4-30-10 12pm

THE MEETING

WE NEVER THOUGHT THAT WE WOULD SEE THIS DAY. KYLE BOLASKI BEING ARRAIGNED FOR THE MURDER OF OUR SON! AND NEVER DID WE EVER THINK WE WOULD TRUST THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY HANDLING THE CASE. WE HAVE BEEN ON AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER RIDE FROM DAY ONE. OUR FAITH IN JUSTICE ALMOST  TOTALLY DESTROYED. THOUGH WE STILL HAVE A BATTLE  WE AT LEAST HAVE AN HONEST DISTRICT ATTORNEY FIGHTING FOR VINNIE! HE PROVED THAT TO US IN THE COURTROOM. BUT BEFORE THAT WE WERE IN NERVOUS ANTICIPATION...

WE WERE OUTSIDE THE WHITE RIVER JUNCTION COURTHOUSE, IN THE PARKING LOT, WAITING TO GO IN. NERVOUS, NOT KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NEW DISTRICT ATTORNEY, JOHN LAVOIE. WOULD IT BE LIKE SAND SAID, THAT NO DISTRICT ATTORNEY WILL TAKE THIS CASE TO WIN. THAT IF SAND IS REMOVED ALL CHARGES WILL "SIMPLY DISAPPEAR". EVERY TIME I THOUGHT ABOUT SAND'S WORDS I FELT A KNOT IN THE PIT OF MY STOMACH. WILL THIS BE TRUE? WOULD WE HAVE TO SUFFER THE INDIGNITIES ALL OVER AGAIN? IF SO, WOULD WE BE STRONG ENOUGH TO CONTINUE THE FIGHT?

AS THESE THOUGHTS RACED THROUGH MY MIND I NOTICED A MAN WALKING TOWARDS US. HE INTRODUCED HIMSELF AS DISTRICT ATTORNEY JOHN LAVOIE. WE INTRODUCED OURSELVES, MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS THAT WERE WITH US, SOMEWHAT HESITANT, STILL UNCERTAIN AND MAYBE SUSPICIOUS. HE SEEMED NICE ENOUGH, EXPRESSING HIS CONDOLENCES FOR OUR LOSS AND FOR WHAT WE HAVE GONE THROUGH.  HE EXPLAINED THE COURT WAS CLOSED UNTIL 12:30 SO WE HAD TO WAIT. SEVERAL MINUTES LATER WE WERE APPROACHED BY KELLY WOODWARD, A COURT ADVOCATE. JOHN INTRODUCED US AND AS WE SPOKE WITH HER AND JOHN I WAS HESITANT TO FULLY OPEN UP TO THEM. SHE ALSO OFFERED CONDOLENCES AND EXPLAINED HER ROLE TO US. TIM BRADL, OUR ATTORNEY THEN SHOWED UP AND WE INTRODUCED THEM.

AS THE COURT OPENED WE WENT INTO A SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM. THERE WERE ME, MY WIFE, MY SON JASON AND TIM BRADL. THERE, MR. LAVOIE AND MS. WOODWARD SPOKE MORE FREELY WITH US. WE HUNG ON THEIR EVERY WORD. TRYING TO SEE ANY DECEPTION IN THEIR MANNER, ANY FALSEHOOD IN THEIR WORDS. TO TELL THE TRUTH I DID NOT FEEL ANY OF THE ANIMOSITY I FELT WITH SAND. JOHN SEEMED GENUINE. THAT HIS MAIN CONCERN WAS FOR JUSTICE. TOTALLY OPPOSITE OF SAND. JOHN ALREADY KNEW MORE ABOUT THE CASE AND EVIDENCE THAN I EXPECTED. THAT IMPRESSED ME.

KELLY SPOKE WITH A COMPASSION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT WE REALLY FELT COMFORTABLE WITH.  SOMETHING WE HAVE NOT FELT FOR 2 YEARS! PAM WEIGEL WAS SUPPOSED TO BE OUR ADVOCATE, BUT WAS NOT. SHE NEVER CONTACTED US ABOUT ANYTHING WITH THE CASE. WAS NEVER WITH US AT ANY HEARING. DELIBERATELY AVOIDED ALL CONTACT WITH US.  FROM THAT MEETING WITH SAND, WHEN I QUESTIONED HIS HANDLING OF THE GRAND JURY, WHERE SAND TOLD US THAT WEIGEL WOULD NO LONGER BE OUR ADVOCATE. WE WERE IGNORED BY HER.  ALONE FOR 2 YEARS. 

THERE WAS ONE QUESTION I HAD TO ASK JOHN. SOMETHING I HAD TO KNOW. "PLEASE DON'T TAKE OFFENSE AT THIS", I SAID.  I THEN TOLD HIM WHAT SAND HAD SAID ABOUT NO DA TAKING THIS CASE TO WIN AND MAKING CHARGES "SIMPLY DISAPPEAR". I ASKED IF THAT WAS TRUE. THOUGH I DID NOT EXPECT HIM TO SAY YES, I WANTED BASICALLY, TO LOOK INTO HIS EYES, HEAR HIS VOICE, AND SEE HIS REACTION. HE LOOKED ME STRAIGHT IN THE EYES, SOMETHING SAND WOULD NEVER DO, AND SAID WITH NO UNCERTAINTY THAT THIS CASE WAS IMPROPERLY HANDLED FROM THE GET GO AND HIS MAIN GOAL WAS TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT AND GET JUSTICE FOR VINNIE. HE SPOKE WITH CONFIDENCE AND SURETY. KELLY TOLD US JOHN WAS A STRAIGHT SHOOTER AND THAT HE AND SAND WERE COMPLETE OPPOSITES. JOHN ASSURED US THAT HE WOULD FIGHT TO THE BEST OF HIS ABILITIES TO SEE JUSTICE DONE.

I LOOKED AT MY WIFE AND I COULD SEE, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2 YEARS, THAT SHE FELT COMFORTABLE WITH HIM. I FELT THE SAME WAY. WE ACTUALLY FELT COMFORTABLE WITH KELLY ALSO. HER UNDERSTANDING AND CONCERN FELT GENUINE. AND IT FELT GOOD! AFTER 2 LONG YEARS OF LIES AND DECEIT IT LOOKED LIKE WE MAY AT LAST HAVE FOUND GENUINE, HONEST PEOPLE IN A JUSTICE SYSTEM WE THOUGHT WAS DEVOID OF ALL THAT. THOUGH THE TRUE TEST WOULD BE IN THE COURTROOM, I WAS FEELING BETTER ABOUT THIS, AS DID TIM BRADL, MY ATTORNEY.

THE ARRAIGNMENT

WE WALKED INTO THE COURTROOM AND SAT DOWN. AS USUAL WE FILLED SEVERAL ROWS. IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM WAS A TV CAMERA FROM STATION WCAX. THERE WERE ALSO SEVERAL REPORTERS THERE THAT WE HAVE COME TO SEE ON A REGULAR BASIS. WE WERE THERE FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES WHEN IN WALKED KYLE BOLASKI. HE WAS DRESSED IN A WHITE SHIRT WHICH HUNG OFF OF HIS SLOUCHING FRAME. WITH HIM WERE JORDAN EBELT, COREY AND THEIR FATHER. THEY ALL AVERTED THEIR EYES FROM US. KYLE SAT AT THE DEFENSE TABLE WITH HIS ATTORNEY KEVIN GRIFFIN.

AS JOHN GOT UP TO MAKE HIS CASE FOR BAIL I DIDN'T REALLY EXPECT TOO MUCH. AFTER ALL, WE HAD BEEN THERE SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE WITH NO ATTEMPT BY SAND TO RAISE THE BAIL. EACH TIME KYLE HAD BEEN GIVEN A FREE PASS. WE THOUGHT KYLE WAS STILL ON $100,000 BAIL. TO OUR SURPRISE JOHN HAD ASKED FOR NO BAIL! EXPLAINING THAT THESE WERE MORE SERIOUS CHARGES AND THEREFORE POSES A GREATER RISK OF FLIGHT. AS EXPECTED GRIFFIN FOUGHT AGAINST IT. BUT WHAT WAS BROUGHT OUT NEXT CAUGHT US TOTALLY BY SURPRISE AND SHOWED THE FULL EXTENT OF SAND'S DECEIT!

IT WAS BROUGHT OUT THAT, BACK IN NOVEMBER OF 2008, WHEN SAND WAS DOING THE GRAND JURY HE HAD SECRETLY AND BEHIND OUR BACKS HAD KYLE'S BAIL AMENDED TO JUST $10,000.00!! WITHOUT NOTIFYING US OR CONFIDING IN US SAND HAD DROPPED KYLE'S BAIL! WE WERE COMPLETELY STUNNED! WHY WOULD SAND DO THIS? WHY WOULD SAND GIVE THIS KILLER A FREE PASS? THIS HAPPENED BEFORE THE GRAND JURY CONVENED! THIS WAS ALL BEGINNING TO MAKE SENSE.

SAND HAD REDUCED KYLE'S BAIL TO HONOR WHATEVER AGREEMENT HE HAD MADE WITH THE DEFENDANTS BEFORE THE GRAND JURY WAS CONVENED! TO ENSURE THEY WOULD GO ALONG WITH THE STORY THAT WAS CONCOCTED FOR THE GRAND JURY! THIS WAS WHY SAND DID NOT FIGHT FOR BAIL REVOCATION BECAUSE HE DID NOT WANT US TO FIND OUT WHAT HE HAD DONE! IT SEEMED LIKE HE WAS DOING EVERYTHING HE COULD TO HELP THEM GET AWAY WITH MURDER!! BUT AT WHAT PRICE?

THEN, ANOTHER BOMBSHELL WAS DROPPED; KYLE WAS ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF ILLEGAL DRUGS! HE WENT TO COURT AND WAS ORDERED INTO A DRUG PROGRAM!! AGAIN, WE WERE NEVER INFORMED OF ANY OF THIS. NOR WERE THE COURTS AT HIS BAIL HEARINGS! THIS WAS KEPT SECRET! AND THIS ALL HAPPENED BEFORE HIS FELONY DRUG ARREST FOR PRESCRIPTION FRAUD! SAND WAS DOING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO KEEP US UNINFORMED! AND BOLASKI OUT OF JAIL! EVERY MOVE, EVERY PLAY IN THIS CASE WAS FOR THE DEFENDANTS! SAND WAS  MAKING HIS OWN BRAND OF JUSTICE, PLAYING BY HIS OWN SET OF RULES, DESTROYING THE INTEGRITY OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM!

JOHN WAS HIGHLY CRITICAL OF SAND'S HANDLING OF THE CASE. HE STATED TO THE COURT THAT THE EVIDENCE WAS NOT PROPERLY PRESENTED FROM THE GET GO! IN HIS ARGUMENT JOHN POINTED OUT THAT THERE WAS TESTIMONY IN THE GRAND JURY THAT VINNIE ONLY WENT AFTER THE TRUCK AND WAS TRYING TO GET AWAY WHEN KYLE SHOT HIM IN THE BACK! HE STUNNED THE COURT ROOM WHEN HE STATED THAT TESTIMONY FROM UCCI, ARBUCKLE AND HIS BROTHER COREY BACK UP THAT CLAIM! THOUGH GRIFFIN REBUTTED EVERY OTHER ARGUMENT FROM JOHN, WHEN THIS WAS SAID HE SAT STILL AND SAID NOTHING! HIS FACE TURNING A VERY CRIMSON COLOR. YOU COULD HEAR A PIN DROP! THEY NOW KNOW, WITHOUT A DOUBT, THAT THE TRUTH IS GOING TO COME OUT.

YOU CAN TELL GRIFFIN OR KYLE DID NOT EXPECT SUCH A FIGHT FROM JOHN. BUT THIS IS WHAT A DISTRICT ATTORNEY IS SUPPOSED TO DO AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE FROM THE BEGINNING. THE JUDGE DID NOT REVOKE KYLE'S BAIL BUT TO HER CREDIT SHE DID RAISE IT BACK TO $100,00.00 AND REMANDED HIM TO CUSTODY UNTIL BAIL IS RAISED. AS KYLE WAS LED OUT OF THE ROOM, THE MAN THAT SHOT MY SON IN THE BACK AND BEAT HIM WITH THE RIFLE AS HE LAY HELPLESS AND DYING NEVER TURNED TO LOOK AT HIS FAMILY. INCREDULOUS AS TO THIS SUDDEN TURN OF EVENTS.

DURING HIS ARGUMENT AGAINST BAIL GRIFFIN STATED THAT KYLE HAD CHECKED IN WITH THE POLICE EACH TIME AS HE IS REQUIRED TO DO. WELL, WE HAVE CHECKED IN WITH OUR SON, AT HIS GRAVE, HUNDREDS OF TIMES. AND WHEN KYLE NO LONGER HAS TO CHECK IN WE WILL STILL BE CHECKING IN WITH VINNIE FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES! KYLE,  INCARCERATED OR NOT, WILL STILL BE ABLE TO TALK TO HIS FAMILY, SEE THEM, FEEL THEM. WHILE WE ARE FOREVER ANGUISHED TO SPEAK TO OUR SON THROUGH 6 FEET OF GOD'S EARTH! NEVER AGAIN TO SEE HIS FACE, HEAR HIS VOICE OR FEEL HIS TOUCH. THAT PART OF OUR LIVES BEING RESTRICTED TO A COLD PIECE OF GRANITE FOREVER MARKING OUR SON'S FINAL RESTING PLACE!

 WE WERE VERY HAPPY WITH HOW JOHN FOUGHT. WE ARE NOW CONFIDENT THAT WE HAVE A GOOD, HONEST DISTRICT ATTORNEY THAT WILL BRING OUT THE TRUTH NO MATTER THE CONSEQUENCES. WE ARE BEGINNING TO REALIZE THAT JUSTICE IN VERMONT IS NOT CORRUPT, BUT LIMITED TO A FEW BAD MEMBERS ON A POWER TRIP. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2 YEARS WE FEEL THAT WE HAVE SOMEONE ON OUR SIDE. ONCE THE REAL EVIDENCE COMES OUT WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT ALL PARTIES INVOLVED IN THIS CRIME WILL BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE AND THOSE THAT AIDED THEM WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

THOUGH THIS STARTED WITH FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE FOR MY SON, I HOPE THAT, WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, THIS WILL BE A FIRST STEP IN BRINGING BACK THE CONFIDENCE IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT THE PEOPLE OF VERMONT NEED TO HAVE. FOR WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER WE WILL RETURN TO OUR LIVES BUT THE PEOPLE OF VERMONT WILL REMAIN. THE MISTRUST MUST NOT. THEY MUST HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THEIR JUSTICE SYSTEM. TO BE ABLE TO TRUST IN HONEST DEFENDERS OF JUSTICE, LIKE JOHN LAVOIE, TO PROTECT THEM AND SERVE THEM.

IT IS UP TO THE JUSTICE SYSTEM TO PROVE TO THE PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE THERE FOR THEM. THEY MUST FEEL SAFE, PROTECTED. THEY MUST STOP THE MISTRUST THAT SEEMS SO PREVALENT NOW. THE WAY TO DO THAT IS TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT OF THERE THAT DESTROY THAT TRUST, THAT PUT THEIR NEEDS AND AMBITIONS AHEAD OF THE PEOPLE. AS FOR US, WE ARE PUTTING OUR TRUST IN JOHN LAVOIE. WE NOW HAVE TO START ALL OVER. BUT WHEN YOU COME RIGHT DOWN TO IT, WE NEVER REALLY EVER BEGAN...





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