Ryan Frederick’s Day in Court is Ours as Well

On May 27th, Ryan Frederick is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on charges of first degree murder in the death of Det. Jarrod Shivers. We must hope this court appearance will end the wall of obfuscation and deception the Chesapeake Police have used to deny the right of citizen oversight of their actions on our behalf. Serious questions about the circumstances of Det. Shivers death remain unanswered, and Ryan Frederick’s rights, and by extension, those of every citizen, hang in the balance.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney will at last have to justify the improbable charge of Murder in the First Degree, which, even if the statements so far released by police spokesmen are taken to be the absolute truth, do not support the charge, as premeditation must be proven in First Degree Murder, and lacking any psychic abilities on the part of the prosecutor, there is no way to discern premeditation in this case.

Premeditation is usually proved by demonstrating a series of overt acts on the part of the accused that establish motive and anticipation of the act of murder. Such a series of actions is clearly missing in this case. Frederick did not know Det. Shivers, and did nothing to confront him, or any other law enforcement officer, and to the contrary, all of the overt acts leading to the death were committed by the police. Given the known circumstances of the shooting, the prosecutor would have to prove that Fredericks had formed the intention to shoot a policeman serving a warrant at some point and then waited for the opportunity. Given Frederick’s non-violent past and the absence of any evidence he was guilty of any serious crime beyond misdemeanor possession of marijuana(and thus would have reason to expect a police raid), only Fredericks himself could provide such testimony.

So, given the implausibility of the charge, we must question the motives of the police and prosecutor in continuing with such a gross overcharge. None of the possibilities cast a favorable light on our law enforcement officials.

One rational is that there is hope that the possibility of being convicted on a capital charge will frighten Frederick into accepting a plea to a lesser charge, (such as manslaughter rising out of negligence,) rather than have his day in court in hopes of being found not guilty based on self defense. It is not the proper duty of prosecutors to convict innocent citizens just for the sake of winning. Frederick was either acting in self defense, in which case Det. Shivers death is excusable, or he was negligent. A jury should decide if there is uncertainty in the mind of the prosecutor. Terrorizing Frederick into taking a deal is not a just outcome.

Another is that the police and prosecutor know that Frederick’s claim of self defense is valid, and that they will ultimately lose in court, and they simply wish to punish him anyway by keeping him in jail without bail for over a year awaiting trial, which is only possible if the first degree charge is kept in place. Using the technicalities of the legal system to exact vengeance on an innocent victim of police blunders would be most despicable of all.

Most frightening of all, for the rest of us, is the possibility that the prosecution intends to make the case that arming oneself to defend ones home is evidence of premeditation in and of itself. The consequences of that theory would be catastrophic to the rights of every Virginian who owns a firearm, or even a knife or bat. Equating the intention to defend one’s life and home with premeditation to commit murder if a mistaken identity leads to an accidental death would effectively deny the rights of self defense to all Virginians.

Several important questions regarding the death of Det. Shivers remain unanswered, though the answers are plainly known to the police.

It is time for the truth.

If those questions are not answered on May 27th, then the charge should be reduced by the judge to a more appropriate level and bail granted. If the answers to those questions are given, and support Frederick’s account of the incident, he should be immediately released with our apologies and all police and Commonwealth’s Attorney employees who have participated in the obfuscation and stonewalling these last four months should be disciplined.

Our Liberties are secured by the Rule of Law, and they are most endangered not by criminals, but by government agencies, which do not submit to that principle.

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16 Responses to Ryan Frederick’s Day in Court is Ours as Well

  1. Jon Harrell says:

    Militarisation of the police forces in the U.S. pose a great danger to citizens.
    I feel this may be a strong factor in the death of officer Shivers and the possible wrongful incarceration of Mr. Frederick. I appreciate your efforts in preserving liberty.I would also like to show my support.Are there any events planned for community support of Mr. Fredericks?If not, I may take the 27th off and show up at the court-house with a placard.

  2. Steve Riddick says:

    I applaud your effort to expose this true travesty of justice and to help support Ryan Frederick.
    Officer Shivers death was certainly a shame, especially the loss to his family and the fact that he was a veteran of the military.

  3. C. McNair says:

    Is there a way to show Ryan Fredericks that we are there to support him? Should we start an on-line petition to bring more attention to this matter? If so, how do we go about it? I truly feel sad for Det. Shivers and his family, and I am grateful that our police departments are there to help us in time of need, but I feel that the first degree murder charge of Ryan Fredericks is not just. If someone broke down my door in the middle of the night, I would be inclined to do exactly what Mr. Fredericks did. I thought the law stated that as long as the intruder is inside your house, you are justified if you have to shoot at them. It’s very unfortunate, though, that Mr. Fredericks’ shot was deadly. May 27 is close at hand. What can we do to show the courts that they are judging Mr. Fredericks too harshly. The wrong outcome in this case will impact every citizen who is put in a similar scenario.

  4. phyllis says:

    I know its really sad that the police officer died and his family has losted a loved one.
    But if the evidence was in the shed why would they barge in the guys house and if i was in his shoes I would have thought someone was breaking into my house too and I would have done the same thing especally these days and times. Theres no bringing back the officer. I feel they should’nt charge him of first degree murder. I just don’t think he would have done this on purpose. and if we can’t protect our own homes then who is!We all will just be robbed,raped and killed.and for police officers should think before they do. I watch cops all the time and some of the things they do to people are uncalled for and some of the things should be done. Well good luck to this young man.

  5. frank says:

    What time is the hearing? In which court room will the hearing be held?
    Thanks

  6. Don Tabor says:

    10 AM, May 27th, Chesapeake General District Court.

    I will attend and report on the hearing in this blog.

  7. frank says:

    Thanks~I hope to be there and see what Chesapeake justice looks like. It’s been ugly so far.

  8. John Wilburn says:

    Apparently justice in Chesapeake is still ugly – or non-existent. Charges of First Degree Murder & Use of a Firearm have been sent, by the, “judge” to the Grand Jury. Maybe those people will be sensible, and let this innocent young man go…

  9. Don Tabor says:

    Fellow Blogger Rick Caldwell(Infrequently Asked Questions) and I (Tidewater Liberty) sat for three hours in Courtroom A of the District Court, waiting to witness and report this hearing. The hearing was moved, without announcement or change in the posted docket to another courtroom, so we missed it. Rick had even checked with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office to be sure of the location. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for moving the hearing without notice or updating the docket.

    My father advised me to never assume malice when incompetence was an adequate explanation, and I lean toward giving our court officials the benefit of the doubt, but remember that the arraignment hearing was also rescheduled without notice.

    Ian Flemming advised that “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” The benefit of the doubt is about to run out.

  10. Ryan Frederick Preliminary Hearing Today…

    Today, a judge in Chesapeake certified the first degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony charges against Ryan Frederick. The next hearing is before the grand jury on 3 June….

  11. Debra L says:

    The change of courtroom without any announcement in such a sensitive case is truly disturbing news. I have been in court in Norfolk recently and have heard announcements by case name and courtroom number. How difficult would it be to announce for all parties in this case to report to the changed courtroom number?
    I have never thought about attending this hearing in person even though I am keenly interested in the case. Under the circumstances, perhaps it is our duty to do so. Keep up the good work gentlemen.

  12. Debra L says:

    I just read your post that the charges were certified. I’m beginning to feel afraid for Ryan Frederick, for anyone else who might find themselves facing the same charges. They are wrong and I am deeply concerned about what this means for the future. A sad day.

  13. slant says:

    Slant says : I absolutely agree with this !

  14. frank says:

    I attended the hearing. Luckily I asked at the metal detector where the Frederick’s hearing would be and was told the third floor. when the judge entered he explained that the appellate court had let him use that courtroom for this hearing, the assumption being that it would be crowded; it was not and now I know why.
    Officer Roberts who led the raid was the only witness. He said among other thing that Ryan had been under investigation since November. He said the investigation consisted of a few drive-bys, none of which turned up any thing suspicious as might be expected at a “drug house” worthy of a raid. Roberts also stated that the police checked his driving record and bank accounts, none of which looked suspicious, and upon cross- examination Roberts admitted that they knew Ryan had a gun permit. I found that quite interesting in that since they knew he had a gun why didn’t they go into the house when he was at work? The police knew where he worked and his hours, but no, they waited until they knew he was home. Officer Roberts testified that on the night of the raid the “team” got a call from another officer who was observing the house that Ryan’s car was in the drive way and that lights were on in two rooms. That’s when they went! It’s not like the marijuana growing operation was going with Ryan. This was not a hostage situation. This situation was not one terrorists making bombs or a murderer hiding out; it wasn’t even an opium den or a meth lab. It was an alleged marijuana growing operation out of a backyard garage, hardly an immediate threat to the safety and security of the neighborhood. Certainly 12 heavily armed men going in
    a house by busting down the door that is occupied by a man with a gun looking for marijuana is insanity. The Chesapeake police must have been “practicing” using Ryan as their guinea pig. To my knowledge no other city or even Chesapeake has conducted such a raid, or do they do it all the time and we just heard about this one because someone died? I doubt it.
    Ms. shivers should sue the City of Chesapeake, the Police Chief, the Chesapeake Police Department, and the person or persons who authorised and planned this home invasion. When the good guys become the bad guys we are all in trouble!

  15. frank says:

    The Prosecuted and the chesapeake Police are just trying to torment Ryan. They will keep him in jail as long as they can but the Constitution and justice will prevail. I hope!

  16. Shelley Fox says:

    It is amazing to me that most police/detectives do not follow-up on more important imformation after someone
    ( a c.i.) gives information to them. Follow up facts would substantiate the given information. I do not
    consider confirming an address, telephone number, etc.
    anything that confirms the accusation of illegal activity. Who was the moron in charge of giving the okay to perform this ridiculous, dangerous, unnecessary
    operation?
    I am so sorry that someone died. The sorrow deepens when it is so apparent that someone “at the top” lacked good reason and common sense as to sign off on a search warrant with nothing more than the word of an unreliable informant. Then, someone else in the police department’s chain of command signed off on the full extent of the procedure i.e. time, place, quantity of officers used, etc. with nothing more to go on than hearsay. Sounds as though someone was overzealous and bored. What a waste of time, resources, and lives. Seems as though
    law enforcement can just put a quarter in the machine and out comes a search warrant ! If policy is to blame …..then change it. Something is to blame….and it is not Ryan Frederick.

    The entire nation should be looking hard at this case. It will set a precedent nationwide.

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