Collaboration of Witnesses

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 68% of wrongful convictions involved official misconduct and more than half included perjured or false statements.

In this particular case there were several collaborated points on many police reports, including describing Jon (the guy who walked away) as aggressive, or very aggressive. The detective testified that he talked to witnesses, while they were filling out their statement and asked a few questions. It goes without saying that asking questions while witnesses are filling out their statement has the propensity to form a narrative or collaborate with witnesses. Even a simple question, such as “who was the aggressor” has the propensity to collaborate with witnesses, especially when the witnesses have an allegiance to one of the parties.

Another collaborated point was that Jon pushed the bar owner first. The problem was, nobody knew when or where this was supposed to occur. One witness wrote in her police report that Jon pushed the bar owner in the horseshoe room, and the bartender forgot that she originally told the police they came out of the horseshoe room pushing and shoving. Another witness claimed that the bar owner had to push Jon out of the bar, however, nobody else claimed to see, or collaborate in any of those incidents. In fact, all the other witnesses testified there was no physical contact in, or leaving, the horseshoe room, including the bar owner himself who testified Jon was 18 feet away, in that room, and did not close the distance.

The detective testified that he initially had a couple of witnesses come to the police station for more detailed statements . One of these witnesses scratched out “big ol fight” and wrote “push and shove” above it. At trial, it became apparent that downplaying the melee to a simple pushing match was another collaborated point. Despite the fact, the bar owner himself testified he and Jon were exchanging punches when his bar cook jumped into the fight.
Another witness testified there were more than three or four people involved in the fight with the bar owner and Jon. Yet, another witness testified that the bar owner had Jon bent over the dumpster, while assaulting him to the point he felt he had to step in.

The worst collaborated lie was the left handed lie. The detective testified that he requested a witness come to the police station to basically read over his initial statement that he made at the bar, and ask for a much more detailed statement. In both statements this witness wrote that he physically pried the knife from Jon’s right hand. However, the detective’s police report states this witness indicated that he believed that he pried the knife out of the male’s right hand. He recalls the male’s hand was palm up, but is not positive if the male was on his back or stomach.
This line of questioning would imply the detective was not happy with the witness’s “right handed” answer. To a layman, it may seem inconsequential concerning which hand the knife was in, but an experienced detective would know the significance of placing the knife in Jon’s left hand. Considering the bar owner and the bar cook were both injured on their lower left hand side, which wouldn’t line with Jon’s left hand unless he injured them from behind, the left handed lie was collaborated to raise doubt in his self defense position. Nobody came out, at trial, and accused Jon of injuring someone from behind, but they didn’t have to, the preponderance of the evidence implied it.

Several witnesses changed their statement, by scratching out “right hand” and wrote “left hand” above it. Furthermore, the witness who wrote that he pried the knife from Jons right hand claimed he was mistaken the night of the incident and now, three months later, he was certain it was in the left hand.

Perhaps the worst collaboration of a witness is when the detective wrote out leading, suggestive, questions on the bar cook’s written statement; questions like, did Jon take steps toward the bar owner, or which hand was the knife in? The bar cook’s testimony completely conflicted with all the others, but directly reflected the detective’s questions. The bar cook attempted to collaborate the left handed lie by claiming that Jon reached down the left side of his leg and pulled out a knife . The bar cook testified that’s why he knew Jon had camouflage pants on, because that’s where he retrieved the knife from .
The bar cook knew Jon was wearing camouflage and assumed he was wearing standard camo pants, with cargo pockets on the legs. However, Jon was wearing camo overalls, with no lower leg pockets

The worst part of the left handed lie was Jon’s,defense, trial lawyer, who knew all of the above, but refused to expose it. He artfully danced around the plot and the apparent collaboration of witnesses. Perhaps the reason was a simple conflict of interest. Defense counsel was also a local city prosecutor, thus a co-worker of the detective and the prosecution.

Counsel was well aware that the detective claimed that Jon indicated he was left handed in his police report. Jon is in fact right handed, but everybody collaborated the left handed lie to sabotage his self defense position.