Stanford Sex Assault Judge Went Easy On Student Athlete Mandating AA Meetings

 

Stanford Sex Assault Judge Went Easy On Another Student Athlete

Judge Aaron Persky, under fire for his sentencing of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, delayed sentencig for a domestic violence offender so he could play football in Hawaii. “They made it easy for him,” the victim told BuzzFeed News.

The California judge who faces a recall campaign after giving a former Stanford swimmer a six-month jail sentence for sexual assault approved an extraordinarily lenient sentencing arrangement for another young male athlete convicted of domestic violence, according to court records. NA Daytona and AA Daytona Meetings are dangerous.

In February 2015, 21-year-old Ikaika Gunderson beat and choked his ex-girlfriend. He quickly confessed to police and three months later pleaded no contest to a felony count of domestic violence.

Gunderson faced up to four years in state prison, but he got a break.

In most domestic violence cases, sentencing occurs within a month or two of the guilty plea, but Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky agreed to delay sentencing for more than a year so that Gunderson could attend the University of Hawaii, where he had been accepted, and play football there.

The judge said he would reduce Gunderson’s charge to a misdemeanor if the athlete completed a 52-week domestic violence program and attended weekly AA meetings.

Typically, domestic violence defendants have to successfully complete probation before a felony charge is reduced. But instead of having to report to a probation officer, Gunderson was told he did not have to check in with the judge for seven months. Even then, Persky said Gunderson’s attorney could appear on his client’s behalf, meaning Gunderson did not have to return to California. Holly Hill Sunrise Park AA Meetings are dangerous.

The unorthodox arrangement also skirted a federal statute that bars adult offenders from moving out of state without permission.

It was a generous show of good faith, but it did not work out.

By October, Gunderson had dropped out of college and stopped attending AA meetings. He also had failed to take part in the required domestic violence program. Two months later, he was arrested on another domestic violence charge in Washington state.

Persky’s decisions have been under scrutiny since the victim in the Stanford rape case released a letter describing the devastating impact the attack had on her. Prosecutors had asked for six years in prison, but Persky gave Turner six months, which was in line with what the probation officer suggested. Turner is scheduled to be released on Sept. 2.

On Aug. 25, Persky asked to be reassigned from criminal to civil cases in hopes that the move would reduce the distractions the Turner sentencing brought to the court. The recall campaign against him will continue, said its leader, Michele Dauber, adding that Persky could transfer back to hearing criminal cases whenever he chooses.

“Judicial bias is just as serious regardless of whether a case is civil or criminal,” Dauber said in a statement. “Many issues affecting women are heard in civil court every day.”

Persky’s critics say the Gunderson case fits the judge’s pattern of leniency in cases involving privileged men charged with serious crimes. Persky’s supporters counter that the judge’s actions show his desire to offer young offenders a chance at rehabilitation rather than incarceration. They say it’s unfair to hold Persky under a microscope, especially since prosecutors have to sign off on plea agreements, too.

But lawyers, domestic violence advocates, and other experts who were briefed on the case, including one high-profile judge who has publicly opposed the recall campaign, told BuzzFeed News that Gunderson’s sentencing agreement was highly unusual.

“There are so many problems with how this case was handled that I’m not even sure where to start,” said retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, who, like Persky, served as a Santa Clara County superior court judge. She said it was troubling that Persky didn’t ensure Gunderson was properly supervised, and that Hawaiian authorities were not notified when the defendant moved there.

“The system is set up so that if someone has admitted a violent offense and is now a convicted felon, they should be closely monitored,” Cordell said. “You don’t just cross your fingers and hope everything is going to be fine. That’s not how the courts are supposed to work.”

The victim, Gunderson’s ex-girlfriend, agreed, she told BuzzFeed News in a recent interview.

“It just wasn’t handled right,” the woman said. “They made it easy for him.”


Ikaika Gunderson grew up in Camas, Washington, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. His dad coached high school football, and his mother, an IBM executive, graduated from Stanford just four years before Persky, although there’s no indication they knew each other.

Gunderson dreamed of playing college football but was told his career was over after he suffered concussions during high school, according to a 2011 newspaper article that said Gunderson battled headaches and mood swings. But in January 2012, Gunderson got the opportunity to play football for Foothill College, a community college in Los Altos Hills, California. According to an athlete profile page from that time, he was 6’2’’ and weighed 250 pounds.

“Looks like I’m gonna be taking my talents to Cali,” Gunderson wrote on Facebook. “Gonna be playin ball by the bay area. 2 years then dreams of going big time.”

According to the statement that the victim, then 20, gave police, she and Gunderson started dating in the fall of 2013 and broke up in December 2014. They reconnected in January 2015 and went out for dinner in downtown Sunnyvale. After a few drinks, they got into an argument, which escalated into violence as they sat in his car in a parking lot.

“Don’t raise your voice at me, I’m a man,” Gunderson told the victim, according to her statement. Then, she said, he punched her in the face and split her lip. She told police Gunderson hit her repeatedly in the face, pushed her head through the open car door window, and closed his hands around her neck until she couldn’t breathe. He then shoved her out of the vehicle.


“There are so many problems with how this case was handled that I’m not even sure where to start.”


The victim walked away, she later told police, but Gunderson drove up alongside her and persuaded her to get back in the car. When she did, they started arguing again, and Gunderson backhanded her in the face, calling her “bitch” and “whore.” They drove to his house. As she sat on his front steps waiting for a friend to pick her up, Gunderson ate a bag of chips and laughed at her, according to the report.

The victim’s friend drove her to a hospital, and a nurse notified police. The responding officer noted the victim’s visible injuries in his report: Her face and lips were swollen, there were cuts and bruises on her face and body, and her left eye had broken blood vessels.

“The victim believes Gunderson has a ‘two sided personality,’ due to his concussions,” the officer wrote.

The police arrested Gunderson that night after he admitted beating and choking the woman. She had hurt him “with her words,” Gunderson said by way of explaining his behavior, according to the police report. “I pushed her out of my face.”


Three months later, Gunderson appeared before Persky and pleaded no contest to the domestic violence felony charge.

Persky went “out on a limb,” Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani would later say in court, and set Gunderson’s sentencing for July 2016, more than a year later. Until then, Persky told Gunderson he could go to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandmother and attend college as planned. If all went well, according to the arrangement, the felony would be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Assistant DA Brian Welch told BuzzFeed News that even though the prosecutor signed off on the deal, it was “solely within the court’s discretion to determine the sentence” in this case.

It is not uncommon for judges to give defendants a chance to “earn” a lesser charge, but legal and domestic violence experts said it is unusual for a judge to defer sentencing for so long for such a violent crime, and with such minimal supervision.

The victim told BuzzFeed News she supported the judge’s initial decision to give Gunderson a chance but was disappointed to learn he was unsupervised during the seven months before his attorney checked in with the court.

“I think it should have been stricter,” she said. “They didn’t even check in on him or anything like that the whole time?”

By October, Gunderson had dropped out of school, which meant he was no longer on the football team. He had stopped going to AA meetings. Instead of completing a state-mandated course on domestic violence, he took part of one online. All were violations of the plea agreement.

Gunderson’s attorney acknowledged this when he appeared in front of Persky in December, on his client’s behalf, as planned. Persky then ordered Gunderson to come in person the following month.

At that hearing, Gunderson blamed his failure to keep up his end of the agreement on the fact that his grandmother had died the previous October. He also provided a psychiatrist’s note that recommended a leave of absence from class. His attorney called it a “speed bump,” and court transcripts show Persky was inclined to be understanding.


“They didn’t even check in on him or anything like that the whole time?”


“If he’s completely back on track with the original program and probation and the People don’t have an objection, we can revert back to that,” the judge said of Gunderson.

This time, the prosecutor successfully objected, and Persky set Gunderson’s sentencing for March 2016. He received three years’ felony probation, four months in county jail, as recommended by probation — although he served less than two months — and was ordered to complete a certified DV program.

Washington state records show that Gunderson was arrested on another domestic violence charge in December 2015. According to the police report, he punched his father during a family argument. “The family expressed concern repeatedly requesting that there be no charges as Ikaika needs treatment,” the police report states. That case is still pending.

Gunderson’s parents told police that their son had lived with them in Washington since Nov. 1 — despite Gunderson’s agreement to be in college in Hawaii at that time.

BuzzFeed News asked several local public defenders, retired judges, domestic violence advocates and legal experts to comment on Persky’s decision-making in Gunderson’s case. All agreed that the 14-month deferred sentencing was unusual although not unprecedented. But opinions differed as to whether this was a good thing and whether Persky alone should be faulted for the plea deal’s failure.

“I think everybody played a role in the lack of success in this particular case,” including the district attorney, said Steve Clark, a former prosecutor who is now a defense attorney. “That doesn’t mean I don’t think we should give people chances, particularly young people,” Clark said. “I don’t know if we would want to live in a society where no one got a break.“

Others, however, said it was improper for a judge to oversee an offender’s rehabilitation in the way Persky did. The lack of supervision, among other issues, was not only “bizarre” but a “miscarriage of justice,” said Nancy Lemon, a leading authority on domestic violence and a lecturer at University of California Berkeley’s law school.

Gunderson’s attorney, Anthony Brass, said his client is under medical care resulting from injuries that likely stem from playing football.

“No judge wants to derail a young person starting their life, particularly if they are going to college, but the fact is that Gunderson faced challenges that made it very difficult to complete the promises he made,” Brass told BuzzFeed News. “That doesn’t excuse him, but it was a challenging situation for him. The amount of freedom and amount of time he got ended up being something that didn’t serve his purpose.”

If Gunderson had been on official probation, he would have had strict guidelines to follow. For instance, he would have known that taking an online domestic violence class was unacceptable. Nobody told Gunderson this: Court records show that he asked the judge in May 2015 if he could take an online course and got no response.

Persky’s decision to allow Gunderson to move to Hawaii may have violated a federal statute as well. The Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision bars offenders from moving out of state without making a request to that state first. Yet Hawaii was never made aware that Gunderson was there.


“The amount of freedom and amount of time he got ended up being something that didn’t serve his purpose.”


Judges need to “do better to send a message that violence against women is not tolerable,” said Michelle Rocca, a director with the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They shouldn’t bend the rules to benefit abusers, she said, as Persky appeared to have done.

“Violent offenders who are not held accountable continue to put communities at risk, and with the added layer of not being assigned formal supervision by the courts, they are free to re-offend in any state they choose, including Hawaii,” she said.

Before Persky asked to quit criminal court, he also disqualified himself from making a decision in another sex crime ruling. His efforts might not be enough to take the heat off.

For Dauber, the leader of Persky’s recall campaign, Gunderson’s sentencing once again proves that Persky “does not take violence against women seriously.” Instead, she said, Persky “essentially sentenced Gunderson to a year-long Hawaiian vacation.”

Persky’s supporters see a different pattern — one of a judge who looks for alternatives to incarceration.

“We have so many judges that take a one-size-fits-all, assembly-line approach to being a judge, so I appreciate a judge who takes the time to individually consider cases,” said Sajid Khan, a public defender in Santa Clara County who is one of Persky’s leading supporters.

But even some who oppose the recall campaign said it’s a judge’s ultimate responsibility to do the right thing in the courtroom — and that didn’t happen in Gunderson’s case.

“If I’m a judge, and I see that things aren’t happening as they normally should, it’s on me,” said Judge Cordell. “I should say, ‘No, this deal isn’t going to happen.’”

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/stanford-sex-assault-judge-went-easy-on-another-student-athl?utm_term=.qeLVRzzXED#.xi47988rv5

Father Sentenced to Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings and Weekends in Jail for Felony Child Abuse of Baby Daughter

Father sentenced to a year of weekends in jail for child abuse

By Katy Barnitz / Journal Staff Writer Saturday, May 28th, 2016
A Rio Rancho father convicted of child abuse must spend the next 52 weekends in county jail, a Sandoval County judge ruled Monday.
Matthew Najar, 32, pleaded guilty in February to one count of reckless child abuse, a third-degree felony, according to court documents.

Najar was originally indicted in November 2012 on four counts of child abuse. Rio Rancho police reported being called to a local hospital in December 2011 after health care workers reported that an 11-week-old girl had a skull fracture, according to a Rio Rancho Observer report from 2012. Employees also reportedly said they found healing fractures of the girl’s ribs, left leg and collarbone.

During a sentencing hearing Monday afternoon, Najar told state District Court Judge George Eichwald that he’d made mistakes in his life, but said substance abuse was the root of the problem. He said he’d been clean for three years and asked the judge to allow him to maintain his relationship with his children.

“I want to be a father to these girls,” Najar said. “Give me a chance to be the father that these girls need.”

Najar’s defense attorney Leonard Foster said that, in the many years since the charges first arose, Najar started attending Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous classes, and he’s gone through group therapy sessions with the state Children, Youth and Families Department. He even started his own business with his brother, which allows him to make child support payments and support his children, Foster said. He asked the judge to place Najar on probation. Daytona AA and NA meetings have violent felons, please beware!

Prosecutor Aaron Aragon asked for 18 months of incarceration, combined with substance abuse and anger management courses. Holly Hill Sunrise Park NA Meetings complaints.

Eichwald sentenced Najar to 104 days in custody, “one year of weekends,” he said. He also told Najar to enroll in and complete anger management courses, and to continue attending NA and AA meetings.

“I’m keeping you from losing your job,” Eichwald said.

In a brief interview after the hearing, Najar said he was disappointed with the sentence and nervous about returning to jail every week.

“I was loaded and I dropped my daughter,” he said, adding that he took the infant to the emergency room immediately.

Najar said he’s scared to go back to jail.

“Jail’s ugly,” he said, calling it a “drug- and violence-infested area.”

He said he hopes spending the weekends in custody will remind him why he changed his life.

“I’m scared,” he told the judge. “I don’t want to lose all this.”

http://www.abqjournal.com/782483/father-sentenced-to-a-year-of-weekends-in-jail-for-child-abuse.html

Judge Tells Man Guilty of Aggravated Assault and Terroristic Threats “You Must Go To AA Meetings”

Image result for judge gavel
Penn Township man pleads guilty to assaulting 3 police officers

Thursday, May 21, 2015

 A Penn Township man blamed alcohol for his assault of three police officers in October.

“I was really intoxicated,” said Jordan T. Cosgrove, 24. “I didn’t mean to do the things that I done.”

“I’m ashamed of myself,” he told Judge Christopher Feliciani. “I embarrassed my family, and I’m terribly sorry.” NA and AA Daytona Meetings are dangerous with felons!

Cosgrove entered a guilty plea Thursday to 17 counts against him, including aggravated assault and disarming an officer. He was sentenced to eight to 23 months in the Westmoreland County jail, followed by seven years of probation.

Penn Township police were called to Cosgrove’s home on Aspen Drive at 2 a.m. on Oct. 2 for a reported domestic argument.

Upon arrival, Cosgrove was arguing inside with a woman and became verbally and physically abusive toward the three officers, police wrote in court papers.

Cosgrove threatened to kill and burn down the homes of two of the officers and attempted to remove one officer’s duty weapon from its holster. The officers suffered various minor injuries during the scuffle, including cuts and a dislocated thumb.

Cosgrove suffered a cut lip as officers subdued him and began spitting blood on them and inside the police cruiser, according to court papers. He attempted to crawl through the security partition separating the front and rear seats of the police cruiser, police said.

Prosecutors requested a sentence of two years’ imprisonment.

Cosgrove wore yellow prison garb to his hearing, which indicates that an inmate is being disciplined. Volusia County Drug Court mandates AA and NA Meetings.

Cosgrove told Feliciani that he has gotten in a few fights during his eight months in jail, most recently defending himself over a pizza.

“I need a second chance,” he pleaded before sentencing.

Feliciani ordered that Cosgrove complete an anger management course and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation.

“This is a very serious offense that you’ve committed here,” Feliciani said. “I’m going to give you a chance to redeem yourself.”

Another requirement is that Cosgrove attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at least five times weekly, the judge ordered, calling that the “most important” piece of the sentence.

“You have to go to AA meetings,” Feliciani said. “You have to take things seriously.”

Cosgrove pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault, terroristic threats, obstruction of justice, reckless endangerment, simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, institutional vandalism and attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/8414773-74/cosgrove-police-officers#ixzz3av0WOCHC

Two Men Who Met at an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting Sexually Assault 16 Year Old Boy in Remote Novia Scotia Cabin

Tim Krochak/Halifax Chronicle-Herald/CP

A member of the RCMP forensic team enters a home on Faulkner Road in Upper Chelsea, N.S. where a teen was held captive for a week.John Leonard MacKean is shown arriving at court on Monday, March 17, 2014 in Bridgewater, N.S.

John Leonard MacKean is shown arriving at court on Monday, March 17, 2014 in Bridgewater, N.S.

The sick criminals that attend AA meetings is undeniable. Alcoholics Anonymous has stated there is no one too sick to be an AA member.

WARNING: CONTENTS MAY DISTURB SOME READERS

John Leonard MacKean found guilty of sexually assaulting blindfolded boy, 16, held captive in remote N.S. cabin

 | March 21, 2014

A Halifax man was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting a blindfolded 16-year-old boy who said he was kept captive in a remote cabin for more than a week.

A jury also found John Leonard MacKean, 64, guilty of communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18. He will be sentenced June 24.

The verdict came after more than four hours of deliberations. The trial, which began Monday, heard MacKean and the victim each give their accounts of what happened on the day of Sept. 20, 2012. NA Daytona Beach meetings in Daytona, Holly Hill and Port Orange.

The teen testified that he was blindfolded with a sleeping mask and his hands and feet were chained to a bed when a man sexually assaulted him at a cabin in rural Nova Scotia where he was held against his will for eight days. Continue reading

Ex-Con Alcoholics Anonymous Member Arrested During Drug Raid That Uncovered Drugs And Handgun

AA member Leslie Mitchell who was an ex-con had his home raided and he had eight small marijuana plants, cocaine, steroid pills, liquid steroids, drug paraphernalia, $3,590 in cash, a .22 caliber handgun and a magazine containing seven rounds of ammunition. He had been on probation for having 16 ounces of heroin! He only served 9 months in jail.

AA Member Busted

VINELAND — An ex-con enrolled in the state’s intensive supervision program (ISP) who was arrested March 7 on drug and weapons charges had been visited just four days earlier by an ISP officer, a state judiciary spokeswoman said.

Leslie H. Mitchell, 43, was charged with multiple counts of drug possession and distribution offenses, as well as violation of parole after police made the discovery March 7. He is accused of growing marijuana, possessing a handgun and selling cocaine and two types of steroids.

“The last visit was March 3,” said Tamara Kendig, spokeswoman for the New Jersey State Judiciary, which runs the intensive supervision program.

“This person had reported to the ISP office on March 5, two days before the arrest. An officer was scheduled to visit the home later in the evening on March 7. He had already observed the arrest though and so did not go through with the visit.” Mitchell was allowed into the ISP on Jan. 27, 2011. He had originally been imprisoned on May 11, 2010, after he was convicted of possession of more than five ounces of heroin. Captain Thomas Ulrich of the Vineland Police Department said he had been caught with 16-ounces of the substance.

He could have received a maximum sentence of eight years, but was released after less than nine months in prison.
ISP is a program in which convicts are released early from prison and are allowed to stay out so long as they follow a set of guidelines.

“Generally speaking, the guidelines are the same,” said Kendig. “You’re required to maintain employment, and he was employed. Curfews are imposed, although the curfew can change. Depending on whether someone’s compliant, as you move along they may change your curfew a little bit. You’re required to pay outstanding fines.”

She added that Mitchell did have one violation during his release for possession of alcohol in April 2011.

“He was required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and had been in attendance,” she said.

He also had paid $4,380 out of $4,630 in fines that he owed.

When police executed a warrant and raided Mitchell’s apartment, he had eight small marijuana plants, cocaine, steroid pills, liquid steroids, drug paraphernalia, $3,590 in cash, a .22 caliber handgun and a magazine containing seven rounds of ammunition.

The ATF is tracing the weapon.

Mitchell was lodged in the Cumberland County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail as well as a no-bail warrant for violating his parole.

http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2012/03/officer_visited_vineland_ex-co.html

Hershey Man High On Drugs And Naked Jumps On Moving Vehicle

What’s a man to do when under the influence of methamphetamine, cocaine, PCP and marijuana and feeling hot and naked? Jump on a woman’s moving vehicle doing 1700.00 worth of damage, then after all is said and done – go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings!

Hershey man chooses probation
by Dillon Daigger (The North Platte Bulletin) – 3/15/2012

A Hershey man who jumped on a moving car while naked and high on drugs in June was sentenced Thursday to six months probation. Joshua Weir, 23, of Hershey pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and criminal mischief.

Lincoln County prosecutor Tanya Roberts-Connick told the court she didn’t think Weir would succeed at probation. She requested Weir be sentenced to jail and ordered to pay restitution to the car owner. Judge Kent Turnbull gave Weir a choice – 30 days in jail or six months probation. Weir chose probation. He said he’s attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings since he was arrested March 2 and is looking for employment. “Roofing season is just around the corner,” he said.

Turnbull also ordered Weir to pay $1,700 to the car owner and told him he will be subject to random alcohol and drug testing. Turnbull said Weir’s criminal history is “not unknown” to the court. “I don’t think you wanna come back in front of me,” Turnbull said. “If you get any violations, I’ll credit you for time served, but I’ll still hammer you.”

The crime occurred on June 27. Weir went to a friend’s house under the influence of methamphetamine, cocaine, PCP and marijuana, police said. Weir said he felt hot and broke out the friend’s window, “jumped on a car and started running down the street taking his clothes off,” according to a court affidavit.

Weir’s friends tried to get him into a truck to take him to the hospital, but he broke out the truck’s window and ran away, police said.

Soon after, the naked Weir jumped on the hood of a woman’s moving car and banged on the windshield and top of the car. The terrified woman accelerated, causing him to fall off the back, police said.

Weir eluded police for over eight months until he was arrested, according to sheriff’s records.

http://www.northplattebulletin.com/index.asp?show=news&action=readStory&storyID=22637&pageID=3

Alcoholics Anonymous Member Pulls Gun On AA Member At Church Meeting

Police: Man pulled gun at church AA meeting, charged with assault
Published On: Dec 29 2011 12:25:45 PM EST

Drug Dealing

The stories just keep coming! Here an AA member at St John’s Church pulled a gun on another Alcoholics Anonymous member accusing him of selling drugs to AA members in the church bathroom. I hope the church and the AA group have a good insurance policy.

Police: Man pulled gun at church AA meeting

POTTSTOWN, Pa. –
A man was arrested Wednesday after police said he pulled a gun at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

Robert Ortgiesen was taken into custody at his home on Annette Dr. in Limerick Twp., Montgomery Co., and charged with assault, police said.

A man told police Ortgiesen, 47, pulled the gun after an argument outside St. John’s Church on Church St. in Pottstown, according to court documents. He said Ortgiesen then followed him inside the church.

Ortgiesen allegedly made a threat and then left in his car.

Ortgiesen told police he confronted the man because he was selling drugs to AA members in the church bathroom, according to court documents.

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-southeasternpa/Police-Man-pulled-gun-at-church-AA-meeting-charged-with-assault/-/121434/7227936/-/tmyk15/-/

Violent Felon Who Led Police On 100-MPH Chase On Christmas Eve Is Sentenced to Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Rickey Lee Lidel broke the nose of a person and threatened to stab him. The victim called police and then there was a high speed chase. Here is another violent felon mandated to the rooms Of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Published March 07, 2012, 12:00 AM
Man who led deputies on high-speed chase on Christmas Eve sentenced
A Bemidji man who led area law enforcement on a 100-mph chase on Christmas Eve was sentenced in Beltrami County District Court on Monday. Pioneer Staff Report, Bemidji Pioneer

A Bemidji man who led area law enforcement on a 100-mph chase on Christmas Eve was sentenced in Beltrami County District Court on Monday.

District Judge Paul T. Benshoof ordered Ricky Lee Lidel, 56, to serve 109 days in jail, stayed for two years, with 73 days credited for time served.

The judge also ordered Lidel to serve two years of supervised probation, attend weekly Alcoholic Anonymous meetings for sixth months and pay $1,300 in fines.

Lidel pleaded guilty Jan. 23 to fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and possessing an assault weapon while having a previous felony conviction.

According to an earlier news release issued by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office:

An assault victim suffered a broken nose in a violent encounter with Lidel, who threatened to stab the person with a knife at the victim’s home.

After receiving the call, deputies spotted a silver Grand Am, described by the victim, and attempted to stop Lidel.

However, Lidel drove east on the U.S. Highway 2 bypass from Division Street, leading authorities on a pursuit reaching speeds higher than 100 mph. Lidel stopped the car on Highway 2 and attempted to flee on foot when deputies arrested him.

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/event/article/id/100037514/

Drug Court Participants Mandated To Narcotics Anonymous Sent To Prison

Many people do not realize with all the puff pieces on Drug Courts, how many participants actually fail in the program. Drug courts results are only based on the people who completed the entire program. These men who were sent to prison that were in the Drug Court program will not be counted, because they did not complete it in it’s entirety. This is not a proper way to see drug courts success or failure.

This article also points out that many people participating in Drug Court are still committing crimes and using drugs while in the program. They do not need to be mandated to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings where many vulnerable members of society including minors attend. They end up in our parks and playgrounds in Holly Hill Fl.

Two who failed drug court sent to prison

Brett Ellis/Fremont Tribune | Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 8:33 am

Two people who failed to complete drug court were sentenced to prison on Monday.
Judge Geoffrey Hall sentenced 29-year-old Ricardo Mendez of Fremont to 20 months to 5 years in prison for possession of methamphetamine, a Class IV felony.Mendez admitted to selling bath salts to fellow drug court participants and using synthetic marijuana while he was in the program.

“He turned drug court into a criminal enterprise,” Deputy Dodge County Attorney Mark Boyer said. “I can’t think of a much worse thing to do in drug court than trying to drag other people in the program down the drain.”
Mendez said he accepted responsibility for his actions but said the people he sold bath salts to chose to make those purchases.Hall, though, said Mendez was a “devious leader” who had a bad influence on other drug court participants.

“I believe your conduct in drug court is the worst kind possible because you took other people down with you,” Hall said. Hall also sentenced 20-year-old Zackery Carlstrom of Fremont to 20 months to 5 years in prison for terroristic threats, a Class IV felony. Boyer said Carlstrom reported using methamphetamine, cocaine, alcohol and marijuana while in drug court. Carlstrom also absconded twice from the program. “You had some successes,” Hall said. “However, the failures far outweigh those successes.” Hall also encouraged Carlstrom to use his talents in positive ways in the future. “Grow a backbone,” the judge said. “Do the hard right instead of the easy wrong.” Also on Monday, 26-year-old Anthony Martinez of Fremont was sentenced to 20 months to 5 years for terroristic threats and a year in prison for third-degree domestic assault, a Class I misdemeanor. The sentences will run consecutive to each other.

Martinez also was sentenced to 90 days in jail for criminal mischief, a Class II misdemeanor, and that will run concurrent with the other sentence. Hall also ordered Martinez to pay $400 in restitution.Chief Deputy Dodge County Attorney Stacey Hultquist asked for the maximum sentence based Martinez’s criminal history, which includes multiple arrests every year since 2004.

“This is a person who cannot be a productive person in our society and continues to get in trouble,” Hultquist said.
Martinez apologized to the female victim and her family. “That’s not how I was raised,” he said. “I know better than that.” Hall said probation was not an option for Martinez because of his criminal history.

http://fremonttribune.com/news/local/two-who-failed-drug-court-sent-to-prison/article_7eaca096-6799-11e1-b8d5-001871e3ce6c.html?mode=comments

Eli Coffey Who Threatened To Kill Restaurant Staff Is Mandated To Alcoholics Anonymous

After Being thrown out of a T.G.I. Friday, Eli Michael Coffey ended up threatening to kill the staff. At sentencing he got a slap on the wrist and mandated to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Woodbury Man Given 20 Days In Jail For Threatening to Kill Local Restaurant Manager Eli Michael Coffey, 30, was also give four years probation and ordered to attend AA.

By Jeff Roberts

A 30-year-old Woodbury man was sentenced to 20 days in jail and four years of probation after being convicted on Feb. 10 of a felony county of making terroristic threats.

Eli Michael Coffey was originally charged with a second felony—pattern of stalking conduct—but Washington County District Court Judge Mary Hannon dismissed that charge in exchange for Coffey’s guilty plea.

Hannon also ordered Coffey to abstain from alcohol and drug use, attend a six-month Alcoholics Anonymous program and submit to a mental health evaluation.

According to a Washington County summons complaint, Coffey threatened to kill a manager and staff member at the old T.G.I. Friday’s after being kicked out of the restaurant for being too intoxicated.

The complaint states Woodbury police caught up with Coffey at Sunsets later that evening to warn him to stay away from T.G.I. Friday’s but that the man called the restaurant three times to issue the threats after police left him.

Had he been sentenced to the maximum penalty, Coffey would have spent five years in prison and been forced to pay a $10,000 fine.

http://woodbury.patch.com/articles/woodbury-man-given-20-days-in-jail-for-threatening-to-kill-local-restaurant-manager#comment_2624324

Marty Mann And Felicia Gizycka Could Have Endangered Alcoholics Anonymous In 1940’s

This is a fascinating story…………..

How Sexual Deviance Could Have Crippled Alcoholics Anonymous
FEB 17 2012, 11:04 AM ET
Instead of fight for her mother’s inheritance—and risk exposing her sexuality—Felicia Gizycka dropped a lawsuit to protect a developing AA.

Marty Mann

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a three-part series from Amanda Smith about the drinking life of Countess Felicia Gizycka, daughter of famed newspaper editor Cissy Patterson, and the other women involved in the early Alcoholics Anonymous movement.

In 1943, Countess Felicia Gizycka severed relations with her mother, the notorious Washington, D.C., newspaper publisher and Chicago Tribune heiress, Cissy Patterson, in what would prove to be the last of the many vicious “drunken rows” they had engaged in over the previous 20 years. Several months later, through her psychiatrist, Dr. Florence Powerdermaker, Felicia was introduced to “Bill W.” and his small, but growing fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous, in New York City. For the first time in her life Felicia experienced a sense of community and belonging. In her sponsor, Marty Mann, Felicia had found a stalwart lifelong friend. By the end of the Second World War, Felicia had committed herself to a life in recovery.

After their mother-daughter “divorce,” there had been almost no communication between Felicia Gizycka and Cissy Patterson, a Chicago Tribune heiress and the publisher of Washington Times-Herald, the most widely read newspaper in the nation’s capital. As a result, the telegram Cissy received from her estranged daughter in the spring of 1947 sparked more surprise — and suspicion — than it kindled any hope of reconciliation. In light of Mrs. Marty Mann’s upcoming lecture engagements in Washington, Felicia wondered, could her close friend and A.A. sponsor stay at Cissy’s mansion on Dupont Circle? “Marty Mann was for a time the head of the Women’s Division of Alcoholics Anonymous and the only person I ever knew who had great influence on Felicia,” Cissy explained shortly afterward in a letter to her reactionary cousin, Colonel Robert Rutherford McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune. “Well, that would be all right, too,” she continued, betraying her anxiety as to the exact nature and extent of the proposed guest’s sway over her daughter, “if Marty were not a notorious lesbian, and that is rather hard to swallow.”

Perhaps honoring the many efforts that friends had made to reconcile mother and daughter over the years, perhaps for other reasons, Cissy Patterson did invite Marty Mann to stay at her home on Dupont Circle, graciously placing her household staff as well as her personal secretary at her guest’s disposal. For reasons that go unrecorded, however, the hostess was absent while the friend and mentor who had so profoundly changed her daughter’s life was in town.

On her rigorous national lecture tours, Mrs. Marty Mann repeated what would become a familiar refrain: “We must overcome the stigma of sin that has been fastened upon the alcoholic if we are to get anywhere.” But while she and her colleagues made sweeping headway in dissociating alcoholism from venality in the popular mindset, Mann was deeply aware that the blossoming organizations to which she had devoted her life stood to be irrevocably blighted by any taint of what was considered at the time to be “sexual deviance.”

As a result, already burdened with the public-relations encumbrances of being a recovering alcoholic and a woman, she took careful steps to prevent her sexual orientation from becoming known outside of her circle of close friends, or publicly associated either with her work for the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism or with the Alcoholics Anonymous movement generally. Indeed, as her biographers Sally and David R. Brown put it, in her distinguished professional life “Marty’s use of the title Mrs. served the purpose of blurring her real orientation.” Within the necessarily insular gay and lesbian communities of Manhattan and Fire Island, Mann and Priscilla Peck were known as a committed couple. To outsiders, they were “friends” and “roommates.” They did nothing to hide the fact that they lived together; indeed, their unmarried, heterosexual counterparts did so customarily for the sake of economy and safety. By the early 1950s the couple would sell the cottage at Cherry Grove where Felicia had been a constant presence over the preceding decade. As Fire Island developed a reputation as a gay and lesbian summer retreat during those same years, Marty arrived at the conclusion that she could not risk the exposure that her continued presence there might occasion. Such fears were legitimate inasmuch as she and her circle appear to have been threatened with exposure, directly or indirectly, during Felicia Gizycka’s internationally sensationalized efforts to break her mother’s will in the autumn and winter of 1948-49.

Complete article-

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/02/how-sexual-deviance-could-have-crippled-alcoholics-anonymous/252700/

All 3 articles

http://www.theatlantic.com/amanda-smith

Alcoholics Anonymous Member Arrested For Stealing From 78 Year Old AA Member

Timothy D. Gilbert ripped off a 78 year old elderly man he met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He told police he had fallen off the wagon and was doing heroin. Gilbert was already facing theft charges at the time. He was probably attending AA to receive a lighter sentence. Then this poor man gets ripped off.

Man indicted for stealing from senior he met at support group
JESSICA CUFFMAN

JAN 20 2012
PORT CLINTON
A Marblehead man already indicted for theft faces additional charges after he’s been accused of stealing from a 78-year-old man he met at an addiction support group.

Timothy D. Gilbert, 41, who’s behind bars at the Ottawa County jail on $50,000 bond, was indicted by a grand jury this week.

Bank employees called police in mid-December when they noticed the elderly victim making unusual withdrawals from his account, according to Port Clinton police reports.

The victim, a 78-year-old widower, told police he met Gilbert at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Gilbert said his father had recently died and left him a large inheritance, but he needed other money to pay legal fees to obtain the inheritance.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the widower gave Gilbert $11,000 from two bank accounts, according to police reports.

Gilbert asked the man to make checks out to people with different names, which Gilbert then cashed and kept for himself or paid to others for debts, police said.

When confronted by Det. Sgt. Corbin Carpenter, Gilbert said he was only borrowing the money, but changed his story multiple times to try to explain why.

Later, on the way to the jail, Gilbert told another officer he “fell off the wagon” and was abusing heroin again.

While investigating the case, Carpenter learned from Danbury Township Police that they had handled several calls complaining about Gilbert trying to scam people out of money by telling them he needed help getting his father’s inheritance.

Carpenter also checked to see who Gilbert’s father was, learned he died in 2010 and there was no inheritance.

Gilbert faces a felony charge of theft from an elderly person, for which he could be sentenced up to three years in prison.

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/port-clinton/news/2012/jan/20/man-indicted-stealing-senior-he-met-support-group

Montreal Killer Goes To Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Patrick Belanger who killed Leonard Wells gets to leave prison early for being an Alcoholics Anonymous member before sentencing. I feel for the other members who attended the same meetings !

Day parole for man who killed convicted pedophile
Posted By: Shuyee Lee slee@astral.com · 11/28/2011 2:03:00 PM

A 28-year-old Montreal man is getting out on day parole, after serving a third of his sentence for killing his neighbour who was a convicted pedophile.

Patrick Bélanger heaved a sigh of relief as the parole board announced its decision after half an hour of deliberation, Bélanger later giving his dad a big hug outside the hearing room.

Bélanger had 25 months left to serve of his three year sentence for manslaughter, less time served in detention. He was drunk and severely beat Leonard Wells after finding kiddie porn on his computer in July 2009. Wells died later in hospital.

snip

Bélanger told the board his first goal was to stay sober and to get his life back on track after a vicious circle of alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and heroin starting at age 11, calling it a sad and disgusting lifestyle. Bélanger said it helped fill a void left by an absent father and a mother who also dealt with drug and alcohol problems.

The parole board granted him day parole, citing Belanger’s low risk of being a repeat offender and his exemplary behaviour at the Ste-Anne-des-Plaines prison. The board said the most striking thing was that Bélanger initiated the process of change even before being incarcerated, such as starting therapy, going to AA meetings and going back to school to study welding.

Belanger will stay in a halfway house, can’t touch drugs or alcohol or be anywhere near a place or people that deal with the substances, and must continue psychological counselling.

http://www.cjad.com/CJADLocalNews/entry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10318807

KBR Chief Gets Light Sentence For Attending Alcoholics Anonymous In Billion Dollar Bribery Case

In a BILLION dollar bribery case a former chief executive got a light sentence in part because of his attendence at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings! Wow, Alcoholics Anonymous has become so powerful that they can effect sentencing in a
multi billion dollar bribery case. Unbelievable. Sounds like he had AA members march in to testify what a good AA member he was.

Albert Stanley

Halliburton: Ex-KBR Chief Jailed For Bribing Nigerian Officials

HOUSTON — After years of sentencing delays, a former KBR Inc. chief executive received two and a half years in prison Thursday for his role in a scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials in return for $6 billion in engineering and construction contracts.
Albert “Jack” Stanley also must serve three years of probation and pay $1,000 a month in restitution after he is released.
Stanley pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiring in the decade-long scheme related to the company’s natural gas operations in Nigeria from 1995 to 2004. Stanley was KBR’s chief executive until 2001 and chairman until June 2004.
The 69-year-old spoke to U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison in court Thursday, saying that alcoholism played a role in compromising the traditional American values of hard work, honesty and integrity that he brought to his professional life.
“I lost touch,” he said. “I wish to be very clear that I accept full responsibility for what I have done … and hope to be able to continue to make amends for my past.”
Larry Veselka, Stanley’s lawyer, asked the judge to forgo a prison sentence for Stanley, citing his involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous and mentoring relationships with people in Houston and North Carolina, where Stanley now lives. About two dozen people also attested to Stanley’s volunteer work in court Thursday.
Indeed, Stanley’s sentence is lighter than his plea agreement had outlined, as he had faced the possibility of seven years in prison for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A federal presentencing report suggested punishment of three and a half years.

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/02/23/1944648/ex-kbr-chief-to-be-sentenced-in.html

Stepping Stones Foundation Stepping On Neighbors Toes

Boy can Holly Hill Florida residents relate to this attitude from 12 steppers! Stepping Stones was the home of Bill Wilson. Neighbors are complaining about traffic and driving down property values in their residential neighborhood. Typical 12 stepper speak, their attorney states “It is the perception of neighbors that activity has expanded” in recent years. Right, it is just a figment of their imagination. The place only brings as much traffic as a single family home they say.

If this is true than why do they need to expand parking?

I hope the local officials listen to the neighbors concerns, unlike the City of Holly Hill Fl. They tried to say it was a figment of our imagination too.We had AA and NA take up entire parking for our park to the point where they were parking illegally.

There might be signs of hope for residents when a local official stated ‘Summarizing the conflicting perspectives, board member John P. Sullivan said, “God bless your work but the site is much more used, with a museum-like atmosphere in a neighborhood that can’t sustain it.”

We did a petition too in Holly Hill over AA/NA negatively impacting our nieghborhood.. Diane S. Briganti, a 28-year resident of Oak Road directly across from Stepping Stones is trying to maintain peace and quiet in her area, and of course 12 steppers are giving her a hard time.The Stepping Stones Foundation should be ashamed of themselves.

What about following their traditions and avoiding controversy? But they hired a lawyer?

I guess the REAL Bill W. antics and who he really was will be coming more to the forefront with The Stepping Stones Foundation trying to get it on the National Historic Register. What a slap in the face to all who have been harmed by Alcoholics Anonymous. 13 stepping is still rampant in AA, along with a host of other crimes against children and families. I hope they realize who they are really putting on a pedestal, and it isn’t pretty.

Bill Wilson's Home

Stepping Stones to Rework Protocol for Katonah Site
Bedford planners focus on number of visitors and vehicles, impact on neighborhood.
By Jeff Canning February 22, 2012

The Stepping Stones Foundation, which is seeking a special-use permit to build a parking lot while neighbors of the Katonah site press for resolution of concerns about traffic and noise, will rework the draft of a protocol governing its activities after a page-by-page review with the Bedford Planning Board Tuesday night.

Issues aired during the review, which consumed more than half of the 3.5-hour board meeting, included the number and size of vehicles, number of trips, number of people admitted to the Oak Road site, deliveries, times for tours, the best way to limit the impact of events on the residential neighborhood (especially those concentrated on weekends in warm-weather months) and the possibility that some activities may have outgrown the 8-acre property.

Stepping Stones is the historic home of Bill and Lois Wilson, respective co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Al-Anon Family Groups. It is on the state and national registers of historic places and since 1990 has been operated by the Stepping Stones Foundation. The federal government is considering designation of the site as a National Historic Landmark.

snip

Foundation Executive Director Annah Perch and attorney Whitney Singleton, representing Stepping Stones during the review, said the site does not attract a “tremendous amount” of traffic except on certain occasions. In the course of a year it involves fewer car trips than a single-family home, they said. Shuttle buses carry passengers from off-site parking areas for large events.

Courtney-Batson said, “It is the perception of neighbors that activity has expanded” in recent years.

Diane S. Briganti, a 28-year resident of Oak Road directly across from Stepping Stones, who has called for tighter limits on the number of vehicles and visitors, suggested that some activities had grown too large for the neighborhood and should be held off-site.

http://bedford.patch.com/articles/stepping-stones-to-rework-protocol-for-katonah-site

Another related article-

http://www.lohud.com/article/20120217/NEWS02/302170034/Bedford-home-Alcoholics-Anonymous-pioneers-may-get-landmark-status-view-14-photos

Toddler Rapist / AA Member Is Now Released From Jail

Even though this child sex predator, Dexter Charles Williams was still considered to be a danger to children, he was granted his request to be released from prison. He got brownie points for attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and looks like that will continue now that he is released.

Release hope for toddler rapist
BELLE TAYLOR, The West Australian
Updated January 20, 2011, 9:15 am

A child protection advocate has attacked suggestions that a dangerous sex offender jailed indefinitely could be released, despite a psychiatrist saying he has a high risk of reoffending.Hetty Johnston, founder of the Brisbane-based child protection group Braveheart, said “a child will pay the price” if convicted rapist Dexter Charles Williams, 43, is released.

“This man is a repeat offender of the worst possible nature. There is no research anywhere in the world that says these people will be safe. No-one can say that,” Ms Johnston told 6PR radio this morning.

“The question is not if but when (he will reoffend). If he is a high risk of reoffending he should not be released. The only place he is safe is in jail.” Williams was locked up indefinitely after raping a two-year-old girl.

He is one of about a dozen WA criminals considered so dangerous they have no set release date, but Supreme Court Justice Eric Heenan said yesterday he might return him to the community if a suitable place for him to live could be found. “Release into the community under a strict supervision order may be tolerable but a number of factors need further investigation,” Justice Heenan said.

Snip

James McTaggart, from the Director of Public Prosecutions, said psychiatrist Mark Hall assessed that Williams had a high risk of reoffending but could be released under strict conditions.His report showed Williams made positive progress in the past year, including regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous, though there were still serious “underlying issues of sexual deviancy”.

Williams was jailed for 11 years in 2000 after admitting the abduction, rape and bashing of the two-year-old girl in Esperance in 1998 and sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl in Katanning in 1997.He was released in 2007 but was free only six weeks before breaching parole conditions when he failed to report to police and was found unsupervised with three children.

Looks Like he has conditions to continue AA Meetings-Update

http://www.mako.org.au/dexter_williams.html

AA Member Who Bilked Millions Is Sentenced In Ponzi Scheme

New Jersey Alcoholics Anonymous member Jenifer Devine ripped off millions from some of the people she met at her New Jersey AA meetings. She is described to be an alcoholic, bipolar and suicidal and is now hospitalized to get help. Jenifer still had the mental ability to  deviously lure AA members into her web of lies and gain their trust to bilk them.

Stories of AA members getting financially scammed by fellow members is nothing new. It is on the list of the many 12 step predatory behaviors that have been documented.

If you go to AA/NA/CA meetings, please be wary of people asking to borrow money or encourage you to invest in their financial schemes. Don’t do it! You are not an ATM machine. Addicts by nature are very manipulative and deceitful. Protect yourself financially and physically. No need to let your guard down for sponsors either!

Fair Lawn resident receives sentence in Ponzi scheme

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012, 1:54 AM
BY JUSTIN ZAREMBA
STAFF WRITER
Fair Lawn – A borough resident who bilked investors out of $2 million in a Ponzi scheme was sentenced to more than three years last week.

Jenifer Devine, 39, of Fair Lawn – the owner and operator of Devine Wholesale in Carlstadt – admitted to wire fraud charges in U.S. District Court on Sept. 15 in connection to her $8 million Ponzi scheme. She was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Claire C. Cecchi on Jan. 11 to pay more than $2 million in restitution to her 10 victims, some of whom she meet through Alcoholics Anonymous.

Cecchi rejected pleas that Devine be allowed to say goodbye to her two children and immediately remanded her into custody. Devine, who has a history of alcoholism and bipolar disorder, was hospitalized last week for suicidal thoughts, authorities said.

Cecchi said Devine would be sent to a facility where she can receive appropriate care.

Devine raised more than $8 million from investors between December 2008 and September 2010 by promising high returns – approximately 25 percent – to investors in New Jersey and throughout the United States within 30 to 60 days. Devine convinced investors that she was in the business of buying and selling wholesale clothing and electronics for profit, but actually did virtually no legitimate business, authorities said.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/137648503_
Borough_resident_receives_sentence_in_Ponzi_scheme_.html

AA Sponsor Michael Skakel Wants Reduction In His Sentence For Martha Moxley Murder

michael Skakel is wanting the court to reduce his 20 year sentence, in part because he has helped a lot of people in Alcoholics Anonymous. Talk about AA being a ‘get out of jail card’, they were not kidding!

Michael Skakel joined AA when he was around 20 years old and had been an AA sponsor for along time. He even worked for AA as well. After killing Martha Moxley at the age of 15 with a golf club, he grew up to be An Alcoholics Anonymous Leader.

Here is an except from original trial- 2002

‘During two days of testimony last week, Dennis heard from two men who said Skakel in 1978 separately told them he murdered Moxley while attending the Elan School rehab center in Maine. The judge also heard evidence from Skakel’s childhood best friend, Andrew Pugh, who testified that years after the murder Skakel confided to being at the crime scene the night Moxley was slain with a golf club owned by the Skakel family.

Pugh testified that after a chance encounter at a 1991 Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Greenwich, Skakel told him he had climbed the tree under which Moxley’s body was found, and that he masturbated in the tree. One of the prosecution’s former Elan School residents, Gregory Coleman, testified Skakel confided he “drove in (Moxley’s) skull” with a golf club and later returned to the body to masturbate over it. Coleman also testified Skakel bragged he would get away with the crime because “he was related to the Kennedy family.” ‘

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel plans to seek a reduction in his sentence of 20 years to life in prison for the killing of his neighbor when they were teenagers in 1975.

Skakel, a nephew of Robert Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, is scheduled to appear Tuesday before a three-judge panel in Middletown that reviews sentences.
Skakel was sentenced in 2002 after he was convicted of bludgeoning 15-year-old Martha Moxley to death with a golf club in wealthy Greenwich. Moxley’s brother and mother are expected to attend the hearing.Prosecutor Susann Gill said she would argue the sentence was appropriate.Skakel’s attorney, Hope Seeley, said she would focus on the fact he was only 15 at the time of the crime. She said he has helped a lot of people through Alcoholics Anonymous and the life he has lived shows the public doesn’t need to be protected from him.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/kennedy-cousin-michael-skakel-seeks-reduction-in-20-year-sentence-for-connecticut-murder/2012/01/23/gIQArIHqLQ_story.html

Longtime AA Sponsor Sentenced To Death For Brutal Florida Murders

John Kalisz 57, who had over 20 years of sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous, became a sponsor to many. Even after being in the program for so long he is sentenced to death for the brutal murders of his sister, her employee and a police officer. Also prior to this he was convicted of crimes involving his niece where he had to register as a sex offender.
His public defender actually asked the jurors their opinion of Alcoholics Anonymous and if they believed alcoholism was a disease.
‘During much of last week’s jury selection, public defender Alan Fanter focused his questions on alcoholism. He asked jurors for their opinions about Alcoholics Anonymous, if they knew any alcoholics and if they believed alcoholism was curable.’
Then they had a witness that said if his life was spared he would be an asset to the prison because of his AA experience.Are you serious?
‘Ron McAndrews, a former prison warden who advocates for an end to capital punishment, was the last witness called Thursday morning by the defense. He said Kalisz, if sentenced to life, would become an “asset” to a prison’s general population because of his experiences with AA.’
HT0127KALISZSENTENCE01
By TONY HOLT | Hernando Today
Published: January 26, 2012
Updated: January 26, 2012 – 6:04 PM
BROOKSVILLE –Death was the unanimous recommendation by jurors Thursday.John Kalisz, 57, convicted of slaying two women and seriously wounding two more during a Jan. 14, 2010 shooting spree, sat stone-faced when the advisory sentences were read.Jurors were sent shortly before 3 p.m. to the deliberation room to decide on a punishment recommendation for Kalisz. They reached it in less than an hour. The vote was 12-0.Prosecutor Pete Magrino said because of the “evilness” of the killings, the most appropriate punishment for Kalisz was death by lethal injection.Magrino called the slayings “cold, calculated and premeditated with no legal or moral justification.”Kalisz fatally shot his sister, Kathryn Donovan, 61, and her employee, Deborah Tillotson, 59, during a revenge-thirsty rampage. He also shot and wounded his niece, Manessa Donovan, 21, and another woman, Amy Green, 35.All four victims were at the elder Donovan’s home at 15303 Wilhelm Road near Brooksville. Kalisz, who used to live at the house, came in through a backdoor and shot the women 14 times.

Manessa Donovan was eight weeks pregnant when she was shot. Her fetus died during emergency surgery.

The defense tried for two days to paint Kalisz as a good-natured, selfless man who snapped under the weight of stress, desperation and emotional turmoil.

“He was always there when I needed him – any time with anything,” said a weeping Melissa Williams, a friend of Kalisz’s who testified Thursday morning via video feed.

She credited him with hiring her when she needed to earn money, comforting her when she needed a shoulder to cry on and counseling her as she toiled through a crumbling marriage.

Kalisz’s life since the early 1990s centered on Alcoholics Anonymous. He grew up in a household where abusive drinking was the norm, said defense attorney Devon Sharkey.

It wasn’t long before he was consumed by his own addictions. He spent much of his life homeless and estranged from his family.

He found sobriety and salvation through AA and he was committed to it, his friends and relatives said. He sponsored recovering alcoholics and guided them through the 12-step program.

“AA held him together pretty well for 20 years,” said Peter Bursten, a mental health expert hired by the defense. “He was viewed by others as a good person.”

Bursten said Kalisz’s life in AA boosted his self-esteem. It made him proud he could help people – even turn around their lives. He gleaned “almost a child-like” joy out of it.

“For many years, he didn’t feel what it was like to be a decent human being,” Bursten said, referring to Kalisz’s dark days of living under bridges and spending endless nights in jail for committing petty crimes.

In October 2009, Kalisz pleaded guilty in Hernando County Circuit Court to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was accused of exposing himself to Manessa Donovan while she was a juvenile and leaving a CD containing provocative photos under her mattress.

He also was accused of threatening Donovan’s boyfriend at the time with a knife. The confrontation was witnessed by family members.

Following his 2009 conviction, Kalisz was sentenced to probation and was required to register as a sex offender. It kept him away from Colorado, where he had hoped to return so he could resume his roofing career and be with those closest to him.

Two days before the fatal shootings in Brooksville and Cross City, Kalisz’s trailer in Spring Hill went up in flames following a propane explosion. What little he owned was lost.

“Not only did he lose his home in Colorado, he lost his home in Florida,” Bursten said. “He had lost his support system in Florida. At that point, he described to me he had nothing left … He was exceptionally (and) emotionally distraught.”

More than an hour after the Wilhelm Road shootings, Kalisz drove north through several counties along U.S. 19. He pulled into a gas station in Cross City, at which time several Dixie County Sheriff’s deputies surrounded him. Kalisz opened fire.

Capt. Chad Reed was shot and killed. Kalisz also was shot, but survived his injuries.

Last year, Kalisz pleaded guilty to murdering Reed and received a life sentence.

Jurors heard for the first time Wednesday evidence related to Reed’s death.

Magrino reminded jurors during his closing argument Thursday that Reed was gunned down in the line of duty.

He also reminded them the younger Donovan and Green survived their seven gunshot wounds during the Wilhelm Road shooting only after playing dead. Had they not, “we would have had a giant massacre here in Hernando County,” Magrino told jurors.

Both women gave emotional testimony last week. Both of them made a point to stare their attacker in the eyes.

Green’s testimony was especially trying for her. She lives in a neighboring county, but does her best to avoid driving into Hernando because the memories of the Wilhelm Road shootings still affect her, said Magrino.

“I had grave doubts whether she’d be able to testify,” he said.

Kalisz’s formal sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 6.

Relatives of Tillotson and Reed were ushered out of the courtroom moments after the sentencing recommendation was read Thursday. They didn’t speak to the media.

Kalisz’s relatives and friends also declined to comment.

Ron McAndrews, a former prison warden who advocates for an end to capital punishment, was the last witness called Thursday morning by the defense. He said Kalisz, if sentenced to life, would become an “asset” to a prison’s general population because of his experiences with AA.

Hours later, in an effort to poke holes into McAndrews’ testimony, Magrino told jurors during his closing arguments Kalisz was arrested in August 2011 for “bartering to get drugs” while in jail.

http://www2.hernandotoday.com/news/hernando-news/2012/jan/26/1/friend-psychologist-describe-convicted-murderer-ar-351731/

Another Article-

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/two-dramatic-u-turns-for-john-kalisz-accused-in-deadly-hernando-county/1071556

Killers On The Loose In Alcoholics Anonymous And Narcotics Anonymous

This is a global problem we have with killers on the loose that are court sanctioned to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous.  Not only do we have sexual predators and violent felons mandated to attend 12 step programs, but killers are not excluded either. The powers that be think it is okay to promote children and teens to come to 12 step programs that have no safety guidelines at all?

Minimum security maximises the risk of killers on the loose

Behind bars … Trent Jennings will face court next week.

Behind bars ... Trent Jennings will face court next week.

 TRENT JENNINGS – a killer absolved of his crime because of the demons in his head – is not alone. Almost all the 385 forensic psychiatric patients found not guilty by reason of mental illness have committed acts of extreme violence and even killed.

Most are held in high-security facilities, but almost 100 live in relative freedom in the community through rehabilitation programs; others are housed with minimum security where they are often not directly supervised. Mr Jennings, 26, was one of these.

In the past two years, seven have absconded – four from Morisset Hospital, where he was housed.

He was free to travel unescorted to nearby Newcastle for TAFE classes, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, AA meetings, gay support groups, and even the gym.

When he didn’t show, the NA and AA meetings stayed true to their name and kept mum. So did the gym, giving Mr Jennings the freedom to stroll into government offices to apply for a passport and get a driver’s licence.

Killer AA member on the loose-

http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/australia-news/new-south-wales-news/2012/01/13/tied-up-for-six-hours/69294

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/minimum-security-maximises-the-risk-of-killers-on-the-loose-20120106-1pogf.html#ixzz1inYwtnn4

UPDATE-AA MEMBER WAS COURT ORDERED WHO SHOT WOMAN AT ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS MEETING

This is becoming more and more common at AA meetings.Since Drug Courts started mandating AA/NA meetings over 20 years ago,and these courts have exploded across this country.So has the reporting of violence in relation to these meetings. Men,women and children have been traumatized for decades by 13 steppers,felons, financial and sexual predators that were their fellow members.

Is it going to take a tragedy in Holly Hill Florida for the City to protect children and families from court mandated,government sponsored 12 step meetings located in their playgrounds to do something? There has been cries for help from locals to the police and commissioners after threats of violence.Yet NOTHING. Liz Towsley Patton stated about the appearance of city officials looking like they are in bed with someone,she has a point. The City does looks like they are in bed with many folks.Where does it end? When will it end?

Fugitive sought for shooting of pregnant woman in Baldwin Park

Posted: 11/17/2011 10:54:11 AM PST

Omar Martinez

Omar Martinez, 19, of Baldwin Park is being sought on suspicion of shooting a pregnant woman in the head outside of an Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting in Baldwin Park on Nov. 10, 2011. (Courtesy of the Baldwin Park Police Department)

BALDWIN PARK – Police Thursday sought the public’s help in tracking down a Baldwin Park man who accused of shooting a pregnant woman in the head after getting into a fight with her husband at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

Omar Martinez, 19, is wanted for attempted murder, Baldwin Park police Lt. David Reynoso said. He’s believed to be hiding in the West Covina or Los Angeles areas.

Martinez was attending a court-ordered AA meeting about 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at a church at Los Angeles Street and Stewart Avenue when he got into a fight with another man in his 20s who was attending the meeting, police said.

The fight was broken up and the men separated and left, Reynoso said.

“The intended victim left the meeting and entered a vehicle driven by his pregnant wife,” Baldwin Park police said in a written statement. “Suspect

Martinez followed the intended victim and shot twice at the vehicle as it left.”

The woman driving the car was struck in the back of the head, Reynoso said. She was initially hospitalized in critical condition, however she’s since been updated to stable condition.

Police have learned the woman was several weeks into a pregnancy at the time she was shot, and has since miscarried.

“At this time, we haven’t been able to determine if the miscarriage is related to the crime,” Reynoso said.

Martinez fled after the shooting and hasn’t been seen since, Reynoso said.

He was immediately identified as the shooter by witnesses who knew him

from the AA group, and he left his AA membership card behind when he fled the scene, the lieutenant said.

http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_19356587

 YOUTUBE VIDEO of AA Meeting Shooting At Baldwin Park-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoQdP0QfH3c&w=420&h=315

 

Woman Shot At Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting On Church Property

When are the churches going to wise up to the dangers they are bringing into their churches by renting to AA and NA groups ? Many groups do not carry insurance,and the insurance carriers are typically unaware of these agreements the churches have with court mandated felons(including sexual predators) receiving the required meetings in their meeting halls.Many meetings take place while activities involving children are on church property. Some pastors have been made aware of sexual offenders at the AA/NA meetings when children are on church property, and they have refused to do anything.When are these people going to put the children first?

Woman Shot in the Head After Fight Spills Out of AA Meeting

A fight broke out between two AA members—and the wife of one of them took a bullet in the head.

By Will Godfrey

11/11/11 A woman was shot in the head as she sat in a car outside an AA meeting in Baldwin Park, LA County, Thursday night. A fistfight broke out between two men during the meeting at First Presbyterian Church of Baldwin Park at around 7:30pm. Cops said one of the combatants was the woman’s husband. The struggle spilled out into the parking lot, where one of the men pulled a handgun. His shot was aimed at the husband, but hit the woman in the car instead, as the vehicle veered across the street and into a fence on the other side. The suspect,described as a Latino male around 20 years old, fled the scene. The victim was taken to LA County USC Medical Center, where her condition was described as stable. Shocking as the incident may seem, it’s far from the firstoutbreak of AA-related violence.

http://www.thefix.com/content/woman-shot-head-after-fight-breaks-out-aa-9235

SICK OF OUR SECRETS….

http://www.thefix.com/content/sick-our-secrets4000

Colorado Woman Dismembered Boyfriend Set Free and Sent to AA Meetings By Judge

You really don’t know who you will be sitting next to in an AA or NA meeting. It could be a woman who dismembered her boyfriend and cut him up for stew! AA Daytona Meetings, NA Daytona Beach in Holly Hill Parks and AA Meetings in Port Orange and Deland, Orange City and Daytona Beach Shores to meet Court mandated Violent felons and sexual predators.

Jane Lynn Woodley pleaded insanity.The judge felt it is okay to send her to AA meetings where minors attend and other vulnerable members of society. I guess we are all vulnerable when it comes to sitting next to a murderer, right?

Woman Who Pleaded Insanity Set Free.
Saturday, 09-Apr-2005 10:50PM

ALAMOSA, Colo., April 9 (UPI) — A woman found not guilty by reason of insanity of killing her boyfriend and mutilating his body has been set free in Alamosa, Colo.

Jane Lynn Woodry was deemed ready for a supervised return to society by a judge after a two-hour hearing, the Rocky Mountain News reported Saturday.

Woodry was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1993 first-degree murder of Peter Michael Greene. She shot him four times with a .25-caliber revolver, dismembered his body, wrapped his torso in a blanket, and stored it in a closet in his home.

She took his legs back to her apartment, where she cut hunks of flesh from his legs. Investigators found bite-sized chunks of human flesh prepared in a stew on the stove at Woodry’s home.

Conditions for her release also include holding a job, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, writing daily diary cards and a journal for review by a social worker, and meeting with her case manager three times a week.

“I want people to know that the community is safe”, Woodry said. “I am not a danger to the community.”

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2005/04/09/Woman-who-pleaded-insanity-set-free/65831113100921/

http://news.usti.net/home/news/cn/?/world.law/2/wed/be/Uus-woodry.Rwzx_FA9.html

AA ‘Dealing with ‘Predators’ In Their Meetings

In 2001 Austrailia discussed the problems with Predators in AA.They start right off the bat stating it is not at all common.Not true-very common!

“Barring someone(predator)from a meeting is an extreme step’ REALLY?

They want to handle this on a group level only, as there is no discussion as to do anything other than to have alcoholics handle it locally who have no training in dealing with sexual predators,mental illness or pedophiles.

http://www.aa.org.au/members/documents/predators.pdf

Pittsfield Caregiver Admits To Stealing From 86 Year Old

Kim C.Merriam after having 20 charges brought against her in part from stealing from a 86 year old woman that she cared for has started both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous while in jail. This newly minted AA/NA member will be told to go to a AA/NA meeting ASAP from leaving the jail when she get out. No one at the meeting will be warned of her crimes,it will be up to her to decide if she wants to share that she stole from an 86 year old woman and a host of other crimes at the meetings she attends. You really have no idea who you will be meeting at a meeting,but you should be aware that many are coming straight from jail for all levels of crime.

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/local/ci_18792908