~ Cortney Fry~
JUST THE FACTS, BRETT
Thursday, August 31, 2006 ; 11:06:22 AM
Brett Lovelace is such a bad reporter it’s scary. And when there’s only one source of news in Lancaster County, it just makes it that much scarier and dangerous.
What don’t I like about this morning’s Intell article, “Stewart trial postponed”? (click here). Everything. It is factually incorrect and ridiculous. Where to begin?
“A jury convicted Stewart of attempted murder in March for firing a gun at a group of Columbia teenagers. The verdict was vacated and a new trial ordered after a judge determined jurors had discussed the Fry case before deliberating the shooting case.”
Micah Stewart was found not-guilty on two counts of attempted murder and was found guilty on one count of attempted murder in the above referenced trial. The not-guilty verdicts stand. Why do the Lancaster Newspapers never mention this very significant fact?
The newspapers told you that the morning of their verdict the jurors approached the judge and asked for the definition of a “hung jury.” What the papers never printed was that the jury came back right before lunch the same day and told Judge Madenspacher they were “hung.”
The judge asked them to go to lunch and think on it some more. It is over that lunch that several jurors discussed the murder charge against Stewart. They returned at 1:30 p.m. the same day with the two not guilty verdicts and the one guilty verdict. It was a compromise on the part of the jurors so they could go home.
“A grand jury spent months reviewing evidence and witness testimony.”
Says who, Brett? What “evidence?” Do you recall this exchange in the preliminary hearing - you were there, Brett (click here and page down to “A MISSING LEAD DETECTIVE”):
“Landis testified that there were ‘numerous items seized.’ He said they are ‘currently being analyzed by the state.’ Renteria asked if that meant there were no conclusions at this time. Landis said, ‘That is correct’” Renteria asked Landis how long it usually takes the state police to analyze material. Landis said, ‘Three months to a year.’ Renteria said the searches were done on July 28th of 2004. He said that was a year ago. Landis said he would have to check with Detective Geesey. He said he didn’t personally know if any results were back yet or not. He said he was the supervisor on the case and Gessey was the lead detective.”
“Stewart strangled the teenage mother of his daughter, burned her body and lied about it to police for almost a year, investigators allege.”
Brett has even determined the manner of her death! Remember this from the preliminary hearing, Brett? (Click here and page down to “Crucial Testimony – PRELIMINARY HEARING”):
“Hackman asked who made the identification that this was Cortney Fry. Ross said, ‘Dr. Bender.’ Hackman asked if the remains had been sent to a forensic anthropologist. Ross said ‘yes – to Mercy Hurst.’ Hackman asked if they had determined a manner of death. Ross said yes, their report indicated ‘multiple traumatic injuries.’ Ross said it was a ‘homicide.’”
There will be more tomorrow. Who are the jurors on the grand jury? How many days a week do they meet? An investigating grand jury is made up of 23 permanent jurors and 10 alternates who meet for eighteen months or longer. Who are these jurors?