Corey Jones should be alive today

October 21, 2015

Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja shot and killed Corey Jones, 31, on an interstate exit ramp to Palm Beach Gardens on Sunday morning at approximately 3:30 am. The shooting never should have happened.

Jones was a professional musician who played in a church band that had been touring the country recently. His car had broken down as he was driving home after playing a gig. He stopped along an exit ramp off I-95 to Palm Beach Gardens and he was waiting for a tow truck when Officer Raja arrived. Raja was on-duty dressed in plain clothes and driving an unmarked vehicle.

CBS News, Channel 12 reported,

A spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Gardens Police, Ellen Lovejoy, said Raja claimed he came upon what he believed to be an abandoned vehicle on the southbound exit ramp of Interstate 95 at PGA Boulevard.  Lovejoy said Raja claimed he was confronted by an armed subject.

Police say, as a result of the confrontation, Raja fired his weapon, killing Corey Jones at the scene.

Difficult to imagine why Jones would have ‘confronted’ Raja, since he was patiently waiting for a tow truck to arrive.

Indeed, Jones’s friend and fellow band member, Boris Simoneov told CBS News, Channel 12,

Everything seemed normal. Corey was completely himself.  We shook hands gave each other a high-five and he left and I finished putting away some of the gear and equipment.

I don’t understand how anyone could ever perceive Corey is a threat he’s the most level-headed, calm kind-hearted person.

Simoneov also told Channel 12 that another band member met up with Jones, just before the police arrived, to help him after his car broke down. He declined the offer since the tow truck was on the way, so the friend left.

Channel 12 CBS News, interviewed Corey’s uncle, Kenneth Banks,

Banks spoke publicly at the church Corey played drums for and was a well known community figure for volunteering and helping with children, he said.

Jones was known for working hard and being the church drummer.

He called his nephew ‘a servant for the community.’

Channel 12 CBS News recently reported that police said,

Raja has been with Palm Beach Gardens Police since April 2015.  He was working as part of a burglary detail at the time of the shooting.

Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Stephen Stepp said deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office found a gun on the ground outside Jones’ car after the shooting.  Stepp also said officers found the box it came in, and said the serial number on the box matched the number on the gun.

Stepp said authorities confirmed Jones bought the gun three days prior to the police shooting, according to paperwork obtained by detectives with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Like I said, Corey Jones should be alive today.

Benjamin Crump is representing his family.

 

 


Benjamin Crump and Kenneth Johnson speeches at Wednesday rally for Kendrick Johnson

December 13, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Good morning:

FYI: While surfing the internet for new information on the cases that we have been following, I found this local CBS site in Atlanta that has links to speeches by Benjamin Crump and Kenneth Johnson at the Kendrick Johnson rally on the steps at the Georgia Capitol building on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, with a botched crime-scene investigation and so much evidence missing (i.e., KJ’s fingernails, trachea and vital internal organs including his brain), it’s going to be difficult to identify and convict the perpetrator(s) unless people who know what happened step forward and tell the truth.

Even then it may be difficult to convict someone without a voluntary confession.

The loss of his fingernails is a terrible shame because any foreign DNA present (not KJ’s), as one might expect to find if he were attacked and fought with his attacker, could have been amplified and typed.

I don’t believe the accidental death theory.

I do know that kids are not very good at keeping secrets, so let’s hope for a break in the case.

Let’s also hope for some honest, diligent and experienced FBI agents working the case.

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New information revealed in Kendrick Johnson case

October 29, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good morning:

I have new information to report in the Kendrick Johnson case.

CBS Atlanta hosted a show yesterday called Powertalk with Mrs. Lorraine Jacques-White reporting. Attorney Benjamin Crump called in to the show to report new developments in the investigation of Kendrick’s death.

He said Kendrick had been dating a white girl at the school in 2011. He got into a fight with a white boy at the school and apparently won the fight. Although the article does not say what the fight was about, I get the impression that it may have had something to do with Kendrick dating the white girl.

The white boy was unwilling to let the matter drop and challenged him to another fight to take place at the white boy’s house. Kendrick declined.

The white boy’s father or mother may be a police official.

Kendrick’s death occurred not long after that.

This report is similar to information provided by a commenter here several weeks ago when I first wrote about this case. The person said Kendrick was dating a white girl who had been dating the son of the Sheriff of Lowndes County.

I do not yet consider this information to be established fact. I am going to need more verification.

I certainly do not believe he crawled down the tube opening in the mat to retrieve his athletic shoe, got stuck and asphyxiated by accident. That story is ridiculous.

However, if this new information is true, it could explain who killed Kendrick, why he killed him, and why the murder was covered up. I doubt the kid with the grudge and score to settle acted alone.

Hopefully, Benjamin Crump will solve this mystery soon.

I am not buying the school district’s argument that the videos from the CCTV cameras do not show anything because none of the cameras were aimed at the mat in which Kendrick’s body was found, but they cannot release the videos to confirm that claim because other students appear in them and they have not consented for the videos to be released.

There are ways to ghost out faces, so identities can be protected.

Lowndes County is looking incredibly corrupt and not doing well in the court of public opinion.

Time to stop playing hide-the-ball and let the chips fall where they may.


Unfinished forensics in Trayvon Martin case

August 2, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Good morning to all of our friends:

I write this morning regarding unfinished forensics with Trayvon’s case and to urge Benjamin Crump to consult with someone who is knowledgeable about forensics before he decides whether to sue George Zimmerman for wrongful death.

Piranha Mom’s comment at 12:09 am inspired me to write this post.

If a civil claim is filed against Zimmerman by Trayvon’s family, Professor Fred and all of us must put together the DEFINITIVE narrative, citing each movement with justification and evidence, and supply it to Trayvon’s family and attorneys.

We know what happened.

We have had the forensic evidence at our fingertips — and we know it all by heart. We were open in our analysis.

We DIDN’T expect we had to provide this to the prosecution.

But they were so full of hubris and the big award Bernie was to receive, and paid little attention to evidence. Bernie even thinks Trayvon took part in the battle, not that he was struggling to get away. If the prosecutor has no faith in the victim, or in the chief witness for the prosecution, what could we expect to get?

The verdict we got.

Won’t make THAT mistake again!

Yes, Piranha Mom is right and here are three glaring examples.

Amy Siewart, the crime lab firearms analyst who examined Trayvon’s sweatshirts, apparently never read the autopsy report or conferred with Dr. Bao regarding whether the bullet holes in the sweatshirts aligned with the entry wound in Trayvon’s chest. Evidently, no one at FDLE or any member of the prosecution team thought about that possibility either.

Yet, that was the first thought that occurred to me when I read that first document dump and LLMPapa was all over that issue too. I wrote about it and he made several videos about it. Both of us discussed the implications.

We even argued with the self-described crime scene expert from Jacksonville, Michael Knox, about the proper conclusions to draw from that evidence.

Massive and inexcusable failure of LE and the prosecutor’s office not to see and comprehend the significance of that evidence.

Massive and inexcusable failure by BDLR not to use the State’s DNA expert, Anthony Gorgone, to clear-up the confusion created by the defense regarding whether rain can wash away DNA and whether packaging Trayvon’s sweatshirt in a plastic biohazard bag would degrade all DNA present, such that it could not be detected with STR/PCR.

Siewart also should have been questioned regarding (1) the unusually strong kickback of a KelTec 9 semiautomatic handgun when fired with one hand, and (2) whether the distance between the two spires on the rear gunsight match the distance between the two pinholes on the tip of Zimmerman’s nose that bled so copiously.

I believe those distances match and Siewart could testify that the gun could have caused the injuries to Zimmerman’s nose, if he fired the fatal shot within a few feet of his face while holding the gun with one hand as Zimmerman described.

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Court of Appeals grants writ permitting defense to depose Benjamin Crump

June 3, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Good afternoon:

The Court of Appeals granted the defendant’s petition for a writ of certiorari. Therefore, defense counsel will be permitted to depose Benjamin Crump. However, the scope of inquiry is strictly limited as follows:

In concluding that the trial court erred in denying Zimmerman an opportunity to depose Crump, we caution that any deposition of Crump is to be limited to inquiry of circumstances surrounding the interview of Witness 8 and the contents of such interview. Defense counsel may not inquire into Crump’s mental impressions regarding Witness 8, nor may counsel inquire as to the reasons why Crump conducted the interview in the manner in which he did. Additionally, we believe the work product privilege precludes defense counsel from making inquiry as to the reason(s) Crump attempted to locate Witness 8 and the methods employed to do so.

The deposition contemplated by our opinion should be relatively short and straight forward. We are confident that the trial judge will be able to take the steps necessary to ensure the deposition is limited to the subject areas describe above.

This is generally the subject matter that Crump covered in his affidavit.

The Court of Appeals is saying that Judge Nelson should have permitted defense counsel to use the deposition to cross examine Mr. Crump about the information in his affidavit.

The opinion is a per curiam opinion, which means that no judge wanted to take credit for writing the decision, even though all agree on the result. For all we know, it may have been written by a court commissioner.

I disagree with the portion of the opinion where the Court concludes that Benjamin Crump is not “opposing counsel.” The Court’s conclusion is supported by the case cited, however, it is a civil case and the vast majority of cases involving depositions are civil cases.

This is a criminal case, however, in which Benjamin Crump must wait to file his wrongful death suit against the defendant until after he is convicted. Note, for example, that the defendant’s defamation suit against NBC has been stayed pending the outcome of the criminal case.

To say he is not opposing counsel is a hyper technical dodge that ignores the reality of civil cases arising out of criminal cases in which lawyers representing victims of violent crimes or their survivors may from time to time assist the police and prosecution to put together a case against a defendant, ride on the coattails of a successful prosecution, and sue the convicted defendant who cannot then deny liability.

The Court of Appeals missed or deliberately ignored that important distinction.

I also disagree with the manner in which the Court casually dismissed the work product argument by saying Mr. Crump waived the work product privilege by inviting members of the press to attend the interview.

Mr. Crump invited two members of the press to listen in on the interview so that there would be other witnesses present and he would not find himself in a situation in which he might become a witness in his own case and have to withdraw as counsel for his clients. He did the right thing.

One of the requirements to depose a lawyer is that the party who seeks the deposition must first exhaust other means to obtain information and defense counsel did not do that. Yet, the Court of Appeals ignored that.

No wonder none of the judges wanted to take credit for this decision.

I expect defense counsel will push hard against the boundaries set by the Court of Appeals because they appear to be determined to portray Benjamin Crump as an evil mastermind who invented Dee Dee as part of a conspiracy to shakedown insurance companies for money at the expense of convicting an innocent man. This is utterly ridiculous treehouse madness, I know, but it is what it is.

There will be objections and Judge Nelson will issue rulings on those objections restricting the interrogation to those boundaries. Defense counsel will scream foul loudly and publicly in hopes of poisoning the jury with more “evidence” of a conspiracy.

Whether we will hear more about this remains to be seen, but the Court of Appeals decision has not helped matters.

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Settlement agreement is dreadful news for George Zimmerman

April 8, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

I asked a question yesterday and did not get an answer.

The question was, Did Mark O’Mara advise the HOA to settle the Fulton-Martin lawsuit?

Rene Stutzman at the Orlando Sentinel provided some additional information today.

That secret homeowners association settlement with Trayvon Martin’s family may not remain secret much longer.

Seminole County Clerk of Courts Maryanne Morse has written a letter to Trayvon’s family attorney, Benjamin Crump, telling him that she doesn’t think it meets the standard of a confidential filing so she intends to make it public in 10 days.

Even so, the total dollar figure paid out by the association will likely remain a secret. That’s because Crump edited it out before he put the 12-page document in the court file Thursday.

It’s believed to be more than $1 million.

Stutzman also revealed that Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton settled their claim against the HOA without filing a lawsuit. Therefore, the settlement agreement has not been reviewed by a judge.

We know that the Traveler’s Insurance Co., was not a party to the agreement because the HOA did not purchase the insurance until March 30, 2012, a little over a month after the defendant shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

Why did Benjamin Crump file the settlement agreement in the GZ criminal case?

Here’s Stutzman again,

Why Crump had it placed in the file in the first place remains a mystery. He did not return phone calls from the Orlando Sentinel. But his clients, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were deposed last month by Zimmerman’s attorneys and were likely asked about the settlement.

In an interview last month, when asked if the settlement was a specific figure between $1 million and $2 million, Crump would not say.

“I have no comment on the subject,” he said. “I know you didn’t get that from me.”

There is an unconfirmed rumor that the New York Times reported in February that Mark O’Mara said Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton had rejected a $1 million settlement offer.

Stutzman said today about the settlement amount, “It’s believed to be more than $1 million.”

Sundance Cracker at the treehouse, which is Mark O’Mara’s internet site of choice, reported yesterday that the settlement is closer to $2 million.

Difficult to draw any conclusions without more information, but I sincerely doubt the claim was settled for nuisance value because, given the defendant’s waiver of an immunity hearing and a substantial likelihood that a jury will reject his claim of self-defense, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton would have no incentive to settle the case for peanuts. Better to wait and sue him and the HOA together after he is convicted when, basically, the sky would be the limit.

I figure they were in the driver’s seat and could afford to demand a substantial sum of money to cut HOA loose before trial.

This settlement agreement is dreadful news for the defendant.

BTW, Dee Dee definitely is not the prosecution’s star witness.

The prosecution’s star witness is the defendant and that is why a jury will convict him of murder in the second degree.

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Did Mark O’Mara advise the HOA to settle the Fulton-Martin lawsuit

April 7, 2013

I am hoping to find out today if Mark O’Mara played any role in advising the HOA to settle the wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton.

Sundance Cracker at The Conservative Treehouse claims that he did. This is the website O’Mara has publicly referenced with approval as a source of ideas.

Since Benjamin Crump represents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton that would certainly qualify him as opposing counsel for purposes of the silly deposition issue.

More importantly, he would have a conflict of interest because he would be in possession of inside information obtained from his client, plus all of the discovery that has not been released to the public, and advising the HOA to settle before the criminal trial.

That’s the equivalent of saying:

GZ’s self-defense claim isn’t going to fly. He’s going to be convicted of murder 2, so you better cut your losses to a minimum by settling now.

If true, that’s a conflict of interest and a major violation of a lawyer’s obligation to maintain client confidentiality.

Imagine how you would feel, if you were George Zimmerman.

O’Mara should be kicked off the case and disbarred, if he did that.

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