The government's case against Charles S. Hayes is based on the testimony of a former drug dealer and also a former mental patient, and possibly falsified NCIC documents. But Judge Jennifer B. Coffman is not interested in declaring a mistrial.
Meanwhile the Justice Department moved into crisis mode as Hayes began to name names under oath in U.S. District Court in London, Kentucky. Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Hatfield turned his back on the witness, walked to his table, pulled up his socks, and collapsed into a sulk. Judge Coffman quickly adjourned for the day after Hayes confirmed the looting of an illegal Swiss bank account held by Vince Foster, former Deputy White House Counsel, whose dead body was discovered in Ft. Marcy Park.
Hayes, a former CIA agent with forty years of experience, heads a group of computer hackers called the Fifth Column who track bribes, payoffs, and kickbacks made to corrupt politicians and government officials. Hayes acquired the nom de guerre "Angel of Death" for his role in bringing about the early retirement of corrupt politicians.
Other individuals named by Hayes as recipients of Fifth Column financial packets include former Sen. William Cohen (R) of Maine, who is currently President Bill Clinton's nominee for Secretary of Defense, and Rep. Pat Schroeder (D) of Colorado.
Hayes and The Fifth Column have been featured in articles by James Norman in Media Bypass and Washington Weekly, and on the World-Wide Web Home Page of J. Orlin Grabbe (http://www.aci.net/kalliste/).
Evidence developed in connection with the trial points to a broad conspiracy by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice to frame Hayes on falsified evidence. These U.S. government agencies claimed Hayes had contracted to kill his son, John Anthony Hayes, with whom he was involved in an inheritance dispute. He is charged with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1958--using the telephone and U.S. mail in interstate commerce in a murder-for-hire scheme.
Appearing for the Prosecution is FBI Agent David R. Keller, who at an October 25, 1996, bond hearing had claimed former CIA agent Chuck Hayes and former Wharton professor J. Orlin Grabbe were the same person, and that the media designation "Angel of Death" proved Hayes was a menace to society. The Prosecution later admitted both assertions were the result of a faulty and inadequate investigation.
But what they failed to admit to was Keller's own background. Investigators working on behalf of the Defendant have identified Keller himself as a former member of a motorcycle gang called The Outlaws, among whom he both used and sold heroin, even while he informed on other gang members on behalf of the FBI. The government consequently, they say, must certainly have a tight ring in Keller's nose. (Keller's nickname in high school, say these investigators, was "Cheese".)
Also appearing on behalf of the government was Lawrence Myers, a former writer for Media Bypass, a magazine which had built its circulation by celebrating Hayes' exploits. But in August 1996 Myers secretly contacted an Alabama office of the FBI with the story that Hayes was pressuring him to find a hit man to kill one of Hayes' sons. Myers himself admitted on the witness stand that the notion that a man of Hayes' background would use Myers as the conduit to find a hit man was absurd, but nevertheless claimed that was what happened.
The government acknowledged that Myers had a misdemeanor conviction from walking out on a meal check. But the government noted this happened long ago, so nevertheless wanted to use him to testify against Hayes. But what the government failed to bring up was that Myers was also convicted on a more recent felony charge, and moreover had spent time in a mental institution.
In 1986 Myers was involved in an attempt to extort $5000 from a person in Alameda, California. Because Myers stated he would have "Green Berets kill every fag and every drug dealer" within a certain perimeter, Myers was confined to a mental institution. After release, Myers pleaded guilty to a felony charge of grand theft, and placed on probation for 18 months. He apparently did not meet all the conditions of his probation, and it is possible there is still a warrant out for his arrest. (Myers had also once worked at Wackenhut repairing copy machines.)
In addition, in a curious coincidence to the charges brought against Hayes, Myers had worked for a small paper in Morristown, Tennessee, where he was involved in a case related to a murder-for-hire scheme. Gatewood Galbraith, Hayes' attorney, noted that Lawrence Myers has had a pattern of getting media jobs, then having charges brought against people after he has conducted interviews with them. This includes members of some paramilitary groups.
Judge Coffman went out of her way to limit Galbraith's cross-examination of Myers, in particular denying him the right to bring out Meyer's connection to Timothy McVeigh, accused in the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma.
Only with the jury absent did she allow Galbraith to point out that Myers was able to get an interview with Timothy McVeigh when no other journalist in the country was similarly allowed to. Myers was undoubtedly a government agent, Galbraith said, and his government connections would impeach his testimony against Charles Hayes.
Despite the Justice Department's misrepresentation of Myers' background, Judge Coffman denied a Defense motion for a mistrial. She also again denied bond, flip-flopping in her reasons for this denial.
U.S. Magistrate Judge J. B. Johnson, Jr., had signed the original arrest warrant for Hayes, and also presided over Hayes' bond hearing. Johnson used Keller's affidavit and statements in an article written by another person ("The Dickheads Are Getting Desperate" by J. Orlin Grabbe), but attributed to Hayes, as the basis for denying Hayes bond. Johnson said he made his decision based on the affidavit of David Keller, and did not give great credit to the testimony of Hayes' ex-wife.
Judge Coffman said she had no reason to doubt Hayes claims of more than 40 years experience with the CIA, but that this just made him a greater flight risk. (In other words, because she believed Hayes statements were correct, therefore his other statements about not being a flight risk or a threat to his son were incorrect.) But when the "flight risk" thesis was carefully disputed by Gatewood Galbraith (who pointed out Hayes service to his country, and the recent evidence accruing to Hayes favor), Coffman then said she was denying bond based on the testimony of Hayes' ex-wife and some taped statements of Hayes.
The alleged assassination target, John Anthony Hayes, testified that he did not feel threatened by his father. After noting this testimony, Coffman then choose to ignore it in her decision to deny bond.
When the trial began, Judge Coffman said she herself felt "threatened" because she had received letters in response to an Internet posting ("Federal Justice in London, Kentucky" by J. Orlin Grabbe). She said she turned all such letters over to the U.S. Marshal. Coffman strongly admonished jurors not to log onto the Internet, and wanted to know if any potential jurors were familiar with Media Bypass. (Since email is the largest type of Internet traffic, it was not clear if jurors were supposed to refrain also from reading letters delivered to them by the U.S. Post Office.)
"There is prosecutorial misconduct in this case, of which Lawrence Myers is just the `tip of the iceberg'," according to Gatewood Galbraith. He points out that the U.S. Attorney's office has not conducted due diligence, and that Prosecution's Exhibits 1 and 2 were both based on Lawrence Myers' testimony. He also indicated that the NCIC report on Myers produced in Louisville, KY, appeared to have been intentionally falsified in presentation.
Even so, Judge Coffman declined to declare a mistrial or grant bond. She instead granted a motion for a continuance in the case until Jan. 27.
Judge Coffman also denied Hayes' motion to act as his own co-counsel. And she denied Hayes' request to hold a press conference.
January 16, 1997
Web Page: http://www.aci.net/kalliste/