Monday, December 12, 2011

New evidence for murder? Why do I have my doubts?

It seems as though the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit is gearing up for yet another trial in which prosecutors try to "prove" what they cannot prove honestly. They did it with Tonya Craft in 2010, they want to do it with James Combs, and now Dale Higgenbottom is in the dock.

The December 11 story in the Times-Free Press lays out the actual case in which Catoosa County authorities now are claiming that Higgenbottom murdered an infant named Christopher Breazeale in 1992. While I cannot claim to know if the charges are true, nonetheless the fact that Buzz Franklin's office is bringing them without revealing any new evidence is beyond troubling.

The first question I have, however, is this: Why does Vickie Scoggins have any say in this at all? This is the same Vickie Scoggins who swore up and down that the charges against Tonya Craft absolutely were true, the same Vickie Scoggins who worked closely with prosecutors Chris Arnt and Len Gregor and helped them to suborn perjury and went along with their lies.

Given the reprehensible and utterly dishonest conduct of Franklin's office all during the Craft case -- from before and during the trial -- one should question ANYTHING that these people do. Arnt could not even keep himself from lying to jurors in closing arguments, telling the Craft jury that Dr. Nancy Fajman had diagnosed injuries to one of the girls that had been caused by sexual abuse.

That Dr. Fajman had said exactly the opposite -- something that Arnt knew -- should tell us what we need to know about Buzz Franklin and people who work for him. Arnt and Gregor should have been disbarred for what they did during that trial and criminal charges filed against both of them. However, given that the "justice" system in the State of Georgia is run by, well, criminals, I guess that the Criminals In Charge decided to let criminal activity of their own get a free pass out of professional courtesy.

Now, neither Arnt nor Gregor will be prosecuting the Higgenbottom case. No, that has fallen to Alan Norton, who also is prosecuting the bogus case against James Combs. Because Norton works for Franklin and because he was the prosecutor against Eric Echols in which Norton was prepared to lie to jurors about what actually had occurred when Mr. Echols delivered some court papers to Sandra "Mommie Dearest" Lamb, I am not prepared to give him any benefit of the doubt. Which leads to my second question: Just what is this "new evidence" that Norton claims to have?

Let us keep some things in perspective here. First, "new evidence" with Franklin's people generally consists of those things the ancients once called lies. Remember the "new evidence" that Joal and Sarah Henke brought to the Craft trial? Yeah, both of them "just remembered" stuff that was 180 degrees from testimony they had given under oath a year before.

Gregor and Arnt were quick to use this "I just remembered" and "judge" brian outhouse was quick to give it his stamp of approval, even though all of them knew that the Henkes were lying. Observers in the courtroom were able to witness Arnt, Gregor, and outhouse commit a number of felonies by their bringing in the Henkes and their transparently dishonest testimony. Yes, suborning perjury in Georgia is a crime, although the authorities don't pursue it because if they did, there would be no prosecutors left to bring cases to trial in Georgia. Furthermore, because Gregor, Arnt, and outhouse had a number of illegal secret meetings before and during the trial to plan strategy, they participated in criminal conspiracy.

From what I can tell, Norton is going to have to fabricate something in the Higgenbottom case or suborn perjury. However, given that he works with Arnt and Gregor, I am sure that they have given him plenty of pointers on how to lie and break the law -- and not indict himself. According to the article in the TFP:
Alan Norton, a prosecutor from the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, said prosecutors are going to have to build their case by explaining what new evidence justifies bringing charges 19 years after the fact.

But he wouldn't say what new evidence they have.

Court documents filed by Higgenbottom's attorney say the state didn't preserve vital evidence -- X-ray photographs, original autopsy photographs and physical specimens -- and that the case is too cold to prosecute.

They also want to know why, if a caseworker had such strong suspicions about Christopher's death, the state waited 192 months to do anything about it.
Indeed, I also am suspicious. First, there are no "Perry Mason moments" in criminal court, even though outhouse tried to pull off something by letting in Joal Henke's "I just remembered" testimony and also allowing an obviously-fabricated document to be entered into evidence. If the prosecution has something, by law it MUST be shared with the defense, and that includes "new evidence."

Second, we are dealing with prosecutors and judges in North Georgia that long ago decided that they could make up the law as they go along, and that they had absolute power. Grand juries in that circuit will indict anything, as I doubt that anyone serving on those bodies actually has a clue about the law.

I have no idea what happened in the death of Christopher Breazeale -- and neither do Vickie Scoggins nor Alan Norton. That is why I have no doubt that unless there really is "new evidence" and a real-live smoking gun, Norton and his people will make it up as they go along and hope that jurors in the case are not as wise to their tactics as were the Tonya Craft jurors.


Anonymous said...

OMG, They are at it again, They never cease to amaze me. Someone has got to step up, and say enough is enough.. Thank Mr Anderson, for another great blog.

Anonymous said...

I know this comment is off topic, for which I apologize. It does concern egregious misconduct by a judge.

Are you going to write anything about Knoxville, Tennessee Superior Court Judge Richard Baumgartner? He was forced to resign from the bench and was disbarred because, among other things, he bought drugs from probationers in his court.

The verdicts in the Christian-Newsom torture-murders, the most horrific murder case in memory, have been overturned. There was no problem with the evidence, no prosecutorial misconduct, no juror misconduct, no new evidence of doubt about guilt brought forth. It is only the actions of the judge that has caused taxpayers money to be wasted and forced the parents of the victims to go through four trials again.

It should be remembered that in the second trial, the victims were slandered by the defense attorneys as druggies who brought it on themselves.

David In TN

Trish said...

The statement that Norton makes is the most bothersome of all!!! They really must think that no one in Catoosa County has a brain! No one wants to see a child die, absolutely no one, but every child that dies, does not do so by heinous means. They need to stop the witch hunts!!! There are accidents and sometimes those accidents lead to death, plain and simple!!

Anonymous said...

This is the same group that will charge an 18 year old male with statutory rape and child molestation for contact with a 14 year old, but allow a 28 year old Walker County deputy off the hook for contact with 14, 15, and 16 year olds. Who do you think is more of a threat to young girls?

Anonymous said...

Strange story. The only new evidence I seen is the chief medical examiner changing his mind about cause of death. It must be pointed out that he didn't do the actual autopsy. I'm unsure how this can go to trial with all the evidence loss and even if it does I cannot see how a jury can convict with the child injuries possibly coming from so many sources accidental or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

You Can bet The LMjC. Will find a way, to lie and have others lie for them. I would not want to be these people, when they stand before God. I would not be able to sleep at night, if I had done what these people have to Innocent people. These Judges and DA's & ADA, will pay one day.

Josh Wright said...

..just wanted to pass this along sir, this is one I can somewhat tell you I have iffy feelings about also, as I have seen and met this guy walking around ALOT and especially recently..

He does have a severe mental handicap, and is what is considered as 'slow' and he does randomly talk to anybody as he walks by them with headphones on usually and whatnot, he gets picked on alot, as well.. He does occasionally even go to the local parks as I believe the article mentions, as I myself have seen him there.. but its been the same guy doing the same thing around for years now.. he does it to all the local business owners too.. just walks up and continues on his way after randomly saying hi, like he knows you.. when he isnt really known by any of them.. etc..

This has an 'Alvin Ridley' feel to it..! Just sayin! (The article is quoted below)

"A Ringgold man was arrested Friday afternoon, Dec. 9, in the same location where, police say, he propositioned a young boy for sex a little more than two months ago.

According to the Ringgold Police Department:

Joseph Dewayne Lawson, 30, of Mark Lane in Ringgold was arrested about 3 p.m. on a felony charge of solicita-tion of sodomy stemming from an October complaint that he propositioned a 15-year-old boy for sex near Ringgold High School. Bond has not been set for Lawson at this time.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, a 15-year-old boy stated that he was walking after school near the intersection of Sparks Street and Nashville Street, when he was approached by Lawson

“The boy stated that he was approached by the man (Lawson), who asked him to lock him in a nearby portable toilet with a carabineer-type clip,” assistant chief Wilborn Dycus wrote in the report. “Before locking the subject in the portable toilet, the male wanted the boy to come inside the portable toilet with him and perform oral sex on him.”

A patrol of the area was made following the complaint, but no contact was made with a suspect at that time.

The boy then provided officers a description of the man, reports show.

Lawson, well-known for wandering throughout downtown Ringgold, was taken into custody at the corner of Sparks and Nashville streets on Friday, which is where police say the initial incident took place back in October.

“Today’s arrest was consistent positioning with the complaint we received in October,” said detective Patrick Mason. “That incident took place at the intersection near the high school right after school had let out … and today, we picked him up at that same corner waiting on school to let out.”

According to Ringgold police chief Dan Bilbrey, a warrant for Lawson’s arrest was obtained and officers quickly moved to locate him.

“We obtained the warrant we needed, and he was taken into custody shortly thereafter,” Bilbrey said.

Many Ringgold citizens and business owners have grown accustomed to seeing Lawson roam the streets of down-town, usually on foot, and almost always attempting to strike up conversation or asking for change.

“We felt that we had enough for the indictment and once that happened we got it taken care of,” Bilbrey said. “I’m proud of our guys for handling it as swiftly as they did, and we’re glad that a potential predator is off the streets.”"

Kerwyn said...

Hi all,

As I have not read the autopsy report I can only base my comments on the newspaper report. Based on the description given, this injury appears to be a typical "drop" injury.

A 4 year old is perfectly capable of lifting a 7lb baby. However, they grab at the waist causing the infant to fold forward. The rag doll effect is a good visual for this. As the infant is head heavy, they will slide out of the other child's grip landing face first on the floor.

This matches the described injuries. Remember, you don't need to fall far to create this type of injury, you simply have to fall "right".

I wonder if the prosecutor thinks he has an easy trial here since the original physician is dead and most of the autopsy evidence was destroyed.

Trish said...

Exactly Kerwin, it is just beyond me, that they claim it couldn't have happened. You are so right, they just have to fall "right". This is just another example of the idiots in Catoosa County that don't want to believe that an accident can happen and that sadly children die from accidents!!

Anonymous said...

Goodness gratuitous a SANE nurse doing pathology work. According to the GBI website Dr. Sperry has been a pathologist since 1985. In addition it says they have a doctor who specializes in pediatric pathology. From the newspaper article "Initially, doctors told Scoggins the injuries couldn't have been inflicted by a 4-year-old girl". I'll take their opinion based on looking at the records and the actual child over your assumption based off of comments on the newspaper report.

Trish said...

Really, well a four year old could drop a baby and result in a brain injury. It happens. I absolutely don't trust any of these people in Catoosa County and there are also doctors who think everything is child abuse, when it isn't. Accidents happen!!!!! I know of a little boy who was four at the time, who was knocked over by a dog on a sidewalk and suffered a severe head injury and almost died. Again, accidents happen!!!

Anonymous said...

There was no almost this time Trish. Was the case you are talking about prosecuted? Why don't you let both sides produce the facts before you cast judgement or make assumptions, isn't that what you ask for with your case?

Rob said...

@Anonymous at 10:45 PM on 12/23/11:

What exactly do you mean by "let both sides produce the facts"? Indeed, what exactly do you consider to be "fact"? Are pronouncements from "authorities" necessarily "facts"?

Trish said...

No, that case wasn't prosecuted, it was a dog, who were they going to prosecute? The fact is the mother stated the child was dropped by the four year old sister. This was 19 years ago, what new evidence do they have?? None!!! Most of what they did have they have already destroyed, why because there was no case to begin with. It was horrible accident, just as in my case and for the record, my case is over. It was an accident, plain and simple and I am not judging just stating my opinions on a very corrupt legal system in Catoosa County!! And why don't you quit being a chicken and hiding behind Anonymous!!