Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Analysis: Drug-Dealing Fireman Case

This is the case where a firefighter from Florida was driving up to Maine to sell drugs, and was killed.  Statements are in italics with Statement Analysis added in bold type, to the article.  There are some strange things about this case...


BELFAST, Maine — Police held Daniel Porter against his will — and without reading him his Miranda rights — one year ago when the Jackson man was questioned in the disappearance of a Florida firefighter, Porter’s defense attorney said Tuesday in Waldo County Superior Court.
Note how it is worded, as fact, until the end says, "attorney said..."
Porter, 25, is accused of killing firefighter Jerry Perdomo, 31, last February in a drug-related shooting. Justice Robert Murray presided over a hearing this week on the defense attorney’s motion to suppress evidence obtained during questioning of his client by police in both Connecticut and Maine. The hearing will continue Wednesday.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor said he doesn’t expect a ruling from the judge until sometime in March. Porter’s trial on a charge of intentional or knowing murder is scheduled to begin on April 22, according to court officials. He is being held without bail at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.
Just because you tell someone they’re free to leave doesn’t mean they’re not in custody,” the attorney said after the hearing was adjourned for the day.
Note the quote acknowledges that someone was "free to leave" yet contradicts it. 
 “We’re challenging whether there’s been compliance with the Miranda process,” which guarantees an individual the right to remain silent or request an attorney.
Note that he is challenging "whether" there was compliance, not asserting that there was not compliance. 
The two sentences are both weak. 
The court heard testimony from several Connecticut and Maine police detectives as Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea and Silverstein grappled to show that Porter either was or wasn’t properly questioned in the days before his arrest.
According to testimony Tuesday from authorities involved, the defendant told them that he had traveled to Connecticut to visit his mother and grandmother for the last time as a free man, that he had entered into business dealings with Perdomo to sell OxyContin illicitly in Maine, and that he had owed the Florida man $3,000.
It was that debt that sparked the argument between the two men that ended with Perdomo’s death, police stated in court documents filed last year in connection with Porter’s arrest.
Police have said that Porter shot Perdomo in the side of the head with a semiautomatic rifle on Feb. 16 at a rented home in Jackson after the two men had a dispute over money. Last March, Maine State Police Detective Brian Strout said in Porter’s bail hearing that Perdomo had been coming to Bangor once a month for nearly a year in order to illicitly transport and sell prescription drugs from Florida.
On the day he was killed, Perdomo packed a gun and two cellphones and told his girlfriend, Lisa Gould of Bangor, that he had to go collect a debt, according to Strout.
Two detectives from Connecticut told the court on Tuesday that when they found Porter and his girlfriend, Cheyanne Nowak, on the afternoon of Feb. 22, 2012, at a Marriott Courtyard hotel in Orange, Conn., they were working with the information that he was sought by Bangor police in connection with a missing person case. They also had heard he was possibly armed with an assault rifle.
We approached the car safely, with our weapons drawn, and asked them to get out of the car,” Detective Tony Vitti of the Milford Police Department said in court Tuesday. “We assisted them out of the vehicle. They were pulled out of the car and brought to the ground.”
The two officers knew that when they were approaching this vehicle, that they could be facing armed danger.  Keep this in mind when viewing the communicative language used by the officer.  Recall, two officers approached, but only one is speaking. 
Note the additional word "safely" as an opinion and not a descriptive term of how they approached.  It is a conclusion. 
Note "asked" is very soft and polite.  
Note that "asked" is without a pronoun.  Who asked?  We asked?  Did both officers "ask"? 
Note "we assisted them" is also very soft.
Note "They were pulled" is passive language.  Passivity in language is used to conceal identity or responsibility.  Note both "we assisted" and "they were pulled" together. 
This appears more an attempt to persuade than a reliable report. 
Police patted down Porter and Nowak, searching for weapons. While they were doing so, Porter said, “You got me. You got me,” according to Vitti.
Had you asked Mr. Porter any questions at this point?” Zainea asked the detective, who said they hadn’t.
Police did not arrest Porter, but did ask him if he would speak to them. He agreed, Vitti said, and so began a roughly seven-hour period of time when Porter was almost continuously in police company in a hotel room while waiting for detectives to arrive from Maine. Nowak was with different police officers, kept separate from Porter in the room next door. Police said they took Porter’s cell phone away from him for fear that he could destroy evidence, if there was any evidence stored on the phone — but he still was not taken into custody, nor were the conversations in the hotel room recorded.
He questioned the fact that he could really go. I said he was free to leave at any time,” Vitti said.
This indicates that Porter questioned whether or not he was free to leave.  What would lead him to ask if he could "really" go?  This is where training in Analytical Interviewing is key and why attorneys should be trained in it. 
When asked to describe the Jackson man’s demeanor during the long wait, Vitti said that the best word to use was “carefree.”
Very laid back,” he said. “He was just relaxed. A carefree type of person.”
Vitti added that Porter drank a couple of beers and a shot of whiskey during their stay together in the hotel room.
He said he needed to drink it as it might be the last beer he’d have for a very long time,” the detective said.
Silverstein disagreed that his client was as carefree — and free — as the detectives said.
Our theory is that he was removed from his car at gunpoint. He was handcuffed. He stayed with officers for eight-plus hours. He was monitored every moment. He had no access to a car, a phone, and they weren’t allowing him ready access to Cheyanne,” the attorney told the BDN after the hearing.
Note that he says it is "our theory" and not "my contention" or "my assertion"; indicating that the subject, himself, has doubt. 
During the hearing, police also discussed a series of informal interviews with Porter that took place in Maine before his arrest last February, the day before officials found Perdomo’s body in the woods near Porter’s grandmother’s home on Dahlia Farm Road in Newburgh.
In one of the conversations, held in the company of Porter’s father at the residence in Jackson, Daniel Porter drank alcohol until he vomited into a trash can, according to Strout. The conversation with police continued for perhaps 45 minutes, Strout told the court Tuesday, until Porter put his head on the table and fell asleep.
There were times when we laughed and we cried,” Strout said of the four-hour-long conversation.
Likely using alcohol and tears will not become a regular law enforcement practice.  This is most unusual.  
Silverstein said after the hearing that he also is concerned that police may have passively allowed his client to drink alcohol while talking to them before he was charged and read his rights.
Under Maine law, a statement has to be voluntary,” he said.
But during the hearing, responding to a question from the prosecutor, at least one officer said Porter did not appear to be intoxicated.
According to a written statement by Perdomo’s stepsister, Damaris Lerch, which was shared Tuesday, it is “heartbreaking and emotionally draining to have to relive the events that led to his death and to remember the two long weeks it took to find Jerry and bring him home.”
She wrote that Perdomo’s children still suffer every day without their father.
“No one deserves to be killed,” she said. “No family deserves to have such a huge part of them taken away.”

11 comments:

Juliette said...

OT: I just came across this article in the Mailonline site about another young mother who killed her baby for crying. She shook him to death over the course of 7 hours.

She is quoted saying this, after murdering her baby boy, "Why did this happen to me? Why did it have to be my precious little boy?"

Here is the header and the link to the article:

Mother, 21, who shook her baby to death when he wouldn't stop crying then makes Facebook appeal FOUR days later to ask friends to pay for his funeral



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2274058/Brittany-Arnett-21-shook-baby-death-wouldnt-stop-crying-appeals-donations-Facebook-pay-funeral.html#axzz2KkXBHTKb

R.I.P. Baby Hadley


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john said...

OT

Madeleine McCann Lookalike DNA Test Results
A girl who has been mistaken for Madeleine McCann has undergone tests to prove whether or not she is the missing youngster.
An image showing how Madeleine might look like as she ages

Police have announced the results of DNA tests on a girl in New Zealand who has been mistaken for missing British youngster Madeleine McCann.

Members of the public have twice mistaken the girl for Madeleine and British police asked for testing to be carried out to confirm she was not the missing child.

The first sighting was last March and the second on New Year's Eve.

New Zealand police say in a statement that they sent the DNA samples to Scotland Yard officers who are still investigating Madeleine's disappearance.

Detective Inspector Steve McGregor said: "We have received confirmation from Scotland Yard that a DNA sample provided voluntarily from a girl mistaken as missing British girl Madeleine McCann on New Year's Eve in Queenstown last year does not provide a match for that of the missing girl.

"At the time of the sighting police made thorough inquiries and were completely satisfied that the girl was not Madeleine McCann."

New Zealand police say the unnamed girl's family has requested privacy.

Scotland Yard confirmed that following the DNA submission police were "satisfied" that the girl identified in New Zealand was not Madeleine.

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007 as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have campaigned tirelessly for information on their daughter's whereabouts, battling for a review by the Metropolitan Police, which has now been under way for more than 18 months.

Her disappearance has sparked a number of false sightings around the world.

Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 after failing to find out what happened to her.

http://news.sky.com/story/1051415/madeleine-mccann-lookalike-dna-test-results

sidewalk super said...

Re Juliette's 11:36

Legal abortion would have been better than shaken death, and begging for funds for funeral
; this low life should not have children. Why is she not in jail?

Hobnob said...

I wonder, when the mccans are found guilty of homicide, concealing a corpse and filing a false police report whether all those who have had their children harrassed or assaulted (taking a DNA sample) will sue the gruesomes.
The gruesomes know and have indicated publicly that Maddie is dead and thus allowing allegations to be made that a child could be their daughter and all the furore and indignity that ensues should be punished. Harrassment springs to mind.

I would ask, why, when a 'sighting' is claimed instead of the expected could this be our daughter and possibly a trip to the relevant counry and at least a conitnual bugging of the police for photos etc so they might see if it could be Maddie, they sit at home and do nothing. not doing the expected is a huge red flag.

When asked once if there was any sighting that had given them hope, they could barely conceal their giggling before saying no nothing stood out. You only act the above way if you know for certain that every sighting can't be Maddie because she is long dead.

rob said...

the sad thing is, the judge will probably go along with the attorney, say it wasn't handled correctly, can't use any of the info gathered, drop the charges and let him walk free. That is how our system works now.

Ivy said...

Just to throw this, in whether someone is in "custody" legally is a determination based on multiple factors. Everyone reading here probably already knows this, but if you are not in "custody", the police does not have to read you your Miranda rights. If you actually were in custody when you made incriminating statements to the police, but the police did not read you your rights, the statements are not admissible in court. I should think generally being told before being questioned that you're free to leave at any time, would often mean you are not in custody, but if there were other circumstances that sent a different message the court would consider that and draw a different conclusion. To take an extreme example to illustrate the point, if the police says, you're free to leave at any time, but also strongly suggests that if you try to leave they will shoot you, or they actually block your way, or they threaten to harm you in some way (i.e. take your kids away, etc.) if you leave without talking to them, a court could conclude that you were in fact in "custody". This scenario with the drinking sounds very unusual and would play oddly in a claim that the defendant was not in custody. The fact that he's drinking, etc. makes the setting seem less formal i.e. weighs in favor of no custody, but at the point he becomes intoxicated and loses control of his faculties gets very sick, etc., his ability to drive or even walk away, for example, is compromised. I'm not sure what the implications are of self-inflicted intoxication where the police is allowing you drink and providing the alcohol while questioning you, but it's not an optimal situation for the cops to claim was non-custodial. I'm not saying it's a good claim, but we don't know all the facts and we don't have the filing to see what argument is being made. I just wanted to clarify that being told you're free to leave is not necessarily inconsistent with being in custody depending on the circumstances.

Jo said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2278078/Brother-killer-dad-Josh-Powell-commits-suicide-losing-battle-1-5million-insurance-payout-deaths-family-horror.html

Josh Powell's brother kills himself after not getting the life insurance payout. Talk about a wave of destruction.......I wonder how Steven lives with himself knowing he is responsible for all of this.

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