Walter Fitzpatrick, who has once again been arrested, will have a hearing this coming monday for a preliminary hearing, the Post and Email ‘reports’. Walt was arrested last Tuesday when the Grand Jury returned an indictment charging him with extortion,” “stalking,” “harassment,” and “aggravated perjury”.
Walt has been on a quixotic quest to charge forepersons of the Grand Jury because Walt apparently fails to understand that under Tennessee law, the court appoints the foreperson and may reappoint said person for consecutive 2 year periods of time. While Walt insists that the foreperson has to be selected from amongst those who were randomly selected and summoned to appear, the case law and legal history do not support such an interpretation.
It is not the first time that Walt’s failure to properly understand a law, rule or regulation, has led him down a rabbit’s hole. Whether it was Walt’s quest after a Court Martial found him guilty and ordered a reprimand, resulting in Walt eventually raising ‘charges’ against most anyone who dared to disagree with him, such conduct continued when Walt lived in the State of Washington. After he moved to Tennessee, Walt tried to file a criminal complaint of treason with the TN Grand Jury, and was informed that the law does not really allow him to do so. And when he was finally heard by the Grand Jury, they rejected his arguments, and thus he focused on pursuing those who had ‘obstructed’ him in his quixotic quest to file criminal charges against our President. Why Walt believed that the filing of some random papers with no legal relevance should have been treated differently is beyond me. There is just no foundation in law for Walt’s claims and attempts.
Oh and I almost forgot, Walt also misinterpreted a 1984 Statute which led him to conclude that the Country courts were somehow illegal.
Walt and some of his ‘followers’ have concluded that the TN judiciary is full of corruption but they have failed to do much more than making empty claims which often are at variance with the facts, the laws, or history.
Let’s hope that this time, the courts will take into account Walt’s criminal history. What is somewhat sad is how some people have encouraged Walt in his follies, rather than explain to him why his claims lack much foundation in reality. I have tried to help Walt understand, much in the same way that I have tried to make Darren Huff understand why he should keep his mouth shut after the Monroe County incident. Apparently he was not aware that anything he said could and would be used against him. He voluntarily provided the prosecution with relevant information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Let’s also educate Walt on how the indictment is to be interpreted as he makes much of the fact that he did not use text messaging to interact with Cunningham, the foreperson of the grand jury.
The indictment however does not present the information that led the Jury to reach its indictment but rather presents the charges and the relevant code that Walter is supposed to have violated. The indictment should clearly spell out the components of the statute which have been violated.
Count 1 – TCA 39-17-308
Part 3 – Disorderly Conduct and Riots
39-17-308 – Harassment.
(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally:
(1) Threatens, by telephone, in writing or by electronic communication, including, but not limited to, text messaging, facsimile transmissions, electronic mail or Internet services, to take action known to be unlawful against any person and by this action knowingly annoys or alarms the recipient;
A class A misdemeanor – not greater than eleven (11) months twenty-nine (29) days in jail or a fine not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute
Count 2 – TCA 39-16-703
Chapter 16 – Offenses Against Administration of Government
Part 7 – Perjury
39-16-703 – Aggravated perjury.
39-16-703. Aggravated perjury.
(a) A person commits an offense who, with intent to deceive:
(1) Commits perjury as defined in § 39-16-702;
(2) The false statement is made during or in connection with an official proceeding; and
(3) The false statement is material.
(b) It is no defense that the person mistakenly believed the statement to be immaterial.
(c) Aggravated perjury is a Class D felony.
A Class D felony – Not less than two (2) years nor more than twelve (12) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless otherwise provided by statute
Count 3 – TCA 39-17-315
Chapter 17 – Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare
Part 3 – Disorderly Conduct and Riots
39-17-315 – Stalking, aggravated stalking, and especially aggravated stalking.
39-17-315. Stalking, aggravated stalking, and especially aggravated stalking.
(a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) Course of conduct means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of two (2) or more separate noncontinuous acts evidencing a continuity of purpose;
(2) Emotional distress means significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling;
(3) Harassment means conduct directed toward a victim that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress, and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose;
(4) Stalking means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested;
(5) Unconsented contact means any contact with another person that is initiated or continued without that person’s consent, or in disregard of that person’s expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued. Unconsented contact includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
(A) Following or appearing within the sight of that person;
(B) Approaching or confronting that person in a public place or on private property;
(C) Appearing at that person’s workplace or residence;
(D) Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by that person;
(E) Contacting that person by telephone;
(F) Sending mail or electronic communications to that person; or
(G) Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by that person; and
(6) Victim means an individual who is the target of a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment.
(b) (1) A person commits an offense who intentionally engages in stalking.
(2) Stalking is a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) (1) A person commits aggravated stalking who commits the offense of stalking as prohibited by subsection (b), and:
(A) In the course and furtherance of stalking, displays a deadly weapon;
(B) The victim of the offense was less than eighteen (18) years of age at any time during the person’s course of conduct, and the person is five (5) or more years older than the victim;
(C) Has previously been convicted of stalking within seven (7) years of the instant offense;
(D) Makes a credible threat to the victim, the victim’s child, sibling, spouse, parent or dependents with the intent to place any such person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury; or
(E) At the time of the offense, was prohibited from making contact with the victim under a restraining order or injunction for protection, an order of protection, or any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the victim or the victim’s property, and the person knowingly violates the injunction, order or court-imposed prohibition.
(2) Aggravated stalking is a Class E felony.
(d) (1) A person commits especially aggravated stalking who:
(A) Commits the offense of stalking or aggravated stalking, and has previously been convicted of stalking or aggravated stalking involving the same victim of the instant offense; or
(B) Commits the offense of aggravated stalking, and intentionally or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to the victim of the offense or to the victim’s child, sibling, spouse, parent or dependent.
(2) Especially aggravated stalking is a Class C felony.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the court grants probation to a person convicted of stalking, aggravated stalking or especially aggravated stalking, the court may keep the person on probation for a period not to exceed the maximum punishment for the appropriate classification of offense. Regardless of whether a term of probation is ordered, the court may, in addition to any other punishment otherwise authorized by law, order the defendant to do the following:
(1) Refrain from stalking any individual during the term of probation;
(2) Refrain from having any contact with the victim of the offense or the victim’s child, sibling, spouse, parent or dependent;
(3) Be evaluated to determine the need for psychiatric, psychological, or social counseling, and, if determined appropriate by the court, to receive psychiatric, psychological or social counseling at the defendant’s own expense;
(4) If, as the result of such treatment or otherwise, the defendant is required to take medication, order that the defendant submit to drug testing or some other method by which the court can monitor whether the defendant is taking the required medication; and
(5) Submit to the use of an electronic tracking device, with the cost of the device and monitoring the defendant’s whereabouts, to be paid by the defendant.
(f) In a prosecution for a violation of this section, evidence that the defendant continued to engage in a course of conduct involving repeated unconsented contact with the victim after having been requested by the victim to discontinue the conduct or a different form of unconsented contact, and to refrain from any further unconsented contact with the victim, is prima facie evidence that the continuation of the course of conduct caused the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
(g) (1) If a person is convicted of aggravated or especially aggravated stalking, or another felony offense arising out of a charge based on this section, the court may order an independent professional mental health assessment of the defendant’s need for mental health treatment. The court may waive the assessment, if an adequate assessment was conducted prior to the conviction.
(2) If the assessment indicates that the defendant is in need of and amenable to mental health treatment, the court may include in the sentence a requirement that the offender undergo treatment, and that the drug intake of the defendant be monitored in the manner best suited to the particular situation. Monitoring may include periodic determinations as to whether the defendant is ingesting any illegal controlled substances, as well as determinations as to whether the defendant is complying with any required or recommended course of treatment that includes the taking of medications.
(3) The court shall order the offender to pay the costs of assessment under this subsection (g), unless the offender is indigent under § 40-14-202.
(h) Any person who reasonably believes they are a victim of an offense under this section, regardless of whether the alleged perpetrator has been arrested, charged or convicted of a stalking-related offense, shall be entitled to seek and obtain an order of protection in the same manner, and under the same circumstances, as is provided for victims of domestic abuse by the provisions of title 36, chapter 3, part 6.
(i) When a person is charged and arrested for the offense of stalking, aggravated stalking or especially aggravated stalking, the arresting law enforcement officer shall inform the victim that the person arrested may be eligible to post bail for the offense and to be released until the date of trial for the offense.
(j) If a law enforcement officer or district attorney general believes that the life of a possible victim of stalking is in immediate danger, unless and until sufficient evidence can be processed linking a particular person to the offense, the district attorney general may petition the judge of a court of record having criminal jurisdiction in that district to enter an order expediting the processing of any evidence in a particular stalking case. If, after hearing the petition, the court is of the opinion that the life of the victim may be in immediate danger if the alleged perpetrator is not apprehended, the court may enter such an order, directed to the Tennessee bureau of investigation, or any other agency or laboratory that may be in the process of analyzing evidence for that particular investigation.
(k) (1) For purposes of determining if a course of conduct amounting to stalking is a single offense or multiple offenses, the occurrence of any of the following events breaks the continuous course of conduct, with respect to the same victim, that constitutes the offense:
(A) The defendant is arrested and charged with stalking, aggravated stalking or especially aggravated stalking;
(B) The defendant is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have violated an order of protection issued to prohibit the defendant from engaging in the conduct of stalking; or
(C) The defendant is convicted of the offense of stalking, aggravated stalking or especially aggravated stalking.
(2) If a continuing course of conduct amounting to stalking engaged in by a defendant against the same victim is broken by any of the events set out in subdivision (k)(1), any such conduct that occurs after that event commences a new and separate offense.
Count 4 – TCA 39-14-112
Chapter 14 – Offenses Against Property
Part 1 – Theft
39-14-112 – Extortion.
(a) A person commits extortion who uses coercion upon another person with the intent to:
(1) Obtain property, services, any advantage or immunity; or
(2) Restrict unlawfully another’s freedom of action.
(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for extortion that the person reasonably claimed:
(1) Appropriate restitution or appropriate indemnification for harm done; or
(2) Appropriate compensation for property or lawful services.
(c) Extortion is a Class D felony.
A Class D Felony – Not less than two (2) years nor more than twelve (12) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless otherwise provided by statute