Saturday, March 31, 2007

March 29, 2006 - Post 1

With the Hoax already in high gear, Wednesday, March 29, 2006, brought a continuation of the deceptions previously put in place. Defendant Nifong would press forward with his national and local media campaign, undeterred by the first cautions from defense attorneys. Meanwhile, Durham Police spokesperson Kammie Michael helpfully nudged the 911 Hoax along. Over at Duke, Houston Baker and Richard Brodhead made their first substantive appearances as Hoax enablers. The vigilante poster debuted locally, spreading nationwide before the day would end. And the insidious seeds of the infamous Listening Ad were sown, as open season on the Duke lacrosse players was declared.
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In this first of a series of posts examining the events of March 29, 2006, we examine one of Nifong’s most notorious statements - his public claim to have miraculously read medical records before they existed.
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Nifong Claims to Have Read the SANE Report
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One of the highlights of March 29, 2006, for the Hoax-ists was Defendant Nifong’s public claim to have read the medical reports from the SANE examination. In the following months, this misrepresentation would lend great "weight" to Nifong's extra-judicial speculation of possible explanations for the lack of DNA evidence. More immediately, his claim emboldened the “rush to judgment” crowd, animated by his falsely confident boasts of absolute certainty.
"My reading of the report of the emergency room nurse would indicate that some type of sexual assault did in fact take place," Nifong told WRAL on March 29.
In time, Nifong’s bluff would be called by attorneys Joe Cheshire and Brad Brannon, when it was discovered that the medical reports the defendant claimed to have read were not actually printed until the next day and were not retrieved until April 4, 2006. In a motion heard at the June 22, 2006, Hoax hearing, David Evans' defense attorneys challenged Nifong’s assertion that he had read a report before it existed - an assertion that he essentially admitted was false before Judge Ronald Stephens.

"On March 29, 2006, Mr. Nifong claimed to have read a medical report that, according to discovery, was not printed until March 30, 2006, or retrieved by law enforcement pursuant to Mr. Nifong's own subpoena until April 5, 2006," wrote Joseph B. Cheshire V and Bradley Bannon, Evans' attorneys [in their motion].

"Taking Mr. Nifong at his word as an officer of the court in making public comments about an ongoing criminal investigation, one can only conclude that Mr. Nifong viewed a critical medical report that has not yet been provided to the defense," Cheshire and Bannon wrote.

“Nifong declined to be interviewed Thursday, saying through an assistant that he would respond to all motions in court. N&O

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"Nifong: Five, any additional medical records of the treatment of the alleged victim at Duke Hospital on March 14, and there are none." June 22, 2006 Hoax hearing

"Cheshire: As it relates to number five, which related to our supplementary motion to discovery, I assume that what that means is that when Mr. Nifong was telling the press that condoms may have been used or that there were other medical - - that he had seen medical reports that indicated that some sexual assault had happened prior to the time those reports were actually printed or subpoenaed, that there are no reports that he actually saw, that those things don't physical - - that there are no reports different from what he has given us. I mean I assume that's what he's saying."

"Stephens: Well, I don't know what he's saying. He's saying that he's given you the reports that he has, so, frankly, as opposed to the characterizations we don't need to ask for that. He said what he said."

"Cheshire: I'm happy with that, Your Honor. Thank you. I think that speaks for itself." June 22, 2006 Hoax hearing

Despite Nifong’s admission to the Court that no report existed other than the one he could not have read because it did not yet exist, Defendant Nifong received no sanctions from the compliant Judge Ronald Stephens. Not surprisingly, Nifong’s misrepresentation, and the deceptions based on his false claim, later found their way into the North Carolina State Bar’s lengthy complaint against him. With clear proof staring him in the face, Nifong admitted to the bar what was impossible to deny - that he had publicly claimed he'd read the medical report. But the artful dodger attempted to avoid acknowledging the report did not yet exist when he supposedly read it, by claiming not to recall when and to whom he made the statement.

120. Nifong represented to a representative of the news media that he had read the report of the emergency room nurse.

120. Defendant admits that he made statements to members of the news media consistent with the allegations contained in paragraph 120. The defendant further incorporates his answer to paragraph 10 above in response to the allegations of paragraph 120. Any remaining allegations contained in paragraph 120 of plaintiff's Amended Complaint are denied.

121. Nifong made the statement set forth in paragraph 120 above to a reporter for WRAL TV news.

121. The defendant is without sufficient information, at this point in time, with which to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations relating to whether he made the statement consistent with those outlined in paragraph 120 to a reporter for WRAL TV News or whether they were made to another member of the media and as such, that allegation is denied.

122. Nifong made the statement referenced in paragraph 120 above on or before March 29, 2006.

122. Defendant at the present time has no specific recollection of the date on which the statements referenced in paragraph 120 were made to a member or members of the news media. However, he believes that any statements would have been made between March 27, 2006 and April 3, 2006 as outlined in paragraph 10 of the answer.

The State Bar complaint is in black, Nifong's answer is in blue.

Note that Defendant Nifong did not cling to the excuse floated by enablers that his “reading” may have alternatively meant his “evaluation” or “understanding.”
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As pointed out by attorney Joe Cheshire at the June hearing, Nifong placed himself in a bind by suggesting he had read the medical reports, since they contained the false accuser’s assertion that her imagined attackers wore no condoms and ejaculated. In the following months, this misrepresentation would lend great "weight" to Nifong's extra-judicial speculation of possible explanations for the lack of DNA evidence.

123. The sexual assault exam report ("report") from the emergency room nurse reflected that the complaining witness stated the alleged attacker "did not use a condom."

123. Defendant admits that the initial medical report indicates that the victim advised that a condom had not been used. However, based upon defendant's experience, he has learned that a complaining witness rarely ever knows whether a condom was used in a sexual assault and as such, he denies any allegations contained in paragraph 123 that his comments were misleading and furthermore, defendant alleges that his comments are consistent with the opinion of the SANE nurse who examined the victim on the night of the alleged attack. The defendant further incorporates his answer to paragraph 10 above in response to the allegations of paragraph 123. Any remaining allegations contained in paragraph 123 of plaintiff's Amended Complaint are denied.

124. The statements referenced in paragraphs 114 and 117 above were misleading in that they suggested that a condom was used during the alleged attack when Nifong had read or was in possession of the report in which the complaining witness stated that a condom was not used during the alleged attack.

124. Defendant incorporates his answers to paragraphs 114 through 117 in response to any allegations contained in paragraph 124. Any remaining allegations contained in paragraph 124 of plaintiff's Amended Complaint are denied.

125. When he made the statements referenced in paragraphs 114 and 117 above, Nifong knew that the statements were misleading.

125. The allegations contained in paragraph 125 of plaintiff's Amended Complaint are denied.

The State Bar complaint is in black, Nifong's answer is in blue.

Stuck with his March 29, 2006, false statement to WRAL, Nifong faces charges from the bar for his subsequent comments that contradict the medical reports he claimed to have read. It is not surprising that the Nifong accomodating Judge Ronald Stephens allowed Defendant Nifong to avoid answering how he could have possibly read the medical report the day before it was printed and a week before it was retrieved. Amazingly, the State Bar also appears to have let Nifong off the hook by not demanding an explanation for his apparent ability to time travel.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Great Post! One wonders what Nifong was doing? Ed Bradley, before he died, said Nifong was out saying the players were guilty of rape before he had even read the evidence.

This post confirms what Ed Bradley was saying. I hope the State AG reads Liestoppers because you guys nailed it cold!

Anonymous said...

"the State Bar also appears to have let Nifong off the hook by not demanding an explanation for his apparent ability to time travel."

Hopefully this will come up again at the Disciplinary Hearing... the Bar seems to have Nifong's number.

bill anderson said...

One thing that stands out is the conduct of Judge Ronald Stephens. Apparently, he has no problem with the District Attorney openly and transparently lying in court. Stephens knew Nifong was lying, yet did nothing about it.

Does any reader think that Stephens would have held the defense to the same low standards? All of this tells me that had Stephens remained on the case, he would have tag-teamed with his former underling Nifong to railroad the lacrosse players into prison.

This also raises the issue with me as to how Stephens might have conducted himself when he was DA. If he was willing to permit Nifong to lie and lie, did Stephens do the same when he was in Nifong's position? Just wondering out loud....

Anonymous said...

In #123, notice that the bar refers to "the emergency room nurse" while Nifong's response refers to "the SANE nurse". Nifong only wishes the emergency room nurse was a fully trained SANE nurse.