30 Years for Probation Violation

No right to jury trial for hapless defendant

Judge ignores evidence of innocence, credits alleged out of court statement of someone else, that she denied saying or being true

My son went to prison in 1991 for crimes he pled guilty to (on the advice of his state appointed attorney).He was released in 1998 and allowed to come home on probation. Within his first week home,he found a job at a stables,within two weeks,he was also working a part time evening job cooking.He bought a used car and tag and insurance and had his licence reinstated. He had put the past behind him and was working towards his future.

In Oct. 1998,three months after his release from prison,he was visiting a friends home and was going to stay the night there when an arson occured in the neighborhood he was visiting,on the street behind his friends home. To make a long story short (if it is possible now)my son was arrested and charged with arson,three counts of arson to a dwelling,and possession of a fire bomb.

We went to court many times for these charges,and in April 1999,the judge dismissed the charges of arson because his right to speedy trial had expired. But he was on probation. So in July of 1999,almost one year after his release from prison,he was sent to 30 years in prison for a violation of probation.

At the hearing...it was proven his prints were not found on any evidence that was gathered. There was no eyewitness to the crime.

There was a witness for the state,a resident that opened the door to the home my son was visiting and signed a statement for the officers. She came to court,and admitted to being drunk all night. She admitted to being asleep until the officers woke her by banging on the door,she admitted to signing a statement that the officers wrote out,she admitted to not reading the statement that she signed and not fully understanding what she signed due to her disabilities.There was evidence that in 1979,she had been diagnosed as meantaly retarded. There were six people in the home when he was arrested and no one else gave or signed a statement that the one girl did,no one else backed up anything she was suspossed to have said to the officers that resulted in my sons arrest.The witness never repeated in court what the officers claim she said to them that resulted in his arrest on that night.

My sons probation was revoked from charges that had been dismissed against him on the double hearsay that the officers were allowed to repeat in court,and he was sent to 30 years in prison for a crime he did not do.

I feel violated by a system that would reather seek convictions reather than seek the truth and justice it was designed to seek. I feel that if the state ever had any evidence on my son,they would have had a trial instead of letting his time expire,God knows we went to court enough to have had a trial. I feel that my son was wrongly accussed of the arson crime and is wrongly imprisoned now. I feel that justice was not done for us ,or for the victims of the arson crime.

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