US$33,580raised of $60,000.00 goal
John will be eligible for a clemency hearing in April of 2025 - the ten year mark of his incarceration - UNLESS Governor Mark Gordon allows for an earlier hearing. Financial assistance is still needed and greatly appreciated.
In August 2020, the Wyoming Supreme Court denied John's post-conviction relief petition ending hope for overturning his conviction without ever examining the irrefutable forensic evidence that his assailant punched through the window before John fired.
But there is every hope that John will receive clemency because what John was convicted of is no longer a crime following Wyoming's 2018 adoption of its Stand Your Ground Law. Had this law been effect while John's appeal was still being considered, he likely would have gotten a new trial. Even the DA was quoted in the local paper as saying it would have been a different trial.
Despite a succession of shattering disappointments, John maintains a stoic attitude and has immersed himself in self-improvement and service in the prison's hospice. He is doing between 2-3 hours of daily PT (primarily Burpees) and motivating other prisoners to work out and be healthy.
He has already completed a Bachelor's degree with honors and is halfway through his MBA. After that, John plans to pursue a second Bachelor's in Computer Science. Few academic institutions offer prison correspondence courses so they're very expensive.
John has already exhausted his GI Bill and we ask for assistance with tuition and travel funds so his loved ones can visit him more often from Pennsylvania. As many of you know John's brother was grievously wounded and permanently disabled as Marine in the Battle of Fallujah. This family has suffered enough in the service of its nation.
Please pass our brother's story around to friends, family, local politicians and news reporters! And if you can donate, he needs all the support possible.
John's mailing address:
John Knospler #29961
Wyoming State Penitentiary P.O.Box 400
2900 South Higley Blvd, Rawlins, WY 82301
Family and Friends of JK
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
- Scott Lehman
- Campaign Owner
- Craig Schultz
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