Call for Disbarment

The Carpetbagger Prosecutors have been dishonorable from the very beginning of the ryan Frederick prosecution, but today, in court, it has become clear they have gone too far.

On March 20, 2008, using a search warrant specifying measurements, drawings and pictures of the property owned by Ryan Frederick, the prosecutors and police returned to 932 Redstart and performed a recreation of the events of the night of January 17th leading to the death of Detective Jarod Shivers. The re-enactment was recorded on video.

The defense argued that they were entitled to the video as it was the proceeds of the search warrant, but the prosecution argued that the video was their ‘work product’ for their own understanding of the event. Initially, Judge Arrington agreed with the prosecution that only those items listed on the warrant, measurements, drawings and pictures, were subject to discovery. There were none to turn over as the only record, we were told, was the video.

Early in the trial, the prosecution entered into evidence a picture from the re-enactment showing the positions of the officers. Also in the picture was a line, identified as a string, showing a possible trajectory of the fatal shot.  The defense reiterated its demand to see the video and any pictures, measurements or drawings obtained with the warrant. Again the prosecution denied there were any pictures taken other than the video and that the picture was as still from the video. This time, Judge Arrington ruled the defense could at least view the video to determine if any measurements were made as it was taken. But in arguing against admitting the video, Prosecutors Ebert and Conway denied any still pictures had been taken. Willet said nothing to the contrary.

Surprisingly, today, the prosecution entered the video into evidence, with the consent of the defense. I was there to watch. As the video played, I noted flashes from a camera. As the video progressed, there were at least fifty of these flashes. A photographer in a yellow windbreaker was visible several times taking still pictures, once even moving Prosecutor Ebert aside so he could line up his shot.

So, twice, in open court, the Prosecutors looked Judge Arrington in the eye and denied still pictures, which were clearly subject to discovery, existed, finally delivering them to the defense only after it became obvious when they saw the video that they did in fact exist.

Lying to the court, in an attempt to deny the defense relevant evidence to which it is entitled is a serious offense which should be sufficient offense to call for disbarment.

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21 Responses to Call for Disbarment

  1. claude says:

    “returned to 928 Redstart”

    932

  2. Lima Charlie says:

    Dr. Tabor:

    The prosecutors never denied the existence of pictures from the re-enactment. In fact, I believe that “pictures” and measurements were listed on the search warrant inventory return as filed with the court. They did state that the picture from the video was a still capture. All the prosecution ever wanted from the defense in exchange for the video was a concession that it would be entered into evidence, published to the jury and deemed admissable. Frankly, I think it’s damning evidence to the defense as it shows the gaping hole in the door and is demonstrative of the loud, repetitive knocks and announcements. Anyone sitting on that jury has got to be thinking, “How could he have not heard or seen it was the police?” There is just no reasonbable explanation that has been offered.

    Further, the defense put on nothing today that even puts a chip into the prosecution’s case which I feel is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The best one was the nieghbor six doors down that heard voices and then bangs. She, unlike the the other neighbors managed to hear the ambulance siren on Redstart that none of the neighbors on Redstart who testified today remembered hearing. Yet the defense is counting on these winesses to evidence what RF in the subject residence should have heard. The neighbor to the right who testified today was removed from the courtroom for a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath during the first day of jury selection. I wonder what his condition was the night of Jan. 17th…

    I am anxious to hear what the jury thinks.

  3. ktc2 says:

    Well if the best the lying prosecutors can do is put on a grieving widow and a bunch of paid liars from the jailhouse I’d say they have no case.

  4. ktc2 says:

    Not having been present I cannot say for certain if these scumbag prosecutors directly denies any photographs were taken or not. If they did, it’ll be in the transcript and they should be disbarred (but won’t be). I’d expect they used some weasel words, they’re lawyers after all, unless they’re totally stupid as well as evil.

  5. ktc2 says:

    Oh, and has anyone checked this LC’s IP address to see if he’s on the prosecutor/cop payroll?

  6. supercat says:

    Frankly, I think it’s damning evidence to the defense as it shows the gaping hole in the door and is demonstrative of the loud, repetitive knocks and announcements.

    How does a hole in the door demonstrate the announcements? A hole in the door would suggest that RF was probably not imagining that there were people trying to break into his house, but that would seem to be about it.

  7. Don Tabor says:

    Lima,

    Both John and I each heard Ebert and Conway deny there were any pictures other than the video.

  8. juris imprudent says:

    Ebert, the Nifong of Northern Virginia.

    I hope Lima Charlie is in LE. I’d hate to think of him actually serving on a jury.

  9. Lima Charlie says:

    Supercat…

    I’m telling you, if you could see the door up close, you would see what I am saying about the size of the opening relative to the overall door and relative to how close Frederick would have been standing to it at the time the first shot was fired. Not to mention he had the high ground and the best vantage point to see the illuminated front porch area when his backlighting appeared to be dim.

    I’d be interested to know Mr. Wilburn and Dr. Tabor’s opinion on this.

    All rhetoric aside, I honestly don’t see how this jury is to believe that RF couldn’t hear the announcements, didn’t know it was the police, that he was asleep in his bed and then, with a gaping hole in the door with Det. Walker continuing to announce, he fires without ID of a target through a huge hole in his door. The video of the re-enactment and the tour of the property had to be convincing evidence to the jury that he RF heard those announcements and knocks.

    Anything can happen with a jury, but I see a capital or 1st degree conviction at the very least. If I were Brocoletti, I’d be asking RF how much time he can live with and beg for a deal at this point.

    • Don Tabor says:

      Lima,

      Remember that the big hole in the door wasn’t there until the battering ram knocked it out. The shot Frederick fired came about a second or two after the ram.

      From the layout of the house, Frederick passed no front facing windows on his way to the door. The knock and announce of the team going to the back of the house was delayed, so there was never anything to call Frederick’s attention to the side or rear window.

      It would not have mattered if the police outside were in uniform, wore tactical vests, or clown suits, he could not have seen them them through the wall or door.

      I saw the video today and from the inside view, you could see Roberts hand knocking on the storm door (the panel was not in the door for the video) and then Barone’s hand and arm as he struck and withdrew the ram. Of course, Frederick could only have seen the second part when the panel was knocked out.

      The other officers were not illuminated by the porch light. You could not see re-enactor portraying Shivers until a separate light was shown on him to help align the string used in the picture.

      Remember that Det. Walker and Det. Duncan saw Frederick’s feet still coming toward the door as the panel broke out and he fired the shot, so he had just reached the room as the panel broke out and Barone’s hand near the door knob and the ram became visible.

      So, when exactly was he supposed to have identified them as police?

      An argument could be made that he fired too quickly, that he could have waited a bit more. I would disagree as the next blow would likely have finished opening the door, leaving him exposed to whoever was on the other side. But even if you take that position, the most you have there is manslaughter.

      It easy to stand there looking at the hole in the door in daylight and speculate about what could or should have been seen through it, but under the conditions of the raid, there was never an opportunity for Frederick to see anything. If he didn’t hear them, for whatever reason, he could not have seen anything to identify them.

  10. supercat says:

    Not to mention he had the high ground and the best vantage point to see the illuminated front porch area when his backlighting appeared to be dim.

    How far off the floor was the top of the hole in the door? How far off the floor was the lowest piece of insignia identifying Shivers as a police officer? From what I understand, the primary insignia would have been chest-high shoulder patches, and the hole in the door would have been waist high. If RF had the high ground, wouldn’t that make it impossible for him to see the insignia on Shivers’ uniform?

    All rhetoric aside, I honestly don’t see how this jury is to believe that RF couldn’t hear the announcements, didn’t know it was the police, that he was asleep in his bed and then, with a gaping hole in the door with Det. Walker continuing to announce, he fires without ID of a target through a huge hole in his door.

    Other officers had trouble hearing Shivers’ announcements despite being outside. Cops outside had difficulty recognizing the report from RF’s pistol as a gunshot. Compact .380 pistols are very loud. The only way officers outside could have failed to recognize the report as a gunshot would be if the walls were nearly soundproof. So how was RF supposed to have heard them?

  11. Bill says:

    It is interesting that we’ve so quickly gone from “he shot through a door, so how could he have known it wasn’t a Girl Scout selling cookies on the other side?” to “he shot through a GAPING HOLE, so how could he have NOT known it was the police?” Apparently any account is acceptable, as long as the police are the heroes and Frederick is the villain.

  12. Michael says:

    Lima Charlie seems like the guilty until proven innocent type. I would like it if ALL would refrain from making the jury’s decision for them, before the facts are ALL considered. I just want the facts, as presented. Lima’s opinion is so biased that I wonder why he wants to keep commenting on this rag!

  13. omar says:

    Disbarred for not making evidence available? Now we got “putting a known professional witness on the stand to knowingly present false evidence.” Not a legal term for sure, but damn, if you can’t see through that, you don’t deserve to be a lawyer.

    Good for the prosecutor who called the defense. I’m sure his career will suffer accordingly.

  14. If this case had an impartial judge trying the case on the facts today would have been the last day of the trial as it would have been thrown out for lack of actual evidence to sustain the charges.
    The actions of the prosecutors and the judge are an embarrassment to our system of governance.

  15. supercat says:

    Now we got “putting a known professional witness on the stand to knowingly present false evidence.” Not a legal term for sure, but damn, if you can’t see through that, you don’t deserve to be a lawyer.

    Suborning perjury would be a general term including such conduct.

    If this case had an impartial judge trying the case on the facts today would have been the last day of the trial as it would have been thrown out for lack of actual evidence to sustain the charges.

    I don’t think so. There appears to be clear and compelling evidence that Mr. Shivers is dead as an immediate consequence of a bullet fired by Mr. Frederick, and that Mr. Frederick fired deliberately and hit his deliberately-chosen target. I’m pretty sure the defense has essentially stipulated as much. Thus, the state has more than met its burden of proof in establishing a prima facie first-degree-murder case against Mr. Frederick.

    If Virginia is like most states, a claim of self-defense is an affirmative defense. The defense has to show that the defendant either had a reasonable fear of death or bodily harm, or had a reasonable fear that the target was going to engage in some specific crimes (e.g. arson). Although a prosecutor should decline to bring charges in cases of obvious self-defense, I don’t think it would be generally proper for a judge to dismiss charges (though a judge may decide that even viewed in the light most favorable to the state, the facts would support at most manslaughter or second-degree murder charge).

    That having been said, a judge should inform the jury that they must acquit if they find the police actions in this case to be unreasonable. If a judge were to himself declare the police actions to be patently unreasonable and dismiss on that basis, I would consider such action legitimate, but I would think it better to put the question to a jury first.

  16. Jack says:

    I find it odd that you call for the disbarment of the prosecutors, accusing them of lying, when I pointed out several instances of wilburn lying in his post and then you let him weasel out with a bunch of lame excuses for his actions. Do you think this is a joke? How are we supposed to take you seriously? You dont accept this behavior from others, yet you have no problem if someone who shares your view commits the same offense. You even gave him his own section. Doc, its not right.

  17. juris imprudent says:

    Jack, Jack, Jack – you still don’t get the difference about between a prosecutor telling lies to a court and a citizen lying (and then plainly correcting the “lie”) on the Internet? What an interesting world you must live in Jack. I’ve known major dope fiends with a better grasp on reality than you.

  18. ktc2 says:

    Supercat,

    It would be pretty damn impressive if he “hit his deliberately chosen target” as it was impossible to see Det. Shivers from Mr. Fredericks location. Even in the police re-enactment the only way they could get the guy playing Det. Shivers visible was to put a special light pointing at him that obviously wasn’t there at the time of the incident.

    So unless Mr. Frederick has bat sonar or ultravision your statement is provably false.

  19. John Sutton says:

    From:
    caselaw.findlaw.com/data2/virginiastatecases/1261972.doc

    Self defense in Virginia is an affirmative defense, the absence of which is not an element of murder. In making this plea a defendant implicitly admits the killing was intentional and assumes the burden of introducing evidence of justification or excuse that raises a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.

    The law of self defense is the law of necessity, and the necessity relied upon must not arise out of defendant’s own misconduct. Accordingly, a defendant must reasonably fear death or serious bodily harm to himself at the hands of his victim. It is not essential to the right of self defense that the danger should in fact exist. If it reasonably appears to a defendant that the danger exists, he has the right to defend against it to the same extent, and under the same rules, as would obtain in case the danger is real. A defendant may always act upon reasonable appearance of danger, and whether the danger is reasonably apparent is always to be determined from the viewpoint of the defendant at the time he acted. These ancient and well established principles have been recited to emphasize the subjective nature of the defense, and why it is an affirmative one. As Chief Justice Hudgins pointed out in Harper v. Commonwealth, 196 Va. 723, 731, 85 S.E.2d 249, 254 (1955): “‘What reasonably appeared to the accused at the time of the shooting, as creating the necessity for his act, is the test and not what reasonably appeared to him, provided it would so appear to some other reasonable person under similar circumstances.'”

    AND

    The subjective belief of the defendant, without more, however, is insufficient to establish self defense.
    In dealing with apparent danger the jury should be told that before an accused is justified in making an attack with a dangerous weapon upon his adversary he must honestly believe and must have reasonable cause to believe that he was in imminent danger of losing his life or suffering serious bodily injury. . . . “The bare fear that a man intends to commit murder, however well grounded, unaccompanied by any overt act indicative of such an intention, will not warrant killing the party by way of prevention.”

    Harper v. Commonwealth, 196 Va. 723, 730 31, 85 S.E.2d 249, 254 (1955) (citations omitted). A defendant’s “fear alone does not excuse the killing; there must be an overt act indicating the victim’s imminent intention to kill or seriously harm the accused.”

  20. Some Guy says:

    “a serious offense which should be sufficient offense to call far disbarment.”

    Disbarment hell, that’s obstruction of justice. Someone should be looking a jail time for that.

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