Case: William S. Trout (Well, it is not actually a case because it never got past the Grand Jury)
Three days ago I posted about the Case of Robert Uballe. In that post, the defense attorney confirmed that Clark Baker and the HIV Innocence Group had nothing to do with that case despite being listed as a “win” at Baker’s site. Now a third attorney confirms that Mr. Baker was not involved in a case that is listed as “win” #45 at his website.
First I will post the email from Public Defender Lisa D. Collums in its entirety which can serve as factual in this post. Then I will follow up with my take on the email itself.
To: my email address redacted by me
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 08:57:35 -0500
Subject: RE: Case of William S. Trout
Mr. Trout’s case was no true billed by a Harrison County Grand Jury. The only persons present during Grand Jury Hearings in this State are attorneys from the District Attorney’s Office, Law Enforcement Officers, the Grand Jurors, and any witnesses who appear to give testimony. Once the D.A.’s Office is through presenting a particular case to the Grand Jury, that prosecutor steps out of the room and the Grand Jurors vote on whether to Indict the person, and what particular offense they should be indicted for. These proceedings are not recorded, so there are no records as to what happens inside the Grand Jury room.
I do not recall sending any information to the District Attorney’s Office regarding Mr. Trout and/or the charges against him.
My interaction with Baker’s group was to acknowledge their interest and to advise them that the case had been dismissed.
I do not know what interaction Baker’s group may or may not have had directly with either law enforcement and/or the Harrison County District Attorney’s Office.
In the first paragraph Ms. Collums states that the case was “no true billed” by the Grand Jury. This means there was insufficient evidence to prove that a crime had been committed and therefore the accused will not be indicted nor face trial. Ms. Collums also states: “The only persons present during Grand Jury Hearings in this State are attorneys from the District Attorney’s Office, Law Enforcement Officers, the Grand Jurors, and any witnesses who appear to give testimony.”
That is standard procedure for a Grand Jury which is convened to see if there is enough evidence supporting a criminal act to indict the accused and proceed to a trial:
“The grand jury’s accusatory function (emphasis mine) is to determine whether or not there is probable cause to believe that one or more persons committed a certain offense within the venue of the district court.”
The threshold for indictment is low. “The burden of proof at the preliminary hearing is probable cause, an extraordinarily low threshold for the prosecution to meet…” There is an old saying; “you can indict a ham sandwich.”
The Grand Jury is only a function of the prosecution. The defense attorney is not even allowed inside. They may stand outside the court to offer advice to the witnesses only, and that is mostly to make sure they do not incriminate themselves in some way.
Ms. Collums even states that she does not remember sending any information to the DA’s office.
SO in my opinion, from the facts supplied by Ms. Collums and my knowledge (supported by research) about Grand Juries, Mr. Baker had no involvement in this case at all. Mr. Baker’s function is to support the DEFENSE. Because the defense has no part in the Grand Jury hearing, it is safe to conclude that he is once again being neither truthful nor accurate.
Lastly, I believe this statement by Ms. Collums speaks volumes:
“My interaction with Baker’s group was to acknowledge their interest and to advise them that the case had been dismissed.”
How much actual work does Mr. Baker think he needs to do to be considered as part of a winning team?
That brings the total to 3: 3 separate attorneys in 3 separate cases. You know what they say: “Three is a pattern.” 3 things that come to my mind are:
Deceit, Deception and Duplicity.