Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 year end reflections and season’s greetings

2010 was a mixed bag, with anti-Nifong fervor as strong as ever, thanks in large measure to the biased media which cherry picks stories in determining which ones to report on based in large measure on how they adhere to the Carpetbagger Jihad agenda. For example, it jumped on the story about Crystal Mangum (the Duke Lacrosse victim) when she was battered in mid-February by an ex-boyfriend. After police conspired to turn the domestic call into the criminalizing of Ms. Mangum with ludicrous, trumped up and excessive charges, the media saturated the airwaves and newsprint with stories about her arrest. When it became apparent to the media (people in the media are very intelligent) that the charges against Ms. Mangum were bogus and nothing more than a vendetta against her for her role in the Duke Lacrosse case, the coverage output was lowered to a whisper, as media-types were too embarrassed to continue with the charade. When the jury deadlocked on the most serious charge against Mangum in early December, media-types barely touched on the story.

Media stories about Ms. Mangum’s so-called criminal charges were heavily weighted with rehash of the Duke Lacrosse case. Typically, Ms. Mangum was referred to as the “false Duke Lacrosse accuser” and almost all stories misled their audience by proclaiming that the boys were declared innocent. It was a pitiful example of journalism that not only tainted Ms. Mangum’s ability to receive a fair trial, but which was highly propagandistic.

Another abominable anti-Nifong story from the year has to do with the blatant, malicious, and premeditated discrimination against Sidney Harr, the Lay Advocate for the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong. Harr was nearly arrested on the Duke campus after attending an event open to the public… an interview with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. What was obviously discrimination based on Harr’s stance with respect to the Duke Lacrosse case and his support for former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, the university came up with a cockamamie excuse that security escorted him off campus because he handed out some business cards and asked people to visit his website. This incident was brought to the attention of the media, but they elected not to cover it as it contradicted their jihadist’s goals.

Media-types and politicians eagerly jumped into the fray when a lesbian was booted from the ROTC program for violating the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military, and when two lesbians were asked to leave Cameron Village mall because they had publicly expressed some affection. The latter case got national media attention and even the ACLU got involved. It seems, and is unfortunately a reality, that discrimination directed at Mike Nifong supporters is legally acceptable and condoned by the media.

In other social justice issues, the wrongful and lengthy incarcerations of Gregory Flint Taylor and Derrick Allen came to light. Their convictions were in part won through SBI lab misconduct, of which their prosecutors were well aware and in which they possibly had a hand. Although the SBI lab and SBI agents have taken the brunt of the media focused attention, the prosecutors have been given a free pass, in accordance with the PAPEN (Protect All Prosecutors Except Nifong) policy. And, the one prosecutor, Gregory Butler, who acted with the integrity of a Mike Nifong, was taken before the North Carolina State Bar. This was a deliberate waste of time, as the unregulated State Bar filed bogus charges against Butler due to media stories critical of him. Butler provided defense with discovery as soon as he became aware that attorneys for the defendant did not possess it, and it was nonsensical of the Bar to pounce on him for that, especially when it had no outcome on the fairness of the proceedings or the judgment meted out. Like Nifong, the Bar’s charges against Butler were laughably without merit, but unlike Nifong, Butler received no disciplinary action from the Bar whereas Nifong received the severest punishment at their disposal…disbarment. Another year in the books, and Mike Nifong remains the only prosecutor to be disbarred since the NC State Bar’s inception.

Finally, an attempt by the state to execute an innocent man was recently revealed. Wilmington’s Shan Edward Carter was wrongfully convicted in 2000 for in the 1996 kidnapping and murder of drug-dealer Donald Brunson. Although prosecutors sought the death penalty, Carter received a life sentence in that case. Prosecutors used this false conviction (which relied on hearsay testimony from unreliable witnesses and which was totally lacking in physical evidence, DNA, eyewitnesses, etc.) to win two death penalty convictions in the self-defense death of drug-dealer Tyrone Baker and the accidental death of Demetrius Green, an 8 year-old boy tragically caught in the line of fire. The cases against Carter are fraught with inappropriate actions and misconduct on the part of the prosecution, SBI lab, judges, investigators, and even Carter’s own defense and appeals lawyers.

Because the media, like the state’s justice system, follows its own tenet of reporting based on Class and Color, it is questionable whether this case will garner the attention in the mainstream media which it deserves. But these cases, along with documents supporting the contention that Shan Carter had nothing to do with the Brunson murder, and that the sentences reached in the Baker/Green case are unfair, will be put before the public in this venue during 2011 and the upcoming years until Carter receives justice.

Finally, I would like to thank all commenters throughout 2010 for taking the time to get involved and voicing their opinions. Because of your involvement I have learned a lot, and I hope that you have benefited by the process also. In appreciation to the commenters I will be paying homage to them in Episode V of “The MisAdventures of Super-Duper Cooper.” More is to come on that later.

For all readers, my fondest wishes for the holidays, a following link will take you to my e-Christmas card. (Unfortunately, I did not know how to control the audio, so before linking up to it, set the volume low and adjust upward.) Enjoy.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Comments in conclusion about the shameful “so-called” arson case against Crystal Mangum

On Friday, December 17, 2010, a twelve member jury in a Durham criminal courtroom mercifully put an end to yet another legal fiasco hosted by the State of North Carolina. The trial against Crystal Mangum for felony arson and a spate of misdemeanors, culminated a ten month legal process which began amid much fanfare in the media. As is often the case, the media gave little in the way of attention with regards to the conclusion. And this is not to say that the prosecution lost, for they were actually big winners in the verdict delivered on Friday. Because Ms. Mangum was not convicted of the most serious charge, she escaped the probability of more time behind bars, but she was the big loser in this shameful episode of Tar Heel juris prudence.

Make no mistake about it… the case against Crystal Mangum is unlike any other case involving domestic violence in the state’s history. Actions by the first responders to the 911 call made by Crystal’s children, rulings by the magistrate and judges involved in the case, the prosecution’s charges, and the featherweight defense put forth on Ms. Mangum’s behalf were all part of a grand scheme of retribution against individuals who had any part in prosecuting the case against the Duke Lacrosse defendants. Anyone with a scintilla of common sense knows that Crystal Mangum’s case was not handled like similar such cases, and they also know why… Crystal Mangum was the accuser in the Duke Lacrosse case (or as labeled by the media, “false accuser”).

The power that the Carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants hold within the state is embarrassingly immense. Nationally, these families of wealth, status, and privilege have always exerted tremendous sway on the media (the main conduit being through former CBS News executive Rae Forker Evans – mother of Duke Lacrosse defendant Dave Evans), and they used it effectively against Ms. Mangum.

There is no doubt about the vindictive nature of the Carpetbagger families against anyone they perceived to have had a hand in the prosecution which stemmed from an incident in which their sons attended a beer-guzzling, stripper ogling party held in a Buchanan Street house on Duke property in March 2006. The Carpetbagger Jihad against former prosecutor Mike Nifong et al. was officially unleashed during a “60 Minutes” interview in which Ms. Evans promised that “he (Mike Nifong) would pay every day for the rest of his life” (for essentially having the audacity to do his job which happened to include charging their party-going boys with a sexual assault). The city of Durham, the state of North Carolina, and the media enthusiastically embraced this call for vengeance, and pursued, with relish, the destruction of Crystal Mangum, Mike Nifong, and others. And with regards to Ms. Mangum, they were successful, but not quite to the degree in which they had hoped or envisioned.

The arrest and slew of serious charges against Ms. Mangum were made for the purpose of justifying a high bail. Believing that the likelihood of Mangum bonding out was nil, it was the intent of the prosecution to drag out its case over several years while Ms. Mangum languished in jail awaiting trial. (This was the same successful strategy employed by prosecutor Bill Wolfe against defendant James Arthur Johnson who was incarcerated for 39 months before the case against him came to trial.) As in the Johnson case, after Mangum had served a couple of years in jail the prosecutors planned to offer her a plea deal to confess to a felony in exchange for “time served,” the threat being that she could face many more years in jail if convicted. After serving 88 days in the Durham Detention Center a benevolent and generous bail bondsman placed bond which resulted in Ms. Mangum being transferred to house arrest. With Mangum no longer incarcerated, and with prosecutors losing their major bargaining chip to reach a plea deal, they decided to move ahead with the flimsy case against her. Although the prosecutor would have liked to have kept Mangum locked up for two or three years, they realized that they would have to settle for three months. Their goal was now to seek a resolution that would place them and their agents in he best possible light and free of any subsequent civil legal entanglements.

With the three month incarceration following her February 17, 2010 arrest, severe personal damage was sustained by Ms. Mangum. Prior to her arrest Ms. Mangum worked full time, she had custody of her three children, she was enrolled as a graduate student at North Carolina Central University in the Masters program, she rented an apartment for her family, she had amassed personal property for herself and her children, she was able to help take care of her parents, and she was a financially independent individual in society, attempting to put her past Duke Lacrosse history behind her. The aforementioned she lost due to her arrest and three month incarceration, although Judge Abraham Jones did reinstate for Ms. Mangum the custody of her children.

I am of the opinion that the police, most likely Officer Tyler, started the fire in the bathtub, not Crystal or her ex-boyfriend. Police, prosecutors, lab technicians, investigators have often gone afoul of the law in order to win a conviction. In the James Arthur Johnson case, for example, the prosecutor planned to introduce two eyewitnesses to the crime after his main witness retracted his initial statement implicating Johnson. The two “so-called eyewitnesses” both had connections with the police department, and prosecutors discarded this strategy once the NAACP brought media attention to the case. In the Floyd Brown case, prosecutors came up with an alleged verbatim confession from a man who mental health experts testified was too retarded to have made. In the Gregory Taylor case prosecutor Tom Ford used perjured testimony procured through plea deals to convict an innocent man of murder. For the police to set blaze to clothes in a bathtub in a controlled setting in order to concoct a serious felony charge is not much of a stretch.

Why do I believe that police set the fire? The following reasons are but a few:
(1) Police made no attempt to put out the fire. All that was required was to turn on water in the bathtub. That is what you, me, or anyone possessing a modicum of commons sense and sanity would naturally do.
(2) Police had the opportunity to stage the fire after Officer Tyler ordered everyone out of the house because he “smelled smoke.” That is most likely when the fire was set.
(3) With the large number of police on scene, no one saw the bathtub fire actually being set, and police cannot provide a sensible narrative about what transpired from the time they arrived to when the fire was allegedly discovered.
(4) Police and prosecutors sought the most serious charge, first degree arson, when conditions did not merit it... the structure suffered on flame damage.
(5) Police, firemen, and prosecutors did not provide a list of clothing articles which allegedly filled the bathtub or the number of articles damaged by the fire. Are we to presume that a boyfriend who occasionally spends the night at the apartment has a bathtub full amount of clothing there?
(6) The fire report contains no documentation that there was any structural flame damage, only smoke damage to the building (i.e. the box for flame damage to the structure was not checked). I was told that some fire reports which I requested were confidential and I was denied access to them. Those fire reports which were delivered to me were vague. One fire report also exaggerated by stating that the fire department responded to what police described as a “structure fire with a subject trapped.” I believe that the firemen were misled by Officer Tyler.
(7) Although I was not present at the trial, it is my understanding that Judge Jones declared at the beginning of the trial that he would not allow the Durham Police Department to be put on trial. Why even make such a statement unless he had reason to believe the likelihood that the police had a hand in the fire and/or other misconduct?
(8) Police, especially Officer Tyler, realized when they arrived on a call to the residence of Crystal Mangum that they had an opportunity to somehow ensnare her into the criminal justice system. They seized upon the opportunity to the extent that they completely ignored the domestic complaint which triggered the 911 call. In other words, they ignored the fact that Crystal Mangum was repeatedly struck in the face by her ex-boyfriend and that her ex-boyfriend initiated the physical contact (he was never charged.) The media, as well as agencies and groups against domestic violence, kept silent regarding this.

The above are but a few of the glaring reasons why I believe police set the fire and why I have serious doubts as to Ms. Mangum’s involvement in it. And I am not alone in my beliefs. Media-types are aware that the charges against Ms. Mangum were bogus and directly related to a stealth vendetta strategy spawned by the Carpetbagger Jihad. That is why after the initial charges were made and subsequent stories about the case (especially the trial) were muted. For example, if you go to, the online site of CBS affiliate WRAL – TV 5, you will find a plethora of articles about Mangum’s arrest and events leading up to the trial, but no coverage about the trial itself, or the outcome. I understand that the shameful case made by prosecutors against Mangum was such an embarrassment that the media did all it could to shield it from the public. Coverage by the media was purposely sparse to keep from affording the public a chance to glimpse the cockamamie case against Mangum. And what coverage there was about the trial focused in large part on defining Ms. Mangum as the “False Duke Lacrosse Accuser” (what a way to assure that Ms. Mangum receives a fair trial). Many of the stories, including those by Associated Press, continue to mislead the readers by stating that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were declared innocent. (As I have written for some time, this is misleading because the defendants were not found legally innocent. Roy Cooper, the Attorney General had no authority and was overreaching when he declared the boys innocent. Cooper did so at the urging of defense attorney Joe Cheshire’s underling Brad Bannon… and of course the media has latched onto it for the purpose of repeatedly stating that the boys were “declared to be innocent.”) What the media (including the Associated Press) consistently uses when it drags Mike Nifong into any conversation about the Duke Lacrosse case, is that the North Carolina State Bar convicted him of twenty ethical charges. What charges?… the media doesn’t even name one. Furthermore the average person on the street can not only name one so-called ethical charge against Mike Nifong, they can not even give a reason for Mr. Nifong’s disbarment. And remember that although the media persistently talks about Mike Nifong’s disbarment, they never inform the public that Mike Nifong is the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the State Bar since its inception in 1933. Keep in mind that the people in the media are extremely intelligent. When it comes to Mike Nifong and the Duke Lacrosse case the media aim is to keep the people ignorant… and they have been able to mislead those in the public who are not savvy to their ways of bending, molding, fabricating, spinning and distorting the truth.

Regarding the defense of Ms. Mangum, there is no doubt in my mind that the public defender initially assigned to the case was working more to achieve an outcome that was most favorable to the prosecution. After all, they are both state employees. I believe that the goal of Mangum’s public defender was to have her plead guilty to a felony arson charge in exchange for a sentence of “time served.” At least, by going to trial represented by a private defense attorney, Mani Dexter, Ms. Mangum now has only misdemeanor charges on her record. The major problem that I have with the defense was that (to my knowledge) there was no attempt to obtain a change of venue. As I blogged earlier, this is one case that screamed for it… just like the case against James Arthur Johnson should have had a change of venue from the media inspired racially divided city of Wilson. The judge in the Johnson case denied the motion for venue change, and I am apt to believe that the same would have happened had Mani Dexter, Mangum’s attorney, sought one. I believe that Ms. Dexter’s defense was hampered significantly by rulings from the bench… rulings which may have thwarted an aggressive defense. But I feel that she could have more effectively challenged the misdemeanor charges. Instead of calling one witness, I believe that she should have called several, including Mangum’s ex-boyfriend, and Mangum’s older children. She should have thoroughly investigated and brought before the court the alleged “injured property” (clothing and alleged damage to the car). The defense of Ms. Mangum was featherweight, but the prosecution’s case against her had the weight of straw. A dedicated, determined, competent defense held in a court out of Duke University’s sphere of influence would have trounced the prosecution’s case and resulted in an acquittal on all charges, I strongly believe.

The Durham based jury did its duty by convicting Ms. Mangum on all of the misdemeanor charges against her, even though the charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor convolutedly relied on a guilty finding in the arson charge… a charge with which Mangum was not convicted. In other words, what is the jury’s basis for finding Crystal Mangum guilty of contributing to the delinquency of her children? Even Judge Jones did not find the charge credible as he reinstated custody to Ms. Mangum of her children. Although the jury deadlocked on the most serious arson charge, it delivered for the prosecution by convicting her on the misdemeanor charges. With those convictions, the police, firemen, prosecutors, and the state are absolved from any future civil prosecution for wrongful incarceration or civil rights violations.

Now Durham County prosecutor Mark McCullough, whose passionate courtroom oratory about his concerns for Ms. Mangum’s children’s safety when the fire was allegedly started, coyly stated to the press that he will take a month to consider re-trying Crystal Mangum in the future. I fail to see McCullough’s concern for Ms. Mangum’s children by a continued attempt to put the mother of the children they love in jail for years based on trumped up charges. Alas, the Carpetbagger Jihad has no consideration for children other than their own and those of the higher social class. Take this to the bank. McCullough’s bravado about considering to re-try Crystal Mangum is empty. There are a number of reasons why. First and foremost, doing so would risk exposing wrongdoing and misconduct by the Durham Police Department. Secondly, even in a Duke University dominated city, a conviction against the “false Duke Lacrosse accuser” could not be reach… in fact, the jurors polled nine to three in favor of acquittal on the charge. And third, the media is not supportive of the prospect of lingering coverage of a bogus charge which they know is based solely on Mangum’s role in the Duke Lacrosse case. A factor which I would not expect to entertain McCullough’s consideration is the tremendous expense and waste of taxpayer money in re-trying Ms. Mangum. If he thought he had a reasonable chance of prevailing at a second trial, expense would not be an obstacle, and the public, which would be unaware of the waste of their taxpayer dollars in doing so, would not object. But, this is all moot, as there will be no re-trial.

Finally, with regards to Jackie Wagstaff, I believe that her utterance of “this is ridiculous” was not intended to travel any further than to the individual seated next to her and to whom she was addressing. However, her emotional investment in the case inadvertently and unintentionally resulted in her blurting out the comment at a decibel level higher than intended. I believe the judge’s ten day sentence was extreme, especially with it lasting over the holidays, and I am hopeful that he will take the initiative to drastically reduce it. 24 hours housed in the jail is more than enough to make a point. (And was what I perceive to be the severity of her sentence due to Wagstaff’s position with regards to the Duke Lacrosse case?)

My final major conclusions:
(1) Ms. Mangum is fortunate to be freed at the conclusion of this trial;
(2) the charges and prosecution against Ms. Mangum were due to her role in the Duke Lacrosse case;
(3) the arson case against Ms. Mangum was bogus, and the fire most likely was started by Officer Tyler;
(4) the defense should have filed a motion for a change of venue, which would have most likely resulted in a trial held on a more level playing field;
(5) the media’s coverage was typically biased for anything related to Mike Nifong and Duke Lacrosse case; and
(6) the prosecution is satisfied with the trial’s outcome and will not risk a re-trial.

The one important thing to take away from this trial is that discrimination from all quarters exist against individuals who are supporters of Mike Nifong and/or whose opinions are not favorable and sympathetic towards the Duke Lacrosse defendants. It behooves people who fall into this category to be aware of this when they encounter a situation which might attract attention or authorities. Examples are Crystal Mangum’s treatment at the February 17, 2010 incident, and Ms. Wagstaff’s severe contempt of court punishment. From my own experience, I can attest to the discrimination and my near-arrest on the Duke University campus which was appalling. The Carpetbagger Jihad influence weighs heavily in North Carolina and throughout the United States, and that is truly shameful.

Friday, December 17, 2010

In depth corrections about errors in previous blog posted on December 15, 2010

Unlike MSNBC, Duke University, and most media types, when I err, I move quickly to apply principles of “restorative justice” in response… which means accepting responsibility, apologizing, correcting the mistake and doing whatever possible to see that it doesn’t recur.

Regarding the previous blog, on February 10, 1997, Keith Richardson picked Shan Carter out of a photo lineup, and not a physical lineup as I had assumed. The police were aware at that time that Shan Carter had been arrested for breaking and entering Richardson’s residence earlier that month, and that Richardson carried around a photo of Carter and was seeking information about him. Police most likely and sensibly concluded that Richardson was the aggressor in the February 5, 1997 incident, as no charges were brought against Carter for that shooting.

Just to clarify, it was Louis Tyson and not Shan Carter who suspected that Kwada Temoney and Julius Jones had broken into Tyson’s home and wounded him in the leg with a gun.

Finally, and most importantly, Attorney Richard G. Miller, who was the capital defender for Shan Carter in the Brunson murder trial, was not asked by Shan to obtain, copy or secure records of pay phones which Demetria Green used prior to leading Lakeisha Carter to an interview with detectives. Carter first learned at trial about use of the pay phone by Demetria while on the way with Lakeisha's grandfather to meet with authorities for the interview with Lakeisha. Attorney Miller never even brought up the possibility of the significance of the use of the pay phone as being a vital link to establish the collaboration between the detectives, prosecution and FBI agent and Demetria Green, who was obviously charged with the task of bringing Lakeisha Carter into town for the videotaped interview. Carter began to seek records of the pay phones in 2000 from his appeals attorney Edwin L. West III, who made no attempt to retrieve them, despite their importance. Carter's subsequent attorney Sharon Smith, hired in 2003, investigated the pay phone records in 2008 (at which time she was told that they had been destroyed.)

With the above errors explained in full, I suggest you re-read the blog posted previously (on December 15, 2010) to get a fuller and more accurate understanding of this case… with all of its twists and turns.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shaky witnesses with hearsay evidence, witness intimidation, and suppression of exculpatory evidence used to win murder conviction against Shan Carter

Notice of errors: Please be aware of the errors in the blog which follows. Shan Carter notified me of the mistakes just hours ago. I accept responsibility for them, apologize for them, will post another blog to address the errors in depth, and will take measures to try and prevent mistakes in the future. Specifically the mistakes are as follows:
1) on February 10, 1997, Keith Richardson picked Shan Carter out of a photo lineup as the person who had shot him – however, Carter was neither charged or arrested for that incident;
2) Louis Tyson, not Shan Carter, named Kwada Temoney and Julius Jones as the two masked suspects who he believed had robbed him and shot him in the leg; and
3) Carter never asked his attorney Richard G. Miller to obtain copies of pay phone records.
posted - December 17, 2010

The December 6, 1996 kidnap and murder of drug-dealer Donald Brunson in Wilmington, NC was committed by Kwada Temoney and two accomplices. However the wheels of justice falsely ensnared a man innocent of any involvement in that crime… Shan Edward Carter. Although no forensic or physical evidence existed and there were no eyewitnesses tying Carter to the crime, he was nonetheless convicted of participating in Brunson’s murder as prosecutors sought the death penalty. In fact, evidence consisting of hair fibers and saliva on two masks and a toboggan cap, were exculpatory with respect to Carter. Yet, the state of North Carolina fought mightily to win a conviction and a life sentence (prosecutors had sought a death penalty). Jurors felt that if the one man linked to the crime (Temoney) was given a plea deal which spared his life in exchange for a life sentence, then it would be unfair for others involved in Brunson’s murder to be given the death sentence… hence, Carter’s life sentence.

Prosecutor John Sherrill, who led the state’s prosecution against Carter, had invaluable help from the judge on the case, the SBI lab (of course), and even Carter’s defense attorney Richard G. Miller, in his successful bid to win a conviction. In addition to witness intimidation by the prosecutor, the existence of vital evidence (involving pay phone records) which was made known by the defendant Carter was ignored by all, including Carter’s attorneys, until it was allegedly destroyed many years later.

In an affidavit of January 18, 2005, Attorney Sharon L. Smith makes the claim that Shan Carter’s claim of innocence is credible (just as this blog has maintained). Specifically, her statements include the following: “I find Shan’s claims of innocence to be credible, in part because t here is no physical, eyewitness or DNA evidence linking him to the crimes. In addition, the prosecution’s evidence at trial was inconsistent with eyewitness statements given immediately after the crimes and with the time frame in which the crimes occurred. Because of the lack of any direct evidence, Shan’s convictions in the Brunson case were procured by the use of hearsay evidence that is inadmissible under the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).” (Link below will lead to Sharon Smith’s affidavit.)

According to Donald Brunson’s girlfriend, Ana Santiago, the home invasion occurred early in the morning of December 6, 1996 in the following manner. Brunson and Ms. Santiago were in bed when the door to their apartment and bedroom were kicked in. Three armed and masked men entered, tied her up and severely beat Brunson in an attempt to procure the location of his stash of money. Then using Santiago’s car, Brunson was taken and deposited in the trunk and was driven to a desolate location, accompanied by another vehicle of the assailants. It is believed that Brunson was fatally shot a short distance from Santiago’s car and that an attempt was made by the perpetrators to burn the stolen vehicle used to kidnap Brunson in a bid to destroy evidence. The two ski masks and a toboggan cap used to conceal the identities of the three men were placed in the car, but remained intact when the vehicle failed to be consumed in flames. SBI and FBI labs later analyzed hair fibers and saliva found on the masks to compare with suspects in the case.

In less than a month after Brunson’s death, on January 1, 1997, Shan Carter and Kwada Temoney attempted to burglarize the residence of drug-dealer Keith Richardson. A silent alarm triggered a police response that led to the capture of Carter, and eventually Temoney. Shortly thereafter, Shan bonded out from jail. On February 5, 1997, Richardson, who had been showing Carter’s mug-shot and asking questions about him, came across Carter who was walking with Julius Jones to visit Temoney. After confronting them and establishing the true identity of Carter, Richardson took from his back pocket a gun (believed by Carter to be a .22 or .25 caliber gun). Shan Carter withdrew from his shoulder holster a .357 magnum gun and started firing at Richardson. One bullet struck Richardson in the forearm as he took flight and ran. Carter briskly walked away in the opposite direction. (Link below will also lead to Julius Jones’s 2005 affidavit in which he stated that he saw the gun drawn by Richardson on February 5, 1997, and that Shan acted in self-defense against the aggressor Richardson. Jones was never called to the stand to refute Richardson’s claim that he was unarmed in the altercation.)

Shan Carter was later arrested, and on February 10, 1997, was picked out of a lineup by Richardson as the man who had shot him. Again, Carter obtained bond and was temporarily free on the streets of Wilmington.

Since November 1996, in the month prior to the Brunson murder, Tyrone Baker, a drug-dealer from New York, had made public threats of his intention of killing those responsible for the theft of $40,000 in cash from his apartment, along with a few other personal items. The three he believed responsible, and rightfully so, were Damont White, Kwada Temoney, and Shan Carter. On or about February 16, 1997, Baker found Temoney and Carter on the corner of Tenth and Dawson. Without warning, Baker punched Temoney in the face, and according to Temoney, knocking him out cold. Baker then menacingly approached Carter with a heavy army field coat draped over his arm and hand, which Carter believed concealed a firearm. Carter took out his .357 magnum in one hand and fired low at Baker in an attempt to wound him. The first bullet struck Baker in the front of his thigh, and the recoil of the gun brought the barrel higher as he squeezed off the second shot which struck Baker in the left side below his ribcage as he turned to his right to flee. To prevent Baker from using the corner of the store as cover from which to possibly return fire, Carter followed Baker to the corner. He fired three more shots from his revolver in Baker’s direction to entice him to keep running and allow Carter to get to his car parked near the corner so he could drive away. Tragically, one of the bullets struck an 8 year-old boy, Demetrius Green, in the head as he sat in a parked car and he died. (Carter never saw the boy, and only learned hours later that Baker and Demetrius Green had both died.) When Carter reached his car, Temoney had recovered and got in the car, and they drove away. Renee Barnes, an acquaintance and dealer for Baker, witnessed the event and ran to Baker’s side. She took Baker’s army field coat, and probably a weapon hidden beneath it, along with his car keys, and left the crime scene before police arrived. (Ms. Barnes drove to Baker’s girlfriend’s house in Baker’s car. The coat eventually ended up in New York, and was sent to Wilmington authorities in 1998, still containing some dried blood.)

On February 18, 1997, Kwada Temoney and Julius Jones wearing masks, broke into Louis Tyson’s home seeking money. Temoney shot Tyson in the legs during the home invasion, with some of Tyson’s blood getting on Temoney’s navy blue coat. Afterwards, Temoney went to the motel where Carter was staying. Authorities had closed in on the motel when a taxi cab arrived for Carter and Temoney. Carter, wearing his black coat with orange lining, grabbed Temoney’s blue coat to facilitate their egress from the hotel, as Temoney exited without wearing a coat. The police then surrounded the two and made their arrest.

Although Shan had no involvement with the home invasion of Lou Tyson which had taken place earlier, prosecutors and police tried to link the blood-stained navy blue coat as belonging to Carter. Eventually, no charges were taken out against Carter for the armed robbery/home invasion of Louis Tyson.

After Carter’s arrest in February 18, 1997, Carter remained in custody. Over the ensuing two and a half year period police tried to link Carter to the Brunson murder through forensics tests. Meanwhile, Carter relationship with his wife, Lakeisha had been strained to the point that by the beginning of 1998, they were no longer communicating. Lakeisha had mental health issues, including involuntary commitment, and she had some justifiable hostility towards Carter for his womanizing ways prior to his most recent incarceration.

By October 1999, authorities had exhausted all forensic avenues and were unsuccessful in their attempts to link Carter to the Donald Brunson kidnapping and murder, however charges still loomed for Carter with respect to the deaths of Tyrone Baker and 8 year-old Demetrius Green. There is no doubt in my mind that prosecutors wanted a conviction against Carter in the Brunson case to take into trial against Carter in the deaths of Baker and Green. To proceed against Carter in the Baker/Green cases without a prior serious conviction would make prevailing in what was obviously a self-defense and accidental shooting situation all the more daunting. So, as Assistant District Attorney John Sherrill told the staff writer Amy E. Turnbull of the Wilmington Morning Star, they “made a case (against Shan Carter in the Brunson murder) that did not exist.” Making a case against Carter was achieved basically through conjured up hearsay testimony from witnesses who were unreliable, intimidated, and coaxed with financial gain. It was achieved by suppressing evidence which would expose the conspiracy against Carter. And, it was achieved with the help of judges, the SBI lab, and Carter’s own attorney Richard G. Miller and Carter’s appeals attorney Edwin L. West III.

The campaign against Carter in the Brunson murder began in earnest in October 1999, and at trial two years later consisted mainly of hearsay testimony by Shonte Bowen and Lakeisha Carter, Shan’s estranged wife. Shonte’s testimony was used to try and tie Carter in the presence of Kwada Temoney at the time of the home invasion where Brunson was residing with his girlfriend. Shonte Bowen was a drug user and drug-dealer whose testimony about the Brunson murder was known by the New Hanover Sheriff’s Department to be suspect. A polygraph test re: the Brunson crime was given to Nakiha “Shonte” Bowen on April 28, 1998. The test was conducted to determine if Ms. Bowen was being truthful regarding information she had provided about the Donald Brunson homicide investigation. The conclusion was “Deception Indicated.” A follow-up polygraph exam was performed on Ms. Bowen the following day, April 29, 1998, with the same focus. The same conclusion, “Deception Indicated,” was reached. (The link situated below will lead to the polygraph test results of April 28 and 29, 1998.)

Shonte Bowen received money from the North Carolina Banker’s Association as a result of her knowledge about a bank robbery, and was granted money for information about other crimes. (Link below will lead to a transaction in which she received payment for information given about a bank robbery.)

The other person whose statements were instrumental in Shan Carter’s conviction in the Donald Brunson murder was Shan’s estranged wife, Lakeisha Carter. In order to obtain statements from Lakeisha, authorities went through Demetria Green, a close relative of 8 year-old Demetrius Green, the boy accidentally shot by Carter in his defensive actions against Tyrone Baker. Demetria had no affection for Lakeisha as the two had a past history in which they both dated the same boy. She certainly despised Carter for his role in Demetrius Green’s death.

On October 11, 1999, Detective Tom Witkowski, FBI Agent Paul Cox, and New Hanover Assistant District Attorney John Sherrill went to Lakeisha Carter’s home. Sherrill was introduced to Lakeisha as the assistant district attorney, but remained silent while the others spoke with her about the Brunson case.

The following day, October 12, 1999, Detective Witkowski and Agent Cox returned to Lakeisha’s house and continued to ask her questions about Brunson.

Then, in the morning of October 14, 1999, Demetria Green went to the school where Lakeisha’s aunt worked in an attempt to contact Lakeisha. The aunt referred her to Lakeisha’s grandfather Rudolf Maulete, who had essentially raised Lakeisha because her mother was heavily involved with drugs. Demetria called Maulete and told him about the urgency of contacting Lakeisha, whereupon Maulete picked her up and they proceeded to Lakeisha’s house. Demetria told Lakeisha that if she did not go with her to make a statement to the authorities, that she would be arrested and charged as an accessory in the Donald Brunson murder. Believing Demetria’s warning to be credible after the recent previous visits from authorities, Lakeisha went with Demetria to Maulete’s car, and they all headed towards town.

On the way downtown, Demetria demanded that Mr. Maulete pull off the road so that she could make a call from a pay phone. (It has always been Shan’s belief that the call made from that pay phone by Demetria was to Cox, Witkowski, or someone in the Sheriff’s or District Attorney’s Office… most likely to let them know they were on the way or to get instructions as to where they would meet.) Demetria led them to the District Attorney’s Office where FBI Agent Paul Cox, Detective Tom Witkowski, Detective Blake Boaz, and prosecutors Ben David and John Sherrill just happened to be. It was Detectives Boaz and Witkowski, along with Agent Cox who then videotaped an interview with Lakeisha Carter, who had no attorney or legal representation. (That part of the transcript of the interview which exists will be posted later. In an affidavit Lakeisha stated that she had no idea that the interview was being recorded. Also, the prosecution claims that major portions of the interview were lost due to mechanical malfunctions with the recording devices.)

Despite the fact that only a selected portion of the videotaped interview was intact, the judge allowed its admission into evidence in the trial against Carter for the Brunson murder.

Knowing that the pay phone records would provide a link from Demetria Green to the prosecution’s team, Shan Carter tried feverishly to have his attorney Richard Miller obtain records from the telephone company. Miller stalled, and never did follow up on obtaining the pay phone records.

As early as January 26, 2001, Shan Carter asked his appeals attorney, Edwin L. West III to obtain the pay phone records. (Link below leads to letter to confirm such a request.) However, like Carter’s attorney before him, West dillydallied and did nothing to obtain such records, undoubtedly with the intent of protecting the prosecution team at the very expense of his client Shan Carter.

Shan’s next appeals attorney Sharon L. Smith mentions the pay phone in correspondence with Carter in letters dated March 19, 2008 through April 29, 2008, with the last letter explaining that the phone company had destroyed the pay phone records several years earlier. (Link below will lead to those letters.)

It is of interest to note in an affidavit by Sharon Smith that she was retained or appointed as Shan Carter’s appeals attorney no later than January 18, 2005. Yet, she apparently did not begin to investigate the pay phone records until March 19, 2008, more than three years later. According to the phone company, the pay phone records had been destroyed several years earlier. In other words, had Attorney Smith acted in a timely manner with regards to the pay phone records, there is a good likelihood that she would have been able to obtain them for Shan’s defense. Another example of inexplicable negligence on behalf of Carter’s attorneys which has been responsible for his failure to receive justice in the Brunson case… but then, maybe the delayed action by Shan’s defense attorneys over a decade (to simply obtain vitally important records about a pay phone) was intentional. Because of the inept representation Carter has received from the beginning, I am strongly inclined to believe the latter.

This is more than enough to digest at one sitting. More astounding revelations about the travesty of justice Shan Edward Carter has been subjected to by the North Carolina’s system of selective justice based on Class and Color will be forthcoming.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Shan Carter and Keith Richardson – their altercation on February 5, 1997

In my blog posted December 3, 2010, I erred in my statement regarding the February 5, 1997 incident involving Shan Carter and Keith “Boo Rock” Richardson. I mistakenly stated that the prosecution did not make reference to this incident which was also a case of self-defense. Mr. Carter was quick to correct me, as the prosecution did, in fact, use the case in both the trials against Carter for the murder of Donald Brunson and the deaths of Tyrone Baker and 8 year-old Demetrius Green. However, prosecutors contended that Keith Richardson was unarmed. The same position they took in the Tenth and Dawson shooting… namely that Tyrone Baker was unarmed when he was shot by Shan Carter.

As hard as I try, the Brunson and Tenth and Dawson cases against Carter are so rife with legal corruption, intrigue, perjured statements, and the total absence of rationale and logic that even the simplest assumption should be made only with much trepidation. The lengths that the state of North Carolina went through to put Shan Carter on Death Row is mind-boggling, to say the least. Again, I apologize for the error in the December 3rd blog regarding Richardson, and will set the record straight about that incident presently. (Unlike the NC State Bar, MSNBC, NBC and other mainstream media, and Duke University, I believe in taking responsibility for my mistakes, apologizing for them, correcting them, and trying to see that future mistakes are avoided.)

Setting the stage: in Wilmington, North Carolina, on January 1, 1997, nearly one month after the kidnapping and murder of drug-dealer Donald Brunson by Kwada Temoney and two other individuals (Shan Carter had no prior knowledge or involvement in that crime), Shan and Kwada Temoney broke into and entered the home of drug dealer Keith Richardson for the purpose of committing larceny. A silent alarm tipped off the police who arrived shortly and disrupted the burglary. Shan was apprehended and jailed for breaking and entering Richardson’s residence, but Shan bonded out of jail shortly thereafter.

Although Richardson was well known on the street as a drug dealer, Shan did not know the man personally, and Richardson did not know him. And although Richardson had deadly retribution on his mind regarding the break-in, unlike Tyrone Baker, he did not broadcast his intentions. However, it was evident that Richardson wanted to settle a score with Carter because he went around the neighborhood with Carter’s mug-shot photo (which he received from Carter’s bail bondsman) asking people on the street for information about Carter.

On February 5, 1997, Shan and Michael T. “Julius” Jones were walking to visit with Kwada Temoney. Keith Richardson spotted them and called out. Shan stopped while Julius Jones continued walking. Richardson proceeded to ask Shan what his name was, and Shan refused to tell him, and began to walk on. Richardson then walked back to his car and drove ahead of Carter and Jones, and then proceeded to get out of his car. He pulled out a gun from his back pocket and said, “Your name Shawn,” at which point Shan pulled from his shoulder holster his .357 magnum and started firing it at Richardson. Keith Richardson was struck in the forearm as he turned and ran. Carter walked away in the opposite direction.

In an affidavit by Julius Jones in 2005, he affirmed that he saw Keith Richardson pull a gun, which he thought looked like a .22 caliber firearm. Although Shan’s attorney Richard Miller was aware that Julius Jones was present and witnessed the shooting involving Shan and Keith Richardson, Miller did not call Jones as a witness to refute Richardson’s testimony in the Brunson trial that he was unarmed. After Shan was convicted of the Brunson murder and sentenced to life, he faced trial on charges of first degree murder in the deaths of Baker and Green in the incident at Tenth and Dawson. During that trial, however, Keith Richardson refused to testify for the prosecution, even under threat of contempt charges. So prosecutors used the trial transcript from the Brunson case to get across to the jurors their claim that Richardson was unarmed when he was shot by Carter. Again, the defense for Shan Carter refused to bring Jones to the witness stand to testify that Richardson was armed.

To say that Carter had ineffective counsel for both trials is an understatement. His attorneys not only took as much money from Carter’s family as possible to represent him, but they acted at odds to his best interests. Failure to call Jones to testify is but one instance of gross negligence on behalf of Carter’s attorneys… but as you will see from narrative and documentation in upcoming blogs, the pitifully inexplicable and inept defense of Carter was, more likely than not, very intentional. There has got to be something wrong when Shan Carter is convicted in the capital murder Brunson case when: (1) Shan Carter is unable to be linked by eyewitness or forensic or physical evidence to Brunson’s murder; (2) Brunson prosecutors are only able to present hearsay testimony (which the judge should never have allowed to begin with) by witnesses who are paid for testimony, are drug abusers, have mental health issues requiring involuntary commitment to a mental institution, and whose polygraph exams with respect to the Brunson case show deception; and (3) prosecutors suppress exculpatory DNA evidence taken from masks worn by the three Brunson murder suspects… (when such exculpatory evidence was used to dismiss charges against other suspects).

Why the lead defense attorney Richard Miller failed to produce an eyewitness (Julius Jones) to refute the prosecution’s claim that Keith Richardson was unarmed, is anybody’s guess. Just as mysterious, is why Miller strongly urged Shan Carter’s mother and father to try and convince their son to accept a plea deal in which he would admit guilt to murdering Brunson in exchange for a 100 year sentence… when the prosecution was pursuing the death penalty when they had no substantive case. Although Mr. Carter has since passed away, Mrs. Carter related to me that when she and her husband told Attorney Richard Miller that the decision about whether to cop a plea would have to be Shan’s, Miller cursed at them both. In losing a case that any defense attorney worth his/her salt should have handily prevailed, Richard Miller received a promotion shortly thereafter to the position of Regional Capital Defender.

Shan Carter has always maintained his innocence in events related to the kidnapping and death of drug-dealer Donald Brunson in December 1996. Prosecutors had to put together a case that did not exist. The judge in the case fought Shan at every turn when it came to ruling from the bench, and the defense attorney collected his fee from the Carters, but did little to earn it.

The jurors, although duped into reaching the wrong verdict, did apply at least a scintilla of logic when they rejected Prosecutor John Sherrill’s bid for the death penalty based on the fact that the one person who was actually forensically linked to the murder of Donald Brunson (Kwada Temoney) was given a life sentence in exchange for implicating Shan Carter… an innocent man. One would be hard pressed to find a case of greater injustice in North Carolina or the country, period.

Below is a link to the affidavit of Michael T. “Julius” Jones in which he avers that Keith Richardson was indeed armed and the aggressor in the shootout with Shan Carter.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Mangum case screams for change of venue

Although I have concentrated on other cases of injustice since the founding of the “Friends of Crystal Mangum” advocacy group, I feel compelled to comment on the obvious. There is no way that this so-called trial should be held in Durham, the cash-strapped city which is for all intents and purposes owned by Duke University. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has a better chance of getting a fair trial in a federal court in Washington, DC than Ms. Mangum has in Durham. In jury selection, having a residence in Durham, working in Durham, working for Duke University, having any relationship to Duke University should all be grounds for automatic dismissal for consideration.

Is it any wonder that jury selection took five days, and that defense and prosecution exhausted their peremptory challenges? Actually, I am shocked that Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones even bothered to dismiss five potential jurors who admitted that bias might keep Mangum from getting a fair trial. At least they were being honest, and I would be more inclined to have one of them sit on the jury than a graduate from Duke University who states he had formed opinions about the Duke Lacrosse case but that he could put them aside and make an unbiased finding.

The prosecution’s case is totally screwed up, and one cannot ignore the bias inherent in the charges and prosecution which are selective and stem from Ms. Mangum’s involvement in the Duke Lacrosse case. For one thing, I don’t understand why Crystal Mangum’s attorney would even bother trying to suppress “evidence.” What evidence? This whole case brought by the authorities and prosecution is a complete waste of time, and is obviously done in concert with the Carpetbagger Jihad agenda… the same one that nearly got me arrested on the Duke University campus for being an openly known supporter of Mike Nifong.

Officer Hilary Thompson testified that Mangum lunged over her shoulder and threatened to stab Milton Walker, her ex-boyfriend… but she does not say with what… a knife, shears? How ridiculous is that? Thompson and her supervisor John Tyler then arrest Mangum for communicating threats, according to The News & Observer article… but that charge is dropped. The charge of attempted first degree murder (a charge used for the sole purpose of obtaining a million dollar bail against Mangum) is also dropped prior to going to trial. And although the police describe how badly Milton Walker is scratched and beat up, prosecutors drop the charge of assault against Mangum. That is a wise move on their part in light of the fact that the physical altercation was initiated when Walker first sucker punched Mangum in the face with his fist. Something which the police and the media continually keep hidden from the public.

So, what are the catastrophic charges against Mangum that warranted an initial million dollar bail, and prompted Durham Assistant District Attorney Mark McCullough to ask Judge Jones to sequester the jury for the duration of a trial expected to last a week?
They are as follows:
(1) first degree arson (for allegedly setting clothes in a bathtub on fire in the presence of police… and during which police made no attempt to extinguish the fire – keep in mind that the clothes are in the bathtub);
(2) three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor (a convoluted charge related somehow to the so-called arson… attempting to explain how the charge is related to the arson would require a treatise);
(3) injury to personal property - media is extremely vague on this… burned clothing, alleged damages to the car… what? (Instead of using the word “damage” the prosecution uses the word “injury” to try and humanize inanimate objects for the purpose of making the charge seem more serious); and
(4) resisting an officer - for allegedly using a false first name when questioned by police.

For the above trifle, the Durham prosecutors have gone out of their way in wasting taxpayer money and time that could be spent on serious crime, to try and place Crystal Mangum behind bars for a lengthy period of time… again a further waste of taxpayer money. If the prosecutors were so concerned about Ms. Mangum's children they would not make it such a priority to take away the mother they love and put her behind bar in order to settle a score (the Duke Lacrosse case).

As weak as the case is against Ms. Mangum, because of the extreme bias that Crystal Mangum faces in Durham, the likelihood of a conviction is not beyond the bounds of possibility. However, the fact of the matter is, that Ms. Mangum, despite the outcome, cannot receive a fair trial in the city of Durham. Just like James Arthur Johnson could not receive a fair trial in the city of Wilson in the case related to Brittany Willis’s murder. That is probably why James Arthur Johnson made the Alford plea to a misprision of felony charge, even though he was innocent by its very definition of “not notifying authorities of his knowledge of a crime.” The judge in that instance, Milton Fitch, tightly controlled the case against Johnson, denying the defense motion for a change of venue from the racially divided town. It is unlikely that Honorable Abe Jones would have permitted a change of venue in the case against Crystal Mangum.

Whether or not Mangum’s attorney Mani Dexter filed a motion for a change of venue is unknown to me, but if I Mangum were my client, a change of venue would be my first line of defense.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Duke needs its image fixed more than Vick

I found a humorous article in The News & Observer of December 4, 2010, titled “Agency will help Vick fix image: French/West/Vaughan signs NFL star/ex-con.” First and foremost, NFL quarterback Michael Vick would not need to address image problems if it were not for the media. Prime example is that the subtitle calls him an “ex-con.” The media, without regard to the influence it welds over the mindless public, has incited hatred against Michael Vick for his role in a dog-fighting venture since his involvement first became known. As a result of public backlash against the talented quarterback, the judicial system handed him a sentence which is undoubtedly more harsh than those routinely given. Despite the fact that he maintained himself in good condition and served his sentence with dignity, NFL team owners avoided him like the plague because of the venom still evident at the release of his confinement. All of the owners were intent on blacklisting Vick, even the Carolina Panthers who lacked an experience and tested player at this most critical position. At the urging of the then Philadelphia Eagle QB Donovan McNabb, the Eagles eventually signed Vick as a third string backup, behind McNabb and the second stringer Kevin Kolb. Kolb, like the Carolina QBs, had very little playing time under his belt.

When given a chance to play due to an injury to Kolb and McNabb’s earlier departure for the rival Washington Redskins, Michael Vick performed spectacularly in winning games and the starting nod. But as soon as Vick suffered an injury to his ribcage when sandwiched between two defenders on the opponent’s goal line, he was unable to perform in several subsequent games, and the sports media started declaring that a quarterback controversy existed in the City of Brotherly Love. That was so ridiculous, especially after it was evident that, if anything, Vick played smarter and better than he had prior to his incarceration. There was no doubt in my mind that he would be on the field as soon as his injuries healed enough to allow him to do so. Because of Vick’s contributions, the Eagles sit atop of it’s division, a sure bet to make the playoffs, while the Panthers, whose owners got hoodwinked by the media into passing on the chance of a lifetime to acquire one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, languish in the cellar with their shot at making the playoffs shot.

His exciting play, community service in bringing to the fore the immorality of dog fighting, and dignified composure have drowned out his harshest critics, and the media has suspended its assaults on him, at least for the time being. It was the same sort of demonization that the media used against former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, however, in Nifong’s case the criticism has been excessive, pervasive, unrelenting, and downright cruel. This is no doubt due to the influence of Rae Evans, the mother of Duke Lacrosse defendant Dave Evans. Ms. Evans was employed with CBS News as an executive for more than a decade, a fact that CBS has refused to disclose on shows such as “60 Minutes” which featured interviews with her. The media tries to keep the public ignorant of this relationship in an effort to allow the broadcasts about Mike Nifong and the Duke Lacrosse case to appear to be objective and unbiased… which they most certainly aren’t. Mike Nifong, unlike former governor Mike Easley, has never been saddled with a conviction on a felony charge, so the media can’t label Nifong an ex-con like it did with Michael Vick. Instead, the deplorable action taken by the media was to brand Nifong as the “disgraced” former district attorney. The “disgraced” title conferred upon Nifong by the media, especially The News & Observer was a biased bit of editorializing which steered many of the mindless to conclude in their "minds" that Nifong conducted himself in a manner that was disgraceful… and nothing could be further from the truth.

When it comes to reporting on individuals involved in intrigue or controversy, the approach taken by the media lacks conformity. For example, the newspaper article referred to Michael Vick as an “ex-con,” but I doubt that you will ever see that reference in conjunction with an article or broadcast about former governor Mike Easley. And although the deals he made as governor enriched himself and his wife, and would be considered by the reasonable person to be more disgraceful than the criticism leveled at Mike Nifong, it is unlikely that Mike Easley will be referred to in the media as the “disgraced” former NC governor.

The N & O article by staff writer David Ranii begins by describing the contract that the Raleigh communications agency has with Vick as being high-profile and controversial, however he omits stating that it’s lucrative… to the point financial terms were not disclosed. What I find most unbelievable about the article is the contention that Rick French, founder and CEO of French/West/Vaughan had to do some serious soul searching before agreeing accept Vick as a client. I’m sure that the deliberations in his mind could not have lasted more than a fraction of a nanosecond. Why should French be wrestling with whether or not to accept Vick’s money? Believe me, he didn’t. Then the article goes on about how his employees and clients would feel about his representing Vick. Are you kidding? Of course the employees would be thrilled, if for no other reason than that lucrative contracts help ensure employment and keep layoffs at bay.

According to the article, French would not have been willing to represent Michael Vick if he was only interested in hiring a PR firm simply to “window-dress what had transpired.” Well, that is precisely the reason that he hired French’s company. It seems to me that Rick French is more concerned about his image than his client’s. That is undoubtedly the reason he waited until now to announce that Michael Vick was his client. Because Vick’s stock was rising in boardrooms, as was stated in the article, French felt it was safe and timely to reveal that he had signed Vick as a client back in July 2010. Because of Vick’s spectacular play on the gridiron and acceptance by the public in general, French can now use Vick to help promote his PR business, which is the purpose of the article in The News & Observer and his planned public announcement. Now had Vick’s return to the football field been a bust and his detractors vocal and unforgivable, you can bet that French’s relationship with Michael Vick would be, and remain, under wraps.

Bottom line, Michael Vick is doing more in the realm of PR for French/West/Vaughan than is vice-versa.

If French wants to do some significant public relations work, then I would suggest that he approaches Duke University. The university certainly has the funds to be able to afford to retain French’s PR firm. One thing Duke has going for it is the media, which suppresses newsworthy stories that put the institution in a bad light. It’s blatant discrimination against me on April 14, 2010 because I held beliefs that did not conform to their institutional anti-Nifong sentiment was not reported although the media was alerted about it. And the media was instrumental in assisting Duke University in shoveling the appearance of all wrongdoing associated with the Duke Lacrosse case onto its prosecutor, Mike Nifong. The media kept the public in the dark about the surprise blitzkrieg-style razing of the Duke Lacrosse party house until after bulldozers had made considerable progress in bringing it down. So, if Rick French is able to secure a PR position for his firm with Duke University, he can count on unyielding assistance from the media.

Although I give The News & Observer some credit for writing an article about the inherent financial abuse at Duke University recently, it certainly did not go far enough. A December 3, 2010 article by staff writer Eric Ferreri titled “Buddy, can you spare $729,749?,” is misleading and minimizes the extent of legalized corruption at the university. To begin with, the headline, which is below the fold on the front page of the local news section, is vague and gives no hint about the story’s subject matter. The subtitle of the article, “Duke students protest bonuses,” is not quite as ambiguous as the headline but is still without direction. The article gives two examples of executives receiving bonuses… Neal Triplett, president of a management company who received $729,749 and Victor Dzau, chancellor of the Duke health system who received $983,654. Yet, the headline includes the bonus with the smaller dollar amount… minimizing the runaway avarice at Duke by the media. The other option would have been to combine the two bonuses for an amount of $1,713,403.

As is, no doubt the case, the bonuses referenced in the article, are probably on the lower spectrum of bonuses received by executives, bigwigs, and head honchos at Duke University… and there are also many in the upper echelons of the university who have contracts with bonuses that equal to or exceed the bloated salaries that the executives set for themselves to begin with. Duke’s operations are not unlike that of the failed financial institutions, such as AIG, which led the way into the recession in which we are now mired. With Bush-era tax cuts, deregulation of agencies and policies in place to protect against financial abuse, and other measures undertaken to enrich the wealthiest at the expense of the masses, individuals at Duke have made a killing… and continue to do so. The media paid a little lip service to the problem with its article, but it is not committed to helping make a positive change.

Now, I do not know what a chancellor of the Duke health system does, but I do not believe that it is deserving of an annual compensation package worth more than $2.2 million. Even a healthy financial environment does not justify unsightly salaries and bonuses that the head honchos give themselves. However, with the bad economy dropping the value of Duke’s endowment a whopping 24 percent, and as pay for the people who actually do the work at Duke is frozen and jobs are eliminated in order to meet the annual operating budgets, the bonuses of the head honchos at Duke continues to rise at a fevered pitch. People who were forced to accept buyouts or were let go while their positions were then eliminated, not only are more likely to result in a lessening of the quality of services provided, but also contribute to the swelling in the ranks of the unemployed. In addition, generating revenue to help sate the boundless greed of the Duke hierarchy has forced increases in intuition for the school’s students. As Amy Laura Hall, a professor of Christian ethics stated with regards to the bonuses given to top execs when the economy is bad and everyone else is asked to tighten their belts and make sacrifices, “I think that’s obscene.”

Rick, I think that Michael Vick can take care of himself. Now for all of the executives who are receiving obscene bonuses at Duke University amid layoffs, job eliminations, frozen salaries for the actual workers, and increased tuition paid by the students, the same cannot be said. I think that you could probably do a better job of window dressing for the university than its current spokesperson Michael Schoenfeld, who defined handing out a business card as “solicitation” in order to try and defend the premeditated, malicious, and unwarranted discrimination against me earlier this year. And with the media working with you, there should be no concerns about any negative publicity for your company.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Joseph Cheshire’s criticism of the media is the height of hypocrisy

Joseph B. Cheshire V, the state’s premiere defense attorney for the powerful, privileged, and well-heeled, should know about the media, and its ability to mold the minds of individuals who are ill-informed and have an abiding faith in whatever the media spoon-feeds them. Cheshire used the media in the Duke Lacrosse case, playing it like a well-tuned Stradivarius, in laying waste to the good reputation that had been built over nearly three decades by a dedicated prosecutor and man of the highest integrity, Mike Nifong. When called upon to destroy the man who dared to charge and prosecute the sons of the three Carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants, Cheshire exceeded all expectations in helping to orchestrate the downfall of the man who Rae Forker Evans, mother of Duke Lacrosse defendant Dave Evans, vowed on CBS’s “60 Minutes” would “pay every day for the rest of his life.” Cheshire did not pull any punches in lambasting Nifong in the media… the media working in unison with Cheshire, state agencies of North Carolina, the North Carolina State Bar and others in fulfilling the Carpetbagger Jihad agenda against Nifong. It was the perfect storm that the media used to control public thought about the Duke Lacrosse case, and mindless individuals exposed to the biased media spin came away believing that the three Duke Lacrosse defendants were exonerated, that Prosecutor Mike Nifong prosecuted the case in an attempt to win an election, and that nothing untoward happened at the Duke house on Buchanan Street, which Duke University wasted no time in secretly razing. The media characterized Mr. Nifong as the second coming of Satan, and he was vilified to the extent that almost all individuals in North Carolina, and those individuals somewhat familiar with the media’s presentation of it throughout the country, have negative and even hostile feelings towards Mr. Nifong. And one person responsible for fanning the media flames has been Joseph Cheshire.

In the November 24, 2010 edition of The News & Observer is an article titled “Lawyer says media fanned the flames.” In it Mr. Cheshire decries the media treatment of his client, former North Carolina Governor Mike Easley. The former governor was involved in several shady deals during which he received substantial financial gain… deals involving real estate and travel. Cheshire managed to wrangle out a plea agreement in which his client pled guilty to a single felony charge in exchange for the State and Federal investigations and prosecutions coming to a close. And, of course, he was to face no jail time… that is punishment reserved for those North Carolinian felony offenders who are poor, disenfranchised, and people of color. Privileged felons are usually required to pay a nominal fee to the court… and I believe that the fine for Mr. Easley was approximately one thousand dollars. Also he is not subject to probation or required to spend time with community service.

All told, Mr. Easley got off easy. He was treated with kid gloves not only by the media, but by the prosecutors and judge as well. State and federal prosecutors were quick to bring their investigations to a close as soon as the former governor agreed to plead guilty to a minor, but felonious, charge. Easley was probably well advised to take the deal in order to prevent more damaging revelations from being brought to the fore. Although Cheshire was able to arrange for the attorney general to state that his Duke Lacrosse clients were “innocent” (and which the media falsely gave credence to), he could not engineer one in this case, so he took it upon himself to state that although his client pled guilty to a felony charge, there was no corruption. I don’t know what Mr. Cheshire’s definition of “corruption” is, but it must come from the same dictionary used by Duke’s Michael Schoenfeld who defined “solicitation” as handing out a business card and asking someone to visit your website.

It’s hard for me to conjure up sympathy for the friendly media treatment of Mike Easley when one considers the hostile and blatantly biased media treatment of Mike Nifong. The media’s greatest flaw is in using Roy Cooper’s April 11, 2007 “Innocent Promulgation” as a basis for stating that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were innocent or exonerated. Despite being informed about this misleading statement, it continues to this day, nearly four years later. In addition, the media persistently labeled Mike Nifong as the “disgraced” former Durham district attorney. Any negative adjectives used to describe Easley were sparingly if ever used. For me, it is more disgraceful to abuse one’s position of power in exchange for one’s personal gain… such as what apparently transpired with Cheshire’s client. Mike Nifong, on the other hand, was merely carrying out his job as the Durham district attorney when he prosecuted the Duke Lacrosse case. And he carried it out at the risk of losing his election bid as the incumbent district attorney. By proceeding with the prosecution of the Duke Lacrosse case, the May 2006 primary election was tightened, and he nearly lost to a November candidate who ran only to oppose Nifong, with the publicized intention of resigning if victorious in order to permit the governor to appoint a new district attorney.

Joe Cheshire is selective when it comes to criticizing the media, or others. For example, he is highly critical of Mike Nifong, but when it comes to Tom Ford, the prosecutor of one of Cheshire’s other clients, Gregory Taylor, Cheshire doesn’t utter one disparaging word. Ford put an innocent man in jail for life as a vendetta because he would not turn and give perjured testimony to implicate an innocent black man in the death of Jacquetta Thomas. Taylor was convicted by hocus-pocus forensics and Ford’s witnesses who gave perjured testimony against Taylor… and although Taylor was wrongfully incarcerated for seventeen years because of Ford’s vengeful actions, Cheshire publicly refers to Tom Ford as a good prosecutor and admirable court-room adversary.

Tom Fetzer, the state Republican chairman stated in response to Easley’s plea deal, “I think North Carolina has developed a reputation for being a very corrupt state.” Well, I agree with Fetzer’s observation, and believe that it is a reputation that is well deserved. How else can the state explain why Mike Nifong is the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar since its inception in1933, when it trails only the states of Louisiana and Illinois in the number of death row inmates who have been exonerated by DNA evidence? How else can the state explain the draconian, singular, and unwarranted persecution of Mike Nifong when it is not even apparent to public why Nifong was disbarred? There is no logical or reasonable explanation for the persecution meted out to Nifong… he was punished to set an example for other prosecutors who elect to pursue the principle of “equal justice for all” instead of abiding by the state’s tenet of “selective justice based on Class and Color.” Nifong was also punished as part of the Jihad against him that was launched by Rae Evans in her “60 Minutes” interview.

For his Duke Lacrosse defendant, for Gregory Taylor, and for Mike Easley, Joseph Cheshire served his clients well. And even though only one of his aforementioned clients was legally found to be innocent (Gregory Taylor), the media has been favorable to them all. The same cannot be said for Duke Lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong who the media attacked with relish. Spearheading the media onslaught against Nifong was Joseph Cheshire who now takes umbrage at the slightest media insult of his client, the former governor of the state. The complaints by Cheshire leveled at the media for its coverage of Mike Easley’s alleged corrupt actions are hypocritical and mind-boggling when one considers Cheshire’s role in the media war aimed at Mike Nifong… a war that has not let up since its first volleys in 2006.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Deadly 1997 confrontation between Shan Carter and Tyrone Baker

NOTICE OF ERROR in blog of December 3, 2010: The case against Shan Edward Carter defies all logic and rationale, therefore making even the simplest assumptions error-prone. In the December 3rd blog, which introduced a firearms altercation between drug-dealer Keith Richardson and Shan Carter, I attempted to present a situation similar to the Tyrone Baker shooting for comparison. Simply stated, Carter’s actions were defensive in dealing with Baker and Richardson. I stated that the prosecution ignored this, when in fact, they used the Richardson situation in the trials of Brunson’s murder as well as that of the deaths on Tenth and Dawson. However, the prosecution stated Richardson was unarmed. Refer to the blog posted on December 13, 2010 for further details.
- December 13, 2010

The blog of November 28, 2010 which introduced the outrageous legal inequities and injustices, including two capital convictions, against Shan Edward Carter, contained some errors of significance which, in my haste to post the story, did not carefully vet. Unlike Duke University, and most of the media (especially MSNBC) which refuse to man up and accept responsibility for their mistakes and errors, I have religiously followed the principles of “restorative justice” when I have erred. First, I accept full responsibility for the mistakes in that blog, although completely unintentional. I should have been more diligent in fact-checking the complex cases involving Shan Carter. Second, I give my sincerest apologies for misleading my readers. You deserve better, and I am glad that you challenge me when you feel that I got the story wrong. I am grateful for your vigilance. Third, if I have caused injury to anyone because of my misstatements, I would like to make them whole. I definitely have made efforts to correct the errors by posting a notice at the beginning of the November 28th blog alerting readers to the errors therein. The main text of the blog that was initially posted, however remains untouched. Fourth, I will try to see that such errors never recur by doing a better job of researching and never allowing assumptions to take the place of certainty of facts. When at all possible, if not much of a delay is involved, I will send my blog to Shan to review and make sure its contents are completely factual.

Although I had intended to discuss the shooting of Tyrone Baker with Shan during my visit with him at 11:00 am in Central Prison, a couple of hours before, when I went to the post office to mail some letters (see receipt on LINK), there was a letter from Shan in my post office box. In it, he informed me of errors in my November 28th blog even though we had not communicated about it previously. You will find that this letter is indicative of the credibility of the man, Shan Carter (see LINK). Below is the narrative of what transpired the day that drug-dealer Tyrone Baker and 8 year-old Demetrius Green lost their lives.

DECEMBER 6, 1996 – Shan Carter, Kwada Temoney, and Damont White burglarized drug-dealer Tyrone Baker’s apartment and steal $40,000 in cash, which they later split among themselves.

Tyrone Baker was a drug-dealer from New York, who dealt cocaine in the Wilmington, NC area, and a friend of Carter who knew Baker when he was in New York, warned Carter that Baker followed through on his threats. Word on the street was that Baker intended on killing those responsible for stealing $40,000 from his residence. Shan had heard from several sources that Baker was looking for those responsible for the burglary and that he was going to kill them. Carter was somewhat comforted by a gun he purchased on the street for his protection, a .357 Magnum revolver, which held six rounds, and which he kept in holster under is left arm.

FEBRUARY 16, 1997 – Shan Carter was parked on Dawson by the intersection with Tenth Street, and was approaching a store on the corner. Kwada Temoney was with Carter to his right. Before entering the store, Carter caught, out of the corner of his right field of vision, Kwada Temoney being struck in the face with a fist by a man Carter did not know. Kwada related to Carter later that he had been knocked out by the punch. The man then turned and began to approach Carter with a menacing look and without saying a word. Believing the man to be Baker, Carter began to back up. Although the weather was sunny and warm, especially for February, the man carried a heavy Army field coat folded over one of his arms, as if to conceal a weapon. Shan pulled his weapon from his holster, and Baker momentarily froze. Holding the weapon in one hand only and aiming low in an effort to wound and not kill, Shan fired two shots in quick succession as Baker turned to his right. The first bullet Shan believed struck Baker in his thigh, however, as Carter suggests the second shot when higher from the discharge after the first shot. Baker was struck just below the left rib cage as he was turning, and he then began running up Tenth Street. Carter, concerned that Baker might use the corner of the building as cover to in order to return fire, walked to the corner to take it out of the equation. As Baker ran up Tenth Street, Shan fired three more times to shepherd him along… at no time exposing his left side to Carter. Even when Baker crossed Tenth Street, his right side was exposed to Carter. Shan Carter noticed that Baker’s legs seemed wobbly before he fell, and Shan then proceeded to get into his car parked on Dawson, along with Temoney, who had recovered, and they drove off.

Renee Barnes, who admitted to knowing Tyrone Baker and who had braided his corn rows in the past, allegedly sold crack cocaine for Baker, too. She lived on the corner of Tenth and Dawson, across from the store where the incident took place. Accounts state that she allegedly ran from her apartment to the site where Tyrone Baker lay mortally wounded. He was gurgling and made a few statements to Renee before he died. Renee picked up the Army field coat (and possibly a weapon), and ran back to her house before the police arrived… which was not long after the shooting. She used the car keys in the coat to drive Tyrone Baker’s jeep (which may have been a rental) to the residence of Tyrone’s girlfriend. The coat eventually wound up in New York, and it was from New York that the detectives finally got possession of the coat in 1998. According to Renee, it had dried blood on it.

The prosecutions’ case of the premeditated murder of Tyrone Baker by Shan Carter simply does not hold water. It was strictly self-defense, and forensically the case supports the contention that Baker was struck with the first two bullets out of Carter’s gun, and not the three fired as Baker was fleeing. The autopsy medical examiner stated that an examination of the body showed that the bullet entered the front of Baker’s thigh and exited the back. Prosecution tried to debunk this finding by the SBI so-called ballistics expert stating that according to his examination of the pants Baker was wearing, the bullet had an entry wound on the back of the thigh and an exit on the front.

Although the prosecution stated that Shan Carter ran 30 feet up Tenth Street in pursuit of Baker, crime scene reconstruction of the bullet paths etc. determined that the shots came from the corner of Tenth and Dawson, as Shan has maintained.

Approximately two weeks before the Tenth and Dawson shooting, there was a similar incident involving Carter, which prosecution wished to ignore altogether. On February 5, 1997, Carter was walking with Julius Jones when another drug-dealer Keith Richardson approached them. Also a burglary victim of Carter, Richardson pulled a gun and asked Carter if his name is Shawn. Shan grabbed his gun and fired four or five times, striking Richardson in the forearm. Richardson ran one way, and Carter briskly walked away in the other. This, like the case with Baker, was self-defense, and Carter made no attempt to pursue and kill the drug-dealer. But, prosecutors never brought this case up, and never had anyone testify to the incident.

This case against Shan Carter is one of the most flawed I have ever seen and once some more of the evidence is presented, there is no doubt that you will agree that Shan Carter, instead of being on death row, should be released from prison. I believe that he has been rehabilitated and that to hold him on Death Row, or even in prison, is a waste of valuable taxpayer dollars.

LINK letter from Shan Carter:

LINK post office receipt:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nasher Museum of Art open to the public… except for Nifong supporters

In the Sunday, November 28, 2010 edition of The News & Observer, staff writer Mandy Locke wrote an article titled “Plensa Gets His Hug.” The article is about six outdoor sculptures by contemporary Spanish artist Jaume Plensa that adorn the landscape of Nasher Museum of Art on the Duke University campus. More than that, the article is more about publicity for the museum, giving its hours and price of admission. Under normal circumstances, I would be grateful for the information about the exhibit at the museum, but ever since I was maliciously kicked off the Duke University campus while attending another event which was advertised as open to the public, I have adopted a different point of view. The premeditated act of kicking me off campus took place April 14, 2010, after I attended an public interview which featured U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, has made me incensed that a newspaper would give coverage to a museum located on a campus that openly discriminates against individuals who are openly known supporters of Mike Nifong.

Although Duke spokesperson Michael Schoenfeld wrote in his May 10, 2010 letter to me that I was welcomed back on campus and had not been banned from it, unless there is appropriate resolution of the incident, how can I ever feel safe setting foot on that campus again? Appropriate resolution would be for Duke to take responsibility for its spiteful offense against me, or provide me with a valid reason for the actions taken by the security guard on April 14th. The former track would be the wise one for the university to take, as its attempt at providing a credible reason for my expulsion in the May 10th letter fell far short of its mark while being the best excuse it could conjure up.

As has proven to be the case over the years, The News & Observer, like other mainstream media, is biased against former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong and his supporters. That is why the newspaper refuses to write stories that might put Nifong or his supporters in a positive light, and refuses to cast a shadow on Nifong detractors. The only story written about the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong was the deliberate hatchet job by the newspaper’s sarcastic hit-man columnist Barry Saunders in July 2008, one month after it was founded. What the media has as its goals is to keep the public it serves ignorant about issues involving the unjust treatment of Mike Nifong, and the existence of individuals who support him. So, when Duke University discriminates against a person for no reason other than being a supporter of Mike Nifong, The News
& Observer is quick to say that that event is not “newsworthy.” In other words, the newsworthiness of an article is determined by media head honchos who weigh the impact that informing the public will have with regards to their agenda… in this case, that of the Carpetbagger Jihad against Mike Nifong.

The local Triangle Area media has no problem with carrying stories about other acts of discrimination, such as that which recently occurred at Cameron Village in which two lesbians were asked by security to leave the shopping mall because they were showing affection in public… but when it comes to discrimination by Duke University against someone… not for his/her actions… not for his/her speech… but solely based on the beliefs, thoughts and opinions carried in their head, then that story is not “newsworthy.” It was okay to write about three of Mike Nifong’s guitars being auctioned off, but it is not “newsworthy” to write about the fact that the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong gifted him a guitar similar to one which he was forced to auction off. It is okay for stories to be written about other individuals and groups who advocate on behalf of a person, policy or principle, but writing about the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong is not “newsworthy.”

The media has strongly adhered to the PAPEN (Protect All Prosecutors Except Nifong) policy, has done its best to keep the public ignorant of the fact that Mike Nifong is the only prosecutor to be disbarred since its inception in 1933, and has taken every opportunity to mislead the public into believing that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were exonerated and that Mike Nifong increased his chances to be elected as the incumbent Durham district attorney when he pursued the “black” vote by prosecuting the Duke Lacrosse case.

Because openly known supporters of Mike Nifong are subject to discrimination by Duke University, which can include being arrested without cause (like what occurred to former Duke University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.), the media owes it to the public and masses to warn them that Duke University has zero tolerance for openly known supporters of Mike Nifong. That is the least that Mandy Locke should have done with her article, especially since the head honchos at the newspaper do not consider writing a story about the alleged discrimination by Duke against me, a Nifong supporter, to be “newsworthy.”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shan Edward Carter – An innocent man who North Carolina is trying to execute: a case exemplifying the state’s tenet of “selective justice based on Cla

NOTE: The blog below is rife with errors, all unintentional and the result of an attempt to get the important blog out before double checking on its accuracy. Because Shan Carter is currently incarcerated at Central Prison, communication is severely restricted to letter writing and weekly visits. In posting the blog below, I allowed my desire to get this most egregious legal system outcome before the public over waiting until it had been vetted by Shan for accuracy. One of the most blatantly false statements I made was that Kwada Temoney, Tyrone Baker, and Shan all started firing their weapons, when in fact Temoney was unarmed at that time, and Shan was the only one who fired. Another mistake had to do with dates… I stated that Shan was convicted of a capital case in the Baker/Green deaths in 1997, when, he was actually convicted in 2001. One final mistake towards the end of the blog was that I stated that the prosecution in the Brunson murder did not seek a death penalty conviction because the FBI lab was unable to link hair fiber evidence to Shan. That was incorrect, as the prosecution sought for a death penalty conviction for Shan Carter in Brunson’s death in a case without physical evidence, eyewitness evidence… Prosecutor John Sherrill sought a death penalty conviction in the Brunson murder based solely on hearsay testimony. For more a more accurate accounting on this story and errors made within this blog, go to the blog posted on December 3, 2010, titled: “Deadly 1997 confrontation between Shan Carter and Tyrone Baker.” - December 3, 2010

In 1997, the judicial system of North Carolina sentenced Shan (pronounced “Shawn”) Edward Carter to not one, but two death sentences. The year previously, in a third murder case, Carter was sentenced to a life sentence instead of death penalty number three, but only because the FBI was unable to match hair evidence from that murder case to him. The life term and capital convictions against Shan Carter would lead any reasonable person to believe that Shan is a monster of Charles Manson-esque proportions… however, that is truly not the case, as is indicated by even the most cursory examination of the facts in cases linked to Carter.

Mr. Carter, an African American male in his mid-thirties who is from a family not considered by most to be perched on the upper or middle rungs of our American societal class rankings, nicely fits into the state’s Class and Color scheme which defines him as being expendable according to North Carolina’s justice system. He is by no means a paragon of virtue and good citizenship, but by no means does he come close to being a cold blooded killer. In the mid-1990’s Shan was in his early twenties, and was a man whose drug habits involved marijuana and alcohol only. Shan dabbled in criminal acts, such as selling heroin, and committing burglary, often in conjunction with individuals of questionable character… common qualities of the company he kept in those days. And Shan did carry a gun on his person… not for use in the commission of crimes, rather for his own protection.

Why, you ask, would Shan Carter need protection? Because some drug dealers in the Wilmington area where he resided wanted to kill him. Why would drug dealers want to kill Mr. Carter? They targeted Carter because they believed that he had burglarized them (the drug dealers). Why would Carter burglarize the residences of drug dealers? Because that’s were the money and drugs were.

In November 1996, Shan, along with Kwada Temoney and Damont White burglarized the rental apartment of Tyrone Baker, a drug dealer from New York. At the time of the crime, Baker was unknown to Shan and Kwada, although Baker knew Damont White and had his confidence. In ransacking Baker’s apartment, the trio hit pay dirt when they came across forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) stashed in a hiding place. Needless to say, Tyrone Baker was livid when he returned to find his apartment turned upside down, inside out, and his money missing. The first thing Baker did was to kidnap Lamont White, who he believed had a part in the burglary, and he then proceeded to pistol whip him into divulging the identities of White’s accomplices. Later, when Baker found Shan and Kwada Temoney near Tenth and Dawson Streets in Wilmington, Baker sucker punched Temoney sending him to the ground. All three men drew their guns, with Shan trying to aim low in an attempt to wound Baker in the leg. Temoney may have fired his weapon, as well. Shan ran after firing his weapon without knowing the outcome of his defensive response. Regardless, it wasn’t until news broadcasts aired much later that Shan learned that Demetrius Green, an eight year old boy was killed in the exchange of gunfire that took place on that corner. Carter had never seen the boy whose life was taken by a wayward bullet. It most certainly was not Carter’s intention to seek out the boy with the intent to take his life.

Weeks after the shootout involving Temoney and Carter, during the early hours of December 6, 1996, a masked Kwada Temoney, along with two others whose identities were shielded, broke into the home of Donald Brunson, a known drug dealer who was suspected of having a large amount of money hidden in his girlfriend’s home where he stayed. This home invasion of Brunson was carried out at approximately 3:00 am, according to Brunson’s girlfriend and a known victim/witness of the crime. Temoney pistol whipped Brunson in an attempt to get Brunson to give up the location of his financial cache. Brunson did not reveal the place where his money was hidden, but instead pleaded with his intruders, addressing Temoney by name. After Brunson recognized Temoney, he was taken from his girlfriend’s house by Temoney and his accomplices, and later turned up dead.

Although there was no forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony linking Shan Carter to the murder of Donald Brunson, Carter was charged as an accomplice in Brunson’s murder based solely on hearsay evidence by witnesses who lacked credibility. The prosecution made a plea deal (reminiscent of the kind made by Prosecutor Tom Ford in wrongly convicting Gregory Taylor) with Kwada Temoney which spared Temoney from the death penalty in exchange for Temoney giving testimony to implicate Shan Carter for being involved in the home invasion and the taking of Brunson’s life. Prosecutors also changed their narrative of the Donald Brunson murder stating that only two home invaders (Temoney and Shan Carter) were involved, instead of three as initially described by the victim/witness shortly after the crime took place.

In February 2, 2000, criminal defense attorney Richard Miller was appointed by the court to represent Shan Carter in the Brunson case after his predecessor William Bonney recused himself the previous month due to an apparent conflict of interest. Trial in the case against Carter was set to begin May 1, 2000, approximately three months after Miller was assigned. After accepting the case, and upon immediately noticing the lack of preparation by Carter’s former attorney, Miller, in March 2000, filed a motion asked Judge Hockenberry for a continuance for the beginning of the trial based on the following: 1) the defense had not been adequately prepared by his predecessor; 2) there had been little to no investigation done by the defense; 3) the prosecution had not turned over all discovery to the defense, and was slow to turn over discovery; and 4) Kenneth Hatcher, the attorney who had assisted Bonney initially, had no experience in handling defense in a capital case. Despite expressing to Judge Hockenberry his inability to adequately prepare to represent Carter by the trial date, the judge denied Miller’s motion to continue Carter’s trial.

During Carter’s 2000 trial for the murder of Donald Brunson, prosecutors made frequent references to the shootout involving Carter, Tyrone Baker, Kwada Temoney, during which Baker and eight year-old Demetrius Green were killed (even though the trial against Carter in this case had not yet been held and he had not been convicted of crimes in that case). Carter’s prosecutors sought help from the Federal Bureau of Investigations lab in an attempt to link Carter to the Brunson murder through mitochondrial DNA of hair specimens collected from two ski masks and a toboggan cap discovered abandoned in the victim’s car used in his kidnapping. If a physical link could be established between evidence collected and Shan Carter, prosecutors had planned to seek a death penalty conviction. However, because the FBI lab was unable to produce forensic results for which the prosecutors had prayed would help bolster a case against Carter which was totally lacking in credible evidence, and which was based solely on questionable hearsay testimony from unreliable sources, they instead opted for, and were successful in obtaining, a conviction against Carter which carried a life sentence.

The Brunson case conviction of Carter was quickly followed by the 2001 trial of Shan Carter for capital murder charges against him in the deaths of Tyrone Baker – a drug dealer, and 8 year-old Demetrius Green. In his trial, held before a jury consisting of eleven white people and one African American male, prosecutors repeatedly tied Carter to the Brunson murder (a crime which Shan Carter had always maintained his innocence and denied any involvement). Prosecutors sought a conviction against Carter by preying on the jurors’ empathy and sympathy for the death of an eight year-old boy… advising them not to allow the boy’s death to go unpunished.

Despite the fact that bullets, which might have come from Carter’s gun, struck down an armed and vengeful drug dealer and may have caused the death of an 8 year-old boy, the jury gave prosecutors what it wanted… a capital conviction against Carter for the death of Tyrone Baker (obviously a case of self-defense), and a capital conviction against Carter for the death of the boy Demetrius Green (obviously an accidental and unintentional incident). (I am still uncertain as to whether it has been scientifically established that the bullet or bullets responsible for Green’s death came from Carter’s weapon.)

The record shows that the only time Shan Carter has ever drawn and fired his gun was when he perceived this life to be in danger… in self-defense. His criminal activities were not confrontational in nature, as they mainly consisted selling heroin and of participating in burglaries of dwellings in which no one was at home. Shan never engaged in the armed robbery of a bank, or the armed robbery of an individual. Nor did he ever arm himself for the purpose of going in pursuit of an individual with the intent of taking a life.

When I visited Shan Carter in prison, it was quite sobering to see him wearing a red jumpsuit, which signifies that he is a Death Row inmate. It is such a miscarriage of justice when one considers that he was convicted in the Donald Brunson murder without any credible evidence or eyewitness testimony. The conviction of Shan Carter for Brunson’s murder relied on perjured hearsay testimony of disreputable individuals making statements which the polygraph tester interpreted as deceptive and or statements made in exchange for money. Not only that, but the state withheld from the defense exculpatory mitochondrial DNA evidence on hair samples which supported Shan’s contention that he was not even present when the kidnapping and murder of Brunson took place. The prosecution played fast and loose with discovery by withholding it and/or unacceptably delaying turning it over to the defense.

Like the two preceding Investigative Reports about MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst Susan Filan’s libelous fabrications about Mike Nifong and Duke University’s discrimination against me for openly being a supporter of Mike Nifong, a third Investigative Report will go into depth about the injustices against Shan Edward Carter by the state of North Carolina and its attempt to execute him without cause.

At tremendous expense and waste of taxpayer dollars to hold an inmate on Death Row, the state is proceeding to apply the irrevocable and most extreme punishment to Shan Carter… a man who was completely innocent of the kidnapping and murder of drug dealer Donald Brunson… a man who may have fired the bullet that killed drug dealer Tyrone Baker during an act in self-defense… and a man who has served more than a decade behind bars and may have been responsible for the accidental and inadvertent death of Demetrius Green, an 8 year-old boy who was sitting in a car when struck by a ricocheting bullet. The upcoming Investigative Report, along with future blogs, will provide extensive documentation to support the position that Shan Carter should not only be taken off Death Row, but released from prison with time served for the possible manslaughter charge related to the accidental death of Demetrius Green.