Saturday, December 5, 2009

D.A. Colon Willoughby fights to keep innocent man in jail in order to shield prosecutor Tom Ford

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, in fighting to keep Gregory Taylor behind bars, is doing his best to protect the prosecutor who unjustly put him there, Tom Ford. Currently Gregory Taylor is serving a life sentence for the 1991 murder of Jacquetta Thomas. Recent evidence brought forth by Taylor’s attorneys state that Prosecutor Ford and a detective tried repeatedly to force Greg Taylor to falsely implicate Johnny Beck (an African American with a criminal drug record) in the murder of Ms. Thomas. They threatened to pin the murder on him if he did not cooperate to help them get an innocent (of the murder) black man off the street. Displaying more integrity, honesty, and sense of ethics than the prosecutor and detectives, Taylor refused, and as a result, the bogus case was manufactured against him, as promised. Because of his decision to do the right thing morally, Gregory Taylor has spent the last sixteen years in prison for a murder that he did not commit. And he remains in prison today.

The case against Gregory Taylor was flimsy to non-existent from the beginning. Without physical evidence tying him to the crime, he was convicted solely on the testimony of a prostitute and jailhouse snitch (both of whom received from the prosecutor a deal similar to the deal offered to Taylor). For implicating Taylor in the murder, the prosecutor gave them a break in their jail sentences; information about that prosecutorial offer was withheld from Greg Taylor’s attorneys at the time of trial. The case against Gregory Taylor really collapsed when another man, Craig Taylor (no relation) confessed to the crime. In confessing he established that he had a personal relationship with the victim, and he had knowledge about aspects of the crime that were not made public by investigators. In contrast, the witnesses who received a break for testifying against Greg Taylor, got a lot of the information about the crime wrong.

“Minister of Justice” Tom Ford, as late as 2003, asked a judge to deny Taylor’s request for DNA testing, despite the willingness of Taylor’s family to pay the costs. Fortunately for Mr. Taylor, who consistently appealed his conviction, the state’s Innocence Inquiry Commission took notice of his case. After a hearing, it declared that he was innocent and recommended that a three judge panel hear the case and make a ruling. In preparing for the hearing before the Innocence Inquiry Commission, Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby requested that Tom Ford (who prosecuted Taylor and is hardly impartial about him) assist him. Also, in their preparation, no one from the prosecutor’s office bothered to interview Craig Taylor, the man who confessed to the crime.

And about Johnny Beck, the African American with a criminal drug record who Prosecutor Ford hoped to pin Thomas’s murder on by using false testimony of Greg Taylor, and who was identified by Ford as the actual murderer of Jacquetta Thomas: Ford was forced to drop charges because Greg Taylor refused to lie against Beck, and without that false testimony, there was absolutely no case against Beck.

Wilson Prosecutor Bill Wolfe accused James Arthur Johnson of the murder, rape, kidnapping, and armed robbery of Brittany Willis after Johnson heroically solved her murder. He did the right thing by going to the police with information about a crime, and it cost him 39 months in jail. Another innocent man, Gregory Taylor did the right thing by refusing to accept an offer by Prosecutor Ford to give false testimony against an innocent man, and he was sentenced to life in prison on trumped up murder charges. Both prosecutors have no problem with putting innocent people behind bars, and as long as they follow the state’s tenet of “selective justice based on Class and Color,” they have no reason not to continue doing so when prosecuting. In both cases, the powers that be make sure to go out of their way, even at wasteful taxpayer expense, to shield them from any consequences of their unjust and abhorrent actions.

8 comments:

JSwift said...

Sidney,

You betray your double standard once again. You deny a double standard (without, however, explaining the specific examples of a double standard noted.)

Recent evidence brought forth by Taylor’s attorneys state that Prosecutor Ford and a detective tried repeatedly to force Greg Taylor to falsely implicate Johnny Beck (an African American with a criminal drug record) in the murder of Ms. Thomas.

I thought that you disbelieved evidence provided by defense attorneys.

They threatened to pin the murder on him if he did not cooperate to help them get an innocent (of the murder) black man off the street.

The DPD arrested Mr. Elmostafa, the taxi driver who picked up Mr. Seligmann when he told them he had nothing new about the Duke case. Mr. Nifong pursued charges of conspiracy to commit misdemeanor theft from a 2 ½ year old shoplifting committed by one of Mr. Elmostafa’s fares. The charges could have threatened Mr. Elmostafa’s citizenship.

Displaying more integrity, honesty, and sense of ethics than the prosecutor and detectives, Taylor refused, and as a result, the bogus case was manufactured against him, as promised.

Despite the fact that Mr. Elmostafa’s original statement is consistent with phone records, bank photographs and electronic data, you make unsubstantiated smears about Mr. Elmostafa.

The case against Gregory Taylor was flimsy to non-existent from the beginning.

Other than the inconsistent allegations by Ms. Mangum and the “identifications” from a flawed procedure, Mr. Nifong had essentially no evidence.

You fail to mention the evidence that placed Gregory Taylor near the murder scene. He and Mr. Beck were smoking crack cocaine the night of the murder and saw the victim’s body. Mr. Taylor left his SUV near the body where it was stuck in the mud. He and Mr. Beck agreed not to report the body to the police.

Mr. Taylor, like the Duke defendants, was placed near the scene of the crime (or alleged crime). You view that as “flimsy” in one case, but not the other.

Given your obsession with underage drinking, open container and noise violations, I am surprised that you do not harp on Gregory Taylor’s admitted drug use.

Without physical evidence tying him to the crime, he was convicted solely on the testimony of a prostitute

Ms. Mangum had several one-on-one “dates” in hotel rooms with men she did not know in the days preceding the party. Her testimony would have been the only “evidence” had the case gone to trial.

the prosecutor gave them a break in their jail sentences

Ms. Mangum avoided involuntary confinement at Durham Access when she nodded her head “yes” in reply to the question: “Were you raped?”

Mr. Roberts was given a favorable settlement in her probation violation (resulting from an earlier embezzlement conviction) when she changed her characterization of the allegation from a “crock.”

The case against Gregory Taylor really collapsed when another man, Craig Taylor (no relation) confessed to the crime.

No analogy here to Mr. Nifong. No one confessed to a crime that never occurred.

However, you fail to include the information that Craig Taylor has “confessed” to some 70 crimes, including at least one in which he was in jail at the time of the crime. A “confession” from a “serial confessor” must be viewed with some skepticism.

Craig Taylor appears to have provided information that was not publicly known. As a result, Gregory Taylor deserves another hearing and, unless Mr. Willoughby has additional evidence not discussed in the media coverage, his freedom.

I am sure that these differences are completely unintentional. Otherwise, some might question why you apply vastly different standards to Mr. Nifong than to other prosecutors. Some might even think that you were guilty of tremendous hypocrisy and could not be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

@ J Swift:

I really admire your tenacity in your ongoing comment "dialogue" with Lord Harr Harr and Mikey. However I feel it is really futile; the literal equivalent of "casting pearls before swine"

Walt said...

I concur and join in JSwift's post.

"I really admire your tenacity in your ongoing comment "dialogue" with Lord Harr Harr and Mikey. However I feel it is really futile...."

Anonymous on December 7 at 9:29 am, I must disagree. It is of the utmost importance for those who speak the truth do it here. This assures that those who might be swayed by Nifong's attempts to claim he is a victim of a vindictive state bar, some conspiracy, or just has been mistreated/misunderstood will be appraised of the facts.

Walt-in-Durham

William L. Anderson said...

I agree with J. Swift's point about Moez Elmostafa. In an earlier post, you hinted that the Seligmanns paid off Elmostafa to lie, yet you present no evidence at all.

Did Mr. Elmostafa manipulate the cameras at the bank and secretly put in a false time stamp? One would have to be a Conspiracy Theorist of the Highest Magnitude to believe that one.

Your post was a smear both to Mr. Elmostafa and the Seligmanns. Furthermore, you have hinted that the lacrosse players somehow were able to make their DNA disappear. The only way to do that is to use chemicals, like Lemaricus Davidson used on Channon Christian in the infamous torture-murder case in Knoxville, in which Davidson poured chemicals down Christian's throat to hide the fact he had forced her to perform oral sex. (His efforts were not entirely successful.)

Yet, I read of no report in which any chemicals, bleach or otherwise, were found on Crystal, on her body, or in her mouth or over places. Yet, you continue to insist the players must have done something to make the DNA disappear.

How did they do that? Did they use magic? You are a physician, and you are quite familiar with science and physiology, yet you are wanting to depart from your own sources of knowledge. I would think you are better than that.

It is one thing to believe Mike Nifong was singled out when other prosecutors also have done terrible things. I can see why you have that belief.

However, it is quite another to go into the face of forensic science and to make wild accusations against the Seligmann family just because you hate some people of other races than your own. I would hope that you are a bigger man than that.

unbekannte said...

Hey Sidney Harr de Harr Harr:

If you are really that starved for attention, why don't you launch yourself in a balloon?

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Justice58 said...

However, it is quite another to go into the face of forensic science and to make wild accusations against the Seligmann family just because you hate some people of other races than your own. I would hope that you are a bigger man than that.


Didn't you accuse some in Durham of attempted murder? Didn't you also accuse Irving Joiner of approving what was done to Eve Carson?

http://www.hackedbannedandlockeddown.yuku.com/topic/3243

"I am not exaggerating. The last things these people wanted was for these guys to be able to survive prison. This is why the lawsuits against Durham and Nifong are so important. As far as I am concerned, the people I have named were enagaged in attempted murder and nothing less than that".

http://reharmonized.an-earful.com/2009/04/wonderland-rumor-mill/

"Let us be honest here. There is a portion of Durham—and that includes Irving Joyner—that has an underlying approval for what was done to Eve Carson. I am not saying that Joyner approved of her murder, but he has said nothing that goes to the heart of the situation. He sees himself as a guardian of African-Americans in Durham, and I would not be surprised if he was hoping for an act of jury nullification so Atwater and Lovette could be set free".

"Let us not forget that Joyner, McSurely, and the NAACP held that the biggest threat to Durham was the Duke lacrosse team. They desperately wanted these young men railroaded to prison, and in their minds, if Lovette and Atwater are acquitted despite the evidence against them, it will be a “fair trade” to the AA community for the lacrosse players not going to prison. Don’t kid yourself; this is how people like Joyner, Barber, and others think".

Anonymous said...

@Justice58:


OINK!!!!

William L. Anderson said...

Hmmm. I specifically wrote that Joyner did not approve of the actions, but rather that he views the world entirely through a racial prism. My comments went to the punishment of those who were accused, not approval of their acts.

There have been many statements in the past made by African-American leaders that have given tacit approval to acquittal of African-Americans accused of crimes against whites or Asians. The acquittals in the Reginald Denny assault in Los Angeles, for example, were justified as a "trade" for the acquittals in state court for the offices accused of beating Rodney King. Now, the Denny beating was totally unprovoked and done on camera, so it would seem to me that the jurors and the A-A leaders in Los Angeles were giving tacit approval to the results.

However, you did not address the central point that I was making regarding the arrest and trial of Moez Elmostafa in Durham. This was an attempt to discredit a witness, not to seek justice. Any community that will put an innocent man on trial just to aid another unjust case is a community that for all the talk of "justice" really does not care about justice at all.

And I stand by my comments to Dr. Harr regarding his accusations regarding the Seligmanns.