Split the Moon

Rabia Chaudry

Officer Of The Court

Testimony of Detective Bradley Hood

Testimony of Detective Bradley Hood

The current prosecutor in Adnan’s case, the esteemed DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND Thiru Vignarajah, has been playing dirty in another case.  A motion filed in court today alleges, through the testimony of Baltimore detectives themselves, that Thiru was personally given credible information by the cops about the identification of a murder perp in the 2011 murder of Henry Mills, but prosecuted another man, and did not disclose the exculpatory statements (which were on video no less) to the defense.

Here is the full motion, which Thiru is probably wiping his tears with tonight. Continue reading

House of Cards

Not so inconsequential any more eh Thiru?

Not so inconsequential any more eh Thiru?  See you in court.

There have been too many times in the last 17 years that I thought, we thought, Adnan thought that everything would work out. That the system would get it right, that a judge would get it right. And every time, up until the past year, we were wrong.

That’s why every step of this case now is full of hopeful trepidation for us. A balance of hope and fear, which, ironically, is the Islamic attitude towards God. The hopeful expectation of Grace and Mercy, tempered by a healthy, respectful fear of not receiving that Grace and Mercy, for whatever reason. But, God says over and over in the Islamic tradition, Mercy is His default. He inclines towards Mercy.

And finally now, after all these years, the court is inclining that way too. There was no reason to think that Justin’s response brief from a few weeks ago would not prevail, but again – the fear remained. The last time I felt such unbridled relief, joy that near made my chest explode, was back in February, when I sat in a hotel room in Georgia in the early morning hours and saw that MD Court of Special Appeals would entertain his appeal after the post-conviction was denied. Only happens in 1.2% of cases. But it happened.

Today, as I waited on a delayed flight in a bright, busy airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, I got the news that his motion to reopen the post-conviction appeal was granted, in the “interests of justice”.  By the same judge that denied it, and the same judge that prosecutor Kevin Urick, having taken an oath as an officer of the law, lied to. I would hate, just hate testifying in front of a Judge I lied to.

 

So it is ordered!

So it is ordered!

I blubbered, as is customary for me, called Yusuf to tell his and his parents, called Saad, messaged my husband and friends, sent an email to Susan, Colin, Bob and Dennis. And then the deluge of tweets, texts, messages began. So much relief and happiness, from all corners of the world.

Adnan called his family, as he usually does in the evenings, and Yusuf told him the good news. He was elated, especially because the order allows not just Asia, but the cell records fax cover sheet (you GO SUSAN) Brady violation into consideration, which the court did of it’s own discretion, in other words they totally did not have to.  Note that the plea issue raised by Adnan is still active and alive, but not before this court. This court was asked to take a look at Asia, not the plea, and indicates below that the other issues (ie the plea deal) are still active and pending with the higher court:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 11.15.43 PM

Judge Welch is allowing in both Asia’s alibi testimony and the cell phone evidence – or lack thereof – that Justin recently raised.  Asia will testify to her recollection of the afternoon of January 13, 1999 AND how she was talked out of testifying at the post conviction hearing by Urick.  The order actually specifically allows for evidence of this misconduct.  The cell phone expert will testify about the impact of that fax cover sheet, and how he was fooled into his role as an “expert”, his testimony manipulated based on evidence withheld, also by our good friend Urick.

Dirty deeds will eventually catch up to you.

A hearing will soon be scheduled. Abe Waranowitz will be called to testify. Asia will be called to testify.  Adnan will be there.  Will the State call Urick be called by the State to counter their testimony? Maybe.  I’d hate to have him as my witness.

 

Kevin Urick, looking into the distance for a place to run and hide at

Kevin Urick, looking into the distance for a place to run and hide at

But I doubt it. Because this house of cards, which has been crumbling for the past year, is not yet done falling to bits.  Keep watching, folks.  A few final blows remain yet to Urick (everything he did to thwart a fair trial for Adnan is not yet public) and also to someone else.

The cards of the esteemed Deputy Attorney General of Maryland Thiru , who is leading the charge on behalf of the State, will also very soon fall fast and hard.  And the world will bear witness to how low prosecutors are willing to go to get their convictions.  And I will repeatedly remind everyone that he is the Deputy Attorney General.

I will be the first in line to file ethics complaints against them.

The arc of of the moral universe is long, but bends towards justice.  Justice for both Adnan and Hae.

Traveling brings blessings.

Hallelujah and Alhamdulillah.

The Emperor wears no clothes.

Profiling

Yesterday Bob Ruff’s Truth and Justice podcast was fascinating. After his shoutouts to the Undisclosed team and all the volunteers helping us dig up information (right back at you Bob), he featured an interview with the very famous Jim Clemente.

I’ve been in communication with Jim for a while, mostly sending him all of the case documents and police files as they came my way, but unfortunately due to his insanely difficult and busy schedule and some health issues he simply didn’t have the time to go through all of the documents. And I get it, because there are thousands and thousands of pages.

I did finally get a chance to speak to Jim for a couple of hours about two months ago and was blown away. His dynamism, energy, passion are unbeatable. And he oriented me to the facts of this case and the crime scene in a way I had never thought about before.  I realized then that I had to connect him with Bob, who is an incredible interviewer and having so much experience himself with crime scenes would be even better suited to nail down the best questions for Jim.

I already knew part of what Jim had to say in terms of creating a profile for Hae’s killer from when we spoke, but a few things were new to me, like Jim’s conclusion that the killer was someone who was neat with his outside appearance.

First, though, let me briefly address the art of profiling itself. Because I do believe it’s an art and not a science, and I think Jim would agree.  There are plenty of articles that reject profiling and while I think it’s important to keep their criticisms in mind, it’s also important to remember what Jim said – profiling is a tool used when other evidence can’t be found.  In the absence of physical evidence or eyewitness evidence, law enforcement will use profiling in order to create leads.

These profiles are not definitive, they are simply probabilities that don’t exclude every possibility. In other words, when you have nothing else, profiling is a place to start.

Which is exactly what happened in Adnan’s case. The Baltimore county and city police profiled him as an angry Muslim male with a motive.  Because there was no physical evidence and their eyewitness, Mr. “if he’s innocent, it has nothing to do with me”, had yet to be manufactured.

The problem is BCPD and BPD let their profiling narrow their field to a single suspect, failed to pursue other leads with any seriousness, and then built a case by manipulating witnesses.

But Jim’s profile actually leaves us with two: Adnan and Don. Some may include Jay in this profile, and that’s hard to argue.

Here is what Jim told me when we spoke and Bob in the interview, he said the crime scene and body tells him this:

  • It was not a robbery because she was still wearing her jewelry, though we did not discuss why her pager and wallet were missing while her purse was still in the car
  • The killer personally knew her because only someone with a personal connection conceals a body in order to help evade that connection
  • She was not nicely buried, rather she was rather hastily dumped in an awkward position and covered up in a frantic manner
  • Her “burial” most likely happened at night
  • The perp is young, first time offender
  • Since there is no evidence of sexual assault or robbery, likely a crime of rage or revenge
  • Since she is a “low risk” victim, most likely the perp is someone with easy access to her
  • Killer had time to get their story straight (might I note the only person with no story to cover his ass was Adnan, because he had no idea he needed one)

This is a great start, but Jim and Bob aren’t done yet. They have yet to explore who Adnan and Don were (maybe Jay too?), their statements, their behavior, and of course their opportunity to get to Hae.

As they move forward through these things, this profile will get clearer.  Again, a profile is not evidence. But it’s also not meaningless.  It’s a starting point to then look for independent evidence that supports a lead, but not a point to start creating evidence to fit the suspect you want. Alone, it’s not enough.

Still, I look forward to hearing Bob and Jim go through this process. In case you haven’t realized it yet, Bob doesn’t do anything willy-nilly. His podcast and investigation is deliberate, and he’s building the foundation of his case against who killed Hae brick by painstaking brick.

DUN DUN DUN DUN, DON

Ok, here is what we know thanks to Bob:

  • Don’s timesheet for January 13, 1999 was falsified
  • The only person who could create such a timesheet was his manager, who happened to be his actual mother
  • That timesheet could only be created by the end of the work week, meaning it was falsified long before Hae’s body was found which should make everyone wonder why
  • The police never went to the Hunt Valley store to talk to other employees about whether Don was there on the 13th, instead they spoke to the manager at his regular store, Owings Mills. And that manager, FML, was Don’s mom’s live-in girlfriend/future wife.

A family affair indeed.

So what’s it all mean?  It means if this murder investigation is re-opened, which I will do my absolute best to make happen, Don will get a harder, closer look.

By the way it’s totally my bad that Bob announced at the end of his Don episode last week that we would be discussing the legal implications on Undisclosed. We got sidetracked with other issues and both Colin and Susan, the brains of the operation (I fully own being the Forrest Gump of Undisclosed), decided other issues needed priority.

Issues like…Abe Waranowitz.

CAN I GET A WITNESS?

That’s how I felt about Justin’s response brief to the State, filed last week.  Phew, did he tear them up.  I weep for thee Thiru.  But not really.

Not only did their own brief bite them in the butt because they underestimated the underhandedness of their colleague Urick, the State’s own and singular cell tower witness was like “hold up, wait a minute” when he realized that the fax cover sheet was withheld from him by the aforementioned shady prosecutor.

So what’s the importance of Abe’s affidavit that was filed with Adnan’s response? Essentially he is saying that if he had seen that fax cover sheet, his testimony would not have been the same. He doesn’t state how it would be different, but it’s enough to scrap his previous testimony and allow him to testify on the issue again. And I hope he gets that chance.

But that wasn’t the only affidavit, another affidavit on the cell tower issue was submitted in the response by an expert who consults with the Innocence Project, Gerald Grant.  Essentially Grant offers that the fax cover sheet saying incoming call pings are not reliable for location is applicable to these records because a host of other information about the calls is missing:

Grant says without all of this information you can't determine the cell phone's approximate information. Meaning, even if you have all this information, the location you determine will still be approximate.

Now it’s important to understand what Grant is saying here. He says without all of this information you can’t determine the cell phone’s approximate information.  Meaning, even if you have all this information, the location you determine will still be approximate and estimated, not exact.

So that’s that when it comes to the cell phone evidence. I think, coupled with what Asia has to say about Urick talking her out of testifying, the judge will not be happy with knowing Urick withheld the cover sheet from his own expert in order to manipulate his testimony.  It’s not looking great for our intrepid hammer of justice.

I can’t wait for the hearing.

SOON, ADNAN, SOON

Bit by bit the State’s case is falling to bits, and the police and prosecutor’s misdeeds are being peeled away like layers of an onion. And like an onion, when it’s all peeled away, nothing will be left. There is no core, there is no spine.

I spoke to Adnan a few days ago, it had been a few weeks since we talked, and I was excited to talk to him about the affidavits. He didn’t know about them until after they were filed too. Justin knows better than to discuss such revelations over the phone with Adnan, the recording before every call clearly says the calls are being taped.  Who knows who is listening right.

Adnan was a little amazed, and mostly thrilled.  For the past year he has been telling me to be patient, that one day the very people that brought him to where he is would be compelled to speak, compelled to the truth, and that he had faith in God that their eyes would be opened and their hearts turned.  He was right. It’s happening. Slowly, but still.

We had a good conversation and as always he was joking, wishing my hubby a happy birthday as we were on our way to celebrate, but I felt terrible because he sounded pretty awful.  He’s been sick for a couple of weeks, something in the lungs, but he’s not sure what.

He said it was going around, other men also had the same thing, and all of them had been given a Z-Pak 5 day course, which didn’t work. Then some got the 11 day course and it worked.  That or the virus/infection just died out on it’s own.  Adnan hasn’t been given the 11 day pack yet.

I found myself particularly upset because a couple of days prior I was on the phone with my eldest, asking when she was coming to visit now that she lives out of state for college.  But she was sick and wasn’t up to coming. It wasn’t anything serious, seemed like food poisoning, but still I wasn’t with her to give her fluids and check her temperature.  I felt like crap that my baby was sick but out of reach.

When I spoke to Adnan I realized his mother had not been able to take care of him for almost 17 years when he’s been sick. And he’s been sick and hurt plenty of times.  Most incarcerated people get sub-par care and there is nothing their loved ones can do.

Here is to the small blessings in our lives, even the blessing of being able to take care of our sick loved ones.  I pray for all those who aren’t able to, God speed to them to return to those who care.  And God willing it will be soon for Adnan.

 

 

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