I am an honorable veteran of the United States Navy who served in combat post 9/11. I have defended the rights and freedoms of those who live in this country.
In 2013 I was falsely accused of being the driver of a vehicle that out ran the police. The owner of the car is a troubled individual who has placed false charges upon numerous people in her history including false charges against me. She reported the car stolen just minutes after the chase was terminated.
The police were unable to catch the driver because they called the chase off. I was accused of being the driver of the car because i was in the company of the owner of the vehicle 4 hours prior to the incident. I had a dispute with her in which she had thrown and damaged my cell phone. I left at roughly 8:30pm and never returned to the town of Sayreville.
Upon my arrest i had told the police where i was at the time of the incident.
The place I was at had cameras that cover the entrance, the parking lot, and the interior of the place. I told the police that i had never been inside this car before. I suggested that they sweep for DNA. EVERYTHING you touch leaves traces of DNA. I offered to provide a sample. They would not listen.
The car was ditched near a camera at a gas station. The police did not check my alibi, did not sweep for DNA, and did not check the cameras at the gas station. Instead, they swept for finger prints.
Of the many prints they collected, (from the door handles, the shifter, the seat adjust bar, and the rear view mirror, and the steering wheel), the lab report came back indicating that the prints did not belong to me.
Nonetheless, i was charged, indicted 2 years later and arraigned. I could not afford a criminal defense lawyer and was given a public defender who never conducted a meeting with me face to face until we went to arraignment. Even after, he did not return my calls, emails, or texts and was not fully prepared for trial. I was facing a possible 10-15 year term for a crime I did not have involvement in.
The owner of the car was first to take the stand in my trial. She changed her story on the stand from her original statements that were voice recorded and documente. The judge stated that she was NOT a credible witness after other people (eye witnesses) testified in contradiction to her version of events. There were several inconsistencies in her story, (adding things she never reported before, leaving out parts of her original statements) and just outright contradictions of what she had said on record previously. None of what she said seemed to make much sense. She also had a friend who was in her company at the time of the dispute her and I had.
She was asked about her friend Frank. She denied knowing anyone by this name. She was shown a photo taken from her Facebook page. In the photo she is hugging the named person with the captions "I love you Frank" underneath it. She seemed to grow very nervous. Frank was with her when I left. The photo shown to her was dated amd posted to her Facebook the same date as the incident.
She also stated that during the time of the incident she was at a friends house. She stated that this friend picked her up from her home. Together they traveled to the friends home where they remained until midnight. This friend of hers supported that statement. However, a police officer under oath testified that the she had been picked up by someone with long dark hair driving a black Chevy Trail Blazer. Cops know their makes n models when it comes to vehicles. The friend she said she was picked up by had long bleach blonde hair and drove a silver Hyundai Enlantra. It would be incomprehensible for a police officer to mistake the difference.
But why lie about this?
The owner of the vehicle also stated that upon arriving home, she noticed her car was stolen right from the driveway of her home. She said that she knew it was me right away. However, under cross examination, her 911 call was examined but at no point did she report having any of idea who may have "stolen" her car.
She was with her friend at that time when she made the call. That friend of hers lives only 3 minutes from where the car was discovered by police abandoned. It would be completely plausible that she drove the car, ditched it near the gas station, called her friend who lives down the street, got picked up and taken home while they called 911 to report a "stolen" car. Her friend lived literally blocks away from where the car was left behind.
The police changed their stories from their original police reports written on the night of the incident. One police officer originally wrote that the driver of the car was wearing a hat and that their face was hidden behind the bill of the hat as the car sped past him. The area was a side road without any street lights to provide the officer with the lighting necessary to make an identification on the driver.
Under oath, in my trial his story changed. He stated he was able to see the driver, and also stated that he had his eyes closed to block the headlights of the car from effecting his vision, but that he had opened them at the very last fraction of a second as the car flew past him, and that he was able to see the driver in the darkness as the car flew by him. This was something he never stated before in the several versions he had given in the 2 years since the incident.
Another officer admitted to being a close friend to the owner of the vehicle. He had plenty of motive to protect and conceal the truth.
The prosecutor presented a photo as evidence. This photo showed the street being lit up like Yankee Stadium for a World Series game. He presented it to the jury under the false pretence that it represented the same conditions under which the officer was able to make an identification of the driver. However the reality is that the conditions were far from the same. The street is dark at night making it very difficult to be able to make a positive ID on the driver of a vehicle. Especially if you had closed your eyes and opened them in the fraction of a second when it went past you.
Under oath another police officer began to describe how dark the area was but was quickly cut off by prosecutor and asked another question. This officer stated that he was positioned up the road and that the chase was coming toward him. He states that as the car passed him at 80mph he was able to look to his side and make eye contact with the driver. Even after having the headlights of the vehicle and the headlights of the chasing patrol car blaring straight into his eyes. He stated the driver had chiseled features in the face and was wearing a go-tee on his chin. The photo of her Frank, (dated and posted to her Facebook the same day as the incident) shows a man wearing a hat, a go-tee, and with chiseled features in his face.
The inexperience of my court appointed attorney was evident as he did not come prepared with photos of the area that would have been useful in objecting to the misrepresentations of the photo the prosecutor had submitted as evidence. He also failed to call our key witness to the stand. During cross examination he was able to perform well against the owner of the car but was afraid to attack the testimony of the police officers. He had disclosed to me that he doesn't want to call them liars. Well, why not?
We had hired a private investigator to collect evidence, photos, and statements and facts. Throughout the trial he stated many times that the p.i. would be the key witness for us. On the final day of my trial he told me he can't use him because the lawyer himself was the one who actually took the photos and this made him liable for potential allegations of evidence tampering, and making himself a witness who would not be available for cross examination by the prosecutor. Again, a critical error due to lack of experience. My entire defense was now useless. WAY TO GO!
There was not one shred of evidence that linked me to this crime other than the accusation of the owner of the car who i had many problems with in the past and whom i had once filed a restraining order against. They also had very shakey and highly questionable statements from a couple of police officers who had every motive to protect the owner of the car from being charged and sent to prison. After all, they did indeed have a personal friendship with this woman as they admitted to under oath. When asked why they didn't perform DNA tests or examine all the video footage available to them, they responded by stating under oath - "well that was a mistake on our part" Really? You think?
In addition, the police had communicated over radio that they were in search of a person wearing dark clothes and a hat. Upon my arrest I was wearing a bright yellow shirt, no hat, and my hair combed neatly indicating i hadn't been wearing a hat. A search of my body produced no car keys of any kind. When the police walked up to me I did not run from them. If I had just been involved in a high speed chase, why wouldn't I run away from them when they are at my home waiting for me? It was then that i told them right away where i was all night. Once we got to the police station i told them again, asked them to check the video cameras at the place. Even offered my DNA and suggested they check the car for any DNA evidence belonging to me. I have never been inside her car before.
It also important to note; the owner of the vehicle had totaled the car just 4 weeks after the police chase occurred in a drinking and driving incident. She then fled the scene of the accident by jumping into her friends car who was following closely behind. She also reported her car stolen. She was apprehended by the police when the occupants of the other vehicle had given a detailed description that fit her perfectly. Under the circumstances, she realized she was caught and confessed to leaving the scene of the accident. She avoided charges by taking a deal and pleading guilty to a DWI charge. This stood as her 2nd DWI. This is a pattern of behavior consistent with what occured the night of the police chase. When she fled the scene of the accident mentioned above, she was aided by the same friend who comes into question on the night of the chase.
This would mean that when she reported the car stolen after the DWI accident, she was in the company of this friend who is supportive of her efforts to evade the police and responsibility. If she was with that same friend the night of the police chase, then could it be possible that they reported the car stolen together on that night too?
All of these circumstances surrounding the case leave too much room for doubt. No evidence, shakey testimony, witnesses caught lying. Nonetheless i was wrongfully convicted. I was sentenced to 5 years in state prison in sept of 2016.
This situation has turned my world upside down. As my trial drew near, my so called public defender ceased all communication with me after i turned down an offer to plead guilty. I signed the papers and took the matter to trial. They disclosed to me that i was facing 10-15 years in state prison. This had a catastrophic effect on my mental health which lead to the destruction of some very important relationships with others who were in my life. I was suffering from depression as the days drew closer amd closer to the trial.
I have lost my career, numerous friends, and my VA benefits had been suspended. Relationships with family members suffered greatly. It has destroyed my reputation and shattered certain dreams of mine. (recently i have been offered employment, and my VA benefits have been restrored)
I have an appeal pending but again i am receiving poor representation from the Public Defender Office. I NEED SOME SERIOUS ASSISTANCE IN THIS MATTER. Please, if there is anyone reading this that can help me, represent me, or point me in the right direction, please contact me.
I am innocent of this. There is no rational connection between what was presented at trial and the verdict that was decided against me.
Please donate to my cause and enable me to afford the proper representation i will need to clear my name.
Please help an honorable veteran of war who once defended the very rights and freedoms that have been stripped of me. This has been a very serious injustice and i need help clearing my name. I have lived a law abiding life and have always held employment, and I am drug free. I come from a good family. I simply can not afford a private attorney to assist me, and so i am asking for help the only way i know how to. I plead to the ACLU and to the public and to those viewing this message to please help me take a stand in supporting my cause.
Thank you and may God be with us all.