I finally received a copy of the list of additional evidence that Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard may use against me in my criminal trial which began October 3, 2011. The Prosecutor’s “Supplemental Discovery Answer” lists fifty-one documents; none of which I have yet reviewed with my public defender, Bryan Barrett. Did I mention today is Sunday, October 16, 2011? My trial concluded on October 6, 2011.
I feel like I am drowning in a kiddie pool in the middle of a lifeguard convention. First, there is no reason why a healthy adult should be gasping for air in a children’s pool. Second, there is no excuse for a gathering of professionals, who uphold their responsibilities to water rescue, to stand idly by while an adult is drowning in a couple feet of water at arm’s length of a lifeguard. I’ve found myself drowning in the Dearborn County Legal System while lawyers, judges, and law enforcement officials either ignore me, or further complicate my situation by throwing buckets of water at me. It’s like the Dearborn County legal community is at the helm of a Carnival Cruise ship; cruising past the sinking Titanic without stopping because it would interrupt the midnight shuffle board tournaments. It just doesn’t make sense.
I know, I know; I already hear my detractors yelling “Dan’s mentally ill.’ Fine, we’ll go with that. Last time I checked, mentally ill people still have a right to a fair trial. In fact, they are often entitled to additional legal assistance to help participate in the criminal proceedings. All right detractors; I’m looking for consistency. If, I am as mentally ill as you claim, did I receive an appropriate amount of legal assistance necessary for a proper defense? As my public defender, Bryan Barrett failed to review with me, any of the roughly 2,000 pages of potential evidence provided by the prosecution, my guess would be no. It wouldn’t have mattered if I were the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; it is impossible for a lawyer to properly prepare for a four-day trial without subpoenaing documents and witnesses, taking depositions, and most importantly, meeting with the defendant. By the way, if you think four days is a long trial for a few D felony charges, just think how long it may have lasted if Bryan Barrett would have actually called a witness or submitted ANY evidence in my defense.
So who knows about all of this? I know Rush County Circuit Judge Brian Hill is aware of the injustices in my trial because he has presided over my case since June 1, 2011. Judge Hill is well aware that Bryan Barrett did not file an appearance to represent me until July 18, 2011, even though Judge Hill appointed him June 20, 2011. It was at the July 18, 2011 hearing when Judge Hill postponed my bond reduction hearing because Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit Detective Shane McHenry was not available to testify for the prosecution. Judge Hill acknowledged that he was aware that my public defender was on a leave of absence for a couple weeks, due to a family emergency, by continuing my trial and my already continued bond reduction hearing. During my August 17th bond reduction hearing Detective McHenry, who is also a Dearborn County Commissioner testified he investigated a report that I approached an inmate at the Hamilton County Justice Center about performing a “drive-by shooting” on Judge Humphrey. Judge Hill never heard any testimony about the alleged “drive-by” during my trial. It was probably due to the fact that the alleged request never happened. Records from the Hamilton County Justice Center movement logs demonstrated that the inmate, who accused me of trying to arrange a drive-by shooting, and I never crossed paths. I was unable to present the evidence to the court because my public defender refused to meet with me.
During the pre-trial hearing on September 19, 2011, I informed Judge Hill that my public defender had not subpoenaed any witnesses or evidence and had not deposed any of the state’s witnesses. I told Judge Hill, Bryan Barrett, who is a Rush County public defender appointed by Judge Hill, had not provided me with any evidence. Judge Hill denied my request to continue the October 3rd jury trial even though he knew I was not able to review the evidence against me. Judge Hill didn’t even care when I told him that neither one of my public defenders gave me an explanation of the crimes I allegedly committed that prompted the charges. Completing my trial was more important than protecting my rights.
“Do you want to represent yourself?” That was Judge Hill’s response to my motion to dismiss for ineffective assistance of counsel, filed just prior to the start of the October 3rd trial. My motion explained how Barrett never met with me to prepare for trial. As my mental health has always been a hot topic of debate, I explained how Bryan Barrett refused to contact my treating therapist or doctor, who I see for ADHD. Judge Hill reviewed the letter sent to Barrett listing character witnesses and medical/mental health witnesses. The letter also contained a list of witnesses whose testimony would demonstrate how Detective McHenry and Prosecutor Negangard were aware of the falsity of the “drive-by shooting” allegations before Negangard called McHenry to testify. Judge Hill just kept asking if I wanted to represent myself and I kept telling him I wanted a public defender who would, at least, discuss my case with me prior to the day of the trial. Judge Hill made me go through with my criminal trial knowing that Bryan Barrett never reviewed any evidence with me. He knew Barrett didn’t provide me with evidence. Despite the prosecutions’ numerous remarks questioning my mental health, Judge Hill refused to address the fact that I was being refused my ADHD prescription by Sheriff Mike Kreinhop, who was the only investigator in my case and a witness in my trial, and Judge Hill deprived me of a competent public defender who would call a professional mental health expert to testify on my behalf. This is the same judge who has control over whether I spend several years in prison for making too many negative public statements about Judge Humphrey and Dr. Edward J. Connor.
“Negangard told Eagle 99.3 after the trial that he is not certain what maximum penalty Brewington would be eligible for,” is a quote from a story on the website of Eagle 99.3. This is just another example of Prosecutor Negangard’s web of lies. A D Felony in Indiana carries a maximum of three years; an A misdemeanor carries a maximum of one year. Add them all together and you get a total of eleven years. Indiana gives two years credit for every year served. Subtract the seven months I’ve already served, I’m facing a maximum of four years and 11 months of actual prison time. Does anyone actually believe that the two-term Dearborn County Prosecutor did not know this? He was probably a little leery about telling the public that people can serve many years in prison if they make negative statements about Dearborn County Officials.
I’m expecting the worst and why not? They can get away with these things in Dearborn County. Dearborn County lawyers look the other way and plead ignorance to the situation. Some attorneys sat in on my trial and witnessed the carnage first hand. One Dearborn County lawyer told me he was sure that I would prevail in my case. He just wasn’t sure if I could win in the state courts. He was certain that the Federal Courts would dismiss the case.
So I guess I’m at the “mercy” of the Court. I don’t want mercy; I want justice. Ordering me to serve five years in prison is just as offensive as letting me walk after my sentencing hearing on October 24th. Of course I prefer freedom over prison as I long to see my children but the damage has been done. Due to the vindictive actions of people like Prosecutor Negangard, I am a convicted felon until my case is overturned which will make it more difficult to find a job and get back with my girls. Whatever Judge Hill decides on October 24th he will know that he denied me any opportunity to a fair trial. This sort of thing can happen in Dearborn County because those who bear the power to bring positive change are coward and/or corrupt. The little guys who speak up are thrown in jail and prosecuted/persecuted. That’s why I’m treading water in a room full of lifeguards. Someone has to take a stand. Please keep me in your thoughts on October 24th. Thanks for your support.