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Federal Justice in London, Kentucky

by J. Orlin Grabbe

"I was in communication with the facsimile."
--FBI Agent David "Killer" Keller, Oct. 25, 1996

The federales in London, KY, have a curious notion of justice, apparently one shared by U.S. District Judge Jennifer B. Coffman. Consider her treatment of Chuck Hayes versus the State's treatment of indicted jailer Buster Fields.

On December 19, 1996, three motions were filed by Chuck Hayes with the US District Court in London, Kentucky. The first was a motion for a new bond hearing, and there were two addenda to that motion. The second was a motion for a bill of particulars, which asked the prosecution to produce any witnesses it had to the charges against Hayes. (A copy of these motions may be found on my web page at http://www.aci.net/kalliste/aod7.htm.) The third was a motion for the return of personal property seized from Hayes' person at the time of his arrest (see below).

Judge Coffman responded with curious inertia.

1. First, the Judge again denied the motion for a new bond hearing--bond previously having been denied by the Court based largely on the perjured testimony of FBI Agent David "Killer" Keller. (How do I know his testimony was perjured? Well, to begin with, I know that I am not Chuck Hayes. I am, in fact, an expert on that subject, and am perfectly entitled to call Keller--who, according to his own court testimony, talks to fax machines--a liar.) Perhaps it might behoove Judge Coffman to look at the issues of misfeasance and malfeasance on the part of the (heretofore) only substantive (?) witness to the charges against Hayes.

2. Next, Judge Coffman refused to let Chuck Hayes act pro se as his own co-counsel (along with Gatewood Galbraith), even after apparently agreeing to do so in court on November 28, 1996. The right to act as one's own counsel is clearly a Constitutional right.

3. Third, she has refused to order the Prosecution to produce any witnesses as demanded in the Bill of Particulars filed by Chuck Hayes. This motion wanted to know (Motion for Bill of Particulars, Dec. 19, 1996):

"(1). How did the FBI or any other government agency first hear of the information which is the basis of the charge against Defendant herein?

"(2). How did the government agent from Alabama get involved? Who made the decision to call Defendant from there?

"(3). Does the United States have any witness who has heard Defendant threaten his son or discuss having his son murdered? If so, who is this witness and what does he/she say prompted him/her to contact the FBI or other government agency?"

This motion simply asks the Court to direct the Prosecution to produce materials that should have been made available in discovery, to show in fact that the Prosecution has some basis for making the charges in the first place. This reasonable motion was denied by Judge Coffman. Why? Is it because there are no witnesses? The withholding of evidence from the accused, or the continued incarceration of the accused in the absence of evidence, is clearly an unconstitutional act.

4. Finally, Judge Coffman refused to return the personal property seized from Chuck Hayes at the time of his arrest--even though this property is not apparently material to the case at hand. Here are the items, as listed by FBI Agent David "Killer" Keller (US Department of Justice, Receipt for Property, Oct. 22, 1996):

"(1) 4 Chemical bank checks (blank) from wallet
(2) $622.00 in cash & money clip
(3) Ky. Colonels card name of Chalmer C. Hayes
(4) blue paper with number 202-233-7672
(5) pink message sheet with Denique 1-206-565-5954
(6) $1000 bill serial # D00029009A
(7) $500 bill serial #D00051533A
(8) $500 bill serial #B00346871A
(9) yellow paper with number 502-267-4791 and 502-451-7559
(10) yellow paper with number 781-2139 & name Helman
(11) LDDS online card #606-636-6900 to Beckett Motel"

Of what interest to the Court is this collection of paraphernalia? Does the Prosecution find those phone numbers threatening? Let's see: Item #9 consists of the phone numbers of Hayes' two sons, John Anthony (the alleged target for assassination) and his other son Brad-- neither of whom believes their father attempted to hire a hit man. Item #5 is the phone number of a Hayes' ex-girlfriend with whom I've had dinner. Then there's that mysterious Washington "disconnected government centrex number".... Just what is the Court afraid of? Has someone fallen in love with that $1000 bill?

Meanwhile, the U.S. Marshals at the Laurel County Detention Center have frequently harassed visitors who have attempted to visit with Chuck Hayes, according to the statements of these same visitors. One investigative reporter from Boston was forced to interview Hayes through glass over the phone.

Moreover, the U.S. Marshal's Service has asserted they are investigating a Kentucky State Policeman. His crime? He called the clinic at Marymount Hospital where Hayes was being treated, to check on Hayes' welfare. The U.S. Marshal's Service subsequently demanded to know if this same State Police officer was present when "Bill Clinton's plane hit the tarmac". Hmmm. Think about that. Of what relevance is a visit to Kentucky by Bill Clinton to the case against Chuck Hayes? Are the shots being called from Washington? Moreover, why does the act of asking after the welfare of a friend at a hospital clinic upset the U.S. Marshal's Service?

I also called the clinic on Sunday, Dec. 15, just after Hayes arrived there. The nurse, who had not yet gotten instructions not to give out any information, told me his condition was stable. When I asked to speak to Hayes, she said I could speak to the person with him. But U.S. Marshal Mike Walters refused to take the phone--perhaps fearful of an unexpected obligation to utter coherent English. After a while, the nurse returned and said, "I'm sorry. I'm not allowed to give out any information because he [Chuck Hayes] is being detained." (Hayes was treated for a touch of pneumonia, and returned to the Laurel County Detention Center.)

By contrast, consider the treatment afforded Buster Fields, the jailer at the same Laurel County Detention Center where Chuck is being held. Fields is accused of violent acts, and is under indictment on multiple charges: "Laurel County Jailer Buster Fields--already accused of bribing and sexually assaulting an inmate--was hit again yesterday with a 12-count indictment that includes charges of official misconduct and neglect of office" (Lexington Herald-Leader, Nov. 16, 1996).

So, where is Buster Fields being held? Nowhere, actually. He was released on bond and continues to run the jail through his wife. "Fields is free on bond, but he also has been ordered to have no contact with jail records of inmates. He is running the jail through his wife, Jane, a deputy jailer" (Ibid).

January 10, 1997
Web Page: http://www.aci.net/kalliste/