Jamie sent a letter to the judge after he was convicted, but before he was sentenced. He tried desperately to have his counsel removed prior to this. And never gave up. But I wanted to share with you an excerpt from the letter he wrote to me with the attachment.
“I’m not even sure I could accurately describe to you my level of despair that I felt when I wrote that letter. I know I was hoarding pills that I’d planned to take that night before my sentencing. I wonder if I ever told you about that? I popped them, as many as I could fit into my mouth, but I just couldn’t swallow them. I didn’t want to do it to my kids. I’m sometimes amazed Tammy that I’ve made it all these years.”
This letter was written to the judge 4 days after his conviction. Pat Riley and Frank Picl (Jamie’s attorneys) stood before the judge and told them they had spent approximately 80 hours visiting Jamie to prepare for trial. Jamie knew that was a lie, and he proved it by the visitor log he asked to judge to review in regard to this matter. It turns out they only spent a total of 23 hours with Jamie. And I believe the lead counsel had spent less than 5 hours with him. When caught red-handed by viewing the log files, they said it was an “honest mistake.” The judge not only forgave them, but kept them on the case – as evident in this news article from April 2001.
I’ve typed the letter out for you below. You can also read the handwritten version here.
As with my last letter please make this a part of the record with this case. I have a few issues I would like to raise with the court.
First I would like to address the witness list problems in this case. Pat Riley came to see me the day before jury selection was first set to begin. He said we needed to get our list together. I asked him when was it due. He told me when we start to pick a jury. But that he was asking for a continuance because of Frank’s back problems. You gave them the delay. I was under the impression, which was given to me by my attorney’s, that the list wasn’t due till’ jury selection. I had some names ready even before I got the transcripts on Christmas Eve. But was following what Pat Riley told me. But in court you said “I” know the rules about discovery. Just for the record I had no idea what the rules were. But I learned the hard way. I learned never to listen to or trust a court appointed lawyer.
Your Honor, I tried to tell you Frank and Pat were not only unprepared, I thought then and now know they were unable to try my case. I knew I was in trouble when the State rested their case and that was the first time Frank ever asked me what any of my witnesses were going to testify to. And as we all know now, Frank didn’t lay the FOUNDATION to call most of my witnesses. I guess just like the witness list, I was also responsible for my lawyer to lay FOUNDATION for witnesses. How in a case like mine does that happen?
You yourself sat in on my co-defendants trial. You had to know they were not prepared. You saw Mark Foster and Billy Hendricks testify about the things Danny Martinez had told them. Also we found another ex-co-worker of Mr. Martinez who also had testimony to give. But I couldn’t call him because of the FOUNDATION problem. One of my jurors said Mr. Martinez was key to them convicting me. If Frank would of called them people, I have to believe the verdict would of, or at least could of, been different.
Your Honor I thought you were in that court room to make sure Justice was served. And to make sure my rights were protected. I thought I had a RIGHT to a fair trial. You forced me to go to trial with two lawyers who NEVER talked to me about my case! Frank says he spent 50 hours with me. Pat says he spent 30. There is no way that is true.
There are log books here at the jail. They are there for people to sign in and out. Also, the time in and out is also logged. I’m sure it probably don’t matter to you. But I challenge you to check into the time they spent with me. They are the lawyers you gave me. And they both lied to you about the time they spent.
I would also like to know what did you do to determine if Pat Riley was able to effectively help me. He had a stroke shortly before you gave him this case. What if anything did you do to make sure his mind had not been affected by the stroke? You did say in court he had the chance to sit in on the first trial. So I’m trying to figure out was it his mental state of mind or complete incompetence that kept him from telling Frank to lay foundation for my DEFENSE.
I know my trial and Susan Claycomb Powell’s trial were different. But the charges were the same. And the state’s case was pretty much the same. One big difference was her lawyer knew how important it was to LAY FOUNDATION when it came to the state’s witnesses like Danny Martinez. But like the witness list, I guess that was my responsibility too.
Justice was not served in your courtroom. I have been convicted for a terrible crime I DID NOT commit. So please make this letter a part of the record. I hope and pray that somebody will take a close look at what happened in Your Courtroom. My lawyers never talked to me. How else do you explain them not laying FOUNDATION to call ¾ of my Defense witnesses. They had no clue. That’s why they didn’t ask the questions. They sold me out. Did you know Frank was friends with Bill Little’s foster father? Talk about a conflict of interest. Pat Riley does not have the Mental Ability to try a traffic case. But You gave him to me. Now that things have turned out the way they did, I have to wonder why.
Also when I asked Frank why he didn’t lay the foundation to call witnesses against Danny Martinez, he said, “What do you want? Nobody bats a thousand.”
I am Innocent. But I guess that doesn’t really matter anymore.