Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Keeping it Simple Part Two: False and Defamatory Press Accounts -- Lead Witness Terie Lynn Starks.

Let us resume our discussion of State's Witness Terie Lynn Starks, who had been held on Prostitution charges that were subsequently dismissed immediately after Jones' conviction as aptly noted by the WBUR and NECIR reporting. We know that she did not actually identify Jones in the trial testimony:

"One was a tall Cuban guy. The other guy was a little taller than I was."

Note: Starks is 5'4" -- Darrell Jones was 6' and the victim was 6'1"

Cunningham asked Ms. Starks to look around the courtroom to see if she saw the man who did the shooting.

"I can't be positive, I don't remember exactly how he looks."


Now lets pick up on the media coverage from the Enterprise on September 18, 1986, "Prostitution Suspect Held Without Bail."

"Terie Starks, 20, of 93 Stillman Ave., Brockton, was picked up on a default warrent Tuesay by Detective Joseph W. Smith....In setting the heavy bail Tuesday a Brockton District Court judge mentioned that[sic] fact that Ms. Starks' presence is desired at an upcoming murder trial, but he stressed the Defendants' default record."

In making a bid for Ms. Starks freedom, attorney Melvin Dworet of Brookline turned to the woman and said: "Could you assure the judge you would be back here if he put on a reduced bail?"

Judge Chris Byron -- the same Judge who presided over Mr. Jones' trial -- answered the question before Ms. Starks had a chance to respond.

"Of course she would," the judge snapped. Then, he added: "Petition denied and she is held without bail."

So we now know the following: 

1. That Detective Joseph W. Smith once again picked up witness Starks. See thumbnail above.

2. That Ms. Starks was being held on bail because the Judge knew she was needed for Mr. Jones' trial.

3. That her bail had been denied because of her prior bail defaults.

And by way of the transcript page 22 we also know that Darrell Jones' attorney knew that she had been released as a favor for her testimony in the case.

Q:  Do you know that she was released that day?
A:  No

The Court: You mean the judge release her or the police released her?

Elias:  At the request of the police, I'm suggesting there may have been a recommendation to the judge.

Cunningham (prosecutor): I suggest there is no evidence of that.

Elias:  I'm asking if he knows; I've got evidence of it.

The Court: The question wasn't put in that form.

Elias: I indicated released by the Court after being brought before the Court on a default warrant."


We know further:

4.  Attorney Elias never used this information to impeach the witness or to weaken the State's case in any way.

5.  Sure enough, as WBUR and NECIR reported, Ms. Starks had all of her pending charges, both from prior to trial and during his trial, handled in her favor about two weeks after the after the trial. This happened on or about 20 October, 1986 shortly after Darrell Jones was wrongfully convicted and sentenced on 2 and 3 October, 1986 respectively.

Why on Earth would the City's leading news source omit these crucial facts in its coverage of the case?  Who was feeding the paper the information and guiding it on what to print and what not to print?

See further the NYTimes article from 1 March, 2010 "If the Lawyer Fails...." in which the 11th Ciruit Court held that "Bad Faith, dishonesty, divided loyalty and mental temperament" can provide a basis for a habeas corpus petition to be heard after the lawyer engages in Malpractice or Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.

Stay tuned for the next installment in which we will further address..... the issues of Ms. Starks' list of defaults and how they were handled as well as the material and continued misconduct of Attorney Elias.

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