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11 years ago @ WAVY.com - Fugitive returns to VB... · 1 reply · +1 points

Sorry for the long response time, but yes, I can elaborate. For starters, Sacks thought the overwhelming physical evidence in the case to be enough to have Crockett found innocent. However, Sacks gravely miscalculated and completely refused to actually question the police as to why they didn't do a proper investigation and why they never compared the physical evidence to their star witness testimony. As stated previously, Sacks currently has a contract to defend the Norfolk Police and has had a contract with the VBPD in the past. Any lawyer of his stature is going to be completely unwilling to crucify a police officer on the stand, no matter how much they deserve it, because of the effect it will have on their career.

So while Cameron wanted to call the individual and have him testify, Sacks viewed it as too risky, both to Cameron's case and his own career. Furthermore, in the first trial, the driver was listed as a witness for the prosecution, but never called. In the second trial, he was only listed as a witness for the defense, meaning had he been called and lied about anything, the defense would have been unable to bring up his previous statements or any other witness testimony. That's just how the laws of evidence work. If its your witness, you have to go by what they say no matter what, unless they are ruled a hostile witness, which Sacks did not think was going to happen. This is crucial because multiple individuals testified to him being at the party and leaving at the same time and then coming back some time later asking where Cameron and Jack were. If the defense called him and he denied all of that, it would have been impossible to contradict him with previous witness testimony or even his own phone records that show him to have been outside the party at the time of the accident. Sacks also believed that by calling the lead investigator as a witness for the defense (the prosecution never called him, which is incredibly rare), that he could simply lie about why no investigation was done or simply say they were 100% positive he was the driver and give that as a reason to not do an investigation. Again, him being a witness for the defense and not being ruled a hostile witness, Sacks would have been unable to contradict him or confront him with contradictory evidence or testimony given previously.

In Crockett's opinion, however, calling the real driver was well worth the risk, because even if he lied or took the 5th, it would show the jury what type of individual he was and could infer much from his body language. As for calling the officer, he deemed that too to be worth the risk. In an interview given to a private investigator days after the accident, this officer told the investigator that the reason they were so sure Crockett was the driver was because if he wasn't wearing his seatbelt, he would be dead. Well we know he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, no one on either side disputes that, so why isn't Crockett dead? Because he was in the back seat before the crash and was not driving the car.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - Fugitive returns to VB... · 3 replies · 0 points

I'm not saying Cameron didn't make some bad choices, but to answer your question, he didn't think the driver was drunk. This kid was a lot younger than Cameron and Jack. In fact Cameron had coached him in basketball a year or two prior. That's no excuse by any means, but it is what it is. When you've had 60oz of malt liquor, you know you aren't safe to drive. So he gave his keys to someone else. Was that a bad decision? Of course. But it doesn't mean he was driving the car at the time of the accident. Cameron admitted in court to everything he did wrong, but there is no reason he should have to face criminal responsibility for the death of his best friend when he wasn't driving the car.

And just to bring up one more point, I don't even blame the real driver for the crash. We found out in court the whole accident occurred because some random lady was walking in the middle of the street supposedly looking at Christmas lights when the car turned the corner and had to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting her. But because the driver ran, we will never know the whole story and if or how much he had drank beforehand.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - Fugitive returns to VB... · 5 replies · -3 points

Yes, in fact I know one of the officers on the fatal crash team who was there the night of the accident. He was not a lead investigator, he came far after the fact, but he has many times explained to me the detailed processes that fatal crash investigations entail. They are far more complicated and extensive than murder cases, he said, because you have to investigate where the alcohol came from, the crash physics, the speed of the car, the occupant physics, the condition of the car before the crash (to see if there was any kind of mechanical failure), and so many other things that were not done or were shoddily done in this case.

As I mentioned in another post on this thread, the police never fully investigated where the alcohol came from. If you research other news articles on underage DUI's, you will see the police always attempt to determine where the alcohol came from, who bought it, and where it was drunk. In this case, it was at a party that, whether you believe Cameron to be the driver or not, indisputably had the underage son of a police officer present. Multiple witnesses testified to this in court. Cameron himself testified that the whole incident started with him and Jack being invited to the party, splitting 3 40oz of malt liquor between the three of them, and then going upstairs. The party was crowded, the beer pong list was really long, and then the real driver asked if Cameron and Jack wanted to smoke a marijuana blunt. They replied they had no money, no weed, and no blunt wrap, and the eventual driver responded that he had weed and money, and just needed to go get a wrap. Not having anything to contribute to the blunt, Cameron offered to allow the person to drive his car to the store, his gas being his contribution, because he was currently too drunk to drive. Multiple witnesses from the party testified to Cameron and Jack arriving there, staying for a few minutes, and then leaving at about the same time as the driver, after the driver asked an individual if he needed anything from the store. Other witnesses testified that the driver arrived back at the party several hours later looking sketchy and out of breath and asking repeatedly if anyone had heard from Jack and Cameron and if they were alright. Phone records introduced in court show the driver being in text message contact with Cameron and Jack prior to their arrival at the party, and then texting with individuals at the party after it was testified in court that they had left for the store. After the accident occurred, text and phone records show the driver calling Crockett just a few minutes after the accident occurred and numerous more times in the minutes and hours that followed.

You see Cameron took the stand for several hours and admitted to every single illegal thing he did that night, from buying alcohol underage, to drinking underage, and to wanting to smoke marijuana. But he did not admit to driving the car at the time of the accident because in fact he was not. This is not about someone trying to escape responsibility. From day 1 Cameron has tried to take full responsibility for everything he did wrong, he admits it was his responsibility to get Jack home that night because he picked him up, but he was not driving the car at the time of the accident.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - Fugitive returns to VB... · 7 replies · -4 points

You know it as a fact to be technically true. But do you realize that in theory and in practice are two totally separate things? And just to back up a bit, according to the news coverage, Crockett said clearly in court that he MAY retain Sacks, but will explore other options. In other words, he was saying to the court he intended to have his own attorney, not a public defender, and not to waive his right to legal representation. So yes, while Cameron could technically fire Sacks and switch lawyers at any time, he still needs another attorney to switch to. In a case that has been going on for close to 4 years, the court has very little patience for someone continually seeking delays to find someone to take the case after firing his previous attorney and not wanting to take a public defender.

And do you have anything to say about the responses to your other points? I would be glad to answer any further questions.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - Fugitive returns to VB... · 9 replies · -4 points

He has no choice but to keep him as his attorney. He can't just fire him without having hired another attorney first AND having Sacks recuse himself from the case because he is the attorney of record on the case. It's not nearly as simple to just "fire" your attorney and hire a new one as you are making it out to be. At the stage of the system Cameron is at, it's practically impossible. At for the record, Sacks had led Cameron to believe that he would call Palmer during the trial, but changed his mind as it progressed. Do you really think someone can just fire their attorney on the 2nd or 3rd day of an ongoing trial?

And I never said the entire police department was involved. It's a code of silence that goes on whereby no one asks tough questions if another officer or their family is involved. There is no gigantic above board conspiracy, merely a few officers and the prosecutors who know they got the wrong guy, but are unwilling to come clean because it would destroy their careers. Everyone else knows what's going on because they've heard things, but because of the code of silence, no one is going to come forward and alienate themselves. Just go walk around the courthouse one day and ask about the Crockett case, nearly everyone who's not a uniformed officer will tell you he's getting a raw deal. While walking in yesterday, all the security officers at the main entrance who were putting you and your items through the scanners were talking about how he was essentially framed. This is no big secret, even jurors who convicted Cameron think he's innocent. They contacted his lawyer and his family after the case and apologized for caving to the pressure of a few jurors and convicting him because they had been in court for 4 days and wanted to go home. All of those facts were transmitted to the Commonwealth and the Judge, but none of them did anything.

And just as an aside, during the first trial Judge Lowe, the only judge in the city who had no recused himself from the case because of who was involved, repeatedly demanded to know where the individual Cameron claimed driving the car was. The prosecution had him listed as a witness, not the defense, and despite numerous witnesses testifying he was at the party with Cameron and Jack, he was never called. The prosecution merely told the judge they would explain everything after Cameron had been found guilty.

Furthermore, if you recall how Cameron has been charged with threatening a witness, you should know that witness was the individual whom he accused of driving the car. Despite the severity of this charge, Crockett never had his bond revoked and was even let out on a new bond by the magistrate. How could this be possible? In any other case Crockett would have been immediately jailed, but he wasn't. This is because at the bond revocation hearing, Judge Lowe demanded the prosecution produce the individual who Crockett had threatened. When they again refused to produce not only that individual, but the audio file of the phone call they claimed they had, the Judge denied their motion, but said if they brought the individual to testify, that he would revoke Crockett's bond. Now if the prosecution really thought Crockett a threat and a flight risk, why not simply produce the individual, who was in the courthouse in a witness room, and have Crockett thrown in jail? Speaking of which, after the judge refused the motion to revoke bond, Crockett turned himself in to be processed on the actual charge of threatening a witness. Now under normal circumstances, with the list of charges Cameron had hanging over his head, there is no way he would ever have been granted a new bond for the charge of threatening a witness. But he was. And not only was he granted bond, but he was granted a bond of less than $1000, which is a pittance compared with the charges he was facing. Why did this happen? Because the magistrate knew of his case, knew he was getting a raw deal, and didn't want to be a party to the corruption.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - Fugitive returns to VB... · 0 replies · -5 points

On the contrary, the police department absolutely would do such a thing, though perhaps not deliberately from the beginning. What likely happened is that the police found Crockett and Korte in the car, saw one was dead, and assumed the other must be the driver, despite the obvious physical evidence to the contrary. And though it may have seemed obvious to them who the driver was, they still failed to do any kind of investigation what-so-ever. Hardly any of the standard procedures for fatal crashes were followed, evidence was destroyed, witnesses were not interviewed, no effort was made to track down the source of the alcohol, Crockett was never interviewed by police while sober and was never asked if he was the driver. In every aspect, the police were thoroughly unprofessional and incompetent. By the time the police realized their mistake, it was too late, no more evidence existed because they had allowed it to be destroyed by rain and the elements in a police impound lot. Once they realized it was one of their own who was the guilty party, they stonewalled everything. If you are so confident that the police would never do such a thing, tell me this; why would they never investigate the source of the alcohol? This is something done in every single underage DUI case, especially ones involving fatality. In fact you can find numerous articles of other underage drinking incidents where the very same officers are reported to be doing everything in their power to locate the source of the alcohol. Can't think of an answer? I'll tell you why. It's because whether you think Cameron was driving or not, no one is disputing that the individual Cameron named as the driver, the one who is the son of a prominent police officer, was an underage teenager at the party the three of them left prior to the crash.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - Fugitive returns to VB... · 0 replies · -1 points

That quote is inaccurate, like much of what Wavy has reported on this case. Crockett was called the "guy in the backseat" on the 911 calls, the initial witness found him “laying kind of curved around in the back window with his left arm protruding from the back windshield area up onto the top of the car,” his upper torso on the right side of the back seat, his head turned down, and his feet “flush” with the driver’s window inside the car laying on top of the somewhat broken-back driver’s seat."

Basic laws of physics tell us that if Crockett was in the drivers seat before the crash wearing a seatbelt, he would have seat belt injuries and airbag burns. He had neither. Had he been in the drivers seat not wearing a seatbelt, he would have been ejected from the car or landed on top of Korte's body. Neither happened, in fact Korte was found ON TOP of Crockett. The injuries he did have were consistent with being in the back seat of the car. Police and prosecutors never refuted any of this, they simple just did not call their crash investigator so that he could not be questioned on why he did not take any of this into account for their investigation. In fact, when one officer was questioned on the stand if they had matched physical evidence to witness testimony to see if it matched, he said no. This is because their star witness who supposedly saw it all testified that the car spun around 2 or 3 times when in fact it spun around not even once.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - Fugitive returns to VB... · 11 replies · -4 points

Sacks has a contract to defend the Norfolk Police Department in legal complaints. In his past, he also had a similar contract with the Virginia Beach Police Department. And the driver is no mere relative of a simple police officer, he is the son of an 20+ year veteran who lives next door to Ken Stolle and the Deputy CA Attorney Collin Stolle. His Uncle is on the Marine Resources Commission with Will Sessoms' Cousin. The individual who was driving has also been let off on numerous other charges ranging from selling drugs to putting a gun to his pregnant girlfriends stomach and threatening to kill her. Numerous individuals present at the party and who saw the real driver in the days after have come forward saying the real driver confessed to them, but all of them have been found and threatened by the police and commonwealths attorney. This case is about a lot more than just one incident, it's about the culture of corruption in police departments all across the country that allows their relatives to get away free of charge for crimes they commit because of who their relatives are.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - VB fugitive arrested i... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yes, that is exactly what I am implying. Jacob Palmer's father is a Virginia Beach Police Department sergeant of 20+ years and his Uncle was also on the force for 20+ years before retiring. His father Anthony enjoys close ties with the Commonwealth’s attorney Harney Bryant and his Uncle Joe, that same officer, served with now Sheriff Ken Stolle years ago on the force and the two are good friends. Jacob himself lived next door to the Stolle’s for two of the past three years.

His Uncle Joe now serves on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission with Whit Sessoms, first cousin of, and very close to, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms. The two were appointed to the commission by Governor Bob McDonnell himself the morning after Cameron was first wrongly convicted in May 2011. That same morning that a mistrial was eventually declared after a hung jury during sentencing for the first time in more than 10 years.

The family of the victim in this case, the Kortes, also yield significant power in this city. Mayor Sessoms' daughter, Molly, married Jack Korte’s cousin, Kyle Korte, an attorney in the city of Virginia Beach. It was because of this that all but one circuit court judge recused themselves from hearing this case.

As for Andrew Sacks, he consistently refused to call Jacob Palmer to the stand to testify despite Crockett desperately pleading with him to do so. Throughout all the trials, the prosecution had a chance, and in fact had him on their witness list, to call Palmer and have him refute everything Crockett and other witnesses at said about his involvement in the case. In fact in the first trial, Judge Lowe demanded to know why the prosecution had not done so, because he himself was extremely skeptical about their case. Their response was that they would tell him when they had a guilty verdict. As soon as that guilty verdict was rendered, Cameron's mother's insurance company, which the day before had been served with a lawsuit against Cameron Crockett and John Doe, an unknown motorist, was notified by the Korte's attorney that John Doe was being changed to Jacob Palmer and that they would be suing him for driving the car the night of the accident. But after the mistrial was declared, that was rescinded and changed back to John Doe and the lawsuit was quickly settled out of court.

If all of that is not enough for you, you should investigate the charge of obstruction of justice Crockett revived for threatening a witness in this case. The witness was Jacob Palmer, and what happened was following the first mistrial, Crockett became intoxicated one night and called Palmer 19 times and threatened him with bodily harm if he did not agree to testify in court. The following day, the prosecution contacted Andrew Sacks and told him that if Crockett did not immediately stop, they would file charges. Crockett made no further contact, yet nearly 60 days later, just a week before the new trial was scheduled to occur, Crockett was suddenly charged with obstruction of justice and making threatening statements over the airwaves in relation to that phone call. When he went to court for bond revocation, the prosecutors first tried to find another judge to hear the case, but once they found one, the judge immediately chastised the prosecution because for even asking because he had previously recused himself from that case. And when they finally went before Judge Lowe, he again demanded to see Jacob Palmer and have him testify about the phone call and why he felt threatened. The prosecution not only refused to produce Palmer, despite him being right outside the courtroom, but they refused to bring either the officer handling the case or the audio file of the call. At this point Judge Lowe was visibly disgusted and denied their motion to revoke bond. A few days later they asked to again delay the trial, because the Sherrif's department had somehow not sent out their subpoena in time, which by account of all involved, had never happened before.

11 years ago @ WAVY.com - VB fugitive arrested i... · 0 replies · +2 points

The point in saying he was removed from the rear window was to show the inaccuracies between what was reported and what actually happened. Initial reports given out to the media and the prosecution said he was seatbelted in the drivers seat and removed from there. This has remained the media's story despite evidence brought out in multiple court dates since this accident happened in 2008. And you are right, where he was removed from does not alone prove he was not the driver. However, the airbags deployed during the crash and the seatbelt was shown to have been worn as well. Crockett had no airbag injuries and no seatbelt injuries. Mud was sprayed across the entirety of the car, yet no mud was found on Crockett or his clothing. Crockett's injuries were entirely consistent with being seated in the rear of the vehicle. In a sideways crash, you simply do not fly backwards. Had Crockett been in the drivers seat wearing a seatbelt, he would have had seatbelt injuries and airbag burns. Had he not been seatbelted, he would have certainly died or been extremely injured and would have ended up colliding with Korte, who was seated next to him. It is simple crash physics and at both trials, crash experts testified to that effect. Strangely, the prosecution didn't even put on the lead investigator as a witness and the one crash team member they did put on who did the crash diagram admitted that the facts completed contradicted their so called eye witness testimony. Their star witness who supposedly saw it all happen claimed to have seen the car spin around 2 or 3 times, which according to the official crash diagram, did not happen at all. Furthermore, she claimed to have seen the light change at Great Neck and Wolfsnare, when it was shown by a professional survey team that such a sight would have been completely impossible due to half a mile of multiple curves in the road before reaching the light. The evidence I've just described is but a fraction of what exists to clear Cameron's name and prove beyond a doubt that he was not driving that car the night of the accident.