Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sheriff Anderson's Staff Fixing Murder Cases?

An absolute shocking story on the front page of the Indianapolis Star tells how a jail employee of Sheriff Frank Anderson (D) deliberately placed witnesses in two separate cases in the same jail cell as the murder suspects they were prepared to testify against. Not surprisingly, the witnesses were intimidated, scuttling one murder trial and nearly derailing another. The Star's Vic Ryckaert reports on the actions of the 21-year old employee LaShawna Collins:

A former Marion County Jail employee is under investigation, accused of placing witnesses to two separate slayings in the same cellblocks as the suspects they were prepared to testify against.

La'Shawana Collins, 21, was fired Wednesday from her $20,461-a-year job as a jail clerk amid allegations she deliberately disregarded court orders and overrode jail safeguards that keep witnesses away from suspects.

"These witnesses were taken to jail with the expectation that they would be safe," Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said, "and the system put into place to protect them was deliberately overridden."

Collins could be charged with several felonies, Brizzi said, including obstructing justice, official misconduct and conspiracy to intimidate a witness. The Marion County Sheriff's Department and Brizzi's grand jury division were investigating Collins on Wednesday.

Collins could not be reached for comment. She was hired in July 2005.

Her actions scuttled a trial earlier this month, Brizzi said, and nearly derailed a second murder trial this week.

Another jail employee's actions also raise suspicions. Tammy Horton notarized a statement of one of the witnesses recanting his earlier statements implicating one of the murder suspects after he was placed in the same jail cell as the suspect by Collins. Collins' actions clearly violated court orders in each of the cases as well as jail safeguards. As Col. Kerry Forestal said, "One time, that's incompetence." "A second time, a red flag goes up." "There's more than incompetence here."

How is our county's prosecutor expected to keep dangerous criminals off the street when the sheriff's employees are working to free them? We needs some answers Sheriff Anderson.


Sir Hailstone said...

I'll tell you Gary - I wouldn't put it past Anderson and his cronies to put the fix on to purposely discredit Carl Brizzi.

This time it's going to backfire. But Anderson & Co. will brush it off as "corrupt employees".

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Anderson is extremely hard-working and competent. I am sure this was a ploy by employees, not a conspiracy.

Remember, he replaced Jack Cottey for crying out loud. Cottey was, and is, one of the dumbest politicians ever elected to anything. And deceptive.

Frank has poor political skills sometimes (i.e., his recent salary increase). If he could depend on the close aides to steer him clear of that nonsense, I kinda like the lack of political experience. He's not a career politician. And that's refreshing.

But the story today was shocking. He has to come out hard and fast against that kind of crap.

Someone got paid on this one. Intimidation is not a trait served free.

Sir Hailstone said...

Jack Cottey might be one of the "dumbest" politicians but I felt a lot safer when he was in charge than now with Frank Anderson.

Time for a change - need to elect Steve Davis.

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Anderson, protector of the people...

Well, how about battered women. I guess it's okay if you are a public official... Beat the crap out of a woman, send her to the hospital then get with all the politicians at the city and fix-it. Well, Sherriff Anderson we know you looked the other way and we know who beat whom...Maybe that's why no one allowed him any input into the consolidation. But you could have done your job and protected that battered young lady.

What about driving while intoxicated? I guess it's okay if you are a Deputy Sherriff who works for Tony "deadhead" Duncan. Mr. Birdsong, we know about you, and Sheriff Anderson we know you called the jail and DEMANDED that he be released from jail...

How can the criminals police the criminals? There is no discernment.

We need need government in Indianapolis.

Anonymous said...

Shocking? No surprise to me how the jails/prison are being run in the mid-west, especially in Indy! The state budget has been depleted by the illegals and the lazy minorities thanks to your government and political leaders. Yet I must say that I really do not pity the citizens of this country who have been educated as dumb buffoons early on so an illiterate leader, such as the US president, can take everything away from you and let China bring in poison in form of toys, tires, medicine (for crying out loud! We can not even buy and bring in medicine from Canada – but it’s okay from China???) , baby clothes, fish, etc - to kill of the TRUE hard working American people in order to safe Social Security for their own loony friends and special interests – you all better remember this: your politicians have off-shore accounts where they have stashed their “pay-offs” from Cuba, China, Mexico, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, OPEC, etc. You all have been trained to look only in the directions you are trained to look. Yet you all do not see the miserable stage this society is in. WAKE UP! Get a life outside the US and learn the various ways of GOOD LIFE! And do NOT commit crimes and stop crying about having no money to feed your kids – nobody twisted your arm to throw innocent souls into this messed up society so your lazy selfish butt can collect welfare! Our jail systems are overcrowded and it is all your fault! We have one out of four people in this country being totally illiterate – yet this country claims to be a world power…that is a good one – I am still laughing when I hear this…WAKE UP and become the world power you all brag about! Become educated and stop having kids you can’t afford! And do NOT EXPECT incompetent officials to take the lead or pass actual legislative bills that make sense and truly help schools and communities. Get out there and make a difference for yourself….