Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Linwood Wilson: Threatening, Intimidating Behavior

It appears that Linwood Wilson’s penchant for improper behavior extends beyond the lacrosse case.

The D.A.’s chief investigator—who received a promotion and a 66-percent raise as the lacrosse case was occurring—behaved like a caricature of a rogue investigator over the past year. He and he alone was present at the December 21 “interview” with Crystal Mangum, where Mangum radically changed her story in ways that—just coincidentally, of course—filled some of the gaping holes in Mike Nifong’s case. As Joe Neff revealed, one witness filed an affidavit accusing Wilson of witness tampering. He played a key role in the bogus prosecution of Moez Elmostafa after Elmostafa helped secure Reade Seligmann’s alibi.

Yesterday, Judge Orlando Hudson dismissed assault and weapons charges against Breon Jerrard Beatty because of Wilson’s conduct, suggesting that Wilson had “threatened” the chief witness in the case, Beatty’s cousin, to give false testimony. Hudson was clearcut: “Intimidation [of a witness] is wrong. I don’t want to reward the state when they do things like that.”

As the N&O’s Anne Blythe wrote, “The two-hour hearing not only highlighted the specifics of one case, it provided hints that the climate in Durham County courts has chilled for prosecutors in the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse case.”

The Herald-Sun’s John Stevenson set the scene as defense attorney Bob Brown cross-examined Wilson, who admitted that in the discussion (that Judge Hudson would later characterize as “intimidation”) with Chasaray Newman, the accused man’s cousin, Wilson had brought up the possibility of revoking Newman’s parole, thereby sending him to prison.

Was Wilson aware the District Attorney’s Office was not empowered to unilaterally terminate someone’s probation, Brown demanded.

“I wasn’t aware the DA did not have the authority to do that,” the investigator replied. “I was under the impression the state did have that authority.”

Brown: “You threatened him [Newman], didn’t you?”

Wilson: “That’s your words. I didn’t threaten him at all.”

And what about Wilson’s demeanor and tone of voice when he talked to Newman, Brown wanted to know.

“You weren’t joking?” he asked.

Wilson: “Absolutely not.”

Brown: “You meant for him to take it as a very serious matter?”

Wilson: “Of course.”
Brown later noted, “That is tampering with a witness. That is intimidation of a witness. If it was me as a defense attorney making these threats, I would be arrested. It is wrong. It is illegal.”

Joe Cheshire perceptively summed up the day’s events: “The Duke lacrosse case opened a window into the Durham District Attorney’s Office and how they operate. That window allowed not only the public to look in, but it allowed judges to look in. Hopefully that will continue for the transparency of justice.”

42 comments:

Teach1975 said...

The question "will there be any consequences for L. Wilson?"... unlikely... that is part of what is so maddening about this case.

Anonymous said...

His behavior must have also coached the accuser. Was CGM in a witness protection program / living expenses paid? Are they still being paid until NIfong's hearing? Will CGM turn on Liwood Wilson?

Anonymous said...

I can see Linwood getting thrown under the bus. He's nothing but the Fong's henchman, he's completly disposable and will make an excellent fall guy when the time comes. Question is: Who will stab him first?

miramar said...

But Linwood is a fine Christian gentleman and gospel singer! If he had only started to sing his rendition of "My Lord He Loved the Devil Right Out of Me" I am sure the judge would have understood that he was really doing the Lord's work.

But seriously folks, why do any of these people still have jobs? Would any other city in America keep people like Wilson, Nifong, Chalmers, and Baker?

LarryD said...

I don't agree with the policy of excluding evidence because the police didn't get the judicial incantation right, but witness tampering calls into question the reliability of the witness's testimony, which is very much a reason to exclude evidence.

And Wilson ought to face criminal charges for that. I'm not holding my breath though.

bill anderson said...

Linwood Wilson in a criminal, and he must be dealt with as a criminal. This is one person who needs to go to prison for a long time. Nothing else will suffice for the likes of him.

Anonymous said...

Witness tampering and intimidation is illegal in Durham??

Anonymous said...

Lord, lord, lord, they don't come any stupider than these jokers in Durham!

Joe Cheshire must be laughing his a** off and plotting his lawsuit. A documented history of the same behavior, like witness intimidation, goes a long way in convincing a judge or jury.

Wilson is a bad apple. Always was, always will be. That is precisely why Mike Nifong chose him for the worst offenses. Gottlieb's memory report, while a total falsehood, was done on his own, it is his 'recollection' of events. While deplorable, it doesn't come close to actual witness tampering, which Wilson obviously has done both in his interview with Mangum where she changed her story to explain away the lack of DNA, and he clearly engaged in witness intimidation with the strip club staff.

Another bad day for Mikey. His hearing date can't come soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Oh, so Judge Orlando Hudson loudly pontificates from the bench as he lectures a fat, tambourine-whacking gospel singer. Hudson didn't deliver so much as a peep when he denied Elizabeth Brewer's civil complaint against Nifong last February.

The "H" in Hudson stands for 'hypocrite'.

jim2 said...

In my experience, the behaviors, demeanors, and personal tactics that one is seen to employ are those that have worked in the past and have become typical or customary for that individual.

Thus, what Wilson and the rest of the rest of the Durham folk were documented to have done in the Duke LAX case will almost surely be typical of what they have all done before and will, unless change is forced from above, repeat again and again.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that because of the Duke case, a number of guilty parties from around the country will be found "not guilty"

Gary Packwood said...

KC said...Joe Cheshire perceptively summed up the day’s events: “The Duke lacrosse case opened a window into the Durham District Attorney’s Office and how they operate. That window allowed not only the public to look in, but it allowed judges to look in. Hopefully that will continue for the transparency of justice.”
::
Atty. Cheshire could have been talking about Ada, Oklahoma where residents recently looked through that window into their own justice system with the help of John Grisham in his new book, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.

As in Durham, people in the Ada, Oklahoma are learning that employees of their justice system have no understanding of due process and the rule of law.

Grisham's book gives us a limited view or snapshot through that window in Ada, Oklahoma.

KC's work on the other hand, is providing us with a far more detailed view through that window into the history of the justice system in Durham that we have come to know as ...Durham-in-Wonderland.

This is not fiction!

Are faculty members at the Law School at Duke helping their students study the transparency of justice in their own town?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

why do any of these people still have jobs?

My guess is that they all have dirt on those who might fire them and this enough to hold off any consequense.

An alternative explanation may be that there is a general strategy of not doing anything that could be seen as an admission of guilt, such as firing someone. This would be in the context of a civil suit.

Anonymous said...

"Are faculty members at the Law School at Duke helping their students study the transparency of justice in their own town?"

Except for one exception, the faculty members at Duke don't seem to have been interested in whether or not Duke students get railroaded by malicious prosecutions.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that because of the Duke case, a number of guilty parties from around the country will be found "not guilty"

What? My only fear is that the "guilty parties" actually involved IN the Duke case may escape justice!
NOBODY that can be proven guilty by ethical police and officers of the court will go free because of the Duke case.
Maybe some innocents will escape the crooked Durm justice mill because of this case, but it won't free any of the guilty.

Anonymous said...

"Keep in mind that because of the Duke case, a number of guilty parties from around the country will be found "not guilty" "

I agree that Brodhead, the 88, Nifong, DPD, etc. have given defense attorneys precedent and ideas; however, it may also help some who are not guilty from being railroaded.

One benefit of the LAX case is that political correctness (and the discrimination/double standards that go along with it) has been further exposed for what it is - intellectally void and selective in "justice."

Ed

Anonymous said...

Here is a TRUE villian,

Anonymous said...

If the DA has the evidence, folk - rape or anyother case will be found quilty. Don/t see Lax changing that.

Mike Lee said...

Linwood Wilson is the Kim Curtis of private Investigators.

The December 21st interview of CGM by Linwood Wilson alone and with no recording device is exactly the type of issue the Baker Chalmers report should have addressed.

This interview was the biggest and most important in the history of the Durham PD and Durham DA's office. Nifong had admitted (unbelievably) in court that he had not spoken to the accuser about the night in question and the case was on very shaky ground.

So, instead of going himself to talk to the woman he had staked his career on, instead of sending DPD detectives or sworn police officers, someone (probably Nifong) makes the decision to send Wilson, again alone and with no recording of the interview.

If this isn't against DA's office and DPD policy they need to tear down the buildings and start over. First of all at least 2 officers should have been present, one should have been a woman as a woman was being interviewed, and either video or audio recording whould have been used.

Whoever made the decision to authorize Wilson to go by himself and not record the meeting violated several policies and allowed the hoax to continue. If policy had been followed and seasoned investigators were sent to this meeting they may have questioned CGM (this is still Durham so they may not have as well, but at least they would have followed policy) about the inconsistencies in her story and the hoax may have ended completely that day.

Instead this decision to send Wilson alone and essentially get the answers Mike Nifong needed meant the hoax could continue.

This move needs to be explained and answered for. Essentially Wilson is saying that Ms. Mangum outsmarted him and he believed her 100% despite all the evidence she was lying. And instead of asking her about the evidence that pointed to her being untruthful Wilson accepted everything she said.

Judging by his actions in the lacrosse case, Wilson is either a criminal (meaning he either encouraged Mangum to lie or knew Mangum was lying and didn't care) or he is the most incompetent investigator in the world. Either way his continued employment is a disgrace.

Just as Duke is willing to employ Kim Curtis despite the fact that she is either dishonest or incompetent, the DPD seems happy to continue to use the services of Wilson who has the same attributes.

So which is it? Was Wilson fooled and outsmarted by Mangum or is he dishonest? Either way, the fact that the DA's office continues to emply him is a black eye for the department.

Whatever the case we should all hope to be employed by the likes of DPD, the Durham DA's office, or Duke University (unless of course you're the coach of a white male athletic team in which case they may cut you loose immediately)as it appears dishonesty and/or incompetence are not grounds for termination.

One last thing, please tell me once again how Duke University justifies the firing of Mike Pressler while continuing to employ Kim Curtis. Let's compare what the two have done to deserve termination and have the administration explain how these decisions are made, and more importantly, by whom.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. How can the DPD, let this guy who is not a sworn police officer, run around and interview and intimidate folk? Forget the investigation and clean up this mess. Why is no one challenging his "authority?" Even Hudson did not ask "Who are you and what is your standing?"

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

Re: anon 11:33

How can the DPD, let this guy who is not a sworn police officer, run around and interview and intimidate folk?

What can DPD do? I guess they could arrest Wilson and then the DA would decline to prosecute. DPD can not prosecute anyone.

The prosecutors in many juris dictions act as checks on misbehavior of the police. I would say about 90% of the issue with the Duke lacrosse hoax is that the DA usurped the authority of the police. Wilson has just continued that in other cases apparently.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

What is interesting in this episode to me is that Judge Hudson giving up on Nifong is a further signal that the entire Durham court house gang have given up on Nifong. They know he is going to be disbarred and soon out of there.

What is curious to me still is that Hudson does not seem to be interested in cleaning up his own house? He could of course change his mind and remove Nifong today. It is odd that Durham prefers to make the state Bar remove Nifong rather than have someone in Durham itself remove him.

Michael said...

re: 12:50

Especially now that it is open season on Nifong. Hudson certainly has plenty of cover for tossing him out.

Nifong is still DA. I wonder if Nifong does any court work these days.

Anonymous said...

"Was Wilson aware the District Attorney’s Office was not empowered to unilaterally terminate someone’s probation, Brown demanded.

“I wasn’t aware the DA did not have the authority to do that,” the investigator replied. “I was under the impression the state did have that authority.” "

Who is supposed to supervise Mr. Wilson?

Gary said...

...Why do any of these people still have jobs? Would any other city in America keep people like Wilson, Nifong, Chalmers, and Baker?

May 23, 2007 9:41:00 AM


Are you serious? Where have you been living?? We've been 6 years under Bush and over 2 years under Alberto Gonzales.

They hired an inexperienced but theocratic self-made avenging angel HR person who today admits (only after receiving legal immunity) to (illegal) politically vetted hiring and firing of Justice Department positions (Bloomberg http://tinyurl.com/25d7fo ) all this shortly after the departure of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty resigns due to, among other reasons, attempting to intimidate witnesses (the fired attorneys) from testifying before congress http://tinyurl.com/24a6ue .

This is outrageous and un-American in it's deepest sense.

Basically, these people at a federal level served a person and an ideology over justice (shades of the old Soviet Union and the new Russia) as concisely described in an Opinion piece in The Nation http://tinyurl.com/2btgkk .

We need to get rid of the right wing self-anointed righteous culture warriors just as badly as we need to get rid of the Left wing PC nutters! A commitment to law, due process, balance of powers and rational thought is what America was founded on and where country, not just certain towns, needs to go. Not right, not left and not theocratic.

Anonymous said...

Anne Coulter, Gleen Beck and Bill O'Reily have honor. I am a moderate Democrat, but Teddy is pushing me right with his immigration bill.

Anonymous said...

Anne Coulter, Gleen Beck and Bill O'Reily have honor. I am a moderate Democrat, but Teddy is pushing me right with his immigration bill.

I believe McCain was pushing that bill as well.

Anonymous said...

Love John McCain, but don't think anyone considers him "to the Right."

Anonymous said...

I sent an e-mail to David Saacks, the ADA that Linwood Wilson was working with. I asked him if he was going to do something about Linwood, I don't really expect to get an answer

Anonymous said...

Sorry Gary, these US Attorney's serve at the pleasure of the President, they can be fired for anything at anytime.

Deklan Singh said...

Wow! Durham is like some freakish caricature of a dumbass dystopia! Seriously, is everyone who actually lives in Durham on some kind of hallucinogen?

Intimidation....what does Wilson say?
"Those are your words..."

What the f%ck?!?!

What word does Bizarro Barney Fife use to indicate behavior that everyone else describes as "intimidation"? Do we have to guess his degenerate, country-goblin speak?

Can we please just deport the majority of these people? Nifong, Gottlieb, Wilson, Peterson and Hall would be fine for me, but I'd like to here some more nominations.

Anonymous said...

What ADA can have Wilson work on a case. Every defense lawyer will question him about his history of intimidating witnesses.

The ADAs might as well drop all cases he worked or will work on.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Sorry Gary, these US Attorney's serve at the pleasure of the President, they can be fired for anything at anytime.

May 23, 2007 6:11:00 PM

----------------------------------
Not entirely true. It would be illegal to fire one for being female or hispanic, for example. It would also be illegal -- obstruction of justice -- to fire a prosecutor in order to prevent or disrupt an investigation into political corruption, which has been hinted at here.

Cedarford said...

Joe Cheshire must be laughing his a** off and plotting his lawsuit. A documented history of the same behavior, like witness intimidation, goes a long way in convincing a judge or jury.

The damage Linwood Wilson can do to past plea bargains, lawsuit vulnerability from people crawling out of the woodwork is enormous. Not just the Duke case.

And Linwood, I fear, is so stupid that he doesn't realize his big fat ass is exposed and about to get blown off unless he gets a deal with prosecutors to turn on Nifong.

Nifong's hat trick said...

It is quite obvious that witnesses were intimidated, evidence was tampered with,and the ID lineup was manipulated. WHY?

Anonymous said...

Apparently, this is getting to be a pattern in Durham: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/durham/durham/story/569556.html.

I spent about five minutes looking and found several similar cases.

So Durham has a rouge prosecutor, a cop who starts racially-motivated fights against badly outnumbered minorities and targets Duke students for minor offenses, and apparently, an entire DA's office full of corruption -- the pattern extends well beyond the Nofing case. It is evident that there are at least a handlful of very bad actors in the DPD and that the top management there is AWOL. Does anyone realize just how bad things have got?

Anonymous said...

8:42 asks a very good question. Was it simply to get re-elected? If so, it's an excellent example of the banality of evil.

Anonymous said...

no it was to GET A PENSION BY LASTING long enough in the JOB...nifong did it alledegly for the money///

Wilson was happy to have a JOB running down bad checks

scott said...

Wilson had a questionable record as a cop and multiple sanctions as a PI. Why was a guy with a background like his ever hired to be an investigator for the Durham DA? What, there was no one else available in a city of 200,000 that had even a slightly better record in the honesty department?

Then, again, it is Durham and Mike Nifong is the DA. I guess I just answered my own questions.

Anonymous said...

A massive scandal, saturation coverage by the press, evidence of incompetence and corruption in every sphere, unethical behavior, crimes... and Nifong is still prosecuting, Brodhead is still President of Duke, Chalmers/Baker/Gottlieb?Linwood are still in their posts, the Gang of 88 are untouched.

One cannot help but wonder: what does it take?

Anonymous said...

As governor, Easley has failed to provide leadership. He appointed Nifong, then refused to urge him to resign — even after Nifong's role in the cold-blooded frame of the lacrosse players was common knowledge.

mb said...

11:30PM said: " A massive scandal, saturation coverage by the press, evidence of incompetence and corruption in every sphere, unethical behavior, crimes... and Nifong is still prosecuting, Brodhead is still President of Duke, Chalmers/Baker/Gottlieb?Linwood are still in their posts, the Gang of 88 are untouched.

One cannot help but wonder: what does it take?"


Exactly what I was thinking. An act of G*d perhaps?