Smiling Faces Sometimes

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The First Mistake

The counts in this prosecution of Paul Bergrin should never have been thrown together to begin with. In an early post on this blog, I thought it could still work and I'm not sure if that was my attempt at being positive or my over-confidence in the ability of jurors to process the information throughout the trial and follow the judge's directions when deliberating.

Clearly, severing the counts as Judge Martini chose to do was the only fair way to try Bergrin. I realized this during the trial, after reading a comment made by an attorney based in the Newark area on an online newspaper article. The comment referenced a belief that Bergrin is guilty based on the volume of evidence - he stated that there was just such a volume of evidence that guilt was obvious. Of course I argued that point because volume will never equal substance and quality.

Ironically, the one juror that was interviewed following the trial referred to the volume of evidence in an interview with a Star-Ledger reporter. This is an exact quote of the juror's statement to the reporter:

"As to how he viewed Bergrin’s guilt, Hershorn said, "I think the accumulation of evidence and witnesses and exhibits and the (prosecutors’) presentation was important … in terms of blending into an overall scope of the story.""


There would have been no "accumulation of evidence and witnesses and exhibits" if the jury had followed the judge's instructions. Innocence or guilt on each of the 23 counts was supposed to be weighed separately per instructions for the specific count.

I knew there was a serious problem when the jury reached verdicts as quickly as they did. I expected the jury to deliberate for a minimum of two weeks. To be honest, I expected a hung jury on most counts and acquittal on the rest. There was one count that I considered it possible for the jury to reach a guilty verdict and that count did not involve the testimony of criminal informants or jailhouse snitches.

Why would I expect deliberations to last a minimum of two weeks? Well, let me break that down for you:

The jurors were at the courthouse for an average of 8 hours a day. An hour each day was spent for a lunch break and then according to statements from the judge, there were early breaks, which I believe to be smoke breaks because of the one jury note referencing a request for one. In general, one cigarette is not going to be sufficient for a smoker all day and I believe there was more than one smoker on this jury.

So, out of that 8 hour day, we can assume that around 2 hours were used for breaks. That leaves 6 hours to discuss the case each day. There was also a wait over the Anthony Young transcript as is discussed by Judge Cavanaugh, Paul Bergrin, and the prosecutors. Yes, they argued over what to purge from the Young testimony (sidebars, rulings, objections etc...) before the Young transcript was handed to the jury.

The jury actually only deliberated for 11 hours or less to determine innocence or guilt on 23 serious counts. That, dear reader, is less than 30 minutes per count. Think about that for a minute and then think about the one juror's statement to the Star-Ledger reporter.

In my opinion, the jury did not even bother to address each specific count. I would have thought discussion of each count would take at least a half of a day and more likely a day or more. I expected this jury to deliberate and discuss Paul Bergrin's fate for 3-4 weeks, but no less than 2 weeks. In the last trial that was only on the one count related to the murder of Kemo Deshawn McCray, the jury deliberated for a couple of weeks and could not reach a unanimous decision.

This jury reached a unanimous decision on each and every count in less than 2 days, or really less than 11 hours. They were in a serious hurry to be finished with this trial. The judge congratulated all of the jurors for their hard work and thanked them at the end of the trial - he should rethink that statement.

If an attorney can view this trial as a volume of evidence instead of broken-down by individual count, it should have been easily predicted that the jury would lump it all together too. This was the first mistake with this trial. I will be discussing some of the other mistakes from my perspective in the next month.

These people (the commenting attorney referenced and the jurors) do not think like I do. I tend to rip everything apart, piece by piece, and consider one part at a time. This is an investigative technique that I learned long ago and then later used in viewing and investigating each witness statement and testimony in my own trial. I consider it to be related to critical thinking skills.


UPDATE on 26 March 2013 @6:30pm:

To refer to the specific jury instruction described in this post, view the jury instructions linked below. The relevant instruction is on page 32 of the document itself, but shows as page 38 on the PDF. The heading is:

SEPARATE CONSIDERATION - SINGLE DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE OFFENSES

Jury Instructions

Each offense should be considered separately. Really I am being generous with my statement on the minimum deliberation time being two weeks - really generous. How can a jury discuss the count, list the evidence, and discuss the pros and cons of each piece of evidence and each relevant witness testimony, and then come to an educated decision in less than an entire day per count IF following this instruction?


UPDATE on 28 March 2013 @1:15am
 
I have decided that the best way for me to discuss the transcripts on this blog is to address the testimony of government witnesses that I have not already discussed on this blog, link to those previously discussed when necessary, and include defense witnesses that dispute the government's described plots. The racketeering counts are so vague that approaching this count by count would involve repeated discussion of the testimony of a long list of government witnesses.

It is my opinion that the government obscured the counts as related to the witness testimony to purposely confuse jurors. As Hershorn stated, "the accumulation of evidence and witnesses and exhibits" resulted in a mountain of evidence, though the quality of this so-called evidence is severely lacking when closely examined, and especially after reading Paul Bergrin's cross-examinations of each government witness.

It is almost as if the jurors plugged their ears to facts and truth revealed in Bergrin's cross-examinations and the entire production began and ended with the government's direct examinations. I have read through only 6 days of transcripts at this point, yet there are so many examples of clear witness impeachment that it undermines the entire case.

(> _ < )  ( > _ <)  (shaking head!)
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Trial Transcripts Available

UPDATE on 12 February 2014: I have now published all trial transcripts on the website from the first and second trials:

Paul Bergrin Trial Transcripts


UPDATE on 1 August 2013 - The transcripts have all been removed. Please contact me privately for a copy of specific witness testimony.

The transcripts from Paul Bergrin's trial that ended on 18 March 2013, are now available. I have uploaded all to my website and will add the links today on the "Transcripts 2" page in the navigation bar of this blog.

I wanted to discuss each trial day as I posted the corresponding transcript; however, I quickly found that a read of one day results in the desire to look at a different day to compare witness responses. Besides, many people are most interested in the testimony of Oscar the informant and I have no valid reason to hold the transcripts back. I still intend to discuss each day of testimony in posts, though I am not as positive that I want to start at the beginning.

I admit that I have already jumped over the beginning to read the testimony that I most wanted to read. There is no reason to believe that many of you think much differently. The transcripts are 37 volumes and a lot of reading for anyone. Oscar's testimony began late in the day on the 19th of February and while I had intended to jump straight to Oscar, I found the Essex County prosecutor's (Roger Imhof) testimony earlier on that day a fascinating exercise in circle talk and the judge more of a referee.

You will find in reading the transcripts that this trial is unlike most federal trials. There is a lot of positioning, many objections, and lots of rulings and discussion by the judge. This was a fight more than a trial. I really do not want to say much more until I have started reading at the beginning, but I can't wait to post until I have finished reading all transcripts.

So, I will certainly be posting soon on specific witness testimony.
 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bergrin Trial Judge Saved the Day

As stated in a recent post on Paul Bergrin's unexpected transfer to the Essex County jail following the verdicts, U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh was NOT the one to order Bergrin be sent to Essex County and placed on suicide watch and in protective custody. Judge Cavanaugh sure did undo what vindictive prosecutors arranged though.

Perhaps Judge Cavanaugh is coming around. In a statement made to Jason Grant at the Star-Ledger, Judge Cavanaugh stated “it’s really not over … this guy is fighting for his life; I think it’s fair that he has the chance to do his best”.


Mr. Lawrence Lustberg deserves our thanks for all of his hard work throughout this case and certainly for Paul Bergrin's transfer back to MDC Brooklyn in short time. Sometimes it is easy to forget the standby counsel and if I rarely mention Mr. Lustberg, it is only because he is quietly in the background and we have no contact. I do appreciate his letters and tireless work on Bergrin's behalf as do all of Paul Bergrin's supporters.


Have I been too rough on Judge Cavanaugh?

Well, let's not go that far, but it's possible that the judge has seen the light, and the government's case for exactly what it is: a farce built on false statements by witnesses with something to gain. I, for one, hope to see many more fair and impartial orders and rulings from Judge Cavanaugh before this case is over.

Now if only the US Marshal Service would stop dragging its feet with all that is related to Paul Bergrin - Just joking guys; we all know where your orders come from. *smile*


UPDATE on 23 March 2013 @8pm:

As of right now, Paul Bergrin still sits in Essex County jail. I am wondering if the government intends to abide by the court's order to return him to MDC. Will they cause as much time to pass as is possible to prevent Bergrin from having the time he needs to work on his post-trial motions and appeals? What will the excuse / reason be for the delay in his return to MDC? Have they read his notes and gone through all of his legal papers? Will all of his legal notes and papers still be there when he makes it back to MDC, if he does?

There is more going on than meets the eye here - definitely some sort of defense shake-up or clandestine actions by someone that is supposed to be assisting Paul Bergrin. I do not know anymore than that at the moment, but when I do, I will post about it.


UPDATE on 26 March 2013 @6am:

Paul Bergrin is finally back at MDC Brooklyn. They have had 8 days alone with his legal notes and papers, so we shall see if it's all still there.

 

The Dirty Truth

The government failed to call key cooperating witnesses because they completely disputed the ones that testified. For instance Yolanda Jauregui swore that she did a 7 kilogram cocaine deal with Abdul Williams, his father and cousin while Williams was incarcerated at the Hudson Jail and that Paul Bergrin never knew she was dealing with Rondre Kelly and Williams. She would have proven these witnesses as liars and the defense could not call her because she would have asserted her Fifth Amendment right and the Government refused to grant her immunity.

Ramon Jimenez admitted that he never did business with Eugene Braswell and that the Government coerced and threatened him to lie against Paul. They failed to call him and because of the same reasons as Yolanda, the defense could not call him.

The defense had proof that the Government suborned perjury through the Government witness Maria Corriera and that Paul Bergrin is completely innocent of the Kemo murder and any drug dealings but they refuse to grant her immunity and the Judge would not hold the trial open to transport her to New Jersey; after the Government relocated her so she could not be found.

The defense attempted to call Jamal Baskerville and McNeil who gave sworn defense statements that Paul Bergrin is innocent and that there never was a meeting with Anthony Young, nor did Paul ever say the words "No Kemo No Case". But they would not testify at trial because of their drug dealing and fear of prosecution and retaliation by the Government.

Thomas Moran got his father involved in official misconduct for trying to unlawfully influence arresting police officers of him from Monmouth and Hudson County. This was held over his head and that is why he lied so vehemently.

Paul Bergrin pleaded and begged for a polygraph examination from the best examiners in the FBI and to administer the same test to the testifying cooperating witnesses. He pleaded repeatedly, but the government refused. They knew that the cooperating witnesses perjured themselves and this would have proven it.

Most importantly. Paul Bergrin argued in his summation that he knew Vincent Esteves had confessed to drug trafficking, and had incriminated his own flesh and blood; his brother Caesar Cubiero, and had completely given up all his contacts in the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Dominican Republic. He confessed to his entire drug operation including the methods and means of operation, every aspect of how he did business and got the drugs into the Country and even his future plans of operation globally and his Netherland contacts. Esteves swore to this during cross examination by Bergrin and the transcript on page 6127, line 14 to 17 proves this.

UPDATE on 25 March 2013 @9:20pm: Page 6127 is found in BERGRIN 22 02_25_13 (really enlightening reading and proves exactly what is stated herein) (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

If Paul Bergrin knew that Esteves had confessed at the beginning of his defense representation of him, as the transcript reflects, then you know there is no way Paul would intend to do anything with Oscar or Esteves as falsely alleged. That is why AUSA Gay in Paul's summation objected and lied to the jury about Paul knowing this, when the Governmnet knew that Paul did. Also take into consideration the fact that the Judge refused to allow Paul to correct AUSA Gay's lie to the jury and that is what this injustice is all about.

Paul also knew that Oscar could never be believed when he stated that his father was Lord Gino and running the Latin Kings and communicating all orders about what to do from the Supermax facility in Colorado. He said his father had a cell telephone and that he was sent to New Jersey to meet Vinnie's connections (which were non existent). He also claimed to have been sent from the Ochoa's and Herrera's - the largest Cartels. Why would he need Esteves' non existent connections if the Cartels sent him to New Jersey and he claimed to be able to get kilograms of cocaine for $4000?

The whole Chicago hit man case is comical in its entirety and Paul Bergrin is being crucified because he risked his life defending soldiers in Iraq in Abu Ghraib, Objective Iron Triangle, and the Parker case. The Justice Department knows that Paul has information proving the highest levels of the White House, FBI, and CIA committed criminal offenses.

This is the absolute truth about this prosecution.

Secrecy: A Discussion

I have an issue with statements made to me today by someone working with the defense on this case. To be clear, these sentiments are not Paul Bergrin's and as he is where I stated in my last post, I have no way to ask his thoughts on this issue.

Suddenly I am told that I should be keeping everything secret. According to this party, releasing the transcripts of the first trial allowed the government's criminal informants to obtain copies and may have damaged Paul. I absolutely disagree with this statement and positively know that the criminal informants the government presented at trial were coached, could have easily received copies of the transcripts from the AUSAs, but more than likely received copies from the agents that handled each. They all rehearsed their testimony anyway - that is a fact.

I was also told that these criminal informants have allies and stating Paul Bergrin's location on this blog could be a safety issue. He was sent to the Essex County jail by vindictive AUSAs and he shows in the system, so it sure as hell is not a secret. Beyond that, nasty criminal informants are only allied with the government workers (AUSAs and agents) anyway. I doubt that any one of them has any friends at all.

Publishing the first trial transcripts and the documents from this case was necessary to counter some of the total BS and lies that I have read elsewhere. Some idiot that runs a blog titled abovethelaw.com spreads misinformation and lies on behalf of prosecutors and other newspapers and a magazine have done the same. Even the ABA articles were a total fail. They frame the story exactly how the government wants it framed. I do not. You get the real picture here, whether you want it or not.

The statements made to me today are similar to government statements in relation to the Wikileaks document releases. I am a publisher and a blogger. Any documents published here are available to anyone with a PACER account. The transcripts are available to anyone that walks into the courthouse to read on a terminal or copies can be ordered from the court reporter - from both the first trial and this recent trial.

I am merely exposing the truth and the facts that are also available to every newspaper, magazine, or other publisher if they wanted to publish truthful articles. I intend to keep on doing what I have been doing. Exposing government lies by publishing documents is my First Amendment right. The world should know the truth about this entire fiasco.

Beyond that, the transcripts from this latest trial are not in any way damaging to Paul Bergrin; however, they certainly help to reveal a failed government scheme just as the transcripts from the first trial did.

UPDATE on 1 August 2013: All transcripts have been removed. If you would like a copy of a specific witness's testimony, please contact me privately.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Unconstitutional Actions

Take a guess where Paul Bergrin is. I will tell you where he isn't first: He isn't in the same cell he's been in at MDC Brooklyn for the last four years. If you do a search on the BOP website "inmate locator" it tells you that Bergrin's status is RELEASED as of the 18th of March, but don't think he has actually been released.

Some vindictive party in the US Attorney's Office in Newark had Paul Bergrin sent to the Essex County jail and put on suicide watch and in protective custody. He is in solitary confinement. His legal papers and other belongings stayed at MDC Brooklyn. It was court-ordered, but Judge Cavanaugh did NOT order it. Paul Bergrin is also not in any way suicidal and just wants to be reunited with his papers so he can get the appeals show on the road.

Additionally, separating Paul Bergrin from his legal papers is in fact a violation of his right to counsel. This has now become a constitutional violation (Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution). Remember - Paul Bergrin is his own counsel.

So who is the asshat in the US Attorney's Office in Newark? Well, any one of the AUSAs could have initiated the action, but Paul Fishman had to know about it. Fishman was all over Paul Bergrin from the minute the verdicts were announced. Realize that Bergrin used to work in that same US Attorney's Office, until he testified on behalf of a friend, and then he was ignored until he left. He has been despised for his testimony ever since.

Imagine the level of vindictiveness it took to put him in solitary. I do not understand how the Court has allowed this to happen. He has been in general population for 4 years and clearly poses no security threat. It's also clear to anyone that has spoken to Paul that he certainly is not suicidal. So is this something they make-up when they really want to screw a person and prevent him from working on his necessary legal paperwork?

He has NOT even been convicted. Yet they are punishing him before sentencing to gloat and exact revenge. The court has just let the venomous reich have a free for all with a man who just (for now) lost the battle of his life while the government pays Anthony Young's commissary tab every month. How warped is that?

If you look-up Paul Bergrin in Essex County Corrections, you will see that the Detainer Information states that it was issued by NJUSM0100. Some knowledgeable person could define that.

I also know that there is a sentencing and time served issue involved. Sentencing law is extremely complicated and a specialty area, though I have attempted to interpret BOP's time calculation guidelines in past. I do recall that not all time served is necessarily time served the way it is calculated and it depends, among other issues, on what type of facility an inmate was held in.

More tricks and abusive games from the champion tricksters at the Newark US Attorney's Office, indeed. However, in this situation, the actions are unconstitutional.


UPDATE on 20 March 2013 @7:45pm: I am adding a link to the letter composed by Paul Bergrin's standby counsel Mr. Lustberg in reference to the current situation. Bergrin is still in the Essex County jail with no access to his legal notes and papers:

Bergrin Trial Defense Letter 20 March 2013
 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Not in My Worst Nightmare

Yes, I realize that I am the one to have said not to knock the jurors no matter what decision they make on any count in this case. To my credit, never in my worst nightmare did I imagine that 12 jurors would believe violent criminals seeking time off their lengthy sentences. Sure, I could imagine one or even ten people buying every word the prosecutors said just because they're prosecutors, but never all twelve.

The only thing these jurors wanted was the Anthony Young transcript. After reviewing it, they made their decision. As if anyone would believe that Young was truthful! I am indignantly angry at the pure stupidity of these 12 gullible people. Either they were all in a major hurry to get out of the long jury duty or they're all just plain gullible.

They bought the uncorroborated testimony of criminal informants and jailhouse snitches hook, line, and sinker. They believed that a nine year-old (Carolyn Velez) could recall specific words of her father's attorney more than an entire decade later at age 21. They believed that Norberto Velez's jury acquitted the man based entirely on the word of a nine year-old that was not a witness anyway.

They believed that Paul Bergrin would stand on a Newark street corner in the not-so-safe part of town and instruct a gang to kill Kemo. They believed that Anthony Young was Kemo's killer even though he was bald and the only witness to the shooting said the killer had dreadlocks. They believed Young even though he lied numorous times on the stand in past and admitted it! They believed a couple of jailhouse snitches that were convicted of fraud and lying under oath in the past.

They believed an informant that claimed to be Lord Gino's son and that was on serious mind-numbing prescription drugs even though the actual tapes were never transcribed by a professional or certified by anyone. They believed that Bergrin believed Oscar the informant was a hitman that claimed to smuggle cellphones for his father into ADX Florence the Supermax prison in Colorado. They believed Oscar, the total idiot that called-in a death threat to the US Attorney's Office against himself, using a female voice and admitted it on the stand two days later.

They believed Richard Pozo, the major drug trafficker that made $20K-$30K a week on his illegal enterprise and then made a deal for a get out of jail free pass in exchange for his testimony against Bergrin. They believed Lachoy Walker, a violent career criminal also given a get out of jail free pass in exchange for his testimony.

They believed prosecutors that did not even call Yolanda Jauregui, Alejandro Barraza-Castro, or Ramon Jimenez to testify all while a judge repeatedly limited a pro se defendant's questioning of the government liars and refused to wait for inept US Marshals to get other defense witnesses to the courtroom. They believe that technology is so lacking in Kingston, Jamaica that a live video conference was not possible.

Wow. Just flippin' wow. Never in my worst nightmare did I imagine 12 people on the same jury being so gullible and stupid to believe every word the prosecutors stated because they're prosecutors. I hope that each of them needs an attorney one day and they're stuck with the likes of Richie Roberts, government pal extraordinaire.

It ain't over by a longshot. So many grounds for appeal in this trial that it's unreal. I decided that I will leave the docs and transcripts up until long after I'm dead so the world can see what these 12 jurors bought hook, line, and sinker. I also intend to post the transcripts from this trial as soon as it is possible.

Verdicts

You do not need me to tell you, I'm sure. Paul Bergrin was found guilty on ALL counts. This is a victory for jailhouse snitches and criminal informants everywhere. It's a free pass for the worst in society to concoct any tale they want with minimal knowledge of a situation and coaching by prosecutors. It's also a victory for pro-prosecution judges like Cavanaugh to abuse a defendant at will.

I admit that I do not understand. I'll post later. Right now I'm going to go throw-up.

The video that is currently playing signifies my viewpoint of the US criminal injustice system. A man was convicted on the word of criminal informants alone - I do not give a rat's ass how many  of them there are. An army of informants is no different than one. What sort of sick system do we have in the US?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Trial Update: Jury Questions

I just read that jurors requested the Anthony Young testimony transcript in the latest news from NorthJersey.com:

Bergrin jury requests testimony transcript, adjourns for weekend without reaching verdict

While you do not need me to repeat anything in the article written by Peter J. Sampson, I can point you to the Anthony Young transcripts from the first trial. If Young's testimony changed, it couldn't have been by much. Young is a coached witness that also rehearses his statements, so every time he repeats his story it is slightly altered from the last time. This would most often be referred to as inconsistencies in testimony.

In Paul Bergrin's last trial Anthony Young's testimony began on the 27th of October, 2011, and concluded on 3 November, 2011:

Begins on page 103:

US v Bergrin 10_27_11 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)


Entire transcript:

US v Bergrin 10_28_11 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)


Entire transcript:

US v Bergrin 11_2_11 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)


Entire transcript (interior dated incorrectly as 2 November, but it is really 3 November):

US v Bergrin 11_3_11 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)


In this current trial, Anthony Young was sworn-in late in the day on 1 February, 2013, testified on 4 February, 5 February, and finished his testimony on 6 February, 2013. This is in the trial minutes for these days:

Bergrin Trial Minutes 1 February 2013

Bergrin Trial Minutes 4 February 2013

Bergrin Trial Minutes 5 February 2013

Bergrin Trial Minutes 6 February 2013

Anthony Young claims that he killed Kemo Deshawn McCray and melted the weapon the same day at Hohn's auto body shop. He claimed that his girlfriend at the time, Rashidah Tarver gave him a ride to Hohn's shop. Both Mr. Hohn and Ms. Tarver deny this ever happened. Read Mr. Hohn's sworn statement beginning on page 2 and attached to this letter:

Bergrin Trial Defense Letter 5 March 2013


Ms. Tarver is the person that Anthony Young claims drove him to Hohn's shop. She says she never did and unlike Young, she's not a criminal or an informant - she is a school teacher. Read Ms. Tarver's testimony on 9 November, 2011 in the first trial - it begins on page 37 and concludes on page 60:

US v Bergrin 11_9_11 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)


I definitely rest my case on the topic of Anthony Young.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Verdict Watch

As of 2:15pm this afternoon, the jury began its deliberations in the Paul Bergrin trial. The jury adjourned at 3:30pm and will return in the morning to continue deliberations. It's hard to tell, but I doubt there will be any quick verdicts in this case. The jurors have a substantial volume of evidence that will require considerable discussion.

Bergrin Trial Minutes 14 March 2013

 For most of Paul Bergrin's supporters this is a time reflection on what went right, what went wrong, and how the jury may have perceived the evidence offered by the government, the government's criminal informant witnesses, and the defense witnesses.

Jurors are people and arrive at the trial with preconceptions based on life experiences. There is no way around that for prosecutors or defense. The jury has a tough job in this case.

This blog is clearly based on my own life experiences with the US criminal justice system and has an obvious bias in favor of Paul Bergrin; the title tells you that much. I know how much the citizens truly need attorneys that have a passion for law and represent their clients to the very best of their ability in each and every case.

Paul Bergrin was one of the best in the US and gave his heart and soul to every client in every case. Paul Bergrin challenged the government and challenged the prosecutors. He always felt that everyone deserves a second chance in life. We can only hope that the jurors give him the benefit of the doubt as he did with everyone he met in his law practice and in his life.

I will be notified as soon as the verdicts are in and will post anything I know as soon as I know it. Thanks for your interest in reading the truth about the malicious pursuit and prosecution of one of the most outstanding participants in the US criminal justice system to ever practice law in this country.


Please do grab copies of any documents that you want. I may, or may not, be removing all docs from my website within days after the verdicts have been announced. I will have access to transcripts from this trial within a week or two of the verdicts and will publish all transcripts on my website and links on this blog.

No Verdict Watch Yet

It looks like we have more time to discuss this case here people. According to the trial minutes for 13 March, 2013, filed late last night, the government is now arguing about adding additional evidence and Judge Cavanaugh will rule on the issue this morning. I think the AUSAs forgot that they rested their case more than a week ago. 


We can imagine that this so-called additional evidence is an attack on one of Paul Bergrin's defense witnesses. Of course it could be absolutely anything, but prosecutors had almost 2 months to make their case and should not be allowed more time at this point. They have had 6 years to investigate Paul Bergrin and if they were not aware of this evidence a week ago, it should be out. Let's not pretend that the government didn't have a defense witness list well in advance.

If they are allowed to add this so-called evidence, then Bergrin should have the right of rebuttal and let's face it: most of us are tired of the government's criminal informant parade in this case. If all of this does happen, both sides will be calling more witnesses.

One main reason that granting the government's wish should be out is that Paul Bergrin was not even allowed to call a couple of witnesses because of issues with the US Marshal's Service transporting both in time. Judge Cavanaugh has made it clear that he's in a hurry to get this fiasco over and if he allows this stretch of a move by prosecutors, then it's time to get those US Marshals moving. Hopefully the defense team has them on alert.

We will know soon enough. If the judge rules in favor of prosecutors, I'll discuss a government witness that I completely forgot: Abdul Williams. There is also much more to be said in relation to several defense witnesses. No worries - we have plenty still open for discussion here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Odds on Acquittal

I'm curious if any bookmakers are taking bets on the outcome of this trial and if so, what those odds are. I doubt that Paul Bergrin would consider the concept to be offensive; at least I did not in my own trial. It's tough to bet on how a jury will perceive and interpret the evidence in the government's case, especially in a prosecution as voluminous as this one, though it lacked factual evidence as RICO conspiracy trials often do.

We watched a parade of criminal informants, government agents, and witnesses that actually witnessed nothing at all as the government presented its case for almost 8 weeks. Every single one of the government witnesses have something to gain, even the participating agents. Think about it... Brokos, and every agent involved, could be demoted, investigated, or even retired in shame if Paul Bergrin is acquitted on all counts. The amount of money that the government sunk into this fiasco is unimaginable.

Paul Bergrin put on the best defense possible when considering that his hands have been tied behind his back. He was left with no money to pay for the experts he truly needed and begins his day long before the government participants climb out of bed. I seriously doubt that Paul has had even six hours sleep nightly since this trial began. He does have many people that have supported him in various roles throughout this trial and long before it started though.

The many people that have contacted me over the last two years + have expressed their admiration and support for Paul Bergrin for the most part. From my perspective, the government and its representatives sit almost alone, with little support outside of their own circles. From what I have heard, even many AUSAs in other areas of the country admire and support Paul. You must remember: Paul Bergrin was once an AUSA himself.


So what are the odds?

Well, that depends on what we are betting on here. If the bet was acquittal or conviction only on all counts charged, I will step outside the box here and confidently state that it is 95% in favor of acquittal on all counts. Really I do not even want to give prosecutors the 5% because the odds of Paul being convicted on any counts at all does not even reach that little 5% when considering that AUSA Minish had the audacity to refer to Oscar the informant as a solid witness in his closing. Really such a statement is insulting to jurors.

However, the odds change substantially when considering the possibility of a hung jury on any count or all counts. I have not heard anything whatsoever about the jury except what I read in a couple of NorthJersey.com articles. I have not even asked one of my many contacts the ratio of males/females on the jury. I do not ask because I do not want to know. I will have to assume that Paul Bergrin knows how to pick a jury.

Considering the possibilities of a hung jury on all counts is extremely involved. I'd almost have to see the jurors to make such a call. Sometimes I can feel people - a reference to how a person thinks, life experiences in their past, how a person will react in certain situations, or what a person is thinking. Certainly such a statement alludes to a psychic ability and you may take that or leave it; it doesn't matter to me. No way I'd even do a reading for Paul Bergrin without being in his presence and touching him, so no, I haven't had a look at the cards.

I'm not so sure I could even offer odds on a hung jury on any count or all counts from where I'm sitting. I'm also not sure that I'd want to. To imagine Paul Bergrin having to go through this all over again is simply too much.

The summations have concluded by now and this case has gone to the jury. The jurors were there and know better than anyone else what is right. Each juror is entrusted with Paul Bergrin's life. They listened and they watched and they know who was lying, who was telling the truth, who was questionable, who had something to gain, and who didn't.

I only ask that anyone reading this blog trust the verdicts and not question or disparage the jurors for any decision at all in this case. I may post again later tonight or in the days ahead... depends how long the deliberations are. For the moment, it is a time of reflection for me. Almost holding my breath here...

Conflict of Interests

The plot thickens regarding Newark attorney Richard Roberts, known to most as Richie Roberts of "American Gangster" fame. Apparently Lemont Love was far from the only former Bergrin client that Roberts adopted for reasons yet to be confirmed. Take note that shortly after Paul Bergrin's arrest, Richie Roberts moved into the same 50 Park Place address, in the Robert Treat building, that was Bergrin's law office address.

Roberts also represented Albert Castro, a government witness in this case that was called during the first trial. For an idea of when and how he represented Castro, read this transcript from the first trial beginning on page 40:

US v Bergrin 10_27_11 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

Albert Castro was a true criminal and this may be a reason that he was not called to the stand in Paul Bergrin's second trial, or it could be related to Richie Roberts, because let's face it: prosecutors have given real criminals 'get out of jail free' cards in this case and have no issue with calling a parade of criminal informant witnesses to the stand to testify.

Other government witnesses in this case that were later represented by Richie Roberts, after Paul Bergrin was arrested, are Rondre Kelly and Abdul Williams. Kelley implicated Albert Castro, so there is no doubt that there were conflicts of interest. Richie Roberts also conferred with Yolanda Jauregui in a jail visit prior to her making a guilty plea in this case. From what I heard, he was soliciting movie rights.

Roberts was most likely the pollinator, like a bee spreading information from one cooperating witness to another. He definitely represented Albert Castro, Abdul Williams, and Rondre Kelley and then suddenly a new attorney would substitute. If you've read my previous posts, you're aware that he briefly represented Lemont Love, immediately after Paul Bergrin was arrested.

Lemont Love ended-up filing a civil suit against Roberts for various issues that add-up to ineffective assistance of counsel. The suit was filed under an incorrect action in federal court and was dismissed, but this is what he did to Love and I do not say 'allegedly' as it was clear to me before I even found the suit information that his representation of Love was a waste:


I have heard the term "privileged informant" recently. It is a reference to a confidential informant that is an attorney, clergy, or media-related. There is brief mention of the privileged informant in the FBI Confidential Informant Guidelines, which is a lengthy document that I was reading recently. I still have to learn more on the topic before I could dive into the specifics, but it's worthy of consideration here. Roberts convinced Lemont Love to plead guilty in his own case and the government witnesses noted herein that were represented by him pled guilty shortly after meeting him.

In the Lemont Love Affidavit filed in this case on 10 March 2013, the AUSA (Steven G Sanders) came-off as seriously indignant that Love had the audacity to question anything relating to Richie Roberts. Consider how these same AUSAs have pursued Paul Bergrin, allegedly as a result of accusations, and then wonder why such allegations made about Roberts are so quickly dismissed.

The question that remains is how many other government witnesses in this case have heard from Richard Roberts? He's an an interconnecting factor with too many witnesses already. He also discusses this movie plan too often for it to not be real. Was he after more clients for his law practice or was he pursuing movie rights? He's an old guy and I seriously doubt that he needs the money; he's made a lot of money in his working lifetime. He also fails to do much of anything for these clients when he does sign a contract with them.

Richard Roberts is definitely an interconnecting factor in this case, though precisely what he's up to has yet to be proven. Time will tell. One thing that is clear here is that the man has a variety of conflicting interests. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On the Defense Witnesses: A Discussion

There are numerous issues left hanging in the wind in reference to the list of people that have testified for the Paul Bergrin defense in this trial. We can only imagine the level of abuse each witness has dealt with from agents, prosecutors, and their minions for having the nerve to stand-up and offer the information each has in defense of an innocent man suffering a false prosecution. Do not take it lightly - that would be a serious mistake.

I know little or nothing about most of the defense witnesses. No newspapers have covered this trial thoroughly and the one that has covered it lightly has an obvious bias in favor of prosecutors. One thing I learned many years ago is that a direct quote is believable and anything else stated is questionable and may be altered entirely by an editor. Example:

Gallas said, "Blah blah blah and blah." = believe that this person actually stated this in the exact words.

Gallas said blah blah blah and blah. = DO NOT believe it. The person could have stated absolutely anything and the words may, or may not, have been changed by the editor.

The Orlando Sentinel taught me this in reference to my own trial. When I called the reporter to state my objections to how I was portrayed and what the article claimed I stated, he went into defense mode and informed me that since quotations were not used, I couldn't file a law suit. Well hell, I didn't want to file a damn lawsuit - I just didn't understand how they could omit facts that were truly important and then claim I stated something that I never said. The above example is how this is accomplished legally.

Let's take a look at the one article published yesterday by a NJ newspaper concerning the testimony of Lemont Love and the telephone call recording that prosecutors played for the court. First the article and then a quote from the article:


On the recording, Love told someone he called “little brother” that he had information that could “bury” Bergrin but he wasn’t going to reveal it because “I ain’t never been no [expletive] snitch.”

Do you see how deceiving that quote can be? The only thing that we know is that Love stated the word "bury" and was talking to someone he refers to as "little brother" and he's not a snitch. It is more than possible that he stated the government wanted to bury Paul Bergrin to little brother on the other end, but a read of the entire article leaves the impression that Love had some sort of plot in mind when the conversation took place. The next paragraph accomplishes this mission when in reality it quotes AUSA John Gay in its entirety.

The reader has been deceived and doesn't even realize it. The impression is different than the reality of what Lemont Love actually stated in this long ago telephone conversation.

Now take a look at Lemont Love's statement to the attorney and investigator that visited him in prison back in July of 2012:


I was told that in person Lemont Love is personable, soft-spoken, articulate and comes across as completely honest. He was doing good in life until his brother died and then he went off the deep end. He has always been a straight "A" student and is a truly good human being that made mistakes after a serious disaster in his life. He was close to his brother. He has literally risked his life to testify truthfully in this trial. The jury must weigh his testimony with all other testimony that they've heard.

No doubt that the feds have seriously scared this man. Anyone that dares to expose their true statements and clear intent of false prosecution in this case would be despised by the lot of them. Mr. Love is only one of many witnesses that the defense has called and I will discuss the others in a late-night post.

I feel that it is important for the general public reading news about this trial to understand how mainstream news will plant an idea regardless of the truth and reality. This is the reason that I post all documents available to me on this blog.

Obstructing the Defense

Paul Bergrin had a list of witnesses to call, but the US Marshal Service couldn't get any to the courtroom fast enough for Judge Cavanaugh. Take note the the Marshal's service had a complete list by the middle of February. To the judge's credit, he probably realizes that there is no need for more witnesses on Bergrin's part.

The government's case was like a walk through the Land of Oz. The long list of witnesses that testified is probably less important than the list of the missing witnesses. When the prosecutors fail to call those referred to as main witnesses in past, well, there's a real problem with each one of them. Yolanda Jauregui, Alejandro Barraza-Castro, Ramon Jiminez, and Albert Castro were all conspicuously absent from this trial. Jason Itzler was the owner of NY Confidential and prosecutors called Natalie McLennan instead, though she witnessed little and nothing at all that was relevant to the charges.

We heard from major drug traffickers that received no prison time at all in exchange for false testimony about Bergrin, a list of garden variety informants that would say anything for time off a long sentence, an alleged shooter that never was one to begin with, jailhouse snitches that plotted against former clients of Bergrin's, a high-priced hooker that spent years on drugs and shopping, and Oscar. Who knows what to say about Oscar? Good grief. Send him back to the psychiatric facility, please.

The government spent 8 weeks presenting its case. Paul Bergrin was given a week and was weighed-down by US Marshals that could not accomplish the mission. Thanks to technical issues at the Four Seasons in Kingston, Jamaica, live video conferencing of a defense witness was not possible and the jury was given some sort of stipulation as a substitute.

Paul was able to call Lemont Love to the stand today, though his testimony was shadowed by some debatable recording that the government came-up with. I did not hear the recorded telephone call and the jury did, so they can judge that one by themselves. At any rate, Mr. Love had nothing whatsoever to gain, unlike the government's witnesses. Worst case scenario is that Lemont Love lied, which is what all of the government witnesses did and with the government's blessing. He was correct in stating that Thomas Moran was threatened with the death penalty and given 10 minutes to make-up his mind, and that is not public information.

I have heard numerous negative comments about Ritchie Roberts, the attorney that Love refers to in his affidavit, and from several directions. How many government witnesses has he visited and discussed this planned movie with? Perhaps we will find out in the summation. Rest assured that Lemont Love was not alone in recounting that topic of their conversations. Love also made other allegations against Roberts that prosecutors and federal agents have no interest in investigating. Funny how that works, isn't it? If you're Paul Bergrin they find jailhouse snitches willing to lie, but if you're Ritchie Roberts they look the other direction.

The next two witnesses that Bergrin intended to call were permanently delayed by the US Marshal Service. Both are currently federal prisoners and their testimony would have undermined the testimony of government witness Abdul Williams. Syed Rehman is currently in FCI Gilmer, in West Virginia, and Rahoo Drew is at USP McCreary in Kentucky. Neither location is that far from Newark, New Jersey, so I'm not clear on the problem with transporting these witnesses. A brief proffer of their statements is on page 2:


Perhaps Judge Cavanaugh viewed any further defense as unnecessary. The government did not make its case at all from my viewpoint, but then I am reading all of the documents. Oscar Cordova (or whatever his name really is) was the government's prime witness - the self-proclaimed hitman that was obviously an informant to Paul Bergrin and anyone with a brain - was a serious fiasco for prosecutors. Can you imagine having no choice except to bring your witness back two days later to admit to serious perjury and confess to a criminal act of calling in a death threat against himself?

I think that following the Oscar mess, prosecutors were simply trying to save face. I would feel sorry for them, except that we all know they are trying to put Bergrin in a prison cell forever based on false testimony.

And so we shall wait for the government's summation that will, undoubtedly, include a list of what they will claim to have proved via witness testimony. Finally we will hear Paul Bergrin's summation and then the jury will deliberate. Do I need to tell you my thoughts on what the outcome will be? Well, I never second guess jurors, so you're only going to hear the commentary.

No matter what the outcome is, I do hope that no one from either side disrespects the jurors with unwarranted comments. They were there and they heard every word that the rest of us missed, they could look into the eyes of witnesses as each testified, and it is their decision. You won't hear shit from me no matter which direction it all goes except for a final post, of course.

If you want copies of any documents or of the transcripts from the first trial, please do take a copy now. All will be removed soon. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lemont Love Affidavit Speaks Volumes

First it is important for anyone reading this to understand that Lemont Love is incarcerated and has nothing whatsoever to gain by testifying truthfully for the defense in this trial. In fact, the situation is quite the opposite and Lemont Love is risking his life by making the statement that he has made here.

Mr. Love could easily have gone with the show, as his attorney at the time wanted him to, but refused to lie. Incidentally, that attorney was Richard Roberts of "American Gangster" fame and better known in legal circles as Ritchie Roberts. Roberts character was played by Russel Crowe in the movie and he really is a cop that went to law school at night, became a prosecutor, and then became the defense attorney in the end. As the defense attorney he engineered a plea deal for the real Frank Lucas.

Make no mistake - Ritchie Roberts has plans to turn this saga into a movie and he probably has the connections to do so. He's already working on his own part and has been forming the parts of the government witnesses. I do think that he may need to switch around some of the roles before this story is over.

The affidavit speaks for itself. I accept the many statements as truthful and valid mainly because Lemont Love has nothing to gain and everything in the world to lose. Mr. Love is not a criminal informant, though he has been convicted of crimes. This tells me that he has ethics and morals, regardless of what he chose to do for a living.

I do know for fact that Thomas Moran - the attorney that testified against Paul Bergrin earlier in this trial - was threatened with the death penalty and given 10 minutes to decide if he wanted to be a witness for the government or not. It was a high pressure situation and Moran decided to go with the show.

Lemont Love was offered a deal by federal agents that would have made his case go away. The catch was that the deal required false testimony against Paul Bergrin. Mr. Love passed on that immoral and unethical deal and instead he speaks the truth. The government is pulling out all stops to prevent his testimony in this trial, so this affidavit may be all that you'll get. Love is a hero in my eyes.

One thing the prosecutor has semi-correct: Lemont Love's sworn statement speaks volumes in this case. Why would the defense call Ritchie Roberts to the stand? Would anyone expect Roberts to reveal his true motives or his actions? The defense is not that stupid. Only a total idiot calls a witness when they're not aware of what his testimony would be and only an absolute moron would expect Roberts to incriminate himself on the stand.

Without further adieu, the Lemont Love affidavit (scroll past the government gibberish on page 1 to read it):




More on this story in the next day or two... 


The Hohn Testimony from Jamaica

Ignatius Benjamin Hohn was unable to testify via live two-way video conference from the Four Seasons Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday, the 8th of March as planned. According to the trial minutes for that day, there were "technical issues with equipment on other end". The minutes also state that the parties will enter into a stipulation as to his testimony:


Mr. Hohn's actual statement was included in a defense letter that I have dated 5 March 2013. Just scroll to pages 4-5 to read Mr. Hohn's actual words, though the entire document is an interesting read and places the statement in the context of the government's allegations against Paul Bergrin:



Technology fail at the Four Seasons

I am curious if this was actually a technical issue on the part of the Four Seasons Hotel in Kingston. As you may surmise, I have about as much trust in the FBI as Mr. Hohn does. Paul Bergrin needed him to make that point to the jury in this trial. It is an important point as agents attempted to put words in Mr. Hohn's mouth and isn't this what has been done throughout this investigation? Agents have told their witnesses what to say and what not to say.

I feel this way to such an extent that I may, or may not, contact a friend in Kingston and see if he can get the real story from a hotel insider. If in fact it was a technical failure on the part of the hotel, well, it doesn't say much for holding any conferences there. Time will tell.

The defense and Mr. Hohn would be none the wiser if there was a fix-up at the hotel or if the tech guy was paid to make it not work for a change. So why not a different venue? Surely there is somewhere in Kingston that can make the live two-way video conference work?

Mr. Hohn's statement in his own words would have impact, in my opinion. The court was far too quick to decide on a stipulation. Yeah - you got it: I do not trust any of the players involved here. Live two-way video conferencing happens every minute of every day around the world, yet we are supposed to believe that it was a total fail in Kingston, Jamaica? That it cannot be done and some half-ass stipulation is the required substitute?

Can I interest you in a bridge over in Brooklyn?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sometimes the Truth is Irrelevant

On 6 March 2013, the defense called Paul Feinberg and Rashidah Tarver to the stand to testify. Mr. Feinberg is a prominent attorney in NJ and Ms. Tarver is a school teacher. The defense also called Paul Bergrin's daughter Beth to testify. Of course none of these three defense witnesses would need to consider pleading the Fifth on the stand; they're all upstanding citizens that have never been charged with any crime.

Paul Bergrin did not have the opportunity to question the next witnesses. Jamal McNeil and Edward Peoples are convicted felons and the government refused to afford each immunity from prosecution as is given to its own witnesses that testify. In this sense, it is certainly an unequal system. Government witnesses that have participated in crimes get a free pass on the crimes discussed, but defense witnesses are threatened with prosecution if any statement implicates them in the very same crime.

The government stated in advance of today's proceedings that the Fifth Amendment could be an issue for many of Bergrin's witnesses. I described how that works in favor of the defense in my last post and now you see how it worked in favor of prosecutors yesterday. Both Jamal McNeil and Edward Peoples opted to pass on testifying today shortly after arriving at the courthouse. Each of these men were actual witnesses that would have informed the jury of false testimony by government witnesses. The truthful testimony was stifled.

One thing is absolutely clear here: The government has no interest in the truthful testimony and will use the Fifth Amendment to stifle it whenever possible. Government prosecutors do not represent the people or truth and justice; they represent the system and the government.

I certainly hold no ill will towards McNeil or Peoples. I saw it coming. Each was willing to get on the stand and speak the truth about what happened in specific situations; however, not at the expense of their own lives. Who could blame them?

No matter really. I feel that Paul Bergrin has revealed Anthony Young's version of events to be a complete and total theater production; one in which government agents and prosecutors are complicit. Paul Feinberg was Anthony Young's attorney briefly back in late 2004, early 2005, following the murder of Kemo Deshawn McCray. Rashidah Tarver was Young's girlfriend during that time period and up until he set her house on fire - literally.

Read Paul Feinberg's testimony from the first trial beginning on page 24 and concluding on page 37. Read Ms. Tarver's testimony starting on page 37 and ending on page 60 of the transcript:

US v Bergrin 11_9_11 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

If you've read this part of the transcript, I do not need to inform you of the holes in Anthony Young's testimony. In the beginning, Oscar Cordova with his inaudible tapes were the government's best witness in this prosecution, but as we are all aware, Oscar's testimony was a complete failure. Hell, the idiot actually impersonated a female when he called-in a death threat against himself - that is warped, and criminal.

The next best witness in this trial was supposedly Anthony Young and his twisting of the "No Kemo, no case" statement. In reality, it's all lies. Young never went to the auto body shop to melt the gun that he never used to kill Kemo Deshawn McCray.

Bergrin's daughter Beth testified as to why he was in Chicago back when Oscar claimed he was there for a meeting. Of course nothing from this alleged meeting is even on the inaudible tapes. Bergrin was there to meet his young grandchild for the first time and stayed the night at his daughter's home. He flew back to NJ the following day.

Doesn't it bother you when you figure out that the government's main goal and only goal is to deceive you? It seriously bothers me.


Additional reference:



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Stand for Truth and Justice

There is a list of defense witnesses that are heroes in my eyes as each has the backbone and the morals to stand up for justice in Paul Bergrin's trial. It is no easy task to defy the feds, whether free or incarcerated, and in this case federal agents have been clear that they're not seeking truth. There have been thinly veiled threats leveled at all defense witnesses by prosecutors in this case.

Any witness for the defense must anticipate problems that could prevent testimony and retribution by angry prosecutors and agents for the refusal to go along with the show trial and their intention to testify truthfully. The government has already issued a warning to defense witnesses in this case that there could be Fifth Amendment issues in regards to testimony in court.

The Fifth Amendment states:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Now the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is intended as a protection against self-incrimination and government abuse of authority in a legal procedure. However, in this situation it is being used as a tool to threaten Paul Bergrin's defense witnesses. I will give you an example of what could possibly happen with a testifying witness:

In my own RICO trial the state's main witness pled the Fifth while testifying. Her name is Theresa Ann Isaacs and actually she has at least four additional names that I discovered - a couple prior to my trial and a couple more following my acquittal. We'll just call her Terri for the sake of this example.

When my attorney, Stephen Wolverton, deposed Terri just prior to my trial, she refused to answer certain questions that related to her relationship with the main case agent and how they met, previous arrests, and tax evasion in relation to her own escort services. With some questions she offered vague, non-committal type responses and yet with other questions she simply refused to answer. A witness can do that to the defense when being deposed, but it doesn't fly in a courtroom during trial testimony.

A witness, whether for the government or for the defense, cannot plead the Fifth in trial testimony and still remain a witness. This is a main reason that I didn't understand why Oscar Cordova was not tossed from the courtroom when he stopped answering Paul Bergrin's questions on cross-examination. Oscar asked to leave for the day and the judge allowed him to do so. However, Oscar was returned to the stand the following morning, so really he only attained overnight relief. This was presumably to allow the government a short period of time to get their shit together.


So back to Terri...

Knowing which specific questions resulted in Terri offering vague responses or the refusal to respond at all, Mr. Wolverton was able to zero-in on these questions with the hope of hearing valid truthful responses in trial. Terri came through like a champion horse at the Kentucky Derby and pled the Fifth while on the stand. The judge informed her that she was a witness, not a defendant, and would not be able to testify if she refused to answer the particular question. He called a long lunch break and instructed Terri to contact her attorney and decide if she was testifying, or not.

Following our more than two-hour lunch, Terri returned to the stand. She claimed that she was unable to reach her attorney, but stated confidently that she wanted to testify. She stated this with a big smirk on her face as she glared at me. Mr. Wolverton returned to the same line of questioning and Terri, once again, pled the Fifth.

Did Terri think that my attorney would let her off the hook because she was cute? I have no clue what goes on in the mind of a druggie called as a witness for the state. I think the drugs fried her brain. Perhaps her ringing cellphone also distracted her. Yes, this escort business owner's phone was ringing away while she was on the stand and the entire courtroom (jury included) turned to look at her purse when it happened.

She looked like she was thinking and in mental pain at the same time; stuck and unsure of her next move or statement. Terri requested that the bailiff bring her a grass of water. Considering that the jurors, the defense, the prosecutors and myself were all thirsty and had no water, Terri definitely lost a few points as she slowly drank the entire glass of water while keeping us waiting.

Mr. Wolverton repeated the question, Terri pled the Fifth again, and the judge told her that she was excused as a witness in my case. I was told by a friend in the hallway that tears rolled down her cheeks and she broke into a full, heaving cry by the time she hit the hallway circus that she had brought with her. Terri went into a private room with Brant Rose, the main case agent, and remained there for almost an hour. She then followed a juror into the bathroom and cried to that juror.

The juror reported the bathroom encounter to the bailiff who then reported it to the judge. I was given the option of a mistrial, but I passed on that. I had no interest in allowing the state to get their shit together and coach Terri on how to respond to those questions. I requested that the trial continue.

Terri was not charged with jury tampering and neither was Brant Rose. I would buy a bridge in Brooklyn before I'd believe that her encounter with the juror in the bathroom was not plotted in that private room. The prosecution was a tremendous fail at that point and the main case agent absolutely needed a mistrial to regroup, which is of course why I refused it. A mistrial is not necessarily a good thing.


Back to the Paul Bergrin trial

After reading my little story, do you see how the government could prevent valid testimony important to the defense using the Fifth Amendment?

The only person that this is close to impossible to work with is the man in Jamaica that will be testifying via live video conferencing. If you have read the defense letter dated 5 March 2013 on the Documents page of this blog, then you're aware of his testimony and how important it is to Paul Bergrin. Ignatius Ben Hohn operated the auto body shop where Anthony Young claimed to have gone to melt the weapon that he allegedly used to murder Kemo Deshawn McCray.

Mr. Hohn's testimony blows a huge hole in criminal informant Anthony Young's testimony. Mr. Hohn is not an informant, he's also not a criminal, and he is not being paid for testimony in the form of substantial assistance letters from the government to shave many years off any lengthy sentence. Whose testimony is more believable? Why Mr. Hohn's of course.

Mr. Hohn's testimony is also corroborated by Rashidah Tarver's testimony in the first trial that she never drove Anthony Young to Ben Hohn's auto body shop to melt the murder weapon. At the last trial, Ms. Tarver disputed that she ever drove Young and Baskerville to Mr. Hohn's shop as Young testified. The defense investigator located Mr. Hohn and now there are two people making the same statement and neither are criminal informants seeking sentence reductions.

There are certainly more defense witnesses and some are convicted of crimes, serving sentences, and will be brought to the courtroom by U.S. Marshals from various prisons. The main difference between these defense witnesses and the government's criminal informants is that the defense witnesses are not seeking favors from prosecutors and sentence reductions.

In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. The defense witnesses that are serving time will likely be abused by the government and suffer for their truthful testimony. I intend to compile a list, once it is available to me, to note the defense witnesses testifying for no gain whatsoever. In doing so, I can only hope that much of the potential abuse by government agents can be prevented. Keeping those names public could help to prevent government initiated problems for those witnesses.

Not all convicted criminals that are testifying in this trial are doing so for profit, substantial time off of a lengthy prison sentence, or any other gain whatsoever. Some are heroes and hopefully you, and the jurors, realize the serious differences. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Missing Government Witnesses

The government failed to call numerous so-called witnesses during this second trial. By now you are probably aware that the government has rested their case, or rather their lack of a case, against Paul Bergrin. However, we have a list of witnesses from the previous trial that were never called to testify, most notably Yolanda Jauregui.

Yolanda Jauregui was a co-defendant as was her boyfriend, Alejandro Barraza-Castro. You may remember that in a post dated 7 February 2013, I mentioned that dear Yolanda and her bud Barraza-Castro were recorded in Hudson County Corrections plotting a major cocaine deal. I will have to believe that Paul Bergrin managed to get those recordings because we all know that these prosecutors would never voluntarily turn them over.

It was also mentioned to me that Jason Itzler was missing in action. Considering that Paul is charged with operating Itzler's former service (NY Confidential), I find that extremely suspicious. Could it be that there was proof that this never happened at all and Bergrin was no more than Itzler's defense attorney? I have bet on that all along.

But what sort of case do prosecutors have when they fail to call Paul Bergrin's co-defendants? Well, I only know what happened in my own case and I doubt that Yolanda and Barraza-Castro would threaten to be truthful on the stand as my co-defendant did.

Yolanda's brother, Ramon Jiminez, is also conspicuously absent as is Albert Castro. If you Google each name along with accused madam, the transcripts from the previous trial show in search results. Example: "ramon jiminez accused madam" (minus the quotation marks) reveals that Jiminez testified on October 20, 2011, and he returned on October 21, 2011.

There are also other documents in the first page of search results that will give you a good idea why Jiminez was not called in this trial. Hint: See the government brief filed on August 31, 2012.

I was just joking in that earlier post wherein I stated that the prosecutors must have decided to substitute Natalie McLennan for Jason Itzler, but apparently it was on the money.


The missing witnesses that I discovered:

Yolanda Jauregui
Alejandro Barraza-Castro
Ramon Jiminez
Albert Castro
Jason Itzler

The only date I am missing in the trial minutes is 12 February 2013, and that's only because nothing was ever filed by the clerk for that date. I have not reached out to ask anyone if they recall who specifically was called on that day, but we can easily assume that it was not the two co-defendants on the list. Please do feel free to add to this list if you find other witnesses that the government failed to call in this trial.

Interesting indeed!  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Support Paul Bergrin

SUPPORT PAUL BERGRIN, THE ATTORNEY WHO EXPOSED THE WHITE HOUSE ROLE  IN AUTHORIZING TORTURE IN IRAQ AND WHO IS NOW BEING FRAMED FOR MURDER

"Besides the evidence I uncovered on Operation Iron Triangle, Objective Murray and the Rules of Engagement, to kill every[Iraqi] military aged male upon contact, I was about to change the course of history (in a press conference) that I had affirmative proof that President Bush, VP Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Assist. Secy. of (Defense) Wolfowitz, Carbone and White House Counsel, (Alberto) Gonzales (later US Attorney General) had lied, deliberately and intentionally when they denied knowledge of the torture techniques at Abu Ghraib. "-   Paul Bergrin


PACK THE COURT ROOM IN DOWNTOWN NEWARK, NEW JERSEY FOR THE  ONGOING  MURDER TRIAL OF PROMINENT DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND TORTURE WHISTLE BLOWER, PAUL BERGRIN.

TIME:  9:00 am

DATE:  Trial is currently underway and will be lasting for about two more weeks.

WHERE:  The third floor of the  main Post Office, between Franklin and Walnut Street (entrances are  on both  streets, which intersect  with Broad Street. The Post Office is about a Block in from Broad Street), downtown, Newark, New Jersey

Judge:  Dennis Cavanaugh, 3rd Floor, Courtroom 4.


Paul Bergrin is the prominent and brilliant defense attorney who tried to put George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on the stand  for authorizing torture in Iraq and Afghanistan while he was representing one of the soldiers who was wrongfully set up to take the fall for abuses at Abu Ghraib. And when Bush wanted to bulldoze the prison, Bergrin was the one who stopped him.  

In 2007 he was about to go forward with the trial of Operation Iron Triangle, which would have exposed how the US was authorizing soldiers to kill every Iraqi male of military age on sight. However,  he was arrested and charged with spurious counts of money laundering and operating a prostitution ring. After his arrest, all the soldiers involved were forced to accept plea bargains and the trial never proceeded. Thus, the war crimes that the US committed during that operation remains virtually unknown to  American public and soldiers that were set up to take the fall are serving 18 years in prison, while the top commanders who gave the murderous orders, such as Colonel Michael Steele of “Black Hawk Down” fame, remain free and clear, with their reputations in tact.

Bergrin was eventually able to clear his name of the felony charges against him (he pled guilty to a misdemeanor), but his troubles would prove to be far from over. In  April 2009, when the Obama administration released the torture memos, Bergrin announced his intentions to reopen the Abu Ghraib case as he now had the proof he needed to show that the US was authorizing torture. He writes:

"If I had the torture memos, I would have compelled the highest levels of the government to testify at these Court-Martials, gone with a not guilty plea and exposed the hypocrisy. Additionally, Col. Pohl denied me calling these witnesses because the (government) alleged there was no nexus nor evidence in existence on the torture memos and techniques; we now know (they) existed and all the above had knowledge of....I could have reversed the convictions at Abu Ghraib and placed blame on the real offenders . . ."

The government was also very aware of the threat that Bergrin posed to them and within a couple of weeks of announcing his intentions to reopen Abu Ghraib, he was again arrested and charged with over 30 felony counts, including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering, operating a brothel, real estate fraud, dealing in the drug trade, etc., etc. He was denied bail and has been imprisoned ever since. He is now fighting that outrageous 31 count indictment in Newark, New Jersey.   


WHAT EVIDENCE???

While time nor space permits a detailed analysis of every false claim that the government has made against Bergrin in this sham of a case, there is one very important claim which is crucial to the US Attorney’s case that warrants scrutiny and that exposes the absurdity of the charges against him. And that is the claim that they have a wire tap of a conversation of Bergrin discussing killing a witness on December 8, 2008, with Oscar Cordova,  who was wearing a wire for the FBI. (It should be stressed that after six months of wearing a wire, the government only has one statement of Bergrin making such a reference.) 

According to Assistant US Attorney, John Gay, Bergrin hired Cordova as a hit man in June of 2008 to kill witnesses on behalf of a client  he was representing, Vinnie Estavez, who was a major drug dealer with big time connections and who had been arrested in May, 2008. Cordova testified that he had been a member of the Latin Kings and that on June 8, 2008, he was contacted about drugs and about killing witnesses in the Vinnie Estavez case. He then testified that because he did not want to get involved with anymore killings that he  contacted the FBI and decided to cooperate with them. Bergrin on the other hand always maintained that he was role playing and that he always had great suspicions about Cordova. Upon cross examination, Cordova was forced to admit that he had been in contact with the FBI on July 7th, before he ever met Bergrin, or anyone from his office.

Even more importantly, Cordova was forced to admit that in the six months that he had any dealings with him that no one from his office ever gave him any information about any of the witnesses. He admitted to repeatedly asking for information but was never provided with  pictures, phone numbers or addresses. He was also never offered any money or supplied with any guns.

Clearly the fact that Bergrin never gave the hit man any money, or weapons or any identifying information about any witnesses (Cordova didn’t even know the names of all of them) makes the government’s assertions that he was conspiring to kill people an absolute farce! The only thing that Bergrin could be accused of doing on those tapes is bullshitting Cordova!

Here’s a few more facts about the government’s star witness, Oscar Cordova. He told the FBI that he had committed 15 murders, but changed his statement around to say that he knew of 15 murders that were committed after he learned that he could get a life sentence for each murder. He lied to the FBI on a previous case in which he was working as their informant. He continued to use drugs and engage in illegal activity and was arrested while working as an informant on this case. And after he finished testifying on Thursday, 2/21, he had to be called back to the stand on Monday, 2/25, for perjury because he testified that he had never called in a hit  on himself to the FBI, when the fact is that he did. He disguised his voice as a female and told them  that a hit had been ordered on him. He did this because he did not want to testify at the trial. And naturally the reason that he admitted to doing such is that the government basically promised him immunity.

But it gets better. When Vinnie Estavez took the stand he testified on direct questioning that Bergrin told him that if he wanted to win his case the witnesses would have to be killed. But under cross examination Vinnie  acknowledged that upon his arrest he made a videotaped confession to law enforcement. He gave up the names of almost everyone that was involved with him in the drug trade! What’s more, the government had bugged many conversations of him talking to  his drug connections. Thus another preposterous charge by the government is ripped into shreds! It is ludicrous to believe that Bergrin would ever tell Estavez that killing approximately five witnesses would help his case when he had already confessed to everything and had given up the names of  his drug contacts. In fact, Estavez admitted that for the first 13 months after Bergrin’s arrest he pled not guilty and asserted his innocence in conspiring to commit murder and only agreed to cooperate with the Feds after he was given a 25 year sentence in state court.

The trial of Paul Bergrin is violative on so many fronts. And the system of the confidential informant has proven to be nothing more than  another way for this government to exploit the pain and destitution of so many impoverished communities of color to exact vendettas against anyone it deems a threat to its imperialist designs. The trail of carnage that this vendetta against Bergrin leaves in its wake is immense. There is the young man, an informant,  who the FBI refused to put into the witness protection program and  who consequently was gunned down in front of his stepfather;  there is another young man who was framed with ordering his murder who is serving a 20 year life sentence; there are 9 American soldiers who have been tortured and who are serving 18 years in prison because they followed orders. But perhaps the biggest casualty of all  is the so called system of justice. Whereas if it was broke before, it is now completely shattered, as defense attorneys are  being imprisoned and charged based on guilt by association for zealously defending their clients (let us take a moment here to remember another ardent defender of justice, attorney Lynne Stewart, who is wrongfully serving a 10 year sentence in Texas and who is currently battling stage 4 breast cancer).

The ramifications of these actions are far reaching and can have potentially devastating consequences on disenfranchised communities, unless we come together and mount an organized challenge to government corruption and frame ups.

Paul Bergrin needs our support! And we need to send a strong message to this government that people are watching this case and that its corruption and underhandness is being exposed.  And the strongest way to do that is by having a strong turnout in the court room.  


Lisa V. Davis