FEBRUARY 20, 2009     2:20pm

VERMONT STATE POLICE COMMANDER TOM L'ESPRANCE AND CAPTAIN ED LEDO, WHO IS THE CAPTAIN IN CHARGE OF HOMICIDE, CAME TO OUR HOUSE TO MEET WITH US. ALSO THERE WERE MYSELF, MY WIFE RONNI, PHIL TAMBURELLO, LENNY TAMBURELLO, DELIGHT TAMBURELLO, RANDY STAPLES AND AL TITCOMB. THE COMMANDER DID NOT WANT MY ATTORNEY PRESENT. HE SAID HE COULD TALK MORE OPENLY WITHOUT HIM THERE.

WE EXPLAINED EVERYTHING TO THEM START TO FINISH. ABOUT HOW WE WERE FIRST NOTIFIED OF VINNIE'S DEATH ALL THE WAY TO WHERE WE ARE AT THIS POINT. THEY REALLY SEEMED TO BE MOVED BY IT ALL. GENUINELY EMBARASSED ABOUT THE TREATMENT WE HAVE RECEIVED AND THE MISCONDUCT BY DA SAND. WE TOLD THEM HOW SAND AND DET. JENKINS SAID THERE WAS NO INVESTIGATION DONE.

THEY WERE ADAMANT THAT THEY DID A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION! THEY SAID THAY HAD OVER 20 INVESTIGATORS ON THE CASE THAT SPENT MANY HOURS PUTTING THE CASE FOR 2ND DEGREE MURDER TOGETHER. THEY SAID THAT THEY GAVE SAND, THROUGH DETECTIVE JENKINS, A FOOT THICK CASE FILE THAT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR A CONVICTION. THEY SAID THEY ACTUALLY EXPECTED A CONVICTION FOR 2ND DEGREE MURDER OR A PLEA TO MANSLAUGHTER! THAT WAS HOW GOOD A CASE THEY GAVE SAND FOR PROSECUTION.

THEY SAID THERE WAS NO WAY THIS CASE SHOULD HAVE EVEN GONE TO A GRAND JURY. CAPT. ED LEDO SAID THAT HE WAS ON OVER 80 MURDER CASES AND NOT ONE HAS GONE TO A GRAND JURY! THEY SAID THEY DON'T KNOW WHY SAND WOULD DELIBERATELY SABOTAGE THIS CASE. THEY SAID THAT NOT ONLY BOLASKI BUT OTHERS SHOULD HAVE ALSO BEEN INDICTED! THAT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAS FULL CONTROL OF HOW A VERDICT TURNS OUT BECAUSE THEY SAID "YOU CAN INDICT A HAM SANDWICH IN A GRAND JURY!" 

THEY WERE IN AGREEMENT WITH US THAT SAND DID NOT DO HIS JOB AND THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING UNDERHANDED GOING ON. COMMANDER L'ESPRANCE SAID THEY WOULD DO EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO HELP US GET SAND OFF THE CASE, GET A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR ASSIGNED TO THE CASE, INTERVIEW ALL THE SUSPECTS AND WITNESSES AND BRING THEM IN FOR PERJURY IF FOUND THEY WERE LYING. 

TOM L'ESPERANCE SAID THAT HE WOULD BE OUR MAIN CONTACT FOR THIS CASE. THAT THEY WOULD GIVE US REGULAR UPDATES AND HE WOULD BE OUR ADVOCATE FROM NOW ON!

THEY KNEW THAT MY ATTORNEY HAD A MEETING WITH SAND TO GO OVER ALL OF THE EVIDENCE THAT SAND HAD. TOM SAID THAT WHEN WE WERE DONE TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT WE FOUND OUT AND THEY WOULD THEN CONFRONT SAND WITH THE PURPOSE OF GETTING HIM TO STEP DOWN FROM THE CASE AND FAILING TO DO THAT THEN GO TO CHIEF PROSECUTOR CINDY MAGUIRE AND DO EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO CONVINCE HER TO TAKE SAND OFF THE CASE AND PUT IN A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO BRING THE CHARGES BACK.  THEY SAID WE COULD HAVE THE CASE FILES AT ANY TIME

I CAN TELL YOU WE WERE ECSTATIC! THESE GUYS REALLY SEEMED GENUINE! AT LAST, DECENT, HONEST MEN THAT REALLY SEEMED TO WANT JUSTICE. NO MATTER WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES ARE OR TO WHOM. THEY EMBODIED WHAT THE STATE POLICE ARE ABOUT; HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND JUSTICE. I CAN'T TELL YOU THE COMPLETE FEELING OF JOY  THAT SWEPT THROUGH US. AT LAST, AT LONG LAST WE WILL GET JUSTICE FOR VINNIE!

"GOING OVER THE EVIDENCE"  

MY ATTORNEY AND I WENT UP TO VERMONT. SAND GAVE EVERYTHING HE HAD (or so we thought up to this point) TO MY ATTORNEY AND HE SAT IN A ROOM TO GO OVER EVERYTHING. THIS INCLUDED THE GRAND JURY MINUTES, THE STATEMENTS OF ALL WITNESSES, RECORDED STATEMENTS, PICTURES, THE CASE FILES THAT THE STATE POLICE HAD GIVEN TO SAND, AUTOPSY REPORTS, ETC.  WE WERE UP THERE FOR 2 DAYS GOING OVER EVERYTHING. WHEN WE WERE DONE OUR WORST FEARS WERE CONFIRMED. ALL THE FACTS SHOW THAT SAND HAD A DELIBERATE AGENDA. THAT AGENDA WAS NOT JUSTICE FOR VINNIE! TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE THE DAMAGE WAS ESCALATED WITH HIS QUESTIONING OF DETECTIVE  JENKINS!

EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT NOT ONLY DID ALL OF THE DEFENDANTS CHANGE THEIR STORIES, THEY WERE ACTUALLY HELPED IN THEIR STATEMENTS BY SAND! HE LED THEM WHEN THEY FALTERED! THEY WERE ALLOWED TO SAY ANYTHING THEY WANTED TO WITHOUT SAND CHALLENGING THEM ON ANYTHING! THE MURDERER, KYLE BOLASKI EVEN TESTIFIED. WHICH IS UNHEARD OF!  THE ONLY REASON THAT A DEFENSE ATTORNEY WOULD ALLOW A DEFENDANT TO TESTIFY AT A GRAND JURY, ESPECIALLY SOMETHING AS SERIOUS AS A MURDER CHARGE, IS IF THEY ALREADY KNEW THE OUTCOME! 

SAND ALSO NEVER ALLOWED ON THE STAND A CRUCIAL WITNESS FOR VINNIE THAT SAID THAT THE BOLASKI'S WERE SURROUNDING VINNIE. AND ALTHOUGH SAND STRESSED SO MUCH VINNIE'S WEAPON, HE NEVER BROUGHT UP THAT, BESIDES THE 2 RIFLES THAT WERE CONFISCATED FROM THE DEFENDANTS, A MALLET AND A KNIFE WERE ALSO CONFISCATED!

THE WHOLE LINE OF SAND'S QUESTIONING WAS AGAINST VINNIE. HE ALLOWED A TOTAL CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF VINNIE. HE CONSISTENTLY REFERRED TO VINNIE AS "THE AXE MAN" OR "THE AXE GUY!" EVEN WHEN THE WITNESS REFERRED TO VINNIE BY NAME. HE LET EVERYONE SAY VINNIE WAS ON DRUGS  THOUGH NO DRUGS WERE FOUND IN VINNIE'S SYSTEM AND DID NOT CHALLENGE ANYONE. THEY TORE VINNIE UP AND DOWN BUT SAND DID NOTHING TO CHALLENGE THEM. HE EVEN ENCOURAGED IT. SAND EVEN LED THEM IN THEIR STATEMENTS WHEN THEY FALTERED! NO ONE WAS THERE TO STAND UP FOR VINNIE. THEY SAID ANYTHING THEY WANTED TO WITH SAND'S BLESSING AND ENCOURAGEMENT. BREVITY DOES NOT ALLOW ME TO MENTION EVERYTHING WRONG THAT SAND DID BUT ONE OF THE MOST SERIOUS WAS HIS QUESTIONING OF DETECTIVE JENKINS

SAND DID NOT ASK HIM ABOUT ANY EVIDENCE THAT HE COLLECTED AGAINST BOLASKI. INSTEAD SAND QUESTIONED JENKINS ABOUT WHAT JENKINS WOULD DO IF HE THOUGHT HIS LIFE WAS IN DANGER! WHAT JENKINS' TRAINING ALLOWED HIM TO DO IF HE WAS THREATENED! WOULD HE SHOOT TO KILL? SAND ALSO ASKED HIM WOULD SOMEONE BE ABLE TO TURN QUICK ENOUGH AFTER THE SHOT, TO BE SHOT IN THE BACK IF HE WAS FACING THE SHOOTER. 

BOLASKI STATED THAT VINNIE WAS RUNNING FULL STRIDE AT HIM, THOUGH VINNIE WAS SHOT IN THE LEGS, FACING BOLASKI, WHEN HE SHOT VINNIE. IN DIRECT CONTRADICTION WITH THE CORONER'S REPORT  WHICH STATED VINNIE WAS SHOT STRAIGHT IN  THE BACK. SO SAND TRIED TO SUGGEST THAT VINNIE HAD SUPER SPEED AND TURNED AS BOLASKI SHOT HIM WITH A HIGH POWERED HUNTING RIFLE. SAND LATER CONCEDED TO MY ATTORNEY THAT IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE. BUT THE DAMAGE WAS DONE. THE JURY HAD ALREADY HEARD IT.

 LATER SAND SENT ME AN EMAIL STATING THAT VINNIE HAD GONE AFTER BOLASKI IN A BASEBALL STANCE, STATING ALL THE GRAND JURY TESTIMONY HAD SAID THAT. "EVEN THE BOLASKI'S SAID SO!" WHEN ACTUALLY NO TESTIMONY HAD SAID THAT. NOT EVEN THE SHOOTERS WHO STATED THAT VINNIE WAS RUNNING FULL SPEED AT THEM WHEN KYLE SHOT VINNIE!!

IN THE WORST POINT OF QUESTIONING OF JENKINS.  JENKINS HAD JUST ANSWERED A QUESTION ASKED TO HIM BY SAND IF THE 1ST SHOT WAS SELF DEFENSE. JENKINS, WITHOUT HESITATION,  STATED THAT IT WAS. A JUROR ASKED HIM ABOUT THE 2ND SHOT. IF THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR 2ND DEGREE MURDER . THIS QUESTION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED. SAND SHOULD HAVE FOUGHT AGAINST JENKINS ANSWERING THAT QUESTION AS THAT IS WHY THE JURORS ARE THERE. TO FIND OUT IF THERE IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE. THAT IS THE WHOLE REASONING OF THE GRAND JURY! BUT HE ALLOWED JENKINS TO ANSWER. JENKINS HIMSELF SHOULD NOT HAVE ANSWERED.

SINCE HE DID ANSWER HE SHOULD HAVE SAID WHAT THE FACTS DICTATED, THAT THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO WARRANT A 2ND DEGREE MURDER CHARGE! BUT HE DID NOT. SAND ALSO DID NOT BRING OUT THE FACT THERE THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE.

THOUGH THE STATE POLICE COMMANDER AND STATE POLICE CAPTAIN HAD SAID THEY GAVE A STRONG CASE FOR 2ND DEGREE MURDER AGAINST BOLASKI, AND JENKINS WHO WAS THE LEAD INVESTIGATOR OF THE CASE AND PUT TOGETHER A GOOD SOLID 2ND DEGREE MURDER CASE, AND HAD SIGNED SEVERAL DOCUMENTS STATING THAT HE BELIEVED THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR A CHARGE OF 2ND DEGREE MURDER, THE FOLLOWING IS JENKINS' GRAND JURY TESTIMONY: 

"THAT'S A, THAT'S A QUESTION I HAVE PERSONALLY WRESTLED WITH. BECAUSE IT'S VERY UNCLEAR. AND I GUESS WHAT I WOULD SAY IS, THAT UNFORTUNATELY I GUESS MY KIND OF OPINION IS, IS THAT UNFORTUNATELY  THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF WHAT HAPPENED, THAT I CAN'T, IT'S TOO MUDDLED TO SAY IF IT WAS OR NOT. IT'S JUST, JUST, THERE'S NOT ENOUGH CLEAR CUT EVIDENCE FOR ME TO SIT UP HERE AND SAY, OR AT LEAST IN MY OPINION, THERE'S NOT ENOUGH CLEAR CUT EVIDENCE FOR ME TO SIT HERE AND STATE OF WHETHER OR NOT I THINK IT WAS JUSTIFIED OR NOT!   

MY ATTORNEY WAS ASTONISHED. HE HAD PERSONALLY GONE OVER THE WHOLE CASE FILES AND SAID THAT IT WAS A GOOD SOLID 2ND DEGREE MURDER CASE! IN JUST THAT ONE STATEMENT JENKINS NOT ONLY  FREED  THE MURDERERS BUT HAD WASTED ALL THE TIME, MONEY AND MAN HOURS THAT HIS FELLOW OFFICERS HAD WORKED SO HARD TO PUT TOGETHER!  BUT WHY?? WHY WOULD HE DO ALL OF THAT? HE KNEW THAT IT WAS A GOOD CASE. HE SUBMITTED IT! HE SHOULD HAVE SAID THE TRUTH. THAT THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR A 2ND DEGREE MURDER CHARGE. BUT HE CHOSE NOT TO! 

THIS WAS A HUGE FACTOR IN THE DECISION OF THE GRAND JURORS. WHAT ELSE COULD THEY DO BUT WHAT THEY DID. AFTER ALL THE LEAD INVESTIGATOR OF THE CASE SAID THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE!

ALL THE EVIDENCE POINTS TO A PRECISE PRE-MEDITATED PLAN. THAT AT SOME POINT A DECISION WAS MADE NOT TO TRY THE MURDERERS! IT WAS OBVIOUS JENKINS DID NOT EXPECT THAT QUESTION THE WAY HE WAS STUTTERING AND STAMMERING. EVEN IF WHAT HE SAID WAS TRUE, WHICH IT'S NOT, THAT THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE, THEN WHY WOULD THEY BRING A BAD CASE TO A GRAND JURY? EITHER WAY THERE WAS SOMETHING VERY, VERY WRONG!

IN A GLIMPSE INTO THE THOUGHTS OF SAND, MY ATTORNEY, PAUL BARNICLE, HAD A MEETING WITH SAND AFTER HE EXAMINED ALL OF THE EVIDENCE. AT THAT MEETING WHEN MY ATTORNEY QUESTIONED SAND'S REASONING BEHIND DOING WHAT HE DID SAND SAID TO HIM, "DO YOU THINK VINNIE WOULD HAVE STOPPED IF HE WASN'T SHOT THE 2ND TIME?" PAUL ANSWERED; "THAT'S LIKE SAYING HOW MANY ANGELS CAN YOU FIT ON THE HEAD OF A PIN! THAT'S HYPOTHETICAL." THAT'S LIKE SAYING WOULD THEY HAVE BEAT THE GIRLS IF VINNIE DIDN'T CHASE THEM AWAY? IT'S NOT UP TO THEM TO SURMISE WHAT MAY HAVE HAPPENED BUT GO BY THE EVIDENCE. "WELL, I DON'T THINK SO," SAND SAID. "TO ME CHARACTER IS A HUGE ISSUE AND I DON'T THINK HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED!" SO SAND GAVE US AN IDEA OF WHY HE DID WHAT HE DID. HE DID NOT LIKE VINNIE! DID NOT LIKE HIS CHARACTER. SO IN HIS MIND VINNIE'S EXECUTION WAS JUSTIFIABLE!

THAT ALSO MEANS THAT SAND THINKS KILLERS AND DRUG DEALERS ARE MEN OF GOOD CHARACTER!!

THOUGH WE WERE DISHEARTENED BY WHAT WE FOUND OUT WE WERE GLAD THAT WE HAD DOCUMENTED PROOF OF OUR SUSPICIONS TO GIVE TO COMMANDER L'ESPRANCE TO CONFRONT SAND WITH. AND ENOUGH TO GET HIM TAKEN OFF THE CASE. NOT TO MENTION PROOF OF THE CHANGES IN TESTIMONIES. WE WERE SURE NOW THAT CHARGES WOULD BE REINSTATED. WE TOLD L'ESPRANCE AND CAPTAIN LEDO OF OUR FINDINGS. HE SEEMED GENUINELY SURPRISED AND ASSURED US THEY WOULD TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING. THEY DID, BUT NOT IN THE WAY WE EXPECTED... 





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