I guess a speedy trial is out of the question in my case. It appears that I will have to go without a public defender for a little while. On May 18, 2011, my public defender, John Watson, filed a motion to withdraw from my case. Mr. Watson stated that there was an “appearance of impropriety” because Mr. Watson “has multiple cases in Judge Humphrey’s court” and it creates a conflict because Judge Humphrey “is a victim in this case.”
This is just another example of the arrogance and incompetence of Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard and the Dearborn County Court System. Judge Sally Blankenship called John Watson personally after she failed to find any other Dearborn County public defender to take my case. Judge Blankenship set my bond at $600,000, appointed a public defender who has cases in front of Judge Humphrey, and then she withdrew from my case because Judge Blankenship felt there was a conflict of interest. John Watson took two months to determine that he had a conflict of interest. The newly appointed special judge in my case, Decatur Circuit Judge John Westhafer, declared that he has been a good friend of Judge James D. Humphrey for 25 years. In fact, the only person who doesn’t feel that their involvement in my case is a conflict of interest is Prosecutor Negangard.
John Watson said Prosecutor Negangard was willing to make a deal. In fact, Mr. Watson was willing to represent me if I was interested in signing a plea bargain but he decided that it would be a conflict of interest to take the matter to trial. I can understand why Mr. Watson was concerned because retaliatory strong arm tactics are the norm for Negangard and Humphrey. I just wish John Watson would have denied Judge Blankenship’s request two months ago rather than further delay my trial.
So who’s going to be my new public defender? John Watson told me that Judge Westhafer and Mr. Watson had previously discussed that Judge Westhafer had an Indianapolis public defender on standby in case Watson wanted to quit. Now it appears that my next public defender is going to be appointed by a good friend of Judge Humphrey. I guess there is no appearance of impropriety there.
Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard won’t give up because it could very well cost him his professional career. Dearborn County is trying to prosecute me for exercising my 1st Amendment rights. Prosecutor Negangard is trying to cover up the unethical and illegal conduct of Dearborn County Court officials. Rather than give up their illegal prosecution, Prosecutor Negangard and Judge Humphrey are willing to go down shooting like Redford and Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They are hoping and praying that they can convince the right judge that it is a criminal act to exercise too much free speech. In the meantime, Negangard is crossing his fingers that jail time will coax me into pleading guilty to something that I didn’t do. I hate to disappoint Prosecutor Negangard, but it doesn’t matter how many conflicted judges and lawyers the State of Indiana tries to throw at my case. I’m in it for the long haul. So saddle up Butch and Sundance because the longer you drag this out the more it is going to cost the Dearborn county taxpayers when your “shootem’ up” adventures come to an end.