So lets talk about Marilee Gardner’s Plea agreement. First I would like to say that I am so angry at myself for not writing for a bit, I seriously let things and people who aren’t worth my time and energy stop me in my tracks, and not even people in my personal life or people involved in the court case, but corrupt abusive liars… oh wait there are lots of those in this court case too, dang it… Ok non court related corrupt abusive liars not related to this case have been stealing my time….
Did I agree with the plea agreement in the beginning? Well kind of. Why? Because the reality of everything seemed to point to there being a possibility of Marilee only being found guilty of Manslaughter or possibly even less if it went to a jury. And hindsight, well you know…
Even in the beginning stages of the plea agreement the information given to us by the prosecutor and the Weber County Attorney’s office would change from one meeting to the next. We were told she would do one term in a juvenile facility and one term in Prison. She would stay in the Juvenile facility until 21 and go to Prison after that, the way they do this is by charging her with both now, her pleading guilty to both now, but not sentencing her for the adult charge until right before she is 21 so that they run consecutively instead of concurrently.
Consecutively instead of concurrently, I am sure everyone knows what that means, but picture being in a room and being told of possible outcomes to the murder trial of the person who killed your child, grandchild, sister/brother and what they tell you is that they have an agreement on the table, this proposed agreement is two counts of attempted murder (I know WTF?!). Then you are told that attempted murder is still a first degree felony with the possibility of life in prison (ok still furious but calming down a little), then you are told that the actual sentencing time for attempted murder would be 3 years to life (I know WTF?!) Immediately we are thinking 6 years are you freaking kidding me???
As we are looking shocked, confused angry, heartbroken they reiterate the “to life” part, so obviously this “to life” is the selling point that their marketing team came up with before the presentation…
Then comes the scare tactics of if the case goes to trial and a jury makes the decisions blah, blah, blah.. But wait where did the confident prosecutor from day one go? You know the open-and-shut we have a confession I don’t see us needing to do a plea agreement, we have a lot of evidence guy? Hello??? Can we please talk to that guy? Oh wait a minute, did I/we get tricked? Was that the ok day one lots of news media we better make people happy until we can trick the trouble makers in the family into submission guy? Dang it, I hate when I fall for that old trick! I also hate listening to ANYONE so remember that life lesson, don’t go against your instincts, like never ever EVER! They are there for a reason.
Now let’s list the possible and terrible things that could happen in a jury trial. Starting with best case scenario, best case scenario would be Marilee being found guilty of 2 counts of 1st degree murder which would be 15 years to life, but…. they would be served concurrently so she could possibly be out at age 31. The middle of the road scenario manslaughter, they told us we were probably looking at 5-10 years, they said they would expect Marilee to be released at age 22-23 if this was what she was found guilty of. And lastly the worse case scenario negligent homicide, if for some crazy reason the jury decided to find Marilee guilty of negligent homicide it is a misdemeanor which would mean an immediate release for her (I know WTF!!), yep immediate… IMMEDIATE!
So back to the plea agreement, the one sentence juvenile one sentence prison dealeroo… We were told she would do the one sentence in Juvie, so there until 21… and one in prison… but how long?? Worse case scenario 8 years, so we are looking at 29, let’s do the math, guilty of murder she’s out at 31 and we have to go through the hell of a murder trial plus it would be a gamble (not that it should ever be a gamble) or the plea deal worse case scenario or should I say “alleged ” worse cases scenario out at 29, I would like to super briefly explain the “alleged” I just used, in actuality the board of pardons decides when Marilee gets out of Prison, so we have a 3 year guarantee nothing else. So agree or not agree I think everyone can kind of see why we gave the plea agreement our ok.
And now to the old switcheroo… The beginning of July we were called to the Weber County attorney’s office for a meeting about…. let me see if I can remember… something like to discuss how the juvenile court would like to handle the agreement.
If you were following this story then you probably remember the charges against Marilee Gardner were direct filled, meaning they did not go through the juvenile court system, because of this the Juvie judge will not sign off on the agreement, and both the Juvie judge and Judge West need to sign off on this agreement. To remedy this the Juvie judge wants the charges filed in her court system, the only way to do this is to drop ALL of the charges against her and recharge her as a juvenile (I know, WTF!?) . Well actually I get it, I don’t however get how this wasn’t thought of as an issue by the prosecutor prior to this, I mean it makes sense to me… Why in the hell would a judge want to sign off on something that was never actually in her system or seen in her court?? I’m just going to throw a well deserved DUH in here for good measure.
So at the meeting we are taken to a different room than usual, it’s like over on the other side where like the clerks work and there are what looks like a couple of HS summer interns or whatever they would be, maybe just winners of a contest of sorts? Not that I am being mean at all because sincerely those two girls could be exactly what I need at the Weber County Attorney’s office in say twelve years, but at least it was a moment of hope for the legal system. Anyways, I think the marketing team for this one was going with ” oh yeah hey guys, haven’t seen you in a few it’s Friday afternoon so we just thought we would ya know get the homies out of work early so we could chill and see what’s up” selling point. So they nonchalantly tell us they need to drop the charges so they can recharge her as a juvenile, I at this point already had prepared myself for the usual letdown each meeting brings and just sat there silently as I did in the beginning, I knew my reaction wouldn’t matter anyways so I just sat. Marnie was still on her “A” game and asked about the actual murder charges (you know Marilee was charged with murder and the plea agreement was her pleading guilty to lesser charges) plus there were a handful of other charges, like leaving a scene of a crime resulting in death, evading police and so on… Well guess what? Yep, everything is going to be completely dropped, COMPLETELY DROPPED and refiled as just the two counts of attempted murder, and there we have it the big but very casual Switcheroo….
Prior to this meeting we had a court hearing on 5/23, at that time we were given an 8/2 date to be back in front of Judge West, at this hangout with our crew however we were told no worries, the 8/2 date is not gonna happen, so yeah…
Next up I will tell you the story that I think we are going to call ” Is that Scott McKane? I thought this was no big deal so why are there camera’s everywhere”
This is dedicated to all of you Non court related corrupt abusive liars, I would just like to say I’m busy, but I’ll get to you…