Thursday, March 8, 2012

Missing Records from the Brewington Case

State vs. Brewington, Daniel March 4, 2012

Cause No: 15D02-1103-FD-00084

Currently being appealed

Where are the transcripts, both audio and written, for the June 17, 2011 hearing and the July 18, 2011 hearing in the Daniel Brewington case from Superior Court II, Dearborn County, Indiana?

According to the Notice of Appeal from Trial Court, the court reporter of Dearborn Superior Court No. 2 is requested to transcribe, certify, and file with the Clerk of Dearborn County Courts the proceedings or hearings of record… Filed October 24, 2011.

Sue Brewington filed a public records request with the Superior Court II on January 12, 2012, pursuant to the Access to Public Records Act (Ind. Code 5-14-3).

Sue Brewington has a file stamped order, January 12, 2012, releasing everything that she requested, signed by Judge Brian D. Hill, the trial judge.

Matthew Brewington filed a public records request with the Superior Court II, requesting the same information. Everyone desiring to see the record has to make a separate request because Judge Brian D. Hill threatened each person with being held in contempt of court if they shared any of the information.

The Order Releasing Audio Copies to Matthew Brewington was filed January 24, 2012. It was the same order that Sue Brewington received with the name and date changed appropriately.

At that time Sue and Matthew Brewington were pleased with the order, minus the contempt threat, but they seemed to be getting everything they requested.

On February 2, 2012 the Order changed. See The Amended Order Releasing Audio Copies, signed by Judge Brian D. Hill.

1. The Grand Jury tapes would not be released, even though the transcripts had been released. Sue Brewington hand delivered a letter for Barbara Ruwe, Court Reporter for Judge Sally Blankenship, Superior Court II, (because she took Sue's previous request) asking for clarification for the Grand Jury audio ruling, on February 14, 2012. Without the audio there is no way to verify the written transcripts.

2. Judge Hill’s Amended Order stated that no recordings were made of the July 18, 2011 hearing, because “no hearing took place on that date”. Originally two hearings had been scheduled for July 18, 2011, a Bond Reduction Hearing and a Final Pre-Trial Hearing. Sue Brewington hand delivered a letter for Barbara Ruwe, on Feb 14, 2012, asking for clarification. She attached the following documents to her request for clarification.

a. Motion to Continue. Filed June 28, 2011. Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard, Prosecuting Attorney in Dearborn County asked the Court to Continue the Bond Reduction Hearing. There was no mention of continuing the pre-trial hearing.

b. CCS Entry for June 17, 2011 hearing shows that Judge Hill set a Bond Reduction Hearing for 7/18/11 and a Final Pre-Trial Hearing for 7/18/11. Both hearings were set for 1:30PM.

c. CCS Entry for July 18, 2011 shows Final Pre-Trial Hearing; Def W/Atty B. Barrett; State By J. Kisor;

d. Judge Brian D. Hill conducted the Pre-Trial Hearing on July 18, 2011. Five people are willing to sign affidavits attesting to the fact they were present and witnessed a hearing conducted by Judge Brian D. Hill. Dan Brewington’s 2nd public defender, Bryan E. Barrett, made his first appearance and spoke, at this hearing, and Daniel Brewington was in the courtroom. The hearing was held in Judge Humphrey’s Courtroom on the 2nd floor of the Dearborn County, Indiana, Courthouse.

e. An Order to Continue the Bond Reduction Hearing was filed July 21, 2011. A new date and time was set for the Bond Reduction Hearing, August 3, 2011 at 1:30PM.

a. Each Amended Order said the “disc admitted into evidence containing the interview of the Keith L. Jones by Shane McHenry admitted into evidence on August 17, 2011 and letter read by Daniel Brewington at the September 19, 2011 Pretrial Hearing should be released. A disc was released entitled the Eddie Jones interview.

b. The audio began with a lengthy static section and then a voice is heard, then more voices in question and answer format. There is no opening concerning the date, topic, or people participating.

3. On February 14, 2012, Sue Brewington hand delivered another Public Records Request. This time Sue Brewington requested the written transcripts of the March 11, 2011 arraignment hearing, the June 17, 2011 hearing, and the July 18, 2011 hearing. She should have received a 24 hour answer yes or no, according to Public Access Rules.

4. On Friday February 24, 2012 Sue Brewington received a phone call from Barbara Ruwe, Court Reporter for Judge Sally Blankenship, Superior Court II, Dearborn County and she said that Sue Brewington’s request for the public records was ready and she could pick them up in the Auditor’s Office. Barbara Ruwe gave Sue the total cost for Sue and Matt’s requests. ($115.50)

a. Monday, morning, February 27, 2012 Sue Brewington picked up the tapes that were ordered in the Amended Order, EXCEPT for the audio for the June 17, 2011 hearing. After being told the July 18, 2011 hearing that Sue Brewington attended did not take place she was now being informed that the June 17, 2011 hearing that she attended only took place in the Judge’s chambers and no recordings were made. Sue Brewington received this information on a post it note on one document in her packet. Copy of Post It Note

1) Daniel Brewington was sworn in by Judge Brian Hill at this hearing.

a) Brewington questioned if Judge Blankenship had a conflict of interest and recused herself and 1st public defender John Watson had a conflict of interest and withdrew as counsel, how could Aaron Negangard continue as prosecutor?

b) Brewington told the judge that he was not getting his medication as prescribed for his ADHD, in the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center.

2) It was the only time Sue and Matt Brewington saw Dan’s 1st public defender, John Watson. Mr. Watson told the Judge, in open court, the reasons that he wanted to withdraw from the case (he had cases pending in Judge Humphrey’s Courtroom) and said that he would forward any information that he had to the next public defender.

3) He also told Judge Brian D. Hill that he was almost ready for trial. This hearing also took place in Judge James D. Humphrey’s Courtroom, on the 2nd floor of the Dearborn County, Indiana Courthouse.

4) John Watson had filed a Request for Reduction of Bail, 2 months after Brewington was jailed, on May 13, 2011. In it, he did not have Daniel Brewington’s name. The name on the document was a woman’s name, Nancy Kruthaupt. He also included an additional charge: Schedule C Felony, assault with a deadly weapon. Upon researching Ms. Kruthaupt’s name, Matt Brewington found that it matched a case that took place in Batesville, Indiana in the mid 2000s. In open court, Mr. Watson had to inform Judge Brian D. Hill of the mistake and ask that the record be corrected. There is still no record of the corrections without the record from the hearing.

5) There was an attachment “response to request on February 14, 2012 from Sue Brewington”, with no name of the preparer of the document.

a) Reiterated that there was “no audio of July 18, 2011 hearing as that hearing was continued as indicated on the Amended Order… signed February 2, 2012.”

b) Reiterated that the “Grand Jury audio recordings are not a record in these proceedings as indicated on the Amended Order signed on February 2, 2011. Also Grand Jury proceedings are confidential and cannot be released to anyone.”

c) Sue Brewington's public records request for the March 11, 2011 arraignment hearing was “forwarded to counsel for the Defendant”. Sue Brewington made a public records request for the transcript and but Barbara Ruwe forwarded it to Dan Brewington’s counsel.

d) New information. “Request for transcript from June 17, 2011 – This was a pre-trial hearing held in the Judge’s Chambers that was not recorded and there is no audiotape of that hearing. Therefore a transcript cannot be made.” This is not accurate and Sue Brewington will produce signed affidavits to the contrary.

e) “Request for transcript from July 18, 2011 – Hearing was continued and no hearing held. Therefore a transcript cannot be made.”

5. The judge would have told the court reporter not to turn on the tape, the reporter would have had to decide on her own, not to record the audio, or the audio was erased which is a violation of Indiana Law.

Where is the accountability in our court system? Sue Brewington is being told by Dearborn County that no hearing took place. Sue Brewington was in the courtroom witnessing the hearings along with others. People’s very lives depend on the record keeping in the courts to be accurate. This is a controversial case that is being appealed and people are being told that two hearings that multiple people attended, did not take place. This case was considered so important that Daniel Brewington had to be held for months because his bond was set for $600,000, then someone considered the pre-trial hearings so inconsequential that they were not recorded or even worse, that they did not even happen. Who made that call? Brewington was in the courtroom participating in these two hearings. There should be a truthful explanation as to how two hearings in Brewington’s case just are not there.

Thank you for your time,

Sue Brewington


  1. This whole thing is a travesty. Dan is nothing more than a political prisoner. Who would have thought that a third world county could be permitted to exist in a first world nation.

  2. Sue,
    Look up "spoilation of evidence". This will help you on appeal.

    John Lee

  3. This is really sad. I wonder how many other people have been under this grip?