I’ve seen some nasty stuff in my day, but this takes the cake. Mitchell County IA prosecutor Mark Walk wants Noah Crooks transferred from a juvenile detention center where he is doing well and receiving the humane services he needs, and into the Mitchell County adult jail where he would be placed in solitary confinement—“for his protection,” of course. This is a cruel, heartless, and devious tactic designed to break down a 14-year-old kid by the time of his trial and diminish his capacity to assist in his own defense.
The following document, filed yesterday on behalf of Noah Crooks, is self-explanatory except for one thing. The psychiatrist whose report prosecutor Mark Walk used to justify his outrageous application is not an impartial expert, but the state’s “owned man.” He’s one of those despicable “professionals” who will testify to anything the state desires, as long as the money’s green.
We’ve seen these kinds of predators plenty of times before—former prosecutor John Bongivengo, Dr. John O’Brien, “Kids for Cash” judges Mark Ciaverella and Michael Conahan, and coach Jerry Sandusky in Pennsylvania, for example—society is chock full of selfish adults who apparently feel no discomfort at taking advantage of kids for their own personal, political, or financial gratification.
I am sick to death of officials like Mark Walk who pose as being on the side of “what’s right,” but who in reality are undermining the values we hold we hold most dear as a society. Thank God for people like Bill Kutmus and Trever Hook, who are standing up not only for Noah Crooks, but for all of us who believe in justice and simple human decency.
IN THE IOWA DISTRICT COURT FOR MITCHELL COUNTY
STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff,
vs.NOAH CROOKS Defendant.
RESISTANCE TO STATE’S APPLICATION TO REMOVE DEFENDANT TO THE MITCHELL COUNTY JAIL
COMES NOW the Defendant, by and through his attorneys, states the following in resistance to the State’s Application:
- On March 24, 2012, the Defendant, Noah Crooks (presently 14 years old, hereinafter known as “Noah”), was confined at the North Central Juvenile Detention Facility in Waterloo, Iowa subsequent to allegations he had shot his mother. Noah has been detained at the aforesaid facility to the present date.
- The facility is a locked, secured facility, whose primary purpose is to provide, “a physically secure, emotionally stable and safe environment in which juveniles accused of delinquent acts can await court action.” (See Mission Statement via North Central Juvenile Detention Facility website).
- On the 16th day of October, 2012, Mitchell County Attorney, Mark Walk, filed an Application to the District Court of Mitchell County requesting the Court to remove Noah from the aforesaid juvenile facility to the Mitchell County Jail. The reason, Mr. Walk claims, is that Noah is a serious risk to commit serious bodily harm to other persons. (Section 232.45 or 232.45A of the Iowa Code).
- The basis for the Application for Noah’s removal from the detention facility to a jail site is based solely upon reports made by Dr. Ana Salter (PhD in Psychology) and Dr. Michael Taylor (Psychiatrist) in preparation for a Waiver Hearing on September 6, 2012.
- Notably, neither Drs. Salter nor Taylor visited Noah at the North Central Juvenile Detention Facility to assess Noah’s mental condition or visit the institution and its personnel to evaluate the security issues raised by Mr. Walk.
- It should be pointed out there are no complaints of any sort concerning Noah from the North Central Juvenile Detention Facility to the Mitchell County Attorney, Mark Walk.
- Had the North Central Juvenile Detention Facility been contacted it would have been revealed Noah has earned the most desirable security level at the facility (Level III) rewarding juvenile detainees with additional earned privileges. Moreover, the North Central Juvenile Detention Facility would have further revealed Noah is allowed to continue his education by performing classwork as a Freshman in high school scoring A’s and B’s. A phone call to his teacher, Deb Whitecell, would have informed the State of Noah’s excellent academic status.
- Despite all of the above facts, the State wishes to remove Noah from the aforesaid secure, locked facility to where? The Mitchell County Jail.
- The State’s Application describes the Mitchell County Jail as (it), “can adequately separate juvenile prisoners from adult prisoners…by placing only juveniles in cells…separated by solid doors and walls…of sufficient distance to prohibit…incidental conversations and visual contact with adult prisoners or juveniles. Delbert Longley, jail inspector’s, statement of facts attached to the State’s Application reads as follows, “Mitchell County has the ability to house juveniles and maintain the required sight and sound separation. However, by policy, Mitchell County does not house any juveniles”. In other words, five foot, three inch, ninety-five pound Noah would be left alone in a cell rudderless, with only the weight of his own existence. Ironically, an adult in a similar situation would be better off than a juvenile.
- It is unsettling to hear of the State’s demand to root Noah to a solitary cell for months separating him from relevant human contact. His removal amounts to banishment and would render Noah’s life meaningless. Any positive relationship with his father, peers, and others, including his lawyers, would surely deteriorate.
- It is not the case under Iowa law to punish a defendant prior to conviction. Noah is presumed to be innocent of the charges against him. The State’s thinly veiled Application is an effort to treat him as though he were the fictional Hannibal Lecter.
- The State ignores the fact that Noah is detained in an excellent facility for juveniles awaiting trial. The State’s filing of the Application for Noah’s removal with no evidence of any infractions by him at the facility demeans and marginalizes the positive work the North Central Juvenile Detention Facility provides.
- The State’s Application should be denied.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED: KUTMUS, PENNINGTON & HOOK, PC
William Kutmus AT0004450
Trever Hook AT0003580
5000 Westown Parkway, Suite 310
West Des Moines, IA 50266
ATTORNEYS FOR NOAH CROOKS
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