John Wilburn’s Analysis of Ryan Frederick Trial

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*  A Review of the Trial of Ryan David Frederick, held in Chesapeake, Virginia,     *

*        between 20 January, 2009 and 4 February, 2009    –    Part One                  *

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* Opening Arguments – Wednesday, 21 January, 2009   *

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In his opening argument, Mr. James Willett (one of the three prosecutors from Prince William County) stated, among other things, that at the time of the police raid on his home;

1)   Mr. Frederick, “pulled the trigger in a blind angry rage.”

2)   Mr. Frederick was, “stoned out of his mind.”

3)   Mr. Frederick was, “in the clutches of drugs.”

4)   The magistrate said “yes” to the search warrant.

5)   The police made a plan which in their judgment was the best way.

6)   The police are experienced and well-trained.

7)   The police gave Mr. Frederick adequate warning.

8)   The police were aware of the burglary of Mr. Frederick’s garage.

****** Observation(s) ******

(1) Professor William Cooke, an expert in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Physiology, in his testimony on January 29, stated that marijuana causes a feeling of well-being (mild euphoria). He stated that not only do users NOT become violent, but generally they get “laid back.” He said that novice users can sometimes experience “mild paranoia.”

(2, 3) After examining a close up of Mr. Frederick’s eyes, in a picture taken shortly after the arrest, Prof. Cooke stated that he saw no redness in Mr. Frederick’s eyes that indicated recent marijuana use.

(2, 3) Detective Winkelspecht, in testimony on Monday, 26 January, 2009, stated that he interviewed Mr. Frederick about 10 minutes after his surrender and arrest.. He stated that Mr. Frederick’s responses to his questions were logical and coherent and were consistent with the questions (no indication of confusion or irrationality).

(2, 3) On the video of the second interview of Mr. Frederick by Detective(s) Downing and Thomas, Mr. Frederick was asked by Det. Downing if he was under the influence of drugs. His response was “no.” Det. Downing then stated, “You don’t appear to be, but I needed to get that out of the way.”

2, 3) There was no testimony by anyone, to indicate that Mr. Frederick was ever tested for drug use of any kind.

(4, 6) In testimony on 22 January 2009, Det. Roberts stated that an investigation of Mr. Fredericks showed that he had no criminal record, other than a couple minor traffic infractions. An investigation of his bank and real estate records showed nothing unusual. Surveillance of Mr. Frederick’s home (consisting of 2 or 3 drive-bys) showed no unusual activity. No under cover drug buys were done. The only “probable cause” presented to the magistrate, in order to obtain the search warrant, was the word of the “CI,” Steven Wright.

(4, cont) In his closing argument on 2 February, Mr. Conway (another of the three prosecutors from Prince William County) described Steven Wright as, “not a good guy,” that Mr. Wright had tried to get marijuana and money by turning in a friend, after stealing half of his marijuana. He said that it wasn’t easy to get the truth out of Mr. Wright, but that the prosecution finally put him on the stand because the prosecutors had, “finally squeezed the truth out of him.” (This, of course, in Mr. Conway’s judgment.)

(5) Because the police chose this method of serving the search warrant, considered the “best way” by them, an American Citizen was terrorized, and feared for his life in his own home, and defended his life with a firearm, resulting in the death of a police officer.

(7) Twenty-five seconds is not an adequate amount of time for the police to wait, before bashing an American Citizen’s door in, in a situation where the evidence cannot be flushed, there are no hostages, and there are no known dangerous criminals involved. It is abundantly obvious that the police had every intention of bashing Mr. Frederick’s door in, and had no intention of allowing him time to open the door voluntarily.

(8) Finally, the matter of the legality of the search warrant, and how the evidentiary requirements of “probable cause” were met, remains unanswered and unresolved…

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*  First Prosecution Witnesses – Thursday, 22 January, 2009  *

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First witness – Mrs. Nicole Shivers…

Mrs. Shivers testified about her marriage to Detective Jarrod Shivers.

The defense did not cross-examine, and Mrs. Shivers was excused.

Second witness – Captain James Dunlap

Commanding Officer of the CPD Special Investigations – Narcotics and Vice Unit.

Capt. Dunlap stated that SWAT was not on call on the night of 17 January, 2009 – the raid (allegedly consisting of 15 officers) was conducted by Special Investigations.

****** Observation ******

Even though this was not conducted “officially” as a “SWAT” raid, the method employed by “Special Investigations” personnel (with the exception of the absence of masks and all-black clothing), was virtually indistinguishable from a “SWAT” operation, and clearly served as a  practice for a “SWAT” operation.

This method caused an American citizen to fear for his life, and to feel the need to defend himself with a firearm. A police officer died as a result of this unnecessarily aggressive method, and  the Chesapeake Police Department bears most if not all the responsibility.

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Capt. Dunlap was excused.

Third Witness – Detective Kylie Roberts…

Narcotics Detective, Case Detective – Developed the plan for the raid on Mr. Frederick’s home, and obtained (thru questionable means) the search warrant.

Detective Roberts stated that the “Confidential Informant (CI)” reported a marijuana grow operation in a detached garage at 932 Redstart Ave, in November of 2007..

Once the “CI’s” report was made, the police conducted surveillance – consisting of 2 or 3 drive-bys of the property, where no unusual activity was noted. No undercover drug buys were made.

A bank records check was done, where nothing unusual was noted. A real estate check was done, where nothing unusual was noted. A DMV records check was done, where Mr. Frederick was found to have had a couple minor traffic infractions. A criminal records check showed that Mr. Frederick had no criminal record.

****** Observation ******

The only “probable cause” that was presented to the magistrate, in order to obtain the search warrant, was the word of the “CI,” Steven Wright. According to the direct testimony of Det. Roberts, no viable effort was made to confirm what Mr. Wright told police; what little effort that was made was cursory and slap-dash at best.

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As to the use of “Confidential Informants,” Det. Roberts testified that complete background checks are done on the potential “CI’s” to determine their suitability, and once determined to be acceptable, the “CI” signs a contract with the city of Chesapeake, and is paid by the city. He went on to say that the police protect the identity of the “CI.”

In regard to the raid of Mr. Frederick’s home on 17 January, 2008, Det. Roberts testified In that a pre-op briefing was held at the 2nd Precinct headquarters in the early evening of 17 January, 2008, prior to the raid.

He stated that there were 17 people present at the briefing. The briefing included maps and photos of the area around 932 Redstart Ave., including aerial photos. A risk assessment of the operation was done, with a numeric result of “7” – a result of “10” would have required a “SWAT” operation.

The plan that was developed by Det. Roberts required 15 officers divided into two entry teams, 9 officers to enter the front door of the home, and 6 officers to enter the detached garage, in the back yard, where the marijuana grow operation was believed to be. Both entry teams were in plainclothes, (excepting 2 officers in uniform) but were said to be wearing helmets and vests with “Police” written on them.

Det. Roberts was part of the front entry team; his job was to knock and announce the presence of the police, and to announce that they had a search warrant.

One officer in each team was designated “breacher” – to be used (to make a forced entry) if the door of the dwelling and/or detached garage was locked and not answered, or if an imminent threat was determined to be present. The front entry team allowed 25 seconds for the door to be answered prior to breaching it.

****** Observation ******

The plan was that the front door was to be breached first, to be immediately followed by the breaching of the detached garage door – this didn’t work out as planned, because the garage entry team was delayed getting into position due to having difficulty opening the gate into the back yard, as well as their inability to hear the front entry team.

Apparently, the raid was not as well planned as was asserted by the prosecution team…

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Det. Roberts testified that once everyone in the “stack” (front entry team) was in their assigned position, he knocked 2 times on the storm door, and announced each time, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” then he opened the storm door, and knocked on the vinyl trim, again announcing, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” The breacher, Det. Barone then knocked once on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Roberts knocked once again on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” then Det. Walker (located at the rear of the stack) announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!”

Roberts stated that at about this point, Det. Duncan (near the rear of the stack) announced, “eight-ball.” (Ostensibly, this is a code phrase that indicates that the raid has been compromised, i.e. that persons inside are aware that the police are present – which would seem to be the purpose of knocking and announcing…)

Det. Sgt Chambers told the team to disregard the “eight-ball” warning, and once a time limit of 25 seconds had been reached (approximately five seconds later), he told the breacher (Det. Barone) to “hit it.”

****** Observation ******

There was no attempt to open the door by simply trying the doorknob…

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Det. Roberts also said that Mr. Wright had told him that Mr. Frederick’s garage had been burglarized, but that he wasn’t aware that Mr. Wright was involved until “three months ago” (approx. 22 October, 2008). He said that he asked Mr. Wright “at least 15 times,” if he was involved in the burglary, but that Mr. Wright insisted that he wasn’t.

In obtaining the search warrant, Det. Roberts reported to the magistrate that the “CI” (Wright) had been in Mr. Frederick’s house, within the 72 hours prior to the warrant being issued.

****** Observation ******

It occurs to me that if he was suspicious enough to ask about Mr. Wright’s involvement in the burglary 15 times, then he should have been cautious enough to confirm the information provided, prior to risking his credibility, career and freedom, on Mr. Wright’s say so.

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On cross-examination by the defense, Det. Roberts said that Mr. Wright had been “debriefed” as a potential “CI” in November of 2007, and had signed a contract with the CPD as a paid “CI” on 22 December, 2007. He said that the rules of the contract had to be obeyed by the “CI” – that among other things, the “CI” could not violate the law, or give false information. He said that he didn’t have a copy of the contract that Mr. Wright had signed, but said that he could obtain one.

When questioned about the reenactment of the event, conducted by the CPD, Det. Roberts was unsure of the date, or even which month, it was conducted in…

The defense reserved the right to re-call Det. Roberts…

Fourth witness – Detective Michael Barone…

Narcotics Detective, allegedly acted in the capacity as the “breacher” (wielded the battering ram that knocked the hole in the door) for the front entry team. He stated that he noticed nothing unusual, in regard to the movement of the curtains in the window, to the left of the front door.

Det. Barone said that Det. Roberts knocked 2 times on the storm door, and announced each time, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” then he (Roberts) opened the storm door and knocked on the vinyl trim, again announcing, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then, Det. Barone knocked once on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Roberts knocked once again on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Walker (located at the rear of the stack) announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!”

At that point, Det. Duncan shouted “eight-ball,” and Det. Sgt. Chambers said “disregard..” After a few more seconds, Det. Sgt. Chambers ordered him (Barone) to “hit it.”

When questioned about the reenactment of the event, conducted by the CPD, Det. Barone was unsure of the date, or even which month, it was conducted in…

Det. Barone was excused.

Fifth witness Detective Sgt. Scott Chambers…

Narcotics Detective, acted in the capacity of Team Leader, for the front entry team.

Det.. Sgt. Chambers said that Det. Roberts knocked 2 times on the storm door, and announced each time, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” then he (Roberts) opened the storm door and knocked on the vinyl trim, again announcing, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then the breacher, Det. Barone, knocked once on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Roberts knocked once again on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Walker (located at the rear of the stack) announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!”

At that point, Det. Duncan shouted “eight-ball,” and Det. Sgt. Chambers said “disregard.” After a few more seconds, Det. Sgt. Chambers ordered Det.Barone to “hit it..”

When questioned about the reenactment of the event, conducted by the CPD, Det. Sgt. Chambers was unsure of the date, or even which month, it was conducted in…

Det. Sgt. Chambers was excused.

Sixth witness Detective Jennifer Walker…

Narcotics Detective, was in the trailing (rearmost) position in the “stack.”

Det. Walker said that Det. Roberts knocked 2 times on the storm door, and announced each time, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” then he (Roberts) opened the storm door and knocked on the vinyl trim, again announcing, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then the breacher, Det. Barone, knocked once on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Roberts knocked once again on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Walker (located at the rear of the stack) said she announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!”

At that point, Det. Duncan shouted “eight-ball,” and Det. Sgt. Chambers said “disregard.” After a few more seconds, Det. Sgt. Chambers ordered him (Barone) to “hit it.”

She said that after Det. Barone hit the door the first time, the lower right-hand panel of the door was knocked out, and she saw the head of a dog thru the hole.

When questioned about the reenactment of the event, conducted by the CPD, Det. Walker was unsure of the date, or even which month, it was conducted in…

Det. Walker was excused.

Seventh witness Detective James Duncan…

Narcotics Detective, was in the position just forward of Det. Walker, in the “stack.”

Det. Duncan said that Det. Roberts knocked 2 times on the storm door, and announced each time, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” then he (Roberts) opened the storm door and knocked on the vinyl trim, again announcing, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then the breacher, Det. Barone, knocked once on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Roberts knocked once again on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Walker (located at the rear of the stack) announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!”

Det. Duncan stated that at that point, he saw the curtains in the window to the left of the door move, so he shouted “eight-ball,” and Det. Sgt. Chambers said “disregard.” After a few more seconds, Det. Sgt. Chambers ordered Det.Barone to “hit it.”

When questioned about the reenactment of the event, conducted by the CPD, Det. Duncan was unsure of the date, or even which month. it was conducted in…

Det. Duncan was excused.

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*  Garage Entry team and Evidence Collection Witnesses – Friday, 23 January, 2009 *

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Prior to witness testimony, the defense submitted a motion that the video of the reenactment be made available for the view of the jury, stating that since the prosecution obtained a search warrant in order to conduct the reenactment, that the resultant video was discoverable, and that the prosecution was obligated to disclose it.

Mr. Eberts objected, stating that the reenactment and video were work products intended to be used by the prosecution to help them understand the circumstances of the raid, and how the CPD conducted these raids.

****** Observation ******

Help the prosecution understand the circumstances of the raid? Isn’t that what questioning the individual officers who participated is for?

This is lame, as well as an unnecessary cost to the taxpayers…

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Mr. Eberts told the judge that there were no measurements, drawings, graphs or diagrams produced during the reenactment, and that the video taken of the reenactment was the only photographic record of the reenactment. He acknowledged that, had these things been produced, then the defense would be entitled to their disclosure.

According to Mr. Ebert, the still photo that was used by the prosecution to show the court the positions of the various officers in the “stack” (tactical order), was created from the video.

****** Observation ******

The still photograph, when viewed closely, shows a piece of string running from inside the house to the shoulder of the officer representing Det. Shivers. This would constitute a measurement, depicting the trajectory of the round that struck and killed Detective Shivers.

When the video of the reenactment was finally shown, it could also be seen that in addition to a piece of string, a laser light was also used, by Grover Davis (forensics technician), to ascertain the trajectory of the round. Further, multiple flashbulb (still photos) flashes could be seen in the video.

Conclusion – Mr. Eberts lied to the judge.

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Defense pointed out that Detective Edward Winkelspecht, who had conducted the initial interview of Mr. Frederick, and who was on the prosecution witness list, and who had not been excused by the court, was out of state, in Georgia. The prosecution stated that he was in training with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and would probably be gone for several weeks. Judge Arrington stated that his return to Chesapeake needed to be expedited…

Eighth witness Detective Sergeant John Landfair.

Narcotics Detective, acted as the Team Leader (and knock and announcer) for the garage entry team.

Det. Sgt. Landfair emphasized that at the pre-op briefing, they were encouraged to take their time, as this was a marijuana grow operation (“take their time,” but coordinate with the 25 second time-frame that was established by the front entry team…).

He said they were told at the pre-op briefing that Mr. Frederick had a firearm, and that the garage had been burglarized – also that Mr. Frederick had called the “CI” and threatened him. He said that his team did not see or review the search warrant.

****** Observation ******

It seems odd that; A). no one seems to have connected Mr. Wright with the burglary, even though they knew that he had been in the location within the past 72 hours, and that Mr. Frederick had allegedly threatened him, and, B). since the marijuana grow operation was believed to be located in the (un-insulated, unheated) garage (in January), that the garage entry team was not shown the search warrant, which specified those items to be searched for and secured as evidence…

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Det. Sgt. Landfair stated that his team was slowed by having difficulty opening the gate into the back yard, so that his team was not in place to begin the knock and announce phase simultaneously with the front entry team. Only 2 knock and announce cycles took place, prior to breaching the door and entering the garage.

He stated that the garage was unoccupied and cluttered, and that there was no sign of a grow operation in progress. After the garage was entered and cleared (no threat detected) his team was alerted by radio that shots had been fired, and they were directed to withdraw to a “barricade” disposition, to prevent escape.

He stated that his team did not alter their actions because of the “barricade” code (?), that they “cleared” the garage, but did not search. He also stated that his team did not hear the “eight-ball” warning from Det. Duncan (front entry team).

He stated that the purpose of the re-enactment was to provide the prosecutors with the particulars of what took place during the raid.

(During his testimony, Det Sgt. Landfair used the term “totality of the circumstances.” Every other police officer who testified to that point (except Det. Walker) used that same, unusual, turn of phrase…)

Det. Sgt. Landfair was excused.

Ninth witness Detective Jason Banks…

Narcotics detective, acted as the “breacher” for the garage entry team.

Det Banks stated that there was an interval of 15 to 20 seconds between the “knock and announce” and the breach of the garage door. It took two blows to open the door.

He said that Det. Sgt. Landfair was the first officer to enter, once the door was breached.

He said he stayed in the area (back yard) after the door was breached, until SWAT arrived.

Det. Banks was excused.

Tenth witness Detective Alvin Jaytayday (sp)…

Narcotics Detective, had the radio communications link to the front entry team.

He stated that he heard Det. Walker (front entry team) announce, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” He went on to say that he heard nothing from anyone else from the front entry team, until the “barricade” code came thru his radio earpiece.

Det. Jaytayday was excused.

Eleventh witness Officer Nathan McGanty…

Officer McGanty stated that as he was passing the rearmost side window of the house (making his way into the back yard) he saw the silhouette of a person moving right-to-left thru the curtain. He stated that he called out that he had seen movement, but didn’t think anyone heard him.

Officer McGanty took his position behind the detached garage, as perimeter watch, and although he was furthest from the front of the house, stated that he heard Det. Roberts (no one else in the garage entry team heard Det. Roberts), and also heard one gunshot.

****** Observation ******

In subsequent testimony by Grover Davis, Forensics Tech, and by photographic evidence, it was established that the window in question was covered by a Navy (dark) Blue curtain – at least on the night of the raid…

This young man seems to be possessed of remarkable sense(s) of sight and hearing…

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Officer McGanty was excused.

Twelfth witness Lieutenant Forehand…

Executive Officer of SWAT team. Stated that SWAT arrived 20 minutes after call went out. Swept house twice to clear it. Mr. Frederick had already been arrested when SWAT arrived.

Lt. Forehand was excused.

Thirteenth witness Grover Davis…

Forensics Technician (has since retired, after 29 years with the CPD), collected evidence found in the house (and garage?) at 932 Redstart Ave. Participated in the re-enactment of the raid, which was conducted on 20 March, 2008.

Mr. Davis showed various items (and photographs of various items) of evidence that he collected that were associated with the raid at 932 Redstart Ave.

Mr. Davis stated that no blood was found on the porch – the prosecution was trying to show that Det. Shivers was not on the porch when he was shot.

On cross-examination by the defense, Mr. Davis admitted that there was no blood found on the steps, or in the yard at the point where the prosecutors and police maintain that Det. Shivers was positioned when he was shot. There was blood found in the yard next door, where Det. Shivers was taken and administered to.

Mr. Davis was excused.

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As a result of the prosecution entering a still photograph taken from the reenactment video (showing the positions of the officers in the front entry team) as evidence, as well as from testimony from Mr. Davis, the defense reinstituted its motion to have the reenactment video shown to the jury..

Specifically, the still photo used by the prosecution showed a yellow string which originated inside the house, and ended at the shoulder of the officer who was representing the position of Det. Shivers – this depicted an estimated trajectory of the round that struck Det. Shivers. (A measurement.)

Since the prosecution had earlier acknowledged that the defense was entitled to see any measurements, drawings, photos or graphs that were developed from the re-enactment, Judge Arrington ruled in favor of the defense.

The video was shown to the jury the following week, on Wednesday, 28 January, 2009.

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* Monday January 26, 2009  *

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Mr. Ebert opened the day with a motion that the attorneys and judge visit the residence (932 Redstart Ave) first, to ensure that there is no “prejudicial evidence” laying about, for the jury to see. Mr. Broccoletti and Judge Arrington concurred. The visit is to take place on 1/27/09.

Next, Mr. Broccoletti entered a motion taking  up Mr. Eberts offer of reviewing the video of the reenactment, with the add-on the he be permitted to cross-examine Detective Roberts (again) in regard to the video.

Mr. Ebert objected, taking the position that since the reenactment and video were, “work products” to assist the prosecutors in understanding what happened, the video could not be used to impeach the credibility of the witness. Judge Arrington will take the matter under advisement…

Fourteenth witness was (former) Detective Winklespecht, who returned from his training in Georgia with his new employer, the ATF.

Questioned by Mr. Willett. Asked about the pre-mission brief – answered that the brief covered the particulars of the raid; specifically the one hazard that was identified was that Mr. Frederick owned a firearm, and the crime was a marijuana grow operation in the detached garage. The impact (his term) was that there was no immediate rush, so that, “it was decided (at the briefing) to knock and announce.”

****** Observation ******

“No knock” warrants are either; (1) illegal in Virginia -or- (2) require specific authorization by the magistrate who issues the warrant – in either case, the police do not have the authority, on their own, to decide whether it’s a “knock and announce” operation or not…

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Winklespecht stated that he was assigned the number two position of entry, following Det. Shivers – his position in “the stack” was to Shiver’s left, at the bottom of the steps, just off the left side of the sidewalk. His assignment was to cover the two windows to the left of the front door, for threats to Roberts and Barone (who were on the porch). He didn’t recall how many times Roberts knocked and announced, recalled that Barone knocked and announced once, heard dogs barking inside the house, and heard Det. Duncan call “eight ball.”

****** Observation ******

It seems odd that although Det. Winkelspecht was specifically assigned the responsibility of covering the two windows to the left of the door, it was Det. Duncan who claimed he saw the curtain in the window move, and called “eight ball..” Winkelspecht, being second in line, was much closer to the window than Duncan, who was next to last in the line-up…

Det Winkelspecht wasn’t available (as he was in training in Georgia) to be as well prepared (scripted and coached), as the other officers…

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Winkelspecht said he heard Sgt. Chambers call off the eight ball response, and heard Det. Walker make her announcement. Several seconds later (number not specified) he saw Barone breach the door, knocking out the lower right hand panel. Winklespecht said he moved behind Shivers, saw the head of a pit bull thru the hole in the door, and focused his attention on the pit bull (potentially dangerous dog).

He said he heard a sound “like someone snapping their finger” in his ear, saw someone (from the waist down) wearing blue bottoms and a red shirt thru the hole in the door, saw movement to his right, and then heard “barricade.”

****** Observation ******

It seems odd that none of the eight remaining officers in the the front entry team returned fire or attempted to storm the house, even though they were all still at risk, from continued gunfire from inside the house. Because they didn’t return fire or storm the house, it would make more sense, if the front entry team was much smaller than was testified to, and that smaller number of officers were initially unaware that Mr. Frederick had a firearm, and were therefore unprepared to respond to his opening fire on them.

They claim to have come in force, but didn’t utilize that force when circumstances warranted it…

Hmm…

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Winkelspecht said he repositioned himself to the right front corner of the house, looked to his left, and saw two officers dragging someone to a point in front of the next house over. At that point he realized that it was Shivers – who was bleeding heavily from the mouth.. The two officers (Roberts and Chambers) were having difficulty locating the wound, and Winklespecht said that he provided them a light. He said that he had been on the SWAT team with Shivers.

After Mr. Frederick came outside and surrendered, Sgt. Chambers asked Winklespecht to interview Mr. Frederick. He said he handed his light to Det. Walker, got his tape recorder out of his backpack, and interviewed Mr. Frederick in the back of the police car (not sure whether it was the marked or unmarked one).

The rest of the team continued to work on Detective Shivers until the ambulance arrived. Winklespecht said he advised Mr. Frederick of his rights, and proceeded to interview him, using his recorder to tape the interview. Asked if he participated in the reenactment, he said that he had, but like everyone else, could not recall when the reenactment took place…

Defense cross-examination. Questioned by Mr. Korslund.

Asked about “Miranda” rights being read, Winklespecht said he read Mr. Frederick his rights, asked if he understood them, and Mr. Frederick responded that he did. Winklespecht said he was confident that Mr. Frederick did, indeed, understand the rights, and that he voluntarily gave up these rights.

He said that Mr. Frederick’s responses to his questions were logical and coherent, and were consistent with the questions (answer matched question – no indication of confusion or irrationality).

(The transcript of the taped interview ran to 10 pages.)

Winklespecht said that he hadn’t read the search warrant, and wasn’t aware of what specific items were listed on the warrant, to be searched for, beyond the grow operation in the detached garage (other items listed were packaging material and scales). He said he did not enter the house, and did not see anything of interest in the house, except the dog.

He said that the purpose of the re-enactment was to assist the prosecutors in understanding what happened, that there was no “inside” meeting or briefing prior to the reenactment, and that any discussion that took place regarding the reenactment, took place during the reenactment.

At that point he was excused by the judge – I think to go back to Georgia, and continue his training with the ATF.

****** Observation ******

Of the 9 officers who allegedly comprised the front entry team, only 6 testified; Roberts, Barone, Chambers, Winkelspecht, Walker and Duncan. Of the 6 officers who allegedly comprised the garage entry team, only 4 testified; Landfair, Banks, Jaytayday and McGanty.

Where are the other 5 (unnamed) officers? Why didn’t they testify? Is it because they are deeply undercover, and their identities must remain secret? If so, why did they participate in the raid, where they could have been observed?

Or, is it that they refused to lie on the stand, to protect the other cops, who did lie?

Or, even worse, is it that this whole scenario is a fabrication, intended to give the impression that CPD policy was being adhered to, when in truth the actual number of officers that conducted the raid was much lower than 15, and they were violating the very policy that was in place to protect them?

Is this the real reason that the reenactment was conducted? To provide the officers an acceptable scenario to base their testimony on, when the truth would simply not do at all?

Is this the reason that the city of Chesapeake continues to refuse to disclose the results of the investigation that was conducted internally?

We wonders, aye, we wonders…

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********* End of Part One *********

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Hi Don,

Been distracted lately – spring cleaning, painting, family concerns, etc., etc., etc.

Here’s Part Two – as before, do whatever revisions, edits, additions, etc. that you deem appropriate…

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*  A Review of the Trial of Ryan David Frederick, held in Chesapeake, Virginia,     *

*        between 20 January, 2009 and 4 February, 2009    –    Part Two                       *

********************************************************************

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* Monday, 26 January, 2009 *

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Fifteenth witness was Neil Rogers (retired) forensics technician.  Questioned by Mr. Conway.

The front door from Mr. Frederick’s house was brought in, and Mr. Rogers identified it as the one that the police had breached at 932 Redstart Ave. There were no further questions by either side, and Mr. Rogers was excused.

Sixteenth witness was Detective Meinhart (sp). Questioned by Mr. Conway.

Det. Meinhart is with the Criminal Investigations, Intelligence Unit. His primary areas of expertise are in Gang Activities and Narcotics. From 2000 until 2005, he was part of a special task force, working with the FBI, in the areas of Narcotics & Violent Crimes. He’s had 250 hours of specialized training, including the areas of cultivation, distribution and use of marijuana.

He stated that he was called at his home by Capt. Dunlap (CO of Special Investigations) and sent to 932 Redstart Ave, after the raid took place. Det Meinhart’s responsibility was to supervise and receive the evidence collected by the forensics technicians (Chain-of-Evidence). Specific evidence to be collected was evidence of a grow operation (manufacturing).

Items of evidence and photographs of evidence were displayed;

Master Bedroom;

Books on Marijuana Cultivation (Purchased at Barnes & Noble)

Magazines (High Times & etc.) (Purchased at Barnes & Noble)

Photos of marijuana plants (did not depict plants being grown at 932 Redstart Ave – had been cut out of magazines)

Photographs taken of evidence in the other bedroom;

Bong

Shredder (for loosening buds to facilitate smoking)

Ashtray

Baggie containing small amount of marijuana

Loose marijuana lying on video game map book entitled “Scarface”

****** Observation ******

Mr. Frederick testified on 29 January, 2009, that he did not leave these items as they were shown in these pictures. A reasonable conclusion would be that the police arranged these items for the photographic record, in order to indicate that Mr. Frederick had been smoking at the time that his home was raided.

If this is the case, it would violate the requirements for chain-of-evidence, effectively “tainting” the evidence, and it would be inadmissible in court (essentially, it would be considered to have been planted).

***********************

Attic of house;

Two ballasts “Hydro-Farm” (transformers for starting fluorescent & grow lights – not

hooked up)

Sodium (grow) light “Hydro-Farm” 400 watts – not hooked up

Four smaller lights – sodium & fluorescent (how many of each type unspecified) – not

hooked up

Book “Great Marijuana” (Purchased at Barnes & Noble)

Attic of Detached Garage –

Four black tubs – two bottom sections, two top sections (two complete units)

(Root matter found in tubs)

Large black tub and two bulb fluorescent light (not a grow light)

Glass Bong

Large orange bucket (small amount of debris in bucket tested positive for marijuana)

Blue “tote” box (similar to foot locker – with lid) containing several items – paperwork, blue bag, stool, – book on marijuana cultivation found nearby (purchased at Barnes & Noble)

Finally, a certificate of Analysis, showing that six items of evidence (baggies & etc.) tested positive for marijuana, the largest amount of the six being 2.6 grams.

Prosecution questioning ended here – reserved right to recall Det. Meinhart.

****** Observation ******

Mr. Frederick testified on 28 January, 2009 that he had purchased the books and magazines at Barnes & Noble, and the “grow” equipment at Wal Mart, Home Depot, and a gardening supply store on Newtown Road, in Va. Beach.

Also on 28 January, Mr. Frederick testified that he had not grown the small amount of marijuana that was found; he had purchased it before Christmas of 2007.

***********************

The defense cross-examination, conducted by Mr. Korslund basically went over general information about marijuana cultivation;

Female plants are preferable to male plants (higher yield of product & THC content).

Male plants are eventually discarded – determining the sex of the plant and culling of the male plants is done in the latter stages of cultivation.

The equipment collected was associated with a “Hydroponics” grow operation – soil is not used – water (containing nutrients) is the growth medium.

****** Observation ******

All materials, books, magazines, equipment, etc. (everything except the marijuana itself) recovered as evidence are legally obtainable to anyone. None of the equipment was set up to be used.. It was not known if the lights and such even worked. The prosecution actually stipulated that no plants were found.

No evidence of distribution was found – no money, no safe, no packaging material, no scales, and no unexplained funds in bank accounts. Nothing.

The cumulative total amount of Marijuana found was 12 grams – 2 grams short of ½ ounce – a misdemeanor…

************************

Det. Meinhart was excused, but was told that he may be recalled _______________________________________________________________________

*************************

* Tuesday, January 27, 2009  *

*************************

Seventeenth witness was Det. Thomas. He was Lead Investigator for the event. Mr. Conway questioned him.

Several items that were in the evidence room had not been tested when they were first collected, so Det. Thomas had these few items (mostly miniscule amounts of marijuana) tested in August ’08.

****** Observation ******

This is another in a long list of examples of shoddy police work…

***********************

On cross-examination (by Mr. Bracelets), Det. Thomas said he didn’t know how old the items were, and may not be related to the 2.6 grams of marijuana found in the baggie in the back bedroom.

Det. Thomas was excused.

Eighteenth witness was Steven Wright. Mr. Ebert questioned him.

Mr. Wright is 23 years old, and has charges of Credit Card Fraud, Grand Larceny, and Failure to Appear in his background. He said he met Mr. Frederick thru his (ex) girlfriend Stephanie Cox, and Mr. Frederick’s fiancée Kimberly Cox. They met sometime (he wasn’t sure of date) between April and July of 2007.

****** Observation ******

Mr.. Frederick testified on 28 January, 2009 that he had discontinued his relationship with Mr. Wright in April, 2007, following a birthday party for a mutual acquaintance (at a club in Norfolk), that they had both attended.

***********************

Mr. Wright stated that between July and November of 2007, he bought marijuana from Mr.  Frederick 40 – 50 times, was often in his house and detached garage, and often discussed the particulars of “Hydroponics” marijuana cultivation. He said that Mr. Frederick had the plants in “portable closets” 6 feet tall 3 – 4 feet wide, which had zippered closures and had lights mounted inside them.

****** Observation ******

Mr. Frederick testified on 28 January, 2009 that he had never sold marijuana to Mr. Wright.

None of these “portable closets,” described by Mr. Wright, were found in Mr. Frederick’s

house or garage.

***********************

He said that he and Mr. Frederick often smoked marijuana together. He said the marijuana was very potent, and that he visited Mr.. Frederick’s home 40 – 50 times over the several months. He said that Mr. Frederick was almost always high when he (Wright) was there.

He said that Mr. Frederick had as few as 10 plants and as many as 30 at various times, and in various stages of growth. He said Mr. Frederick told him that it was possible to make a profit of $450.00 on an ounce of “Hydro.”

****** Observation ******

Included in the evidence seized at Mr. Frederick’s house were 2 hydroponics grow units (each consisting of an upper and lower section). No more than 5 plants could have been grown in each of these 2 units…

Mr. Frederick testified on 28 January, 2009 that he had smoked marijuana with Mr. Wright 4 or 5 times, prior to April 2007, and always in the garage.

Mr. Frederick testified on 28 January, 2009 that he had never had more than 10 plants growing at any given time, and that usually half of them were males, and had to be culled before pollination began.

***********************

Mr. Wright said that he met with Detective Roberts (I believe he said in November) and told him that someone he knew who was selling drugs (not Mr. Frederick) had threatened him (Wright) and he wanted to retaliate. If I heard correctly, Det. Roberts “took care of it” and Mr. Wright was paid $60.00 for the information that he provided Det. Roberts.

At that time, he said he also told Det. Roberts about Mr. Frederick’s grow operation.

Mr. Wright said he broke up with his girlfriend (Stephanie Cox) who was Mr. Frederick’s fiancée’s (Kimberly Cox) sister, and became persona non grata at Mr. Frederick’s home, sometime in late November (if I heard correctly).

He said he signed a contract to be a “CI” for CPD in December 2007 – provided (State Police? – not clear who he was working with for this) information on another case that the State Police paid him $500.00 for. Said he was paid $50.00 by Det. Roberts, for information on another case.

On the morning of Friday, 11 January, 2008 (according to Mr. Wright) Mr. Wright, Mr. Renaldo Turnbull, Mr. Aaron Curley (sp), and Mr. Robert Eckland (sp) got together at Wendy’s for breakfast (I didn’t know that Wendy’s had a breakfast menu) and decided to steal half of Mr. Fredericks (10) marijuana plants, and then turn him in to the police over the other half, so that they could have the marijuana, and get paid $500.00 by Det. Roberts. This was their plan.

Apparently, according to Mr. Wright, he had told his old school chum, Mr. Eckland that he was a police “CI” and it wasn’t real clear whether the other two “gentlemen” were aware of this, or were taking it all on faith, or were just plain stupid.

Mr. Wright said they drove over to Mr. Frederick’s house, where Mr. Eckland dropped Mr. Wright and Mr. Turnbull off, and then him and Mr. Curley parked several houses further down the street. Mr. Wright called Mr. Frederick on his home phone, to ensure that he wasn’t home, then knocked on his door and rang his doorbell, to further ensure his absence.

Then, he and Mr. Turnbull went into the back yard, where Mr. Turnbull “back kicked” the door of the detached garage, and they went in to find one “portable closet” with ten plants in it. They took five plants, put them in a black plastic bag, took a plastic rectangular “Tote” box with some lava rocks and pebbles in it, and left the garage.

He said that Mr. Eckland drove them all over to his (Eckland’s) girlfriend’s house in Norfolk, about 10 – 15 miles away. They put water in the “tote” with the rocks and pebbles and “planted” the five plants in it (figuring to cultivate the plants (that were 1 ½ to 2 feet tall) themselves).

Finally, they took a video of the plants with Renaldo Turnbull’s cell phone camera, and sang a song of victory and celebration, over their successful coup. Then Mr. Eckland drove Mr. Curley and Mr. Turnbull to Great Bridge (Chesapeake), dropped Mr. Curley at home and dropped Mr. Turnbull at the police station, where he picked him up some time later (not sure why Mr. Turnbull needed to go to the police station).

Mr. Wright said that sometime soon after (maybe later that day) he got a call on Mr. Turnbull’s cell from Mr. Frederick (he put it on speaker so all of them could hear), telling him (Wright) that he needed to “turn himself in” to Mr. Frederick, or he (Mr. Frederick) was going to kill his (Wright’s) family (or have them killed).

Mr. Wright said that  Mr. Frederick told him that he had already been over at his (Wright’s) job (at Hooters) looking for him.. He said Mr. Frederick told him he knew that he (Wright) and Mr. Turnbull had broken in and stole his plants, because he had a video of it.

Mr. Wright said that he was called in to the office by Det. Roberts, because he had an outstanding warrant. While there he told Det. Roberts that Mr. Frederick’s garage was broken into, and that Mr. Frederick had threatened him. He did not tell Det. Roberts that he and Mr. Turnbull had committed the burglary.

Det. Roberts arrested him at that time for Failure to Appear for Credit Card fraud (the reason for the outstanding warrant). He was released after 14 days, and the charges were dropped. He said that Det. Roberts asked him “a couple times” if he had anything to do with the burglary, and he told him no.

****** Observation ******

Det. Roberts testified that he asked Wright “about 15 times” if he had been involved in the burglary…

***********************

Mr. Wright said he never told anyone about his and Mr. Turnbull’s involvement in the burglary, until the second time he met with Mr. Ebert, Mr. Conway and Mr. Willett. On that occasion, Mr. Wright’s lawyer was present, and Mr. Wright started to lie to them, but his lawyer told him to tell the truth. So he told the prosecutors at that time (conveniently, he didn’t disclose the date) about the burglary, and that he had lied to them the first time he had met with them (don’t remember the date of that meeting being disclosed, either).

Mr. Broccoleeti’s cross-examination consisted of reminding Mr. Wright that he had several examples of criminal behavior in his background, and that basically the jury had little reason to believe anything he said. He asked Mr. Wright if he was going to tell the truth to the jury, and Mr. Wright said that he would.

Mr. Wright’s indiscretions included Grand Larceny, Credit Card Theft, and Credit Card Fraud, and he was looking at up to a maximum of 20 years in prison. After he was released from jail in January, he got another FTA in April, and the previous charges that had been dropped were reinstated in May. He turned himself in, in September, and has been in jail in Va. Beach since October, 2008. He has been denied bond, and was scheduled to go to trial on December 4, 2008, but it was continued until January 29, 2009.

Mr. Broccoletti asked him if he was instructed to commit the burglary, or if he felt that he was under police authority to commit the burglary, and he said no to both questions. He admitted that he violated several of the conditions of his “CI” contract. He said that he had not been offered any deals by the prosecution. He said that he didn’t turn the plants over to the police because it constituted a violation of his “CI” contract.

Mr. Wright was excused.

****** Observation ******

It would be reasonable and safe to say that Mr. Wright’s entire testimony is based on what he felt was in his best interests, based on his interviews with police and prosecutors, and as a result, is entirely suspect, especially in light of recent circumstances (today is Sunday, April 12, 2009).

Mr. Wright is currently on trial for his Credit Card charges, and both he and his Attorney have publicly stated that the Chesapeake Police and Prosecutors office “implied” that he would be shown leniency, in exchange for his testimony in this case.

The response of the Chesapeake Prosecutors office is that Mr. Wright had testified under oath, that no promises were made to him…

Apparently, there is no honor among thieves…

*************************

Nineteenth witness was Aaron Curley – lives with grandparents, no record.

Questioned by Mr. Ebert..

Mr. Curley said he met with Mr. Wright, Mr. Turnbull, and Mr. Eckland, for breakfast at Burger King on Monday, 14 January, 2008 to plan the burglary of Mr. Frederick’s house.

****** Observation ******

Mr. Wright testified that they met on Friday, January 11, 2008, at Wendy’s…

***********************

He said that the burglary was Mr. Wright’s idea. After the meeting, Mr. Eckland drove everyone in his car (Chevy Blazer) to Mr. Frederick’s house. Mr. Curley sat in the back seat. Mr. Wright and Mr. Turnbull got out, and Mr. Eckland drove “around the block.” Mr. Curley said he refused to get out of the car.

Mr. Wright and Mr. Turnbull broke into the detached garage, stole five marijuana plants, and put them in a black plastic bag. They called Mr. Eckland to have him come and pick them up.

They took the plants to Mr. Elkland’s girlfriend’s house (on Halprin Dr, in Norfolk), where they placed the plants in a tub of water. Plants were 1 ½ – 2 feet tall. Mr. Turnbull made a video of the plants with his cell phone camera. Mr. Eckland took Mr. Turnbull and Mr. Curly back to Great Bridge (Chesapeake). He dropped Mr. Turnbull off at the police station.

****** Observation ******

What is the reason that they made a video of the plants with Mr. Turnbull’s cell phone camera? To show the police (Det. Robert’s / Det. Shiver’s) that they had accomplished their assignment?

Is that why Mr. Turnbull was taken to Police Headquarters – to show the video to them?

If this is the case, it confirms that they were specifically directed by the police to burglarize Mr. Frederick’s property, which means that the search warrant was illegally obtained, which means that the raid on Mr. Frederick’s property was entirely illegal, which means that the various members of the CPD who participated in the raid are individually and collectively responsible for the death of Detective Shivers.

***********************

Mr. Broccoletti cross-examined.

Mr. Curley said he knew Mr. Eckland from school, and had only known Mr. Turnbull for about two weeks – but they were already good friends. He said that he did not know Mr. Frederick had all.

Mr. Curley met with Det. Thomas several weeks after the event – met with prosecutors several days after that.

Mr. Curley was excused.

________________________________________________________________________

The twentieth witness was Det. Meinhart (recalled). Mr. Conway questioned him.

Det. Meinhart went over the various smoking devices – shredder, bong, power bong (found in the attic of the house), and glass pipe (found in the detached garage).

Det. Meinhart was accepted by the judge as an expert in the area of marijuana cultivation, distribution and use. His only real contribution was stating that in his opinion, the materials and equipment found in the house indicated to him a grow operation that was too sophisticated to be for strictly personal use.

Mr. Korslund cross-examined. He pointed out that there was no evidence of distribution – no packaging material, no scales, no money, and no unusual bank account activity..

Det. Meinhart pointed out that the DEA uses an estimate of one pound of product per plant.

Det. Meinhart was excused.

The twenty-first witness was Jamal Skeeter. Mr. Conway questioned him.

Mr. Skeeter said that he had been in the Chesapeake jail for a period of about 10 days in June of 2008. He had been brought here from the Correctional facility at Lawrenceville, where he was serving a 14 year sentence. He was here to testify as a witness in another case.

He wore red coveralls, indicating that he is in solitary confinement. (Mr. Frederick has been in solitary confinement throughout his entire stay at the jail). He said that in June he was in the gym (on his one hour daily “break”) when “someone” pointed Mr. Frederick out (thru a glass door) as “the guy who shot a policeman..”

Mr. Skeeter somehow arranged to speak to Mr. Frederick (through a glass door) and that Mr. Frederick immediately “broke out in a story” saying that he knew he was shooting a cop, but that he was trying to get off on self-defense.

He said Mr. Frederick told him that he saw the police going into his back yard, so he got his gun and shot at the cops when they kicked in his door. He said Mr. Frederick told him that he heard the police say “Police, Open Up!” He said Mr. Frederick told him that he grew and sold weed, and that he could “grow Hydro in a fish tank.” He said Mr. Frederick told him that someone broke in and stole his weed, and that he knew who it was – when he gets out, he’s going to do something about it – hire his uncle (to kill them?).

He said Mr. Frederick told him that he was high when the police got to his house, and that he had hollow points in his gun. When asked about Mr. Frederick’s demeanor, Mr. Skeeter said he “was trying to be a gangsta” and didn’t seem sorry for what he had done.

Mr. Skeeter claimed that he has made no deal with anyone, and that he’s doing this (testifying against Mr. Frederick) for Det. Shivers family because “it ain’t right.”

Mr. Broccoletti cross-examined.

Mr. Broccoletti emphasized that Mr. Skeeter has multiple convictions for various street crimes, and has either testified or was scheduled to testify in at least two other murder trials in the past. He made it abundantly clear that Mr. Skeeter is not a particularly honorable individual.

Mr. Skeeter claimed that he talked to Mr. Frederick on three occasions (thru a closed glass door each time) during the one hour breaks that solitary prisoners get each day. Mr. Skeeter was only in Chesapeake jail for ten days, in June, 2008 – and as it turned out, he wasn’t needed to testify in the murder trial that he was brought here for.

He said that at the time, he knew nothing about Mr. Frederick, or his case, and that someone he didn’t know (and still doesn’t know this worthy’s name – he was only there ten days) told him that Mr. Frederick was “that guy that killed a policeman.”

He said that Mr. Frederick told him that his mother had bought him the gun. Otherwise, all he and Mr. Frederick talked about was cars, clothes and weed. He said that there may have been others that overheard the conversations he had with Mr. Frederick. He said that he wrote to a detective at the jail about the conversations he had with Mr. Frederick, and that he spoke to that (unnamed) detective at the jail, before he went back to the correctional facility in Lawrenceville. He said he talked to the prosecutors 2 or 3 times while he was here, also. He said that at the time, he kept track of the date(s) and time(s) of the conversations, using the clock that was by the deputy’s station.

Mr. Broccoletti produced a letter written by Mr. Skeeter on 21 October, 2008, to the prosecutor that was handling the murder case that Mr. Skeeter had been scheduled to testify for, in June.

Mr. Skeeter said that the police had come to visit him in prison. He said that no one had offered him any deal for his testimony, and that everything he said was “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

Mr. Skeeter was excused.

****** Observation ******

Subsequent to this testimony, it was brought out that Mr. Skeeter is a “professional” jailhouse informant, and his entire testimony is suspect…

***********************

The twenty-second witness was Lamont Malone. Mr. Willett questioned him.

Mr. Malone is serving a 19 year sentence obtained thru some type of deal he made with Federal authorities – his list of charges (including Grand Theft Auto, Possession and sale of 50 or more grams of Cocaine, use of a Firearm, etc.) would have warranted a life sentence.

He said he is currently in the Chesapeake jail (he has also been in Suffolk and Portsmouth), and has “gotten to know” Mr. Frederick. He said Mr. Frederick’s jailhouse nickname is “Calvin.” He said that Mr. Frederick calls his gun “Roscoe” and that Mr. Frederick shot the police after they kicked in his door because he “panicked” and “had to get rid of his product.” He said that Mr. Frederick told him that he grew “Hydro” and that he had to get rid of his plants. He didn’t say how he did this.

He said that Mr. Frederick told him that he wanted to keep his case in Chesapeake because of the support, and that he expects that his lawyer is going to get him off. He said that Mr. Frederick has expressed no remorse.

Mr. Broccoletti cross-examined.

Mr. Malone has been convicted of 7 felonies, including auto theft, drug dealing, obtaining money under false pretenses (which Mr. Malone termed a “misunderstanding”), and use of a firearm.

His “indiscretions” have resulted in a combined sentence of 225 mos. (roughly 19 years), and could have been a life sentence, except that he made a plea agreement with the Federal authorities.

He claimed that he has made no deal with anyone, or discussed any reduction in his sentence, in exchange for his testimony, and that he was serving a 19 year sentence. When Mr. Broccoletti asked him if he had been bragging over at the jail about “going home” after he testified in this case, he denied it. He claimed to be unaware that a Federal prosecutor had the authority to grant a motion to reduce his sentence. He had made a deal with a Federal court to testify against a co-defendant, which is the reason that his (potential) life sentence was reduced to 19 years. He had been scheduled as a witness against James Boughton (Missionary case), but was unneeded to testify.

He said that he talked to Mr. Frederick often, during the one hour periods when solitary prisoners are allowed out of their cells.. He said that they had to talk “thru the cracks” of the two doors (one iron, one glass) that separate them, and that the deputies in the jail don’t prevent these interactions between the prisoners.

He said that he has not learned anything about the case from news media, and that Mr. Frederick has continued to talk openly to him, even though Mr. Malone is listed as a prosecution witness. He said that Mr. Frederick makes unkind comments about Mrs. Shivers, and that he doesn’t seem sorry for what he did. He said that Mr. Frederick has been “laughing it up” with another prisoner, who is facing similar charges.

He said that he has met with detectives 3 or 4 times about the case, has spoken to a DEA agent about the case, and has not been subpoenaed about the case.

He claimed that he was speaking the truth.

Mr. Malone was excused.

****** Observation ******

Mr. Malone, also, was subsequently shown to be a “professional” jailhouse informant…

***********************

Mr. Broccoletti reminded the judge that the issue of his cross-examining Det. Roberts regarding the reenactment video is still before the court. Mr. Ebert objected vehemently to this being allowed.

Judge Arrington ruled that Mr. Broccoletti can bring the reenactment video in as a defense exhibit, and can cross-examine Det. Roberts as a hostile defense witness.

***************************

* Wednesday, 28 January, 2009 *

***************************

Mr. Ebert opened the day by stating that he would be introducing the reenactment video into evidence.

The twenty-third witness was Officer Richard Watts, who is the Custodian of the property and evidence room. Mr. Conway questioned him.

Officer Watts stated that all evidence is entered into the computer upon receipt, and that he had been working for Grover Davis (retired) forensics tech who gathered the evidence from Mr. Frederick’s house on 1/17/08. He also identified the battering ram used on the front door, and the pry bar (called a “hooligan”) that was brought along, just in case.

There was no cross-examination, and Officer Watts was excused.

The twenty-fourth witness was Ms. Allison Milam, a forensic scientist who works for the Virginia Dept. of Forensic Science. Her duties include forensic examination and testing of tools and firearms. She was questioned by Mr. Conway.

She gave a report on the firearm evidence – the Bersa .380 pistol, two bullets, three casings, four cartridges and an empty .380 magazine. She also described the mechanics of the Bersa .380 pistol (Mr. Frederick’s weapon) to the jury.

After describing and identifying the various items of evidence, she stated that the spent bullet found in the house was fired by Mr. Frederick’s pistol; the bullet recovered from Detective Shivers was fired by Mr. Frederick’s pistol, the two casings found in the house were fired from Mr. Fredericks pistol, and the four cartridges found in the house had been manually ejected from a weapon (not fired) numerous times. The magazine had a capacity of 7 rounds. All of the bullets and cartridges were hollow points. The casing found in the yard was a .223 that did not come from the CPD (manufacturer and lot number did not match ammunition used by the CPD).

Mr. Broccoletti cross-examined.

She stated that the pistol was a semi-automatic, and after it is cocked, it will fire as quickly as the trigger is pulled. The ammunition and weapon showed no evidence of jamming. She stated that the safety on the weapon was on the “fire” position and that this particular weapon requires an “Allen” wrench to switch the safety between the “fire” and “safe” positions. There was no “Allen” wrench included in the collected evidence, and no box of additional ammunition was found. Mr. Frederick’s pistol was not associated with any prior criminal activity. She said that her agency had not investigated to see if Mr. Frederick’s pistol had been obtained legally.

****** Observation ******

The “safety” that Ms. Milam referred to is actually a “trigger lock.” Additionally, this weapon has a thumb safety, which Ms. Milam (forensic weapons “expert”) obviously overlooked, since she made no reference to it…

***********************

Ms Milam was excused.

The twenty-fifth witness was Dr. Elizabeth Kinnison, the Medical Examiner that performed Det. Shivers’ autopsy. She was questioned by Mr. Ebert.

Det. Shivers was killed by a single .380 hollow point round that passed thru the front of his upper left arm, puncturing the brachial artery. It entered the chest, broke a rib, punctured the pulmonary artery, damaged the left lung, and punctured the aorta. It was found slightly to the left of the spine. Additionally, he had superficial abrasions on the back of his head.

Mr. Broccoletti cross-examined.

Dr. Kinnison stated that there were no powder burns or “stippling” to indicate that Det. Shivers was shot from short range – the weapon had to have been at least 18 inches away.

It isn’t possible to determine the actual distance of the weapon when he was shot. Based on the estimated path of the bullet, his left arm would have had to be downward, close to his side. It could not have been extended away from his body either forward, up, sideways, or backward. It is possible that he could have been either crouching or kneeling when he was shot.

****** Observation ******

Dr. Kinnison’s testimony did not refute the possibility that Det. Shivers was actually the breacher, and was in a kneeling position in front of the door of Mr. Frederick’s home…

***********************

Dr. Kinnison was excused.

The twenty-sixth witness was Det. Roberts (recalled).

Mr. Willett questioned him, briefly, regarding the date and purpose of the reenactment that was conducted by the CPD. He stated that he participated in the reenactment, held in the evening of March 20, 2008, at 932 Redstart Ave., in Chesapeake.

****** Observation ******

Apparently, Det. Roberts was made aware of the date of the reenactment, since his prior testimony.

***********************

He said the purpose of the reenactment, was to give a “ball park” view of the events of January 17, 2008 to the prosecutors, and to give them an idea of how CPD operated. He said it wasn’t intended to be an exact recreation and that there were several differences between the raid and the reenactment;

The approach file was different,

they were more relaxed,

a different window was lighted,

there was a dark curtain in the window in the top of the door, and

the speed and order of the announcements was different.

****** Observation ******

All of the officers from the front entry team who testified, except Winkelspecht (i.e. Roberts, Barone, Chambers, Walker and Duncan) recited the order of announcements, exactly as they were depicted in the video of the reenactment…

None of them, in their initial testimony (including Det. Roberts), could remember the date that the reenactment was conducted…

************************

Det. Roberts said that the raid was traumatic for everyone who had participated, that it was the most traumatic event he had ever experienced and that everyone “just wanted to get it done” and go back to their duties. He said that he, personally, had difficulty getting out of the vehicle.

The video showed aspects from both the outside and the inside of the house.  It appeared that they did several takes, trying to get it to a point that they were comfortable with. There were multiple flashes in the video, obviously from still cameras flashbulbs.

They were also trying to determine exactly where Mr. Frederick was standing when he fired thru the hole and hit Det. Shivers, using a laser light, and a length of string, stretching along a projected trajectory, ending at the shoulder of the officer who was representing Det. Shivers.

After the video, Mr. Broccoletti cross-examined.

He questioned Det. Roberts about the several tries to get the knock and announces, the other shouts and warnings, and sequence of events to the point where they matched the testimony. He also asked why, if they weren’t looking for exact, did they have the exact people (except Shivers) the exact clothes, the exact lineup, the exact positions, the exact weapons, the exact van, exact placement of Shivers body and exact circumstances for the other team.

Det. Roberts’s response was essentially that the re-enactment was for the benefit of the prosecutors, and that they were doing it the best way they could.

In the final take of the video (outside aspect), Det. Roberts  knocked 2 times on the storm door, and announced each time, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” then he (Roberts) opened the storm door and knocked on the vinyl trim, again announcing, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then the breacher, Det. Barone, knocked once on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Roberts knocked once again on the front door, and announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!” Then Det. Walker (located at the rear of the stack) announced, “Chesapeake Police! Search Warrant! Open the Door!”

****** Observation ******

The initial testimony of Det.(s) Roberts, Barone, Chambers, Duncan and Walker reflects, almost exactly, the above knock and announce sequence…

***********************

Det. Roberts was excused from further testimony. The prosecution rested its case.

********* End of Part Two *********

2 Responses to John Wilburn’s Analysis of Ryan Frederick Trial

  1. blackrabbit says:

    The formatting of Part 2 is messed up, all lines are cut off and missing words at right edge of paragraph blocks.

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