Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Handyman…My Son Pt. 1

On January 16, 2008 I published my first blog, titled “The Handyman...Who Is He?”. What I didn’t say then, but what might be intuited was that this story was about someone close to me, but I didn’t say…didn’t want to admit…it was my oldest son. When I wrote that entry, I was still angry…mostly because of the fact that it was my son in prison, and I was having a extremely hard time dealing with that.

Even back then (and now), I hated the term 'handyman' because the local media had really played up that term to describe my son...linking that term so that it equated to "murderer".  Thankfully, for the most part, the media has dropped the 'handyman' when they talk about him and his case, which has some new developments. (2 separate links.)

My son was accused of murdering Ronda Bilby at her home in what the police and the District Attorney referred to as a "botched robbery-gone wrong".  All the evidence was circumstantial, there was no blood found on my son's clothes, the actual murder weapon was never found although the police claimed that they "thought" they had the murder weapon.

Where the case got royally messed up was that after 13 hours of intense interrogation, my son, who was exhausted, told the investigators what they wanted to hear: he did it.  He gave the false confession just so that they would quit badgering him.

Once the case prepared to go to trial, my son was appointed a lawyer, who immediately (after hearing the details) decided he didn't want the case and another lawyer was appointed to him.  During the time that this particular attorney 'worked' Shawn's case, Mr. K. kept calling me and telling me that "your son is guilty", that "he did it" and continually kept after me to get my son to plead guilty...because "this was election year and the DA needed a win" (on this case) to shoo him back into office.  As well, K. told me that if it went to trial and Shawn lost (which he was 100% certain would happen) he could face a sentence of 75 years.  I refused to talk my son into pleading guilty but I did tell Shawn what his lawyer said to me.

Another thing that K. did was he did not tell my son about specific exculpatory evidence that would have freed him.  This evidence was that an inmate in an upstate prison had written the DA's office several times (a month or two) prior to the murder "to warn" of a "murder for hire" scheme that was being circulated through the prison. The DA blew off the information as being a load of B.S.  I have copies of these letters between that informant and the DA.

When the case did go to trial, within the first few days, K., while in a conference with family members (however I was absent), he insisted that Shawn plead guilty and take the plea deal the DA was offering of 25-life, or face a sentence of 75-life which he claimed he KNEW the judge would give him otherwise.  My son...felt he had no choice to take the plea simply to get K. off the family's back and to end the harassment by K.

Now, after years of appeals, all of which have been denied, until this last son has sought justice and is fighting for his freedom.  The court action now is to prove that the lawyer (Mr. K.) did not represent him in the proper manner, as well as having withheld the exculpatory evidence.  That is to take place April 18, 2011.

Now...all we can do is hope and pray...that this will lead to a new trial, one that will exonerate my son.

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