I enjoyed meeting Alex in person, the new lawyer for Adam. We had talked several times on the phone and exchanged many emails, but there is something about seeing people in person that tells you something.
By the meeting time, though, I was somewhat drained, but tried not to show it. Coordinating this much seemed harder than it should be. I had just come off a meeting the night before with someone who, on the one hand was a big supporter of Adam, but spent a good deal of time telling me theories on how he could be guilty. Hinting at inside info. But saying she loved him and it was wrong she was even here.
This quickly turned to how I was evil and I was only here in Tennessee because I was “out to get something.” Pointing out all the things I do wrong, even the typos I might make. How, in her opinion, I turned on the family in one article and was not to be trusted.
I thought, how was it possible that Clint Shrum has now taken the form of this woman, whose mission was now to set me straight and be an accuser.
She, being a relative of the informant April Cordova, according to Mike Brown, I had the fleeting thought that if I went by what she herself had told me about April, if she was armed, she would have shot me dead to cover up the evidence this ever happened. And the things she told me. I should have frisked her, or did I.
Geezus, where am I?
Later it was said that if I mentioned what was she said to me, it would be from vengeance –that my feelings were hurt. And she would turn the Braseel family against me and my reputation would be ruined.
But I can’t imagine how my feelings would be hurt. Being knifed and kicked figuratively for being here. Meeting with the lawyer I had arranged at the darkest hour. Sticking with Adam through every turn an adversity and disagreement — but somehow still being made out to be some monster, in it for greed. I would like to know how I am profiting? – there is no money. Nor will there be. It was not fun. Perhaps those are not the feelings she meant. Referring to the ones where I actually did like her, and have great empathy for what she and her family had been through. So much death, destruction and wondering. I can only imagine.
I would like to think she didn’t mean those things. Such caustic statements. Undermining the cause and purpose of my being here. When presented with conflicting feelings and fear, maybe she knew only to lash out. I can get that. And then I wondered in what circumstance did April set the police on Adam. Was there such a dynamic at work there too? But still, I grow weary of such attacks. I get them frequently, but usually from an opposing “side.” The job is tough. And tonight, it seems toughest.
But the idea of covering things up into festering wounds of shame and guilt is not for me. No thank you. I see what that does.
This is not however the “Girlfriend Case”. I will get to that.
The list is long of those who have said they will do something, share some information and step into a place to bear witness, only to back off and make their place in the shadows, by blaming. “Your manipulating a family to make a buck” — “You trick people.” — ” making money off of peoples misery.” And so on.
“Leave me out,” they say — “but let me tell you what I think of you.”
The gamut runs from the Sheriff of Grundy on down. Those who don’t see themselves in the picture, but have plenty to say.
I take great care to not get much wrong, and the things that may be wrong are often from those who have gotten things wrong themselves and then offered as true. In these instances, I am the reporter, passing things on. Yet some fail to see the distinction of who said what. Boiling down to a “You don’t know me,” “Or you don’t know this place” type of deal.
When Adam was put back in prison, there was opportunity to say “I told you so”. But I didn’t. For months, it was warned that not confronting Sheriff Myers and the TBI agent with the new evidence gathered, could put Adam and the family in a very bad position. But these warnings fell on deaf ears. Much of what you read is NOT in the court record because of pride and ego. Yet it was all being known by those in the circuit, including Judge Angel. The questions arising were severe. Planting evidence, altering documents, prior pertinent arrests by the alleged victim /witness – none of this is on the record, but the newly elected judge was finding out the same way everyone did. By knowing the irrefutable facts being uncovered here.
The problem was the appeals court would not know these things unless they were presented at the hearing, as Nashville does not read these blogs. And none was presented. An unwillingness to confront the truth. Fear. Like the ostrich who buries its head in the sand but shows you its ass.
I am a firm believer in being frank and truthful. To let principle guide the rest. I have zero doubt in my position when guided by principle, not when guided by beliefs born of biased thoughts from taking a side. The police, court and lawyers did very wrong things — Adam Braseel did not get a fair trial. This is irrefutable in the world of fact and truth. It is not a side. It is provable by evidence. Evidence that is now nearly impossible to get heard because of human failing.
Alex entered the room and had immediate bad news. The court had just decided to ignore issues in a case he just presented. The same court Adam is now facing. He called them morally blind. Misguided by political underpinnings. Yet there was hope in the strong appeal and several options were discussed if it failed.
He then talked about the girlfriend case. How cases get stuck until there is a divorce or break up and the girlfriend is then willing to come forward and tell on their ex. No longer willing to protect them. It is an analogy. Meaning it could be any situation that changes to make someone willing to come forward.
The reality is Adam is now up against great forces — which could lead in two directions.
One is the story of Nine Months of Freedom, a tragic story.
The other is the Cinderella story. Being at the point now where Adam’s stage coach has turned back into a pumpkin — yet an item has been found. The question now being whether the glass slipper can find its way to the foot where it belongs. Oppression, injustice, struggle and triumph are age old stories. So are tragedies.
At the darkest hour, when the bondsman showed up at Adam’s door and took him back to prison, the strength was found to retool the situation, find a new attorney and lift things out of total despair and breakdown for the family, friends and supporters.
But those in the shadows need to decide, as this is not liftable, or sustainable by such few. Adam and justice in general for the community, hang by a thread. A thread so quickly gnawed at by those who claim care.
Financially, emotionally, time-wise, the case is draining. Not something sustainable by so few.
Despite what Sheriff Shrum says, there are no riches here. So, when told how I was in this to make a buck, I knew what this meant. He himself, is unwilling to put himself on the line. To share the burden is something he won’t do, but has no problem casting blame. Couching himself in some position born of little fact finding — that I am the one “getting things wrong.” “sensationalizing,” “Pressurizing.” “Bullying”. This story being that I am “out for myself.” My own gain. The perfect victim story, creating “the other” who is out to get them. Turning the focus from fact and reality to the evil perpetrator out to rob.
When I speak of the Sheriff, I speak of other’s I won’t name. But use him by name because he is the elected law of the land. His job. The tragedy is the human condition. The girlfriend situation, as I have mentioned above, is bleak, ugly and soul robbing.
An open letter I chose to write. To express my humanity and frustration too. Yet despite the obstacles and accusations, I have managed to stay here since the day I started. Putting forth the facts in principles the best I can. Because that’s what I was taught to do. To not judge others as people, while at the same time looking at the actions. Threading through the myriad of finger pointing and wild accusations to attempt to come to a point of justice which is blind to the frailties of the human condition.
I am blessed.