It is early morning, I slept in until a little after 5:30 am, and this morning’s wait for James Prindle’s sentencing hearing feels completely different from last Wednesday’s vigil. The fearful apprehension is gone.
Last night Mike Scholl and I had a talk and I feel confident that James Prindle’s fate is in good hands. I am so thankful that we found this good and generous man. Last night I learned that he has reduced his normal fee $25,000. And I never even asked for it.
It is really so interesting how working on these cases presents the best and the worst in humanity. Were it not for people like Mike Scholl, I think I would despair for the human race.
Last night I really needed the lift that the conversation with Mike gave me. Stephen called to tell me that, at the worst possible time for his well being, James was experiencing a meltdown. It seems that Rose Stanley paid him a visit yesterday and filled his head with all kinds of ideas designed to undermine his confidence in us and in the support we have been providing.
He called Stephen and made all kinds of accusations which replicated almost word-for-word those which Rose had made to me the day before. The poor kid was freaking out and sure that we have been using him and would abandon him just like almost every other adult has in his life. Rose is a smart and persuasive person. She knows James and knows what buttons to push.
If Rose truly cared about James, she would not have timed her visit the day before this hearing when James needs to be at his best. It is despicable. I’ve put her picture back up on last Friday’s blog post. She has shown her true colors.
7:30 am - Stephen has just called from the courthouse. He and a guard are the only ones in the courtroom.
He will call back when there is some news to report.
9:40 am – Stephen has just called back. The court is in session and Mike has still not arrived; but James’ case will probably not come up until the end of the session. Nevertheless, Stephen said the tension is making him nervous. Stephen says James is in the courtroom and looks pretty despondent. Rose’s visit has had its effect, as if it were even necessary under the circumstances.
11:15 am – People are e-mailing and calling asking for news.
Gloria wrote and shared these links with me: http://www.google.es/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=jaame%20prindle%20sentencing&source=web&cd=18&ved=0CGQQFjAHOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wmctv.com%2Fstory%2F19036675%2Fhuman-trafficking-victim-its-happening-here-in-memphis-and-shelby-county&ei=stoGUKLHLNSHhQfJ08XOBw&usg=AFQjCNE2ofvQBKhLoamX67lbWHbJuupO2g (which reports that about 100 cases of human trafficking were documented last year in Shelby County TN) and http://www.endslaverytn.org/get-involved/redflags/ (which lists the warning signs to look for to recognize a sex trafficking victim).
Matt wrote, “Still praying for a good outcome for James, and hopefully a successful appeal, but stories like this don’t bode well for his chances in an adult prison,” and provided this link: http://www.wmctv.com/story/19031905/jailhouse-beating-for-a-man-charged-with-child-rape.
11:22 am – Stephen called and our long wait is over. James’ sentencing hearing has been delayed again until August 24.
The attorneys passed the baton before the television news cameras in a very classy and collegial manner. Claiborne Ferguson has apparently filed motions to the Tennessee Supreme Court challenging the jurisdictional matter of whether it is even appropriate for James to be sentenced as an adult rather than as a child.
The judge said that he had received over 150 letters from people urging him to send James to Boys Town, but that they were all from people outside the jurisdiction; he would not be able to consider this possibility, he said, unless one of the attorneys were to request it.
James will remain at Jail East at least until August 24, if not longer. At the conclusion of the hearing, James turned around, looked at Stephen, and smiled.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief and feel a sense of accomplishment that we have made a difference. Thank you to all who have written letters, donated money, and provided other support for James.
I have just made a second payment to Mike Scholl’s office. This leaves our account with about $500. Another $1,300 is in the process of being transferred to us from PayPal and the Juvenile Law Society, which will replenish the account to a minimum level for us to comfortably meet our day-to-day expenses. Remember, we have seven other kids besides James.
We have paid Mike a little more than half his agreed fee of $15,000. We have $4,000 in outstanding pledges which still need to be collected. This leaves us with a balance of $3,000 which needs to be raised to pay for James’ defense.
Will you please consider helping us whittle this goal down to zero? Any size of gift will help and will be most appreciated. To give, please visit http://www.redemptionforkids.org/ or click the link in the black band at the top of this page. Thank you!
Groove of the Day