Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More from Yolanda Haynes

The N&O has considerably more detail on the accuser's behavior two days before the lacrosse party. Joseph Neff and Ben Biolet have interviewed the former strip club manager, Yolanda Haynes, and report that, according to Haynes, on March 11,
a couple came into the club and the accuser, who danced under the name "Precious," started pulling the female customer's hair. Someone complained, and Haynes said she told the accuser to go to the bathroom. When Haynes followed, she found the accuser naked and passed out cold.
As Neff and Niolet note, "The account also describes behavior, including incoherence and unconsciousness, that is consistent with how the woman was acting the night of the lacrosse party."

The article raises yet another troubling question regarding the conduct of Mike Nifong, the figure described by Joseph Cheshire as having taken "over the role of lead investigator from the police."

The April 6 statement of the person generally described as the accuser's "driver," Jarriel Johnson, occurred in part because the police decided they needed a clearer sense of the accuser's actions in the 48-72 hours before the lacrosse party. The Nifong-led investigation had determined the issue of the accuser's immediate pre-party activities a necessary focus of inquiry. Why, therefore, before seeking indictments, didn't lead investigator Nifong ensure that police interviewed the people who were effectively the accuser's "bosses"--Yolanda Haynes and Fats Thomas? The police themselves had decided the issue needed to be documented, and the Johnson statement told them that the accuser was "working" at the strip club in the nights before the lacrosse party.

Perhaps it will now be Nifong's position that, though in April the police themselves had considered it necessary to investigate the accuser's record in the 48-72 hours before the lacrosse party, in November, the figure dubbed by Liestoppers "Inspector DA" has changed his mind on the significance of this information.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

K.C.,

Throughout this case, we have seen the police and Nifong try to cherry pick the information that they thought might be helpful, and we are left with only a few things:

1. Someone had a broom at the party (the young man who showed it was not one of the people accused);
2. Someone made a "cotton shirt" comment (again, not someone who has been accused);
3. The accuser picked three people out of lineups that clearly are illegal;
4. The accuser claims to have been raped;
5. The SANE nurse noted some swelling in the vaginal area, which would easily be explained by the accuser's use of a "vibrator" as part of a sex show for other people that day. (Look for Nifong to attempt to have this fact thrown out at trial, citing "rape shield" laws, and I would not be surprised if Judge Osmond Smith agrees.)
5. Ryan McFayden quoted "American Psycho" in an email following the party; he has not been charged, either, but the prosecution has tried to claim that this also is "proof" of rape.

Think of what the prosecution and police have ignored, including the statements from the people at the club where "Precious" worked, and we have a pure, cherry-picking case in which there really are no cherries.

Those who insist the Duke Three are guilty claim that it is the defense that is engaged in "cherry picking," and that the prosecution somehow has a smoking gun that will be revealed a trial. Given the North Carolina Open Discovery Law, that simply is not a possibility.

I think what frightens me most about this case is that the lack of guilt is transparent, but everyone, including Bob Ashley, is saying that the burden of proof must be on the Duke Three to "prove" their "innocence" beyond any doubt. That is impossible, but from what I can see, that is the official standard of "justice" that is being used in this case.

While I doubt any conviction would stand up to legal appeals, this case literally has the potential to overturn EVERY protection that defendants have or ever will have in a U.S. court of law. This is much more than a case about sex and stripping and partying. This literally is one of those cases that will forever change the U.S. legal system if it is permitted to go on as it has been going.

Feminists and others for years have been trying to change the standards for determination of rape convictions, including the ignoring of exculpatory DNA evidence, the very wide use of rape shield laws, and the like. If they can gain a "victory" here, you can bet they and feminist and racially-motivated prosecutors across the country will use this to try to put thousands of men into prison who under the current regime would not be found guilty.

By the way, the vast number of men who would be imprisoned would be black, but right now the black community in Durham cannot see the larger picture because the black community, along with much of the leftist Duke faculty, is hellbent on gaining a guilty verdict at all costs. And those costs will be very heavy.

William L. Anderson

Anonymous said...

One point I will disagree on with William Anderson: I don't think the prosecution did any 'cherry-picking" of evidence (there being none)...Nifong simply used (abused) the authority vested in him to get these boys indicted. This is a clear case of these boys civil rights being violated. The case needs to be dropped so these boys can get on with their lives. to those who say it must be settled with a trial, read the U.S. Constitution along with the appropriate amendments.

Anonymous said...

You are right. I guess I should have used "grasping at straws." Interestingly, people usually claim that the defense cherry picks or grasps at straws. However, as we have seen in DurhamWonderland, solid evidence is dismissed with the ubiquitous conspiracy theory, while no evidence is held to be proof that something happened.

This reminds me of the trial of Robert Roberson in Wenatchee, Washington, the last of the child molestation witch hunts that occurred in this country for about a decade. The prosecution alleged that wild sex with children was occurring regularly at Roberson's church where he was a pastor, and that Roberson was a leader.

However, a thorough, and I mean thorough search of the grounds found no semen or anything else that remotely demonstrated sexual activity was going on. Of course, the prosecutor was from the Michael Nifong School of Prosecution, and he quickly told the jury that the absence of evidence was "proof" that the sexual crimes must have been committed.

Thank God, Roberson was acquitted. As bad as the Wenatchee juries were, however, I doubt they could match Durham, which I am sure could easily field a jury that would buy into every conspiracy theory in order to gain a conviction.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

Bill,
Do you know in this case you cited above, if the accused was given the opportunity to have a preliminary hearing to determine probable cause?

To me this one of the biggest cases of civil rights abuse I have ever seen, primarliy because they were not allowed the due process that comes witha prelim hearing.

I remain baffled that some federal agency charged with looking at civil rights abuses is not in Durham.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. The Robersons were at the tail end of what had been a bunch of prosecutions, and the evidence was specious, but judges generally were sympathetic to the prosecutors during those trials. Ultimately, convictions were overturned, but only after numerous people had gone to prison on false charges.

I would suspect that in that case, a preliminary hearing would not have done Roberson much good, as the prosecution at least had what looked on paper as a case -- that is, until the trial when the paper house burned down.

Bill Anderson

Anonymous said...

"Cherry-picked" might be an appropriate word. Although it seems the DA has been selective about the information SOUGHT (rather than the information used.) They wanted the victim to be credible, so they didn't interview her, and they didn't look too far into her activities in the days leading up to the party. I'm wondering whether the interview with her driver occurred before or after Nifong took charge of the investigation. I wonder if (and when) Nifong de-emphasized the importance of her activities in the days before, and if and when Nifong de-emphasized the importance of establishing her credibility (was it as soon as he took over the investigation?) Because if the police thought it was important enough to interview her driver, certainly they would have then interviewed the club manager. Or did they decide not to further investigate her activities once they KNEW she had suspicious activity, because they didn't want to find out anything that could hurt the case?

Everyone seems to be so sure that Nifong can't be holding back information because NC has a discovery law. But has Nifong acted within the law in other respects on this case? I believe he COULD be holding something back--he might think he has found a clever loophole. The real questions are whether the judge will let him get away with it if he is holding back information, and whether the information is in any way credible.

Nifong did not interview the victim for specific reasons--and he believes he is outsmarting the defense this way. He did not want to hear her change her story, he did not want to put himself in the position of being called as a witness, and he wanted to give the AV (and the prosecution) the opportunity to construct a story at the last minute--after he figured out the defense strategy.

Bill, you are right,this case will change the US legal system. Hopefully it will set some precedents that govern over-zealous and unethical DAs. Maybe it will lay groundwork for why the investigation and the prosecution must be overseen by separate entities. Maybe it will solidify some of the concepts most of us thought protected us from malicious prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Nifong has given the finger to ethical canons and committed procedural misconduct left and right. I wouldn't put anything past him. If he's sitting on something incriminating he'd be taking a huge risk though. He'd have to think he has the judge in his pocket. Failing that, he'd have to think up something very clever and be somewhat crazy as well.

The Dude said...

I wonder if the defense team interviewed the driver and found out about this information. Maybe they are going to use it to rebut Nifong. They better be careful because the Judge doesn't seem to be very interested in the rights of the Defendants.

If Nifong and/or Police did get the information that V passed out a few days before this case, and chose to leave it out of their reports, MISCONDUCT. It can't be any clearer. Overall nifong is trying this case with the assumption that he can exclude any mention of exculpable evidence. I don't think the defense lawyers were born yesterday but it isn't their time to argue yet. Nifong has made it clear that he will not give the required discoverable information. Only the Judge can correct this injustice. Seems like the filing of a Brady motion would not be a bad idea!

Anonymous said...

An earlier post mentioned rape shield laws--I don't know the state of the law in North Carolina, but many states have an exception to rape shield laws/rules where the evidence relates to alternative reasons for the alleged victim's physical symptoms rather than the likelihood that the victim consented to sex. In this case, if the state presents evidence of the AV's vaginal swelling, the defendants should, at least, be able to present evidence of her activity with the vibrator, etc., as a possible cause of that swelling.

kbp said...

Thanks KC

I've never read of a case in which the media and bloggers have done so much of the investigative work since Watergate.

Mr. Anderson,
On your comment,"...potential to overturn EVERY protection that defendants have...", my hope is that what has happened in this case will open some eyes to the fact that those rights are subject to the mercy of people like Nifong.

Anonymous said...

those damn honky lacrosse playahs iz rapin me again--uh oh--i be raped orally--yawzaaaaa--heh come dah pussy--ouch theh be mah ass

damn lacrosse playahs!

Anonymous said...

her account seems different than the bouncers account. he was on 60 minutes and when asked by ed bradley if there was anything physically wrong with precious, the bouncer said no. this woman also denies that the stripper was saying that she had an extortion plan. which strip club person to believe? on top of all of that, someone has posted the video on youtube and somebody posted in the comment section that it was not the platinum club's stage.

Anonymous said...

I really wish people on this site and others would refrain from posting tasteless and racist comments (e.g., 10:20.) It weakens the credibility of the whole site, and provides fodder to those who are still defending the AV or the group of 88..

Anonymous said...

9:24: is it "racist" to satirically comment on the stupidity of the accuser? or the stupidity of her supporters?

unfortunately, this is a more salient aspect of the case than all your nifong bashing

Anonymous said...

The 10:20 "satirical" comment about the accuser (which was in extremely poor taste,IMO) would be considered by many to be racist. But more important is that comments like that serve no purpose other than to inflame those who support the AV, those who think the lacrosse players had it coming.....Comments like that only reinforce the opinions of the Group of 88 that there is a problem with our culture.

I think the AV and Nifong are BOTH to blame for this mess. But I think it's better to discuss the facts than to throw out inflammatory "satirical" comments that only serve the purposes of those who disagree or want to use this case to serve their own racist agenda.

Anonymous said...

9:56 AM, I agree with you, and I also think that the 10:20 PM comment should be striken by KC. It is nothing but a stupid, mindless, racist comment which contributes nothing to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

re "racist" comment:

i didn't write it--but, excuse me, i found it to be the most honest comment on this ridiculous case--and i thought it was humorous

why? because it hit the nail on the head: low-iq scum can make allegations and the moral, high-iq pc wimps have to take it--excuse me for commenting on the inferiority of the underclass

and why do you refer to her as the alleged victim? try this one: low iq sleazeball (LIS)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Grant Farred is also an underclass, low-IQ affirmative action "professor."

Why not refer to him as being inferior? He most certainly is.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on racist comments.
I dislike people making assumptions on someone's worth based on IQ.Certainly I feel IQ/ intelligence is real and a legitimate gift.But one's worth as a person is not a function of such.
I have a nephew who suffered a birth(anoxic) injury that left him mentally retarded.My IQ is in a fraction of the top 1% of the population.He's a better person than I-or those of you making fun of someone for being stupid.
Dr. Johnson;you are to be commended for yeoman's work in protecting three innocent young men.Thank God for people like you.