Jeffrey Weinhaus was shot four times on September 11, 2012 by Henry Folsom. Scott Mertens, Folsom’s colleague at the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was also present at the exchange. The incident was “investigated” by individuals who wear the same badges.
Since the shooting audio has been released (recorded by Weinhaus’s ex-wife via the cell phone in his pocket), which proves inaccuracies in the “official” story of what unfolded that day.
The text below, by Laura, was shared via email with some concerned about the situation into which Weinhaus has been thrust.
It details Weinhaus’s latest legal land venture – a February 21st court appearance in which he sought to have his bond changed into a surety bond (that allows for a percentage to be posted to gain release from a cage until trial).
“Judge” Gael D. Woods noted that his decision on that will come later.
From the proceeding, we learn that it was the “governor” of Missouri who initially took issue with a video Weinhaus had posted in mid-August, and that Weinhaus had a videocamera in his vehicle that recorded the interaction.
Laura concludes with some thought-provoking questions.
For complete background on Weinhaus’s situation, see: CopBlock.org/JeffreyWeinhaus More related content, including some collected when The Cop Block Tour was in Missouri, is being compiled and will soon be published to present a more over-arching picture of his situation, in the hope that the truth will emerge and the real aggressors will be held responsible.
Dear fellow liberty lover,
I am sending you this email because I feel that it is very important for people to know as much about this case as possible. In the news, Jeffrey Weinhaus, who was shot by MSHP officer on September 11, 2012 has been portrayed as pretty much a dangerous nutcase. Jeffrey was involved for 16 years publishing his own Bulletinman newspaper which hit issues of local government and judicial and law enforcement corruption as well as Constitutional and individual rights issues. Jeffrey also posted YouTubes on FaceBook, etc. The one he posted on Aug. 16th apparently went too far and (according to Franklin County’s Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks) caused the governor to call a colonel in the MSHP to start an investigation of Jeffrey Weinhaus. This seems to me to be what led to the confiscation of all his computers and his video camera and his original charge of “tampering with a judicial officer”. Whether or not you liked or approved of Jeffrey Weinhaus and his means and message, this case is dealing with very important and timely issues: 1st amendment rights, police accountability (specifically the MSHP), gun-carrying rights, and the writ of habeas corpus. I have been sitting on the fence about getting involved in this other than praying for Jeffrey (as so many were) after he was shot in September. But after going to this hearing this Thursday, I have decided to do more. Today I contacted the Rutherford Institute and let them know about this case. They represented Bradon Raub who was ultimately released from his indefinite detention (after some “anti-government” FaceBook posts) due to their support. If any of you, after reading this, feel that you would like to contact them and ask them to help here, or if you have any other ideas of ways to help, please speak up. At present Jeffrey has no lawyer to represent him when he goes to trial April 30-May2, and he is held in the Franklin Co. jail where it is very expensive for him to make phone calls, even local ones, and where he is only allowed two 15 minute visits a week (which is the same as all the other prisoners). These visits have both parties speaking through a phone while viewing each other through a thick piece of glass.
Here is my transcription of the very interesting hearing on Thursday. What is NOT in parentheses is pretty much verbatim.
W= Judge Woods
P= Prosecuting Attorney, Bob ParksEXPLANATION: this hearing was called for the purpose of looking at the evidence to see if Jeffrey’s bond could (per his request) be made into a surety bond (where you don’t have to have the whole sum in cash–you can get a bond and only pay a percentage of it). Since Jeffrey was representing himself, he did a lot of talking at this, and I was impressed with his mental capacities (even after taking a bullet to the head, one to the neck and two to the left half of his chest). The judge, Judge Woods seemed reasonable in that he listened to Jeffrey and did not cut him off for the most part. The prosecuting attorney, Parks, seemed to be majorly biased against him. They evidently went back a ways because at one point Jeffrey called him “Bob” as I recall (a little snidely) and the prosecutor basically corrected him and made sure that he called him Mr. Parks. Parks also, at one point very unprofessionally and rather angrily started talking directly to Jeffrey, and the judge had to ask him to speak to the judge and not directly to Jeffrey.
W: Hearing is to take up the state’s motion as to evidentiary hearing as to pending bond as heard on Feb. 14. The defendant is representing himself pro-se.
J: Is this the time to bring up some questions I have?
W: You’re entitled to know. There is an indictment that has 8 counts
J: Way I’m reading it , it sounds like I shot somebody
W: Counts 4 & 6? What they’re saying is that you attempted to cause injury by shooting officer
J: How do you define “attempt”? I’m trying to find…. I have no idea what the evidence is
P: All the discovery….???
J: Need video and audios of…. I have motion of discovery today… For Parks too
W: Have you been able to talk to an attorney yet?
J: (Jeff mentioned Steve Weir and someone else and talked about lawyers not be willing to come to jail,etc.) We’re trying to get something done.
P: (stated intention to show Aug. 16th video)
J: I object. I did make it, but I don’t remember what it was. (Indicated that he’d like to watch it first and that his memory was not what it was before he was shot.)
P: It’s about 16 min. long
W: Do you think you need to see it 1st? If so I can leave.. Or can we just watch it together?
PAUSE: while they were getting Jeffrey the cup of water that he had requested
VIDEO SHOWN: (Laura’s note: Everybody needs to watch this. In August and early September it spread among the officials in my county, Crawford, and terrorized them enough that even 6 days after Jeffrey was shot, when there was no way he was going to be leaving his critical condition hospital bed, three counties cordoned off their county courthouses and the surrounding streets on September 17, Constitution Day, the day he speaks of in the video.
(These are brief phrases from the video: Watch the whole thing here:http://www.youtube.com/
J: I have a right to free speech. They could sue me if I said something libelous. (Jeff stated that he had posted this with captions which were not on the video that was played. (Laura’s note: I can’t find the video with captions anywhere on the internet any more. Can anyone else?) He asked if that could be played. Judge Woods asked about the captions. Jeff said that there were 40 of them or so and he couldn’t remember them all. Judge Woods asked if they were like “just kidding”.
J: That’s news to me (about the call from the governor). The ones that shot me were out of Crawford Co. I believed it to be a personal vendetta. If they had a problem with me, why didn’t they pick up the phone and call me. Am I a danger to the community because I put videos out on YouTube?
P. “Yes! you are a danger to the community!” (You don’t obey the orders of the police and you don’t respect the judicial system.)
(Some talk of his first offenses on Sep. 11th being 2 class C felonies and 1 misdemeanor.)
J: I’ve been doing this (Bulletinman stuff for 16 years) I never hurt anyone or caused any loss or harm. I showed up at court and never tried to run from the law. There’s no reason to believe I’m a danger to anyone I’m the one who was a victim. We don’t want to do any violence. I believe the Missouri and the US Constitution are in peril. They totally ignore the Constitution.
J: (Turning back to the purpose of the hearing) I have not been charged with a capital crime… (Therefore according to MO Constitution he felt that he should be able to have surety bond.)
P: May I finish my presentation?
P: Plays the audio of the shooting (just the first 20 seconds; the whole thing is about 25 min. long and is silent after the shooting while Jeff is alone on the ground and then there is conversation at the very end as the policemen come back and talk about getting his gun off of him). http://www.youtube.com/watch?
P: His ex wife turned this over. (Judy, his wife, was sitting next to me and said that they drove up to Kirksville to get this from her, and that she doubted highly that she had any choice in the matter)
W: I’d like to hear it again too.
It was played again.
P: You can hear in the audio that the defendant was ordered to get down on the ground and he didn’t. I believe these two videos/audios show a propensity by the defendant to be violent. They show he has no regard for the legal system. He was running for coroner in Crawford County while he was living in Franklin County. That’s why we put bond at $50,000. (something about morphine and marijuana) He refused to obey the commands of the MSHP. (something about expecting violence from him and him not showing up at hearings). (My note: he made those claims incorrectly I believe. He did not substantiate them and Jeff showed up voluntarily for his hearing on Nov. 1st as he stated during the hearing.) I asked for a psychiatric examination. He has said himself that he’s not all right in mind and that he can’t remember everything.
J: You’ll notice I was there to get my computers. They told me they were going to give them back to me. They lied to me.
W: Be careful what you say–it can be used against you.
J: I checked before I went (to gas station) and there was no warrant (out for my arrest) on casenet. They didn’t (repeatedly tell me to get my hands away from my gun?) They had their safety off. They were there to hurt me. Who has a propensity for violence? I haven’t hurt anybody. My right to a surety bond is guaranteed. If you want to put conditions on me go ahead. I have filed writ of habeas corpus. I don’t believe they have a case. I have a motion to dismiss. I believe the grounds on which they attained the search warrant (are incorrect)…….. My weapon is to do the videos. (My note: Jeffrey was saying that he fought via words on his videos, not with the physical force of guns.)
W: We’re not going to take up the motion to dismiss. You’re not using writ of habeas corpus in the right manner
J: I think he (Parks) is playing games with me. They brought me (out) on lies. They didn’t tell me we have a warrant for my arrest. (Jeffrey seemed to be saying here that he didn’t know that there was a warrant out for his arrest when he was going to meet the MSHP.) Do they have any video of this (the shooting at the gas station)?
P: This is all the recording the state has
J: You would think they would have been recording this. (I maintain) the search warrant was no good….
PAUSE while W looks at the papers Jeff has given him.
J: Top paragraph is what you want to look at
P: I don’t know what all the hand written notes are.
J: It’s basically housekeeping at the jail. It’s my cellmate
W to P: Do you have any objection (to this being entered into the file?)
P: No objection (something about it being in the record anyway)
J: I’ll need a copy of that. Statute 42300?? about search warrants… (Something about there needing to be a designee to ride along with the MSHP. The sheriff said his people weren’t there) I maintain the search warrant is invalid. After a half hour conversation with me on my porch he (Officer Fulsom) says he smelled marijuana and went to get the search warrant. It’s no good.
W: Some of the things you’re raising might indeed work in your favor
J: My wife doesn’t have the money (for the bond). If I have to be put under house arrest and wear one of those GPS things (so be it). I’ve spent $1000 on phone calls since I’ve been in jail. There’s no reason for me to be locked up. I have no propensity for violence…..
P: That’s because he reached for his gun
J: That’s what they say I did. (But you heard the audio) I didn’t have time. (You didn’t hear the whole audio. At the end, after 26 minutes they come over and say “Where’s his gun at?” “I didn’t put my hand on the gun. (Something about Trooper Fulsom being the one that shot him.)
P: Because of the threats
J: I have a right (to a surety bond).
P: He’s radical, he loses his temper, we don’t know what he will do. He came to the scene with a gun.
J: Mr Parks has failed to do his job. … I had a camera set up in my car. There were 6 or 8 cops around. Why don’t they have video? I believe the state is sand bagging. I had a watch on my wrist that records. I raised up my hands when I said you’re going to have to shoot me. Sargeant Fulsom didn’t say I was under arrest.
J: On Nov. 1st my treatment was delayed (because I had to go to court. And then the new doctors that the jail took him to said that he was fine and didn’t need cognitive therapy etc.) It’s a miracle of God that (I’m still here.) Excuse me if I get a little excited about it. He’s (Park’s) not going to be able to prove to any jury …. I’m only asking for you to make a ruling (so that I can have a surety bond). When can I get a ruling on this, your honor? Habeus Corpus says (there should be no delay). (My note: He was mplying here that he was being detained unlawfully because there was not sufficient evidence or cause.)
J: I want to be arraigned today.
W: Parks, do you have any objection?
P: (No, I think it would be very good to have the arraignment today.)
W: there are 8 counts (He read them off one at a time and after a long initial discussion between Woods and Weinhaus in which Woods made it clear that Weinhaus would not be agreeing with the charges if he replied in the affirmative that he “understood” them, he went through them without much discussion from Jeff. Jeff responded in the affirmative to understanding each of them and plead not guilty to all charges. Wood’s words: “Do you understand what they alleged you have done?”)
(My note: I won’t list all of the charges here. Ask me if you want them sent. They include misdemeanor marijuana charges and felony attempt to assault police officers and felony tampering with judicial officer. This seems to be because he “called out” a judge publicly on YouTube.)
W: He put a gag order on Parks (Jeffrey requested)End of hearing.
Additional notes: Judy Weinhaus told me that on Sep. 11th, the day he was shot, the police took from his person or his car: his watch (which was a “spy watch” she had given him that records video and would give a very good indication of where his hands were if the video could be retrieved), his camcorder (which was typically recording from his car or his person), his gun, his wedding ring, his glasses and two cell phones.
Judy also just informed me that Jeffrey’s request to have his bond made into a surety bond so that he could pay a fraction of that to a bondsman and be released from jail was denied by the judge today. During Jeff’s hearing he made the point several times that he was not a danger to the community and had never harmed anyone and that they knew that or they wouldn’t/shouldn’t let him out of jail at all, $50,000 bond or not. (Also, Judy noted that he had been out of the hospital between Oct. 11 and Nov. 1st, when he showed up on his volition for a hearing at court, at which time he was arrested and taken to jail. At no time had he turned violent.)
Important issues to think about: 1) 1st amendment issues, 2) MSHP accountability issues, 3) writ of habaeus corpus, 4) carrying in presence of law enforcement ….
1) What can you say on YouTube/FB/internet? How much freedom of speech do you have? Do you have the right to threaten to remove someone from office or take them to court or use vague language that could be interpreted as an intent to “silence” them by means of physical force?
2) It appears that the MSHP was not sure that they were justified in “investigating” Jeff solely on the YouTube posting of Aug.16th until they had the governor’s permission–until the governor called a colonel in the MSHP; as purported by Prosecuting Attorney Parks yesterday. So, is the MSHP the governor’s police force? Are they answerable or accountable to anyone else? Are they the state police? Do we want a state police? Is there no requirement for police to record their encounters with the public and produce the video whenever its called for? What are the structures in place for disciplining officers? (Right now we know that MSHP Troop I(out of Rolla/Phelps Co. area) is being “investigated” by MSHP Troop C (out of Weldon Springs/St Charles Co. area). Any questions from the public are to be referred to Franklin Co. Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Parks, who will not/cannot? make any comments about anything until the case is closed, ie. verdict has been reached). In this case we have the very officer that Jeffrey had called out personally being the one who went to “investigate” him and searched his house and took his computers, and then he is also the one who actually shot Jeffrey. We have the officers unable to produce any video recordings of the event, plus we have them suspected of removing evidence (by the removal of Jeff’s watch and camcorder after he was shot). (My note: How about a law that relieves any officer of duty if his video camera is not available as court evidence in cases involving officer shootings?)
3) Is the writ of habeas corpus (see Wikipedia definition) still “alive”? Are we innocent unless proven guilty or unless accused by an officer? Can we be detained (locked up and put in jail) simply because a police officer accuses us of attempted assault? Or should they have to have some level of proof ie. some video or public witnesses to validate their testimony? From Wikipedia: Habeas corpus (English pronunciation: /ˌheɪbiəs ˈkɔrpəs/; Latin: “may you have the body”) is a writ (legal action) which requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court. This ensures that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention—that is, detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to the prisoner’s aid. This right originated in the English legal system, and is now available in many nations. It has historically been an important legal instrument safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary state action.
4) Is it alright/smart to carry in the presence of a law enforcement officer? This seems to be people’s main objection to taking any kind of a stand on this case–or their excuse for saying more or less that Jeff “asked for it”, even if they don’t think he “pulled his gun” on the officer. Thinking like this could play right into the hands of any “bad apples” that there may be in law enforcement, as they would be able to kill with immunity by justifying the action with the claim that their victim was carrying/threatening them and that they were therefore merely protecting themselves.
I know this email has been way too long. This is a difficult case for many reasons, but I feel it is important. I’d appreciate any thoughts or feedback you have. Jeff’s trial is scheduled for April 30, May 1st and May 2nd in Union, MO. I plan to be there. If you want to write Jeff you can send mail here: Franklin County Jail, Inmate #2012-4030, 1 Bruns Drive Union, MO 63084. You should be able to put $ on his account to make calls, get candy bars, etc. here: inmatedeposits.com
For love and liberty,