The question that I would like to address is misuse of the entire bond process in Dearborn County, Indiana. I’m posting the link to the entire transcript for the Arraignment of Daniel Brewington but have included an outline of the bond conversation section. The 8th amendment to the US Constitution says excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. We have a right to reasonable bail. There is nothing that transpired in this arraignment hearing that called for a $500,000 surety, $100,000 cash bond. It would have cost $150,000 for Mr. Brewington to get out of jail. The Prosecution knew that if Mr. Brewington had been able to participate in his own defense, he would never have been found guilty. In an unrelated criminal matter Lawrenceburg attorney Doug Garner filed a motion, December 3, 2012, stating that Mr. Negangard is using bail as an enforcement tool and a Judge is abdicating his duty to set bond to the Prosecutor. He holds people until they accept a plea bargain, or come forward with information about another case, and then there is a deal for them. Judge Sally Blankenship left the courtroom about 12:00pm Friday, March 11, 2011 and ruled in the Brewington bond case issue about 5:30pm Friday, March 11, 2011. The information she left court with was certainly not enough information to set a $600,000 bond for Daniel Brewington. Possibly Judge Blankenship used information from outside the bond hearing or perhaps she conferred with Mr. Negangard, before determining the $600,000 bond? Six days later she recused herself because of a conflict of interest. Did she have a conflict of interest when she set the bond? Of course if one follows the rules one cannot use information outside the hearing for the determination of bond. Dan Brewington has now spent 21 months in incarceration.
The Prosecutor’s main argument was that Brewington’s release would jeopardize the state’s case against Brewington because Brewington promised to publicize the proceedings.
P3-4 Mr. Kelly is introduced to the Court with emphasis on the fact that he is not licensed to practice in Indiana.
P5-16 The Court (Judge Sally Blankenship) read Dan his rights, including a right to an attorney. Deputy Dearborn County Prosecutor Joseph Kisor read the charges and the laws from where the charges were drawn. Judge Blankenship read the possible penalties connected to the charges.
P16-18 Brewington says he wants a public defender and Judge Blankenship asks him a series of financial questions. Judge Blankenship agrees to find a public defender.
P18-35 Discussion regarding bond.
- The Court has been given protective orders and is asked to enter in favor of Dr. Edward Connor and Judge James D. Humphrey and his family as a condition of bond at this time. (State’s Exhibit 1).
- State’s position is that a high bond would be appropriate
- Mr. Brewington is a resident of Ohio
- We believe the allegations are extremely serious and he does present a danger to the community.
- Ask the Court to make conditions of his bond
- That he not access the internet, or if the Court would believe that to be too broad, we would ask the Court to make a condition of bond that Mr. Brewington not continue to blog about the substance of the case that is here before this court.
- Kisor –I personally reviewed the blog this morning and there was a post that says, ”if I am detained in Dearborn County jail because I do not receive a hearing or if Negangard gets a ridiculously high bond placed on me, facebook users can get updates from my family and friends from my facebook group, ’help Dan Brewington see his girls.’ I will have someone posting information on this case that Negangard tries to lock me up or in the case that Negangard tries to lock me up and throw away the keys. All are welcome to join. Thanks for the support.” So we’re asking that that order be made no direct or indirect postings regarding this case.” (Copies of Brewington’s blogs are submitted as State’s Exhibit 2)
- Kisor went on to read about another blog. The substance of it is that he’s (Dan) going to continue to write about this case on these blogs.
- Kisor – the day after Brewington testified to the grand jury he made another posting “I’m out silly Negangard. He thought jail would somehow intimidate me; more to come. So I think it’s clear that he intends to try this case on his blog and Kisor says he (Kisor) thinks that this will be detrimental to the State. Kisor says in any event it is not appropriate.
- Next- the famous leaking grand jury charge. The prosecutor claims that Brewington swore under oath that he would not disclose grand jury proceedings. Then Kisor cites Brewington’s blog (only partially of course) “I can’t say what happened in the grand jury but if Negangard takes the matter to trial, I will be sure to get the grand jury information on the public court”. Kisor says this is the court where this case needs to be tried; not the public court, your Honor.
- State’s exhibit 3. Kisor submitted Brewington’s divorce decree written by Judge James D. Humphrey.
- State’s exhibit 4. Kisor submitted the Court of Appeals opinion of Mr. Brewington’s appeal of that case
- State’s exhibit 5. Kisor submitted a letter from Dr. Ed Connor to Judge Taul who was the original Judge in his divorce court who recused himself, um, after being accused of conspiring with Dr. Connor.
- Kisor: “the substance of them (the exhibits) are that you will see, Mr. Brewington has disdain for any court; anybody that he sees as an enemy, including his own former attorneys, he will attack. He will attack them in his blog, he will attack then in himself and through other people and I don’t think again, if that’s the proper way for this case to proceed. So the State is asking to admit State’s Exhibits 1 through 5 in consideration of setting the bond and the conditions and again the State’s request is for a high bond and with the provision that he not be permitted to use the internet or discuss this case in any other form.”
- P24 Mr. Brewington tells the Court that he only has until March 17th of this month to prepare something for the U.S. Supreme Court on issues dealing with his Decree of Dissolution and being incarcerated would really hamper his ability to do that. He states that he is representing himself on the divorce issue.
- P25 The Court allows Mr. Kelly to speak.
- Mr. Kelly explained that he was anticipating filing the necessary paperwork with Indiana to get appointed to appear on Brewington’s behalf pro bono to assist whoever the court appointed counsel is if that can be arranged and we couldn’t get it done by today because we couldn’t get the public defender appointed. (Note: Public defender #1 agreed to sponsor Mr. Kelly but then he quit, public defender #2 would not even return his calls, so Mr. Kelly never got to assist.)
- Mr. Brewington has no criminal record.
- No missed court dates and he voluntarily appeared, after waiting 6 hours, to appear before the grand jury proceeding.
- Mr. Brewington voluntarily surrendered here this morning as a result of a bond being posted in the State of Ohio for his release on the extradition warrant and upon the representation to those court authorities that Mr. Brewington would surrender himself. He was released by Hamilton County and that was also discussed with Prosecutor Negangard, that he would be surrendered by 6:00 this morning.
- There are no threats of violence on any of these charges that have been filed which I think would be one of the big issues as far as intimidation.
- There’s no in person contact between Mr. Brewington and Judge Humphrey or Judge Humphrey’s wife at any time other than in a courtroom where Mr. Brewington represented himself. That’s been the only in person contact with Judge Humphrey at any time. The only in person contact with Dr. Connor was either a result of his visit with Dr. Connor for an evaluation or if Dr. Connor was subpoenaed for a criminal action that was filed by his(Brewington’s) ex-wife in Ohio. We tried to subpoena Dr. Connor and Dr. Connor refused to appear in the Hamilton County Municipal Court. Those charges were thrown out by the Judge in Ohio.
- Some of these charges that are alleged in the indictment, even reviewing them you can’t identify what, the actual facts, the dates, the times, any of these things occurred.
- “If that woman in the back corner writes the wrong thing on her paper and the Prosecutor gets upset about it, she could be indicted. It’s his(Brewington’s) first amendment right to get on there and type as long as he’s not threatening physical harm to someone.
- Kelly explains about the leaking grand jury information indictment. Explaining that it is hyperbole, that Brewington was referencing a Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise movie.
- Kelly - Brewington has an absolute first amendment right to get on the computer if he wants to blog, he can blog.
- Mr. Johnson – deputy prosecutor. Your honor, the only, the only concern would be um, it was stated explicitly to Mr. Brewington in the grand jury proceedings that he was not to put anything on his blog concerning anything that happened in the grand jury and he proceeded to go and whether he put on his blog information, you know, regarding the proceedings and whether people, people would not know whether that occurred or not. The problem is, is that Mr. Brewington Does not follow instruction that need to be followed that is our big issue here.
- Kisor – “I would just add that Mr. Kelly’s correct. You can go to that blog. …The postings he has, to me, show an absolute disdain for the court and for the prosecution and certainly that’s okay with the first amendment as long as it doesn’t affect with everybody right to a fair trial and that’s why we’ve asked for those conditions you Honor.”
- Kelly – “In the fact that Mr. Brewington may have disdain for the Prosecutor I think is actually his right. He could even have disdain for the Court and that would be his right. Now as an officer of the Court, if I had disdain for the Court or showed some lack of respect or didn’t urge somebody to be compliant with the Court’s order, that would absolutely be a problem but he’s got a right not to sit there if somebody says well don’t write anything bad about the Prosecutor. He’s got a right to put down whatever he wants. If it’s actionable slander or libel, they can, they can sue him but quite frankly they haven’t. What they’ve done is they’ve indicted him because they’re in control of that.
- Court – conditions of bond.
- Maintain contact with your attorney
- Notify the court in writing of any change of address within 48 hours
- You may not commit any criminal offenses
- You appear at all scheduled court hearings.
- Court is going to grant protective order – standard rules (see P 31-32)
- You would have no firearms, deadly weapons or ammunition in your possession
- Brewington was given a $600,000 bond because:
- He is a resident of Ohio
- Mr. Kisor:
(1) We believe his crimes are serious and he is a danger to the community.
(2) Asked for protective orders for Dr. Ed Connor and Judge Humphrey and his family.
(3) Said Dan is going to continue to post on his blog.
(4) Said this is the court where this case should be tried, not the public court.
(5) Said Mr. Brewington has disdain for the court.
(6) Asked for a high bond and that he (Dan) not be permitted to use the internet or discuss this case in any other form.
(7) Said Mr. Brewington has shown an absolute disdain for the court and for the prosecution.
(8) Said that is alright unless it affects everyone’s right to a fair trial... I (Sue Brewington) thought only Mr. Brewington was entitled to a fair trial but I guess Mr. Kisor thinks the prosecutor is entitled to a fair trial.
- Mr. Johnson said that the problem is Mr. Brewington does not follow instructions that need to be followed, that is our big issue here.
- Mr. Kelly said:
(1) Mr. Brewington has no criminal record.
(2) Mr. Brewington has never missed a court date.
(3) Mr. Brewington voluntarily testified before the grand jury, even waiting six hours to do so.
(4) There are no threats of violence on any of the charges that have been filed.
(5) There has been no personal contact between Mr. Brewington and the people he is charged with intimidating, except in their professional capacities. He never had any contact with Heidi Humphrey.
(6) In some of the charges in the indictments you can’t determine actual facts, dates and times any of these things occurred.
(7) That Mr. Brewington has a constitutional right to have disdain for the Court and the Prosecutor as long as what he blogs is not actionable slander or libel, then he can be sued.
- Decision – is $600,000 bond, in this case, a violation of the 8th amendment?