Posts

Kennedy Brewer

Going into this case I was unsure what to make the title Almost always the title reflects the perpetrator of a crime, even those who have been exonerated. When there are several perpetrators I generally will title the blog “The murder of....' or if the perpetrators have garnered a nickname, such as The West Memphis Three, I will title the blog that way. Kennedy Brewer's case cannot be told without also talking about the Levon Brooks case. The two crimes were mirror images of each other and just as Brewer would be convicted, so had Brooks. Their story cannot be told without the story of Justin Johnson, the man who was the actual perpetrator of the crimes that Brewer and Brooks would be convicted. Then there is the story of forensic odontologist, Michael West. He testified at the trials of both Brewer and Brooks and not only would he be suspended from the Board of Forensic Odontology, he would later say himself, “I no longer believe in bite-mark analysis.”
I found my way…

Carol Ege

This case bothers me, a lot. It is a case in which the only apparent evidence against the defendant were eye witnesses that even the appeals court did not believe were very reliable. There were two trials and while the first trial had a bit more evidence, that was thrown out by the courts and a new trial was ordered. This is one of those cases where I feel as if I must be missing something because not only was the defendant convicted once, but twice. I am not going sit here and tell you that Carol Ege did not have a motive to kill Cindy Thompson or even that she may have liked to have seen her dead, or at the very least, out of her life. Two men say that Ege offered them $350 to kill Cindy Thompson but they claim hey did not go through with it and prosecutors had no evidence she convinced anyone else to do it. In fact, they argue that Carol Ege could not find anyone else so she did it herself, and yet there seemed to be no trace of her at the crime scene.
On the morning of Februar…

James Kraig Kahler

When people get divorced it is often said they are divorcing a different person than they married. Many times they are divorcing an even worse person than made them want to get a divorce in the first place, if in fact it was they who wanted the divorce. Often when a divorce occurs one of the parties is either surprised that things had gotten that far or for one reason or another does not want the divorce. There are a variety of reasons that people do not want to got through a divorce from anything from status in the community, reputation to finances or simply for companionship.
If we are to believe the stories that friends and family would later tell, Karen Kahler wanted out of her marriage for two reasons. First, she claimed to many that her husband, James, who went by his middle name of Kraig, was controlling and abusive. Secondly, Karen had found a new love in Sunny Reese. It would be the latter that defense attorneys would later say drove Kraig Kahler over the edge of insa…

Frederick Baer

There are few things that irritate me more when it comes to the law then the blatant disregard of it inside a courtroom. It is not, as I imagine some would believe, that I have a “bleeding heart” for defendants per se but a fair trial not only helps to ensure (although not always) hat the innocent are freed and the guilty are convicted. Of course a lot of variables come into play to make these things happen and some cannot be controlled like how much evidence is available or what that evidence contains. But, things such as behaviors by all attorney's involved, and even the judge can also make or break a case. When there is misconduct from any side there is the risk of justice not being served properly. Sometimes that can include the prosecution of an innocent person, or like in this case, the reversal of court proceedings in a case that was clearly going to be a win for the prosecution.
In 2004 Fredrick Baer, a resident of Indianapolis, was working on a construction site in …

Roy Lee Ward

If there was ever a “poster child” to advocate for the death penalty I am pretty sure Roy Lee Ward would be in the running. I know that you have seen me blog about cases in which I question whether the death penalty was the right and appropriate sentence but this will not be one of them. This is not a case of not knowing who was the perpetrator and it definitely falls into my category of “extremely heinous” crimes. While most murders are senseless, this murder seemed to have no rhythm or reason or motive or gain.
On July 11, 2001 fifteen year old Stacy Payne and her fourteen year old sister, Melissa, were home alone at their rural Dale Indiana home. The adults had gone off to work and it seems that Stacy was headed out soon herself. Melissa was upstairs sleeping when she was awaken by her sister's screams. She went to the top of the stairs and saw Roy Lee Ward on top of her sister. She ran to a bedroom and called 911. When police arrived on the scene Roy Lee Ward was in t…

William Clyde Gibson III

When I sit down to put a case together I need for things to be nice and quiet and to not be in the middle of things. I have recently taken up the task of attempting (again) to stop smoking and one of the key issues is to stay busy. Sitting in a quiet room with just my notes and my computer makes it more difficult so I have already researched the next four cases that I plan to blog about. All four cases are similar in nature as they are death penalty cases but they are also similar in other ways. By the time I had finished with my research I was nearly sick not necessarily of hearing the words “mitigating circumstances” but the excuses given that defense attorney's felt qualified. I get so tired of hearing that defendants had a “bad childhood” or the “poor” guy was under the influence of drugs or alcohol so we should just excuse his behavior.
It is said that despite the fact that William Gibson is serving time for three murders, all of which he has admitted to, that there are…

Shaun Cleland

I think that many of us would agree that most murders are senseless but some are more senseless than others. In fact, I heard one just the other day that I plan to blog about at some point in which a professor killed a student on his debate team because he had talked back to him and he may have heard was thinking of leaving the school, let alone the team. This case does not quite rise to that level when it comes to asking “What was the point?” but I would have to say it is pretty close.
Shaun Cleland had grown up in Brunswick Ohio. After graduation he had joined the Army and was stationed in Hawaii. Shaun would meet Christine while he was stationed there. He was twenty and she was eighteen. Just exactly when they married does not seem to be completely clear. During his first enlistment it seems as if Shaun may have been deployed to Iraq but I cannot say for certain. After his enlistment ended he and Christine headed to Ohio where Shaun would enlist in the National Guard. It …