An Unjust Justice System—
I'm going through the motions of my second jury trial on the same case. I have been held guilty until proven innocent for my entire case so far and I have lost everything that is anything to me in this world. I've lost my fiance because I couldn't be there to run our business and to take care of her and our bills while her hand healed. I lost my children to CPS over this accident. I've lost my home and my business. I sold my Harley for an attorney for my former fiancé so she could fight and get her children back. I have lost my freedom because some district attorney wants to believe what he thinks is right when the truth has been testified to over and over again by my former fiancé, my fiance's eight-year-old son, and myself. There was only one other witness to testify because officer Guydan was still on the force at the time, but now he's been transferred to Cotati after a large number of Fort Bragg citizens were subpoenaed to testify against him about his negative and rude bullying behavior and ability to lie and bully his way into getting what he wants out of witnesses, suspects and victims.
It all happened in the late hours of March 16 and early hours of March 17 of this year. After a great day together and a Harley ride, my fiance and I settled down, put the kids to bed and poured ourselves a drink to relax and watch a movie together. After a couple of hours I was looking on our phone for something and I came across a contact on her phone who was a guy she used to date and I was feeling a little insecure and asked her to delete it. I should have waited until morning when we hadn’t been drinking, but I didn't and it caused an argument that escalated from just about a contact on our phone to about our bills, and money, and we didn't have to pay them, because I wasn't pulling my weight, because I was still using my leg I broke eight months prior as an excuse not to work as hard as I should have, or I could have been working. We started raising our voices and getting louder and louder until finally I said, Honey. Then she said, What? I said we need to take a time out and I'm taking a walk to the beach for a while. And she agreed. So I went to our bedroom for a sweatshirt and she went to lay down and cuddle our children. While I was in the room putting my sweatshirt on I looked at our gun cabinet and saw my father's .45 caliber pistol and thought I would take it with me for protection. I couldn't run, it was really late at night and strange things have been happening in our town and people have been getting shot and stabbed and murdered for the last two years. Maybe that's what was in the back of my mind when I put the gun in my belt. But looking back I would have given anything including my own hand in return to have left it there and never picked it up.
Long story shorter, when I returned from the beach after about an hour and a half, all our lights were off, a curtain closed and I assumed everyone was in bed. I sat on the porch and lit a cigarette and took the pistol out of my belt and set it on the top step of the porch. Then I got up and walked out into the front yard to look at the stars, Orion the Hunter, and the Big Dipper. Meanwhile, my fiance came out on the porch and that's when I heard her say something about a gun on the porch. I turned around and started walking towards her. That's when I noticed that she had the pistol in her hand and was cocking it back. I yelled, “Lorrie, no!” And I reached for the pistol and as she moved toward me the gun went off. I instantly asked, "What have you done?" “What were you thinking?" She just looked at me in surprise. You could tell it was an accident. She wasn't planning for the gun to go off, I could see that by the way she almost dropped the pistol when it went off. She wasn't holding it right. I grabbed the pistol up and unloaded it and turned to go into the house and that's when she said, “I think I shot my finger off.” I said, What? No you didn't. She said, “I think so,” and she held up her hand and I said, "Oh my god,” and ran to the laundry room for a towel to wrap her hand in. As I got to her I set the pistol in a camp chair next to her. Then she got upset and hollered at me. But I was so overwhelmed and scared for her that I couldn't tell what she said, something about the guns and getting them away.
Anyway, I got her to the hospital and she was upset and told the receptionist that she shot her finger off; she shot herself in the finger and asked them to help her. They took her right in but wouldn't let me come in even though I kept pleading with them to lem me in, she’s my fiance.
Then about 20 minutes later offered Guydan showed up and started questioning me. He didn't read my rights, just started asking me about what happened and so I told him from the beginning and as soon as I said the word “argument” he started blowing it out of proportion, trying to make it look like a domestic dispute when it was a complete and total tragic accident. My fiance was drinking and came out on the porch when I thought she was in bed and picked up the pistol that I had set there and because she really didn’t have experience handling the pistol, her hand slipped or she had her finger on the trigger or moved it wrong. Either way, it went off and hit her in the finger by accident.
As I kept trying to explain to Officer Guydan, this was long after our argument and my walk to the beach. We were not arguing when this happened. All of a sudden officer Guydan left finally I got to see my fiance. I held her and told her I loved her and tried to tell her that it's going to be okay.
Then after about five or ten minutes another officer came in and escorted me out and handcuffed me and put me in a police car. This really upset my fiance who had been sedated for her pain. While I was waiting in the cop car they wheeled my fiance out and put her in an ambulance to take her to Howard Hospital in Willits. She refused to be operated on at Coast Hospital after what I had been through with my leg. The cop took me down to the Fort Bragg Police Department and put me in a holding cell for an hour or two. Then the officer Guydan brought me out for more questioning. This time he read my rights and I explained to him what happened and all of a sudden he started saying I was lying and her eight-year-old son had said we were arguing and there was pushing earlier. I told him no, there wasn't, but we did raise our voices. Then he started being really rude and aggressive, asking me if I was calling my kid a big fat liar and I said, No, but if you're saying he said that then it is not true because it didn't happen. This went on several times. Then he said he didn't believe me and arrested me on suspicion of domestic violence and put a protective order on my fiancé so we can’t communicate or be around each other.
I got to jail and the next evening my father bailed me out. Then I found out from the babysitter that my son, when questioned by Officer Guydan, at first never said anything like we were pushing or shoving each other and that Officer Guydan lied. He even admitted it to my fiance later that month. Then she said he took him in a room by himself with no one else in there and questioned my son. Is that legal? No parent or guardian present when questioning an eight-year-old boy? Being alone in a room and eight-year-old who just turned eight the day before and questioning him without reading his right either? On the March 18, my fiance had surgery and the doctor said he did save the finger. (It is healed and looks a lot better now.) After she got out of surgery Officer Guydan questioned her about what had happened. She told him her statement and he left.
My mother and sister went to visit her in the hospital and take care of her at my sister’s home in Willits until I was finally able to see her and take her home on the 26th.
Meanwhile I had sold my Harley and got money for an attorney for my fiancé to fight and get her children back. That's all we’re worried about at this point. I still hadn't gone to court and I didn’t think I will need an attorney.
How wrong I was. When we got to Fort Bragg she dropped me off at the Tip Top to visit friends wshe went to have a visit with her children. While I was at the Tip Top, Officer Awad came in and asked me outside and cuffed me and put me under arrest for assault and mayhem, accusing me of doing this to her and hurting her. I told them I didn't do anything of the sort over and over but to no avail. So now I was arrested again for a crime I did not commit and would never commit.
I found out when I got to court the next day that I was facing up to 18 years in prison for something I didn't do. The judge threw another protective order on my fiance so we can’t communicate with each other again.
Now I'm scared for my life and I don't trust the public defender prove my innocence so I have my mother sell my new diesel truck that was our nice family go camping dependable vehicle that I just got the year before with an insurance settlement I had gotten. I hired Ron Britt, an attorney out of Fort Bragg and Sacramento. It cost me $10,000. Then I gave the rest to my fiance to help catch up on bills and to get the car fixed and registered. Meanwhile I was stuck in jail because they enhanced my a charges and raised bail to $300,000. My family doesn't have this kind of money.
So here I am. During trial my fiance was there with same statement she gave the officers on the 18th, that she had done it while drinking and it was a complete freak accident. She didn't realize the pistol had shells in the magazine and she picked it up and cocked it back and it accidentally went off into her finger. Her eight-year-old son was called to testify against me by the District Attorney, Mr. Davenport, who knows I haven’t seen or talked to her child since the night it happened. He took the stand told Mr. Davenport that No, he didn't see any pushing and, No, he didn’t see me with the gun, and in fact he saw his mommy holding the gun that night right before he heard the boom. After Mr. Davenport and talk to the boy prior, is that coercing? He was unhappy that his star witness told the truth instead of what Mr. Davenport wanted him to say.
Next I told my statement which was every is very close to what my former fiance had to say.
That's three eyewitnesses saying, No, I didn’t do this, and it was indeed an accident.
Officer Guyden and was proved and found lying several times in his statements on the stand which makes me wonder about his audio recordings with him and her eight-year-old with no one around.
Next an elderly lady named Linda who got the children through CPS tried taking the stand and saying she talked and Lorrie at the hospital and Lorrie told her that I had done it and I had hurt her. But Lorrie also denied ever saying anything like that or and that Linda was just lying to keep children and money from the state for the children. Linda even stated as much on the stand, saying she didn't want to give the children back because she thought Lorrie wasn't a very good honest person. It turns out that Linda isn't a very good honest person. She was just using children for money and since the trial has gotten the children taken away from her by CPS for mental and physical abuse. At least that's the good news I hear from my mother.
After all this it was a hung jury 6-6 on mayhem and 8-4 on some lesser charge I don't understand with ten years on that one too!
Now I'm out of money and things to sell off. My attorney is leaving me probably. He wants more money. My bail has not been lowered and I'm still being held guilty after I have proven myself innocent by a jury of my peers and I'm being held in jail without any proof — no gunshot residue, no fingerprints, no eyewitnesses saying I did this. They won't let me take a lie detector test (I tried.).
How does an innocent man prove he’s innocent to a District Attorney in our unjust justice system?
I’m not sure what more I could do to prove my innocence. I have a few more witnesses and some proof of more corruption from Officer Guyden. I have the babysitter who was there when Guyden questioned her eight year old son. I think I can get witnesses against Guyden for his bullying and lying.
I don't know what else to do and I don't know why I’m still here and why the District Attorney wants to put me through another jury trial again with the same evidence and waste the state’s money for another trial and jury. Is that not the definition of insane? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
I’m being held guilty until proven innocent in our unjust justice system.
I can't help but wonder if I would have accidentally shot myself in the hand while trying to unload my gun with my fiance in the vicinity, would they assume and accuse her and hold her guilty in jail for of my accident and actions.