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Saline County Sheriff has interesting thoughts about evidence

The Saline County Sheriff testified Wednesday, April 25th, in a criminal trial that the best evidence in the case would be the officer's written report, not the video of the incident in the jail that his staff failed to preserve. Unbelievable in so many ways. First,  does he really think a judge, jury, or individuals cannot look at a video and determine what it shows? Secondly, an officer's report in and of itself is hearsay.  An officer can refer to it to refresh his memory, however, he must testify from his own personal knowledge. So an officer's written report is not evidence. 
The Sheriff  evidently did not know that his own department's policy required the department to keep video when criminal charges were going to be filed. Nor did he know that over a year ago the policy changed from keeping the video for 3 months to keeping it 6 months based upon a sound thrashing on a case where videos were not kept.  In that case the judge told them that storage for digital media was cheap and they needed to make arrangements to save it when a criminal charge was filed. As a result, the Sheriff's office removed all cameras from the BAC room at the jail.  So there is never any video when someone is being tested on the BAC machine for DWI.  Somehow the video is always kept if it helps them. Why is it never kept if it might show something beneficial to the defendant?
Is this what Saline County really wants? If it is, then Saline County citizens get the justice they deserve. I am not supporting any particular candidate for Saline County Sheriff, but I will not vote for the current one.

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Comment by Ricky David Tripp on April 28, 2012 at 10:55pm
Luther, you're going to keep this up, and somewhere along the way, I'm going to scare myself and start liking you - kind of like Superman and Mr. Mxyzptlk. And for the record, I shook your son's hand because he is a very nice and respectful young man - living proof that you've done at least one good thing your critics can't fault you for.
Comment by Gina H. Reynolds on April 28, 2012 at 9:50pm

Chris, I was speaking from a legal prospective when I said the actual written police report is hearsay.  The report is not evidence; the officer's testimony is. Maybe that was obtuse, but people in the legal and law enforcement fields should know that. A complete video of the entire incident would have been helpful in the instance I talked about because it all happened in the booking area of the jail. 

Thanks for your kind words, Luther. I think you are one of the best around.  I support your right to vote for whomever you want.  My husband has known Bruce for a long time, too, so he and I sometimes disagree on these matters, too. I happen to like law enforcement unlike some other defense lawyers.  My grandfather was the Sheriff in the county where I grew up for 17 years and my grandmother finished his term after he died.  My husband was Highway Police and later a reserve deputy with Saline County.  I just want the justice system to work at the highest level possible and that's why I do what I do.

Comment by Chris on April 28, 2012 at 6:05pm
Thinking a little more about the "hearsay" statement, I think I understand what you mean, but... if the officer is in court and is testifying to his report and the observations noted within it, as well as the def att, that clears out the "hearsay." Does it not?
Comment by Chris on April 28, 2012 at 4:07pm

"First, does he really think a judge, jury, or individuals cannot look at a video and determine what it shows?"

 

How many people here have searched and seen those YouTube videos of what is supposed to be "police brutality," yet when all facts are known, the "brutality" is a complete exaggeration? Video is most definitely nice, but just because you have video does not mean you have explanation.

 

"Secondly, an officer's report in and of itself is hearsay.  An officer can refer to it to refresh his memory, however, he must testify from his own personal knowledge. So an officer's written report is not evidence."

 

An officer's report is "hearsay"?? How is that? If it's a he said, she said thing that did not occur in the officer's presence, ok, perhaps but the officer still sees the evidence of the crime. If it's a DWI, the officer still sees and notes the evidence of the crime. That's not hearsay.

 

 

As far as cameras and the BAC....no idea about that.

 

 

Peter Glenn.... it's not up to law enforcement to notify everyone on Earth if their homes were used as a meth lab. Once the meth lab guys go in and clean it... that's that.

Comment by Luther Sutter on April 28, 2012 at 2:03pm

Well, I must come "out the Shadow" and comment on this.  Mr. Tripp, you need to save your polemic for someone on your level-- like me.  Gina Reynolds is one of the nicest lawyers I know, although I don't know too many because I am one of only a few lawyers that sue lawyers, judges, doctors, police, and anyone else that violates the law.  Calling me a part of a Tribe is humorous to anyone that knows me.  Anyway, if my opinion counts for anything, Gina is one of the few lawyers I call a friend.  She cares about her clients and does her very best.  Mr. Tripp, we're both way out of our league.

But, having said that, I am supporting Bruce Pennington.  He has known me since I was child, and I think he does the best with what resources he has.  I like James Ward, but that is my choice.  But it was also my choice to sue Bruce.  He knows that it is not personal, and he is a true professional with me and my son.  He even shook my son's hand at his fundraiser the other night.

Now, like him or not, like his opinions or not, Mr. Tripp has the courage of his convictions, as do I.  I find his criticism of those who post anonymously against Mr. Milligan, yet support those who post anonymously for Mr. Milligan inconsistent.  But I do enjoy his hyperbole (the blood under the knife thing was great).  I will tell you that Mr. Tripp, although being represented by the same lawyer who represents Milligan (note the absence of Mr. please), was pleasant.  Unlike, Milligan, Mr. Triipp, although understanding we would never agree, even shook my son's hand.  Milligan, on the other hand, looked at my son's hand, sneered at him (or maybe me), then turned away without shaking his hand. It made quite an impression.  But Milligan is not the first Defendant to act in such a manner, and he won't be the last.  I am just glad Bruce has more class.

Finally, Mr. Tripp, please understand that I, AND I ALONE, am the only source of feigned authority in this County (:  Name your McDonald's, I'll manage it, if you'll play guitar....   Now, where did I put those notes?  LOL  FOIA anybody?

Oh, one final thing, does anybody REALLY think the Saline County Circuit Clerk should be political?  Until Milligan installed his best buddies and the Huckster's brother-in-law in the Office, I wouldn't have thought it.....  By the way,  I wish Ron Paul were President.  Now, back to the corner with my sign soliciting clients  LOL  ......  Milligan is a Clerk.    

Comment by Brenda Rhodes on April 28, 2012 at 12:50pm
Mr Tripp, I have one question, why can she not have comment approval turned on when you won't even allow someone to comment on your posts?
Comment by Shelli Russell on April 28, 2012 at 12:23pm

To clear things up, name-calling need not be present to qualify a comment as rude. 

Also, the listing of candidates is in the Saline County Politics group.

Rodney Goshien is running for Sheriff as a Democrat. He's unopposed by another Dem, and therefore not in the primary, so I'm sure he's saving his campaign money for after May.

Comment by Gina H. Reynolds on April 28, 2012 at 11:50am

Mr. Glenn, I don't know the procedure for clean up of a drug house.  There are companies out there that do it and I have had clients who have been charged restitution for clean up.  That's all I know.  

The Sheriff's department has paid off on several claims in the last couple of years. There is currently a suit in federal court by an inmate, Mr. Grunden (sp?), in which I am a potential witness.  I don't think the claims were actually filed as lawsuits; just a demand letter sent to the Sheriff.  I believe that there is a non-disclosure issue regarding the people who made the claims. One was a former client of mine who had her arm broken by a jailer.  The jailer was later fired, but I am not sure of the timing. 

I try very hard not to post or comment on anything I don't know personally.  The case I spoke of earlier had the charges dismissed after the trial. The woman was charged with battery on a jailer and disorderly conduct, I believe. 

Comment by Gina H. Reynolds on April 28, 2012 at 11:40am

Thanks Duck Bill. 

Comment by Duck Bill on April 28, 2012 at 10:51am

Hi Gina, to modify the comment approvals, just click on settings then click on profile then look for the section listed below.    Those settings will  allow anybody to comment on your blogs.

Hope that helps.

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