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  1. #181

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    There is some confusion expressed here regarding "pressing charges" and such. People/victims can't "press charges". Crimes are prosecuted as "The People vs XXX." It's a criminal case, not a civil one. Victims and witnesses only swear out statements. Police/prosecutors decide if and what charges to bring in a complaint based upon witness/victim statements and other evidence. From what we can figure out, those hikers may have refused to make sworn statements, which makes it much tougher for authorities at a preliminary/probable cause hearing. Now, even if the victims/witnesses refused to make formal statements, police did still have their hearsay evidence from them regarding the shovel assault and knife brandishing which could possibly have been used at a hearing - but not at a trial. But, knowing that the victims/witnesses wouldn't likely come back or be reluctant to incur the time and expense of doing so (as they were thru-hiking) police/prosecutor perhaps CHOSE not to charge him on the assault and let him plea out to what they could easily get - the three lesser offenses, fine, and probation.

    But, maybe they could have CHOSEN to charge him on the assault based upon the hearsay and other evidence anyway (I don't know the TN law, I'm not a TN lawyer, but hearsay is often admissible at hearings) - and if the judge agreed - kept him locked up longer until he made reasonable bail or if unable, even until the witnesses didn't show for court appearance at trial. The witnesses would have to be subpoenaed, located and personally served, likely in another state, somewhere on the AT between Unicoi County and Maine... Probably not a case most rural governments want to spend a lot of money and resources on. Maybe the police/prosecutor did try to charge him for assault, but the judge dismissed the charges for insufficient evidence, or other reasons (like Sovereign acting remorsefully and/or the whole reluctant witness situation). Bringing a case like this would burden financial and other resources for the local courts and police with only little likelihood of success.

    So, sad to say, but I think a lot of why he wasn't locked up, beyond the hikers refusal to swear out statements, was probably governed by financial and manpower considerations.



    There are some other questions that should be asked: How much was the fine in Unicoi Cty., and how did he paid it? Because he was reported by hikers not to have much if any money. After getting out, a shuttle driver bought him a bus ticket to get him home to MA. He obviously didn't get there. Did he get thrown off the bus or get off on his own further up the trail? Did he ever get on the bus? Did the ticket get refunded in total or partially (he needed money)? There was some well meaning, but misplaced, enabling going on as well.
    The confusion is yours - I am correctly quoting the sheriff.

    "The fact is nobody wanted to step up to the plate and press charges," Hensley said. "They were on the trail walking and they didn't want to come back — they told my investigators that."
    Yes, people "press" charges in circumstances like this (being threatened...and the only evidence is your word) - the first hikers he threatened didn't take the time to provide a statement. Prosecutors "charge." Blaming the police is silly.

  2. #182

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    Anyone remember the paranoid schizophrenic who drowned trying to ford the Kennebec last year? People here blamed the cops for that one too.
    https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/sho...Kennebec/page5

    Maybe the lesson to be learned here is that people with family members who have severe mental illness shouldn't let them wander the wilderness?

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWODaddy View Post
    The confusion is yours - I am correctly quoting the sheriff.



    Yes, people "press" charges in circumstances like this (being threatened...and the only evidence is your word) - the first hikers he threatened didn't take the time to provide a statement. Prosecutors "charge." Blaming the police is silly.
    I'm not blaming the police/prosecutors. They have real financial and manpower concerns. I'm just presenting the options they had. Private people/witnesses/victims don't get to decide on what is and what isn't charged in a criminal complaint. It's not the way it works.
    https://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/20...o-does-it.html
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 05-13-2019 at 20:14.

  4. #184

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    I am going to ask people to stop repeating the murderers name, even his trail name.

    When the names of the victims are released, let's honor them. Let their story be told. Remember THEIR names.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWODaddy View Post
    Anyone remember the paranoid schizophrenic who drowned trying to ford the Kennebec last year? People here blamed the cops for that one too.
    https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/sho...Kennebec/page5

    Maybe the lesson to be learned here is that people with family members who have severe mental illness shouldn't let them wander the wilderness?
    How do you propose they do that? Lock them in the basement? In my state, I have absolutely no right to involuntary commit anyone. I can provide a statement to law enforcement or a doctor, but ultimately it's a judge's call.

  6. #186

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthN View Post
    This is the first coverage I've seen that mentions his prior criminal history. https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/05/...massachusetts/
    I don't understand how the Unicoi police don't have access to that information. And to put them financially liable for what happened later though they followed the law doesn't make sense. How would ordering a psych evaluation be mandatory on them? And on witnesses to a crime and threats being logistically unwilling to testify, could have been addressed by some phone calls and an incentive to do so. I believe going down and filing a complaint with the local precinct and desk sergeant on real offenses and abuses is a civic responsibility.


  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenmtnboy View Post
    I don't understand how the Unicoi police don't have access to that information. And to put them financially liable for what happened later though they followed the law doesn't make sense. How would ordering a psych evaluation be mandatory on them? And on witnesses to a crime and threats being logistically unwilling to testify, could have been addressed by some phone calls and an incentive to do so. I believe going down and filing a complaint with the local precinct and desk sergeant on real offenses and abuses is a civic responsibility.
    It's possible Massachusetts wouldn't extradite him, so Unicoi wouldn't have been able to hold him for those warrants.

    Edit to add: If they thought he was a danger to himself or others, they could have filed an emergency order of detention and held him for up to 72 hours for an evaluation.

  8. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    I'm not blaming the police/prosecutors. They have real financial and manpower concerns. I'm just presenting the options they had. Private people/witnesses/victims don't get to decide on what is and what isn't charged in a criminal complaint. It's not the way it works.
    https://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/20...o-does-it.html
    Really? Then why was I asked 2 years ago if I wanted to proceed with pressing charges against the guy who break into my vehicle a year prior to them catching the guy. He stole a couple thousand dollars worth of stuff which would be a felony in CA. The use of the words "Press Charges" was from the sheriff deputy handling the investigation; or rather handling a related investigation on the same guy who was in their holding cell for an unrelated charge. If I wasn't willing to, it was made clear they could not (or would not) charge him for the crime. Likely related to no victim, then no crime. Now, the prosecutor could have chosen to not prosecute anyway (no matter what I wanted) if they didn't feel the evidence was sufficient, but it didn't seem like they could have prosecuted him for my break-in without my cooperation and willingness.

  9. #189
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    Remember that police can only arrest and charge for felonies, and misdemeanors committed in their presence. Otherwise it is completely on the victim to press charges.
    Last edited by Zed; 05-13-2019 at 21:14.

  10. #190

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    Original post removed as unnecessary. Agree that it's a tragedy all around and frankly I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
    Last edited by mclaught; 05-13-2019 at 22:47.

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by mclaught View Post
    That is not a correct statement of the law. While laws are different state by state, there is no state that requires felonies to be committed in the presence of an LEO for either an arrest or prosecution. There's been a lot of misstatement of the law in this thread, but this was the easiest one to correct.
    That's not what I meant. Let me edit and put a comma in.

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miner View Post
    Really? Then why was I asked 2 years ago if I wanted to proceed with pressing charges against the guy who break into my vehicle a year prior to them catching the guy. This was the words of the sheriff deputy handling the investigation; or rather handling a related investigation on the same guy who was in their holding cell for an unrelated charge. If I wasn't willing to, it was made clear they could not (or would not) charge him for the crime. Likely related to no victim, then no crime. Now, the prosecutor could have chosen to not prosecute anyway (no matter what I wanted) if they didn't feel the evidence was sufficient, but it didn't seem like they could have prosecuted him for my break-in without my cooperation and willingness.
    Because they really don't care and don't want to go to the extreme of treating you as a material witness for a property crime that isn't that important in the scope of things. Your property crime just isn't important enough for them to do that much work if you don't give a $#!t about it. But don't think that you can't be subpoenaed to appear as a witness to a crime, even if you are the victim, just because you don't want to. If the case is serious enough, they can even arrest you on a material witness warrant, haul you in front of a judge, make you post an appearance bond/bail, or even detain you to ensure your appearance as a witness. And if you refuse to testify in court, you can be jailed for contempt for the duration of the trial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zed View Post
    Remember that police can only arrest and charge for felonies and misdemeanors committed in their presence. Otherwise it is completely on the victim to press charges.
    Really? You might want to rethink that. Because not all victims can testify anymore, can they? And then there's this little thing called probable cause. Police don't have to witness a crime to arrest you. They only need probable cause [edit - for felonies].
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 05-13-2019 at 22:29.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Because they really don't care and don't want to go to the extreme of treating you as a material witness for a property crime that isn't that important in the scope of things. Your property crime just isn't important enough for them to do that much work if you don't give a $#!t about it. But don't think that you can't be subpoenaed to appear as a witness to a crime, even if you are the victim, just because you don't want to. If the case is serious enough, they can even arrest you on a material witness warrant, haul you in front of a judge, make you post an appearance bond/bail, or even detain you to ensure your appearance as a witness. And if you refuse to testify in court, you can be jailed for contempt for the duration of the trial.

    Really? You might want to rethink that. Because not all victims can testify anymore, can they? And then there's this little thing called probable cause. Police don't have to witness a crime to arrest you. They only need probable cause.
    I edited to add critical punctuation. It's been a long day, I'm going to bed.

  14. #194

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    This YouTube vid has now been removed and I didn't get there in time. Could anyone give me the clif notes version? It was made by the two hikers who were not assaulted but headed NOBO away from the incident?
    AT02, LT 03-04, BMT05, NPT06, Haute Route07, Abol Ridgerunner 07/08, EBC Nepal trek 10

  15. #195

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebearee View Post
    This YouTube vid has now been removed and I didn't get there in time. Could anyone give me the clif notes version? It was made by the two hikers who were not assaulted but headed NOBO away from the incident?
    They didn’t share too much detail as they said the investigation was ongoing but they were the 2nd couple that was at the camp when this guy started making threats. They said in the video they were chased by this guy with his knife. They were somehow able to elude him.

  16. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed View Post
    I edited to add critical punctuation. It's been a long day, I'm going to bed.
    Me too. Apologies for misinterpreting your original post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenmtnboy View Post
    I don't understand how the Unicoi police don't have access to that information.
    Not all warrants are extraditable out of state. Depending on the seriousness of the charges and the type of warrant(s) issued, it may be statewide, regional or national extradition. Sometimes warrants are not reported to the national database (NCIC) or sometimes they’re reported but notated as non-extraditable.

    I have had people from other states tell me they have warrants, but a database check revealed nothing. When I contacted the clerk of court for the jurisdiction involved they would sometimes confirm a warrant. Basically, there was no interest in paying the cost of extradition. They would just wait for the person to have contact with law enforcement when they return to the area. This is relatively common in misdemeanor cases not so much for a felony warrant.
    Last edited by Eigerhiker; 05-14-2019 at 00:00.

  18. #198

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    A well written article providing an overview of the events leading to the horrible atack, and an overview of what happened after. https://www.outsideonline.com/239615...9-james-jordan

  19. #199

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    The Washington Post also published a great article with tons of detail and interviews with hikers and hostel owners. It reports even more details about the aberrant behavior of the "fight angel," as Pork Chop called him. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...=.9cd792dfba47

  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    this place and time is one of, if not the, most safest places and times in all of human history.

    its our perception and how much we hear about violence, not the actual rate at which violence occurs, that are the issue.

    i once worked a customer service job. i sat all day everyday answering an unending stream of complaint calls from angry customers. hundreds a day. must be a crappy company if they have so many unhappy customers, right? one of the first things the person who trained me did was show me how to look through all the records of the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people who were customers for 25 years and never called to complain once. the company was actually great, they just hired enough people to answer the amount of calls they received and to keep us all busy instead of sitting around.



    the way we perceive the violence level of our society is sort of like that. i like to lay most of the blame on CNN starting a chain of events that turned the news into a product to be sold and profited from.
    Attachment 45163

    ####Your opinion is incorrect, as the U.S. averages over 18,000-20,000 homicides a year in the U.S. (see Uniform Crime Reports-Dept. of Justice) and that is by far the most murders committed in any Democratic, capitalist society.
    Last edited by double d; 05-14-2019 at 08:20.
    "I told my Ma's and Pa's I was coming to them mountains and they acted as if they was gutshot. Ma, I sez's, them mountains is the marrow of the world and by God, I was right". Del Gue

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