Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Accused Double Murderer Released From Jail Due To Prosecutor's Mistake

If a mistake like this had been made by former Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi's office, the media would have been all over him. When a big time mistake is made by the office of his successor, Terry Curry, his name is not even mentioned. I'm talking about the failure of Curry's office to turn over DNA evidence to an accused double murderer's attorney until the last possible moment resulting in the man's release from jail pending his trial in January.

Prosecutors claim Joshwa Carlisle strangled his girlfriend to death and burned his baby daughter alive by dousing her body with an accelerant so he wouldn't have to pay $200 a month in child support. A Marion County judge ordered Carlisle released pending his new trial date for the double homicide because prosecutors failed to turn over the evidence in a timely manner. The judge called the actions of prosecutors "totally unacceptable." They were given the choice of going to trial without using the DNA evidence, or waiting for a new trial date in January and freeing the accused killer. The prosecutors chose the latter. WRTV's Derrick Thomas had this reaction from family members and the deputy prosecutor assigned to the case:

"The circumstances are unique in this particular case and are not indicative of case in general," said Deputy Prosecutor Gregory Spencer. "I think the mechanisms that are in place are adequate. This was a one-time thing."
Shannon's family wept outside the courtroom after the judge made the decision.
"It's miserable. Both my nieces are in the ground," said Eon Davis, Shannon's uncle. "It makes absolutely no sense. They're going to let a killer out, and he's going to be free for the holidays."
When Thomas asked the deputy prosecutor if the public was at risk because the accused killer is free from jail until his trial, he replied, "No comment." Nowhere in the story is the man in charge of the office, Terry Curry, mentioned. The same is the case with a story reported on WISH-TV's website. “I’m not going to make excuses. And the bottom line is that it should not have happened,” said Gregory Spencer, deputy prosecutor for Marion County. No news stories of this flap by Curry's office appeared on Fox 59's or WTHR's website. Ditto on the Indianapolis Star's website. Apparently a flap of this magnitude does not call for a comment by the person elected to run the prosecutor's office.

In contrast, every TV station and the Star covered the fact that Secretary of State Charlie White did not appear at a hearing today in Marion Circuit Court hearing an appeal of the state election commission's ruling denying a petition by the Indiana Democratic Party to have him declared ineligible to hold office. The media wanted to know why White blew off today's hearing as if he were a child caught cutting classes at school. White's presence was not required even though he chose to file a brief in reply to the appeal on his own behalf to save on legal expenses. That's because the Attorney General's Office was legally required to defend the decision, and an attorney with the office appeared at today's hearing and made her oral argument on behalf of the state election commission. You would have never known that White's presence was not required reading the various news reports of today's hearing. The difference here is that, unlike Terry Curry, the media does not like Charlie White. Which of these elected official's actions has more impact on you and the community at large? Dumb question, eh?


artfuggins said...

Any chance that the deputy prosecutor was a holdover hired by Brizzi???

Gary R. Welsh said...

It's irrelevant. The buck stops at Terry Curry's desk. This is one of the most high profile crimes that has occurred on his watch. The prosecutor is/should be intimately involved with this case.

artfuggins said...

...but the anwswer is...??

Gary R. Welsh said...

The answer is the Prosecutor personally controls assignments to all major cases within his office. If he assigned someone a task they were incapable of performing in compliance with the trial rules, then he bears the responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Like I said, the buck stops at Curry's desk.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Something I've noticed is that the Star does not usually identify the Judge by name when it reports on court actions. Since these folks are elected, too, it would seem like information voters might want - despite the fact the county chairmen of the parties pick who is on the ballot.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I think that it is only proper that individuals posting anonymously here, who are making excuses for Curry's heinous decisions as Marion County Prosecutor, should identify themselves as operatives if they are working for the Marion County Democratic Party, especially as precinct committeemen. How about it, artfuggins and others I could name.