Tommy Shelton

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Nestor
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Nestor » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:35 pm America/Denver

Mercy, you talk about no rights in America, conviction without evidence and so on.

I remind you that every defendent in a criminal trial of this nature has the right to a trial by a "jury of peers." Once the defendent goes on trial before a jury, the prosecution must convince that jury that the evidence is there to convict. That is what jury trials are all about--convictions that are in accord with the staute and that the evidence is enough to convict.

An Alford Plea lowers the bar, so to speak. In an Alford Plea the judge has to agree that there is likely to be a conviction, if the case went to trial. This is a lower bar than exists in a jury trial when the jury has to find that the evidence is enough to convict. Because an Alford Pleas has a lower level to meet, it can only be voluntary and it cannot be forced upon anyone. IOW, an Alford Plea is a voluntary agreement by the defentent not to fullly assert his/her right to a trial which would require an absolute determination that the the evidence was enough to convict.

It is a very serious step for a defendent to take the Alford Plea. If you will read one of the citations that I provided the judge, as happened in the cited Virginia case, had to determine that the defendent had been informed of the consequences of taking the Alford Plea, understood those consequences and willingly wanted to take the plea and to give up the right to a jury trial.

On the other side of the coin, the victims of criminal assults, to include sexual assualts, often claim that it is their rights that have been lost is a justice system that favors the defendent. I doubt that you wold ever want to stand as a female rape victim in a trial against the one you had accused.

You reference false accusations. What is the evidence that the typical accusation of sexual abuse of years ago is false. Actually the clinical studies that have been done on this support the idea that there are very few false accusations. Yes,that means that there are some. But, the false accusations are far below a majority. As our justice system is imperfect, there are times when it goes very wrong. Innocent peole are convicted and the guilty go free. It happens both ways.

NOTE: Again, nothing that I say is intended to make either a claim of guilt of innocence in regard toTS. I only say that right or wrong the justice system has worked. TS has submitted himself to it in a manner of his choice and now he will face the consequences of that decision, whatever those consequences may be. As I do not know what they will be, I will simply wait to see what they are.

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Cynthia
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Cynthia » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:53 am America/Denver

Well we seem to be fully informed as to what the Alford plea is and how the Alford plea works here... ;)


This thread has been reserved for discussion of the allegations against Tommy Shelton and the 2 criminal cases in Virginia related to that and the civil case that Alex Walker has filed in Illinois against 3ABN and Tommy Shelton. So I would appreciate it if we could keep on topic and only discuss those things here, or answer related posts from the Advent forum here. That way others reading here won't be confused or misled with a bunch of possibilities or maybe or perhaps being posted, but will actually know what the facts are in Tommy's situation.

One of the issues or questions raised here was why a defendant would accept a plea bargain. Both the guilty and the innocent make plea bargains, in fact depending on which source you go to it is reported that almost 90% of cases in the U.S. are resolved with plea bargains and 95% of felony charges are resolved the same way irregardless of guilt of innocence. Although there are various reasons, each makes the choice for their own reasons, and not all those scenarios or reasons are Tommy Shelton's. I say that because I think it causes confusion to discuss all scenarios, different people, different cases and their various reasons. Tommy Shelton has always steadfastly insisted that he is innocent and still maintains that he has not sexually molested or abused either Dennis Turley or Alex Walker, so to keep bringing up what a guilty person would do and why he would do it is really not dealing with Tommy's stance or reasons. It is projecting guilt upon him, guilt which he does not admit to despite the Alford plea admittedly being a form of guilty plea. It is a guilty plea in the sense that it involves a judgment and sentence by the court but it allows him to say that even though he is submitting to the court he is innocent of the charges.



This thread already has information and facts as we know them and to the best of our knowledge and even court documents etc, so I am just going to share here in this post my understanding of the reason for making this particular Alford plea and if any have questions they can post them in follow up here and I will answer if I can and as I can. Others here can answer also if they have knowledge or information about this.

Basically there are 2 reasons for him doing so.

1. The reality is that the chances of a Judge or Jury finding Tommy guilty in regards to the charges from Dennis Turley's accusations were higher than the chance that he would not be found guilty. You can go to any website or Attorney's page who speaks about this and they all agree on this. The deck is actually stacked against anyone accused of child molestation, even if they are not guilty and even though they are supposed to be innocent till proven guilty. The reality is that in this type of case an accusation is enough for guilt to be presumed. Because of the nature of child molestation charges, often, as in DT's case, the only evidence there is is an alleged victims statement but that is enough to convict, whereas in other crimes more evidence is needed. (On the other hand, the only evidence in Alex's case, his testimony, was so contradictory, inconsistent and untrue that it was dropped). Tommy's attorneys told him this, and what sentence he would have to deal with if found guilty. Because of his health it really would have been a death penalty if he had been sentenced after being found guilty. A plea bargain is only worth accepting if the charges are reduced etc or a reduced sentence is offered, and that was the case here.

2. His life has already been ruined, the negative publicity due to Dryden, Joy and Pickle has been horrendous for ALL involved. People already believe him guilty, and will continue to even if he did win his case. The Alford plea allowed him to put this all behind him in the shortest amount of time while being able to maintain his declarations of innocence, and not compromise the truth. In addition, criminal trials take money and time, both of which Tommy doesn't have, nor does he have good health to try and endure all that.

I am not sure if I think he made the right choice, or whether it would have been better to go to trial, but it was his choice,not mine. A choice I know he prayed and thought long and hard about before making. That said. I am not in his shoes, and I do believe the Lord was leading. I also understand why he chose to make the Alford plea and why his lawyers would advise it.

I hope that whether other folks believe him innocent or guilty they can also respect that and try to understand. God is in control.

It is my understanding that Tommy's sentencing will be Feb 24. I am going to continue to pray for him and for all involved, and affected by all of this. The Lord is good and will bring all of this about to His glory somehow. He always does.
~ Cindy

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Cynthia
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Cynthia » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:24 am America/Denver

Nestor wrote:You reference false accusations. What is the evidence that the typical accusation of sexual abuse of years ago is false. Actually the clinical studies that have been done on this support the idea that there are very few false accusations. Yes,that means that there are some. But, the false accusations are far below a majority. As our justice system is imperfect, there are times when it goes very wrong. Innocent peole are convicted and the guilty go free. It happens both ways.

NOTE: Again, nothing that I say is intended to make either a claim of guilt of innocence in regard toTS.



Nestor... Sometimes I am at loss trying to talk to you or answer you... You try to be careful about how you say things I know but no matter how you try to sound fair and unbiased or say you aren't claiming guilt or innocense, you do do that. I would much prefer you to say I believe he is guilty, but the court works like this regardless of my opinion. I think that much more honest than they way you do say it. I am not calling you a liar just so you understand that, but I am saying trying to couch our words and appear to be one way or say one thing while actually saying another is either less honest or demonstrates we don't know ourselves or what we are saying as well as we thought. At least that's how I look at what you said above.

I know that you know people aren't convicted by statistics, yet you bring up clinical studies as if that somehow has something to do with Tommy. It doesn't. To the best of my knowledge you have never asked for evidence which might prove the accusations against Tommy true, but instead ask what evidence there is to prove the accusations false...

Pickle has always done that too, I find it both irritating and frustrating as always the accusations are presumed to be true without anything to prove that, and no one believing them seeing the need to verify anything other than that an accusation was made. Sometimes folks haven't even needed that, they just refer to unnamed people who said un named things and nobody needs to know more other than that someone is saying there is a victim of TS and his guilt is taken for granted.



What is there to prove the accusations false? well in Alex Walker's case he has been caught in lie after lie, and inconsistency after inconsistency. Even the Prosecutor admitted that, his family and those he worked and lived with all rebut his claims, even the policeman who questioned him has filed an affidavit which is being used by 3ABN to prove Alex lied. Those documents are right here in this thread but still you wonder what evidence there is to prove the accusations false?

Or maybe I misunderstood, or am taking what you wrote wrong? If so, speak plainly please.

Are you speaking of the accusation from the 80's that the police and his church looked into at that time? The ones the DA knows about and said there was no basis for? I'll let you answer before saying more.
~ Cindy

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Cynthia
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Cynthia » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:46 am America/Denver

Thank you for answering Mercy. I read your second post but somehow I missed this post here before I answered Nestor. I could have save myself some time....

Have a blessed Sabbath. :)

Mercy wrote:Well let me help you out as far as Tommy's thinking and what he wanted. He refused to take any plea this time that made him say he was guilty. You see, last time the defense requested the Alford plea but was denied that opportunity. He was told that taking a guilty plea was a "technicality" of accepting that particular plea bargain. The judge threw it all out anyway so it is a moot point other than to say he has regretted over and over taking that bad advice and made clear he would not do it again. Fortunately the DA was willing this time to let him take the Alford. So, to him there was all the difference in the world as he was able to stand in court and say I am not guilty of these charges but realize the jury could find differently and so on...

This is not difficult to understand or explain. Rules may vary state to state but all that is important in my mind is how Tommy understood the law. And, his understanding was that he was getting his chance to say he was innocent of the charges and would agree to nothing less.

THough he is a very sick man as the stroke destroyed the balance center of the brain (most people die from these type strokes) which keeps him dizzy and nauseated and unable to walk straight without a cane or walker, he determined by the grace of God that he would deal with whatever was handed out though innocent of these charges. He knows that God had a reason for allowing this and has determined to work through the fear and depression of being incarcerated and to let himself be used of God to be a witness to other's while he is there. A tough thing to do if you are a well person...

The evilness of those that have tried to do harm to Danny, 3abn and Tommy will not win! God promises us in his word that evil will be defeated! Rumors, lies and gossip will not prevail. Has it done plenty of damage? Of course. Has it disrupted innocent lives and hurt many? Absolutely! But God has continued to prevail.

Pickle and Joy did not win any motions in court all these years and their appeals turned down repeatedly. In 7 years of trying to get even more money that she got, Linda has not won a thing. When these people brought down the IRS on Danny and 3abn, not one infraction was found. They were not sighted for one violation after reviewing hundreds of thousands of records and documents. When Danny was accused of being the real father to his stepdaughter, 2 independant lab results proved differently. When the person responsible for that lie said it was a different little girl used to trick everyone, yet another lab test was sent in and proved that indeed it was the right little girl. 7 years ago when these people said Linda was mistreated and had only a professional relationship with the doctor, they were proved wrong time and again when people saw them together at airports, restaurants and by her own admission how many trips she had made to norway and now has been living in Norway supposedly on the doctor's property! Only a professional relationship? Please. She herself has proven differently by her actions.
Then we have Alex who has blown continually about his famous lawyers and what was going to happen to Tommy etc etc. Then the first 2 law firms dropped him. Suspicious huh? Then he blew about this other guy and what they would do to 3abn. He went on about the trial coming up and he would make Tommy and Danny pay and on and on. 2 years of his rantings and his case was dismissed. Too many holes in it and he changed his stories too many times. Then he said Tommy pleaded guilty and that would help his 3abn case sooo much. Tommy pleaded innocent and Alex's case was dismissed...hum...Don't think that will help his lawsuit against 3abn very much. Then sometime ago he found out his parents made a video testifying against him and his credibility. Eventually he started tripping himself up with all the lies.

I say all of this to show that God is still on the throne and in control and though 3abn and those that work there have been and are going through some fire, God is still keeping his hand over that ministry and through all the lies, rumors, gossip and accusations, not one of the accusers was won anything, in court or out.
~ Cindy

Nestor
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Nestor » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:58 pm America/Denver

Cindy:

Fair enough, I will attempt :) to give you a simple, short response to the questions that you ask:

1) Clinical studies and such: My comment there was in response to comments that Mercy had made. I Believed my comment was relevant to those comment which were posted in this thread.

2) My primary reason for not making a statement in regard to the guilt or innocence of TS is that I do not believe that I have enough information to form such an opinion. No one has convinced me as to what TS did or did not do in relation to the charges. This is in part due to my relutance to attribue either guilt or innocence to a person when criminal charges are involved.

3) A secoondary reason for my not making a statement in regard to the guilt or innocence of TS is that I believe that determination is properly made in our society by a criminal court and not by individuals who think that they have enough information to determine guilt or innocence.

4) A third reason for my not making such a statement is that my knowledge of the justice system and what the alligations are in regard to TS lead me to beleive that in a criminal trial the verdict could have gone for either guilt or innocence.

5) It should be noted that I have taken as a pubuic positon the followisng: In my thinking, individuals who have made charges against TS are believeable. That, Cindy is a public position that I have taken. Please note the following:
a) The fact that an individual is believeable does not mean that everything that is said is beleiveable.
b) The fact that an individual may make true alligations against another person does not mean that the individual will be found guilty in a criminal trial. IOW true staements do not equate to criminal guilt.

My comments in regard to an Alford Plea were made in direct response to comments made here by others related to the plea that TS made. With the publication of those statements, the door was opened for me, or anyone else, to make comments such as I made in response to them.

Cindy, I am not asking you to agree with me. You have asked me directly, as I understood you, to respond to your perceptions of me which I understand to involve my integrity due to clearly state, in your perception of what I have said, where I am. I have attempted to give lyou a clear statement in response to your request. For the reasons that I have listed above, I am not only reluctant to state a public position on the guilt or innocence of TS, I am unwilling to decide in my own mind the aspects of his guilt on innocence.

However, under the Alford Plea TS will have to accept the consequences that follow that plea. At this time, I do not know what those consequences may be. What little that I have as evidence leads me to believe that TS took the Alford Plea as part of a plea bargain. If so, tlhe public will know more after he is sentenced.

Nestor
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Nestor » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:27 am America/Denver

You said:
) The fact that an individual may make true alligations against another person does not mean that the individual will be found guilty in a criminal trial. IOW true staements do not equate to criminal guilt.


If you believe something is true, why are you not willing to attribute guilt?

Answer: The function of a criminal tril in NOT to determilne whether or not TS did X. The function of a criminal trial of TS is to determine whether or not TS did X and in addition, X violated the statute. If TS did X and it DID NOT violate the statute, TS is not guilty of a crime. Under our system of justice, that decision is to be made in the context of a trial.

Nestor
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Nestor » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:34 am America/Denver

Cindy:

NOTE: In looking at the response that I gave below, I find it confusing. I hope that you could understand it. My thought is best expressed in the last paragraph following the word "Answer."

NOTE: My response will be above if you have the posts arranged in an assending order.

I would like to hide behind the excuse that I am home recovering from eye surgery last week which of course, distorted my eyesight even further on a temporary basis. But, I doubt that it would be honest to make such a claime. So, I won't.

It was an interesting surgery. They went into the inside of my eyeball with microscopic instruments and cut away some tissue from the front of my retina. IOW they removed a "epi-retinal membrane." I could watch them doing it, to some extent! It went well. My recovery is going on schedule. In 4 - 8 weeks I will know to what extent my vision will improve from whast it has been over the last 13 months.

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Cynthia
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Cynthia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:55 am America/Denver

Nestor, I hope you have a speedy recovery and are not in pain and that your surgery helps clear up your vision problems.

In answer to your first post above, I agree you have the right to reply to posts - even when I may not like your answer nor agree with it- as long as they don't violate forum rules. I just wanted it understood that although you don't want to outright say one way or another, most often you end up conveying that anyway. That is not my way, I like to get to the point. I tend to be blunt and not beat around the bush, although I try to do that as kindly as possible, but I am not perfect so admittedly I do find your replies and your way of saying things aggravating sometimes...

Also, in reply to your last reply above, sorry, but I am more confused now than I was before you explained further, but thanks for trying to explain.

If you were trying to say, that the courts (including Judges and Juries) can only make decisions based on the evidence entered and the cases as presented before them (and the laws which apply to that) So that sometimes results in an innocent person being found guilty or a guilty person being found innocent etc?

Then I agree.

That is one of the reasons that the majority of cases, including Dennis Turley's and Tommy' Shelton's end in plea bargains.

The U.S. has a good justice system, better than most, but, unlike our God's, it is not perfect.

I am pretty busy for the rest of the week, so have a good one.
~ Cindy

Mercy
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Mercy » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:25 am America/Denver

I just wanted to say to those who say taking the alford plea means in all probability that there is enough evidence that a jury would find someone guilty...well let me tell you something. The defense attorney's as well as the DA said "evidence" in a case like this means "someone's word". That's it. We know that in the case of TS there is no actual evidence..no eye witness, no physical evidence etc. A jury can convict by someone's testimony alone. That isn't right. Then defense lawyers look at the "climate" of the country meaning what is going on at the time that may sway a juror one way or the other. Right now you have the coach that has been accused of molesting boys on his team. Because of who he is, people are up in arms about it and ready to hang him from a tree. I personally have not kept up with the case and know nothing about it as far as evidence goes but what I do know is this: The ones that made the accusations could have a personal vendetta against the man such as, if the man did not give the boys enough playing time, or if they thought they were treated unjustly in some way....one accusation is all it takes to end up in the limelight with people presuming you are guilty and all the publicity can sway a jury. There have been many notable cases where someone cried rape or molestation and years later admitted they had a motive of revenge, money and all kinds of things we might not think of.

If I were 67 years old, permanently damaged by a stroke, had a severe heart condition, was out of money and a huge public case was going on (like this one about the coach) you better believe I would take a plea if I could stand up in court and say I wasn't guilty which TS did. Under those conditions I would not take even a small chance that a jury would convict and send me away for what would probably be the rest of my life (which at 67 wouldn't have to be very long) or take a plea and possibly get a matter of months. In my mind whatever sentence should be suspended because the truth is, if he was as guilty as sin (or anyone else in that condition) he would be no threat to society whatsoever. Where would the justice be in locking up someone that is partially incapacitated physically?

I am 100% confident as are many many other's that TS is not guilty of these charges but to take a plea under his physical and financial limitations would be the smart thing to do.

Nestor
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Re: Tommy Shelton

Postby Nestor » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:31 pm America/Denver

Mercy: I have no problem with TS taking an Alford Plea. It was probably was a wise thing to do. I suspect strongly that a plea bargain was involved which makes it so much more loikely that a plea bargain was involved. In any case, we will later know what the sentence will be.

As to an Alford Plea, I can immagine circumstances where I would take such a plea.


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