In March of this year, Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum announced he thought Adam Braseel should get a new trial. It had been a few months after State prosecutor Strain sent a letter to defense stating that after 12 years a finger-print taken from the crime scene was matched to a dead man named Kermit Bryson. A man known to the public as the killer of a Grundy County deputy in 2008, a then desperate man who after a manhunt was said to have shot himself. Some say different.
Shrum gave no indication he had any other reason or information to believe Adam is innocent. Yet it would be so close to him it could bite him.
In the recent hearing for Adam, witness Elizabeth Rector made a shocking statement. She not only testified that before he died Kermit told her that he killed Malcolm Burrows, stating she understood he was put up to it. When cross examined by District Attorney Mike Taylor, Rector dropped the bombshell that she had told someone a while back, she had told this very thing to an intake coordinator at the jail. Dana Rasch. She told Mr Rasch that Kermit confessed to the killing of Burrows. Knowing Adam Braseel was in prison for the murder, it weighed on her heavily, she said at court.
This of course is vital information for Adam Braseel. Knowing someone has confessed to the murder of the man you are in prison for. But more concerning knowing this had been revealed over a year prior. As what happened to that information when it was first told by Ms Rector?
When the Braseel family heard about the finger-print of Bryson being matched, they were of course happy to hear of new evidence. However, like many, they wondered why it took all these years. And wondered how exactly does a print all of sudden get matched? What would cause someone to go back and check? Bryson’s print was in the same system long before Burrows murder.Why was it not matched at the time of the crime? By all measures it should have been.
There is also of note, the timing to all of this. The time that Ms Rector told Mr Rasch being alarmingly close to when the fingerprint was said to have been matched. Alarmingly close to when Sheriff Shrum announced his coming out for Adam to have a new trial.
In the recent hearing, when District Attorney attacked Ms Rector as to why it took her so long to reveal what she knew, knowing a man was in prison for the crime she was being told was committed by another, one could ask the same of him. As why has it taken over 12 years for the DA to reveal to the public that the victim, Burrows, was a drug dealer under investigation with local medical professionals at the time of his death. Burrows’ own family pointing the finger at the very person Ms Rector referred to as being behind it all. Or that his then Sheriff himself was tied to the very pill business being hidden at Adam’s trial. As if none of it existed.
Mr Rasch I have been told is set to testify at the hearing coming up on August 2nd.
Meanwhile Grundy Chief Bean and his son have been indicted by the Federal government on charges surrounding alleged body cam tapes turned in, tapes that show the alleged beating of a prisoner in handcuffs. The officer turning them in saying he was told “if you know what is good for you you will turn those off. ” Sad if it is true. Sad because even justified arrests and convictions are lost by bad police work. Everyone loses. Sad because these officers have been helpful in other regards. But “busting heads” is just not something of the modern age. Nor are midnight warrants intimidating schoolkids. Or falsified recordings with impostors to set up employees when your inventory is off.
And while this latest charge may be true or not, the story is real and the people are in fear. So it is needless to say Mr Taylor your answer might lie right there. That Ms Rector or any witness who might want to come forward might think twice when hearing of what might happen to them behind closed doors.
A difficult time for Grundy County. Perhaps not too late for a still Sheriff to come forward and say it ends here. No more violence, intimidation and coverups. As look where it has it gotten you.
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