Last week, as many people know, James Scaminaci endorsed a post of mine on FB-Escambia Citizens Watch. I have been blocked from that group so I did not see any of this unfolding until I looked at through a friend’s FB login. I only went there to get a copy of the shifty little degree Morgan claims is an MBA after Webster UNIVERSITY told me they had no record; technically that was true. He doesn’t have an MBA and he had the year wrong as well as the name of the institution–WEBSTER COLLEGE. While it is the same place, for the purposes of quality assurance, that fact may have been one of the issues in verification as it was prior to a major shift from college to university–a watershed moment in their history, but I digress.
In looking at the posts of the unfolding of this whole thing, I became very aware of the cattiness of community. I posted a correction, but the group does not acknowledge that. It is made to look like James corrected me while, in point of fact, he was correcting himself. This fact is not seen, but I suppose I didn’t expect it to be. You see, this “free speech” group doesn’t allow me to see any of this. To clarify, James did not “catch me” in a lie, nor did he do anything extraordinary as he talked to the same person but received a different answer to the same question for reasons that are not clear. While I acknowledge and corrected myself, the “free speechers”, led by Richard White and David Craig mocked me and my blog. They talked about me as if I was someone who fell off the turnip truck in a crazed vendetta against Morgan, after being dismissed by reliable people like Rick Outzen and Little Dickie White, while I compulsively talk about the Billings’ Murders.
Usually what other people say about me I regard as none of my business, however, I am regrettably disappointed by my peer, James Scaminaci for his part in this. He posted this in a place where I could not defend myself or do anything to accurately portray the circumstances. He misstated that Morgan’s degree of an MBA was verified as it was not. I was correct in my wording and I stand by it as such.
Also, I wanted to address the postings and comments of the peanut gallery. I am involved in the Pensacola political arena because I am interrelated to the area, the people and the issues. It is my hometown. Most of my friends live there still. My “obsession” with the Billings’ case is even more basic. I am human. In my own curiosity over this case–AS IT UNFOLDED–I educated myself with the facts of the case as I was taking predominantly criminology classes at Eastern Michigan University from men who have LEGITIMATE DEGREES FROM NAMED SCHOOLS, who have wrote books on the subject and even presided over national-interest cases. When I didn’t find one shred of real evidence that someone I knew, Patrick Gonzalez Jr, was guilty, as a human I could not sit by idly and watch him be put to death for a crime he did not commit. We are all interrelated in mutuality on this Earth, so whatever injustice is done to one, it is done to all. That is an assertion made by our founding fathers as well as Martin Luther King Jr. in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
In that understanding, I have used my time to research this case because it means something to me.The problem doesn’t just appear in this case. I assert that it is a systematic breakdown in the justice system everywhere. A death penalty case started and completed in 3 days is one fact that says it all. How could this elaborate case be reduced to 3 days when the question of life or death is involved? What justice could that possibly entail? Two co-conspirators saying he did it to protect their self-interest and the confession of a mentally ill man who did not immediately confess but did so off the record after 3 days of being held without proper representation or medication; he was legally not able to make the confession they based the case on because of his mental impairment. You wouldn’t have a child under the age of 13 testify after being held without communication with a legal guardian, so why would you hold a mentally incompetent man without a lawyer for 3 days?
There is a feasting on the weak in this case. Young African American boys who confessed after being told they would receive the death penalty if they didn’t testify and a mentally handicapped and impaired person held, without medication, who makes some impromptu confession (unrecorded) to Bill Eddins directly. This man was held for 2 years without a plea deal as leverage over the other men in custody until they were adjudicated. This man lost his life over this. He died in prison of malnutrition from improper treatment of throat cancer.
NONE OF THIS IS RIGHT. So I use my time to try to make a difference.
Escambia Citizens Watch, I say, shame on you for not seeing what you should have seen right in front of you. Morgan is a FRAUD. EVERY CASE HE TOUCHED SHOULD BE REINVESTIGATED.
Finally to all involved in this little clique of gossip and misinformation, I say FUCK YOU. Read a book or invest your time into something substantial. Prove me the fuck wrong… Oh and by way, got something to say? By all means, say it to ME.
Sir David’s narcissism is going to be his undoing in the “case of a lifetime”. Sir David’s greeting of the GRAND JURY on August 11th, 2009 (and prior indictment on July 31st, 2009), was wholly unconstitutional. This has been brought up in another case. Daniel Levitan vs. David Morgan, a federal case in 2012 that is still under litigation. Mr. Levitan claims biasing the jury was the only way Sir David had of obtaining an indictment. This has not been decided due to pro se errors by the defendant, Levitan, currently an inmate in Century prison. Procedural errors and Sir David’s being afraid of being deposed in this case have drawn this case out indefinitely. But make no mistake the question of legality of jury tampering has not been dismissed.
In the Patrick Gonzalez Jr. case, the following is just 1 claim asserted in the Motion for Postconviction Relief ie Motion to Vacate due to State’s Violations of Due Process. Judge Nickolas Geeker is still the judge but the motion to get his ass out of that seat is pending in the Florida Supreme Court. That is another story entirely.
However, read the claim as to the many pleas by federal judges and the head of the public defenders office. They make the case for Gonzalez Jr. The appearance of impropriety is ridiculous. A defense attorney would not be allowed to the things Morgan did nor would a paralegal or even the family of the victims or accused. Yet Morgan continues to this day…
COUNSEL FOR MR. GONZALEZ WAS INEFFECTIVE FOR FAILING TO CHALLENGE THE GRAND JURY INDICTMENT ON THE GROUNDS THAT ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF DAVID MORGAN ENGAGED IN OUTRAGEOUS GOVERNMENTAL MISCONDUCT BY IMPROPERLY INFLUENCING MEMBERS OF THE GRAND JURY WHO ISSUED THE INDICTMENT AGAINST MR. GONZALEZ.
On March 17, 2011 United States District Court Judges M.Casey Rodgers, Roger Vinson, and Lacey Collier wrote a letter to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan as follows:
Our court utilizes the parking area at the corner of Gregory and Alcaniz Streets for the parking and transport of potential jurors to the courthouse for jury selection via the city trolley service. Recently, when a prospective juror appeared for service in our court with your business card, we became aware of your practice of regularly greeting and interacting with the prospective jurors as they await the trolley.
Your interaction with these prospective jurors raise legitimate concerns about the court’s ability to seat fair and impartial jurors, especially when considering that the majority of those selected will serve on criminal juries. The potential for bias created by a senior elected public law enforcement official greeting prospective jurors and handing out business cards to them just prior to jury selection is undeniable, as is the disruption to out local criminal justice system that would result if the court were unable to seat fair and impartial juries to hear these trials. Even if no actual bias results, the court nonetheless is concerned that your practice at a minimum gives the appearance of bias, which in our view seriously undermines the public’s confidence in the fair administration of justice.
As a result of these concerns and in an effort to ensure the fair and equal administration of justice to all who appear in federal court, we must request that you refrain from any further contact with our court’s prospective jurors. We make this request in the hope we are not put in the very difficult position of being unable to seat juries in criminal cases. Your prompt response to this matter is appreciated.
On March 17, 2011 Sheriff Morgan responded by letter to the Federal District Court Judges tersely defying their request stating:
I am in receipt of your correspondence dated March 3,2011. Since no one has extended the courtesy of a call, or request, for what exactly (as sheriff) I am communicating to prospective jurors I will begin with that; “Good morning, I’m Sheriff David Morgan, I attempt to get down here on as many Monday’s as possible to thank you for answering the jury summons. I know this is a disruption of your business or personal day, but you are an integral part of the judicial process. Thank you for your service.” This is the extent of my alleged “interaction”. I continue this practice of putting a complimentary face on law enforcement for the antithesis of a potential juror failing to respond (voluntarily) to a jury summons is getting to see the “sheriff” by virtue of an arrest warrant.
The assertion that only recently the court has become aware of my practice of greeting prospective jurors is inconceivable. I have been engaged in this activity since January of 2007, first as a candidate and continuing as sheriff. Additionally, approximately four months ago Judge Vinson communicated his knowledge of this practice through local attorney Roy Kinsey, to my Chief Deputy Larry Aiken, who communicated with me. More recently, Judge Vinson sent an email again to Mr. Kinsey who then called Escambia County Sheriff’s Office staff attorney, Commander Darlene Dickey, who communicated this call to me. Additionally, my practice of greeting jurors has been covered extensively by the local media (Independent News and PNJ) both as a candidate and as an elected official. This activity is conducted in the open, on public property.
On December 2, 2010, Sheriff Morgan signed an affidavit concerning his jury greeting activities swearing under oath as follows:
In Escambia County, jury selection day is normally Monday or Tuesday in the event that Monday is a holiday. Prior to my election as sheriff I regularly went to the juror parking area, located near the Civic Center, Pennsacola, Florida, on each jury selection day. The juror parking area is where prospective jurors for Escambia County Circuit Court and County Court are directed to park their vehicles and be transported by bus to the EscambiaCounty Courthouse. At the juror parking area my practice was to introduce myself to as many potential jurors as possible, thank them for appearing to serve as a juror, and provide them with my business card.
I have routinely continued this practice after my installation as Sheriff. Although I do not do so for every jury selection day, I continue the practice on most jury selection days. I did not do so on October 25, 2010, which was the jury selection day for Gonzalez, accused of the Billings murders. . . .
On March 24, 2011 Sheriff Morgan wrote a letter to State Attorney Bill Eddins stating:
There is no honor in this acquiescence. Yet what can only be defined as an impending media circus must be avoided. I cannot and will not be a player to a diminution or denigration of the judicial process. This is evidenced by the most recent filings by local defense attorneys asking that as Sheriff and Executive Officer of the Court, I stay away from prospective jurors in an upcoming Billings Trial. The Criminal Defense Bar and the Public Defender’s Office are well aware that I had voluntarily agreed to suspend these greetings during these selections because I was the “public face” of these cases. I will not be a party to this. Furthermore, it has been suggested by members of the local media that I be photographed greeting prospective jurors. This is also something I will not be a party to, as a public official, it would be unavoidable. Therefore, I am ceasing the greetings of prospective jurors effective immediately.
On September 17, 2010, J. Christopher Klotz the President of the Society of the Criminal Defense Bar of Escambia County, wrote a letter to Circuit Court Judge Terry Terrell concerning Sheriff Morgan and his jury greeting and stated:
I am writing on behalf of the Society of the Criminal Defense bar, the local chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Having discussed the recent conduct of the Escambia County Sheriff, our Board of Directors has authorized me to reach out to you on behalf of our association. We recently became aware that Sheriff Morgan is initiating some type of one on one contact with prospective jurors as they are assembling at the Pensacola Coliseum and again at the Escambia Courthouse. As an organization, we agree with the Office of the Public Defender that contact of this nature has a great potential for harmful impact on citizens on trial in Escambia County. Respectfully, we are requesting that you exercise your authority under Florida Law to curb the inappropriate contact of the Sheriff with prospective jurors.
The above stated letters to, from, and about Sheriff Morgan’s jury greeting practices, establish that (1) From the time Sheriff Morgan was sworn in as Sheriff of Escambia County he has routinely and consistently greeted jurors in the jury assembly parking lot and giving them his business card for the express purpose of putting a “complimentary face” on law enforcement; (2) Sheriff Morgan admitted the impropriety of greeting jurors on any “Billings” case as he was the “face of the investigation;” (3) Sheriff Morgan claims he did not greet the jurors on October 25, 2010, which was when the jury was selected on the Gonzalez case.
Mr. Gonzalez asserts that if it is improper for Sheriff Morgan to meet with prospective jurors on any Billings case because he was the “face of the investigation,” it is equally improper for him to meet with prospective members of the Grand Jury charged with the decision of whether there was sufficient evidence to charge him with first degree murder. This is especially so as to the Gonzalez Grand Jury because Sheriff Morgan was far beyond just the “face ” of the investigation, but rather had appeared on local and national television, and, as was established in Claim One of this motion, referred to Mr. Gonzalez as an inveterate liar, a psychopath, and a lying con man. The Grand Jury in this case issued the indictment against Mr. Gonzalez on August 11, 2009. It is the undersignedcounsel’s understanding and belief that the potential Grand Jurors arrive in the same general assembly parking lot where Sheriff Morgan engaged in his jury greeting and influence activities. Based upon the time frame Sheriff Morgan says he greeted the prospective jurors and when the Grand Jury was convened to issue the indictment,counsel has a good faith belief that Sheriff Morgan greeted some or all of the members of the Grand Jury who indicted Mr. Gonzalez at the jury assembly parking lot, and he did so to put a complimentary face on law enforcement.
Counsel for Mr. Gonzalez had to have been aware of Sheriff Morgan’s jury influencing activities, based on the letter from Mr. Klotz, President of the Defense bar, and the admission from Sheriff Morgan that he would not greet any prospective jurors on the Billing’s case, and from the news reports Sheriff Morgan referenced in his letter concerning extensive press coverage of his jury greeting practices.
Wherefore, counsel for Mr. Gonzalez was ineffective for not challenging the Grand Jury indictment against Mr. Gonzalez due to Sheriff Morgan’s greeting of them at the jury assembly parking lot for the express purpose of putting a complimentary face on law enforcement. The proper means to challenge the Grand Jury is by motion to dismiss the indictment. Failure of defense counsel to make that motion results in a waiver of any challenge to the Grand Jury. In Rudd v. Christian, 310 So.2d 295 (Fla. 1975), the Florida Supreme Court stated:
if a State Attorney, and his assistants should in any way attempt to influence the finding of the Grand Jury, other than presenting evidence and rendering legal advice, any indictment returned may be set aside for improper influence. An overstepping of the State Attorney’s function could constitute an invasion of the function of the Grand Jury and interfere with their independence.
Although Sheriff Morgan is not an Assistant State Attorney, he clearly is an arm of and part of the prosecution team, as the lead investigative law enforcement officer in the Gonzalez case and self -professed “face” of the investigation. He may not in any way attempt to influence the Grand Jury. Accordingly, Mr. Gonzalez’s counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to dismiss the indictment due to Sheriff Morgan’s greeting of some or all of the Grand Jurors with the express purpose of influencing them to have a positive view of law enforcement.
In Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), the Court held that counsel has a “duty to bring such skill and knowledge as will render the trial a reliable adversarial testing process.” Strickland requires a defendant to plead and prove (1) unreasonable attorney performance, and (2) prejudice. The prejudice prong is met if “there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. A reasonable probability is a probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome.” Id. at 694. See also Porter v. McCollum, 558 U.S. 30, 130 S.Ct. 447 (2009) (explaining that the Court does not require proof “‘that counsel’s deficient conduct more likely than not altered the outcome’ of his penalty proceeding, but rather that he establish ‘a probability sufficient to undermine confidence in [that] outcome.’” 558 U.S. at 44, 130 S.Ct. at 45556 (2009), quoting Strickland).
Prejudice under Strickland is established for this claim because the legal debacle of the elected Sheriff of Escambia County improperly influencing members of the Grand Jury undermines confidence in the entire trial proceedings and the proper administration of justice due to indictment procedure compromised by a governmental official.
So the only SOLID case, if you would call it that, that Sir David has as his “claim to fame”–as does Bill Eddins, is unconstitutional. That isn’t even to mention that the composition of the Grand Jury room was violated by David Rimmer by allowing Barry Brook and/or Corey Aittama inside the jury room instead of the statutorily required second attorney. So while Morgan basks in the glow for now, come election day, his undoing awaits…Damn I love Karma!
Sing me the song that the dead sparrow sings: the poor bird that struggles to fly broken wings; Broken and torn then – and here comes the storm: He cries out and tears fall and he longs for warmth.His song is of Hatred and rarely Love, And how he was always mocked by the doves: The robins that taunted the blue jays that bit: He took in so much he didn’t know of it: The chickadees all pecked thus his talons were worn… he lay there all tattered in the middle of his storm. He longed for glory, for love and respect; And when he didn’t get it he didn’t know the rest. What else was there in life; other than their eyes… The little things a bird sees before he dies. Little one, little one don’t cry for long. The sparrow, he’s singing, his lonely song. Little one, Oh, Little one, Don’t shed your tears… The sparrow will love you, there’s nothing to fear. Little one, little one, little one be: Listen now, hush now, listen quietly: Here it now? There it is, the Dead Sparrow’s Song. His words speak of dead dreams and things that went wrong. Of dark skies and gray clouds of screaming and blood: Of being constantly thrown into the mud.
Pamela Laverne Long Wiggins died on July 22, 2015. She was the only woman convicted in the Billings Murder case.
In early June this year, I found a dead sparrow at the foot of my deck. Now I don’t know if anyone knows the superstition of the sparrow. There are variations. Like, if a sparrow flies in your house, someone will die. Another on is if a sparrow knocks on your window and looks you in the eye, this is a message of death to come. A dead sparrow is the most traditional message though. Sparrows die if they are abandoned by the flock. The implication is that if a child of God separated from God, it will die as well. One cannot live without Him or his flock.
This may seem silly but, in fact, I knew the symbolism and the fact I have what seems like a million cardinals, robins, finches etc in my yard and have not seen a sparrow. The dead sparrow is conspicuous when you see no sparrows. The timing was, again, uncanny. There was a great deal of death looming. Leonard (Lenny) Gonzalez Sr was dying and I had just found out that Pam was dying as well. Indeed, death was coming. The middle of June Lenny died, as no surprise and with some sense of relief, as his suffering was great. Last week Pam died.
This is a troubling thing because with her death a bunch of truths die. Pam was played by people and the very most by her would-be husband Hugh Wiggins, who hung her out to dry. Pam got an immunity deal. Did anyone know that? She got a similar deal to that of Hugh. Then the State of Florida hit her with additional charges not covered in the “deal”. Mighty white of them. Hugh orchestrated this deal in the illusion of keeping her safe. She was a part of what happened to Billings’ to some degree. She knew what happened. She was seen looking over a fence after the murders looking for Justin Billings. This was seen by people but never noted. What did Justin have to do with this? Considering he had gunshot residue and the emotional composure of a judge right after his parents were brutally murdered, I would say a great deal. Also, the people closest to the family and Justin days after came back to Sheriff’s office to say that after his interviews with deputies, Justin said and did things to make people believe he was involved. This is never mentioned by Sheriff Morgan as he is consoling Ashley Markham on press conferences, who also believed that her brother, Justin was involved. Again, not ever mentioned.
WALA wrote this about the Sir David and his statements in the Billings Murder case.
Morgan said he ran for sheriff because the department needed leadership.
“There aren’t any bad organizations. There’s bad leadership, and that was certainly true here,” Morgan said. “It was not the rank and file, it was not the men and women assigned to this agency, as much as it was a lack of leadership.”
Morgan was on the job just six months before Byrd and Melanie Billings were murdered in July 2009.
“At no time did we find any evidence that Byrd Billings was ever involved in any criminal activity that would of made him such a target for such a brutal murder, for he and his wife,” Morgan said. “He was the victim of a crime, not the subject of a crime.”
Morgan agrees with the state attorney that the primary motive for the murders were visions of grandeur with the money and home invasion robbery.
Morgan said the case garnered an unbelievable amount of media attention.
“You don’t understand how big it is when you’re in the middle of it. I knew it was a big case the morning I showed up for work and there were nine satellite trucks in the parking lot,” Morgan said. “I know on at least three occasions they broke into regular programming for updates on the Billings case.”
The attention included international contact from people concerned about the “special needs kids” the Billings left behind. Morgan said surveillance tapes from the house provided information and is one of two reason eight suspects were quickly arrested.
Morgan said his people made the first seven arrests within four days, and the eighth arrest was just hours later.
“We solved the case that quickly because we created a marriage with the media in the case by getting information out very quickly,” Morgan said.
1. I absolutely agree about the leadership. The subordinates follow what they see. In the case of all the bad behavior of the deputies as of late, one can only infer what the “leader” is doing.
2. If there was no evidence that Billings was “ever involved in criminal activity”, then the deputies really were Keystone Cops. Bud Billings was a loan shark if nothing else, but we all know he was into much more. If there was NO sign of criminal activity, then that was the first red flag. Someone was covering up a hell of a lot.
3. Sir David was in office just 6 months when his glorious moment came. 9 satellite trucks? Morgan said. “I know on at least three occasions they broke into regular programming for updates on the Billings.”One can only speculate the tremendous pressure that came with this case. It is the biggest case since the King Bros.–probably bigger.
4. The videotape. There are so many things to say about the video. It was grainy. The FBI in Quantico, VA could not produce any enhancement to the video. The images were not clear and COULD NOT BE MADE MORE CLEAR.
Kristopher Blom Deposition
Technology Expert for the State Attorney’s Office
People were told what was on the tape by Sir David. This was told to the media who took it and reinforced the narrative they were fed.
“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion draws all things else to support & agree with it.”–Sir Francis Bacon
Moral of the Story:
People die because of an ill-conceived theory that is not properly researched. Two deaths so far and not one person ever investigated at least one suspect.
Can this case ever be solved? Probably not.
Corruption and Sir David’s shiny smile were more important than justice.
“NERO FIDDLED WHILE ROME BURNED” MARY FRANCIS GYLES