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Episode 151: Pastor Lewis Clemons Deposition

This deposition features another sinful apostle (see episode 106). In this case, Apostle Lewis Clemons, of the Church of God in Christ in Columbus, Georgia. Clemons was deposed reluctantly by attorneys for Lakisha Smith, a member of Clemons’ church from 2011-2016, who describes three occasions where the pastor acted inappropriately, on one occasion “anointing her body with oil” as he had been taught to do by “an older pastor.” When Lakisha Smith filed a civil suit against Clemons, another woman came forward with similar accusations. Lequita Jackson, who started attending pastor Lewis Clemons’ church when she was 14 and did not leave it until last month, alleges that Clemons led her into “inappropriate sexual contact.” Jackson, now 30, said Clemons used his position of leadership in the church to make her “do what he wanted and to justify his actions.” She said the married “apostle” twice paid for abortions after getting her pregnant, once when she was 16 and he was 40. The women’s civil suit in was filed Muscogee County Superior Court in July 2017, seeking financial damages and to have Clemons banned from serving as a pastor. The outcome of the case has not been made public.

Listen to the episode here.

Episode 150: Len Kachinsky Stalking Trial Part 2

This episode presents the December 2018 defense case in the trial of Wisconsin lawyer and former Fox Crossing municipal judge Len Kachinsky, who was accused of stalking his court manager Mandy Bartel, as featured in episode 140. Kachinsky was one of the  lawyers defending Brendan Dassey in the Making a Murderer series on Netflix. The stalking charge was punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

His clerk, Mandy Bartelt, said she started feeling uncomfortable with Kachinsky’s behavior. She said he harassed her and retaliated against her when she tried to take their relationship from a friendship to one that was solely professional. In his defense, Kachinsky explains that the two developed a friendship when she started her job and he was hospitalized for a serious illness. The judge says he was confused when Mandy went abruptly from socializing with him and exchanging playful messages to wanting significantly limited contact with Kachinsky, whose quirky behavior was usually considered endearing, according to his attorney.

 Kachinsky said he felt the situation was essentially a personality conflict that the prosecution tried to make into a sexual harassment case. Kachinsky was acquitted of the stalking charges. However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended him from the bench after he was booked into the Winnebago County Jail before formal charges were filed, and a court order limited his communications with Bartelt to business matters. However, in September 2019 he was convicted of violating the order, and has not been reinstated as a judge.

Listen to the episode here.

Episode 149: Sean Foley Case

Sean Foley, 26, didn’t like the fact that his girlfriend, Miranda Goddard, 25, was very close to her stepdad, Jimmy Shelton, who had–as Shelton had admitted–abused and molested her when she was a child. Miranda’s response to the abuse was complicated. From the time she turned 18, she began asking her stepdad for money in exchange for sexual favors. Miranda had got used to using her body to make a living–she worked as a stripper and also appeared in home-made porn. Sean  didn’t believe the sex between them was fully consensual.

On August 28, 2018, after a day of drinking, smoking pot and hanging out at the family home in Blount County, Tennessee, Miranda got Jimmy to apologize for raping and molesting her when she was a child. Sean, overhearing the conversation, began to record it on his cell phone. Later that evening, Sean noticed that Jimmy was sitting on the porch with Miranda, and they were talking about how Jimmy wanted to pay to watch Miranda having sex with other people, and if she let him, he’d buy her a car. At one point, Jimmy grabbed Miranda and pulled him on to his lap. Sean said Miranda looked very uncomfortable but Jimmy wouldn’t let her go. He loaded a gun, but waited 20 minutes before confronting Jimmy with a gun. On tape, Sean says, “You fuck with her again, and I will fucking drop you.” He then said that Jimmy came towards him, and in response, Sean shot him multiple times.

Sean Foley was found not guilty of murder and sentenced to five years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter, a Class C felony. This episode contains trial testimony from Miranda Goddard, followed by the testimony of Sean Foley.

Listen to the episode here.

Episode 148: Bob Ward Trial Testimony

In June 2018, millionaire real estate mogul Bob Ward, 65, shot and killed his wife Diane, 54, in the master bedroom of the couple’s ritzy home in Isleworth, Florida. For some time, Bob’s company had been suffering financial losses due to the collapse of the real estate market, and the couple’s cars had been repossessed. They had to sell their home in Altanta, where Diane had friends and was happy, and move to Florida full-time. Bob Ward claims the shooting was a tragic accident. He said his wife had been severely depressed. He said she had a gun, and when he tried to get it away from her, it went off, shooting her in the head. He told the 911 operator that Diane’s death was an accident.

Other members of the family agreed that Diane was depressed, erratic and suicidal, and she drank at least a bottle of red wine every day. Her sister Paula testified that Bob could stay at her home if he was released, and she would even put up her house as collateral for his bond, as he is now broke. Here, Diane Ward’s best friend Christina Steinhaus testifies that Diane was unstable, in a highly volatile mental and emotional state, and thinking and acting in an erratic and life-threatening manner.

The jury opted found him guilty of manslaughter with a firearm, and he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Episode 147: My Lai Massacre Testimony

In March 1968, Lieutenant William Calley ordered his troops to rape and murder a village of  Vietnamese civilians in a search-and-destroy mission performed on a Viet Cong stronghold known as “Pinkville.” At least 109 civilians were killed, including unarmed woman and children. On September 6, 1969, Calley was formally charged with six specifications of mass murder just a few days before he was due to be released from active service. He was cleared of all charges. Audio in this episode is extracted from Four Hours in My Lai directed by Kevin Sim, a 1989 television documentary made by Yorkshire Television. Testimony in the episode is from members of Charlie Company, in the following order:  Fred Widmer, Radio Officer; Private First Class Varnardo Simpson (committed suicide 1997); Rev Carl Creswell, Chaplain; Sergeant Kenneth Hodges; Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson; Sergeant Ronald Haeberle; Helicopter Gunner Lawrence Colburn; Machine Gunner Harry Stanley; Door Gunner Ronald Ridenhour; Captain Ernest L. Medina; General Kenneth Hudson; Lieutenant William Calley.

Listen to the episode here.

Episode 146: Pamela Smart Trial Testimony

This episode contains testimony from the March 1991 trial of Pamela Smart for conspiracy to commit the murder of her husband, Gregg. This was one of the first trials in the U.S. to allow TV cameras in the courtroom, and Pamela believes this played a significant role in her conviction.

In 1990, at age 22, Pamela began working as a media lab coordinator at a high school in Hampton, New Hampshire. She also joined Project Self-Esteem, a local drug awareness program at the school. Here, she met 15-year-old sophomore Billy Flynn, who was also a volunteer. She also met and became close to her intern, 15-year-old Cecelia Pierce. Here, Cecilia testifies that she noticed that at some point she noticed a change in Pamela and Billy ‘s relationship. She testifies that Pamela told her she “loved Bill,” and that Billy was a virgin before he had sex with Pamela.

Rather than getting a divorce, Pamela allegedly conspired with Billy and three of his friends to kill her 24-year-old husband Greg. She was convicted of conspiracy to commit first degree murder, and was sentenced to life in prison. Billy Flynn and his three friends were released from prison on parole in 2015, but Pamela remains behind bars. This episode contains testimony from Cecilia Pierce and Pamela Smart.

Listen to the episode here

Episode 145: Luis Toledo Family Murder Trial

Kevin Dredden and Yessenia Suarez both worked at American K9 in Lake Mary, Florida, a military dog-training company. Although both were married with children, both were having marital problems and in early 2013, began to confide in each other. When they were both scheduled to go on a business trip to Alabama in October 2013, Kevin and Yessenia, 28, began an affair. When they returned to Deltona, they planned to get together at a hotel along the I-4 corridor but Kevin called off the meeting because he was worried his wife would notice the money for the hotel room missing from their account.

Meanwhile, Yessenia’s husband, Luis Toledo, 38, was suspicious that his wife was having an affair when she started talking about divorce. He installed spyware on her phone, saw the messages from Dredden, and showed up at American K9 on Oct. 22, 2013, and started yelling at Suarez. Kevin said it seemed things were getting out of hand, so he walked over to try and calm things, but this made Luis, a high-ranking member of the Latin Kings, even angrier, so Kevin left. He called Yessenia later that night to see if she was alright, and he said she sounded stressed and her speech was slurred.  He got a text from Yessenia’s phone about six hours later, but police claim the text was sent by Luis Toledo after killing his wife and their two children, Thalia, 9, and Michael, 8. Their bodies have never been found.

The jury trial took place in St. Augustine, Florida in November 2018 in front of Judge Raul Zambrano. This episode features the state’s attorney questioning Kevin Dredden about his affair with Yessenia.

Listen to the episode here.

Episode 144: Jessica Chambers Case

This horrible crime took place in Courtland, Mississippi, on December 6, 2014, when, as firefighters Daniel Cole, Brandy Davis, and Shane Mills testify here, cheerleader Jessica Chambers, 19, was found burning next to her car which was also on fire. She had burns on all of her body. A flammable liquid had been poured all over her, down her throat, and up her nose. Early the next morning, she died as a result of her injuries. Before she died, she was able to tell the firefighters that the person who did this to her was named “Eric” or “Derrick.”

Jessica had spent the morning with two friends, then went to her mother’s house where she took a nap. Later in the afternoon, she left after receiving a text from someone. She told her mother that she was going to get something to eat and clean out her car. At around 5:30PM, she went to a gas station about a mile-and-a-half from where her body was found. This was the last time she was seen alive.

No-one named “Eric” or “Derrick” was ever found, but texts on Jessica’s phone suggested she had told a friend, Quinton Tellis, that she was unable to meet him that night for sex. Tellis was tried twice for the crime, and both times mistrials were declared. (This audio is from the first trial, in 2017). However, in July 2015, Tellis was arrested in Louisiana for the sadistic murder of a different young lady, a Taiwanese exchange student named Ming-Chen Hsiao. He is currently in custody at the Ouachita Correctional Center in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana.

Listen to the episode here.

Episode 143: Joel Guy Jr. Trial Testimony

This episode contains the testimony of Joel Michael Guy Jr’s three half-sisters, Angela Crane, Chandise Fink, and Rene Charles, and his two sisters, Michelle Tyler and Robin White.

 Everything seemed fine when the Guy family sat down together for 2016 Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Knoxville, Tennessee. However, one week later, the family’s reclusive 28-year-old son Joel Jr. apparently stabbed and dismembered his parents, 61-year old Joel Guy Sr. and 55-year old Lisa Guy. He had planned to dissolve their remains in acid, but was injured during the murder of his father, and left the partially dissolved remains in the house as he left to take care of his injury. Before he got back, however, police performed a welfare check (since Lisa had failed to show up for work). In the family’s home, they found a notebook detailing the plot in a backpack, along with two torsos and various dismembered limbs dissolving in plastic bins (described by prosecutors as a “diabolical stew of human remains”) as well as the father’s severed hands on the floor, and the mother’s head in a pot on the stove.

Both parents were about to retire and to stop providing money to their son, who had never worked, and he would receive a $500,000 life insurance policy if both parents were dead or missing. The perpetrator had planned to frame his father for the crime. Guy was convicted Oct. 2 of two counts of first-degree premeditated murder and given five life sentences.

Listen to the episode here.

Episode 142: Erin Andrews Stalking Trial

In 2016, the TV sports journalist Erin Andrews brought a $75 million lawsuit against a stalker, Michael David Barrett, and the managing company of the Nashville Marriot, where she stayed in 2009. Erin, who at the time was a college football reporter for ESPN, was followed by Michael Barrett, who asked hotel staff what room Erin was staying in, and asked to be put in the room next to hers. In a taped deposition, Barrett said, “I heard the door slam close next to me and saw it was her leaving her room. I took [her door’s] peephole out, altered it, put it back in and left shortly after. I used a hacksaw to cut off the threads, so it was basically a plug, and put it back in. I went back to the room, and, unfortunately for both of us, I could hear that the shower was on in her room when I walked by. I waited until the shower went off. Then I pulled out the plug [on her door] and waited for the opportunity. I waited for a matter of 10 seconds. I waited for her to be visible.”

Barrett was sentenced to more than two years in prison for the offense. Here, Erin tearfully explains that for the last seven years she’s been forced to relive the memory daily. She said that many people believed it was a publicity stunt that enhanced her career, rather than damaging it.

The civil trial took place in Nashville, Tennessee, and the jury unanimously awarded Erin $55 million dollars in compensation for her suffering.

Listen to the episode here.