Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gregor: "I'm Not Obligated" to Obey the Law

If there has been one consistency in the Tonya Craft trial, it has been that the prosecutors have believed they are a law unto themselves, and Judge Brian House has done everything to stoke that fire. Thus, when Joal Henke suddenly "remembered" that Tonya had engaged in a lesbian affair, the prosecution (which I am sure had a hand in Henke "recovering" his memory) jumped on it as a "bad act."

(If I had a "minister of justice" title, as do prosecutors, I would want to make sure that I presented was true, as opposed to having to depend upon some lurid stories coming from the mouth of a man who was alleged to have multiple affairs while he was married to Tonya. Unfortunately, Facebook and The Man are interested in engaging in character assassination in hopes that the jury will buy what they are trying to sell.)

So, before his partner-in-crime, Chris "Facebook" Arnt was schooled in pediatric medicine, Len "The Man" Gregor decided that if a female ever has engaged in extra-marital sex, then she must be a child molester. Of course, since Jerry McDonald, who testified for the prosecution on Monday has some extra-marital issues of his own, I was surprised that Gregor did not leap from his seat, have Tim "Dirty" Deal arrest and handcuff McDonald, and then charge him with child molestation.

(Actually, in a moment before the trial began when he actually wanted to tell the truth, McDonald said to prosecutors that he believed that there was no molestation. However, after being told by prosecutors that he would be charged with obstruction of justice if he changed his mind, McDonald "got religion" and once again got with the prosecutors' program.)

Despite Channel 9's contention that Gregor's attempt to engage in character assassination with defense witness Paula "Dee" Potter was a brilliant legal show by The Man, in truth, the whole exchange demonstrated just how craven Gregor really is. Remember, the prosecution this past week introduced all sorts of hearsay (and hearsay of hearsay) "evidence" that it had not brought to discovery, including the unsubstantiated claim that Tonya Craft had a lesbian affair with a friend. (The friend, not to mention Ms. Craft and all her friends, deny that, but Judge Brian House refused to allow the defense any attempt to refute that accusation.)

Perhaps, the best example was given by the Times-Free Press in an account of the morning's proceedings:
Defense witness Paula "Dee" Potter took the stand this morning, testifying that she trusted Ms. Craft with her children and never heard any complaints that she mistreated any child at the house.

During his cross-examination of Ms. Potter, Mr. Gregor brought out a list of questions that questioned the character of Ms. Craft.

Mr. Gregor became angry when defense attorney Cary King objected to a question about Ms. Craft sending a promiscuous picture to a teenage boy, saying the state had not entered it as evidence.

"I’m not obligated to give them the material I’m using," Mr. Gregor said to Superior Court Judge Brian House.

Judge House agreed that Mr. Gregor could continue with his line of questioning.
Actually, in a court of law, he would have been required to give his material at discovery, as opposed to trying to spring surprises for the faux "Perry Mason Moment." However, he is in Brian House's court, which is increasingly looking like something from the Scottsboro Boys travesty.

As posted today in the Chattanoogan, Gregor went on a tear that demonstrated a sick streak of voyeurism, trying to claim that Ms. Craft must be a child molester, since she allegedly had an affair with Joal Henke when married to her first husband. (That Gregor would then claim that the morally-challenged Joal Henke is a trusted witness who always tells the truth and who is nice to children and puppies makes no sense if, according to his logic, people who ever do these things must molest children.)

However, Gregor decided he had not been depraved enough, so The Man then went on the following tear:
“Do you know anything about a time that Ms. Craft came to the door of her home dressed only in a towel to meet a first-time date?” “No, I do not,” said the witness.

Mr. Gregor asked, “Do you know any narcissists?” “No, I do not.”

“Would a good person molest a child?” “No.” “Would a good person insert a finger or thumb in a vagina or rectum?” “No.”
This is rich, really rich. Here is a prosecutor who bragged on a public forum that he loved his job because he gets to be "The Man." Gregor is not someone who should be calling someone else a narcissist.

By the way, a "good person" would not suborn perjury. A "good person" would not revel in the power of his position. A "good person" would not try to throw innocent people into prison. And a "good person" would obey the law. Enough said.


Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

So in Georgia, attorneys are allowed to ask questions which assume facts not in evidence?

This is the sort of thing that Joe McCarthy was accused of doing, until an Army lawyer asked: "Sir, have you no shame?"

Anonymous said...

Great work Bill! Check this case out: Herring v. State, 653 S.E.2d 494, 499 (Ga.Ct.App. 2008):

As it announced in opening argument, the State's theory was that because Herring [the defendant]
was incapable of forming adult sexual attachments, he was more likely to molest
children. By portraying Herring as sexually inexperienced and frustrated, the
State hoped to show that Herring had "a motive to engage in sexual behavior with a
weaker, compliant victim when suddenly presented with an opportunity"-that is,
that Herring's sexual disposition led him to commit the crime charged. This
topic was likewise impermissible in the absence of evidence linking it to the
charged offense. The trial court was therefore correct when it barred explicit
references to Herring's virginity, but erred when it allowed the State to inquire
in less specific ways about Herring's sexual history. See Simpson, 271 Ga. at
774(1), 523 S.E.2d 320 (interest in sexual activity does not justify admission of
evidence showing such interest in the absence of a link to the crime charged);
Tyler, 266 Ga.App. at 223(2), 596 S.E.2d 651 (although testimony that defendant
was himself a victim of child molestation "technically may not have constituted
bad character evidence," it placed character in issue "in a way that was clearly
harmful and irrelevant").

tandt said...

I have an odd feeling that the "gag order" will be violated again this evening. I can see the cocktails flowing & the comments beginning. Maybe that is why Gregor is having his "bladder" problems. Most men do not take 15-30 minutes to tee-tee. I think the liquor is effecting more than his mood.

Let the ignorance begin!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson, I applaud you for the time that you are spending on this situation. Also, you are a great writer and seem to be a very smart person. Now, I also applaud the coverage by Callie Starnes of WRCB TV in Chattanooga. However, they need an outsider as a legal analyst. Ken Poston is in the same position as the two detectives. It is humorous to see him sidestep the issue when he speaks. Does WRCB not realize that he is a Ringgold attorney and his living depends on performing in the Catoosa County Courthouse.

Denise C. said...

I just figured out why the prosecution has to take so many potty breaks. They have a Magic 8 Ball hid in the bathroom and they have to go and consult it to see what to do next.

Anonymous said...

LOL at Denise!!! Love it!!!

William L. Anderson said...

Thumbs up! Denise, I appreciate your wit! Thanks to so many of you for your contributions.

ihatecatoosa said...

Mr. Gregor became angry when defense attorney Cary King objected to a question about Ms. Craft sending a promiscuous picture to a teenage boy, saying the state had not entered it as evidence.

"I’m not obligated to give them the material I’m using," Mr. Gregor said to Superior Court Judge Brian House.

WHAT?! Isn't the prosecution required to give the defense everything they have & vice versa?

Denise C. said...

I appreciate the thumbs up, but Mr. Anderson deserves so much more credit than I could ever give. You have definitely been put where you are in life for this purpose. I sincerely believe that. I am just but a witness to what is happening. Mr. Anderson has played a major role in this atrocity being brought to the attention of people around the world. Without him there would have been no hope at all for Tonya. So a heart felt WOOHOO!!!! to Mr. Anderson.

tandt said...

Now I may just go down in the morning with my magic 8 ball, put it in the potty & take a pic. Good call Denise. I think it's a full moon tonight too, so just hang on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!!!

Anonymous said...

Someone please come to Catoosa County and make it another "Mississippi Burning" Hurry call in Gene Hackman and the Feds.

dmk said...

Although I don't have any information at all on the makeup of the jury, I think Gregor is making the common mistake of "if it worked before, it should work again". Here in the buckle of the Bible Belt where it's all about appearances, the puritanical streak runs strong, at least publicly. Out of the public eye, not so strong since there seems to be no shortage of naughty behavior all the way from the top political leadership of the state down to the common folks. "Who's doin' who this week?" is about as common of topic of conversation as "Where do y'all go to church?"

Any info on the makeup (ages, etc.) of the jury other than the gender breakdown which we already know? Thongs, bikinis, pole dancing, alleged threesomes, dirty dancing to hiphop music, etc. in the court transcripts may make for fine, errr "reading material", at a later date for Gregor, but I can't see it being too shocking for anyone middle-aged or younger and in touch with today's culture. Doesn't mean they will agree with it personally, but it is such a HUGE leap from there to what Tonya Craft stands accused of that it is ludicrous to try to make that link and makes the prosecution look very weak by trying to do so. In fact, get a juror who likes to live it up themselves a little bit on the sly, and they aren't going to take those insinuations very well.

Tonya Craft isn't some luckless poor invisible male that nobody has heard of and won't even bat an eye at as they are railroaded right out of town into prison. She held a respectable position in the community, has a large circle of respectable friends, and I'm guessing her attorneys did the best they could to get her a favorable jury. If at least a few of those jurors identify with her as one of them, then I think the most likely outcome is a hung jury. House will do everything in his power to browbeat them into a verdict, but given the seriousness of the charges, I don't think it will work.

It's getting way ahead of ourselves, but then the question becomes "what happens then?" I think as the pressure grows due to the fine work of Mr. Anderson and others, then this case just fades away from public view and finally gets quietly dropped over the strong objections of Arnt and Gregor by those in power who realize if you jump the shark once and live to tell the tale, you dang sure don't go looking for it again.

If God forbid there is a conviction, then the pressure becomes whether she will be allowed to be out on bond during the appeal. Again, the same scenario as above will come into play based on the work done here and other places.

I'm certainly not an attorney, but that's how I see it going down.

Denise C. said...

From what I could tell of the jury it is a broad range of ages. By the looks of them I would also dare to say a mix of lower and middle class people. A couple appear to be retired or near retirement.

ihatecatoosa said...

Not likely that she will be free while an appeal is filed. The jail may let so kindly allow her to stay in their accommodations until an appeal is heard.

Wonder where they would put her in the jail there because all the sex offenders are separate from the other inmates & she couldn't go in with the men.

Dan said...

@dmk Another potential outcome is a set of new charges being filed ... incest.

Reference HB 1183 Georgia which has already passed the Georgia Senate and is in the house.

This is called the "Georgia Incest Statute", which makes incest gender neutral.

The Children's Advocacy Centers originated both bills.

DISCLAIMER: I don't condone incest and especially sexual child abuse by a relative.

But one does have to wonder why this bill is making its way through the system at this time.

Anonymous said...

OMG...Here's a scary thought. Chris 'facebook' Arnt practicing as a pediatrition, considering this is where he received his schooling. His observation and treatment of children would include referring to them as 'pre-sluts' and teaching them the definition of 'Narcissist' with his assistant Len 'The Man' Gregor.
Let us all thank God he chose another profession. Although I wouldn't consider anything he is doing as professional.

May R said...

Mr. Anderson, what I like most regarding your blogging about this case is that you truly are a voice of reason. You see reports of what is going on from various sources, most of which are obviously in one corner or another, and sort it out. It matters that you have no dog in this hunt. Thank you so much for your interest, and your very interesting and informative blog.