Ryan Frederick Trial, Day 7, Being There

Part one of  John Wilburn’s account now posted, part two posted at 7 AM Thursday morning .

In the meantime, I was able to attend the afternoon session, after the Jury View of the house. Sometimes, you have to be there.

After the jury was brought in, Det. Roberts was called back to the stand questioned about the video of the re-enactment performed on March 20th of 2008 pursuant to a search warrant. Roberts testified the re-enactment varied from the actual night in a number of ways, that the light was on in a window which was not lit on Jan. 17, that the timing of the approach was more not the same, that the knock and announce was done slightly differently. With those differences understood the video was played, revealing egregious prosecutorial misconduct.

One other thing different was that the lower right panel of the door was missing from the beginning though obviously it was still there until knocked out by the battering ram on Jan. 17. The video was shot twice, and frm different angles, including from a separate camera inside the house.

One thing became immediately apparent in the video, and that was that the door, which was described as a four panel door actually was more complex. It had an arched window in the top, which was covered by a dark curtain on the night of the raid, but not in the video.  Most four panel doors have the horizontal middle bar even with the lockset. This one was different in that the horizontal bar was about a foot higher, even with the deadbolt lock, making the opening left by the missing lower panel about 8 inches higher than the doorknob. Because the opening was so large vertically, you could clearly see the forearm and hand of Det. Barone as he pantomimed breaching the door panel. His hand was at about the level of the doorknob, supporting Frederick’s contention that he thought he saw a hand reaching for the doorknob. Further,  the timing between breaching the door and the time the shot was called was only about a second.

When viewing the video from the inside of the house, through the missing panel, only Det. Roberts’ hand knocking on the storm door, and, after he opened it, Det. Barone’s hands using the the ram were visible, all other officers were lost in the darkness. Later, when the string was being used to estimate the trajectory, it was necessary to shine a light on the officer standing in for Det. Shivers to be seen.

On cross examination, Barcolletti questioned why, with all the effort to recreate exact placement of the officers and other details, the critical questionof the timing of the knock and announce procedure was not also done as it had happened.

After that, the prosecution rested.

The defense asked the judge to rule at that point that the prosecution had not made a case for marijuana manufacture with intent to distribute and asked that the charge be reduced to possession only. He also asked that the Capital Murder Charge be reduced to Second Degree murder. Findings of fact are supposed to be left to the jury, but sometimes these motions succeed when the judge believes that even if seen in best light, evidence does not support the charge. I expected her to leave the murder charge to the jury but to agree on the marijuana charge, but she denied both motions.

After that, the defense case began with two Sheriff’s Dept. Deputies and a Sheriff’s Lieutenant testifying to actions they took regarding other prisoners harassment of Frederick. They were not permitted to say what complaint Fredrick had made ot them, only on what actions they took, which were to make a complaint to the  Internal Affairs Department.  This was clearly a step toward discrediting the jailhouse snitch testimony from yesterday.

Following that, several of Frederick’s neighbors testified that they clearly heard the battering ram hitting Fredrick’s front and back doors, but did not hear the preceding knock and announce cycles. They did later hear the SWAT TEAM using bull horns. It seem no one but police officers and dogs heard those announcements.

Last for the day, Frederick’s supervisor from the Coca Cola company testified to his good work record and good relationships with their customers.

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23 Responses to Ryan Frederick Trial, Day 7, Being There

  1. Lima Charlie says:

    From my other post…

    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 neighbor 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…

    The defense witnesses from the CSO referred Mr. Frederick to their IA unit which would be consistent with RF having a complaint to file against a staff member as opposed to another inmate.

    Doc – what about the neighbors who heard voices which were attributable to an argument? If they heard it, shouldn’t have RF?

    The inside of the house was lit up more for the re-enactment than it was on the night in question because you have a video camera on the inside with a light source. It’s not an accurate relection of a dimly light living room and a well illuminated front porch.

    Doc – if they had to do two of run-throughs to get to the sequence that was used, what’s the big deal? Have you ever tried to get that many people together in one place to re-create a tragedy. How many times has a tv show, movie or commerical ever been shot on the first take. Remember – it was Brocoletti’s idea to publish the video, now HE (and apparently you and others here) wants perfection for what was originally intended to be an internal document used to bring the Commonwealth up to speed on the procedure that was used on 1/17/08.

  2. Lima Charlie says:

    “Libertarians believe in our exclusive ownership of our own lives and the equal personal ownership of others own lives. No one has the right to take the life of another, in whole or in part.”

    “…Thus, we have the absolute right to defend our lives and the property for which we have exchanged some portion of our lives.”

    So let me get this straight…does this mean Libertarians can shoot people when they are on the other side of a door before they understand what the intent is (assuming they don’t already know)?

    Is it okay with Libertarians to use, grow and sell marijuana?

    Do Libertarians thinks it’s okay to use deadly force to defend property?

    What about the rule of law?

  3. ktc2 says:

    LC,

    Hey it works for cops:

    http://www.theagitator.com/2008/08/05/lima-ohio-swat-officer-acquitted-in-the-killing-of-tarika-wilson/

    This officer fired blindly through a wall and murdered an innocent woman on her knees and maimed and permanently disfigured her infant daughter.

    Yes, it is perfectly okay with libertarians to grow, sell and use marijuana.

    Yes, we absolutely believe it’s okay to use deadly force to defend property.

    The rule of law? There can be no moral obligation to obey an immoral law.

  4. supercat says:

    So let me get this straight…does this mean Libertarians can shoot people when they are on the other side of a door before they understand what the intent is (assuming they don’t already know)?

    If the other people have breached the door, and haven’t taken reasonable efforts to identify themselves as police (e.g. using a bullhorn, telephoning the suspect, inviting the suspect to call 911 (having made arrangements with the 911 operator in advance), etc., then yes they should be at risk of being shot.

    Let me turn the question around: should a gang of crooks that buys some dime-store badges be allowed to break into people’s homes with impunity and disarm the occupants? Or should the occupants hand over their guns “bullets first”? I would suggest the latter would be far preferable. Would you disagree?

    If homeowners are supposed to be secure against crooks with dime-store badges, would it not make sense to require police to act in a manner distinct from such crooks? If the actions of police are indistinguishable from those of phony-badge crooks, why should they not be regarded as the latter?

    What about the rule of law?

    The Supreme Law of the Land explicitly states that unreasonable searches and seizures are illegitimate. Those who would engage in illegitimate searches and seizures are totalitarian anarchists. Those who support the rule of law should oppose those agents of state who work against it.

  5. Zargon says:

    Shoot people on the other side of a door without knowing their intent? No. But assuming a group of men very quickly breaking your door down at 3am have hostile intentions is a good assumption indeed.

    Use, grow, sell marijuana? Why just marijuana?

    Deadly force to defend property? Check.

    The rule of law? First, it’s not a concept I subscribe to, but second, we have no rule of law in this country in the first place. The rule of law as a principle means that nobody is above the law, and very clearly in this country, some people are. Some people get to shoot blindly through doors and kill people, and some people do not. Some people get sovereign immunity, protecting them from criminal and/or civil liability while on the job, and some people do not. Some people get to use force and threats and torture to make people obey their commands, and some people do not.

    I don’t like the idea of the rule of law, but it would be a hell of a lot better than what we’ve got now.

  6. KBCraig says:

    Lima Charlie:
    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 neighbor six doors down that heard voices and then bangs.

    Please, someone get that neighbor tested for superhuman abilities! The other members of the raid team, just yards away, couldn’t hear either the knocks or announcements nor the “8-ball” call, but someone six doors away could hear all of the above?

  7. Scooby Doo says:

    Lima Charlie was ready to convict before any evidence was presented. His rantings cannot be taken seriously.

  8. Don Tabor says:

    Lima,

    I am reluctant to speak for all Libertarians, but we do share some common beliefs based on self ownership.

    We believe in the rule of law, but we hold that the rule of law restricts the actions of government as well as of individuals. Thus, while we do not support laws creating victimless crime, we advocate obedience to the law while working politically to change those which are unjust.

    We believe in the absolute right to protect our lives, so if one believes he is in peril, he may act to defend his life. Most Libertarians would agree that breaking into an occupied dwelling would constitute a real threat and it is the burden of the police, when forcing entry, to be absolutely certain the occupants know who is coming in and that their justification is valid.

    The defense of property is always a judgment call. Whether deadly force is justified would depend on what is being stolen and what alternatives are available. A hooded criminal carrying off your life savings with no means available for identifying him or recovering the property legally through the courts would likely get shot. Someone stealing a candy bar from a convenience store who is on security video would be better handled by calling the police.

    Libertarians are generally the model of the reasonable man courts talk about, guided by principle and respect for life.

  9. price says:

    Whom ever,

    After reading notes from the trial I have a question. Did RF state he was growing maple trees and banana plants (or was that his sister)? IF RF stated this and then through his attorney admitted to growing marijuana through his hydroponic(sp)system, would you call him a liar too? Should the court give RF any more or less credit than Wright. just sitting on the fence.

    • Don Tabor says:

      I do not remember the source of the false statements about banana and maple trees, but if time permits (I am back at work today) I will look back and see if I can find out.

      However, there would be a big difference between a false statement by a proxy not under oath and lying under oath on the witness stand or in a sworn statement to police used to obtain a warrant.

  10. Price,

    He was growing all of the above. However, he did not have nearly as much marijuana as Wright said he did. I’ll go into more detail after the trial is over.

  11. Lima,

    Your precious witness six doors down, while she did say everything you say she did, also testified that she did not hear any announcements. The commotion she heard (according to her own testimony) was after the shooting had occurred.

    The kind of cherry picking you present in your comments will get you hired soon as a detective with the CPD.

  12. ktc2 says:

    Rick,

    What makes you think he isn’t working for them already?

  13. Bill says:

    LC, let’s drop the “shooting through a door” thing; you yourself acknowledge that Frederick shot through a “gaping hole” in the door. We can still argue intent, and what Frederick believed when he pulled the trigger, but let’s stop giving the false impression that he fired through a closed, intact door.

    Now, assuming your question about libertarian philosophy is sincere, libertarians believe that no one has the right to INITIATE the use of force against another. That means that as long as I am not harming you, what I do with my life is my own business. So libertarians oppose laws against consensual crimes such as drug use, prostitution and gambling, because enforcement of such laws would require the government to initiate force against someone. That does NOT mean that we support drugs, prostitution or gambling–it just means we don’t believe they should be illegal. Libertarians do support the right to self-defense, which to some degree would extend to property. They only oppose the initiation of force; use of force in self-defense is acceptable, because the attacker initiated the violence.

  14. Charlie says:

    I dont remember the neighbor six doors down saying anything about hearing bangs, she did however(by her own testimony) hear commotion, seeing a body being dragged, hearing we need a med pack, seeing Ryan being taken away, then seeing the SWAT team arrive and thats when she heard the SWAT team say through a bull horn come out with your hands up,at this point Ryan had already been taken into custody…If Im not mistaken it was the neighbors 2 and three doors down that heard bangs….too many people trying to tell a story and it dont seem they are getting it right…I say Free Ryan!! And Like Rick said the commotion the neighbor six doors down heard was after the shooting had occured….Though I do feel bad for the Shivers family I believe this was a preventable death, things could have been done differently, as to not risk anyones life!!

  15. cem says:

    Dr Tabor: Your coverage as usual is the most comprehensive I read in any medium. Thank you for your time spent on this trial. I wish there was a fund just to keep you at the trial everyday. Once again, thanks……..

  16. ktc2,

    Lima Charlie is an expression mostly used in the Marine Corps, meaning loud and clear. I’m assuming he is a Marine, though I have not ruled out that he works for CPD. I know CPD and the prosecutor’s office visit my website often, though. I’ve researched the IP addresses.

    Hopefully they’re clicking my Amazon ads, and buying something. 😉

    • Don Tabor says:

      If indeed, Lima Charlie is an LEO, he remains welcome to comment here just like anyone else. I would prefer that those who do identify themselves as such, not by name if that would cause employment problems, but it is better that none of us fly false flags.

  17. I’ll start the (somewhat) full disclosure. I’m a database admin. I won’t say what company I work for, though. I also have a part time gig on the side, teaching clients Linux, and and designing custom web sites out of Content Management System platforms. In other words, I’m an I.T. guy/nerd.

    Beating back the predations of the police state is merely a hobby for me.

  18. claude says:

    Check it out:

    “The Latest: Frederick trial takes break to investigate witness credibility”

    http://www.wvec.com/news/chesapeake/stories/wvec_local_012909_frederick_witness_questions.1571b69e.html

  19. ktc2 says:

    Rick,

    Do they sell jackboots at amazon.com? 😉 LOL

  20. I will be at the courthouse when they resume at 2:00. This should be a lot of fun.

  21. John Sutton says:

    FACT Check

    from:
    http://hamptonroads.com/2008/01/im-not-murderer-they-make-me-out-be

    Det. Shivers was shot around 8:40pm EST
    Not 3:00am as some would keep implying.

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