of the former American republic, was based upon a belief that "intelligent experts" should be in charge of the daily lives of everyone else. People at the end of the 19th Century tended to understand that politicians were corrupt, governments generally wasted tax dollars, and that elected officials could not be trusted. Furthermore, while they did not like that situation, nonetheless they at least could be assured that they could live their lives apart from most governmental influence.

Progressives, however, believed that they could create what everyone else thought to be an oxymoron: "Good Government." This would be government which had permanent agencies staffed by brilliant and loyal "public servants" who could -- and should -- make decisions for everyone else. The Progressives also believed that the Constitution was terribly flawed because it gave that corrupt Congress too much authority and did not give the executive branch the free hand that was needed to institutionalize the bureaucratic state. Thus, they sought to change that state of affairs, and what we have today is the result: Bad governance by the "good experts."

(As an academic economist, I always marvel at just how the "brilliant" policy "experts" in the executive branch have managed to run the once-powerful U.S. economy into the ground, and now claim they can "fix" everything by injecting bouts of inflation. For once, I really wish that someone like Ben Bernanke, who was on the elite Princeton economics faculty before coming to the Federal Reserve System, would admit that by appealing to inflation, he has no answers at all. Instead, we get nonsense like "Quantitative Easing," which is nothing more than a euphemism for printing money.)

The arena where we most likely will see "rule by experts" is in foreign policy, and the WikiLeaks document release demonstrates just how cynical and dishonest the entire process has become. Furthermore, the release demonstrates how truly mediocre yet egotistical people have come to dominate the process, and how they put millions of people on the hook just to pad their own ego trips.

It is here that Kirkendall really presents some good insights. He writes:
To get at the value of WikiLeaks, I think it's important to distinguish between the government-the temporary, elected authors of national policy-and the state-the permanent bureaucratic and military apparatus superficially but not fully controlled by the reigning government. The careerists scattered about the world in America's intelligence agencies, military, and consular offices largely operate behind a veil of secrecy executing policy which is itself largely secret. American citizens mostly have no idea what they are doing, or whether what they are doing is working out well. The actually-existing structure and strategy of the American empire remains a near-total mystery to those who foot the bill and whose children fight its wars. And that is the way the elite of America's unelected permanent state, perhaps the most powerful class of people on Earth, like it.

If secrecy is necessary for national security and effective diplomacy, it is also inevitable that the prerogative of secrecy will be used to hide the misdeeds of the permanent state and its privileged agents. I suspect that there is no scheme of government oversight that will not eventually come under the indirect control of the generals, spies, and foreign-service officers it is meant to oversee. (Emphasis mine)
What passes for "national security" really is nothing more than a veil of secrecy created to protect the "insecurity" of the bureaucrats and clueless, short-term-thinking policymakers who obligate Americans and others to pay for destructive schemes. Not surprisingly, in the end, the Permanent Ruling Class that the "Progressive" system has created respond by wanting to throw the messenger into prison.

(Since we don't have television reception at my home, I have not watched any of the talking heads on the various cable shows, but I am sure that the word "treason" has been thrown around carelessly by both liberals and conservatives. As I see it, however, Julian Assange simply has opened our eyes to the egotism and folly of people who believe they are entitled to make decisions for billions of people.)

As if on cue, the New York Times, which really is the Godfather of Progressivism, provides comic relief in the form of claiming that the leaks show just how skillful and brilliant the Obama Regime really is -- in contrast to the Bush administration. Once again, we see that Progressives tend to be bifurcated in their thinking, claiming that this latest release of documents falls into both the "Aren't We Brilliant?" AND "Move Along, Folks, Nothing To See" categories, and the NYT misses the larger point.

What is that bigger picture? In the post-World War II era, the "experts" that run our Administrative State not only have bankrupted this country, they have driven out productive people and productive entities, involved our armed forces in intractable wars (none of which have been declared by Congress, as the Constitution requires), put troops all over the world, and created a police state at home. Furthermore, they have managed to get away with it and have convinced Americans that any attempt to do away with this sorry state of affairs is an act of treason.

And what is the response when this folly is exposed? Yes, arrest those who have exposed it and give more power to those people who have been destroying our economy and our future.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Lords of (Lax) Discipline

[Update, Monday, November 29, 7:55 AM]: We are on the road today, driving from Chattanooga to Garrett County. I hope to resume posting tomorrow. Hope everyone had a great weekend! [End Update]

Prosecutors are different than you and me, and even different than other lawyers. Where all of the latter can be sued, investigated, hauled into court or worse for engaging in misconduct, American prosecutors are free of such worries, for they not only are protected by immunity statutes and court rulings that reflect the "I've got your back" relationship between judges and prosecutors, but also are protected by the one entity that can discipline them for misconduct: the state bar.

A recent study from the innocence project at the Santa Clara University School of Law found that prosecutorial misconduct in California was rarely reported and when it was, the California State Bar usually did nothing. After my experience with the Georgia State Bar last summer, I am not surprised at all at what the Santa Clara study revealed.

Anyone who followed Tonya Craft's criminal trial in Ringgold last spring could see that the prosecutorial misconduct by Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt and Len "The Man" Gregor was massive. These men helped to fabricate false evidence, they lied to jurors, suborned perjury, made a mockery of the proceedings, had secret (and unreported) meetings with "judge" brian outhouse, presented charges they knew were false, made inflammatory pre-trial statements, and generally made a mockery of anything we might call "justice."

After Tonya's acquittal, I spoke to one of the assistants of Carmen Rojas Rafter, the Senior Grievance Counsel of the Georgia State Bar, who made it absolutely clear that the bar had no problem whatsoever with what Arnt and Gregor were doing. "Hey," she said to me, "She was acquitted, wasn't she?"

I replied, "Yes, she was acquitted after she and her family forced to spend over a millions dollars just to fight charges that were transparently false." The assistant's answer was chilling: "Well, they (the prosecutors) were just doing their jobs."

She clearly did not like my response when I asked her if falsifying evidence, lying and suborning perjury fit into the "jobs" category of Georgia prosecutors. The assistant then hung up.

Readers should not be surprised when I say that it probably is more likely that your house will be attacked by a herd of rogue elephants than the Georgia State Bar will discipline a prosecutor. The "I've got your back" syndrome with the only Georgia authorities that do anything about prosecutorial misconduct is par for the course not only in Georgia, but also in the rest of the country.

It is human nature that when someone is given power and authority and there are no checks on that person's behavior, that sooner or later the person will abuse his or her authority. If a person can lie with impunity and never have to worry about facing punishment, then we should not be surprised when we find out that the person, well, lies with impunity.

In the case of prosecutors, we can see a pattern of self-selection of certain kinds of people into that line of work. The pay is not that good, so a talented lawyer is likely to try to find a position in a private law firm that pays better. Thus, we often see the ranks of prosecutors filled with people who are mediocre lawyers, but relish being able to bully others.

Even prosecutors who have a strong moral compass find that they will find themselves in situations in which they can compromise their ethical standards and get away with it, and the temptation to cut corners always is out there. Thus, even ethical people can succumb to the lure of winning and telling a few "white lies" in the process, and never having to worry about being caught.

Many prosecutors also have strong political ambitions. Arnt, for example, has long set his sights on higher office, and he had hoped to ride a high-profile conviction against Tonya Craft to better electoral fortunes. If that ride included lying, suborning perjury, helping to fabricate false evidence, and generally breaking the law at every turn, well, so be it. A prosecutor's gotta do what he's gotta do.

There is another problem, as the great attorney and civil libertarian Harvey Silverglate wrote in his book Three Felonies a Day: there is a "Gresham's Law" effect which especially is found in the ranks of federal prosecutors in which the liars and cheats drive out the honest people, who no longer can stomach the prospect of having to lie in order to "do his or her job." Over time, the ambitious and dishonest people rise to the top and push out prosecutors who actually believe in the Rule of Law.

A close friend who spent a year as an assistant district attorney after being graduated from law school told me that she had to get out because the mentality that permeated the office was intolerable for someone who actually cared about right and wrong. She said that she found herself seeing everyone else as a criminal and that "I was a hammer, and everyone else was a nail."

Had she stayed on, as do many prosecutors who don't have this woman's moral compass, one wonders if she would have become jaded and bitter and easily would have hidden exculpatory evidence or lied just to get a conviction. It was clear to her that she did not want to become another Chris Arnt or Len Gregor, who demonstrated during Tonya's trial what happens when prosecutorial misconduct and lies go unpunished. Had either men actually believe that he could lose his law license and maybe his freedom for lying, suborning perjury and fabricating evidence, would we have seen the proceedings turn into something that resembled a scene in "Animal House"?

In Matthew 20, Jesus tells his disciples that the ruler of the Gentiles loved to use their power over others. However, he added that his disciples were to have the heart "of a servant." in The United States of Ambition, we have corrupted the language to a point where those who lord it over everyone else call themselves "public servants" when, in fact, they are as ruthless and dishonest as those rulers of long ago that Jesus condemned.

This is the "justice" system we have today. It is populated with ambitious, dishonest people who know they won't face any consequences for lying and lawbreaking because the authorities have their backs. It is true in California, it is true in Georgia, and it is true everywhere in this country.

As I see it, only the Grace of God prevents the judicial system of this country from sinking even further into the sewer. Tonya Craft, in the end, was acquitted despite the best efforts of Arnt, Gregor, outhouse, the Georgia attorney general, and the Georgia State Bar. Every once in a while, the honest people win, and I thank God for those fleeting moments of justice.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Making Sense of the Chandra Levy Murder Verdict

After Tonya Craft's defense rested during her trial in Catoosa County, the prosecution had the opportunity to present rebuttal testimony. One of the things people wondered would be whether or not Chris Arnt and Len Gregor might try the "jumping on the bus" tactic in which someone who had shared a cell with Tonya after her arrest -- albeit briefly -- would testify that Tonya had "confessed" to her that she had been molesting children.

Few things in criminal cases have less reliability and invite more prosecutorial misconduct than the "cellmate snitch" tactic. Called "jumping on the bus," what often happens is that prosecutors and police feed information to the cellmate who then testifies that the accused "confessed" to him (or her) all the details of the crime. In return, the person testifying receives benefits like early parole, or a favorable plea deal.

The practice is insidious because it invites the worst kind of prosecutorial misconduct: Prosecutors knowingly introducing perjury and playing a role in constructing testimony that they know is not true. Unfortunately, this happens all the time, and the courts refuse to put a stop to it. Award-winning journalist Bill Moushey explains how this tactic works in federal court:
In Florida, prisoners call the scam "jumping on the bus," and it is as tantalizing as it is perverse. Inmates in federal prisons barter or buy information that only an insider to a crime could know — often from informants with access to confidential federal crime files.

The prisoners memorize it and get others to do the same. Then, to win sentence reductions, they testify about crimes that might have been committed while they were in prison, by people they’ve never met, in places they’ve never been. The scam succeeds only because of the tacit approval of federal law enforcement officers.

Cocaine smuggler Jose Goyriena used "jump on the bus" testimony to help federal prosecutors put three men in prison for life, and he was set to do it again for prosecutors who promised to cut his 27 year sentence by 10 years or more.

Prosecutors knew Goyriena had bragged about his lies to cellmates, but the prosecutors didn’t reveal what they’d heard to any of the men Goyriena had helped condemn — violating one of the fundamental tenets of American justice. It was defense attorneys who finally caught Goyriena in the scam.
People remember when the murder of Chandra Levy hit the headlines almost a decade ago. Originally, the prime suspect was Congressman Gary Condit (D-California), who had engaged in an affair with Levy. While no evidence pointed to him, nonetheless the adverse publicity destroyed his political career.

This was a "cold case." There was no DNA evidence, no body, and nothing to tie the case to anyone. However, Levy's body later was found and interest in the case resurfaced. Finally, the D.C. police decided to charge Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, with the crime. Guandique already was serving time for attacking joggers in D.C., and Levy supposedly had been jogging when she disappeared, so the link seemed worthwhile.

However, police had no other evidence by which to tie Guandique to the crime. That was not a barrier, unfortunately, as police used the "cellmate snitch" practice to square the circle, and D.C. prosecutors last week got a conviction against him. According to the Christian Science Monitor:
Prosecutors Amanda Haines and Fernando Campoamor-Sanchez obtained a conviction even though they had no eyewitnesses and no DNA evidence linking Guandique to Levy. And Guandique never confessed to police. Prosecutors hung their hopes in large part on a former cellmate of Guandique, Armando Morales, who testified that Guandique confided in him that he killed Levy.

Morales said Guandique was worried about being labeled a rapist by fellow inmates if word got out that he was a suspect in the Levy case. According to Morales, Guandique admitted killing Levy as part of an attempted robbery, but said he never raped her.

The government also presented testimony from two women who were attacked by Guandique in May and July of 2001 in Rock Creek Park. In both cases, Guandique attacked the women from behind while they jogged on isolated trails but ran off after each woman fought him off.

Defense attorneys said Morales' testimony couldn't be trusted. They also pointed to DNA from an unknown male that was found on Levy's black running tights. The DNA matched neither Guandique nor Condit, and the defense said it was powerful evidence that the wrong person was on trial. Prosecutors argued the DNA was the result of contamination during the testing process.
I'm sorry, but this is not "evidence" in any sense of the word. Unfortunately, the "journalists" covering this story did not try to find out what kind of deal was struck for Morales in exchange for his testimony.

Somehow, I doubt seriously that Morales simply testified out of his great concern for justice. Furthermore, this kind of testimony has a long and sordid history of being pure and unadulterated perjury, and while one cannot prove a negative, it is better not to introduce it at all unless a prosecutor can be 100 percent sure of its veracity.

Obviously, I cannot say that Guandique is innocent of the crime, but I can say that the evidence against him easily could have been evidence against anyone else that prosecutors chose to put on trial. There really was nothing specific to tie him directly to this murder other than very questionable testimony.

Why did prosecutor do it? First, there was a lot of pressure to "solve" the case, and American prosecutors today no longer care whether or not the person convicted actually committed the crime. No, they are way beyond that point; any warm body will do, just as long as there are no political ramifications for going after the wrong person.

Second, the courts are eager not only to "solve" cold cases, but also to allow in testimony that does not even fall into the "questionable" category. For all of the supposed sophistication of modern evidence gathering (as seen on TV), American courts today are quite primitive. Prosecutors, judges, and the compliant media are willing to let in outright lies or testimony that does not pass a smell test and then claim that brilliant sleuthing has "cracked" a case. It is a sign of the times, and the sign is sinister.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are celebrating our Thanksgiving at my parents' place on Lookout Mountain, and I am glad that the LMJC (where my parents live) is a bit safer than it was last year.

I'm also thankful that Tonya Craft is free, that Eric Echols no longer faces false charges, and that Tonya has some normalcy with her family.

I also am thankful that the monster, Chris Arnt, has seen his political ambitions damaged to the point where I doubt he could be elected dogcatcher.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Journalists, Privacy, Progressivism, and Subservience to the State

[Update, November 24, 11:30 AM]: Like Pavlov's dog salivating at the bell, the New York Times has weighed in on the TSA nonsense and, not surprisingly, claims that any opposition is just a right-wing plot by Congressional Republicans. Yes, the newspaper that gave us the Duke Lacrosse lies now claims that sexual assault and porn scanners are just fine if they are in an airport, and that little old ladies from Iowa really are a threat.

My response is here.[End Update]

As one who grew up reading the Chattanooga Times most of my life, I have come to understand the so-called Progressivist mindset which takes an out-and-out religious view of state power (or state power in the hands of the "right" people). While the newspaper itself claims to be secular, there is no doubt that over the years, it has promoted the Religion of the "Progressive" State and State Power both in its news columns and on the editorial page.

These days the old Times and Free Press now are owned by folks in Arkansas and the editorial pages are run by the old editors, but the Progressivism remains. I especially was curious to see how the editorial writers of the Times side of the TFP would handle the outright sexual assault that is occurring at the nation's airports.

No paper excoriates the "gulf" between the wealthy and poor (except it champions George Soros, the billionaire champion of the hard left) more than the TFP, and no paper is more politically correct when it comes to the usual feminist canards of sexual assault and the intrusions of state power into private exchange. Here is an editorial page that professes to worship at the shrine of "good government" to a point that is utterly predictable.

So, I decided to do a search of its editorials to see if it had any editorial commentary on the airport assaults, and I will say that editors Harry Austin and Wes Hasden took exactly the stand I thought they would take. The editorial writers that are quick to demand that Americans' privacy be protected from "predatory" private enterprise suddenly declare that when we are bowing to the state, there is no privacy.

Even the title of its November 18 editorial is telling: "New, useful tools against terror." Yes, in order to fight "terror," the government must terrorize airline passengers. Furthermore, as readers will see in this editorial, literally EVERYTHING the government says is taken as absolute truth, and any dissension by mere mundanes is wrong and plays to terrorists. Don't take my word for it, as the opening paragraph says it all:
The U.S. government is required by law and by custom to balance the competing interests of public safety and individual privacy. The latest skirmish over the issue is taking place at the nation’s airports. The introduction of full-body scanners at many sites and the promise of more to come have prompted a noisy debate about the images produced by the machines. Privacy advocates call them invasive and demeaning. Federal officials say they are a necessary adjunct in the war on terror. On balance, the latter appear to have the stronger case.
Why is the government's case the "stronger" argument?
Scanner opponents, in fact, call the images a “virtual strip search.” That might be so, but the new technology also provides security personnel with an enhanced ability to detect items and materials that can be used by terrorists to destroy an aircraft in flight or otherwise create havoc. Many experts agree the new scanner might have helped detect the type of bomb concealed in the underwear of a would-be terrorist on a Detroit-bound flight last Christmas. That threat was not detected by screens in use then, but the bomber’s mission ultimately proved unsuccessful.
No, the "experts" can tell you that the so-called Underwear Bomber's apparatus would not have been detected by the porn scanners. Furthermore, the idea that travelers have to be humiliated by TSA goons because someone unsuccessfully tried to sneak a bomb in his underwear is becoming a tiresome mantra, but when a newspaper is promoting State Power, any mantra will do, I guess.

But, Austin and Hasden are not satisfied with giving us the "Underwear Bomber" line. No, there is much, much more:
The question, of course, is whether the utility of the machine outweighs the perceived or real intrusion of privacy the scanner images create. The TSA, mindful of the delicacy of the issues involved, has done as much as possible to minimize such dangers.

The image produced by the scanner, according to those who have viewed them, is detailed enough to detect various explosives, weapons, plastics, powders and other devices that can pose a threat. The outline, though, is vague and faces are blurred.

Moreover, the images are viewed by personnel at a distance from security stations where the scans are made. That makes it impossible to match a specific image with a particular person. Once viewed, scanned images are neither saved nor stored. That should provide a measure of comfort for those concerned about privacy. (Emphasis mine)
Yes, try telling that to the man whose urine bag was breached. Try telling that to the woman whose breasts were exposed by laughing TSA agents (none of whom were disciplined -- but the husband who complained was arrested).

For that matter, don't forget that TSA agents do not use "sterile" gloves, which means that it is very likely that they can spread infections (not that anyone at TSA would care). What I find ironic is that no one at the Times (which always is out front on supposed environmental and health matters) finds this to be a problem. Yes, the same newspaper that constantly is demanding new state "protections" against predatory private enterprise takes a powder when the state engages in unsafe health practices.

Let's be honest. The entire editorial is nothing more than a glorified TSA press release bolstered by the Religion of the Progressive State that characterizes most editorials on that page. In fact, much of what was in that press release -- er, editorial -- was not true. Images HAVE been saved. Furthermore, the newspaper that trumpets every perceived environmental and health threat (when it comes from private enterprise) suddenly parrots the government's line that the radiation coming from the porn scanners is "safe."

Of course, the TFP would not be complete without its "Worship the Obama administration -- or else" dictate:
If would-be airline passengers prefer not to be scanned, there is an alternative — what John Pistole, the TSA administrator, candidly admits is a more invasive patdown than those depicted on TV or in the movies. TSA agents will manually search an individual’s entire body, including breasts and groin. Those who don’t like the new scanners or the idea of full-body patdowns have another choice. They can travel by some means other than airplane. (Emphasis mine)
So, the TFP is on the record as endorsing what legally is sexual assault as an alternative, with the qualifier: If you don't like it, you don't have to fly.

So, we see the end game of Progressivism and its propagandists. It is this: State power is good. Submit. Private enterprise is evil. Government always protects you. And so on and on and on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In Praise of Judge Barry Steelman

[Update, Tuesday, November 23, 2:40 P<]: A Georgia judge has found Ron De Laby not guilty of felony witness intimidation. Ron is the person whose successful appeal of a wrongful indictment ultimately provided the legal basis for the quashing of the indictment against Eric Echols.

In the De Laby case, a private investigator was uncovering prosecutorial misconduct in a child molestation case in Forsythe County, and the prosecutors did what they did to Eric Echols: trump up false charges against him before he destroyed their case completely. The prosecutor was James Dunn, Chief ADA and primary instigator is Sandra Partridge, and the D.A. Is Penny Penn. These are dishonest, vindictive people and Partridge is especially bad, someone who is in the Chris Arnt and Len Gregor class.

Even though the original charges against Mr. De Laby were thrown out by an appeals court (which was the decision to which the judge in Mr. Echols' case referred), Dunn and Partridge re-indicted him on the SAME charges with the same information. In other words, they gave the courts the middle finger and did what they pleased.

Not surprisingly, the Georgia State Bar refuses to deal with these people who, according to the "watchdogs," are just "doing their jobs." [End Update]

As I watched the horror show that is the LMJC unfold last spring in "judge" Brian Outhouse's alleged courtroom, I realized that the LMJC is hopeless, absolutely hopeless. Outhouse and his handler, Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt, were trying to rig a conviction against Tonya Craft, only to have a jury which I'm sure that prosecutors and Outhouse thought was "safe" to return a "not guilty" verdict against Ms. Craft.

This was corruption at its worst, although I fear that what we saw in that Georgia courtroom is going to become the norm in this country in the near future. However, there are people who do stand against the tide, people who refuse to go along with the "new order" that prosecutors wish to impose on all of us. Apparently, Judge Barry Steelman is one of those people.

In a speech given this past Monday, he told the Chattanooga Pachyderm Club that he wants to "get it right," not simply get it done as quickly as possible, and for that I applaud him. The Chattanoogan reported:
Judge Steelman said, "We try to expedite our dockets, but we want to get it done right rather than doing it quick."

He added, "It is very, very important when a person's liberty is at stake that we get it right."
It is hard to underestimate how important Judge Steelman's statement really is. Outhouse knew that Tonya Craft's liberty was at stake, and he did everything to keep exculpatory evidence from the jury, and also to let in "evidence" he knew either was false or, at best, terribly tainted.

Let me put it another way. Outhouse KNEW (or at least should have known) that Ms. Craft was innocent, yet he tried to rig a conviction -- and that is exactly what he did. Furthermore, the prosecutors and their gaggle of perjuring witnesses knew Ms. Craft was innocent, yet they went along with the whole show. The gulf between Outhouse and his LMJC pals and Judge Steelman is so wide and deep that the people might as well be on different planets.

Imagine Judge Steelman having heard the Craft case. Does anyone think he would have put up with the "Animal House" antics of Facebook-Cruisemaster and "The Man"? Would he have endorsed the "I just remembered" perjury from Joal and Sarah Henke? Would he have supported the document that was fabricated to bolster the "hand rape" allegations that appeared from nowhere?

Somehow, I doubt that a man who wants to "get it right" would have kowtowed to prosecutors and let them run his courtroom in a high-profile trial. Furthermore, I would not be surprised if Judge Steelman actually permits exculpatory evidence to be shown to a jury, unlike Outhouse, who did everything he could to keep the truth out of that room and away from jurors.

I have no idea about the veracity of the other criminal court judges in Hamilton County, Tennessee. While I hope they have the same integrity as Judge Steelman has demonstrated, I simply cannot make that assessment without knowledge. My guess is that even on a bad day, the justice apparatus of Hamilton County would be infinitely better than the best day of a court in the LMJC.

There is something else to point out. Judge Steelman spoke to a Republican gathering, and Republicans always pride themselves on being "tough on crime," and all too often, "tough on crime" has translated into an outright assault on justice itself. I have no idea if Judge Steelman is a Republican or Democrat, and I really don't care; I do care about people in positions of power and authority doing what is right, even if what is right is unpopular.

I have received comments from people in the LMJC that they don't like my casting aspersions upon their conduct and how they do things in Northwest Georgia. All I can say is that if they are willing to put a man like "judge" Brian Outhouse into a black robe with their votes, and if the entire LMJC apparatus, from judges to bailiffs to people who clean courthouse bathrooms, was willing to participate in the outright corruption that was the Tonya Craft trial, then I really have nothing to say to those people who accept paychecks from that organization.

Yes, I know, there were and are people in that organization who have a moral compass, but they need to ask themselves why it is that the very, very worst got on top. And it is not just Tonya Craft. This judicial circuit has a horrible reputation and it is well-deserved.

So, let me ask the people of Northwest Georgia this question: Could Barry Steelman even be elected as a judge in the LMJC?

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Strange Case of Eric Echols, or the Anatomy of an Illegal Prosecution

I received a message this morning that a Georgia judge has quashed the criminal indictment against Eric Echols, which ends yet another sorry chapter in the discredited criminal case against Tonya Craft. While LMJC prosecutors have four years in which to re-indict Mr. Echols, they have a real problem and they know it: there is and was no basis for indictment, period.

Just because LMJC D.A. Buzz Franklin's pathetic minions have taken another shot does not mean I am dropping my scrutiny of his office and others in Northwest Georgia for this travesty. While Franklin and his "boss," ADA Chris Arnt (who really calls the shots in that office, and Franklin just does his bidding) most likely will respond with their usual "no comment" when handed their heads, in reality this is a huge blow to Arnt's political aspirations.

(I will deal with Arnt's ambitions in future posts, but suffice it to say that this guy had high hopes until he bent over to kiss the posteriors of Sandra Lamb, her father, Dewayne Wilson, and their friends. Sorry, fellow, bad choice. Call it a "bad touch.")

Let me now look at the case against Mr. Echols, or, more specifically, the non-case against him. His problems supposedly began with the "Mommie Dearest" incident when he served (legally) Sandra Lamb with some papers. In truth, Mr. Echols, a first-rate private investigator and an African-American, was quietly ripping up the guts of Arnt's case against Tonya Craft, and Arnt knew it.

If you have not seen the video of Sandra Lamb's 2009 racially-motivated assault on Mr. Echols, it is worth watching and can be seen here. In the video, Lamb then assaults Mr. Echols and calls him a "black bastard."

Legally, this is assault, and when accompanied by racial epithets is a hate crime under Georgia and federal law. However, given that Buzz Franklin and the LMJC are corrupt, prosecutors charged Mr. Echols with a crime. To compound matters, Sandra Lamb filed an assault charge against Mr. Echols, clearly lying on the police report, and then claiming that Arnt directed her actions.

Despite the fact that the sheet on which she made her accusation said that filing a false charge is a felony under Georgia law, Lamb filed charges against Mr. Echols that were contradicted by the video evidence. The way that Arnt and his friends reacted was to ignore the crimes that Lamb committed and charge Mr. Echols with felony witness tampering.

However, the "felony" apparently was recorded and when the recording and transcript of Mr. Echols' conversations with Jerry McDonald were made public, they also contradicted the substance of the charges. Furthermore, had this conversation been made available at the trial, it would have cast serious doubt on McDonald's crocodile tearful testimony that was replayed ad nauseum on television. So, what to do in the LMJC? Continue to run off the cliff, of course!

Once again, Chris Arnt's grand strategy crashed and burned just like everything else in the Tonya Craft case. Moreover, there is more work to do, as others in the LMJC are falsely charged, and compounding the problem is that there is not an honest person in a position of authority in the LMJC. Since we cannot appeal to the better side of people who don't have a better side, then the only other option is to expose the lies and the liars.

Congratulations to Mr. Echols, I guess. He finally can relax, but he also knows that the system of "justice" in Northwest Georgia is not in good hands. Not a good thing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Will Authorities in Hamilton County Ignore the Lawbreaking?

[Update, Friday, November 19, 11:45 AM]: According to the Twitter feeds, Joal Henke and Tonya Craft have reached a settlement, although the terms are not being made public. They have said they will tell the children of the decision, but the terms are confidential, having been reached after a lengthy in-chambers meeting this morning. [End Update]

At this writing, I have no idea how Judge Marie Williams will rule in Tonya Craft's custody case, some things have been established irrefutably: Joal and Sarah Henke conspired with Joal Henke's father to commit federal mortgage fraud, and Joal and Sarah Henke committed perjury. Both are crimes punishable by fines and prison.

Tonya's 30-day trial in Catoosa County established that she was not a child molester or a lawbreaker, but it also is clear that there was a lot of lawbreaking done by those who were accusing her, including the Henkes. Given the state of law in this country, I hardly am surprised when the innocent are charged with crimes while people who DO commit criminal acts are ignored.

I would not be beating this drum loudly if Joal and Sarah had not perjured themselves during Tonya Craft's trial in Catoosa County in an attempt to get Tonya out of the picture permanently with a life sentence. What they did was akin to an attempted murder, and their actions are not the kind of thing that one can or should ignore.

The Henkes and Mortgage Fraud

I first will look at the mortgage fraud, which Joal admitted under oath (although when Joal is under oath, it usually means he is lying). It is not hard to check the records, however, and if his father was the applicant for a VA loan, then we have prima facae evidence of fraud. I begin first with the federal statutes which are draconian:
By extending the federal fraud laws to cover mortgage fraud, FERA also increases the penalties faced by those charged for violating the law. Previously, a conviction for mortgage fraud may have resulted in no more than probation. Now, someone charged with mortgage fraud may face a maximum of 30 years in prison and up to $1 million fine.

Additionally, the statute of limitations for bringing a mortgage fraud claim has been extended from 5 years to 10 years, giving the DOJ a much greater opportunity to build a successful case against someone accused of committing the crime.
In Henke's case, this would not be hard to investigate, since the paperwork is easily made available. If Joal's father claimed in the application that he was going to live in the house and then did not live there, he has committed fraud. Furthermore, under federal conspiracy laws, if Joal and Sarah were aware of what was going on, then they also broke federal law.

Tennessee law is not as strict, as the prison sentences run from 3-7 years. However, because the loan in question was a VA loan, most likely this case would be prosecuted by federal authorities.

The Henkes and Perjury

Tennessee law defines perjury in the following way:
...perjury occurs when a person, with intent to deceive:

• makes a false statement, under oath;
• makes a statement, under oath, that confirms the truth of a false statement previously made and the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath; or
• makes a false statement, not under oath, but on an official document required or authorized by law to be made under oath and stating on its face that a false statement is subject to the penalties of perjury. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-16-702 (2007).

"Oath" means a solemn and formal undertaking to tell the truth and includes an equivalent affirmation permitted by law as a substitute for an oath administered by a person authorized by law to take statements under oath. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-16-703 (2007).

Perjury is basically lying under oath or on an official document. It is a Class A misdemeanor under normal circumstances. It is elevated to a Class E felony if committed on an application for a handgun carry permit or on a sexual offender registration form. Perjury can be aggravated under certain circumstances. According to Tennessee law, aggravated perjury (a Class D felony) is perjury plus:

• the false statement is made during or in connection with an official proceeding; and
• the false statement is material. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-16-703 (2007).
There is more:
"Material" means the statement, irrespective of its admissibility under the rules of evidence, could have affected the course or outcome of the official proceeding. "Official proceeding" means any type of administrative, executive, judicial, or legislative proceeding that is conducted before a public servant authorized by law to take statements under oath in that proceeding. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-16-701 (2007).

The main difference between perjury and aggravated perjury is the importance of the testimony. If the deceptive testimony could affect the outcome of the case, then the offense is aggravated perjury.
If the perjury is judged to be simple perjury, then it falls under the category of a misdemeanor in which a person serves a maximum of 11 months, 29 days. However, it the perjury is ruled to be "aggravated perjury" (in which the perjury could determine the outcome of a case), then it is a Class D felony with the following penalties:
Not less than two (2) years nor more than twelve (12) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless otherwise provided by statute
In reality, most prosecutors don't bring perjury charges, given that there is so much lying in the courts, but they will bring these charges in certain situations. Certainly in the Tonya Craft case, the perjury was what we call "material," that is, it potentially had an effect on the case's outcome.

We already know that Hamilton County DA Bill Cox is moving Heaven and Earth to prosecute teacher Stacy Swallows, yet Mr. Swallows harmed no one. I wonder, however, if Mr. Cox is going to ignore the felonious behavior that has gone on in the building where he works. My sense is that he will, which would say something about Mr. Cox's priorities.

Joal and Sarah won't have to worry about being prosecuted in Georgia, given that their perjury was suborned by prosecutors Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt and Len "The Man" Gregor. I don't know if they will be prosecuted in Tennessee, either, although any prosecutor who might want to investigate the mortgage fraud and perjury would find low-hanging fruit.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Truth for Tonya and Truth for the Rest of Us, Too

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.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Times-Free Press' Disgraceful Portrayal

I guess Joan Garrett of the Times-Free Press must be burning up the line with John Madewell of Channel 9, as her account of the Tuesday hearing paints a picture of a delusional and vengeful Tonya Craft throwing mud at her ex-husband and his wife in an attempt to take her children out of a loving, nurturing home. I guess this truly misleading article is what Todd Foster meant when he said in taking the top position at the paper that the TFP would be going after "sacred cows."

So, the TFP apparently thinks that Ms. Craft is a "sacred cow" that needs to be attacked. Conversely, Garrett and Foster try to portray a couple of perjurers -- Joal and Sarah Henke -- as wonderful, loving parents who just want what is best for their children. Thus, it is time to deconstruct this piece, which is every bit as disgusting as what Channel 9 did all through the Tonya Craft criminal trial last spring.

As I read through this piece, it strikes me that Garrett has managed to turn it into a "food fight" of "he said, she said" that makes up much of the sordid world of custody battles. Her article basically says that it is Joal's and Sarah's word against Tonya's -- as though there were no other documents in the case, and the current circuit court testimony is the only evidence available.

The story's bias is evident in its headline: "Craft's children doing fine, testimony in custody dispute shows." Granted, Garrett did not write the headline, but I believe it reflects the story. Keep in mind that the testimony did not "show" anything; some people testified who said they believed that the children were "doing fine," but there was no proof.

(From what I can see, Garrett does not need proof that the kids are OK, as she takes the word of a serial liar and adulterer and that of his friends. On the other hand, I doubt Tonya ever could "prove" her innocence to Garrett.)

The first paragraph demonstrates right away where this story is headed:
Tonya Craft's five-week trial on child molestation charges dredged up sordid, intimate details about her and her ex-husband's private lives, but some witnesses testifying in the couple's custody case say all the nastiness has not affected their children.
First, the spring trial produced real-live evidence against Joal for his serial adultery, but there was no proof actually given against Tonya except for Len Gregor's accusations of her wearing a thong and Joal's patently dishonest "I just remembered" testimony in which he claimed she had a lesbian affair with Jennifer Sullivan.

But the most telling paragraph is farther down in the story, when Garrett writes:
In a $25 million federal lawsuit filed against her accusers, Craft claims her ex-husband, the entire Catoosa County government and child therapists conspired to bring a false case against her by manipulating the children who accused her.
Most important, the lawsuit uses "conspiracy," but in the legal sense under federal law. Catoosa County is a defendant because Det. Tim Deal, who is being sued, is a Catoosa County employee. Nowhere in the suit does Ms. Craft claim that "the entire Catoosa County government and child therapists" were conspiring together, as though they had a huge meeting in a big auditorium and hatched out a dastardly plot.

Instead, under federal "conspiracy" laws, when people involved in lawbreaking have any kind of meeting at all, it is considered part of a "conspiracy." Yes, it is a very loose definition, but that's federal law for you.

Garrett goes on:
But during nearly three hours of questioning Tuesday, Henke said he never instigated nor drove the criminal case to court.

While making the children available for interviews and court appearances and also responding to subpoenas himself, he never spoke with his children about the allegation against their mother, he testified in court.

"It wasn't mine to stop," he said. "This wasn't about me. I was concerned with anything that would be of danger to my children. I reacted with the best I knew to do at that time, which was cooperation."

As much as he hated it, when his children had questions or were upset about the case, he said he told them they had to talk with a professional therapist.

"We sheltered them from the news. We sheltered them from the media. We avoided that. They didn't see computers, television," he said.

Now, he said he wants Craft to be involved in the children's lives but doesn't want her to be more involved than he is.
Apparently, Garrett has read nothing of the depositions and trial testimony. She says nothing of the numerous hours that Henke spent talking to people like Sandra Lamb and the Wilsons, who were driving the whole case. She says nothing about all of the times that Henke denied Tonya and her parents visitation rights -- and that, too, is part of the record, even if the Garrett wants to ignore it.

The "professional therapist" of whom he speaks is Laurie Evans, who was so notorious in this case that not even the prosecution -- which openly suborned perjury -- was willing to put her on the stand as a prosecution witness. (The defense subpoenaed her as a hostile witness, and she proved to put on quite a spectacle on the stand.) It was Evans who managed to get Tonya's daughter to claim that not only had Tonya molested her, but that Tonya's mother also got in on the act, something that not even the prosecution was willing to swallow.

Garrett's biased account continued with this gem:
At times during Henke's cross-examination Tuesday, one of Craft's attorney's, Scott King, became so animated and aggressive, Circuit Court Judge Marie Williams told him he had to calm down.

"We are going to switch examiners if you can't keep it together," Williams told King.
It would have been instructive to the readers to understand just why Scott King was zeroing in on Joal Henke, but Garrett ignored something that was very, very important.

Henke, as I noted in my earlier post, claimed under oath that Tonya had failed to take the children to the doctor (even for "baby care" visits) for three years, which he wanted the court to believe was "proof" of neglect.

Scott King, however, was ready and had the medical records of the children in front of him and he had Joal read the dates of the visits. You see, the official record demonstrated beyond a doubt that Henke was lying, and when Henke pretended that he was having a hard time reading those records, Scott King became aggressive in his questioning, and who could blame him? That was when Judge Marie Williams cautioned Mr. King.

Unfortunately, Garrett tried to portray Mr. King as an out-of-control lawyer attacking a loving and caring father who simply was standing up against an alleged child molester. In other words, Garrett deliberately presented a false picture of what was happening.

At this point, I admit that I have passionate feelings about this case, but those feelings are rooted in the facts of what happened. I'm angry about it because prosecutors knowingly brought false charges, prosecution witnesses committed perjury with full knowledge and encouragement of prosecutors and the judge, and the judge tried to rig a conviction.

Don't trust my word on this point. Read the material yourself. Read the depositions, the interviews with the children, the police reports, trial transcripts, news stories, and the literature on false accusations. Read Sandra Lamb's statement regarding Eric Echols, and then watch the video of her encounter with Mr. Echols and then try to reconcile the two; It cannot be done.

My point is that I don't believe in Tonya's innocence because she is attractive or because of personal relationships. I believed in her innocence long before I ever met her or talked to her. All it took was a look at the record, and I understood.

Unfortunately, Joan Garrett is not one of those people who apparently has looked at anything. In reading the article today, I get the sense that she believes that maybe, just maybe, it was a situation of Tonya Craft "beating the rap." In her view, Ms. Craft definitely is not a sympathetic character, but rather just another lowlife trying to manipulate the system to get her kids.

Yes, I know that reporters are busy (and so am I and so is everyone else), but for Garrett to give the account she did is unconscionable. If she claims that she is not familiar with the depositions and trial testimony, then perhaps she should give the trial coverage to someone who is familiar with the material. But whatever the reason, be it ignorance or malice, Garrett and the TFP have proven that they are trying their best to rival Channel 9 for the Slimy Coverage Award in this case.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

News Flash! Joal and Sarah Henke Lie Under Oath! (Not That Channel 9 Would Report It)

Tuesday's hearing in Judge Marie Williams' courtroom was about what I expected it to be. Joal Henke and his pregnant wife Sarah lied a lot. They lied under oath, and their friends (including a former minister at Eastwood Church) covered for them. In other words, it was business as usual with the Henkes and the Eastwood crowd. Don't forget that the Eastwood bunch tried to convince everyone Tonya Craft was a child molester, even though the evidence clearly showed otherwise.

Now, if you watched only Channel 9's coverage, you would think that Joal and Sarah are honest, God-fearing people who care only about the welfare of their children. You would have no idea that Tonya's attorneys caught Joal in lie after lie, and that the guy who "suddenly remembered" all sorts of scandalous things about Tonya at her criminal trial had severe memory lapse all through today's session. (Channel 3 has more accurate coverage, not surprisingly, given that Channel 9 worked hand-in-glove with the prosecution in the criminal trial, even giving sympathetic on-camera interviews with prosecutors Chris Arnt and Len Gregor after the acquittal.)

It is hard to know where to begin, but I will begin at one of the lies told by Joal, that being his falsification of his address in order to pull Tonya's children from the school where they were attending and enroll them in Westview School. Once again, as she had in her conversation with Eric Echols, principal Margo Williams denied telling Joal to do it -- which he continues to claim.

Mortgage Fraud, Henke Style

In Tuesday's testimony, we found that Joal's father purchased the house where he and Sarah live, as Joal apparently could not qualify for a loan. (Smart people, those mortgage lenders.)

The problem is that Joal's father got a VA loan, which requires the borrower to live in the residence, and the borrower is required to state that on the application. That Henke's father did NOT live in the house or even intend to live in the house is mortgage fraud, which is a felony punishable by several years in prison.

So, if federal prosecutors in Southeast Tennessee would like a slam-dunk case, they have one right in front of them. Joal Henke's father committed mortgage fraud, and Joal and Sarah Henke were partners-in-crime, and conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud also is a federal felony. Ah! Joal doesn't care where he breaks the law, just as long as he can be a lawbreaker!

Now, as I see it, not only should federal prosecutors be interested in this open fraud, but also the state board of realtors, as licensed real estate agents are not supposed to be committing mortgage fraud. Perhaps someone needs to notify the board of this transgression and let the board take another look at Joal's license.

Here is the Channel 3 tweet on that situation, including the editorial comment:

11:43am Joal's house purchased by his dad, dad lied to get VHA loan, said he would live there, not Joal. (That's a federal offense.)

The Showering Sarah

Before dealing with Sarah Henke's frequent showers with Tonya's daughter, let us deal with another lie that Sarah told under oath Tuesday. Henke told the court that she never tried to "replace" Tonya as the actual mother of Tonya's children.

Yet, all during the trial, Sarah Bass Henke had a Facebook page in which her signature photo showed her holding Tonya's daughter and it was clear on that page (which conveniently was taken down after Tonya's acquittal) that Henke was claiming those children as her own, and she even thanked God for "giving" her those children. The only reason I did not mention it on my blog -- and I did save what I could from it -- was that what Sarah Henke was doing was so vicious and so evil that I did not want Tonya even to look at a picture of another woman stealing her daughter -- and that is exactly what Sarah Henke was doing.

[Update]: It turns out I was wrong. Sarah Bass Henke has a current Facebook page, and she is pictured cuddling to Tonya's daughter. She also writes a number of things pertaining to Tonya's children (claiming them to be her own), saying things like trying to "be a yes mom today" and saying what a blessing it is to tuck in her children at night.

In other words, even now, even after claiming under oath that she and Joal are not engaged in parental alienation, she continues to claim that the children of Tonya Craft are her own. Folks, it doesn't get any more evil than what Sarah Bass Henke is doing -- and continues to do. [End Update]

So, for Sarah Bass Henke to tell the court under oath that she was not trying to cleverly push Tonya out of the picture is a lie, yet another lie on top of other lies. (For those who still might think Sarah was being naive, remember that after Tonya's acquittal, Sarah stood in the courtroom crying, and somehow I don't think these were tears of joy.)

When asked why she showered with Tonya's daughter, Henke once again went with the same perjury she used in Catoosa County: Tonya's children were dirty; they were unkempt; they had matted hair; they stank. Dear, caring Sarah was just showering with the child because Tonya Craft was such an uncaring, unfit mother that she let her own children be walking pigpens.

However, as I posted a few days ago, when Sarah was questioned by attorneys in a deposition in 2009, she did not use the "stinking children" defense. Instead, she said she was just helping the young girl clean shampoo from her hair and the like. It was only at the criminal trial -- and now at the custody hearing -- that Bass Henke tried to employ that rhetorical device known as the Big Lie.

Here is the Channel 3 tweet for the "shower" nonsense:

2:55pm Scott King asking Sarah Henke about showering with Tonya Craft's daughter. She says girl wasn't clean when they picked her up.

Joal Continues the "Neglect" Theme

Sarah was not the only person to push a false "Tonya neglected her children" theme, as Joal insisted that Tonya was refusing to give them even basic medical care by failing to take the children to the doctor even for checkups for three years. Tonya's attorney, Scott King, made short work of Henke's lies. This is from Channel 3's postings:

11:24am King is challenging Joal's statement that Tonya Craft didn't take kids for well child visits for three years.

11:27am Scott King making Joal Henke read kids' med charts. There was no three year gap in their health care.

11:29am Joal seems confused, trouble reading charts. KING: It's not that complicated. JUDGE: Easy, counselor.

So, picture the scene. Joal Henke tells the court that Tonya Craft did not take her children to the doctor for three years, and when Scott King produces the medical charts of the children that demonstrate conclusively that Henke is lying, Henke pretends he is having trouble reading the charts. It was yet another Gotcha! moment in the life of serial liar and adulterer, Joal Henke.

Joal Can't Recall Anything

During Tonya's criminal trial, Joal was a fount of "I just remembered," including recalling what clearly was a nonexistent lesbian affair Tonya allegedly had with her good friend, Jennifer Sullivan. (Notice that "judge" Brian Outhouse refused to allow Jennifer to testify on her behalf.)

However, in testimony Tuesday, Joal seemed stricken with memory loss. (I thought that a "world-class" athlete -- as Joal describes himself -- was disciplined.) Here are some Channel 3 tweets that demonstrate Joal's Alzheimer's act:

11:15am Scott King asking Joal Henke about his conversation with court-appointed therapist. He can't remember what he told her.

11:59am A lot of Joal Henke's answers include "I don't recall" or "I can't remember".

12:28pm Joal continues being "unable to recall" most of King's questions regarding Craft's parents' access to kids.

Why would Joal suddenly be forgetful? It seems that he openly had been violating the court order that Judge Marie Williams herself had set. Here are some more Channel 3 tweets:

11:34am Joal admits he lied on application to get kids in school they weren't zoned for; left mother's information blank on form. (Emphasis mine)

11:36am Tonya Craft had to get court order to access her kids school records.

11:38am Joal called Catoosa court to see if Tonya Craft violated bond by asking for their kids' school records.

11:52am Joal says he denied Craft visitation with their son on Mothers Day 2009. He can't remember why.

11:53am Joal also denied Craft visitation on Mothers Day 2010.

11:57am Joal also denied Tonya Craft's parents' request for time with kids on Mothers Day this year.

There was nothing in the court order signed by Judge Williams that allowed him to do the things he did, yet he did it with impunity. Furthermore, he lied about what he did and why he did it, and when confronted in a court of law, he suddenly got a bout of Alzheimer's Disease. I only can hope that Judge Williams understands that Henke has given her the middle finger, too, because he believes she will do nothing about it.

Joal's Lack-of-Character Witness

In Dennis Norwood's report in The Chattanoogan, he goes into detail about one of the "character" witnesses for the Henkes, Joshua McGiness, who was a former minister at Eastwood Church. According to The Chattanoogan:
A former minister at Eastwood Baptist Church where the Henkes attend, Joshua McGiness, also testified in support of his friend and former tae kwan do instructor, Joal. When attorney Clancy Covert asked him why he had attended the Craft criminal trial, he answered, “To support Joal and Sarah.”

Mr. McGuiness told the judge that while he respected Mr. Henke now, he had not always. Asked by Ms. Craft’s attorneys what changed his mind, McGuiness said, “It was the way he handled his divorce from Ms. Craft.” He stated he did not attend any of the divorce proceedings, but came to his feelings from hearing what Mr. Henke had to say in their church small group meetings. “We asked Joal some pretty tough questions,” he said.

Addressing both Sarah and Joal as to the issue of Sarah showering with the daughter, both said they found nothing wrong with the practice. Ms. Craft had earlier complained to authorities about this practice. It was only after a psychologist associated with the case told her to stop the practice that it ended, according to trial testimony.

As a former minister, Mr. McGuiness said he didn’t find anything wrong with the practice either, saying there were just too many variables and facets to look at.
I think that readers should know that Tonya was pretty much run out of Eastwood Church because she was divorcing Henke. Now, Tonya did not leave him for someone else; no, she left because Joal was sleeping around, abusing her, and then claiming he was a "changed man."

I'm sure that McGuiness would claim that Joal just wanted to "restore his marriage" or nonsense like that. I would put it much differently, and I think that what I am going to say pretty much describes Joal Henke.

Henke is both tenacious and competitive, but he also is a sociopath, a person who will look a person in the eye and then lie with the most sincere voice one can imagine. If he is caught in a lie, he simply tells another, and then another.

It was not that Joal wanted to keep Tonya as his wife because he loved her; he wanted to keep her around because for her to leave -- and leave with the children -- would be for him to lose, and one thing that Joal Henke cannot accept is losing. He was tenacious throughout the divorce proceedings, but when it was clear that Tonya had a stack of videotapes of him having sex with other women, even Henke realized that he was finished.

The faux child molestation case was just another example of him trying to beat Tonya -- because in his twisted mind, she "beat" him at something she she successfully divorced him and won the child custody rights. True, he could manipulate the people at Eastwood Church, and if McGuiness is typical of the kind of person who attends that "emergent church," then it is not hard to figure what is happening there, and why so many people there still insist beyond all reason that Tonya Craft was and is a child molester.

The Wednesday hearing is closed to the press and public because it will involve psychological reports of the children. I only hope that there is one more psychological report: about a certain sociopath named Joal Henke who is unfit to be anywhere but in a jail cell.

Tonya's Custody Hearing Begins Today

At long last, after delays and outright obstruction by Joal and Sarah Henke and their crack legal team, not to mention the lies that have come from that couple, Tonya Craft gets her day in Judge Marie Williams' Circuit Court. One only can hope that the court in Hamilton County has a better performance than what we saw in Catoosa County, "judge" Brian Outhouse presiding.

For anyone who has become cynical about what goes on in American courts today, the entire Tonya Craft saga of the past year provides ample ammunition for such a viewpoint. What are some things we have witnessed firsthand that make one wonder if any judge anywhere in this country has the will to do right? This only is a short list, but it is a beginning:
  • "judge" Brian Outhouse clearly tried to rig the proceedings in an attempt to engineer a conviction against Tonya, and the ashen expression on his face after the announcement of the verdict is proof that he had no intention of conducting a fair trial;
  • Prosecution witnesses committed perjury, something that has been documented in this blog many times. These are not mere "allegations" or possibilities of perjury; the proof is ironclad and the facts are indisputable;
  • Prosecutors lied, suborned perjury, fabricated false evidence, disrupted the proceedings (with encouragement from Outhouse), attacked the defense in violation of all ethical standards, as listed by the Georgia State Bar (not that anyone there cares about prosecutorial misconduct), and demonstrated themselves to be pathetic bullies;
  • "judge" Brian Outhouse time and again refused to let in exculpatory evidence, knowing that even a "law-and-order" appeals court would overturn a guilty verdict, but by then Ms. Craft would have served many years in prison;
  • A number of people in official positions either lied under oath or shaded the truth in violation of the law, including the prosecutors, Outhouse, and Det. Tim "Dirty" Deal, to name a few. Outhouse had unreported ex parte meetings (a violation of judicial ethics, not that anyone in authority in Georgia gives a damn about such things) with at least one prosecution witness (Sandra Lamb) and prosecutors Arnt and Gregor.
As I have said, these are not unfounded allegations; everything I have listed can be backed up with indisputable facts, and I can say confidently that there is much, much more. The system that put Tonya on trial, took away her children, and robbed her and her parents of their life savings and inheritance has proven to be so utterly corrupt that it is beyond any kind of redemption.

What I am saying is that the court system of the LMJC is on the same level with what existed in the old Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. It is no better, and, in fact, it is worse. Unlike "Dirty" Deal, no one in the U.S.S.R. or Nazi Germany claimed to be a "pro-life Christian," and unlike Outhouse, none of the people went to a local Baptist church. In other words, those court systems of those disgraced regimes made no claim to be doing real justice; they just had raw power and they used it how they wished.

So, Tonya Craft has been able to face down something akin to Roland Friesler's court, and still has prevailed. Today, she faces another situation and one only can hope that Judge Marie Williams will not reward Joal and Sarah Henke for committing perjury.

This last point is instructive. When people flout the law, as have Joal and his wife, they should not be praised or rewarded by judges or anyone else. The Henkes have no business having any children in their household, as they are open and arrogant lawbreakers, and they should be in prison, for perjury is a felony and both of them knew they were lying under oath.

I will go one step further. If Judge Williams grants custody to the Henkes, then she will be announcing to the entire world that perjury works, and will be encouraging future witnesses to lie with impunity.

What is at stake here is not simply a custody issue. What is at stake here is the truth. Courts are supposed to be places where the truth rises to the top, not sinks to the bottom.

I will go even further. There is no better lesson to teach young children than to demonstrate unequivocally that telling the truth is more important than anything else. Joal and Sarah Henke have told lies from the beginning, and I am sure that they will continue to lie (under oath) during these proceedings.

No one -- NO one -- should be rewarded for lying under oath in a situation like this. One hopes and prays that Judge Williams understands this point and does the right thing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Joal and Sarah Henke: Perjury in Their Own Words, Part III: "The Principal Told Me to Lie"

[Note]: The depositions are not directly related to the criminal charges against Tonya Craft, but, instead, we part of the custody battle that began after Ms. Craft was arrested in 2008. Joal and Sarah were demanding permanent custody of the Henke children, and the depositions are related to that case.

Keep in mind that Joal helped to orchestrate the false charges against Ms. Craft in part as a way to get her out of the picture permanently by having her go to prison for the rest of her life. (He was not the conductor, but played an important role.) [End Note]

After Tonya Craft's arrest in 2008, Joal and Sarah Henke were granted temporary custody of Tonya's (and Joal's) children. One of the first things Joal did was to take the children from the school where they were going and transfer them to Westview School.

There was one problem, however: Joal and Sarah did not live in the district where Westview was located, but for someone like Joal Henke, telling a lie was not a problem. Instead, he simply put a false address and enrolled the children.

As readers will see below, Joal claims that the principal of Westview, Margot Williams, told him to lie. As readers will see below, Joal's version of events differs from that of others. This is taken from the February 18, 2009, deposition. The "Q" is Cary King and "A" is Joal:

Q Have you ever lied on any application relating to the children's school?
A When we spoke with Margo Williams and asked her
Q Would you answer my question, please
A I am answering.
Q yes or no?
A: I am answering the question. I put yes to if we lived in the school district, and we put woody Hollow as the address. And the reason being is we asked the principal: If we cannot get a variance from the school board, we will move in with
her parents, if necessary, to be in that school system. So
Q But you never
A she said go ahead and put Woody Hollow, and if before school starts we have not done that, then then we would we would go from there.
Q All right. Are you done?
A So, yes, I did.
Q You done?
A Yes.
Q Okay. So you lied on your application?
A Yes. I
Q Okay. So you lied to the school

After an objection by Henke's attorney, Charles Dupree, the session continues:

Q See where it says signature of parent or guardian?
A oh, yes. That's my signature.
Q That is your signature. And you filled out this form here, correct?
A Yes, I did.
Q And about four rows down from the top, it says, student address, 9416 Woody Hollow?
A Correct.
Q So that was a lie, wasn't it?
A That was at the time is correct.
Q okay.
A That was not where we lived.
Q And it's still a lie, isn't it?
A Yes. We do not live there.
Q Okay. Have you ever lived at woody
Hollow at any time since these children were enrolled in that school?
A No. We have not.
Q Okay. And who lives at woody Hollow?
A My in-laws

In the July 24, 2009, deposition at Dupree's office, Cary King picks up on this subject. Because the transcript I have is scanned, in the interest of time, I cannot give a full Q and A. However, what transpired is the following:

  1. Henke continues to claim that the Westview principal, Margot Williams, told him it was OK to put down a fraudulent address;
  2. Cary King asks: "And if Margot Williams said that was not true, would she be lying? (Dupree objects);
  3. Henke replies, after Cary asks him again following the objection: "I suppose."
  4. Cary King then plays a recording of an interview between Eric Echols and Ms. Williams in which she emphatically answers "No" when Mr. Echols asks her if she told Joal that it was okay to put down "false information."
  5. Ms. Williams asks, "Why did he (Henke) tell you that?"

The subject is not covered further, although the CD of the recording made by Mr. Echols is listed as "Exhibit 9." I also will make one other point: Eric Echols was doing a very, very good job of not only uncovering the lies being told by prosecution witnesses and the police and prosecutors themselves, but also finding out past incidents of alleged "bad conduct" by Joal Henke.

Thus, I believe readers can understand why Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt and Tim "Dirty" Deal were anxious to get Mr. Echols out of the picture. That is why they trumped up charges against him, and that is why Buzz Franklin and his little minions have insisted on taking Mr. Echols to trial (which is scheduled to take place in March 2011).

So, if Ms. Williams is correct -- and I believe she is -- then we have yet another instance of Joal Henke lying under oath. This is what is called perjury. Of course, Joal and his attorney, Dupree, will claim that "it is just her word against his." That is true, but let me ask the readers this question: If you had to believe either Margot Williams or Joal Henke, which person would you believe?

I do hope that Judge Marie Williams and the other officials involved with this case will take a hard look at what Joal has said. Furthermore, I believe that every word Joal and Sarah Henke say in court needs to be scrutinized (for obvious reasons).

Further posts will deal with more of Henke's deceit.

Joal and Sarah Henke: Perjury in Their Own Words, Part II: Joal "Just Remembers" to Lie

In putting together posts of the lies that Joal and Sarah Henke told during depositions and the trial against Tonya Craft, Kerwyn and I have found it to be a more daunting task than we could have imagined. We have come to the conclusion that we cannot expose every lie, given that there are not enough bytes in the universe to handle all of that material.

However, with the Tonya-Joal child custody hearing scheduled this week in Judge Marie Williams' court in Hamilton County, we figured that we needed to get something in front of readers to give everyone the opportunity to judge Joal's credibility. That is why we had some of Sarah's falsehoods featured in this post, and now we turn to Joal.

First, there is no way to handle all of Joal Henke's lies in one post, given that I have no intention of competing with Moby Dick and War and Peace for length. Second, if we wait until we have compiled everything, Tonya's children will have grown up and will be celebrating their grandkids. Thus, we need to zero in on a few things.

In this post, I wish to zero in on Joal's April 23, 2010, testimony in which he claimed to have "just remembered" some pretty awful allegations against his former wife. As readers will see, what Joal says is highly questionable, and given that the testimony was drawn out by Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt and upheld by "judge" Brian Outhouse, the two of them are implicated in promoting perjured testimony, not that anyone in an official capacity in the State of Georgia gives a rip.

Almost immediately into the direct questioning, Arnt asks Henke about any allegations of pornography and other extra-sexual activities involving Tonya. Because the transcripts are scanned and not in a format I can copy, I will paraphrase, although I am making sure everything is correct.

Joal replies that Tonya got pornography tapes of women-on-women sex and she and Joal then watched the tape together. (This is something Tonya denies.) Then Arnt asks about an alleged "girls' night out" with her friend Jennifer Sullivan.

Henke replies that Tonya woke up in bed afterward with Jennifer, something that both women deny. It should be noted that "judge" Outhouse refused to let Jennifer Sullivan testify about the alleged incident, declaring, instead, that if Tonya had engaged in "bad acts," that these allegations were germane to the case, since they went to her character.

What is important to point out here is that when Henke was deposed by attorneys twice in 2009, Tonya's attorneys, Cary and Scott King, repeatedly questioned Henke about any affairs or sexual "incidents" that Tonya might have had with others. Henke said that he could not think of any.

Suddenly, he comes to testify and his memory "improves." In fact, Scott King reminded him that none of this material he suddenly was alleging was in any petition for custody, in the depositions, or any other legal document, and the depositions in February and July 2009 lasted for many hours. What was Joal Henke's response?

King: Okay. Have you told the detectives at any time about this pornographic material?

Henke: Just as coming into this trial and just remembering things.

King: So you just remembered it right when this trial started; is that right?

Henke: Probably in the last short while.

So, just as Sarah had "just remembered" that Tonya's daughter was dirty and smelly with matted hair (which is why Sarah claims to have showered and bathed with the little girl), Joal suddenly "remembers" all sorts of things about his ex-wife.

What makes this worse is that Joal Henke's allegations came out on direct with Chris Arnt. Remember that Arnt was familiar with Henke's previous testimony and with the materials regarding the custody fight and divorce, so Arnt also was fully aware that Henke never had alleged anything like he was claiming on April 23.

In other words, Arnt openly and knowingly suborned perjury, and "judge" Outhouse upheld it. This is significant, for in my mind, we are seeing a criminal conspiracy at work (not that it will be prosecuted, of course). The idea that Henke would have forgotten about something like what he had just alleged -- especially when it could have been used as ammunition in a custody battle -- just does not pass the smell test. Henke knew he was lying, Scott King knew Henke was lying, and, most important, Arnt and "judge" Outhouse knew Henke was lying.

Out of the mouth of babes

During Henke's cross examination, Scott King asked him if he had told his daughter that Tonya had lied to the police.

Henke: No
King: Do you know where Child #3 would have gotten that concept?
Henke: No.
King: Okay. Do you know why Child #3 would have said my daddy told me she (Tonya) lied to the police?
Henke: No.

(A few lines below)

King: Do you agree that that would have been a bad idea to tell Child #3 that her mommy had lied to the police prior to the forensic interview?
Henke: Yeah, yes, yes.

The interview to which they were referring is seen below when Tonya's daughter had her infamous "Who's on First" interview with Suzi Thorne, the high school graduate masquerading as a "forensic interviewer" for the Greenhouse and the CAC.

SUZIE: Okay, and you said you used to live with your mom?
CHILD #3: Yeah but she was lying to them.
SUZIE: [Tonya] was lying to who?
CHILD #3: The, uh, police.
SUZIE: What about [What was Tonya lying about]?
CHILD #3: They [police] asked her a question and she was just lying about it.
SUZIE: Well, what did [Tonya] lie [to police] about?
CHILD #3: I don’t know. She just lied about something.
SUZIE: Oh, you don’t know what she lied [to police] about?
CHILD #3: But my dad told me that she lied about something. (Emphasis mine)

So, according to Arnt, Len Gregor, and "judge" Outhouse, Tonya's daughter is a trusted source when she was claiming (after much coaching and manipulating) that her mother had molested her. However, when the child says that her father told her that her mother "lied to the police," that is discounted.

More to the point, Joal Henke contradicted his own daughter in court, and the prosecution went along with it. And why should we not be surprised, given that the prosecutors not only suborned perjury, but also lied to jurors during the closing arguments.

As for relevance in the upcoming custody hearing, it is clear that Joal Henke has engaged in Parent Alienation, and has been pretty successful at it, given that he is both dishonest and manipulative. Courts tend to take harsh action against parents who engage in this kind of conduct; we shall see if Judge Marie Williams takes a hard look at it, or gives Joal a free pass -- as so many other people have done.

We are not simply dealing with lies; no, we are dealing with pathological liars. There is a difference. People will lie at times when cornered, but from what I can gather, Joal Henke lies constantly, and given that the members of the LMJC prefer lies to the truth, I think we certainly can say that people like Arnt, Gregor, and "judge" Outhouse also fit into that category (and Buzz Franklin deserves at least an honorable mention).

In my next post, I will continue to deal with Joal's various contradictions in his testimonies.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Joal and Sarah Henke: Perjury in Their Own Words, Part I: Sarah's "Memories"

The supposed case against Tonya Craft was built on lies from Day One. However, those involved were not satisfied just with creating a foundation of lies; no, they kept trying to outdo themselves all the way past the trial, continuing to throw lies and half-truths into the mix in order to create what has been an ugly edifice.

Orchestrating the entire Symphony of Lies was Chris "Facebook-Cruisemaster" Arnt, with Sandra Lamb and her parents providing the background support, along with the Wilsons, the McDonalds, the CAC (which always is game for false accusations), Tim "Dirty" Deal, and one very pious woman whose brother and father send me nasty emails if I mention her name. These are people who knew from the start what they were doing, but they did not care. They wanted to win, destroy Tonya Craft's life, and claim victory.

Two other important people in that toxic mix have been Tonya's ex-husband, Joal "Homewrecker" Henke, who provided both lies and "I just remembered" comic relief, along with his wife, Sarah "Clean Shaven" Henke. Both of them lied under oath, and at the custody hearing scheduled for next week, I guarantee that both of them will continue to lie under oath, this time in Judge Marie Williams' court. Whether or not Judge Williams puts up with their deceit is another matter, but we do know that in Catoosa County, "judge" Brian Outhouse was a not-so-silent partner in enabling the Henkes and the rest of the prosecution team to turn the courtroom into the House of Lies.

I have been fortunate enough to gain possession of both the pre-trial depositions and the trial testimony of the Stinky Henkes and the smell has wafted all the way to Kerwyn's residence, and she has been giving these documents the flyspeck that only she can do, given her uncanny ability to sniff out details that even experienced attorneys might miss. While the length of the material could give even War and Peace a run, one thing has become abundantly clear: what the Henkes said at their depositions versus what they said under oath at trial are not even similar, except that the same people allegedly were occupying the Stinky Henke bodies.

In today's post, I deal with Sarah Henke's deposition and trial testimony, and later, I look at the conflicting words that Joal said under oath. I think it will be clear to the readers that there is a huge conflict between what was said under oath in February 17, 2009, and what was spoken under oath during the trial on April 23, 2010.

Sarah is not on Joal's witness list for the upcoming custody hearing, and I believe that readers will understand why after reading this post. However, I also think it is important for readers to remember that Sarah Henke is a nurse at Parkridge Hospital, and if someone will commit perjury in a court of law, it does not take much of an imagination to think that perhaps she might also make false statements on the legal documents with which she deals every day on the job.

Claims of "Vaginal Tearing"

Even though Sarah Henke is a nurse, she showed a lot of ignorance not only about the SANE exam of Tonya’s daughter, but also about the alleged injuries that were claimed. First, let us look at an exchange during the deposition:

Q Has Child #3 -- has anybody submitted Child #3 to a physical medical examination to confirm or deny whether or not there's any physical evidence of any sexual misconduct?
A yes
Q ok. And where was that conducted?
Q At the advocacy center
Q Advocacy center. And do you know the results of that examination
A yes
Q what were they
A Evidence of penetration
Q ok. And you say at the Advocacy Center. Was it by a doctor?
A I believe it was two nurses. However I do not know their (inaudible)
Q Two nurses.
A I do not know their credentials positively. I know there was one nurse.
Q What was the evidence, as you understand it, of penetration
A that there was some type of tearing
Q Some type of tearing of the vaginal area?
A Yes
Q Ok. Ok. And who is it that told you that there was a medical examination that showed there was tearing in the vagina?
A Joal
Q Joal. Ok. And who did he say told him
A. The advocacy center.
Q ok Has joal taken her to any private pediatrician or other physician to verify the results that these nurses allege occur?
A No


Here is her trial testimony under Chris Arnt’s questioning:

Q Now, Later on when Child #3 goes for a medical exam at the CAC in Ft. Oglethorpe did she request someone to go into that medical examination with her?
A Yes. She asked me to go in there with her.
Q And were you physically in the room while the medical exam was done?
A Yes
Q and at whose request was that?
A Child #3s

Notice that there are no “vaginal tearing” claims now. This whole thing is interesting because either Joal was lying to Sarah, or Sharon Anderson, the SANE, made a medical diagnosis, which she is not supposed to do.

However, if a child actually has a “vaginal tearing” injury, then it would be imperative for the parents to seek a medical exam for the girl. In fact, I cannot imagine Sharon Anderson not calling in a doctor if she had seen this kind of injury. Furthermore, Sarah Henke is a nurse and a nurse would have had an idea that she was dealing with something that required more medical help. I simply cannot imagine a nurse not doing something.

There also is another possibility. Someone is lying. Notice that Sarah claims that Joal told her about the alleged vaginal tearing, but even if Joal had said it, Sarah’s lack of curiosity is, to use Sharon Anderson’s own words, “highly suspicious.”

Showering and Bathing with Tonya’s Daughter

The “perfect storm” against Tonya Craft came with two situations. The first situation involved Sandra Lamb and her friends trying to find a way to have Tonya charged. (In other words, they had to plan their lies, with Steven Keith, Tim Deal, and Chris Arnt serving as the facilitators.)

The other side of the storm came when Tonya registered a complaint against Sarah Henke not only for showering with Tonya’s daughter (on a regular basis), but also for allegedly having the child help Sarah shave her own private parts. After Tonya filed with the authorities, Joal decided to turn around the situation, and that is when a flurry of phone calls went between him, Lamb, and others. (Yes, we have the phone records, and they made lots and lots and lots of calls to each other.)

Sarah’s deposition and trial testimony about this particular situation fall into the “mutually-exclusive” category. In other words, if one set of answers is true, then the other set must be false.

This is from the deposition:

Q. All right, you've indicated to me that there were too many times, too many numerous times to count how many there were. How many times would you say that you have bathed with her since may 30th, 2008?
A. You're saying a bath?
Q. A bath
A Twenty times
A Ok
A thats a guess
Q and how many times would you say you've showered with her since May 2008
A I said I couldn't count
Q. more than ten?
A yes
Q More than 20?
A Yes

Compare what she said under oath at the deposition with her trial testimony (also made under oath):

Q Ok. Now, let's talk about the showering stuff. Child #3 was how hold when she came to stay with you and Joal?
A A far as --
Q In may of 2008
A She was six
Q Ok. She was able to bathe herself at that point, correct?
A At that point she still -- I think she still needed assistance in the shower.
Q That's what you thought?
A uh-huh
Q Did you ask her?
A No
Q Ok. And what assistance did you give her while you were in the shower with her?
A I made sure the shampoo was out of her hair. I didn't bathe her. I made sure she was bathing herself, that's it
Q You started bathing with her about a month or so after you married Mr. Henke, correct
A It was about six months
Q So if Mr. Henke told us it was a month or two, that wouldn't be correct?
A It was during the Summer --
Q Ok
A -- After we got married
Q Did you talk to her about it before and say I want to bath with you, is that okay?
A We, we -- and I going to explain my answer. We--
Q If you can give me a yes or no first and then you're welcome to explain
A Ok. Say the question again
Q Did you talk to her first --
A yes
Q -- about whether she wanted you to bath with her?
A yes
Q ok
A And I am going to explain why we did decide to do that. Child #3 had been coming to our house. Her hair was matted. She was dirty. She was -- I could -- when she was sitting there I could smell her. Joal and I both could.


Joal said will you please teach her how to bathe. And we had done, you know, I let her take a bath by herself and she would do it and it was -- it just took a long time. So I just -- we talked, joal and I just talked and we asked, you know, Child #3 if she cared if we just took a shower and she didn't. I mean, have a problem.

Keep in mind that Sarah made no such claims during the deposition. Furthermore, no one had made any such claims until this testimony. (One of Tonya’s defense witnesses later testified that she never saw Tonya’s daughter in that condition. Is this something one can prove as a lie under oath? Clearly not, but let us just say that statements like this do not help establish Sarah Henke as a credible witness.

In fact, as Kerwyn noted the following in the document she sent to me:

There are 41 instances where she is questioned about taking a shower or bath with Child #3. SHE NEVER even hints it is because the child is dirty and smelled. There are 4 instances where they ask her if Child #3 was capable of bathing herself to which she says yes. (Emphasis mine)

Sarah’s Sudden Remembering of Injuries to Tonya’s Daughter

As Kerwyn and I have gone through Sarah Henke’s deposition, other than the claim of “vaginal tearing” which she admits not to have seen, she does not say at any time during the deposition that she observed vaginal injuries, redness, or anything else like that. From the deposition:

Q Ok. Now, when -- during visitiation, when Child #3 spent the night, were there ever occasions where you had to clean her up after she went to the restroom?
A. No
Q Help her wipe herself or anything like that
A. I have wiped her, her bottom.
Q. Ok. Has she ever had a rash or anything where you had to apply any medicine?
A. No
Q. Ok. When you help her wipe her bottom, do you use those wet wipes or do you use toilet tissue.
A I use toilet paper.
Q Ok. Has she asked you to help with that
A She -- she did. this has been a while ago, not recently
Q Have you ever noted whether she's had a rash in any area around in --
A I haven't looked
Q -- around her private area? Ok.

Compare that with her trial testimony:

Q You -- how often did you shower with Child #3?
A A few times a week.
Q a few times a week?
A uh-huh
Q saw her naked, I guess, at that point, correct
A yes
Q right. Never saw anything that concerned you in what you saw naked in terms of --
A Yes. One time or, actually two to three times she had come to our house and I remember one occasion she was getting into the shower and her outer -- her labia, the outer part of her private area was red and then she had complained. She said it hurts. And I thought, well, she's not showering correctly. And then probably two more times. I remember one time specifically she woke up in the middle of the night and she was crying and she was grabbing her privates saying it hurts, it hurts. And, you know, you don't suspect abuse. I mean, you just don't. I remember that night all I knew what to do is I let her take a bath. I didn't take it with her. I let her take a bath and that's the only think I knew to do.
Q Well, now, ma'am, we took a deposition of you --
A yes.
Q -- back last year, correct?
A Correct
Q Hours, correct?
A uh-huh
Q never mentioned that in there, did you?
A That's a good thing about depositions, you remember things afterwards.
Q oh, you remembered after the fact
A uh-huh
Q Was that after you spoke with the district Attorney's office?
A No. I've never spoke to them
Q Is that after you spoke to the detectives in the case?
A I didn't talk to any detectives about that.
Q Ok Have the detectives interviewed you?
A no
Q ok Did you mention it to Brandon Boggess (of Child Protective Services)?
A I had not remembered it at that time
Q oh, ok. You only remembered --
A it's something that you just think back in hindsight that you think, oh, my gosh, I remember this because at the time you didn't think it's important
Q Ok. And you were so concerned you took her to the doctor right away, right?
A Well, No, because I asked her if she -- if it hurt when she urinated. She said no. Usually by the time she left she was feeling better.
Q Well, you at least called Tonya and told her that you saw something that was bothering you right?
A no
Q well, who did you talk to about it?
A I just told Joal
Q Oh, you told Mr. Henke
A uh-huh
Q ok. He then, or course, talked to Tonya, right?
A no
Q He took her to the doctor, right?
A no
Q He must have then told Brandon Boggess when Brandon Boggess came there, right?
A like I said, this was --
Q is that a yes or a no, Ma'am
A Let me explain my answer
Q As soon as you give me a yes or a no you're welcome to
Q He did not talk to Brandon Boggess and the reason is Brandon Boggess came to our house in 2008, the summer of. Well, I guess it had happened before that, but I had not remembered that until actually just recently.
Q ok Mr. Henke spoke to the detectives in this case, correct?
A I assume, yes
Q Do you know if he told them this face?
A no
Q Ok, No, he didn't or no you don't know
A I don't know

Deposition NOTE: She never mentions, not in all the pages of her deposition any occasion where Child #3 woke up or had any redness. Also note, she again admits to having talked to Boggess a fact she denied repeatedly during the deposition. (Emphasis mine)

And there is more, this from questioning by Scott King:

Q You said that Child #3 told you that her vagina hurt during that --
A she said it hurts
Q Ok. So if she told us in her interview that she never told anybody that it hurt, that wouldn't have been true?
A She probably didn't remember that
Q Like you didn't remember, right?
A Yes
Q Got you. Now, when you thought of this incident you, of course, called the other side who had deposed you and said I thought of something else?
A. It was almost a year later that I remembered
Q Whenever it was
A The only thing I did was write it and give it to the DA
Q Oh, you did?
A And that as actually this week.
Q this week?
A uh-huh
Q did you send a copy to us?
A Was I suppose to?
Q I don't know. The question is did you
A I didn't.

(This information never was turned over to the defense. So, either the prosecution was trying to hide something, in violation of the law, or Sarah never gave them anything, and she was lying. Furthermore, the prosecution tried to run with it, which means that if Henke was lying, prosecutors suborned perjury, which not only is an ethical violation – not that anyone at the Georgia State Bar cares – but also a felony.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what is know as perjury. When asked how it was that her memory had improved so much at trial, she told attorney Cary King that the deposition itself had jogged her mind. My guess is that some meetings with her husband and others might have contributed to her “suddenly-clear” memory at the trial.

What makes this worse in my view is that Sarah Henke is in a profession in which she deals with legal documents all the time. It is imperative that nurses tell the truth, and if Henke will lie under oath, one should not be surprised if she lies when she does her charting or fills out other documents. If her supervisors at Parkridge Medical Center are not interested in Henke's lack of truthfulness, then it is apparent that they have no respect for their patients or the medical system.

Sarah Henke fully understood the stakes at hand. She had to have known that Tonya Craft was innocent, yet facing a lifetime in prison. Furthermore, all during the trial, Sarah had a picture on her Facebook page of her holding Tonya's daughter and basically claiming the child was her own. Why am I not surprised that this woman would lie under oath in order to destroy another person and to steal her children?

Monday's post will deal with Joal Henke's trial testimony and his testimony during the deposition.