Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Himan's Home Runs

Nifong attorney David Freedman has promised a “blame-the-police” defense today, informing WRAL last night that “there’s a lot more information the investigator [Ben Himan] has to add on cross-examination.”

That said, unless he comes totally unglued in the cross-examination, Himan struck some piercing holes in what remains of Mike Nifong’s defense yesterday.

1.) Nifong can no longer claim—as he sometimes suggested in his responses to the Bar’s charges—that his preprimary publicity barrage was caused by receiving faulty information from the police that a rape certainly occurred.

Contrast yesterday’s most dramatic moment with the verbal record.

On March 27, Nifong had a meeting with Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, conceded the inconsistencies in Crystal Mangum’s stories, and privately remarked, “You know we’re fucked.”

That same day, the disgraced DA gave interviews to the local CBS, NBC, and ABC stations, stating:

  • “There’s a good chance if someone had spoken up and said, ‘You can’t do this,’ it might not have happened.”

  • “In this case, where you have the act of rape—essentially a gang rape—is bad enough in and of itself, but when it’s made with racial with racial epithets against the victim, I mean, it’s just absolutely unconscionable . . . The contempt that was shown for the victim, based on her race was totally abhorrent. It adds another layer of reprehensibleness, to a crime that already reprehensible.”
  • “The information that I have does lead me to conclude that a rape did occur. I’m making a statement to the Durham community and, as a citizen of Durham, I am making a statement for the Durham community. This is not the kind of activity we condone, and it must be dealt with quickly and harshly.”

2.) Nifong’s DNA difficulties got much bigger.

Nifong has consistently tried to claim that the Meehan May 12 report was not a “final report,” but merely an interim document, with a final document to come at a to-be-determined time that, apparently, only he knew.

Himan’s testimony, however, appeared to contradict this claim: he noted that at their May 12 meeting, Meehan “had a final report ready that day.” Nifong’s only objection? It was improperly dated—May 11, rather than May 12.

Himan’s recollections confirmed an item that had come up during Wade Smith’s testimony, in which it became clear that Nifong had consented to a court order last fall declaring Meehan’s report to be “final.”

The Himan testimony also revealed some remarkable inconsistencies in the Nifong approach to DNA. On April 10, Nifong learned that no DNA matched either Reade Seligmann or Collin Finnerty, and that the DNA of multiple unidentified males was found on Crystal Mangum.

The result? These findings appeared to have no effect.

On April 21, however, Nifong learned that Dave Evans couldn’t be excluded as a partial match to fingernails found in his trashcan.

The result? On ride back to Durham, Nifong said that these findings justified an indictment of Evans, even though Mangum had claimed he had a mustache.

3.) At the time that Nifong sought indictments against Reade Seligmann, police had no idea whether or not Seligmann even attended the party.

The DA’s blasé response to his problem: ignore it. “If you believe her story in one part, you’ve got to believe her story in another part.” He doesn’t seem to have considered that having one part of Mangum’s story impossible to prove might have raised questions about the rest of that story.

---------

The body language gave a sense of the atmosphere. After adjournment (which followed Himan’s direct testimony), a brief discussion between the lawyers and the DHC panel occurred. At that point, nearly everyone was out of their seats, milling about the room and preparing to leave.

Yet Nifong’s row of spectators (wife Cy Gurney; a friend of Gurney’s; Nifong’s brother and sister) all sat stone-faced, looking straight ahead. Nifong, meanwhile, leaned back in his chair, gazing up at the ceiling with a pen propping up his chin.

Joe Cheshire summed up the revelations: he termed Himan’s portrayal of Nifong’s conduct “chilling.”

45 comments:

Mike Lee said...

Good things are definitely happening in Durham.

Anonymous said...

WOW = What a day - Neither the trial or your articles disappoint. KC - A great service to the families and the bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Freedman is going to cross Himan--doubtful that much is going to change. He'll ask him about his GJ testimony, but the "We're f----ed" is going to sink the 'Fong.

At the end of the day, 'Fong has too much to explain away. He's done. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Anonymous said...

When Fong said, "we're f---ed", he was usig the royal we...
The LieFong is toast.

William Jockusch said...

Look, I want to see Nifong go down as badly as the rest of you do, but Officer Himan has a major credibility problem. If his testimony is true, he went to the grand jury to get indictments against two people he felt were innocent. And furthermore, he did so with information he felt was misleading.

I write about this here:

http://www.greeneggsandbacon.blogspot.com.

Anonymous said...

Un-freaking-believable! This dude was gonna get his indictments and then he was gonna cross all those other bridges down the road, somehow. Somethin will turn up, somebody will turn, or something or other... It's all in God's hands; but youre at peace when youre as righteous as Mike Nifong!..

Anonymous said...

I love justice. What a great day.

Mike Lee said...

I agree with Mr. Jockusch to some degree. Today we heard all the bad things Himan knows about Nifong. Tomorrow we hear all the bad things Nifong knows about Himan. Only time will tell which are worse and more damning.

But either way, it's great to see that these conspirators (I think they're all in this thing up to their ears) going after each other. There's plenty more carnage to come.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

One piece of irony that I have not seen commented on today is that IF Himan had to "believed one part of her statement, he had to believe it all," then they should have sought indictments of FOUR lacrosse players as she IDed four players. Or perhaps they should have indicted the three she IDed 100% and not omitted one to ID someone she was 90% sure about.

re: William Jockusch

Sorry but Himan only testified to the Grand Jury. That is he answered questions. He did not get to say what he thought. He did not get to say what ever he wanted.

As I said on a prior thread, his first GJ testimony likely went something like this:

DA: Det. Himan did Ms Mangum tell you she was raped at the party at the Buchanon.

Det. Himan: Yes

DA: Det Himan who did she say had raped her.

Det. Himan: Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Seligmann.

That is all it takes for an indictment.

If Himan had balked at testifying, he could have been required to testify.

And I have read it is the DA's duty to consider and bring to the GJ exculpatory evidence which is why Nifong refused to see Seligmann's alibi evidence. Himan only was allowed to answer the questions put to him.

Anonymous said...

If you believe all her stories she was raped by Brad Ross who was in Raleigh the night of the party. Also she was raped by 17 other guys. Or was it 5?

Anonymous said...

nifong...caved into the local black community demnds for blood...

he is a perfect example of the group of 88 who also responded to the MOB of 88 students who cry rape at the thought of being called water buffalo

the PC world---of bending over for minorities---wont change but maybe just for once they and the duke 88 will all get sued and lose ...for trying a case of mob rule

Anonymous said...

Today's hearing was absolutely incredible...I cannot wait until Mr. Nifong himself takes the stand!!!

Anonymous said...

So sad that Nofing has his son in attendance.

His layers should have told Victoria Peterson to stay away -- guess they don't have to do this now! Seriously, what the !@#$ were they [not] thinking?! If she shuts up the rest of the trial, I'd lay even odds she's been asked to do so.

If Nofing's middle fingers are taped tomorrow, we'll know that at least his lawers don't want him giving the finger to the bar any longer, at least in a litteral sense.


If you read the document that was released listing the things that are not in dispute, there is a list of witnesses -- things are only going to get better! In fact, just the things that are not in dispute would seem to be enough to warrant disbarment.


BTW, anyone know if TL happens to have a sexual orientation that is in the minority? Just trying to get a sense of what drove her -- and looking forward to haering what she has to say...

Joe T. said...

Yes. A very satisfying day. And it was only Day ONE!

Cedarford said...

Jockusch - I want to see Nifong go down as badly as the rest of you do, but Officer Himan has a major credibility problem. If his testimony is true, he went to the grand jury to get indictments against two people he felt were innocent. And furthermore, he did so with information he felt was misleading.

Disagree. Himan went to Nifong and then to his supervisory chain of command about his concerns about the evidence. He was overruled by Nifong telling his supervisors that he was in charge and he discounted Himan's concerns and as investigator of record, Himan would testify or would be considered insubordinate.

To indict, a one minute process for most crimes, jurors need only probable cause that a crime had been committed, and probable cause that the victim or forensics had indentified the suspect.

Nifong walks him and Mark Gottlieb to the room.

Foreman: What was the probable cause evidence a rape was committed, Detective Himan?

The accuser claims she was raped at a Duke Lacrosse party. Her statement says by three white men at the Party. The Duke University SANE nurse stated medical evidence consistent with rape was found.

Foreman - Did the accuser identify the persons she claimed raped her, so probable cause exists for indicting suspects, Detective Himan?

Yes, at a photo lineup, the accuser claims she positively identified the three, and stated no doubt existed. Two of those men are listed on indictments the DA prepared for you today, Reade Seligmann and Colin Finnerty, with the 3rd scheduled for a future session.

Foreman - OK, those are the only two questions the DA provided for us to ask you and the bald officer...Godlebb?? Thats, all on that one. Next is a drug possession charge DA Saacks has drafted...Is there probable cause of illegal drug use according to the bill of indictment that...

As JLS said,

1. If Himan had balked at testifying, he could have been required to testify.

2. (By police and grand jury procedure) Himan only was allowed to answer the questions put to him.

Cedarford said...

Jockusch - I want to see Nifong go down as badly as the rest of you do, but Officer Himan has a major credibility problem. If his testimony is true, he went to the grand jury to get indictments against two people he felt were innocent. And furthermore, he did so with information he felt was misleading.

Disagree. Himan went to Nifong and then to his supervisory chain of command about his concerns about the evidence. He was overruled by Nifong telling his supervisors that he was in charge and he discounted Himan's concerns and as investigator of record, Himan would testify or would be considered insubordinate.

To indict, a one minute process for most crimes, jurors need only probable cause that a crime had been committed, and probable cause that the victim or forensics had indentified the suspect.

Nifong walks him and Mark Gottlieb to the room.

Foreman: What was the probable cause evidence a rape was committed, Detective Himan?

The accuser claims she was raped at a Duke Lacrosse party. Her statement says by three white men at the Party. The Duke University SANE nurse stated medical evidence consistent with rape was found.

Foreman - Did the accuser identify the persons she claimed raped her, so probable cause exists for indicting suspects, Detective Himan?

Yes, at a photo lineup, the accuser claims she positively identified the three, and stated no doubt existed. Two of those men are listed on indictments the DA prepared for you today, Reade Seligmann and Colin Finnerty, with the 3rd scheduled for a future session.

Foreman - OK, those are the only two questions the DA provided for us to ask you and the bald officer...Godlebb?? Thats, all on that one. Next is a drug possession charge DA Saacks has drafted...Is there probable cause of illegal drug use according to the bill of indictment that...

As JLS said,

1. If Himan had balked at testifying, he could have been required to testify.

2. (By police and grand jury procedure) Himan only was allowed to answer the questions put to him.

Anonymous said...

A scary thought although maybe this is the wrong place:

"Lap dancing" as many of you know is extremely common thse days. Leaving aside the morality its incredibly common (not just in Vegas)

Had any of these boys had a (legal) lap dance it would have gone to trial.

Anonymous said...

A scary thought although maybe this is the wrong place:

"Lap dancing" as many of you know is extremely common thse days. Leaving aside the morality its incredibly common (not just in Vegas)

Had any of these boys had a (legal) lap dance it would have gone to trial.

Cedarford said...

Ooops, the new Blogger format only requires single click! Double click means double post..Sorry!

William Jockusch said...

Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed. Himan didn't have that.

Anonymous said...

Durham made the "big time" with this case..

They now have their very own nappy headed Tawana Brawley skank, and their own white "Al Sharpton" who danced to the Mau Mau chant of the 88 members of Duke's faculty and the black electorate of Durham -- while Duke's President Brodhead looks on without critical comment or reminding himself or his staff of the precept of the presumption of innocence..

Anonymous said...

I think Nifong should do some time in a medium-security prison. That way he can find out the Truth about interracial rape that the Duke faculty and MSM keep hidden.

Anonymous said...

I thought Himan was credible. He looked like someone who realized that lying under oath would be a far bigger problem for him - and easier to prove - than any of his conduct during the investigation. What I do question is how forthcoming he was. What did he omit? I expect that will come out under cross examination. I would think Freedman will try to establish that 1) Himan was working on his own and not at Nifong's direction, and 2) that Nifong's decisions were based on information provided by Himan and others.

While Nifong/DPD/enablers claimed a blue wall of silence amongst team members, and urged someone to have the courage to come forth and tell what really happened, the real blue wall of silence cracked yesterday as Himan came forth and began to tell what really happened during the investigation. "You know we're f***ed." What did Nifong know and when did he know it? He knew on March 27, 2006 that he didn't have a case, yet he doggedly pursued indictments in spite of evidence to the contrary. At the very time he should have tried to debunk the inconsistencies in Mangum's statements, he fully committed himself to the hoax.

Legal Eagle said...

Keep in mind that, based on the record, North Carolina considers prosecutors to be infallible.

If anything brings down Nifong's ascension to his place atop the holy mountain, it will be his distinctly pedestrian attitude. Still, infallibly is virtually impossible to overcome, as all laws bow obediently to its service.

In the end, we'll only succeed by limiting the all-powerful articles of faith bestowed on the gods.

Anonymous said...

It is all so southern, and contrary to the feminist explanation of things this whole affair shows the power of some assinine miscreant to point the finger of blame at someone and shout, "He raped me," and a lynch mob forms that goes on and on with its incriminations like this sentence toward whatever meaness, invective, and harm tht can be done to the accused and all others in the community. How on God'earth does society allow this kind of thing to go on. The whole community has been made into absolute fools beginning with the university, the infamous Group88, the city of Durham, the city of Durham police department. You name them. My goodness, think how difficult it would have been had the whole affair been a hurricane or a 9-11 event. All of these people could not have been trained in post modernism by the same English department. The main stream media appears to have been . . . what a mess.

mac said...

After the testimony:

Group of 88: "We're f&%@ed."
Brodhead: "We're f&%@ed."
DPD and Baker: "We're f&%@ed."

Nifong's attorney: "We're f&%@ed."

People scheduled to testify FOR
Nifong:

"Uh, oh."

Why the 88? Because they are so
obviously - now to even the disbelievers -
dupes of a white man trying to use
black people for his own personal
gain. No credibility left (not
that any of us believed there was
credibility to be had.) Also makes
it easier for Duke to do something
to remove them surreptitiously.
(Don't expect a public hanging.)

Brodhead: Dupe, dupe, dupe.
He allowed all THIS to happen to
his players, and wouldn't even
talk to their attorneys?
Dupe.

DPD and Baker: Only part of DPD
will lose its' members - (as in
dismembering.) Their statements
now sound - in retrospect - like
they sounded before: intentionally
non compis mentis. They'll be
slipping away, hoping that a new
job somewhere else might offer
them some protection against
prosecution. (I'd suggest they
go to Aruba.)

There's a reason they chose Himan
to testify first: now the defense
is playing...uh...defense.
They would have played offense,
if they'd been able to get off
the starting line. It would have
been a sham, Nifong's attorney
using much of his potential
offensive weaponry yesterday,
but Himan had already made the
powder wet. I hear that's
called a "golden shower."

No justice, no peace said...

Interesting...why believe anything any of these people have to say?

The eating of ones own has begun and I would expect a vicious attack on Himan's credentials, including his trustworthiness.

I'd be much more astounded by Himan's quote of Nifong's "We're @#@#$" comment, if others provide similar testimony or if Himan had suggested a repitition of that specific comment over several distinct dates/times.

Does someone have the video/picture of Nifong shooting the bird?

mac said...

No Justice, No Peace,

Expect there to be a lot of
worms turning today, or to pretend
to be mute.

Photo needed: a picture is worth a
thousand birds.

Anonymous said...

On March 27th, Nifong said to Himan and others, "You know we're f****d". Yet that same day, made inflammatory remarks to the media.

Nifong must have known that he did not have a case. But to preserve his election chances, he made a bet that his remarks would either:

(a) Stampede someone on the Duke lacrosse team into seeking a plea agreement for lesser charges, selling out others in the process, or,

(b) So prejudice the jury pool that some, like Victoria Peterson, who believe in guilt and vote for a guilty verdict regardless of the evidence that no crime had ever occured.

Nifong must be held accountable for his actions to the fullest measure. Nifong is a criminal, and he must be put in prison.

Anonymous said...

This hearing is crystallizing just what an evil person Nifong. He didn't care about guilt or innocence. He just didn't care, and he was willing to harm these three young men. I don't think, at the end of the day, anything else matters. The hearing officers have got to see this truth, and for that, Nifong is toast.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Nifong is such an arrogant jerk that he believes he can talk his way out of this. He probably thinks Jean is a fool and can beat her on the stand. Hey, Mikey, it doesn't matter. The jig is up. Your goose is cooked.

Anonymous said...

When, after saying, "You know we're f'd", did Nifong/DPD talk to the accuser? Was it not until after the 12/15 hearing?

Anonymous said...

Disbarment is not enough. Nifong needs to go to jail for this criminal behavior. How can he possibly explain to his own son how he railroaded three innocent young men. It cries to heaven for vengence.

Michael said...

For those that still think that Himan was questioned in the Grand Jury instead of just presenting his case:

Officer: D.A. Nifong pressed Duke lacrosse despite its troubles

Nifong's attorney, David Freedman, said his client told police that if they believed the accuser's allegations against Finnerty, "then you have to believe her on Seligmann."

"Mr. Nifong did not — did not — generate a warrant on his own," Freedman said. "He had the investigators go in to present their case to a grand jury. There will be no evidence of any kind that they were instructed how to present the case to the grand jury."

For the other person that suggested that Freedman was going to ask Himan on cross today about what went on in the Grand Jury - I think that there would be a problem with that as he shouldn't be able to talk about it unless there's some kind of exemption in Bar hearings.

As far as the Grand Jury goes, I think that Orlando Hudson needs to start an investigation as to what happened so that this thing doesn't happen again. Of course one good approach to ensuring that this doesn't happen again is to throw Himan and Gottlieb in jail.

mac said...

Nifong shows the same personality
profile as Haman (See: Book of Esther.)

jim2 said...

When I heard Himan testify yesterday, it reminded me strongly of "Chinatown" (starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway), with Durham as Chinatown.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Looks like the members of the Bar have sharpened teeth and a taste for human flesh, metaphorically speaking. Their meal? Mike Nifong. Bon appetit!

The Drill SGT said...

does WRAL have a live feed to the trial? if so, what is the link?

Anonymous said...

Mike Nifong: “There’s a good chance if someone had spoken up and said, ‘You can’t do this,’ it might not have happened.”

How ironic--based on his testimony yesterday, it seems maybe Himan spoke up and said "you can't do this" to Mike Nifong--and it happened anyway.

Anonymous said...

KC- Dr Anderson, and the rest of you are missing the boat on this testimony!!

Himan said he went to his superiors to inform them that there was no case!

His superiors agreed with Nifong and overruled the investigator.

Let me ask you is this;


1. Conspiracy of the DPD and Nifong to jail and wrongly accuse someone of a crime?
2. Conspiracy to provoke civil and racial unrest?


If The US Attorney General does not start something on this now with all the evidence, there will still be a rogue police department in Durham.

Tom E.

Ralph Phelan said...

'Durham made the "big time" with this case..

They now have ... their own white "Al Sharpton"'

Oh gawd ... does that mean Nifong's going to spend the rest of his life running for President?

One of the things that makes it hard to vote for a Democrat these days knowing that every one of them has to shake Sharpton's hand and be polite to him in public.

At least the Republicans had the decency to kick David Duke the f out of their party.

Ralph Phelan said...

'Group of 88: "We're f&%@ed."'

I doubt it. If anything, their careers will thrive as a result of this. Their willingness to to stick to the "cause" in the face of facts shows a dedication to PC that is modern academia's highest value.

Anonymous said...

No pity for Himan. He hada professional obligation to speak up and say "hey wait a minute this indictment is wrong". Ignorance is not a defense.

mac said...

Ralph Phelan,

Right - to an extent. One thing
extremists hate is to be riduculed.
(That's why they can't stomach
Southpark: it hits everybody
pretty much equally.)
Extremists are usually bullies -
(which is what they have in common
with Mikey Nifey) - and bullies
can't take a punch.

They always run home to mama.

BTW, wouldn't you be a proud parent
if your son was the D.A.?

Anonymous said...

David Duke doen't have anything to do with this sorry affair. It is Duke and Duke and Duke and, of course, "Baby Duke" (who doen't know its father because there was so much DNA) and let's see, Broadhead, Nifang, etc. What would have stopped this whole parade would have been a little character on the part of any of these characters. Why don't you elites study how a poor, old Union County sheriff kept his people (white and black) from this kind of stupidy in the Susan Smith case. You all is just stupid.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 12:01

The way David Duke comes in is that (1) he's no worse* a scumbag than Al Sharpton, Nifong, Broadhead, etc. And (2) He's not welcome among Republicans or conservatives, while Sharpton gets the red carpet treatment from the Democrats and Broadhead is still doing just fine in the liberal enclave of academia.

When it comes to standing up to scumbags, which side is showing more "character"?

(*) I really don't know much about David Duke. Has he ever incited a race riot in which people were killed (Sharpton) or participated in (Nifong) or cheered on (Broadhead) the attempted framing of innocents?