OPENING STATEMENT OF BEHALF OF THE PLAINTIFF
MS. HUTCHINSON: Thank you, your honor. May it please the court, opposing counsel, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, good morning. Again, my name is Julie Hutchinson, and I along with Pat Apel represent the State of Ohio. Before we get into the evidence of this case I'd like to sincerely thank you for your time. We all understand that this is a hardship for each of you. If you don't understand the importance of your service as jurors, we hope you will after this experience. The service of citizens of this community and other communities as jurors is what sets the American justice system apart from other countries. There aren’t many countries, believe it or not, that utilize jury systems. Only about a handful. Having said that, His Honor has talked to you a little about what your role is. And to reiterate that, your role is to judge the credibility of the witnesses, to determine what the facts are and to render a true verdict. And that’s all we ask that you do.
This defendant is charge with aggravated burglary, three counts of aggravated robbery based on the use of a deadly weapon, three counts of aggravated robbery based on inflicting serious physical harm, three counts of aggravated murder during the commission of an aggravated burglary, three counts of aggravated murder during the commission of an aggravated robbery, three counts of aggravated murder with prior calculation and design, theft of drugs, tampering with evidence and a firearms specification.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you understand that there are three murders and several different counts based on different theories or different statutes of the law. Each is separate and each you will find is supported by the State’s evidence. His Honor, Judge Harcha, will instruct you that the only evidence you are to consider is that which comes from the witness stand in the form of testimony, exhibits and things that may be stipulated to by the parties.
So what is the State’s evidence? The State’s evidence will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on the 22nd day of December, 2008, at approximately 6:37 p.m., in the evening, this 911 call was received by the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office.
911 CALL IS PLAYED
Ms. HUTCHINSON: The evidence will be that on that evening Ed Mollett, his wife Juanita, and his daughter Christina, were shot and killed in the presence of six year old Anthony Stapleton. Not only was the shooting done in his presence, the evidence will show that the child was covered in blood from the bullet that exited his Aunt Christine’s head. Detective, deputies, emergency medical personnel and some friends and family arrived on the scene. The evidence will be that young Anthony gave a description of a girl with dark or black hair wearing a camo coat and vest with guns in it; came in and shot his family; took some pills and his grandpa Ed Mollett’s wallet, then left driving what was described as a tan Jeep type vehicle. The evidence will be that Paul Balmer and his Defendant drove a vehicle matching that description. The evidence will also be that this Defendant was familiar with the victims.
That night the little boy picked this Defendant from a photo lineup. He was asked to sign his name which if you’ll notice in the picture is signed backwards. He was asked – the testimony will be he was asked if he was sure that this was the woman of the girl, and he said yes, and he said that he had seen her at his grandpa Ed Mollett’s before.
You will hear from James Damron, who you just heard of the audio. He goes by Bob. This man can’t read or write. You heard that on the audio. He has a speech impediment. He might not be of average intelligence, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, but he will tell you what he saw that night. He’ll tell you that he lives at the bottom of the hill near where the murders occurred. He’ll tell you that he saw a vehicle matching what was described as the tan Jeep leaving the driveway just before Anthony came down. And you'll hear that he told officers that he couldn't pick anyone out of the photo line and we'll ask him to explain that to you. But you'll also hear that the very next day he did pick this Defendant from the photo lineup.
Paul Balmer who is incarcerated and serving 17 years in prison will be here. He'll tell you that he agreed to testify truthfully in the case in which he is serving time and in this case. Paul Balmer will testify that he drove this Defendant to 287C Snook Road, Franklin Furnace, Ohio, here in this Scioto County. This residence. And he drove her there to get pills. Balmer and this Defendant then left Scioto County and headed for Greenup, Kentucky. The two of them rented a motel room. This Defendant purchased hair color from a Family Dollar. They returned to the motel room, she changed her clothes. This Defendant and Paul Balmer went to Subway and grabbed a chicken teriyaki sandwich. She's on video. They're both on video at the Subway. They returned to the motel room and she colored her hair, showered, changed her clothes again, shot up drugs and then agreed to go to the Scioto County Sheriff's Office for questioning accompanied by her cousin, Rick Nash, a local attorney. Balmer will testify that when this Defendant contacted him she told him she was being charged with three counts of aggravated murder and that he took these items and the vest with the guns, tossed them out on the side of the road and he left for Florida. Shortly after the murders when Balmer was brought back from Florida he revealed to detectives where the personal items of this Defendant were. That included camouflaged clothing, empty box of hair color, gloves, and sleeveless vest type shirt with firearms, a derringer, a 380 semi-automatic and a 38 special revolver. The evidence will reveal that the Taurus 38 special was given to this Defendant by her husband, Robert Applegate as a gift. According to the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, the bullets retrieved from the bodies of Ed Mollett, Juanita Mollett and Christina Mollett match those shot from the 38 special revolver. The Defendant's DNA is present on that handgun. Two other DNAs are present on that handgun. We'll ask the DNA analyst to explain that to you. Those DNAs are not
Paul Balmer's. The Defendant's DNA is present on that vest type shirt. So is Paul Balmer's. Paul Balmer will testify that was his shirt.
A gunshot residue is present on the Defendant's gloves and boots as well as DNA belonging to the Defendant on rubber gloves that were inside the mechanics gloves. The State of Ohio will present to you a video statement of this Defendant at the Scioto County Sheriff's Office. She admits she knows the victims but claims she hasn't been to their residence in a long time. When asked about her involvement in their murders, she states I don't have any. She says she Paul Balmer's around 3:00 or 4:00 that day to go to a hotel in Greenup. She insisted I don't have any guns. She admitted she went to Family Dollar but she claimed she had colored her hair at three or four o'clock in the morning at Paul Balmer's house, not the evening after the murders The State of Ohio will present to you several females who spent time in jail with this Defendant, and each will tell you why she was incarcerated and how she ended up in here on this witness stand testifying. Each will tell you what this
Defendant has had to say about the murders of Ed Mollett,
Juanita Mollett and Christina Mollett in the presence of that six year old child.
Remember, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you, not us, not them, you are the judges of credibility. You determine what the facts are. Please keep that in mind as you weigh the evidence and the testimony throughout this trial. And once you have received all of the evidence, you will have received proof beyond a reasonable doubt and we will ask that you return a verdict of guilty on each count against this Defendant. Thank you for your time.
OPENING STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE DEFENDANT MR. KNIGHT: Your Honor, Deputy Spencer or Detective Spencer, Mr. Apel, Ms. Hutchinson, Bill. Ladies and gentlemen, we've met each other quite a few times over the preparation for this trial. At no time is it more important that you begin and commence to evaluate what really happened in this case. Up to this point we've talked about your beliefs, your attitudes, what your thoughts are on certain things that we might encounter in this trial. The times to inquire of you are over.
We're here today not to determine if three people were murdered on December 22nd, 2008. They were. It's not our job, not your job to prove that it was a murder. There's no issue whether they were shot. They were shot. No issue whether there's a robbery although there's scant evidence of a robbery that will be presented. Now, it was a purposeful murder. It's not an issue, although the evidence will come up in this trial whether or not Ed Mollett and his family were Oxycontin dealers. And it's not an issue in this case whether at the time of the shooting that Ed Mollett, Christy Mollett, Juanita Mollett were all users of Oxycontin, had it in their system at the time of their killing. That's not the issue. They were, we'll be looking at the autopsy to show it.
On December 22nd of '08, three days before Christmas, at 6:00 in the afternoon all of these victims, in the presence of their six year old either grandson or nephew, had Oxycontin in their blood. Nobody forced them to become users and dealers. But it's important that that was the status of the Molletts. So the case is not whether they were shot, but it's a case of who shot them and why these murders occurred.
Why did this happen? I know that 14 months on the local papers, the local television station and most importantly the local internet rumor mill has been slandering and accusing, not just Kara but the Mollett family also All the Mollett family. And sure the evidence will show that they all had their fingers, their hands, their arms, they were up to their necks in the OxyContin trafficking in this county. But folks that is important because we believe the evidence will show that’s why these people were killed that day, because of their involvement in the Oxycontin trafficking, not only in Scioto County but in the surrounding counties. Not a drug buy that suddenly developed into triple homicide. Now this was carefully setup and maybe not so thoughtfully planned out murder, planned by a big time Cuban drug dealer and his local connection attempting to take over the Oxycontin trafficking which the Molletts had so long possessed.
Now I’ve talked with many of you in voir dire and discussed the difficult, actually the near impossibility of proving the negative, that is proving you didn’t do something with you weren’t there. We understand the difficulty in that. And, of course, we all understand the presumption of innocence, that Kara sits here with us today presumed to be innocent of doing these murders. And that the State willingly assumes the obligation to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that it was Kara Garvin that did this murder, not someone else. All of you agreed with me that it wasn’t Kara’s obligation to come and testify, especially when all she can say is that from noon on December 22nd, 2008, until Paul Balmer came home that evening around seven o’clock, home out on Back Road, Paul Balmer came home in Kara’s Rave4, the car that he has used and used in all the time they had been living together in this county. She can’t tell you what Paul Balmer did. She can’t tell you who associated with Paul Balmer that day. But the evidence—because she was not with Paul that afternoon until seven o’clock. But can see and you will see some evidence, Paul Balmer, the evidence will show had Kara Garvin’s cell phone with him that afternoon and you’ll see that that call was made to a fellow by the name of Dave Haney, and Dave Haney used to be a sheriff’s officer, Scioto County Sheriff’s Office. But he had fallen by the way side, become a drug user, lost his job at the Sheriff’s Office, but continued to have association with his friend Paul Balmer. I don’t know what the conversation was between Paul Balmer and Dave Haney that day only an hour before the death of the Mollett family but we do know that conversation occurred. Beyond that, at least at the time frame, all we can do is present our case and examine the witnesses that the State believes important to be brought before you. You can only hear their beliefs that some evaluation of what really happened.
So let’s restate for just a moment the state of the events based on what the evidence exist now and what is going to be presented in this courtroom, because this is an opportunity to talk with you about what we believe the evidence will show.
First, on December 2nd, 2008, which by the way is a Monday, this all occurred on a Monday afternoon, a Monday evening, December 22nd. You need to keep in consideration what he lighting was, this is 6:30 at night on December 22nd, 2008. You heard this 911 call that was received by the Scioto County 911. James Damron, that was the voice you heard of the neighbor and you saw in your jury view the Damron trailer. He called 911 and said, what you heard, that three people — he said four or five but three people had been shot. And at the time this six year old Anthony Stapleton was at his trailer. And at that time Damron would later say, later that evening, say that he observed a black haired woman driving by in a car from his trailer, evidently out on the front porch of his trailer, he’ll tell you, and that he was able to see a black haired woman driving by and he couldn’t identify who that was, but he did describe the car that went by. Damron, Mr. Damron, within four hours told Scioto County detectives that he couldn’t ID that woman but that she had dark hair. then the evidence will show that numerous people and numerous police officers and numerous deputies and detectives were in and out of the Mollett trailer up on the hill, up behind Damron’s trailer, including at least two or three people who went in that trailer before the police ever arrived. Even before the EMT’s arrived. Touched the victims. And one, I believe, said he even brought a phone from the trailer down the hill to use it. One may have even said that he received — he heard a phone call while he was in the Mollett trailer with the Molletts dead in the trailer. Just an idea of how many people were in and out of the Mollett trailer during this short period from 6:30 when these murders occurred until other things that you’re going to hear about occurred.
Now in the Damron trailer which, of course, is just down over the hill but out of sight of the Mollett trailer. In other words, if you’re at the Damron trailer, you’re not able to see the Mollett trailer. Let’s talk about the scene there. The scene there was even more active. There will be evidence in this case to show that six year old Anthony Stapleton was in the Damron trailer. Damron was in the Damron trailer. Several relatives of young Stapleton were in th trailer. Detective Triggs came in the trailer, talks to Anthony; Detective Blaine came in the trailer, talked to Anthony; Deputy Metzler came in the trailer, talked to Anthony; and Captain Hall came in the trailer and talked to Anthony. All of them individually talking to Anthony Stapleton while Anthony was sitting there with his relatives. Probably his mother. I don’t whether his mother was present during all of these conversations. Possibly his father. Certainly Damron. and during all of the time that Anthony is being talked to by four police officers and various relatives, this people are suggesting and saying they know who did this. They did Kara Garvin drives a car like that. Kara knows Ed Mollett. Kara and Paul have been out here before.
Folks, I submit to you that Anthony Stapleton, six years old, hears all of these police officers say that; hears his mother say that; hears his relatives say that. Yet at the time he doesn’t know who this person is. He says he’s seen the person before. Now, this is all between 6:30 and eight o’clock. So we have to remember other things are going on between 6:30 and eight o’clock. The person that killed the Molletts isn’t sitting down there at the Damron trailer. Something else has happened with those people. They’re going somewhere else. Now, we believe the evidence will how that Anthony Stapleton’s mother felt that Anthony, because of all of this excitement and the traumatic events that he saw was going in — she thought he was going into shock. And she took him to the hospital which is where you take your child, of course. So this child leaves the Damron trailer. He’s not made any identification at that time. And Damron, the only other person who saw anything says he saw a dark haired female in a car go by, and that he couldn’t identify anyone. That’s the status at eight o’clock, an hour and a half after the murders.
Now let’s talk about, for just a moment, where and what was going on at the same time. Now 6:30 is when this shooting and then very shortly after that the 911 call comes in, so we know exactly when that happened. We also know some other things exactly. We know exactly that Paul Balmer checked into a hotel across the river from Ironton, Ohio, a little town called Greenup, Kentucky, into a Budget Inn, room 120 there and checked in, because there’s a sign-in slip signed by Paul Balmer saying he checked in. No time on that. But we do know some ways of proving what that time was. We know that at 8:15, the same time Anthony Stapleton and all these detectives are still out there at the scene, at 8:15 Paul Balmer and Kara Garvin go to a Dollar General or a Family Dollar store and we have the receipt, the State has the receipt. They’ll show it to you. And it’s at 8:15 and they buy two boxes of black hair dye. Now remember we have a description of Anthony it was a black haired woman did the shooting and Damron saying it’s a black haired woman that drove by a 6:30. And now the State has proof that Kara and Paul, Paul Balmer, bought black hair dye at 8:15. No only that, at 8:30, shows, Paul and Kara are at a Subway, sub shop, right next to the Dollar Store over there in Greenup and they spend time buying a Subway sandwich, getting a supper, having a meal, and they go back to room 120 after they picked up a Subway and Kara dyes her hair black. Now evidence will presented folks as to why she dyed her hair. But the status of the evidence as we had it at 8:30 that night is you have young Mr. Stapleton and Damron identifying someone with black hair and you have Kara at eight o’clock or 8:30 dying her hair black. Now, why do you think Kara was at a hotel in Greenup, Kentucky, when she had a perfectly good house on Back Road that she left, we say seven o’clock with Paul Balmer? Well the facts will show this. For a month or so Kara and Paul had planned to move permanently to Florida. In fact, Kara and Paul had got a rental agreement for a place in Florida well in advance of them ever leaving the area. The satellite TV reception at the Back Road residence was turned off and the plans had always been to leave for Florida the nest day, Tuesday, December 23rd. Why you say then did the go to a motel in Greenup? Why not just go on to Florida if that’s their plan? Well, it’s very simple. Kara would have gone on to Florida but she had a doctor’s appointment at 8:30 on December 23rd, Tuesday morning in Ironton with the Social Security doctor and that was her appointment that she had to keep. Now that’s what she was doing. You’ll see the appointment records that show she had this appointment. Her goal was to keep that appointment, then leave and go on to Florida the next day with Paul. So at 8:30 that night Kara had very intention of being over in Ironton for her 8:30 doctor’s appointment the next morning and the evidence will show that. So when you say it is somewhat difficult, if not impossible, to prove what you were doing, we can only present the evidence that prove why Kara did what she did.
Here we are now at 8:45, nine o’clock p.m. What’s happening back at the crime investigation? I submit to you that the detectives for the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office by nine o’clock that night had decided that Kara Garvin did it. And here’s why I say that. Because two of the detectives went over to Kara’s mom’s house, Audrey Dotson’s house, around 9:30 and said were looking for Kara about this triple homicide that occurred in Franklin Furnace. So by 9:30 the cops had made their decision. That was the end of that folks. That’s who they wanted. They wanted to see Kara Garvin. So Mrs. Dotson, Kara’s mother, the evidence will show, wanting to cooperate gave them — or got a hold of Rick Nash who is Kara’s cousin and an attorney here in Scioto County, and told Rick they wanted — that the cops wanted to talk to Kara. So the evidence will show Rick called them, called them on the cell phone that Balmer had all day. The phone rings, Kara gets it in the hotel. And Nash say the cops want to talk to you; Kara says fine, come and get me, and Rick does. And before midnight, before midnight on December 22nd, Kara has come into the Sheriff’s Office, you’ll see it. They got a videotape of her. It goes on for five or six hours. Rick tells her, Attorney Nash says don’t be talking to the police officers, nothing good comes from that. And Rick leaves and told police she wasn’t going to talk to them. About 20 minutes after that you’ll see the police saying you want to talk with us and she does talk with them. And there may be some dispute about the timing of things but there’s no disputing she talked with them. Not only did she talk with them, she said I didn’t have any involvement in this, I didn’t do anything and if you don’t believe me call Paul Balmer, He’s got my cell phone, he’ll come over here and tell you. This is at midnight, folks. This is only five and a half hours after the murder. The cops have already arrested Kara, put her in jail. She’s cooperating and told them to call Paul, he’ll come over here and explain all of this, you know, I certainly didn’t do that. So they do call and the evidence will show that the cops called from the Sheriff’s Office. They called Paul Balmer, and Paul answers the phone. The cell phone of Kara’s that he’s been using all day. And what’s he say? Evidence will how Paul Balmer says I’ll be right over, we’ll get this straightened out. I’ll be right over. He’s just in Greenup. So they wait. The cops wait. The evidence will show, the cops are waiting, they’re wanting to talk to Paul Balmer. He doesn’t come in, one o’clock goes by, two o’clock goes by. They call him again. Now I don’t know whether the call was made from the Sheriff’s Office to the cell phone, from the cell phone to the Sheriff’s Office. There were numerous calls over this time from Balmer to Detective Triggs’ home. He evidently had Detective Triggs/ home number over the years. And there were calls from Triggs to Balmer. But Balmer didn’t come in, folks. Balmer is on his way to Florida. He called — he tells the cops that he’s coming in, straighten this out, and he hightails it to Florida in Kara’s car. But that isn’t all Balmer does. Balmer on his way to Florida, at least tells the cops, that when he was on his way to Florida he hides those guns that you saw the prosecutor come up one little picture there. They’ll show you later. He doesn’t leave them in the hotel room. He evidently knows where the guns are and knows what they’re important in some manner. He hides them. Now not at the same location. and again, evidently on his way to Florida, the evidence will show he hid some clothes in a different location. Then the evidence will show on his way to Florida there are at least three or four phone calls made to cell phones, one or more, or home phones, one or more, of Ray Rodriguez, a Florida drug dealer. And living with Ray Rodriguez at that time or we don’t know where she may have been at that time is a woman named Amanda Moody, was Ray’s girlfriend, paramour, whatever. Now Rodriguez has six homes down in Florida area that he either owns, rents out or lives with. His wife lives in one of them and he, on occasion, lives with his girlfriend, Amanda, in another one of them. But there is no question that Rodriguez and Amanda are up to here in the Oxycontin trafficking in Florida. In fact, the evidence will show Rodriguez has given Balmer on occasion on Balmer’s trips to Florida, Oxycontin to bring back here and do with as you may imagine.
So we believe that the evidence is going to show that by midnight the night of this murder Balmer has taken off for Florida where he hides out in the home of this known drug dealer. Does he even turn himself in in Florida? No. He get arrested in Florida. That’s he’s taken into custody. On the other hand, Kara when called by the police comes in voluntarily and talks with the police. Now, folks, you have to evaluate evidence. You also have to make some decisions as to who you believe and what make logical sense to you. So what we have, and I do want to touch just for a moment or two about the physical evidence. Physical evidence means something you can touch, feel, look at, see and smell. In this game the gun. You’ll see a picture, many pictures probably, of this Taurus 38 revolver, five shot revolver. And it’s in a shirt that I believe the prosecutor told you was Paul Balmer’s shirt. I don’t know. That gun fired the bullets that killed Ed, Juanita, and Christina Mollett. That gun did. That gun didn’t fire itself. You will find, you will hear from the evidence you hear from the State or us that that revolver when it was found where Paul Balmer hid it, had the DNA of three individuals of that gun. Three. On the handled area of the gun. One was Kara Garvin’s. DNA level is something you’re going to be hearing. You’ll find that it says we can only determine that one in every 2,200 people in the population of a whole who’d have that kind of DNA . So one in every 2,000 people would have had that kind of DNA. Whether or not that’s confirmation, I don’t know. But there were two other person’s DNA found on that handled area of the gun, folks. And they were’t Paul Balmer’s DNA. I submit to you that those DNA’s were never checked against any other individuals who may be involved in the Oxycontin trafficking who may have had access to Paul Balmer, may have been hiding Paul Balmer out down in Florida, may have been present when Paul Balmer was arrested, may have had statements taken from them as to why Paul Balmer was there. No one ever checked their DNA to see their involvement in this case and yet that’s the only piece of physical evidence of whose DNA was on the murder weapon in this case.
There are lots of other pieces of evidence. It’s going to be a long trial, but we submit that the mystery in this case is not whether the Molletts were murdered. They most certainly were murdered. But the proof is the State has to prove is that Kara Garvin did it. And they have to prove that she shot those people beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was her. And I submit to you the even in opening statements you’ll see the DNA of three individuals on the gun that killed these people, two of them at least aren’t Kara Garvin, and we’re not even sure that the third one has her under proof in Ohio. And yet we see that the police had decided at eight o’clock that Kara did this, and hour and half after the shooting. Nothing concentrated on anyone else ever again. Just Kara Garvin who came in voluntarily and talked to the police in this case.
That’s your job and it’s a tough one and I know how difficult it is. You guaranteed me, you promised us that you would listen to this evidence all of the way through and then decide whether the State has proven beyond any reasonable doubt the terrible things they accuse Kara of. The evidence will show in this case that Kara Garvin is a 29 year old lady at the time with no prior record. And the police believe that she just decided to shoot and murder three people and then come in and tell them she didn’t have anything to do with it, while the guy who hides the gun, hides the clothes, hightails it to Florida and yet you get to examine. Let’s see what Paul Balmer was promised in return for telling his story for you. Thank you for your patience. We look forward to this trial. Thank you Judge.
CLOSING STATEMENT OF BEHALF OF THE DEFENDANT MR. KNIGHT
From: KARA GARVIN
Date: 11/2/2018 11:45:13 AM
To: Audrey Dotson
My name is Kara. My mother gave me your name and told me you might be able to help us if I reached out to you. Ten years ago this Christmas our lives changed forever. I was lost in the lies of addiction and running from the truth of what was happening to me and my family. I was sucked into the lies and manipulation of a man by the promises of a new start outside of Ohio, more money, and more drugs. I was on a collision course with death. Now I can admit it. I
think I was trying to kill myself. In fact, I am sure of it. One night just before we were to leave for FL, Paul (the man I was living with) came home told me to finish packing because we were
leaving and getting a room. I know it sounds weird, but this was something we did often. We sold pills. It was not uncommon to get a call and have to head out just to be safe. He had a friend in the Sheriffs’ Dept. that told him when it was a good idea to leave for a while.
So I tossed some clothes in a bag and rode out. We didn't go far because I had a doctor's appt the next morning. We only went 10 minutes away. There was a nearby motel across the river in Greenup, Kentucky. That was where we went. While there maybe he suggested I dye my hair or maybe my dark roots made me want to dye my hair before we left. Again, it was not a strange request from him. He did things like that. I just never questioned him. While he did my hair I checked the messages on my phone, which he had in his possession while I slept that day and found that my cousin (a criminal attorney and like a brother to me growing up) had called. I called him back and found out that the cops were looking for me. I didn't want to go to FL with problems in Ohio. God only knew why they wanted me. I had worked with Paul selling drugs. My home was robbed in the month of October. All my guns were stolen and my thoughts were that maybe one of my guns was found at a crime scene. I didn't really know and to be honest I don’t think I ever really put much thought into it. I told my cousin to come get me. He came and got me and took me to the Sheriff's Dept. The detective that arrested me was the same cop that Paul and I paid to inform us of the Drug Task Forces' movements. As I left for the sheriff's office he said you won't be back, I said yes I will you have my phone and my car. But after I left for the sheriff's office Paul ran. He was later apprehended in FL. On his way back he handed over the murder
weapon, a few other guns, and some clothes that I was supposed to have wore during the murders. He gave the prosecution the story they wanted right along with 4 women I was incarcerated with in the county jail.
Their stories are all lies. You can see the progression of the testimony from their statements. You can follow the deals. They wanted me to testify that Paul was the one who committed the
murders. I couldn't do it without lying. I was not with him. I thought that I could not be convicted without hard evidence to prove I actually committed this crime.
Then there was the trial. It was a nightmare. I had two lawyers that were more concerned with saving my life from a death penalty than fighting for my acquittal. In my opinion they saved me nothing. I am serving a slow death penalty just the same.
The jury was asked if they had any preconceived ideas of my guilt or innocence, and their answer was yes. They said they thought I was guilty because I was arrested. A child witness was used to convict me. His testimony also changed over the year and a half I awaited trial. I was given no real defense. I was found guilty because the jury wanted someone to pay for the murders. Someone had to pay for the little boy's trauma. The state never gave the jury anyone else to consider and the judge would not allow me to offer a third party as a possibility for a defense. I was then sentenced to 3 Life sentences without the possibility of parole.
In the last 10 years I have had to watch my then 11 year old daughter struggle with life. She is now 21 and has a daughter only 6 weeks old. Micah suffers so much. PTSD and depression and anxiety. I accept responsibility for most of her problems. I really do. I will even accept that prison has been a huge part of why I am the woman I am today. I will even say I deserved it because of the drugs I used and sold, the lives I ruined by doing so, and the affiliations I had at the time.
However, I do not deserve to die here. I did not kill anyone. My family does not deserve this. My mother is getting older and she needs me. I want to prove I am not the woman I used to be. I am stronger. I am healthier. I just need one more chance I will never again make the poor decisions and/or make the mistakes I made back then. By priorities are straight and I am no longer afraid I could be overcome the drugs and the lifestyle. I am ready to come home and be a
daughter and a grandmother. A sister and an aunt. We really need someone to help us. I don't know who to turn to. My mother is so tired. No one knows where to go from here. I am willing
to do anything. I just do not know what I can do.
Thank you for your time