EDITION I

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Sometimes the rules don’t apply….A tribute to Madi and Tyler… We love you

I guess technically this really isn’t a tribute to Madi and Tyler, technically it was justice, but I don’t know that Justice exists or if it ever has.

Our Justice system seems to be taking something that has been shattered and trying to make it as whole again as you can.  And sometimes you have all  the pieces and you can glue everything back, but it will always have those visible scars showing where the broken parts  were glued back in place.  Sometimes the missing pieces are under the fridge and you can’t reach them nor do you have the strength to move the fridge and of course you have no one to help to move it.  And sometimes all you have left is ceramic dust.   As part of Madi and Tyler’s family I believe what we have left is the  equivalent of ceramic dust…but we still do what we can.

That morning October 25th 2017 the sentencing for Marilee Gardner was to take place at 9:00 AM and of course I got there late.  While arriving I was told that I had missed the instructions, to which I replied  “I don’t listen to those anyways” , well that part is true but I would soon be seeing that I was not the only one, actually I kind of did listen this time around… well as far as the sentencing instructions and what I was aloud to say goes.  I followed the rules (address only the judge, don’t look at Marilee directly or say her name while talking, talk directly to the judge), but others knew instinctively what they needed to say for all of us, and what they needed to say did not fall in line with the rules.  I don’t want to say they broke the rules, because how dare they put rules on us, so I will say these family members felt so passionate about their thoughts and feelings that the rules didn’t apply.

At the very bottom of this post I placed what I said to the judge on Wednesday,  what I said was  from a blog post I had written at the beginning of the week it’s my What Madi Missed list.  There are so many stories to tell from this day, and I will get to them, but first I need to share what some of the family said that day to the judge and to Marilee herself.

Do what is right even if you stand alone.  This is how I would explain what Madi’s uncle Lee did on that day, with conviction he got up and said the raw unfiltered truth.  Here is what he told her.

” You are a murderer but not only a murderer you are a thief. You stole something from me and my family and Tyler’s family. Your selfish actions robbed us. Through out my life many people have judged me because of their own perceptions of who I am. This was never the case for my nieces and nephews. Maddison said one day how proud she was of me and that she looked up to me for things I’ve done- you’ve stolen that from me. You stole my niece, their cousins, their daughter, their granddaughter and friend. Our hearts are broken and I don’t even know if you care or feel what you’ve done. You are a thief and I don’t forgive you today and I won’t forgive you tomorrow but eventually I’ll have to if I expect to be forgiven by the Heavenly Father. We will be there in court when you turn 21 to make sure you remember those that you stole from and the lives you took. Your attorney said to the judge to take into consideration Of how Significantly detrimental this is to Miss Gardner but I don’t buy that. This is not about feeling bad for you it’s about those you killed.”

I will never give up fighting for you Madi and Tyler’s Grandpa’s both went for the jugular, as my friends put it “they were savage”.  They were both interrupted during what they were saying, but it was obvious to all that they were going to get their points across.

Tyler’s Grandpa talked about his relationship with his two grandsons, and I must say that when he talks about his grandsons I can tell they are his life.

He addressed the fact that from an outsider looking in it seems Marilee was maybe more privileged than our kids, but not more loved and that there may have been a lack of love from her parents.

He pointed out something I had also been told about which was a Facebook post from the 4th of July last year (4 days after the crash) from Marilee’s mother that said something about Marilee having a bad day, he also brought up Marilee’s father working for the Weber County Sheriff’s department and the disappointing way the case was handled.  He said Madi and Tyler deserved better, and they did.

Madi’s Grandpa was full of rage, he talked about how he didn’t write anything because he couldn’t get everything in writing.  He talked about how his life has stopped since Madi has been gone, he told Marilee that she robbed herself when she killed Madi because Madi would have been a friend to her, he called her a terrorist and told her that he hates terrorists.  He said he will never forgive her.

Madi’s Grandpa got to talk for a few minutes, but Marilee’s lawyer stopped him, they asked him for a copy of his letter , they said they needed that if he were to continue, since he had already stated there was no letter he obviously wouldn’t be able to continue and the microphone was taken from him.

You took my sister.  This one hurt me, not in a personal attack kind of way, but because I know and I see the reality of this, but what was said by Zoey was something I hadn’t had to hear prior to sentencing day.

My daughter Zoey had told me that she was not going to go to the sentencing, she had been saying it for months.  I really felt that she needed to be there, but I wouldn’t and didn’t pressure her about it.  I knew why she didn’t want to go, this is an incredibly hard thing to do.

Zoey and Madi were so ridiculously close and I feel that as far as day-to-day life goes Zoey’s life was the most affected by the loss of  Madi’s

Zoey got up and told Marilee ” I hate you! You took my sister and I will never forgive you.   My sister was my world and I don’t forgive you  now and I won’t forgive you ever”.

Those words were heartbreaking to hear, they were what I already knew, but to hear them being said out loud was like a punch to the stomach.

You took my brother.  Tyler”s brother did a really good job, it was pointed out to me that he was the only one who followed “the rules”,  he  sent a definite message. He let Marilee know that her selfish actions caused this, he also said the following which is exactly true.  It’s something you can’t explain in words, but he did.

“There isn’t one specific thing you miss about a person that you have lost, you miss the person as a whole, who they were to you, in your eyes, Tyler was my brother. I miss Tyler, I miss my brother everyday, and I will everyday until the day I die.”

 

If you only knew how much those little moments meant to me.  This is Marnie’s letter to the judge, Marnie did not read this out loud on Wednesday, but she does want everyone to know what Tyler meant to her.  Marnie truly loved Tyler and he was hers.  She will always fight for him and has been at every court hearing…. every single one…and I am so grateful for that.

Your honor, my name is Marnie. Tyler Christianson became my step son when he was around six months old. He came into my life with red hair and adorable chubby cheeks. Tyler called me Mom #2, a title I will always cherish. Tyler had a quiet demeanor about him and a great sense of humor, famous for his practical jokes. He loved working on cars, skate boarding and hanging with his friends.

He has a younger brother by three years Hunter who looked up to his older brother. They always looked forward to their boys trips with their grandpa and the all nighters they would have playing Xbox or PlayStation. Telling hunter his brother had been killed, watching the pain my son has gone through, has been the hardest thing as a parent I’ve had to endure. On June 30, 2016 our life’s changed because of one persons selfish choice.

I’m not sure what has been more difficult. For Tyler’s funeral trying to find the words to share with people, to put on paper words that could describe the love and emotions I have for Tyler. Choosing the right memories to share, so everyone could see how much he means to me. Or sitting here now trying to express the raw emotions of the constant pain of missing Tyler, knowing I will never see him again. To explain the loss, the hole that his death has left in my heart. The impact his murder has had on my life and my sons life. It would be like trying to describe a color to someone, it’s impossible to do, you can’t use words to describe this pain.

Having someone you love taken from you, in such a horrific, careless, selfish way. Seeing no remorse from Marilee Gardner for her actions, that have devastated our lives is heartbreaking and disturbing. She has robbed Tyler of his life. Losing a child is a different kind of grief. Hearing people talk about their children growing up, about their children’s experiences, knowing Tyler will never experience these. Collage, dating, marriage, children of his own, grandkids, holidays, growing old, birthdays. Tyler’s last birthday he celebrated was May 22, 2016 he turned 19. Tyler has no future, that was taken from him and our future with Tyler was also taken from us.

For the rest of my life I will have to visit my sons grave, on his birthday and holidays. I can only look at old pictures and watch old home movies from when he was little and the few recordings and videos his friends have sent, I will always cherish. It’s the only way I’ll hear his laugh or voice again. I only have the past and memories. There will be no more Silly texts, or those great big hugs he would give me. No more I love you’s. When we have family gatherings, vacations, Tyler should be with us. In pictures I can see where he should be standing. I feel like I have to put a mask of lies on, to get through those days. They are so emotional, it feels like a great weight sitting on my chest and I can’t breathe. But I have to smile and get through them for my other children and make everyone feel ok around me. But inside the sadness is over whelming. It’s sad, life does move on in the world, but my emotional mind is stuck on June 30 the the day he was taken from us.

Your honor, two irreplaceable lives were taken carelessly, selfishly on June 30, 2016. No remorse has been shown or heard, I hope justice is served and Marilee Gardner serves the full extent of punishment of her two sentences.
Sincerely,
Marnie

What Madi Missed

Family statement released 6/30/2016

Today our family lost our beautiful blue eyed girl with a heart of gold. She had big ambitions, loved music, enjoyed going to Bear Lake with her grandparents, and was a kind and loving soul.  She accomplished a lot in her 20 years but now the world will never know the good she could have accomplished because she was taken from us too soon.  We are grateful for the 20 years we had with her and thankful for the outpour of love and prayers for our families as we process this new reality for us, a world without her.
As we mourn for Madi we also see and feel many people mourning with us.  We also mourn the loss of her friend who lost his life in the accident and for his family and their loss. We are sorry for your loss.  In our sorrow, in time, we will find forgiveness for the driver that caused this senseless act that forever changed many lives.  Our hearts also go out to her family.
Written by Uncle Lee

I started with the statement from that day 6/30/2016,  I saw this yesterday for the first time since that day and started to reflect on it a bit.  I still have not written my victim impact statement for Wednesday, I am really struggling, not because of the words, but because I am so disappointed in so many people and I do not know how to make my statement not be full of rage.  Every time I start it goes immediately to my most angry place and I don’t honestly at this point think it is the time to share that, I feel off guard and that I am not ready.  But one thing I can say that I have learned from this is that life doesn’t care if you are ready and some people seem to care even less than life does.

What Madi Missed

Looking at the statement that Madi’s uncle Lee wrote that day I got stuck on Bear Lake of all things.  It just stood out, I started thinking about how my parents took my other two children to Bear Lake the week after Madi’s funeral.  And I remembered how it felt when I met them there a few days later, it felt empty, it felt sad, it felt forced and unnatural because we were missing someone who should have been there and who would have been there so I decided to make a list of what Madi missed.

Madi missed a balloon release in hers and Tyler’s honor

Madi missed my birthday, and only by two days, yes Madi was killed two days before my birthday

Madi missed the family dinner at my cousin Jessie’s and Nikki’s house the Sunday after she was killed and she missed seeing their dog Norman the Newfie who is always a favorite with my kids

Madi missed her funeral and the Cage the Elephant concert that she had bought tickets for that happened to be on that same night

Madi missed the 4th of July

Madi missed the trip to Bear Lake the week after her funeral and several trips since then

Madi missed her cousin Jamie’s wedding, which I also missed because I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other that soon after her death

Madi missed her cousin Talia’s wedding

Madi missed her first day at Weber State University

Madi missed her Grandpa’s birthday

Madi missed Halloween which is always our families favorite

Madi missed Thanksgiving

Madi missed mine and Zoey’s Christmas trip to Vegas, although we wouldn’t have been there if we had still had Madi.  We literally went and hid away because neither of us were ready to face a Christmas without her

Madi missed New Years

Madi missed her brother Diego’s 15th Birthday dinner

Madi missed her sister Zoey’s 18th Birthday  and our trip to the Natural History museum of Utah and the Spaghetti factory

Madi missed her Grandma’s Birthday

Madi missed our family paint night

Madi missed Bark in the Park, this was  a shared honor for her, but she still missed it

Madi missed her 21st Birthday, the one she had talked about so much in the four weeks between her birthday and when she was killed

Madi missed the horrible anniversary date of when she was killed, but we did not and I do not have or want a picture of this

Madi missed my birthday again and I spent some of it at her headstone because the two days prior was the anniversary date of her death and an overwhelming amount of flowers and gifts had been left to adorn her grave

Madi missed when her brother Diego bought his first car

Madi missed her cousin Taylor’s wedding

Madi missed her Uncle Jason’s Wedding and our big family trip  to New England that we had been planning for the two years prior to her death.

Madi missed the sleepover at Uncle Lee’s new house with Zoey and her cousin Audrie

Madi missed getting our new puppy Leo, something she would have been so happy about and she missed all of the picture taking she would have done with Leo, Moo-Shoo and Flash, no one takes doggy pictures quite like Madi did

Madi missed shopping trips, going out to eat, going to see movies, looking for a new apartment with Zoey and me.  She missed school, friends, concerts, tattoos, holidays.  She missed the trips to Mesquite with her Grandparents and Zoey and Diego.  She missed a lot, she missed too much.

This is a long list, but this is only a portion of what Madi missed.  What we missed is Madi.  She should have been  with us through all of these things and more.  When I look at the pictures we have taken since she has been gone it is plain to see what we missed and what we will always miss…. we miss Madi and she can’t be in our pictures anymore.  Our pictures will always be without Madi and I think that says it all.

Can anyone tell me what condiseration means? I think I was just fired by my advocate… A justified rant..

Advocate

I guess I am a bad bad girl… you know one of those mean girls..  I really didn’t intend for that to happen, but hey your daughter gets murdered, people don’t do their jobs and things change, I mean I guess that’s what happened???  I am going to post a portion of an email between myself and my victim advocate from yesterday or wait is it my victim coordinator?  Or the Court Technical Specialist?  I am so confused, her title has been each of those since my dealings with her so until yesterday I guess I really didn’t know that I actually had an advocate, but by then it was too late and I had been fired.

This question came from my brother in law, he looked on the Court Calendar and there was Marilee’s name and an appearance was on there for her  for today 10/04/2017, it still showed as Judge West and since I was told the next hearing would be the juvenile court hearing on 10/25 I was a bit perplexed and concerned that someone was pulling another fast one.  So I sent an email asking the following question to my coordinator/advocate/court technical specialist;

Is there a hearing today?  I was not made aware of anything until the 10/25 date so why is Marilee on the court schedule today?

To which I received the following reply; (Be careful she sneaks something major into this reply)

Jocelyn, 
There is no court proceedings today. That hearing was canceled per the prior notice. Upon further condiseration I have chosen to remove myself as your advocate. I feel as though I am no longer able to assist you. I have assigned a new advocate in my office to assist only you through the upcoming hearings. If you will please forward all upcoming questions and correspondences to her. Her name is ****** **** I will remain on this case and can assist her in any questions she has. Thank you. 
Wait what?  Condiseration?  Huh?  Advocate listed twice and no longer able to assist?  What?  “I have assigned a new advocate in my office to assist only you? ”  ONLY ME?  WTF!  I assure you all that I have never not one single time had anyone in that office “advocate” for me.  Mostly I ask questions about things I should have already been told about and occasionally I am lucky enough to get a half a** lazy answers (such as the example above).  This time however I did get some special treatment, her Royal Highness the oh so powerful one (whatever her job title is) has assigned me to one of her subordinates, or at least it sounds like she has subordinates?  Idk I am still confused.
After communicating to my new “advocate” this morning I found out that someone read my blog.
 Boo Hoo!  Are you freaking kidding me?
Victims go through hell, not just me, but all kinds of victims.  I have heard stories from all different types of crime victims where no one helped them and this is what action takes place when someone decides to write about it?  Really?
  Um wait, while you are being dramatic about my stupid blog someone forgot to take a court date off of the calendar and Fox 13 is talking about how Marilee is going to be in court today… and this attempt by you to make a statement, combined with the false information listed on the 2nd district court website (where anyone can see it) only prove the points I have been trying to make, and the real issue of the day isn’t even being acknowledged.  And now I  am being zeroed out and reassigned to a new advocate, hmm.
Someone needs to look at the big picture, decide on a job title and worry about the victims they are supposed to be “advocating for”.   But that’s just my opinion..
Just tell me when to be there, make sure the calendar is accurate for family, friends and the community and call yourself whatever you like.  I am my own advocate, you already assigned me as that long ago….

You made me do it… How I became a Jerkface

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After seeing, sharing, and 100% relating to this meme posted on the Hilarious Photos FB page last week I started realizing this is funny because it’s true.

I have always been nice and well mannered, I have always taken peoples BS and even made excuses for it.  Without realizing it I started having physical ailments from this acceptance of bad treatment.  I had always been taught to accept and keep going, I had been taught manners.  I still do believe that for the most part people are still brought up to be respectful and not cause problems, but we aren’t really taught how to deal with the resentment that comes from not sticking up for ourselves.

Resentment can turn into anxiety, frustration and then anger, none of these have good outcomes and speaking for myself they turned into sleeping disorders and self esteem issues, but really when I look back it was all from not telling people who are bullies and didn’t deserve the respect I gave them to F off.  Those days are over, those days are my motivating force when going through my current battles.

I wasn’t expecting to be handled extremely different after losing Madi, but I definitely wasn’t expecting to be treated like I didn’t matter, like I was stupid and like I could be set aside and pushed off as needed.  I believe the turnaround date for me was 03/16/2017.  On this day I woke up and said F this and immediately started telling people off and calling them out on their BS.

I had 3 different people that I was communicating to on that day.  Talking, emailing and texting at the same time and getting 3 different stories, yep 3 not 2,  but 3… I immediately learned the important lesson of not taking phone calls from liars, you want that  s**t in writing.  I didn’t even care that they knew I was purposely refusing to talk to them.  I started saying I can’t trust a thing you say so I am only talking to you in writing so you better get your story straight.

Then the fun really began, screenshots, calling them out and  putting them all in a group text showing the huge difference in answers to the same questions, and asking which one was lying out of the group, but the sad truth was they were all lying.  I even had one of them explain to me the difference between the Civil and Justice systems to which my reply was “thanks for the civics lesson but that doesn’t answer the question of who is a liar”  It was pretty amusing to see them all turn on each other.  I still have all of that communication from that day, I want to keep it to prove that everyone has their motives and when it benefits them they will lie to you no matter what!  They don’t care what you have been through, they don’t care about your struggle, they don’t care that they cause you huge problems by being lazy and not doing their jobs, but they do care about not getting the blame.  Human nature I suppose.

Anyways back to the meme, when I first saw it I laughed.   At first glance I translated this as a person who can be a complete a** and still sleep because they don’t care, but then later in the day and still laughing I realized it was something else, well I was seeing it as something else anyways.  If you don’t stick up for yourself you only hurt you, if you figure out how to immediately call people out on their BS and let them know that you can and will be a force if needed to protect yourself you too can sleep like that doggie at night… SO LET IT OUT!!!

Part II (now including the letter to the judge) This hearing is no big deal, wait is that Scott McKane? Why are there camera’s everywhere? Ok I might have known Marcos Ortiz was going to be here…

Letter to the Judge

Sorry for the delay in posting the letter, it unexpectedly got a little hectic for me.  Following the 8/2  “No big deal” surprise hearing I wrote the following to the judge.  I would like to say he did take some action, but I will have to write about that on the next post.  The first part of the story that prompted me to write this letter is also found below as well as the video of Tara Isaacson Marilee’s defense attorney talking to the media, such a surprise that this was all going on, the news must have been really slow that day to have so much attention drawn to a no big deal court appearance.   

Your Honor,

 
I am contacting you today in regards to the case involving my daughter Maddison Haan who was killed in a crash that resulted in murder charges in which you are the presiding judge of the case against Marilee Gardner.
 
During the court hearing last Wednesday you were told of the plan to move forward with a plea agreement, you had asked if the family was on board with the agreement.  The representative from the Weber County attorney’s office answered yes your honor, I do not personally feel that what has ended up being the finalized deal is what I had given my approval to.  I know that ultimately everything is up to the prosecutor as far as how this case is resolved, but I feel that what is being sold by them as being the same agreement is quite different from what I said ok to back in November when it was presented to us, I feel like this is wrong.
 
I would also like to make you aware of the fact that us family members were called to attend a meeting the second week of July with the prosecutor, during this meeting we were told that they were going to have to drop the charges in district court and re-file them in the juvenile court, we were told the judge in the juvenile court would not handle the case since it was never processed through their court.  We were told their would be no hearing on 8/2 as they needed time to get the charges dropped and re-filed in the juvenile system.  
 
I heard nothing back from there office, the morning of 8/1 my daughter called and let me know that our victim advocate had called my step-dad and let him know that there would be a hearing on 8/2.  I did not receive that same phone call and either did Maddison’s father or sister who were also on the list as crime victims.  I emailed Jamie, she replied about an hour later and stated that I was next on the list, she had taken a lunch.  Maddison’s dad also called and was told that yes their would be court, but that it was really nothing but setting a new date with you to go over the plea agreement.  She answered me in email at first and told me a similar thing, she made a statement that district court had some confusion and would not sign off on the agreement because of the changes that had been made.  
We had never been told of any sort of issue that the 2nd district court had,  when I replied asking more questions she called me back, she said there had been some changes in how the agreement was written that you wanted more details on.  I asked what changes and she stated there were some wording changes that had meant the same as the previous agreement they had been working on.  
 
I get that the agreement time wise is the same.  I do not agree with the fact that the original charges where being completely dropped and new and lesser charges where being filed.  I had given my ok on the plea with the understanding that she was charged with two counts of murder and was pleading guilty to the lesser charges of attempted murder.  To me the new way wipes out the seriousness and I am not ok with that, I am also not ok with the lack of communication to us about the hearing on 8/2.  Because of the way it was downplayed by Jamie family members that would have been there did not show up, in fact I was the only one there for Maddison, this is not right, I don’t understand how something of this magnitude can be handled in such a way.  I felt I needed to bring this to your attention, and as a side note we have had similar instances like this, but this is heartbreaking to me, my daughter deserves to have her family there, I feel she was disrespected by what happened.
 
I also know that there was no notification to some of Tyler’s family as well.  I know to some this may seem like not a big thing that happened last Wednesday, but we have already lost so much and this is all we have left that we can do for our kids.
Original Part I Post

Teen accepts plea deal for reduced charges

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…

 

This hearing is no big deal, wait is that Scott McKane? Why are there camera’s everywhere? Ok I might have known Marcos Ortiz was going to be here…

Teen accepts plea deal for reduced charges

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…

 

I am not drinking the Effing Kool Aid!! The plea agreement Switcheroo…

 

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…

About

Calm down, don’t worry, Dr. Gardner is only a contracted employee of the Weber County Sheriff’s Department, there would only be a conflict of interest issue if he was an actual employee

So I am super tired, but I really need to write at least something little.

So one of my best friends had told me shortly after the crash that Dr. Gardner works for the Weber County Sheriff’s office, at the time I did try to research it, but couldn’t find a thing.

A few months later Marnie sent me a screenshot of a roster for the sheriff’s office with his name and reason for being there, I wish I could find it and one day I will, but mouthiness doesn’t wait for an opportune moment, when the need is there you have to run with it.

I believe it was Tyler’s grandfather who found it, I researched again and where I happened to find it was on the Wasatch Peak Webpage for their clinic in Layton,  in case any of you are interested in his complete profile you can go there and find it under meet our physicians, not that I am doing marketing for them or anything, but you never know someone might be interested.

Now this was a question Marnie asked the prosecutor,  lol Marnie cracks me up when she asks questions, she has this kind professional way of asking, but it’s accompanied by an I will choke you out so be careful eye squint.

So the prosecutor and another attorney assisting him (not sure of her name or title) as well as the victim coordinator start looking at each other.  And again paraphrasing the prosecutor answers that they had found out about that too and it was a surprise to them as well,  he seemed hesitant and was being very careful with his words.  He was rationalizing with us on something that really couldn’t be rationalized in my opinion.

Marnie had asked if it was true that Dr. Gardner was the Weber County Sheriff’s office medical director and if so isn’t that a conflict of interest?  The answer was a firm no, the reason being he was a contacted employee and not a direct employee and since Marilee was not being held at that facility no conflict of interest existed.  It was an end of story type of answer, most of his answers are like that, a skill we should probably all invest in learning.

And flash forward to today, I double checked and it is still listed on his Bio, just sitting there like a big ol’ slap in the face.  I added a screen shot of the very bottom of the Bio.

I am working on a couple of really big parts of the story, but I thought some might be interested in this fun little bit of no big deal.

 

Ginkgo Biloba anyone? Part I

I haven’t even started this post and I already know there will be at least a part II.  I mean with the concerning memory loss amongst highly educated professionals here in Weber County UT  resulting in responses on many questions  of “I don’t recall” and “I don’t remember” we are either being fed complete BS or there is a frightening epidemic that would definitely be deserving of a medical study or two.

Back to the Cardigan wearing strategy from the first post, I want to start telling the stories about how my bad behavior started to come out.

I want to introduce you to Marnie real quick, I am sure a lot of you know who she is, but for those of you who don’t Marnie is Tyler’s step mom and I am convinced Madi and Tyler are somewhere laughing their asses off that the universe allowed the two of us to meet and join forces, up until last month it was a constant battle between the two of us over who the bad one was, we were not trying for this, but we seem to have a knack for irritating people.  But after my letter to Judge West I think Marnie has a lot of work to do if she even wants to attempt to be comparable, but I think she can do it and I have complete faith in her to give me some competition.

At the beginning of this nightmare Marnie and I had started messaging each other before court hearings or meetings regarding the case, we would always follow-up after with the purpose of picking each other’s brains of what was going on.  The police report was not completed until the end of February, so I am sure most people would be freaking out over this, it left quite an uneasy feeling month after month, but as previously stated you don’t want to believe there are bad intentions by anyone when you are going through such a tragedy.  As a very important side note I would like to mention that we did not see the police report even when it was finally complete.  This might be shocking to everyone, but we did not receive a police report until 8/2 of this year when my attorney reluctantly gave it to me.  He had offered it in May, but made it sound like it was not a good idea for me to have, I being a chicken did not dare have it until I got to the point that I realized I needed to toughen the F up and face that report.

I am not going to lie, my attorney was smart, he recognized that I was up to  no good most of the time, to him my cardigan was invisible, but I definitely always gave him a run for his money regardless of his ability to see through me.  The police report had become a game of chicken between  us.  I actually promised him that I would not read the report, I pretended I wanted it just incase I needed it sometime in the future, and that I was going to file it away and not read a word, I even promised with the best poker face I could muster up, he was quite fidgety that day so he knew what was up, but he also knew that I had his number and that part of the game was over.

As soon as I got to my car I was scanning through the 80ish paged report and had it all read within hours.  After reading the report I realized that my lawyer was also suffering from the memory loss epidemic, or he didn’t know how to read because that report had very specific answers to questions I had asked and received replies of I don’t know from him about.  So either liar liar pants on fire or illiterate.  I’m trying to give these guys options…  He was used to a very confrontational Jocelyn, my guess is he was expecting some crazy text messages the following day, but the truth is that I still have not yet decided how I am going to deal with him yet so I have not contacted him at all about the report and what is in it, he might even believe that I filed it away.  I will come back to him in a future post.

Right now I want to target Mr. Weber County Prosecutor.  We were to the month of January, none of us had really said much at meetings, we were definitely a quiet group which could translate as agreeable to the prosecutor, and some were and still are the same way (agreeable) with his office.

The lovely plea agreement was in the beginning stages, the first preliminary hearing had been canceled and we were going in for a meeting, Marnie and I had decided that enough was enough and we wanted answers.  How in the hell can they even consider asking our opinions on a plea agreement when we don’t even know what happened that night and leading up to that night?  Marnie told me she would follow my lead and ask the questions if I couldn’t do it.

Now keep in mind up until this point none of us had questioned a thing.  He started by updating what was going on and how they were working really hard to get an agreement that everyone could get on board with.  Once he was done he asked us all if we had any questions and for the first time I said yes.

Here are the questions:

1. Was Marilee on medication when she did this?  Was she supposed to be on medication? And had she had any recent change in meds?

2.  Was Marilee released from the mental hospital that she had been in for ten and a half months or did her parents withdraw her?

3. If she was barely sixteen and was away getting help for over ten months when was she able to get her learners permit?

Before I tell you the answers to these questions, I need to say if looks could kill….  these questions obviously caught him off guard and he did not like them.  I without a doubt know now what a death stare is and I had a strange reaction to him as well, it was a basic instinct that kicked in and I completely surprised myself by staring at him with no reaction to his reaction, it was  totally a stare down.  I can’t say I won, but I at least tied and it seemed like he was not used to someone questioning him let alone not allowing him to intimidate them into submission.

So here are the answers and these are obviously paraphrased, I mean I don’t know how to take dictation and I am pretty sure they wouldn’t allow me to record anything because if that happened someone might actually have to remember something.

The answer to Question 1 was odd to say the least, he said she wasn’t on drugs if that’s what you are asking.  I said no that is not what I am asking, I am asking about psychiatric meds since she had been in an institution for almost a year it is a relevant question.  His next reply was that it’s really hard to sue pharmaceutical companies.  Hmm that is odd right?  I don’t think my question and especially since I am taking to a prosecutor in a criminal case is in regards to suing a pharmaceutical company, but ok…  Then when he was at the height of his annoyance with my questioning I told him we don’t know what really happened that night.  If you want us to say we are ok with a plea agreement I want to know what a possible jury will hear before I can give you an answer on an agreement.  The mood actually lightened at this point, I really am unsure of why that calmed him, but whatever.  He ended up stating that he couldn’t remember exact medications, but medication was a large part of her ongoing treatment.

The answer to number 2 was a big fat I don’t know, he said something  like the answer to that question would be hard to get because it has to do with medical records, yada yada yada…

The answer to number 3 was I don’t know, just that simple, no big deal, not important at all, I don’t know… quit wasting my time with this crazy talk.

Ok so with all of that information and with my newly acquired copy of the police report guess what is in there?  TAH-DAH answers to the questions.  So at this point the prosecutor’s excuse options are memory loss, BS or I guess maybe he could also be illiterate, I am really trying to be fair here,  I am nothing if not kind.

Answer to number 1, also paraphrasing but this comes from the report I have and these are answers straight from the horse’s mouth and the horse’s dad or IDK what he would be called in this scenario,  I mean I have some names for him, but…     Per Marilee she was supposed to take 3 pills a day, 2 were psychiatric meds that she did not know the names of and a birth control pill, she was taking them here and there, but it doesn’t sound like it was routine or anything well maybe the birth control  (I mean it would be completely ridiculous for someone with serious mental issues to be watched closely and monitored by their father the Dr).  Per Dr. Gardner  and again yes DR. meaning someone familiar with medications and such, right???  She had been taking her medications sometimes, she had recently got a job at Wendy’s (and drumroll please….. and the answer to question 3 ) had received her learners permit and started drivers ed at Layton High School, and because of all of these wonderful things that were happening for her they had hopes that she was doing better this time, yep THIS TIME, she had been in and out of institutions since she was 12, but a job at Wendy’s surely screams of all mental issues being resolved and she had afterall  been out of the state mental hospital for an entire month and a half, should be perfect timing to start driving right?   Oh yeah, I’m sorry I snuck that one in, that is how I was given the news as well.  Right there in the police report, plain as day it talks about how just prior to her going to the state hospital she had been in a facility who basically said she is too cookoo bananas for them and sent her to the state facility.

So here is a funny detail, I found out about this not because I was asking about suing anyone, but while talking to another attorney I was told that there is a one year statute of limitations when suing any government entity in the state of Utah, the attorney I was talking to was quite shocked that my attorney did not advise me of that.  Kind of weird it was never mentioned right?  I mean to me it seems kind of major, but I guess not, lets take some more rights away, why would the victims need to know details?

Anyhoo,  more to come.