Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hamilton Avenue Massacre Case Blows Up On Brizzi

Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi gleefully announced a couple of weeks ago that Desmond Turner, the man accused of executing seven family members in a home on Hamilton Avenue in 2007, had agreed to a trial by a judge facing a life sentence without parole in consideration for the prosecutor's office removing the death penalty option from the case. Brizzi noted the cost savings to the county and the support his office had in the decision from the family members of the victims. The family members are now saying something quite different. They want the death penalty imposed, and they believe Brizzi's office withheld key information in the case from them. WRTV's Rafael Sanchez reports:

Janie Covarrubias, whose father and two younger brothers were among those killed in 2006, told 6News' Rafael Sanchez Wednesday that she and other family members consented to the deal before learning all of the facts in the case against Desmond Turner, 31.

"I was just recently allowed to see the murder pictures and the autopsy pictures. After seeing those pictures, I don't see any reason why he should be allowed to live," she said.

Turner earlier this month waived his right to a jury trial so that the state wouldn't seek the death penalty in the case.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office said that the deal will save the county tens of thousands of dollars and ensure Turner spends the rest of his life in prison if prosecutors win their case before the judge.

But Covarrubias called the option of life without parole ridiculous, and said that even though she had spoken out against the death penalty before, she thought it was the only option in the case.

"I was told by the prosecutors that it's hell for them to be sitting in a cell for eight hours a day. (Well) it's been hell for me for the past three years not having a father and not being able to grow up with my two youngest brothers," she said. "They're trying to get away with something horrendous that they did. They murdered seven people in cold blood."
The mishandling of this case by the prosecutor's office is just another in a string of embarrassments for Brizzi. Many Republicans are quietly hoping Brizzi opts against seeking re-election sooner rather than later so the party has some chance at salvaging the office with another viable candidate.

9 comments:

Indy Student said...

And to think that some people say Brizzi as someone qualified for a state wide office.

Michael said...

This is why there is often a lot of argument over admitting crime scene photos. They are so gruesome that the risk is there that they will inflame and prejudice the jury without adding much probative value. We know that the victims were murdered by gunfire. Of course seeing your dead loved ones with such injuries and their aftermath will be very awful, gory, and gutwrenching to their loved ones. I think the prosecutor made the right call here. Life without parole means just that. There is no good time credit. Someone like Turner is going to be so evil in prison he will likely spend 80% or more of his life in segregation (solitary). Once there, he will be a forgotten man to us on the outside. And the county will save $millions$ on a death penalty that wouldn't be enforced for 15 years at least anyway.

Remember the Allemenos murders in 1994? Adams, Ajabu, and the other guy I cant remember all got life. They are still there. They will never get out. They took life in exchange for a guilty plea. Those murders were just as gruesome, if not moreso. This deal with Turner, imo, is pretty much the same. He will get life.

Now, the only thing I worry about is one of the D judges being real cute and "smart" and acquitting the guy for some reason. You never know. But that is another issue apart from the sentencing issue.

Advance Indiana said...

Ajabu's father sends out e-mails daily complaining that his son isn't getting treated right in jail and seeking help to get him better treatment.

I know said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael said...

Good for him!! LOL

He is a tool.

Downtown Indy said...

And in the Allemenos case we have a father regularly popping up to proclaim his kid's innocence, thus assuring the family they cannot forget about the 'forgotten man.' (although I gag at the use of 'man' as a descriptor for those animals)

I am all for a quick disposition of the Hamilton case, but I'd be a lot more 'for' a quick execution. That, sadly, never happens. The odds start building for death by natural causes before an execution date can ever be reached.

I wish there was a 12 month appeal process followed immediately by execution if the appeals fail.

karma09 said...

Sometimes the expense is worth it, like the worst mass-murder in Indianapolis history. Brizzi's ridiculously poor judgment should and will be a central election theme should he foolishly try to stay alive as a political perennial candidate, for whatever is open.
This is what happens when you open your mouth and talk tough, and then are unable to back it up, which defines Brizzi's administration to a tee.

To Michael, at least the Alamenos case was resolved by a GUILTY PLEA, where the defendants had to admit their guilt and accept Life Without Parole as the unarguable sentence.

Here, Brizzi has simply sold out his sole function, vindication of the public against high crime, for a mere jury waiver! Everything else is still on the table, every objection, every legal argument, every appealable issue that comes up from Brizzi's bone-headed and press-driven personal prosecution of the case. I bet he's regretting that he promised to do this one himself. It's obvious the family members share that regret.

Downtown Indy said...

A thought just left me shuddering. Suppose the evidence is screwed up by Brizzi and the judge-sans-jury ends up letting the b*stard go on a technicality!

The reminder from Michael that the Allemenos perps pleaded guity makes me wonder why that wasn't required in this case.

Maybe it is to quickly get this case tried and (let's hope) convicted before elections roll around again so it serves as campaign fodder?

dcrutch said...

If this wasn't a instance for pursuit of the death penalty, what is? If it's a matter of saving taxpayers money, how about pursuit of Kernan-Shepard, a fair Colts contract, or hire a real general contractor to supervise the next library? How about stopping subsidizing childbirth with little expectation of parenting or routinely diluting infrastructure with benefits for non-citizens?

If the parties under arrest for this heinous crime are guilty, isn't their execution the most basic expectation we have of government? Save the money somewhere else.