To recap on the previous post, in early July we were bought in and told of the switch in the plea agreement for Marilee Gardner. It was sold to us or attempted to be sold to us as not a big deal just working out the technicalities, but it was more than that which told me that either A) we were tricked all along or B) the legal system was unfamiliar with well… I guess it was unfamiliar with the legal system. A judge not signing off on a plea agreement that was never charged or seen in her court room makes perfect sense to me now that I am thinking about it, so how could this have been missed by the prosecutor?
Before I get into this current story I would like to say that this might be short compared to my usual long-winded rants, but tomorrow I am going to post a letter I wrote Judge West the weekend after this hearing date, and I will probably still ramble on anyways.
So I copied a link to a post I had to make in order to get the ABC4 news story on here, I hope it works, but as I was attempting that and checking to see if that particular news clip had been put on Youtube for easier uploading I found this wonderful karmic gift from the Universe or from whom or whatever.
Please look to the sidebar, this is a clip from that day with Marilee’s lawyer, you can see her going over the plea agreement and also discussing how hard this has been for all of us including Marilee… while that might be kind and all but we don’t really need anyone to talk for us, at least I don’t … She also spoke for us during the court appearance, I am not sure how she was able to do that seeing as though she’s never spoke a word to any of us and we haven’t given her any statements of any sort, but whatever. Also in the back ground you can see Marilee’s happy and relieved parents, you can’t see their faces very well, but I did and they were elated. And to me and probably Marnie who I don’t think has seen this Gem this video is priceless because it shows exactly what we came into that day, which was super confusing considering the day before myself and others had been told this appearance was nothing really, no bid deal, it was just the judge setting a new date for the finalization of the plea agreement where he would sign off on it.
Let’s rewind a day. I had been telling friends and family that the 8/2 date was not happening, I told them we were going to be given a new date once the charges were dropped and filed in the juvenile system. I was leaving a Drs. Appointment and had received a text message from Marcos Ortiz asking if their was still going to be a hearing, I didn’t reply right away I was waiting until I got back to work and situated, but on the way back my daughter calls me, she tells me mom they called Grandpa (they being the victims coordinator) and they are having court tomorrow it was never canceled, hmm…. ok….
I text Marcos back letting him know that I had heard there would be court, but was confused because I had been told there wasn’t going to be anything for our case that day. I was also extremely confused as to why I hadn’t been called, but my step dad had. I would like to say that I don’t mean to make the grandparents sound unimportant, but there is no order that I can figure out that has him being notified before I am notified, and not to mention the prosecutor had been a complete jerk last winter when another grandparent inquired about why he had never been contacted being as he had filled out all of the proper paperwork and all. The prosecutor in a very rude tone told him ” My job and the job of my office is to notify parents and siblings, anyone else is not my responsibility”, but now a grandparent is being called and not a single parent or sibling had been called, not on our side anyways.
I called the coordinator myself to find out, this was already a couple of hours after the message was left for my stepdad, she did not answer so I sent an email. About 45 minutes to an hour later she replied back letting me know that I was next on her list to call, hmm really? I called Madi’s dad and he had not been called either, but like me had called himself, there was also another common thread coming up in all of these conversations we are having with her, and that would be that it isn’t really going to be anything. There’s a little more detail in the letter to the judge that I will post tomorrow, but that common message is being “sold” to all of us, we are all being told that we can come if we want, but it’s really going to be nothing just the judge setting a new date. Later that night I message Marnie, I really sincerely thought she had to have known, but nope…not a clue, I did share with her the message of it was really just to set a new date for the plea to be finalized blah blah blah, lies, lies, lies…
I get to the courthouse the following morning and it is CROWDED, it is open court on this day so that does happen, I see Marcos Ortiz in the second row, but I was coming in late and not paying a whole lot of attention. Marnie is in the back row so I make my way over, I am by myself, no one else on our side was there due to the message of unimportance that had been given, once I sit down Marnie points in front of her and guess who??? Scott McKane directily in front of us (and yes we start talking to him) and next to him are some Newspaper reporters, there is a camera guy off to the side and my confusion starts to set in, WTF…
Well it so happens that the Judge is going to hear of the new revised plea deal on this day, and it also so happens that Marilee is going to state her intentions of pleading guilty to the two counts of attempted murder on this day…. the judge asks the attorney who was there, which was not the actual prosecutor if the families had been told about this change and if we agreed to it and she stands up and says yes your honor…… Ok so yes we were told, but we were not asked if we were ok with the changes, I was not, others were not… I didn’t say anything on the day we were told because I was frustrated and knew it was a waste of my breath, they were going to do whatever they wanted and they did not need our buy off, but don’t speak for me, when what you are saying is untrue… After every hearing us families get taken to a separate room to be briefed and also to be kept away from the other side and any media if we choose to be kept away. I am furious, FURIOUS, the same coordinator says that it was unexpected what happened (yeah for us) then she says the media is here I would advise you against talking to them and that was it. I of course walked right out the door and started running my mouth, but the news people are very good at editing out what they feel they need to.
I hope you enjoy the video clip, and I hope it works. Letter to the judge coming up tomorrow, like the actual word for word letter…