Sunday, August 22, 2010

Danielle T. Brown May Have Justice After All


Back on Feb 5 of 2010 Danielle Brown left her home on Springhill Road around 8:30 p.m. and that was, allegedly, the last known time anyone, other than her passenger, has seen her. Danielle’s passenger was Elijah James, III and she was headed to take him to his mother’s house on King’s Post Way. We know she was still with Elijah later the same night because around 11:35 p.m. she spoke with a friend on her cell phone and told the friend that she was going to Apalachee Parkway to meet a friend after she took Elijah to his mother’s house. According to reports Elijah and Danielle were in a heated argument during that call and Danielle’s phone went dead. Subsequent calls were unanswered.

The police discovered several items belonging to Danielle on the grounds of his mother’s house so can assume Elijah James was there that Friday night or early Saturday morning. Whether Danielle was with Elijah at the time the items came to be there is unknown. What we know is that Mr. James was seen in possession of Danielle’s Buick in Wacissa and Waukeenah of Jefferson Co. between 1:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. on February 6. Also around 5:30 a.m. that Saturday morning Elijah and another man were at a Circle K store and Elijah was driving Danielle’s car. She wasn’t seen by anyone and wasn’t seen on the security camera video inside the car or store. The men purchased a case of beer. (I so want to say something caustic here, but will refrain) Elijah also made a trip to his sister’s home the morning of Feb 6 around 8:45 a.m. and allegedly stayed there until 11:30 p.m.. He allegedly slept. (I guess his alleged actions of Feb 5 and the wee morning hours of Feb 6 was very tiring for him.)

On Feb 7, the day Danielle’s family reported her missing, Elijah spent several hours at another sister’s home in Pavo, GA. The second sister’s home, according to LE records, is the address on police files in reference to his criminal background. Also of importance is that Elijah was seen on Feb 7, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Monticello, and was later seen walking away from the city dump in Pavo, Thomas County, GA where Danielle’s car was discovered burned. They arrested Elijah for auto theft and later Thomas County GA police charged him with torching her car. He sits in the jail there awaiting the trial scheduled for September 27, 2010.

Leon County, Florida police and Sheriff Larry Campbell were determined in their efforts to find Danielle, and, with the help of other police departments, searched for her in Florida and Georgia for several weeks. However, sadly she wasn’t found. They later changed their investigative efforts from a search for a missing person to a homicide investigation. During the investigations her cell phone was found on the side of a road, as was two pieces of her driver’s license.

The good thing is due to the Leon County Florida police department, and Sheriff Larry Campbell plus the DA’s office dogged determination with their evidence gathering a grand jury was convened this month. The grand jury heard all the relevant evidence and testimony from numerous witnesses and brought back a true bill.

They charged Elijah James with robbery and first degree murder of Danielle T. Brown.

I am so thankful to Leon County Florida police, Thomas County, GA police and all the other police departments that assisted in the searches and investigation of Danielle’s case. Due to all their incredible efforts justice may happen for her.

To read more on Danielle’s case check out my other post and the files below.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mr. Kastner Is Delaying Justice . . . Again!


Jury selection was set to begin August 16, 2010 but John Robert Kastner is again attempting to delay his trial. Apparently, Kastner’s newest lawyer, Jill Webb of the County’s Public Defender Office, has filed a change of venue motion. Mr. Kastner seems to think he won’t receive a fair trial in Tulsa due to all the media interest in his case. Kastner also claims (if you can believe anything he says) that he never agreed to use an insanity plea or that he is suffering from schizophrenia.

Well, Duh! Guess what Mr. Kastner, had you not allegedly lied numerous times to not only your wife and children, but to your students, the principal and the district officials of the Webster High School, where you were a trusted coach and a teacher, maybe you wouldn’t have gained so much popularity in the media. And, more important, had your story that you had not shot and killed Lori Moon Kastner, an attorney who had worked for the Oklahoma Supreme Court, been found believable via evidence at the crime scene, perhaps the public interest in your alleged part in the murder would’ve waned. Perhaps if you hadn’t allegedly told law enforcement that the person who shot and killed your wife was looking for your 19-year-old adopted daughter and wanting money then this case wouldn’t have gained so much interest.

Heck, you allegedly couldn’t keep your stories straight with how the shooting happened. What we have known is factual throughout this whole ordeal is that Lori was shot twice in the head! And you allegedly told police different stories of how you woke and struggled with the assailant. From the time LE first arrived and spoke with you, and when you were at the hospital just a few hours later, the story allegedly changed. Does that not scream that the public would want to know all the facts of the alleged home invasion? Does it not scream the public would want answers to who killed Lori and shot a well-loved coach and English teacher in the hand?

I think perhaps it isn’t just the negative media attention concerning your alleged lies that bug you but the fact that you were a respected and trusted teacher and coach at the High School that is the problem. You have to know that you’ve likely lost all the accolades of that distinction and possibly now only seen as a con man (due to the alleged non existent 713 Corporation stuff), and an accused killer. I really don’t see the school rehiring you, should you be found not guilty. I do however feel the court can find 12 honest citizens to sit on the jury in your county who is willing to put aside anything they’ve seen or read of your case and impart a fair verdict. I’d even go so far as to say you likely ‘will’ find potential jurors who know nothing about all the publicity surrounding your past and who will also be willing to look at the evidence in a fair and impartial manner.

My personal thoughts, from all I’ve read and heard on this case, are that between the lawyer who allegedly gave that statement about the insanity plea and Mr. Kastner, I go with the lawyer. Considering all the other alleged lies of Mr. Kastner, and they are numerous, I believe, he could easily be lying that he never verbally told the lawyer, John Byrd, he’d agree to plead insanity. We’ll have to wait and see if Mr. Byrd confirms the verbal agreement to know for sure. But like Mr. Kastner’s alleged mountain of lies, and all the changing of attorneys, he changed his mind about that also. And just as he allegedly blamed a supposed acquaintance of his adopted daughter for the shooting of Lori Kastner and home invasion, he is blaming his ex attorney for an alleged plea he doesn’t want to use. And I think, due to all I have read and heard on this case, that he is using that as another ploy for delaying his criminal trial. I ask, why didn’t he file this motion sooner? For instance - back in Jan of this year when the judge agreed to remove Byrd as his attorney and ‘again’ agreed to the public defender’s office assigning one? Why the wait until a few days before jury selection was set to begin?

I have to admit, although I am of full awareness this ‘I didn’t agree to plea insanity’ claim is a serious matter - (it could damage a lawyer’s reputation with the bar association), that an accused liar is calling another person a liar is rather comical. If you look at it from a certain standpoint that is. The idiom - ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ comes to mind.

Yes, Mr. Kastner deserves a fair trial and one that makes sure no one violates his rights; I approve of that. However, justice for Lori is indeed slow.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Death of Amanda Schafer


Scott Myers spent August 5, 2010 drinking and arguing with Amanda Schafer at the home of her dad in Oviedo, Florida. A friend who had spent time at the home between 11:00 A.M.and 4:00 P.M. allegedly told the police about the arguments.

Amanda’s father had called her around 4:50 P.M. and she advised him Scott had broken a door at the home. A few minutes later Mr. Schafer called Amanda again but Scott answered the phone and he told him that Amanda was in the bathroom cleaning up and couldn’t come to the phone. Mr. Schafer attempted calling his daughter several times after speaking with Scott but no one answered. Mr. Schafer went home. When arriving he found his daughter’s rental car missing and his stiff, unresponsive daughter on her bedroom floor lying in a pool of blood. He called 911and with a distraught and panic stricken voice asked for help, telling the operator that he believed Scott had killed his daughter.

Thanks to his mother, around 9:00 P.M. Scott turned himself in to police in Winter Springs and they transported him to the Oviedo police department. The police noticed Scott had a cut on the inside area of his right hand. Scott allegedly told them Amanda had committed suicide but later, after they told him she couldn’t stab herself numerous times; not in some areas where wounds were located, he allegedly admitted he’d stabbed her. Of course Scott also allegedly blamed the victim to, he is said to have stated that Amanda had assaulted him as he was washing dishes and he lost control and stabbed her with the knife then took her car and left.

They have Scott Allen Myers charged with Amanda’s murder and grand theft auto and he is in Oviedo, jailed without a bond. I look for a self defense plea and blame the victim when this case goes to trial.

According to some friends of Amanda’s the two having arguments was allegedly a common thing and they had encouraged her to get away from him. In one article I read,  a friend of Amanda’s, Andrew Frederick stated, ‘he had her locked in the head, to the point she couldn’t really do anything.’ Yes, unfortunately, it’s too late for Amanda to make use of ‘Time’s Up: A Guide How to Escape Abusive and Stalking Relationships now. However, it isn’t too late for other victims if this guide were available in police departments, libraries and churches everywhere!

Had 21-year-old Amanda Schafer known of this book perhaps her life could’ve been spared. That couldn’t really do anything feeling is a sad view many domestic violence victims have, but help can be found. This book by Susan Murphy Milano, a well-known advocate for victims of domestic violence, is the help needed. The answer to people’s question 'why didn’t she just leave?' - when they read of domestic violence murders, has an answer in the book. One answer is a common sense one for those who have been through abusive relationships, fear. But Susan Murphy Milano has given fear a new definition, - Facilitate Ending, Abusive, Relationships. This can be accomplished!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Ploys of Tammie Woods’ Accused Murderer


In July I wrote a post about intimate partner murders. One of those mentioned deceased was Tammie Woods, allegedly shot and killed by her estranged husband Tony Randall Woods. Tammie was shot several times as she attempted to drive away, escape, from Tony after a visit to his home.

When I first read of her death, I felt great sadness because there is a guide published that could have helped her understand the proper procedures to take. That guide is ‘Time’s Up’- A Guide How to Escape Abusive and Stalking Relationships. Tammie’s life could have possibly been spared had she knew of and utilized this book. Tony is charged with capital murder in her death. But, since Tony’s arrest I’ve been concerned about any real justice for Tammie’s death. Tony and his lawyer, Melinda Austin, want him to be freed on a low bond so he can continue receiving proper treatment for an illness. Tony allegedly is suffering harrowing pain and is being treated for multiple myelomas, a form of cancer.

One jail nurse recently testified in the bond hearing that Tony had said that he only had 24 to 48 hours to live due to his cancer. These things are sympathy ploys. Thankfully a doctor testified that his immediate death wasn’t a truth and informed the court of the medications Tony was taking for his cancer.

To me, the defense has proved nothing so far except that Tony is not only an accused killer but an alleged liar also. One reason I think of him as a liar is that, according to an investigator’s statement, he told them that he was attempting to shoot over the car and not kill Tammie. I think perhaps he could’ve accomplished that feat if that was a truth; he’s apparently a very proficient hunter. Tammie’s brother told a media outlet that Tony hunted all winter and killed six deer. Sorry Tony, but what about the terrorizing emotional pain Tammie must have felt as she rushed to speed away from the bullets hitting her car. And what about the pain from the bullets invading her body. Allegedly you do lawn care for a living and mowed your lawn the day before Tammie was killed; where was your agonizing pain? During the hunting season you apparently shot and killed several deer; where was the pain as you trampled though the woods? Did you climb into a tree stand while you were experiencing excruciating pain?

Although Tony does have cancer, I don’t think it is something that should give him freedom until his trial. I have no sympathy for Tony; he should have considered his treatments for cancer before pulling the trigger numerous times. I do however have hope of justice for Tammie. I can’t imagine the terror she must have experienced during the last few minutes of her life. And I have hope her family will stay strong during all these pretrial hearings and the trial too - if it ever happens.

For a few days, during postponement of the hearing for evidence gathering and waiting to read of the Judge’s decision, I couldn’t help but think to myself ‘the defense will be victor and Tony will be free on a bond.’ Those thoughts were a point of frustration for me. Thankfully, due to the wisdom of Judge Carole Medley and arguments put forth by prosecutors, Tony will remain in jail and have his treatment for the cancer during his incarceration.

I still think Tony’s cancer will continue to be a point of argument with his defense. I look for future hearings on Tony Woods medical condition and continued pleas for the court to allow him to bail out on a low bond due to the cancer.