Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Prelimary Hearing

The preliminary hearing was held on March 17, 2005. We were told by Todd’s attorney prior to the hearing that Todd would have to face trial. There was, of course, no choice since Brad had already been granted a deferred sentence. Brad didn’t admit to hearing Todd say anything in the Jeep about stabbing a tire, but testified that Todd said he “might have stabbed someone” at Brad’s house later that night. It’s hard to know what was truly said in this emotionally charged atmosphere, but Brad knew what happened, because he was fighting with Anthony Madril at the time and needed to deflect attention onto someone else. During the investigation, Brad stated that Todd was the one who suggested burning their clothes; during the preliminary hearing Brad stated that perhaps he (Brad) was the one who suggested burning their clothes; at the trial Brad admitted that he was the one who suggested burning their clothes and that Todd had to be talked into burning his shirt (once again, the only item of clothing Todd burned); of course, Brad neglected to mention that he then gave Todd a blood-stained shirt to wear. Also during the investigation, Jason Mellick, testified that Todd stated he stabbed someone in the truck. It is certainly possible that Jason, knowing Todd said he stabbed a tire inferred that he was the only one with a knife and must have stabbed someone. (At the trial, on the witness stand, Jason testified that he went home that night and masturbated! He was the first at Todd’s trial to testify; we were astounded with the prosecution’s leading witness.) Todd was never near Anthony Madril; his only encounter was with Chisum Lopez who admits that he could not get Todd to engage in a fight with him. If Todd were so interested in hurting people, he certainly had the opportunity to engage Chisum, but did not. Detective Ricky Frady appeared to be extremely biased in his testimony at the preliminary hearing and was unwilling to report the facts that he had collected in his interviews. Brad had been given a pass; at this point, the focus was on building a case against Todd.

I understand Brad’s fear of going to prison. It is unlikely he has the fortitude to accept the consequences of his behavior. Someone as entitled as he, growing up in the Broadmoor, having parents who consistently prevented him from suffering consequences, how could he go to prison? Brad’s response to an ex-friend who called him on what he had done was “Todd has ruined my life.” For Brad, it’s all about him. It’s ok for a former friend to be set up for his crime, but for us to talk about why Todd shouldn’t be the one in prison isn’t ok. Brad appears to be incapable of accepting responsibility for his actions, and doesn’t believe he should have to. Not for child pornography, not for rape, not for murder. It is unthinkable to me that any parent, no matter how much they love their child, would not understand the danger in this response. If Todd had stabbed Anthony Madril, I would be devastated and sad beyond belief. But I would also understand that there are consequences for taking someone’s life, and I would accept that he would spend time in prison. I will not accept that my son should spend time in prison for a crime he did not commit.

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