Thursday, June 11, 2009

Locked Up Abroad, Er, In Indianapolis: The Story of Timothy Treacy, His Run in With the IPD, and His 35 DUI Pre-Trials

One of my favorite cable shows is “Locked Up Abroad.” The show details people, usually Westerners, traveling through third world countries, generally doing something stupid like trying to sneak drugs through airport security. Instead of making the quick financial score, the poor sap gets caught and finds himself in a judicial system unlike at home, a system with little in the way of due process we westerners take for granted. Often the person finds that they can sit in a jail cell for months, even years, before being tried. And when they are tried, they will find the American presumption of innocence for the accused to be nowhere in the courtroom.

Fortunately the American political system is different from those third world countries. We don’t lock up people for years without bringing them to trial on charges. Among an assortment of legal protections, Americans have a constitutional right to a “speedy trial” when they are charged with a crime. No one charged with a crime in the American judicial system faces what those travelers in Locked Up Abroad have to face.

Or do they?

Meet Timothy Treacy. Tim is a bright, young man in his early 30’s. Tim worked with an Indianapolis Police Department officer who moonlighted repossessing cars and would do informing work for the police. Tim also dated an IPD officer’s daughter. Tim's relationship broke up and he decided he wanted no part of being an informant. While it's not clear exactly which of those things led to it, clearly Tim had a serious falling out with his former IPD buddies. Before long, in November of 2005, Tim found himself arrested by IPD for DUI. He pled guilty thinking he would just get a slap on the wrist and probation. That’s what happened. On March 23, 2006, Tim was sentenced to time served and given 353 days of probation. See docket for 49F18-0511-CM-194610.

But that was only the beginning of Tim's troubles. He had become a target. It seemed like every time out the door, Tim was a target of the IPD/IMPD. He ended up charged for DUI four more times, all of which are still pending. Having seen the files, it appears that in most of the cases, the charges are simply based on the officer’s statement regarding Tim's appearance of intoxication and erratic driving, with a noted lack of chemical evidence supporting the charges. Some strangely suggest that he was driving while intoxicated with a passenger under 18, an apparent effort to enhance the charges. The police reports don't show that Tim had a passenger under 18 during any of the stops.

The cases have the four cause numbers listed below:

49F18-0608-FD-159623
49F18-0703-FD-036313
49F18-0704-FD-069176
49F18-0711-FD-238170

The dockets on the cases can be found here.

Indiana Criminal Rule 4 has three parts. First, if a defendant is in jail and moves for a speedy trial, he has to be tried within 70 days. If he is in jail and does not move for a speedy trial, he has to be tried within 6 months. If he is not in jail, he has to be tried within a year.

Early on Tim moved for a 70 day speedy trial motion on three of the four charges. (He would have filed on the fourth but his speedy trial motion on the other charges kept getting ignored so he eventually gave up). All four of the cases would easily qualify for dismissal under the 70 day/6 month/and one year rules. Yet some 36 pre-trials later on the pending cases, Timothy Treacy remains in jail.

There is an exception to the Criminal Rule 4. If the continuance of a trial date is because of a delay requested by the defendant, rather than the prosecutor or the judge, the time does not count toward the time periods in C.R. 4. Still, in order for at least three of the pending DUIs to continue to pend, all but 70 days would have to be chargeable to Tim. On the other charge, all but 6 months of the approximate 2 years delay would have to be chargeable to the defendant. Neither option is likely. Still though the fact he has these four pending DUI charges apparently act to toll the running of his probation on his only conviction. Although he was released briefly, he ended up reincarcerated for a probation violation when he allegedly failed a drug test, a claim that he disputes with documentation from a private lab that had shown him clean. (He had taken the initiative to get the private drug test because he didn't trust the agency doing the probation drug tests.)

Last year, Tim filed a motion with the court asking for a dismissal of the pending DUIs pursuant to Criminal Rule 4. The court denied the Motion to Dismiss, within minutes, not even bothering to hold a hearing.

Recently Tim again moved that his pending DUI charges be dismissed because of C.R. 4. The prosecutor’s office objected saying that Tim needed to prove the delays were chargeable to the state and not to the defendant. It appears from the docket that virtually every entry regarding a delay in his trial were simply labeled as the defendant asking for a continuance, entries Tim hotly disputes are accurate. Having personally witnesses a few of these pre

Tim asked that he be provided the transcripts of all the pre-trials where they discussed continuing the trial date. Even though Tim had previously been declared to be indigent and entitled to a public defender, the prosecutor’s office objected, saying he should have to pay for all the transcripts. Given there have been 35 pre-trials, the cost to Tim for those transcripts would be a small fortune.

But you do not have to spend hours and hours reviewing the transcripts. Under Marion County Criminal Rule Local 20-109, all continuances in criminal court filed by the defendant would have to be verified and in writing. There are no written continuances in any of Tim's court files. Yet this fact, and the implications of C.R. 4, is ignored while Tim sits in jail.

Why the prosecutor’s office would be involved in making it more difficult for an indigent defendant to obtain transcripts that might free him, and perhaps expose wrongdoing of the prosecutor’s office and the police department, raises eyebrows. So too does other prosecutorial misconduct in the case, including filing motions against Tim when he was pro se and intentionally not serving him with the documents so he couldn't see them before they were heard in court.

The prosecutor’s office has to know by now that a conviction of Tim for any of the old DUI cases could never withstand a C.R. 4 challenge on appeal, yet prosecutors continue to fight to keep Tim incarcerated pending trial anyway. To me, the fact that a court is, for whatever reason, permitting the charges to continue, does not discharge the ethical obligation of prosecutors to dismiss charges pending against someone when the law clearly dictates that they be dropped. My guess is that there is considerable fear that once the charges are dropped, Tim will pursue them in the civil court for what they have done to him as well as file ethics charges against the parties involved.

Admittedly, Tim and his family are prone to believe in some rather bizarre conspiracy theories and are inclined to pursue unique legal arguments, perhaps out of frustration with the judicial system. Doing so though often ends up angering the legal establishment as well as frustrating the efforts of those who want to help the young man.

Timothy Treacy is stubborn in his principles and is not about to let his continued incarceration cause him to cave in to his IPD/IMPD accusers as well as the prosecutor's office zealous efforts to keep him incarcerated while never actually going to trial. At some point though justice needs to prevail and the charges against this man, need to be dropped. Justice should not only include dismissal of those DUI charges but an investigation by federal and/or state authorities (including the Indiana Supreme Court) of how this young man experienced a third world judicial system while Locked Up in Indianapolis.

13 comments:

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Thank you Paul for taking the time to sort out this story and write it. I know Timothy's mother who first told me the story.

I hope your readers will put this story on their facebook pages to bring more awareness to corruption within the legal system right in our own back yards.

As Diana Vice says, "Sunshine is the best disinfectant".

Shorebreak said...

Often, the only thing that makes our justice system better than many third world systems is our media, who remains silent on these matters.

This case is Exhibit A.

This is a very good reason to get out in the streets with signs and bullhorns. It could be one of us next.

Downtown Indy said...

It sounds like the marshall told him to be out of town by sundown, and he refused.

Paul K. Ogden said...

DI,

That's the sort of frontier "justice" we're talking about. If the Marshall don't like you, best be heading out of town.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Shorebreak,

You're exactly right. The reason why things go on like this is a lack of exposure.

And you're also right that this sort of thing could happen to anyone of us.

Leslie Sourwine said...

The media has been contacted over the time of this case. While once again going through the dockets I noticed that Tim filed Speedy Trial Motion in July 07. I know this because I have a copy of the file stamped motion. I noticed one of the entries in or around May 08 the docket states "Defendant just now asked for speedy trial". That would be the second request for speedy trial. I believe the third request was made fairly recently. Tim filed a motion to dismiss prior to the present attorney filing the same CR-4 motion. Where is the oversight on this case? Where is Brizzi while his assistant prosecutors play chicken with a man's life and freedom. Where is the judicial over sight? When cases like this are allowed to continue the justice system takes a big hit with the public confidence. While I may have some understanding as to why those who have the power to put a stop to this child's play may be hesitant to do so it all boils down to doing what's right. To maintain confidence in the system we must show it works the way it's intended to work. In this case the system has been used to punish a man who has refused to buckle under the pressure of many who have the power to decide life and death over others.

Mely's Rugs said...

I pasted a link to this story on Carl Brizzi's Facebook page. Let's hope that will bring more attention and that they care.

I know said...

DI,

That's the sort of frontier "justice" we're talking about. If the Marshall don't like you, best be heading out of town.

June 11, 2009 3:11 PM

Paul,
Amen!

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

I think I was removed from Brizzi's list of Facebook "friends" for posting this story to his page.

Humpf! I voted for him too.

Leslie Sourwine said...

Neither the prosecutor's office nor the judiciary wants this story out. Too many people may start asking questions about this case. Its being spread over the internet and it's only a matter of time before justice comes knocking to see what the hay is going on.

Shorebreak said...

Leslie, I'm sorry to say it but I believe Indianapolis is sheltered from most DoJ activity. There seems to be a "hands off" agreement in place. I'm understanding the reasons in greater depth as time goes on, and I don't know what kind of limits there may be on that agreement, but I'm almost certain that it exists.

Leslie Sourwine said...

Shorebreak

I’ve no doubt that Indy is sheltered. Otherwise cases like this wouldn’t be allowed to happen. Tim Treacy is only one accused defendant who alleges his constitutional rights are violated. We’ve had other cases that are now waiting or being appealed.

The one ray of hope is that personnel changes have taken place in some of the DOJ and FBI, and Attorney General positions. I know for a fact after we filed a complaint with the FBI in DC they sent a letter back to contact the FBI in Indy. The problem is the FBI in Indy didn’t respond to the original complaint or the second contact. I think the problem is in Indiana and those who hold a position that could come in and investigate simply don’t bother.
At this location
http://www.wibc.com/weekend/crimebeat/

Carl Brizzi talks about crime in Indy. A quote from the website “Crime Beat with Carl Brizzi

Crime Beat is a radio show about fighting crime, with a local focus, hosted by Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

The program features people from all levels of law enforcement, including local police, sheriff, FBI, Secret Service, Homeland Security, and more.

Carl will also take listener phone calls - ask questions and offer opinions at 317-239-9393!

I wonder if Carl Brizzi would be open to discussing the violations of ethics going on in his department concerning this case.

rain said...

The case has to be investigated properly. There are various factors that need attention.

drug rehab new york