Opened on June 05, 2012
Since 1995 I have been diagnosed and treated for Chronic Depression, Bi-Polar disorder, Insomnia, Anxiety attacks and PTSD and I have been hospitalized for threatening suicide. My behavior has been very erratic and I've been treated with various medications, some better than others. In September 2011 I was re-diagnosed and put on a new regime of medications and counselling. My life has changed. I think I've found the sweet spot for my conditions and now I have the capacity to push for changes in a system that nearly destroyed me and my family.
Please read my story and help me introduce changes into the Colorado legislation that will help those amongst us who are persecuted and treated as criminals because of mental illness.
In January 2011 I was arrested by the Sherrifs office at Douglas County, Colorado for raising a knife to my wife of 16 years during a heated argument related to my sons behavior. Noone was hurt. I didn't touch her or anyone else. The incident lasted maybe 10 seconds but my wife was scared for my safety because my behavior was so out of character. She called the sherriffs office for help to get me to hospital. I had been in a deep depression for 4 weeks before the incident occurred. Even the day before my arrest, I had been to see my Psychiatrist for help but because of a misdiagnosis on his part that was later established, I was sent away with nothing more than a new prescription even though I was in deep trouble mentally.
Instead of helping, the Sherrifs office came and took me to jail where they held me in Suicide watch. My wife pleaded with the Sherrif to get me to hospital, stating she never intended for me to be held as a criminal. Instead they started their investigation where they became extremely creative in their report that my wife vigorously disputed.
48 Hours after my arrest, I appeared in front of former Magistrate Kara Martin who was one month later forced to resign for her questionable performance. Even though the pre-trial report recommended I was to be released with minimal bail conditions, she raised the bond to 75,000 from 25,000, ordered me to wear a GPS tracker at my expense of 400.00 a month and to comply with a Protection Order after she berated me in the court as being a menace to society even though I had no criminal history.
I barely managed to make bail a week later only to learn that the Douglas County investigator had tried to charge me with attempted murder. But when that wouldn't stick, the DA's office charged me with 4 Felonies and 3 misdemeanors with a possible jail term up to 35 years consecutive or 55 years concurrent. To add salt to the wound, the Asst. DA, Brittney Martin contacted my wife where she almost jokingly told her that they were going to put me away for a very long time so my wife wouldn't have to worry about me anymore and she could get on with her life.
My wife was furious with the DA and she let it be known she would not cooperate with her. The DA then threatened to notify Child Protective Services to take our children away if she didn't help them with their case. My wife stood her ground. The DA never spoke directly to her again.
In April 2011 I appeared in court for a disposition hearing. During that time, my lawyer presented to the Judge two letters from my Psychologist and Psychiatrist that they did not consider me dangerous at all. My wife requested I be allowed home. The Asst. DA protested and flat out lied in court that I had given my son a black eye and I was dangerous. My wife spoke to the judge and called the DA a liar. The judge allowed me home.
In the following months, the DA vigorously pursued a policy of full prosecution. Even though evidence was presented multiple times from experts that circumstances outside my control and involving medications prescribed played a major role in my behavior. In the meantime, we learned about bonuses being awarded to Asst. DA's who prosecute people successfully in a Jury Trial so it seemed this Asst. DA was going to beneift personally by putting me behind bars. This Asst. DA's boss Carol Chambers who openly advocates the severest prosecution of all perceived Domestic Violence crimes had instigated a no drop policy on charges, hence forcing time and significant expense to defend against trumped up, exagerrated charges.
In December 2011 I pled not guilty to all charges and continued to push for a Jury trial up to April 2012. Then the Asst. DA was transferred with no warning and the new Asst. DA on my case finally began to listen but he refused to make changes without permission. The final outcome was a plea agreement to a deferred judgement. But professionally my career is destroyed and personally because of lack of income, my family is suffering.
Financially I have been made bankrupt from the legal costs of over 30,000 and the legacy of this prosecution will be with me and my family forever.
It is too late for me to make any changes for me personally but I want to present a petition that forces a review of policies and procedures that reviews the intake process and evaluation of charges against those with an established history of mental illness. The judicial system today that is built around performance bonuses and other financial incentives to keep people in the system regardless of circumstance is corrupt to the core. Their are peoples lives at stake and these lives are being used to force personal and political aspirations. This must be controlled and the word "Justice" must be placed back into its true context.
Please sign my petition and help me to bring change in Colorado so that everyone is given a fair chance to be considered on the individual merits of their circumstances rather than painted with a single large brush that considers you guilty until proven innocent.
Thank you for reading this. I hope you will help me this worthy cause.