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Legal Wranglings

There are a lot of things to report from the legal world today. Here they are…

Dead Men Do Tell Tales

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi served a search warrant today on the Coroner’s office. Brizzi is investigating allegations of theft and obstruction of justice. He and several investigators showed up to retrieve records and other documents. Brizzi told the media he had exercise the warrant so no evidence would be lost. The Coroner, Dr. Kenneth Eckles was not in the office when the warrants were served. Brizzi says the deputy coroner called Eckles and told him the search was taking place, however Eckles was not expected to return to work.

Kennedy Goes On Offensive

Brizzi’s challenger, Melina Kennedy, today went on the attack. She says Brizzi was not being honest when accused Terrence “Mob” Anderson of being the poster boy for jail overcrowding. Anderson was arrested in 2005, released from jail, went on a shooting spree and killed one person and was later re-arrested. Kennedy told the press today the murders would not have occurred had Brizzi not filed paperwork saying his office did not intend to press charges, at this time. Brizzi disputes Kennedy’s claim. A spokesman says the charges were never dropped so they did not have the evidence to hold him. Once they got the evidence (a ballistic test) he was re-arrested. The spokesman also said it was jail overcrowding was the cause for the release. Anderson was arrested for an unrelated crime and his bond was dropped from $50,000 to zero. Thus, the early release.

A Rather Odd DUI

The son of a prominent political figure has been arrested for DUI. According to court records, Lacy Johnson, Jr. was arrested last month for driving while under the influence and while intoxicated. Normally, I wouldn’t write about something like this but Johnson is not only the son of Lacy Johnson, one of the most prominent Democrats in Indianapolis, Lacy Johnson, Sr. But he is also the registered owner/investor of 300 East, that famous bar in the Carson Government building that’s caused so much trouble. He is also the applicant for the bar’s liquor license. No word yet on how that will impact the hearing. Like I said, a rather odd DUI.

  • Anonymous

    On the Brizzi/Kennedy thing, did the judge find probable cause? If so, why didn’t Brizzi file the charges, integrating the ballistics later?

  • Anonymous

    Short story: Terrance Anderson was on the street in May and June of 05 when the murders happened b/c an appointed Commissioner decided to OR him after a bond review hearing, and because the Prosecutor’s Office never alerted that Commissioner or the Presiding Judge in that Court of the problems Anderson was causing on the street after she released him. Funny that Mr. Brizzi also didn’t mention that Mr. Anderson might have been on the street b/c his office lost a murder case against Anderson in 2003 and dismissed a C felony battery and handgun case against Anderson in early 2005.

    Long story is below:

    On May 4, 2005, police arrested Anderson on Domestic Violence charges. His bond was set at $50,000 surety. On May 9, 2005, a bond review hearing was held in front of Commissioner Danielle Gaughan in Court 16. At that hearing, the Defendant perjured himself, swearing under oath to the Commissioner that he had never failed to appear in court before. This was a blatant lie, as the Defendant had FTA’d numerous times in the last year alone. The prosecutor never brought to the Commissioner’s attention that this was a lie, but the Commissioner had his criminal history in her file and she used to be a Public Defender, so it should have been obvious to her that he was lying. He lied, the prosecutor never mentioned this lie to the commissioner, and the commissioner didn’t call him on his lie. The commissioner even knew about the Defendant’s prior acquittal on a murder case less than 2 years earlier. At this point, the Defendant had been arrested at least 10 times in a 4 year period. The Commissioner specifically said “well this isn’t the worst DV case I’ve heard, so I’m going to OR you.” She never once cited an overcrowded jail or lack of resources. (For you doubting Thomases, go listen to the recording of the hearing . . .very scary). Without hearing any evidence on the case, she decided that Anderson should be free pending trial with no one to make sure he came back to court. No “early release” – no “jail overcrowding” – just a Commissioner who made a horrible decision. Now, MCPO could have filed a perjury charge on the Defendant for his blatant under oath lie at the Bond Review Hearing, but it may have gone nowhere, other than to bring to the attention of the Presiding Judge in Court 16 what a horrible decision his Commissioner had made.

    Now here’s where it gets interesting. Just 7 days after Commissioner Gaughan released Anderson, an IPD Officer took a report from a girlfriend of Anderson, who told police that Anderson had come over and threatened to hurt her. Apparently, no one notified the Prosecutor’s Office that Anderson made this threat while he had a pending case. Knowledge of this could have formed the basis for a motion to revoke, thereby pulling him into custody.

    Two days later on May 18, 2005, there was a shooting in which Anderson was later identified as the shooter. On May 20, 2005, Anderson was arrested for residential entry and handgun charges in connection with a shooting that occurred that day. On May 24, the prosecutor decided not to file charges in the residential entry / handgun case. While the prosecutor may have needed more time to investigate, he could have filed a Motion To Revoke Bond in Court 16, letting the Judge know that a Defendant who had been OR’d had been arrested on serious charges that needed further investigation. Had MCPO filed that motion and had they called as witnesses the officers on the scene of that handgun arrest, prosecutors could have given the Court 16 Judge the chance to decide that it was too risky to leave Terrance Anderson out on an OR. But MCPO never gave the Judge the chance to make that decision. At least one other homicide occurred after MCPO didn’t file charges on that case.

    The bottom line is that throughout May and early June of 2005, when Anderson was out of custody, allegedly killing people (I think he’s been convicted on 1 case and acquitted on another), the Prosecutor’s Office had a number of opportunities to bring to the attention of the Judge in Court 16 (Domestic Violence Court) that this Defendant was dangerous and should not be out of custody with no bond. Had they done that – at least tried to notify the court of the series of investigations pending against Anderson – Brizzi could claim “clean hands.” But he didn’t, so he can’t. Terrance Anderson wasn’t on the street because of jail overcrowding. He was on the street because Commissioner Danielle Gaughan thought that a man who had Failed To Appear in Court at least 8 times, who had previously been accused of murder (although acquitted) and who had a juvenile criminal history deserved to be released without posting any bond. Terrance Anderson remained on the street because MCPO never notified Court 16 of the Defendant’s actions that could have gotten his OR status revoked.

    It’s easy to call Terrance Anderson names and to blame the jail for the deaths that may have occurred at his hands. It’s harder to look at the actions of individual Commissioners and prosecutors to ask why more wasn’t done to keep Anderson in custody. Additionally, Anderson’s mere presence on the street speaks volumes to Mr. Brizzi’s tenure. It was his office that lost the murder case against Anderson in 2003. In January of 2005, just 5 months before Anderson’s alleged crime spree, Brizzi’s office dismissed a C felony Battery and Handgun case. I’m sure that there are reasons for the acquittal and the dismissal, but this Defendant would never have been an issue had Brizzi not run around calling Anderson names and blaming jail overcrowding for the deaths. Maybe had Mr. Brizzi spent more time researching his ways to help his dedicated prosecutors do more to hold people like Anderson accountable, rather than thinking up clever sound-bites, he would have just kept his mouth shut and let the system do its job.

  • anonymous

    The real bizarre situation will occur when Mr. Gibson is not chastised by fellow Council members (upon conviction, or guilty plea, if appropriate). Let’s see how he’s treated.

    I’m guessing that even a conviction will not diminish his Council role, and that he will be treated as if nothing happened.

    He needs to get a designated driver, and a designated buddy, too…he made an ass out of himself. Most of us have done the same, but he added the “do you know whom I am?” line to his screams on the night in question.

    He’ll likely plea down and all will be forgotten.

  • Anonymous

    Excuse me, but why the hell did the Brizz wear makeup to serve the warrent (leaving alone the stunt)?

    Girlieman Carl didn’t want his thin lips to show?

  • Anonymous

    He wore MAKEUP?!?!

  • Watching you

    This proves my point. Mapleton Fall Creek is a residential neighborhood with our children and grandchildren at play. This area does not need drunken drivers leaving the Government Center on a daily basis under the influence. Mr. Johnson was to be the manager of club.

    Subject Name: Johnson, Lacy
    Case ID: 06160493
    Time: 08/26/06 4:36 a.m.
    Arrest Location: 1232 W. Michigan
    Arresting Officer: Kenneth Pavan
    Arresting Agency: Marion Co. Sheriff’s Department
    Offense Location: 6800 Michigan

    Arrest charges: Operating Vehicle While Intoxicated, Public Intoxication.

    There’s some older stuff there, but I’ll let you check into that Wilson. Pretty interesting. I omitted DoB, but he’d be about 27 years old.