“Based on what was presented to the jury today, the case is still a draw,” Stephen said. “But after the jury left the courtroom, Judge Carter said that the state had failed to prove at least two of the charges”—presumably the rape charge and the child abuse charge—“and that he was considering adding more sub-charges to the two charges the state could prove”—presumably the child endangerment and false police report charges.
Jefferson Sanders stormed out of the courtroom saying, “Well why don’t you just fucking let him go?!” A couple bailiffs started to pursue Sanders, and the judge stopped them saying, “We’ll deal with him tomorrow.”
When James heard the judge’s words, he crumpled, buried his face in his hands, and cried despondently. He refused words of comfort from Claiborne, and Stephen was not allowed near him. Stephen waited in vain all evening for a call from James and hopes that James will get some rest before tomorrow’s proceedings.
Everyone (not least of all James) was surprised by the judge’s statement. It impresses me as evidence that Judge Bobby Carter still regards his role as more prosecutorial than impartial—he was, after all, an assistant prosecutor before he was elected judge. When Carter ran for office, his boss prosecutor Bill Gibbons was Chairman of the Committee to Elect Bobby Carter Judge of the Division Three Criminal Court in Memphis, Shelby County Tennessee. As one website asked, “What better way [for the prosecutor] to win cases than to have your own hand picked judges?”
Witnesses called today by the prosecution included Brandon Wilkins, the neighbor James got to call 911; Shawn Tucker, the first responding police officer on the scene; Demar Wells, a crime scene investigator, Sergeant C.J. Ray, a detective for sex crimes-juvenile division and the guy who didn’t believe James when he tried to tell the truth and said they’d already “thrown away the key”; and Marrvin Lee, a corrections officer from the juvenile detention center who had confiscated the drawing by James.
It was revealed in court that a nearly identical drawing was provided to police by Jefferson Sanders who claimed he had retrieved it from James’ room—a curious claim, since James says he only made one such drawing (at the detention center after the incident), and because Sanders was no longer living at home since his relationship with Monica had become estranged. It also seems curious that this second drawing had not been discovered by crime scene investigators if it had indeed been in James’ room as Sanders claims. Given Sanders’ history of tormenting James and trying to destroy him (see http://wandervogeldiary.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/father-knows-beast/), and in the light of yesterday’s sly gambit, it seems entirely possible that this second drawing could have been produced by Sanders for presentation to the police as damning evidence.
Though they are still on the prosecution’s witness list, brothers Noah and Micah Scheulin (see http://wandervogeldiary.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/fever/) did not appear in court today. Stephen speculates that they were no-shows based on the fact that Noah is now living in Minnesota and Micah was to have moved there soon. The prosecution plans to wrap up its presentation tomorrow with only two witnesses, nurse Nina Sublett and her supervisor, who examined Neily Shea’s injuries on the night of the incident. You can count on graphic photographs being presented.
Groove of the Day