I’ve written to you a

Dodd, Richard



I've written to you a couple times now and have focused on some serious issues; but I'm sure people question who I am and how I may know these things. Well the truth is I've been locked up for a very long time on what I consider a bogus charge. I'll explain a bit about that in this letter. I have been incarcerated since 1997 for the charges of attempted murder [as a non-violent crime] and a business burglary. I do regret my actions each and every day of my life. I've changed over the years and definitely regret my actions, but let me get back to the politics that is my case. It was an election year, so I was made an example to the public. Me & a friend of mine were drinking and driving around the neighborhood when I get a flat, so we went to lock the car up and leave [walk home], but I forgot there was a gun in the car and the passenger side door doesn't lock. I couldn't leave the gun in the car with no trunk [hatchback]. So it had to come with us. So we walked to another friends house and asked for a ride home. While on the way I noticed a couple sno-mobiles just sitting inside the gas station that was closed. So I told my friend, that was driving us home, to drop us off. We were going to break in the garage and steal the snomobiles and drive home on them. Again we were drunk. I was going to leave the gun in my friends van [unknown to him], but he told me that he was going to have the kids later in the day; and I didn't want them to come across a gun while playing; so I took it with us. So we broke into the gas station and while in the process of dismantling the lock on the big overhead door, so we could drive off with the snomobiles; a shadow appeared outside the building looking around. Someone knew we were in there and we needed to get out of there - and fast! So I made the decision to scare the individual off by firing the gun. So I aimed the gun at some cars parked outside the garage waiting to be serviced. No one was in the cars, they were just parked there. So, again, I aimed from my hip and pointed at the engine block area. The gun was a Tech 9mm with a 38 round clip. So I let the gun "bark" in an attempt to scare this guy off, so we could flee. It worked so I turned all the way around and fired one more time at the door to shatter the window so I didn't have to unlock it. As soon as I ran through the door I noticed a police car! It was then that I realized that the shadow I saw - the person I scared off was a cop. I knew then I was in big trouble and had no choice, but to run. After a 3.5 hour chase we were arrested. I got charged and convicted of attempted murder & burglary and got 50 + 8 = 58 years. My co-defendant got 3 years to testify against me. Only I didn't try to kill anyone. I've hunted all my life and I'm a really good shot with a bow and gun; if my intent was to kill; please believe that would have been the end result. I shot at an area 35' to the officers right - at some parked cars. The officer stood 15' in front of me [I could have thrown a rock and hit him]. I had to turn 45 degrees away from him to shoot; but he had his gun out too, so when the shooting started the plexiglass windows "clouded up" and made it impossible to see through. So I didn't see him run to them very same cars in an attempt to get behind cover. The bottom line is he was struck by one of those bullets, and to the courts, that justified the charge. Now let me explain in detail the unethical behavior by the "system". A video out of the police car was shown at court during trial. It shows that the whole event lasted less than 5 seconds. So when the firing started the officer would have to turn and run 35' and dive over the car [his words] to get behind cover. So let me ask you a personal question: how long would it take to #1 realize you're being shot at; #2 turn toward the cars and run 35' and dive over the car. Realistically that would take more than ½ that "under 5 seconds" the video shows the event happened. Now if I was intending to hit (shoot) him, wouldn't there be a trail of bullet holes following his 35' foot run for cover? There was a building and all them cars that would have been riddled with bullet holes if that was the case. Bullets were only found in the car I fired at; there were no other bullet holes found anywhere else along that mans run for cover. But he was hit one time right; I can explain that as well. The ballistics evidence found bullet fragments found in the frame of truck parked next to the car! Now let me explain what this means. The officer ran and dove over the car to land on the ground between the car and truck. The only way physically & scientifically bullet fragments could have hit the truck frame is if bullets were ricocheting off the ground under the car to hit the frame of the truck. Let me provide an illustration of the crime scene to give you a better understanding of exactly what the event looked like. Now take in mind that in the state of Indiana, in order to be convicted of Attempted Murder; there must be an initial attempt to kill, but also a substantial (or additional) [I almost forgot. the officer dove over the car and obviously landed on the ground between the car and the truck & the evidence [bullets in truck frame] shows that is where he must have been hit.] step toward accomplishing the act. Now don't get me wrong, what I done was really really stupid; I can't tell you on how many levels what I did was wrong; but I did not try to kill that man - the evidence I just revealed to you supports my side of the story. But you may ask - well how was you convicted. Unethical/shady tactics used by the courts in South Bend, Indiana. Let me explain. The officer gave a statement to the K-9 who was about to lead the chase for the defendants just minutes after the shooting. He told K-9 officer Degeyler that he was shot at by two male suspects: one wearing a white pullover sweatshirt and one wearing a black jacket. He couldn't tell if the suspects were white or black. The officer that was shot testified (more than once) that he never knew he had been hit. Even testified that he didn't know he had been hit until another officer (Kelsheimer) noticed a "tear" in his shirt. Now I said that to say this. The prosecutor wrote the affidavit in support of probable cause and claimed the officer reported to him that upon discovering the suspects he was fired upon and could feel a slug go into his protective vest. That statement made my crime an attempted murder instead of a criminal recklessness. Because it makes it sound as if the officer was hit immediately, at the very beginning as if he was the intended target. But this is a false/fraudulent/perjured statement. The officer never said or claimed such a statement. So because of the shady tactics of the prosecutors office during an election year - I got my life taken away from me. I was locked up at 25 years of age and am currently 47 years old and still have 6 years left. I lost my father 6 months ago and fear every day I may lose my mother. That's all I got in my life is my mom and sister. I have no friends, they have all gone away. I strive every day to be the best person I can be. I have college degrees; both an associates and bachelors degree; and I'm currently working on a paralegal certificate form the Blackstone Career Institute. I've never been married and have no children. I feel like I've been robbed of a huge chunk of my life by the unethical acts of the prosecutor's office. I managed to get re-sentenced in 2013, but got re-sentenced by a Judge who's name is found in my paperwork as a prosecutor originally assigned to my case. Judge John Marnocha's name is found in the Courts CCS; the Pre-Sentence Investigation, and a Discovery Motion as the prosecutor originally assigned to my case. But he refused to remove himself, but instead re-sentenced me to the maximum term possible. He even admitted that in his time in the prosecutors department he would do work on cases and let others sign off on it. Judicial Conduct Cannon 2.11 says that the "appearance" of impropriety is enough to recuse/disqualify a judge from being involved in a case. These rules seem not to apply to South Bend's Courts. I'm so tired of the double standard. I could go on and tell you how the officer was allowed to view a video out of his squad car before giving his statement to investigators. And how it caused him to change his mind and identity of the one with the gun. That means it can be considered an identification procedure. That would violate my right to confront the witness against me. Because it would be impossible to reconstruct that particular identification procedure before a jury so they could determine that particular method's potential for error - Because it was done in secret. It would be impossible to find out who was there, what was said, how many times it was viewed, etc. I've come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of justice; one for people of poverty and one for everyone else. I'm no longer angry, but I was for a long time, but thanks to God the hate and anger is gone. It's my fault to even be put in this position. My actions doe this to me. Sure they did some bogus stuff to get me convicted, but they will pay for that some day when they face the ultimate judge from above. My biggest regret is not fully understanding the consequences of my actions on others. I had no right to take my parents son away. Had I understood the wager of my sin, I'd have never placed the bet to begin with. But because I didn't, I've had to watch my father die of cancer and couldn't do anything to help. My mother just fell and hurt her knee and there was no one around to pick her up off the floor. An ambulance had to be called, and she needed surgery. I feel like such a piece of shit for not being there for the people who need me most. I hate myself for what I've done and the consequences its caused. I live to hopefully one day put my arms around my mother and tell her, and show her, how much she means to me. I've lost that opportunity with my brother and father, because they have passed. All I have in this world is my mother and sister. See that's the thing about crime; no one really thinks of the consequences of getting caught, because they are focused on the end result - the prize! But the truth is you get to watch the people you love slowly age and become strangers to you; then you get to watch them die before your very eyes - no hugs, no saying good-bye. Just a huge empty spot in your heart that will be a source of pain for the rest of your life. I let my people down for a lifetime for an act that only took a few seconds. Its so not fair, and the fact that they cheated to win makes it that much worse. But I have to live with that. Thats the price of my wrongs. Its so sad because I have so much to give back. The powers that be won't give me a chance, because they only see whats on paper from over 20 years ago. However no one thinks/acts the same as they did 10 years ago, let alone 20! Anyway this will probably be my last entry - I'm done. I give up; I already threw away my transcripts. I cant get a fair shake because no matter what I file it begins with "this guy shot a cop". then everything is viewed through them goggles; to them I'm the worst person in the world. If they took the time to get to know me, I'm a really good person with a lot of love in my heart. I think what you guys (girls) do is awesome and keep up the good work. A couple thoughts I'd like to voice is: 1) Tell President Trump to have convicts build his wall and earn time off their sentences it would be a lot cheaper and give inmates a job skill to take home. 2) Instead of probation officers and parole officers - who focus on finding ways to violate offenders and sending them back to prison. How about career counselors and life coaches who focus on success rather than failures. Just an idea... Respectfully submitted, Richard Dodd

Author: Dodd, Richard

Author Location: Indiana

Date: April 14, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 11 pages

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