This post is going to be short and sweet and one that is not going to address particulars, but one that is hopefully meaningful and provokes thought and ultimately — action. The grand jury begins selection tomorrow and will convene next week. Rather than pointing fingers and accusing others of creating a path of destruction through Steubenville, it is time to let go of the hate and move forward. Nothing good ever comes of holding onto negativity. This can only happen when that one person has the audacity and courage to be the one person standing to create change. The ball is in your court. Healing begins with change.
Forgive me but I couldn’t resist. I borrowed my title from what was apparently a blog belonging to none other than Jody Arias, circa May 2008, written only a few months before she savagely murdered Travis Alexander, the man she continues to claim she loves? Or loved? I’m not sure which is correct, since her story shifts as often as her tenses — and her eyes while being cross-examined about what happened that terrible day five years ago. Even after finally admitting to having stabbed Alexander 29 times, to having slit his throat from ear to ear, to having shot him in the head, the persona that the former provocatively-dressed-bottle-blonde has adopted — a reinvented, buttoned-up, colorless mousy faux-Mormon martyr in ugly glasses, now claims that virtually all of her actions before, during, and after the butchery of Alexander, were done with his best interests at heart. Really? Does that include depicting him as being an abuser and a pedophile? And now, torturing his family with a story the dead man cannot defend himself against?
It took her several years to get to this point – I have lost count of the number of lies she has told, beginning with “I wasn’t
there” to the ludicrous story of two ninjas (has anyone actually ever seen a ninja outside the movies?)– and because I am not
familiar with the specific tenets of Mormonism, I confess that I am speaking from a more catholic point of view. But let me just
say that if the sin of omission counts, she is well on her way to hell.
The order of actions by which she attacked Travis Alexander in gruesome degrees was the subject of a significant portion of her infuriating yet oddly fascinating testimony on the stand over the last two and a half weeks. One of many questions I have is how a bullet casing could have fallen on top of a dried puddle of blood if she shot him before the stabbing and slicing. But I digress.
Continue reading The Sociopath’s Checklist or Something to Think About
Justice is a two way street. Sometimes getting there is not an easy endeavor. When any victim has to testify against their accuser it can be brutal and oftentimes the victim is re-victimized as a result. That being said, defendants in this country are guaranteed certain legal procedural rights, and one of them is the right to face their accuser. It says so in the Constitution so I’m not just making this up. In the Steubenville case, subpoenas were issued to juveniles living across the river in West Virginia. One of the subpoenas was issued for Jane Doe. I think my confusion here is — shouldn’t the state have issued a subpoena to her? And if not, perhaps this is why Mr. Madison was compelled to do so. I’m not an attorney, but I would think that her testimony is essential for BOTH sides of this case.
On Friday Hancock County Judge Ronald Wilson rejected the subpoena requests and cited no legal case from anywhere in the country to support the argument that the three West Virginia juveniles could be compelled to testify but stated in his 4-page ruling that Ohio and West Virginia law differ in their comparisons of a juvenile delinquency proceeding and a criminal trial.
“The proceeding in Ohio is not a criminal action — it is not a criminal prosecution — and it is not a criminal proceeding.”
Wilson added that there is no law his court follows which gives him the right to honor the Ohio request for the subpoenas. How does this not create a legal conundrum because Mr. Madison’s client has a constitutional right that is being denied him?
Madison said that the victim’s testimony was central to his client’s case and would involve her recollection of her actions before and after the incident, including what she told hospital staff, her friends and a text messages she sent to one of the accused boys after the incident.
“My client has a constitutional right to confront his accuser,” Madison said. “He has to have the right to call witnesses on his behalf.”
With regard to the text messages that Jane Doe allegedly sent – it has been discovered through social media that her phone went missing for a few days. Translation: She did not have possession of her cell phone. I have many questions. Questions that started me on this journey for the truth back in August. Here are a few that come to mind with the news of denying the subpoenas.
What date did the text message allegedly sent from Jane Doe take place?
Is it possible that Trent Mays may have sent the text himself?
How would anyone be able to prove that this occurred since it is rumored that no phone records/ping info or social media was subpoenaed?
What is it that was told to hospital staff and could this information implicate others?
I agree with Mr. Madison. Both defendants have the right to confront their accuser as well as call witnesses on their behalf and if it is true that other witnesses are going to invoke their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves to avoid prosecution – how will this affect the entire trial?
The Steubenville trial is quickly approaching and once all is said and done – lives will be changed forever. Lives have been changed regardless of the outcome. The lives of every person who tweeted or retweeted the events of that night will forever have those bad decisions to follow them anytime someone Googles their name. Michael Nodianos’ life changed when he and his friends laughed maniacally over the sexual assault of a young girl. Many lives have changed, including my own.
I was sued for defamation of character for allowing the exchange of ideas and opinions on this blog. My anonymous commenters lives were changed as well. I am sure many of them are hesitant about ever voicing an opinion online for fear of becoming a legal target again because in their town you aren’t supposed to talk about it. I was hospitalized for a week while trying to defend myself from accusations of defamation and trying to make sure that my John Does weren’t hung out to dry. I’m okay with that. It was worth every second of it to stand tall and fight for what I believed in.
And then my life changed when people who I thought were my friends jumped on the “Alex is attacking our town” bandwagon and used our friendship as a weapon in their attempts to wipe their own slate clean. My writing about Steubenville has never been an attack on the town as a whole. There are some wonderful people there, and I still have friends and supporters there. I wrote about this case because I was providing information that the media was not. ANYONE looking for the information could have found it. I lived in Steubenville and think I have insight into what it is like there. I have no grudge against an entire town. I have no grudge against individuals – even the mother of my former best friend who wished AIDS on me and hoped that I died a slow death. I feel sorry for her that a woman her age has is capable of this much hate and I am embarrassed that Connie’s mother has brought her own family shame because of her behavior.
This is someone’s mother.
Indeed, lives have changed and will continue to change. Life is change. Embrace it.
Ali Salim, 44, a New Albany, Ohio ER physician who previously worked at Knox County Hospital was indicted in the murder of Deanna Ballman and her unborn child by a Delaware County grand jury. He was arrested at his home yesterday without incident. I wrote about Deanna’s case last August when she went missing. Deanna disappeared on July 31. She told her mother that she was going to clean a house in New Albany. She had answered an ad on Craigslist. She left her two children, ages 1 and 3 years, with her mother in Pataskala. Deanna had just moved back to the area from Colorado where she was an Army Reservist and was going through a divorce. She was also nine months pregnant with a baby girl she planned to name Mabel Lily.
When Deanna did not come home that night her mother became worried and called Pataskala Police to report her missing. She had received a phone call from Deanna that disturbed her. She said Deanna had told her that she didn’t feel right and was feeling dizzy. Deanna was due to deliver her child soon. Deanna’s car was found in Delaware County when someone called the sheriff’s office to report that a car with Colorado license plates was parked in the grass near the tree line along the road. Deanna’s body was found in the backseat. A coroner’s report determined that she had died of a heroin overdose and her death was ruled suspicious. Deanna’s family was adamant that she was not a known heroin user and maintained all along that she had met with foul play.
Continue reading Doctor Indicted in Murder of Deanna Ballman
Debra Copeland, a physical therapist at the School of Bright Promise in Jefferson County, Ohio was put on paid administrative leave and is facing three charges of child endangerment for abuse that was secretly recorded by an intern. The intern who worked at the School of Bright Promise secretly recorded the sessions with Copeland and two special needs children. The woman who is being identified as BJ told News 9:
“Her demeanor, the way she would speak about the children, sometimes I would hear her talk down to kids. It seemed odd to me.”
BJ recorded one video (posted below) that shows a child during a 30-minute physical therapy session where she can be seen sitting. Copeland then comes over and shoves the little girl back to the ground and says, “Get down now. I said down. No.”
Copeland is also seen picking the little girl up and making her stand with her legs in locked braces stating, ” Stand up you little bitch, stand up.” When I saw this video, I cried. This woman is working with our most vulnerable members of society and what she did and said to this child is beyond cruel and reprehensible.
This comment was left on WTOV9.com’s site regarding Debra Copeland.
Today in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville at 12:15 p.m. flash mob participants will perform a nearly five-minute dance by Broadway choreographer Debbie Allen to the song “Break the Chain,” written by Teva Clark. One Billion Rising events will be held worldwide, including gatherings in Kent, Chardon, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Akron, John Carroll University and Notre Dame College.
Deb Lemire is the organizer of V-Day Akron and coordinated the flash mob to coincide with One Billion Rising, a global activist movement that brings attention to violence against women and girls. I have seen a lot of not so nice comments by some individuals in Steubenville who are claiming that outsiders have ruined the reputation of their town. I think it is awesome that outsiders continue to come to their town to bring attention to violence against women and girls. These people are making a difference. Perhaps those who are complaining could learn something from the “outsiders”.
I received this in an email the other day and was so touched by it that I wanted to share. I can tell you that while watching all of the rallies, I have been so incredibly moved by the outpouring of support for Jane Doe, but for all of those wonderfully compassionate and caring people who braved cold weather to let their voices be heard.
Third Wintery Weather Rally
(Thankful good people like Prinnie were willing to share the truth, hard as it was to hear).
Tying my hood a little tighter, as the wind sneaks through to my ears, shuffling my boots to dig deeper into the patch of snow and ice so I don’t slide off the curb where I’m standing to give myself a few extra inches of height…..looking at the crowd of speakers..at the Guy Fawkes masks, wondering which one is which…do the social media admins even come to these local protests? I am not as computer savvy as I’d like to be. I don’t tweet, I don’t even own a cell phone…refuse to be that assessable…always did hate phones. But, have been following these young Anon’s that have put up Facebook pages on her behalf. Most of them are probably not much older than she.
Been spending parts of days off of work going from one Facebook page to another, reading article after article, post after post, (I even found twitter on my iPad), searching, waiting, hoping that more will have the morals, values and character to do the right thing, to stand up and state, “I was there, this is what happened , this is what I did, and I am very very sorry”. But, the teens who attended these rape crew parties obviously have parents whose parenting skills are as rusty as the skeletal remains of the steel mills that lie dead on the shores of the Ohio.
So many involved and only two taking the fall for all. The posts from these deviants along with my intuition tells me there are other rapists who have been kept safe from the same fate.
Just one from the very large crowd of the apathetic ‘I didn’t help her’ guilty came forward to apologize to this young victim. Not only does no one else step up to apologize to the innocent students for the shame they brought upon their school, but many big fish in this small pond of a town are going to extreme measures to discredit the very people who are here for this little girl. Instead of honest, lets fix this mess and salvage our reputation, there is damage control. For many it is easier for this dying town to make excuses for and divert attention from the football team, involved students, coaches and school board members than to confront, acknowledge and amend. I am frustrated at the lack of empathy.
I am angry that the very citizens of this town did not call forth this rally to stand up for this victim and to state loud and clear, ‘Rape In My Town Is Unacceptable!’
But they didn’t, so here I stand with these strangers who did; old, tired and growing colder. Beating my gloved hands together to try for a little friction heat. I read the protest signs, lend my ear to the voices, smile at these vocal youth who are all heart, giving the only thing I can offer this young girl – my presence and support.
I stand in the middle of a group. Surrounded by local police who are keeping their crumbling city safe from this little old lady so bundled up she can barely move. A kind person passes out hand warmers and blue ribbons. This rally is young, old, man, woman, boy, girl, victim, survivor, neighbors of Ohio Valley near and far. We are masked and unmasked. We are a presence sharing our hope that she hears our voices saying, “we are so sorry sweetie, we are doing what we can to drown out their apathy , hoping our presence will bring enough attention to this case that as hard as they might try to stop it, you have a fair chance for justice”.
I tie my Steeler black and gold scarf a little tighter around my neck, carefully step off the icy curb to make my way across the river to home ….a little lighter in heart because these people braving this weather, speaking from their heart…. are something that is right in this world.
Last night a gentleman contacted me about two Weirton, WV families who were in dire need of supplies for their children. The families needed baby diapers (sizes 1, 5 and 6) and Similac with iron formula. The children range in ages from 2 to 10 years old. Through the use of social media we were able to get donations of food cards, gift cards and many people are sending the children much needed clothing.
While waiting for the mail to make its way to West Virginia, the kids are going to need to eat. I spoke with Rob at Fox’s Den Pizza in Weirton and he has agreed to take phone donations towards a gift card for pizza for the weekend. You can call (304) 723-3697 and ask for him. He will take your cc info towards gift certificate donation.
A very special thank you to everyone who has helped and to Kathi Eastham, owner of Fox’s Den for helping these families out!!
#OccupySteubenville had another great rally today. There were many times that I teared up listening to some of the various speakers. I applaud everyone who stood out in the cold to take part and show their support for ALL Jane Does. I noted that the topic that kept being repeated over and over today is this is not just a Steubenville problem. I do not believe that the world is hating on everyone in the city of Steubenville specifically. People are asking questions – not just about Steubenville, but perhaps about their own towns. Something magical has happened as a result of this case – rape culture is being acknowledged around the world as a real problem and people are addressing that problem. That is a good thing. Knowledge is power and education is key.
Repeatedly the speakers implored people to get involved. Start a group in your town. Ask questions – address issues. Be that voice. Talk to your children and teach them that we are all equal. Teach them that it is okay to be the one who stands up as the lone voice in the crowd. Teach them that is is okay to say NO or object to behavior of their peers. This incident shouldn’t be what divides the city, but rather should be utilized to create unity and bring the community together. Everyone wants justice for Jane Doe.
Rich Olivito left with some wise parting words. The law cannot change the hearts of man. It is up to the community to change and move forward from this in a positive manner. Rather than wasting energy on negativity and laying blame on perceived enemies; rise above it and be the one to elicit change.