Subject: Father and Son serving an extra five years in Federal Prison for firearms that the Federal Government knows they did not have.
On January 22nd, 2007, the Coats Police Department executed a search of the home of John Taylor Tyer. It was around 6:15PM when the police began their search. The person they were curious about, John Taylor Tyer, was returning home a short time later from work.
When he arrived he saw his girlfriend was being arrested. John later learned that they were curious as to the purpose of some items found in an old barn that sat at the back of the property. The police searched, but didn’t find anything that they could use to charge either John or his girlfriend. They released them both, but failed to return the items they seized. Two of which were two legally-owned long-barreled hunting rifles.
Years later, on January 16, 2010, the Federal Government arrested John and his son, also named John, for drug manufacturing charges. They also claimed that the two rusty old hunting rifles were being used to protect the drug manufacturing enterprise.
John Tyer knew that taking the Federal Government to trial was paramount to asking for upwards of thirty years in prison, so he asked his attorney, Ms. C. Burrell Shella, a court-appointed lawyer, to tell the government he would take a plea for the drug manufacturing items. When he learned that he was also being charged with the rusty old hunting rifles, he refused to sign the plea.
The Assistant United States Attorney, Jennifer Wells, had a different plan in mind. She worked with Police Sergeant Kelly Fields scare John. They started threatening to punish John’s son if he did not take the plea to both charges. They told John that if he did not sign a plea stating that the hunting rifles were being used to protect drug manufacturing equipment they would put the charge on his son, and make his son take a plea for them. They told John that if he took the hunting rifles and said they were used for making drugs, his son wouldn’t have to worry about anything.
John talked to his attorney Ms. Shella and she told him that if he just “said” the rusty old hunting rifles were used for criminal activity that he’d have nothing to worry about. She told him that the sentence would be tied in to the charge he was pleading guilty to anyway, so he’d do no extra time. She told him that Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Wells would drop the charge against his son. She then told John that if he tried to fight it, he’d lose. She told him that it didn’t matter that the guns were legally owned, nor that they were in a different building than the stuff he was pleading guilty to. She told him that those old, rusty, hardly worth the metal their made out of hunting rifles that John had feared to even use when hunting season came by, were all the Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Wells needed to give him a lot more time if he took it to trial.
Ms. Shella, his court-appointed attorney, told him that to even think of a jury trial would be insane. There was no way they could win, but if he signed a plea, his son would walk on the gun charges. All John had to do was sign a piece of paper and tell a Judge that he was never promised anything by the Assistant United States Attorney. If he did all that then the Assistant United States Attorney would take care of him.
Then John got sentenced to both charges, they were run back to back, and his son got the same time regardless of the promises that were made.
John appealed his case, but did not know how to raise a proper defense. John, a construction worker who is better with his hands than with books, had no idea where to begin with his defense. He appealed his sentence, but lost.
John kept fighting though and one day he learned that he could request a document from the Coats Police Department to verify he didn’t even have the rifles when they said he did. John had been at work, his son elsewhere, when the Coats police department came to his house and seized the rifles. The Feds didn’t realize that he never had the guns they charged him with. He got the record, and filed a request for the court to release him because it was so obvious he was innocent of the charge he is serving time for. Not only did he not have the hunting rifles when the Federal Government said he did, they were under armed protection by the Coats Police Department which ensured neither he nor his son could have had them.
The Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Boss argued that if John had this evidence, John should have submitted it with my first appeal. John told the courts that he didn’t have it. He’s not an attorney, and it wasn’t until a “Jail House Lawyer” told him how to find the evidence he needed that he was able to get the evidence.
Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller didn’t agree. He thought that John the construction worker who was just trying to make ends meet should have a university level education in Law. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller said that proof of innocence is not enough to grant a rehearing. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen agreed, and denied Johns request for relief.
John and his son are still in prison. They’re innocent of the charge of having firearms in furtherance of a drug manufacturing charge. This innocence is not accepted because John is not as well educated as a licensed attorney. This is clearly the Federal Government abusing the power they have over those they are charged with protecting. John and his son are costing tax payers money. Both have focused on self-improvement while incarcerated, John Jr. having earned a Commercial Driver’s License, John Sr. having completed over 8,000 hours of plumber certification. Both are able to go into the local community to work while still in prison (a rare blessing for those in prison, reserved for only the most reformed and trusted of inmates).
The supporting documentation, as well as the original allegation and formal review are linked below. If you would like to help John and his son, or simply wish to see justice done, please click on one of the links below. You will be directed to another page where you can report the misconduct you have seen here, which will force the government to investigate the matter. Each person who issues a report will force the government to reinvestigate this matter.
- Burrell Shella (Court Appointed Lawyer):
- Shella informed Mr. Tyer that he would not serve extra time for the firearms if he pled guilty to them.
- Shella informed Mr. Tyer that his son would not be charged with the firearms if he pled guilty to them.
- Shella failed to investigate the whereabouts of the firearms, which would have proven they did not have them and negated the charge entirely.
- Shella encouraged Mr. Tyer to state he had received no promises or assurances from anyone in order to entice the plea.
- Ms. Wells promised Mr. Tyer that if he pled guilty to the firearms his son would not be charged.
- Ms. Wells proceeded to charge Mr. Tyers son with the firearms after making an assurance not to in order to receive the plea.
- Ms. Wells failed to stop Mr. Tyer from accepting the plea in open court after hearing him state that he had not been given promises nor assurances for anything in order to entice a plea.
- Ms. Wells failed to make it known to the court that Mr. Tyer was not in possession of the firearms he was charged with, and that the Coats Police Department had them.
- Mr. Fields did not make it known to the court that the Coats Police Department had possession of the Firearms in question, which would have negated the firearms charge.
- Mr. Fields helped Ms. Wells threaten Mr. Tyer with giving his son the firearms charge.
- Mr. Fields failed to stop the plea hearing when he heard Mr. Tyer state that he had not been given any assurances or promises in order to entice his plea.
- Mr. Boss argued in his response to Mr. Tyers appeal with new evidence that the evidence should had been presented during the original appeal, despite the fact that the evidence proved an actual innocence ground as well as that Mr. Tyer had no legal support and was acting Pro-Se.
- Mr. Boss failed to investigate the actual innocence claim and make his own motion to the court to cure a verifiable injustice.
- Judge Miller failed to take into consideration Mr. Tyers Pro-Se status when hearing his brief.
- Judge Miller failed to order AUSA Douglas to respond to the actual innocence ground.
- Judge Miller recommended dismissal of Mr. Tyers case, not an evidentiary hearing to verify his grounds.
- Judge Write-Allen failed to take into consideration Mr. Tyers Pro-Se status when hearing his brief.
- Judge Write-Allen failed to order AUSA Douglas to respond to the actual innocence ground.
- Judge Write-Allen recommended dismissal of Mr. Tyers case, not an evidentiary hearing to verify his grounds.
In order to report these acts of Governmental Misconduct, please submit a request with the form below and we will contact you with instructions on how you may report this misconduct yourself. Submitting this misconduct will force the governmental agencies involved to investigate each claim and respond to you with their findings.
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