To whom it may concern:
John Knospler, a decorated Marine with multiple combat tours with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, and 1st Special Operations Training Group, is in need of our help. John honorably served 8 years and 3 combat deployments serving our country. Due to some extremely unfortunate circumstances, John is a victim of injustice and needs our help.
In October 2013, John was invited out to a veteran-sponsored hunting trip with friends and family to Keeline, Wyoming. One night, after a day of hunting, John went to get a drink at a local bar. When he was ready to leave, rather than drive drunk, he decided to sleep in his car. John was startled awake to James Baldwin, a Casper local and convicted felon, punching through John’s driver-side car window, lunging at John, and threatening to kill him. Knospler attempted to start the car and drive away, but was unable due to Baldwin’s assault. During the struggle, and in pure self-defense, John drew his pistol and shot Baldwin so that he could evade the scene safely.
The case was tried locally in front of a jury of Baldwin's peers. And while the facts, which are highlighted below, clearly prove self-defense, John was found guilty of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 30-50 years in prison. Listed below are some undisputed facts of the case.
- The state investigator confirmed John Knospler’s statement of events, but it was not admitted into evidence. Baldwin's knuckles and right arm were cut from the glass when Baldwin punched out the window. The states investigator confirms the window was punched out as he concluded glass dispersion inside vehicle was consistent with window being punched out. The ballistics investigation puts Baldwin bent over and inside the vehicle. This all validates John’s statement of self-defense.
- James Baldwin had a long and violent criminal history (18 felony counts of vehicle burglary, as well as multiple counts of assault and evading police).
- There were inconsistencies with prosecution’s witness testimonies, where multiple witnesses changed their story after meeting with the prosecutor. The bouncer, for example, testified that he witnessed the entire incident, even though the bar’s cameras clearly disproved his testimony. Regardless, the false testimony was allowed as evidence.
John needs our help. He has filed for an appeal through the Wyoming state supreme court but his appeal was denied and his options are running out. He has exhausted his life savings and is in need of financial support to continue this fight. His case received some coverage from the local media, however, it has received little attention outside of Wyoming.
We need to generate awareness and make this a widespread issue on a national scale. With all of the ridiculous stories in the media, this should be on everyone’s radar. We need anyone with connections to media outlets, government officials, and / or legal expertise to join us and shine a light on John’s story. If you have time, please call or write Wyoming Governor Mead (http://governor.wyo.gov/contact-us) and ask for a pardon or a commuting of John's sentence. This is a clear example of injustice to a decorated combat veteran acting in self-defense. With your help, we can bring John home. Thank you.
Defense site: http://www.johnjr.knospler.com/webver2/index.html