Judge Jennifer Coffman's Kangaroo Court Continues
by J. Orlin Grabbe
Lawrence Meyers is lying. The FBI
is lying. And everyone in the
courtroom knows it. The Defense knows
it. The U.S. Attorney's office knows
it. The spectators in the courtroom
know it. The press knows it. Judge
Coffman knows it.
The jury should know it, too, but
they aren't allowed to hear the
evidence. Jennifer Coffman, who
presides over her court like an anal-
retentive Yuppie queen with one eye on
her resume and the other on the clock,
has a simple rationale:
I be de Judge.
In fact, much of the trial has
taken place with the jury absent, or at
"sidebars" at the Judge's bench. AUSA
Martin Hatfield rushes forward carrying
his law book to explain why only
evidence favorable to the Prosecution
is admissible, and Judge Coffman bats
her lashes at him adoringly.
Meanwhile, several members of the jury
roll their eyes at yet another
whispered conference--but they are not
allowed to know the facts that impeach
the Prosecution's case.
The Louisville office of the FBI
through Agent David "Orlin-Grabbe-is-
Charles-Hayes" Keller passed falsified
NCIC records to the US Attorney and the
Defense. First AUSA Martin Hatfield
highlighted Lawrence Meyer's
misdemeanor conviction for walking out
on a meal check and said, That's not so
bad. He forgot to mentioned the
missing grand theft felony conviction
and the time spent in a mental
hospital. When the Prosecution was
forced to acknowledge this, however,
new NCIC sheets were produced which
again omitted evidence. To demonstrate
this, the Defense produced a complete
NCIC report on Meyers, but Judge
Coffman forbid its introduction into
Coffman said no evidence about
Lawrence Meyers' time spent in a mental
hospital could be discussed before the
jury. That the "personality disorder"
on his Army discharge records could not
be used. That none of the evidence
about Meyers possessed by Kennetta
Williamson, a 11-year criminal
investigator for the Tennessee State
Attorney General, relating to Meyers'
involvement in another murder-for-hire
charge, could be introduced.
(Williamson was allow to say, however,
that in her experience Meyers was a
"professional pathological liar and not
to be believed.")
Lawrence Meyers and two FBI
agents said Meyers had never received
payments from the government--except
for his time in the Army (1976-1980)
and tax refunds, under either of his
two social security numbers. The
Defense proposed to introduce evidence
showing otherwise (which would thus
show perjury by 3/4 of the U.S.
Attorney's principal witnesses). The
Prosecution protested (without offering
any evidence) that the Defense could
only have known about payments if the
records were obtained illegally. ("We
were lying, but you weren't supposed to
know.") Buzz, buzz at the bench.
No, Coffman had a simple solution
to deal with a government case in
trouble. She threatened to sanction
Defense Attorney Gatewood Galbraith.
After all, it's her court and she'll
decide who gets a fair trial.
There is a sulfurous smell of
rotten eggs in the U.S. District Court
in London, Kentucky. And much of it
emanates from the robes of Judge
Jennifer B. Coffman.
January 27, 1997
Web Page: http://www.aci.net/kalliste/