Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Judicial Lynching – Part V(a) –The Jack-Booted Assault on her Mother

The fifth of six incidents which I am highlighting as contributing factors to driving Jeane to such despair as to cause her to take her life occurred on June 4, 2007, when two government agents sent a message pitch to Jeane to plead guilty or they would charge her 75 year old mother, Blanche Palfrey, with being part of Jeane’s prostitution service. That her government could -- and would -- employ tactics against an elderly and ill woman so traumatized Jeane as to add another straw upon her back which would ultimately lead her to take her own life. . .

Judge Kessler had set a hearing on June 5, 2007, to hear arguments on whether she should grant Preston’s motion to modify the restraining order and allow release of copies of the telephone records. The night before that hearing, Jeane was visiting her 75-year old mother, Blanche Palfrey, in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Blanche lived alone on a small pension and the interest on investments that Jeane had made for her through an account in Blanche’s name at Charles Schwab and Company.

Back in October, 2006, I had alerted Jeane that it was a typical government tactic when a claimant/defendant would not plead guilty, but instead exercised his/her constitutional right to a trial, the government would expand their allegations to include elderly parents in order to coerce the claimants/defendants to plead guilty. If a guilty plea were then entered, the government would release the parents’ seized assets and/or dismiss criminal charges against them. The only defense I could advise was to arm Blanche by making her my client so that when the inevitable late-night knock on the door came, Blanche could give the government agents my business card and instruct them to contact me, her attorney, as she had nothing to say. Thus before Jeane left on the evening of June 4th to drive back to her condominium in Orlando, she asked Blanche if she still had my business card. Blanche said yes, it was under a magnet on her refrigerator. Jeane left a little after 8:00 p.m. 

Around 8:30 p.m., there was a knock on her door. Thinking that Jeane was returning to get some forgotten item, Blanche opened the door to find, not Jeane, but two plain-clothed individuals flashing government identification badges: Maria Couvillion of the U.S. Postal Service and Troy Burrus of the IRS. Startled, but feisty, Blanche said that she had an attorney, Montgomery Sibley, and that I had instructed her that she should not talk to them. Blanche later testified under oath that: “both agents indicated that they already had spoken with Mr. Sibley and that I should speak with them.” Having a weak heart, Blanche did not want to fight so she let them in. They stayed for 30 to 45 minutes, questioning Blanche about what she knew about Jeane’s escort service, Blanche’s finances, and where Blanche’s money came from to pay for
her living expenses.

Of course, this was a lie by Couvillion and Burrus as I had never – would never – allow them to speak to my client Blanche without being present. When Jeane found out about the late night visit the next day, she was incensed and immediately wrote her then-criminal attorney Preston Burton to ask him to do something. He wouldn’t, writing back: “Jeanne, While these tactics are heavy-handed, they are not improper and there is nothing that can be done about it. They are entitled to interview potential witnesses and that term is elastic enough to cover this situation. I spoke to your mother and I think no real damage was done to the case and, more importantly, I think your mother is okay, though she was understandably unsettled by this. Preston.”

I had another take on the matter and quickly sprang into action as I will detail in tomorrow’s post.


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