Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Letter to the District Attorney

Dear Mr. Andrus:

I am extremely disappointed in your decision to dismiss charges against Greg Nelson and Suzanne Little. Usually, a DA will go for a retrial when he gets a majority vote for conviction the first time around. Murder is absolutely the highest priority crime to prosecute. How can you possibly say that the rest of your workload is more important?

Christine Chenevert and yourself did your best on the first trial and managed to convince seven jurors that Greg was guilty, guilty, guilty! But I think there are a number of ways you could improve on a retrial.

 In jury selection, it appears from what other jurors have said that you were stuck with a couple of jurors that were hopelessly biased against conviction. I hope your intuition on this is better next time. When a defense lawyer questions a potential juror very aggressively, then reluctantly decides not to challenge, he/she may be playing a game to sneak a juror he/she really likes onto the jury. Don't get any non-practicing lawyers on the jury. Do look for people who have seen what meth does and does not do to people. Being Native American is probably a plus, except for Hoopa residents.

 A couple of jurors thought that Greg was the salt of the earth. This should not have happened. He is almost certainly a pusher as well as a meth user. Find some people in rehab who will testify that Greg sold them meth. Sylvia Jenkins was not very credible, but if you use her, ask her if Greg supplied her with meth when she was a minor. Find some gyppo loggers who fired Greg because he showed up loaded and couldn't do the job. Did he pay income taxes? Probably not. Get his IRS records. Did he make enough to live without dealing meth? Probably not. Make sure the jury knows he is a scumbag.

 Don't leave Steve Marshall for the defense to take apart. Prep him as well as you can and put him on. Make sure that you discuss any inconsistencies in his testimony during direct, and give him a chance to reconcile differences between his recollections and the confession. In "Outrage," Bugliosi said that if only the DA had gotten Fuhrman to say that yes, to his great regret he had used the term nigger on a few occasions, OJ would have been convicted.

 Research any precedents saying that minor participants in a kidnapping are equally guilty. Make sure the judge and jury hear that and try to get it in the instructions. Work harder on the ransom note issue. Things unfortunately do get lost in 33 years.

 Maybe you need an expert on what meth does and does not do to a person. Meth addicts I have known were clever liars, skilled at manipulating people. It would be totally out of character for a meth addict to give a false confession. Bugliosi handled this issue pretty well when the defense objected to Linda Kasabian's testimony on the grounds that she was an acid head with a blown mind.

 Keep digging for witnesses to the disposal of the body.

 Could the red honda still be in a junkyard somewhere? Are there records that Albert Carpenter or someone else did own this car? Really work on anything that might result in physical evidence.

 If Greg can be convicted on a drug charge and in jail during a retrial for murder, so much the better.

 Work harder on motive. Did Bill Cook have anything to do with the accusation that Antone murdered Herb Cook? Did he testify in Antone's trial? Did Antone and Suzanne get a huge bill they couldn't pay after the trial? If so, make sure the jury knows this.

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