We end this week with some nice weather...didn't have to run EITHER the A/C OR the furnace...and from a utility bill perspective, that's not bad at all.
That means a few extra bucks in this month's Hip-National Bank.
In anticipation for a potential frost last night, I even covered the tomato plants with a trashbag, and took some other frost-hating plants into the garage. Have to bring those back out later, and uncover the tomatoes, of which I FINALLY have ONE that's ripe enough to harvest.
I swear next year, I'm going back to cherry tomatoes...faster yield time.
In the meantime, we've a few things to cover, such as a little stroll through the TRAVESTY AISLE of the local JUSTICE DEPARTMENT STORE.
*** The Andre Washington trial for the murder of pizza deliveryman Ian Crace ended with a PLEA DEAL.
(and here's more proof why I won't sit on a jury in THIS city)
(( Published: September 16, 2011 3:00 a.m.
Pizza slaying retrial ends in plea
- Rebecca S. Green The Journal Gazette
A guilty plea Thursday abruptly ended the second trial for Andre Washington, accused of the murder and robbery of a Fort Wayne pizza deliveryman.
Washington, 20, of the 2600 block of Pittsburg Street, pleaded guilty to a single charge of robbery, a Class A felony. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, the more serious charges of murder and felony murder will be dismissed at sentencing, as will another unrelated robbery case.
The charge of felony murder can be filed against anyone who participated in a crime that resulted in the death of another person and not necessarily against the person who is believed to have committed the killing.
According to court documents and testimony, on Nov. 29, 2009, Ian J. Crace, a deliveryman for Pizza by Vito’s, was delivering an order to a house in the 2800 block of Schele Avenue. The order, however, was a fake, and moments after he arrived, he was robbed and gunned down in the middle of the street, shot twice with a .40-caliber handgun.
Thursday morning, with the jury waiting for the trial to get under way, attorneys for both sides scrambled around, met with family members and eventually reached the plea deal.
But getting the plea hearing completed was a bit of a chore for Washington’s court-appointed attorneys, as their client balked at any inkling that anyone else held the gun that killed Crace.
Twenty-year-old Deangelo Bennett, of the 1300 block of McKinnie Avenue, also faces charges related to the death of Crace.
As Washington’s attorney, Michelle Kraus, walked him through the admission of guilt, she suggested that Bennett had been holding the gun during the robbery. The statement caused one of Washington’s family members to speak out loudly and be removed from the courtroom.
Washington shook his head repeatedly and the courtroom grew silent as Kraus and fellow defense attorney William Lebrato tried to get him to continue. When the hearing continued, Kraus said she misspoke and Washington had the gun in his hand.
The plea was the most recent twist in the case, which saw the first trial end in a dramatic mistrial after prosecutors failed to turn over two pieces of information to the defense attorneys.
During the second day of the new trial Wednesday, the proceedings were delayed again, this time to allow prosecutors and defense attorneys to investigate a new piece of evidence: allegations that Washington made threats to a state witness also housed in the Allen County Jail.
Kraus told Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck that, given the new evidence, the guilty plea was in Washington’s best interest.
After the hearing, Crace’s family was upset by the agreement.
William Cody, Crace’s brother-in-law, stood in the back of the courtroom and railed against the system that could potentially put Washington back out on the streets in as little as a decade. A Class A felony is punishable by 20 to 50 years in prison. But inmates can earn one day of credit for each day served with good behavior, potentially cutting their sentences in half.
"He’ll still be in the gang," Cody said. "He’ll still be killin’."
Cody said he missed Crace’s smiling face and noted that Crace likely would have given the two robbers anything they wanted had they asked.
Cody’s wife – the victim’s sister – also noted the calloused violence.
"Ian gave them everything he had," sister Leah Cody said, adding there was no reason her brother had to die alone on a dark street.
Crace’s father, David Crace, stressed how much the family missed Ian, who was just doing his job delivering pizzas, something he enjoyed.
His mother, Susan Todd, hoped to see the case serve as a warning to those who think of doing such acts.
"It’s just senseless, shooting somebody in the back for a pizza or a few dollars," Todd said.
Lebrato, one of Washington’s attorneys, said he felt horrible for Crace’s family, especially his mother.
"It was an absolutely senseless death," Lebrato said. ))
Yeah, the killing was senseless and this retrial appears pointless, given the "ease" this perp managed to slip through the hands of justice.
I'm rather pissed off regarding this verdict.
Justice has NOT been served...not one damn bit.
Washington WAS chased down and WAS arrested and WAS brought to trial, and it wasn't because someone drew his damn name out of some hat.
You're not going to tell me that he DIDN'T shoot Crace, or that neither did Bennett, but somehow, "someone " had a .40 cal. pistol materialize out of thin freaking air, and shot Crace dead, all by itself, for no reason other than a robbery. Somebody had to pull that trigger.
This is definitely a travesty of justice...no other way to put it.
And since when does ANY decent prosecutor's office go to trial with ONLY circumstantial evidence?
That a pretty weak hand in ANY poker game.
You mean to tell me that this whole gig was staged on absolutely NO physical evidence whatsoever?
I find that really hard to fathom. You had to have SOMETHING on this animal that would stick.
And then you pull this "plea-deal" card out of your asses when this cretin THREATENS a witness?
Doesn't that kind of intimidation smack of something we used to call GUILT???
Innocent people don't go and threaten other.
Then again, innocent people rarely find themselves in such a situation as Washington, because THEY aren't out doing the kind of anti-social and terrorist acts that have made this perp notorious.
Be a damn shame if this thug fell down the courthouse steps in transport to lockup, and broke his freaking neck, wouldn't it?
If it were up to me, I'd cap his ass for attempted escape.
Yeah, I know that's not proper, but neither was the way this case was (mis) handled from the get-go.
And certainly, the all-too-numerous diversions and loopholes we have available to get creatures like Washington off the damn hook need to be reined in.
We've got way too many shades of gray and not enough black & white on the law books these days.
I can't wait to see Deangelo Bennett's trial and how THAT gets mucked up, allowing him to plea-bargain out of a murder charge.
To me, copping a plea is like rewarding bad behavior...no more, no less.
Maybe it makes some people MORE "equal" than others...in the interest of "leveling the playing field" (God, I hate that term).
So, we drop the murder charges against Washington (guilty of ROBBERY ONLY...whatta farce), and if, by some twist of fate...sometime in the future, physical evidence DOES turn up that proves beyond ALL doubt that he WAS, in fact, the shooter...not ONE damn thing can be done.
You can't try a person TWICE for the same crime...that's the way it plays.
Yeah, so much for justice, right?
*** If I hear Pelosi (or anyone else of her ilk) say "we have to spend more money to save the economy", I think I will go BALLISTIC!
I don't see HER tossing her money into the coffer to "save" any damn economy.
Ditto for Harry Reid.
Now, I've come across my share of thick-headed folks in my life, but these "beauts" take the damn cake (and won't share a slice).
No one in their right mind would think of spending MORE when you're up to your EARS in DEBT...that's a SPECIAL kind of stupid!
(and deserving of their own sign, as Bill Engvall would point out)
*** Anyone following this whole ATTACK-WATCH thing?
I think it's pretty damn funny, in some respects.
In other ways, it smacks true of Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and that's kind of scary.
"Turn in your neighbor"...if they say anything detrimental about Obama.
What if they "think" something along those lines?
I admit I turn in my neighbors (call the po-po) whenever THEY break the law.
The rest of the time, I don't give a flying damn what the hell they get into, as long as it doesn't impact on ME, our property, or our lives.
They cross those lines, and it's "open season".
Wonder if Bill Clinton was turned into Attack-Watch for what HE said about Obama a few years back (..."he'd be shining our shoes")...???
The best thing about Attack-Watch is the laughing-stock it has become in such a short time.
The parodies are brilliant!
( I can''t wait for the "movie"...in 4-D...LOL )
*** Lastly today...fall is definitely in the air, and it won;t be long before we SEE the evidence of it, in all it's splendor.
I've always liked Fall, in spite of the fact that it represents the END of nice weather.
I look at it not so much in that way, but rather a retreat...a hibernation before the next beginning - A time to rest up, to replenish all that was spent over the summer. Maybe that's just the optimist in me...helluva combination being optimistic AND a cynic...ROFL!
Comes with the territory, I suppose.
You never get from "there" to "here" without passing a few mileposts and roadsigns along the way, and if we're fortunate enough, we took a look at them all, and have come to better understand this road we're all traveling.
Sometimes, it's crowded, and sometimes it's nothing more than miles and miles of...miles and miles.
If we're lucky, we'll cross paths with many we can both learn from and teach as well.
All we have to do sometimes, is stop, look, and listen.
And Fall seems the perfect time to do that.
Have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay safe out there, America.
* * * * *
(( BTW, tomorrow is CONSTITUTION DAY, but it's being observed TODAY, the 16th, so grab yourself a pocket-copy and bone up...or visit the official website:
Remember, the NATION you save just might be YOUR OWN ))