Note: The following email and story are true.
May 10, 2012
Out of jail, out of hell. I’ve died and gone to heaven!
I was released from the Monroe Co. (Georgia) Jail, on Wednesday, following my appearance in Superior Court. I plead “guilty with mental illness” to felony obstruction (whatever that means) instead of the original felony charge of Aggravated Assault Upon a Law Enforcement Officer which carries a 12-18 year prison sentence. No one goes home from court a free man after facing this particular charge against an officer in Georgia, but I did only after the charge got reduced. In order to achieve my goal of freedom and to maintain my way of life as a philosopher and writer, I had to fire two lawyers, both, my uncle (who practices commercial law back in Louisiana and knows nothing about criminal law which showed) and Laura D. Hogue of Macon (she was never hired to represent me only to gather information for my uncle, way back in February) due to his incompetence (or whatever) and a deliberate lack of timeliness in handling my case I had to write a series of letters to GA Governor Nathan Deal among others, endure jail life and eat a lot of bad food accompanied by some not so really bad people all while living behind bars in two dirty jails, since early December.
Frustrated with my uncle’s inaction, I finally wrote to Attorney Karen Martin whose name kept coming up in conversations with inmates in my cell block as someone who has a great reputation with the DA and the district’s judges. (Yesterday in court, she admitted to me that her late husband, Harold, trained most of the county’s judges and lawyers.) So, Karen, whose straightforward, has a lot of pull.) Unfortunately, most of these same inmates are too poor to afford her services (so they think) or any other paid lawyer and thus they must accept a court appointed one who gets paid by the state and not by their client.
In some cases, this arrangement works out just fine for the inmate, but for others it doesn’t do them justice. Most of these boys and men charged with a felony(s) accept one of the state’s three pleas which usually sends them “down the road” to do some time. My inheritance, which I (at the age of 41) still have no control over and little knowledge to its actual value, afforded me the luxury to hire someone, to hire Karen (dumb luck, as it turned out to be). I found myself, alone, in a foreign land among strangers and I was saved by angels. I got SAVED!!
I met with Karen, who has been practicing in Monroe Co. for 33 years, for the first time, last Wednesday when she came to the jail with the DA’s first plea offer of felony obstruction, 150 days in jail — time served, banishment from the state of Georgia except in Fulton and Clayton Counties, 5 years on probation, but no fines. I had only days to consider and accept their offer and to get into court before my case went in front of a grand jury, on 5/14, and this first offer would be rescinded based on the grand jury’s indictment.
Karen couldn’t understand why I had been sitting in jail for so long. Powerless over you, Jimmy and Laura, I wrote three consecutive letters (dated March 22, April 9 and April 21) to GA Governor Nathan Deal crying for his help while copying GA Attorney General Sam Olens, Senator Jeff Sessions (AL-R), Representative Jo Bonner (AL-R), ACLU of Georgia, The Southern Center for Human Rights, State Bar of Georgia and The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Cynthia Tucker which finally had an impact on the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office and their handling of my case. However, all were slow to get involved due to the serious nature of this frivolous charge.
Jo Bonner wrote to me twice. The first time, he stated that he couldn’t help due to the separation of constitutional powers between the states and the federal government. But, later in his second letter, Jo said that he had forwarded one of my letters to the “appropriate officials in Georgia”. That was very encouraging news. Jeff, Jo, Cynthia have all been in my audience for many years. It pays to write to your representatives in Washington. After meeting with Karen and tentatively agreeing to the state’s plea offer, I then wrote to Ted Turner seeking his help in getting me a pardon from Governor Deal (Ted Turner is also in my audience.).
My writing campaign along with my decision to fire Jimmy and Laura and to hire Karen Martin has kept me from going to prison over bumping into the back of a state trooper vehicle while he was setting me up for the “Pit Maneuver” technique during a “Slow Speed Chase”. State’s test results showed that I was clean and sober at the time of the arrest (and I have been for the past 23 years). Any other outcome and Obama wouldn’t have been able to get me out of this fender bender. There was no damage to his patrol car or any injury to the officer. I think he got mad at me for not stopping upon his arrival and flashing lights at 9 pm on the interstate. It was a complete miscommunication.
Aggravated Assault upon a Law Enforcement officer is in the same sentencing classification as Attempted Murder, Car Hijacking, Statutory Rape… There’s only one class higher than this level 8 category known as the Seven Deadly Sins — murder, rape, armed robbery… which comes with a life sentence. In my case, the punishment didn’t come anywhere close to the “crime” and cooler heads came to see this in my letters and from watching the actual footage from a trailing law enforcement cruiser according to Karen Martin. She saw it — there was nothing to it just like I told the governor in my letters. Inmates call getting into this type of trouble and going to jail or prison — “dumb shit” or “stupid shit” that forever ruins lives, destroys families and communities. Even the judge thought the situation was funny as the DA read the two counts of Aggravated Assault and Attempting to Flee and Elude the Police at 42 mph on “a slow speed chase”. Everyone in my cell block repeatedly laughed at this “dumb shit” that got me thrown into jail and bought me a ticket to prison. But, I escaped.
If you don’t believe that there is a God, I don’t know what other proof that I can offer up. I worked my ass off in jail to be able to freely type out this email to you from the comforts of a hotel, they don’t have email in jails or in prisons.
I do appreciate you sending to me the addresses of Jeff Sessions, Jo Bonner, GA Governor Nathan Deal, GA Attorney General Sam Olens and the Christmas check came four months late, but why not send AJC’s Cynthia Tucker and Press-Register’s Frances Coleman contact info. What you didn’t want me to go to the press with this story of injustice or did someone else feed you a line of bullshit about my case like my uncle, James A. Burnett. He’s after my money. “Believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear unless you read it in the morning newspaper.” You never paid me a visit to see for yourself. Now, that’s some dumb shit. I am very disappointed in you. Oh well, you’re forgiven.
Overall, this experience was incredible for me, a ride of a lifetime. I got to see who really cares about me and was looking out for my interest while I was locked up in Georgia — it surely wasn’t my own family. My opinion of them and many old friends ranks pretty low. I got little or no mail. It was the efforts of strangers, honest men and women who stepped up after reading my stories and made phone calls and wrote letters to these top Georgia officials asking them to step in and save me from this lifeless and soulless criminal justice system, from getting railroaded into prison due to a bullshit felony charge, on I-75 North, near Macon, GA, stemming from my mental illness and a misunderstanding between me and the trooper, on the night of December 10, 2011. Without their efforts, I would be a goner.
Jesus had his moment a
t Calvary and now I had mine at a small country jail in central Georgia. In my five months of incarceration, I was crucified, died, buried and now I’ve been resurrected. Christ was betrayed by his family and friends and so was I. We were both “out of our minds”. Boy, do I have some stories to tell. I went on a safari, I went on a roller coaster ride at 42 mph and I almost got killed for it, for the state’s sake because I bumped into one of the Governor’s boys — a state trooper. Sorry! It’s scary stuff having to repeatedly stare death in the face for all these months, but I survived it. I am a professional escape artist. I am a real Harry Houdini along with my many other labels including a new one — felon. Oh well, I stopped voting some time ago. It’s really no great loss.
So many of my fellow inmates are going to prison for, both, petty and serious charges for many years and in some cases too many. Repeatedly telling my story, telling the truth (as I have tried to do for 23 years) via the U.S. Postal Service to a short list of just nine contacts, working in, both, Atlanta and Washington, spared my life. I have no doubts. I could not have accomplished this task alone. Somebody was listening and they took action. I need to thank some or all of them for their time, energy and their belief in me and in my cause — my return to the “free world”. As of now, I don’t even know the whole story behind the politics of my prosecution and the decision made to drop the Aggravated Assault charge, which carries a minimum of 5 years in prison, down to a felony Obstruction charge which doesn’t require any. I got “credit” for time served in the county jail. I didn’t go looking for trouble, it found me.
My story has the makings of a good book and movie. It’s time to get writing, but only after a nice vacation. I’ve earned it!
“Someone saved my life tonight” — Elton John.
This country is in a mess, that’s what I told Governor Deal and others in my last letter. You already know it.
Yesterday, I checked into a resort on the beach for some badly needed R&R. I am feeling better.
More to come.
Enjoy, Ted Burnett 500 Lincoln St. B-105 Daphne, AL 36526 USA C: 251-709-3726 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org My blog: www.toxicnation.blogspot.com My bio: www.tedburnettresume.blogspot.com Question everything.