Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sheriff's "Regret" is a Disturbing Trend

Today the murder trial in Florida continued for Juan Mendez who is accused of killing his estranged wife Whitney Mendez and mother in-law Lorena Stone in 2006.

Just when I thought the trial could go either way, that perhaps the prosecutor had a chance to win the case, it all changed when sheriff's Sgt. Walter Ryan was on the stand. During his testimony he told the jurors he "regretted not doing more work as the lead detective investigating the homicides of Whitney Mendez and her mother, Lorena Stone."

Assistant State Attorney Cynthia Ross asked Sheriff Ryan if he investigated the case as fully as he should have. "Looking back now," Ryan said, "regrettably, no." Ryan testified he didn't collect house phone records because he was told by the phone company that only billable calls - collect or long distance - are stored. But Ryan also said he didn't collect call records of cell phones found in the house. "I never got the cell phone records," Ryan testified. "I wish I had."

It is painfully obvious that many are to blame for a sloppy homicide investigation. From recovery of cell phone records, witness interviews, court document files, text message records to domestic violence calls to the home. The police are rarely, if at all properly trained in domestic violence homicide investigations and that was made very clear today, during the trial. Also, the prosecutor basically allowed the case to go cold for nearly a year before an investigation could be re-ignited.

For a successful prosecution in any domestic violence homicide case, expertise and knowledge are crucial for those standing in the aftermath of a bloody battlefield.

Perhaps when the trial concludes the prosecutor will invite me down for an intense day of training so that in the future their jobs will be easier and justice can actually be served!
I am not in any way trying to be sarcastic or disrespectful to anyone fighting for justice. With 20 years of experience in all types of homicide as it relates to family violence and stalking why not turn to someone that can make or break a case. Granted, I would not know where to begin when it comes to sex crime cases involving children, but, I do have the ability to teach others succesfully, by enhancing their skills in this area.

If you are interested, the trial is being broadcast live on court tv and also via twitter here's the link:

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