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Wide White: Jeanine Brand: what were you thinking?!?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jeanine Brand: what were you thinking?!?

11-3-10 UPDATE: Jeanine Brand lost her bid for reelection to Richard Mollin by 24 points.

I came across a sad story recently that made me really, really angry. I've been stewing for a month or so on it since I didn't want my post to be over-reactive.

In November, the Star Tribune, WCCO and others reported on the story of Jennings and Clarice Sunderland of Bagley, MN. I'll let you read the story (The Strib has the well-written story and WCCO includes video, so take your pick of which media you prefer) of what the couple, married for 50 years, has been through.

To quickly summarize it, Clarice has Alzheimer's disease and was wandering away from home. Jennings started draping a chain around her and her recliner when they would sit and watch TV since he often dozed off, that way he would hear her if she got up to wander off. She could lift the chain off of herself without a problem, but at least the rattling would wake him up.

Jennings' nosy brother made a call for a welfare check on the family after learning of the chain. Two sheriff deputies and a social worker arrived and Jennings explained the purpose of the chain. They left and reported their findings to Clearwater County Attorney Jeanine Brand.

Thanks to Brand's advice, Jennings was thrown in jail for felony false imprisonment. Clarice was sent to a nursing home and the two of them endured an awful 3-month ordeal of separation and battles with the local government.

According to the Star Tribune:
[T]he social worker refused to accept names of relatives willing to care for [Clarice]; the county got emergency guardianship without notifying [the Sutherlands' daughters], and only by luck did they stumble on a court hearing about their mother and get temporary co-guardianship.
If that isn't damning enough, Brand still thinks the actions taken were appropriate.
Jennings Sunderland "did not try to hurt" his wife, Brand acknowledged in an interview before charges against him were dropped last month. But, she said, using the chain was "holding a vulnerable adult against her will. ... He could have asked the county for help." Charging him and not letting him see his wife for a time "ensured that he could not go to the nursing home and just take her home again."
So, you file felony false imprisonment charges against a 78-year-old man caring for his disease-stricken wife, then drop those charges and refuse to apologize for the 3-month ordeal you put them through? And do you really think it was "her will" to be put in a nursing home where her care was apparently far worse than what her husband was providing?

WCCO's report is just as damning:
[Sutherland's family is] asking for Brand to apologize, something she vows not to do.

"It's the county's responsibility to protect and investigate vulnerable adults. It was handled appropriately," added Brand.
How Brand could know any of the details of this ordeal and insist that this was handled appropriately is absolutely beyond me. How wrapped up in bureaucracy and politics do you have to be to ignore how blatantly wrong you and your department were?

Back in October the Grand Forks Herald ran an excellent story on the case (it's archived here and here) after the felony charges were dropped against Jennings and he was continuing his fight to get Clarice home.
Clearwater County Attorney Jeanine Brand said Friday the attention the case has received in the community did not influence her decision to drop the charge. It's a call she made, she said, "in the interest of justice."

All along, Brand said, her main concern was Clarice Sunderland and the need to protect her as a vulnerable adult.

"There's many things to help address Alzheimer's issues, and they're all very short of chaining someone up in a chair," she said.
First, draping a removable chain over someone as a sounding device is far different from locking someone to a wall. Second, there are many things that Brand could have done very short of locking up Jennings and packing Clarice up into a nursing home.

The Sunderlands' daughter, Connie Krivich, summed it up well.
Krivich, 38, of Brainerd, Minn., said her dad was not able to see his wife for 20 days, and after that, couldn't see her without a third party present.

"You take my mother from her home, you take her from her husband -- the one person she still recognizes -- and you throw her in a nursing home, and you think that's good?"
This story made me wonder if there were any other questionable instances involving Brand. I didn't go trekking up to Clearwater County or anything, but did run a few Google searches.

She's only been the county attorney for Clearwater County since April 10, 2007, so there's not a whole lot out there. Still, there are a few other cases that made me scratch my head based on the information available.

We have a letter from a May 2009 newsletter (PDF) that documents a case in which Brand pressed felony charges against a deputy. (A news story on this from the Bemidji Pioneer is archived here.) Since I have nothing to go on except what he wrote, I'll let his thoughts speak for themselves.
[W]hy would a county attorney press charges when two sheriff’s departments stated that there was not enough evidence to proceed. Maybe we should ask the prosecuting attorney Jeanine Brand what her motives were in this matter.
...
[S]ome time after the charging of [Bob] Karbowski with this crime, the county attorney finally started to interview unbiased witnesses. She found that she was dealing with an ethical law enforcement officer, who for almost 40 years enforced the laws on the Leech Lake Reservation/ Cass County in a fair and colorblind manner, something that has not always occurred in the past and even in the present.
...
After hearing these glowing reports, and realizing that she had no evidence, does County Attorney Brand make the decision to ask for a dismissal. NO, instead she demeans Karbowski by offering him plea bargains for something that he did not do. In each successive plea bargain offered, the offense punishment was diminished. Instead the prosecutor now becomes the persecutor, and somewhere in the over zealous pursuit of a conviction, the idea of justice was lost. As Karbowski rejects each successive plea deal because he knows that he has done nothing wrong, the County Attorney Brand finally offers dismissal if Karbowski will pay Pike Bay costs they accrued in this mess, which included the disputed $75.06 for overlapping pay that occurred due to a unintentional clerical error, and an apology letter to the Pike Bay people that he chose to write. This was something that Karbowski was willing to do immediately when the errors were found. What happened to justice, was it lost because an over zealous county district attorney wanted to get a conviction no matter what the costs to an innocent individual. Ms. Brand, since the case was dismissed, it absolutely showed that your case was weak from the start, or you would have proceeded, even though the Pike Bay Board voted to settle the case.
...
[W]hat are we as citizens to think of our justice system when over-zealous prosecution results in a miscarriage of justice, where charges are eventually dismissed because of lack of evidence, and where the person has grave financial loss, not only for attorney costs but for lost wages.
Then there was a case from October 2009 in which a man was charged with murder for the drug overdose of someone who bought drugs from him.

Not to defend a drug dealer, but this seems a little odd to me:
Asked why Crabtree was charged with murder when Boe was an adult who presumably knew the dangers of hard drugs, Brand said Crabtree’s crime was disregarding Boe’s welfare when he gave him the drugs.
Call me crazy, but a murder charge seems just a bit excessive.

These 2 additional stories are by no means overwhelming, damning evidence against Brand. Sure, I question her actions, particularly in the first story (assuming everything in that letter is true, and based on all of the plea agreements that were offered I have no reason to doubt that it is). But I would guess that for the most part, Brand does a great job.

But, as with most jobs, we aren't really graded on the 90% of issues that we handle on a day-to-day basis. We are judged on the 10% of issues that come across our desks that are really tough. They require a level of discernment and decision-making that is a step above the rest of the issues we deal with.

What happened to the Sunderlands is inexcusable. Brand's actions in response are inexcusable. But the fact that she stubbornly refuses to issue an apology for what she did is asinine. She has no business being in her position after this debacle.

49 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous declared,

There was another incident last week involving the DA of Clearwater County. She tried to strong arm a mother into taking a plea agreement in exchange for not making her children take the stand. The mother wouldn't do it and the case went to trial and she was found not guilty. It was published in the local paper The Farmer's Independent. I have a pdf copy of the story - if anyone wants a copy email me at justicegal@live.com.

12/29/2009 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Andy declared,

Especially with the first case the DA has had a serious lack of judgment. Could this not have been handled far differently than putting a 78 year old man in jail? His wife certainly did not make the choice to go to a nursing home. Common sense, compassion,and concern for senior citizens in Clearwater County was nowhere to be found in the case of this aging couple.

12/29/2009 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Gwen declared,

Last night I read the other article that justice gal sent me. Wow - Clearwater County is no place I'd ever want to live. Who's going after the real criminals while the DA and Social Services are prosecuting the innocent? In the Sunderland case they mistreat the elderly and in the Bukovic case they mistreat the children.

12/30/2009 6:24 AM  
Anonymous Time for Change declared,

MN Statute 524.5-120 #10- Bill of Rights - the county had no right to deny Clarice visitation with her husband for 20 days - who's going to do something about that?

1/02/2010 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Marie declared,

Joey: Excellent write up on the abuses of power in Clearwater County.
There is an excellent article also at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-terzano/prosecutors-must-be-held_b_345141.html
about how much power prosecutors have and how they should be held accountable. Who is stepping up to the plate in Clearwater County and holding Ms. Brand accountable?

1/08/2010 3:57 PM  
Blogger holly_1958 declared,

It happens all the time and all over the country. Guardianship/Conservators, Socila Workers, Government Agencies, Lawyers, Judges, etc. Some are good but MANY are not! Good and bad are protected through the legal system with no real accountability. See: stopguardianabuse.org and also http://angr.us/ They are both great sites to open your eyes.

1/09/2010 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Elaine Renoire declared,

NASGA is an organization of victims and families working to expose and end unlawful and abusive guardianships/conservatorships -- a growing national epidemic.

Guardianship wards are stripped of all rights: the right to decide where to live and whom to associate with, how to spend (or save!) ones own money, to accept or refuse medical treatment -- or even ask for a second opinion, marry, vote, etc. Most important, wards are stripped of the right to complain.

With the fox guarding the henhouse and the hens muzzled, guardians and their attorneys can easily unjustly enrich themselves at the expense and to the detriment of the very person they have been court-appointed to protect.

Many wards are forcibly taken from their homes and isolated in nursing facilities against their will – and family is not permitted to visit or have information or input regarding medical “care”. Wards die prematurely – alone and afraid. The devastation victims and families suffer at the hands of the system haunts them for the rest of their lives.

And where do the victims go for help? Many go to the AG, only to be turned away because the abuse has been court-sanctioned. Convicted felons have more rights than guardianship wards.

Visit NASGA at StopGuardianAbuse.org or NASGA’s blog at http://NASGA-StopGuardianAbuse.blogspot.com for more information.

Yours,
Elaine Renoire
NASGA

1/09/2010 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Enuff is Enuff declared,

If a Statute does not have to be followed by the courts - what good is it?


(10) communication and visitation with persons of the ward's or protected person's choice, provided that if the guardian has found that certain communication or visitation may result in harm to the ward's or protected person's health, safety, or well-being, that communication or visitation may be restricted but only to the extent necessary to prevent the harm;

1/09/2010 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Believe me, I know that guardians restrict visitation with no cause, or they may make up some excuse for no visitation without supervision. Usually the excuse is that the loved one upsets them. Of course, this is only due to answering their questions truthfully. Plus the ward knows the freedom they have lost. The guardian acts like the god in all decisions. They do not want the closest person to the ward visiting them regularly since they want them to forget their old life. It is a travesty! It should be illegal. The guardian usually has no heart, only greed.

1/09/2010 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Unethical? declared,

Regarding the Boe/Crabtree case listed above - according to a comment left at the link below - the DA has a framed picture of the deceased in her office and is friends with the family. Isn't this a little biased?

http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/11213285

1/09/2010 3:36 PM  
Anonymous tsue17 declared,

After reading this I have to wonder if we really live in America. And that famous saying...to err is human, to forgive divine...is going over and over in my mind. Is this prosecutor able to feel any human emotions? What must Clarice have felt like when she was pulled from her home and family and not allowed to see her husband for such a lengthy period. From what I understand it is very difficult to hold prosecutors accountable for their actions so they become out of control at times-the law needs to be changed. The law is the law-why is the DA in the case being allowed to break it by not granting this poor woman visitation with her husband? And of course-to forgive is divine-probably not the easiest thing for anyone unless they have lived this I am sure no one can understand how horrendous this must have been for this family. But if there are no consequences for the prosecutor what is to stop her or any other DA's from destroying other lives?

1/13/2010 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Here 2 Help Services declared,

What a harmless thing this man did! They probably would have liked her wandering off better? And to throw this man in jail and take his wife out of her surroundings probably sent the Alzheimer's patient in to a tail spin! I feel for them both, being the caregiver for an Alzheimer's patient.

1/19/2010 3:14 PM  
Blogger justice declared,

Regarding this comment: Unethical? said...
Regarding the Boe/Crabtree case listed above - according to a comment left at the link below - the DA has a framed picture of the deceased in her office and is friends with the family. Isn't this a little biased?

http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/11213285

Are you kidding me? We all knew it was only a matter of time before people tried to use the recent cases to prove their innocence too! Sorry, this isn't your get out of jail free ticket! Did you see the link you referenced? Shroomery? Please...take advice from a bunch of stoners who live in a hypothetical world. As Travis's family, we were not friends with Jeanine prior to this case. The fact remains that Crabtree brought the drugs out there and even offered to go get 300 more after his friends (some who were already drunk and lacked judgement) had enough to die. Why didn't Crabtree take any? Maybe because he knew the dangers of it and that it could be deadly, but yet he chopped it up and gave it to his drunk friends! They raid his house and find hundreds more! Boe had three things on his history that all happened in one year...three things...but he was a good kid and was meeting with a recruiter to serve his country until this. Kids think that presecription drugs are so harmless because they come from a doctor/pharmacist! Even if Brian's dad had a health situation that called for morphine pills...why so many? Maybe he should be held accountable too. Brian has an extensive history as read in court, a lot of things aren't even on his record, like when he severly beat a woman to a bloody pulp in front of the Silver Creek in Shevlin...he is a danger to all of our kids and society...it could have been a lot worse. People would think differently about all these cases if they were the victims or different outcomes resulted...like say the little kids with the guns killed themselves or eachother,(and as far as her teacher's license...I would have a hard time trusting someone with her judgement with my kid for a year) or someone else who wasn't trying to protect their wife like MR. Sunderland was, had different intentions and was abusive...one would hope it would at least be investigated, or what if more kids would have died that night as a result of Crabtree bringing drugs out to the party Christmas Eve and passing them out like candy...one death is too many. Imagine if it was your loved on. What good are statutes and laws if they aren't upheld? Imagine Brand would have turned her back on all these cases...then we would get the opposite effect. Don't like it, well then don't let your kids play with guns by themselves, and don't distribute/sell drugs...common sense. Don't use and compare Mr. Sunderland to real felons like Crabtree. Mr. Sunderland was simply trying to protect his wife. Everyone knew someone would try to connect the two cases...not even comparable. Travis Kim Boe is dead at 21.

1/27/2010 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Joey: If you knew Crabtree as this community does, well then you wouldn't be posting what you have. What it comes down to is that if Crabtree didn't bring morphine out there, Boe would still be alive. Crabtree has not apologized once and shows no remorse...in court the only thing he says is "when can I get out?" selfish and dangerous. People have witnessed him beat a lady to a bloody pulp in a small town of Shevlin. He has no remorse. When the family was bearing Travis and grieving, he was planning his wedding and partying like a rockstar. Boe will never get the chance to marry or have kids or chase his drean of going to the military (which was inspired by his cousin who is serving in Afghanistan)...it's a shame, think you would be more sensitive to the family. Drug dealers need to be held accountable.

1/27/2010 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Yes, please lets remove Jeanine Brand! Once she is gone, we can go give our children (even if they are 4) loaded guns to play with while we go tanning, then after that, we can chain our partner up and steal prescriptions drugs and go distribute and cut them up for our drunk friends!! WOW. Get real people. What it comes down to, is that this county isn't use to the law...they are use to getting slapped on the wrist...why else was Crabtree out and about after so many prior convictions? I like it...shows people, ESPECIALLY drug dealers that we aren't going to take this anymore and we want out commnities safer and better for our kids! County attornied before Jeanine, just didn't have the ba*%s to uphold the law/statutes and now that Jeanine is, she looks like the bad person. Stating that, I do believe Mr. Sunderland was only trying to protect his wife and I'm sorry everything played out the way it did, but at the same time, Jeanine and Social Services needed investigate further as a part of their jobs...if they didn't and something happened, they may not have jobs. Afterall, there are cases all over where women are held captive in an abusive/criminal way, but this wasn't one of them, but by law/statutes, it had to be at least looked into. Sometimes people in these positions find themselves in situations where they are dammed if they do, dammed if they don't. But I think Jeanine is doing a good job and thankful someone is finally not afraid to step up...there's far too much BS that slides in this county.

1/27/2010 5:45 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Well, the pro-Brand folks are finally stepping up. Or maybe you're just upset about the Crabtree case being included here.

Here are a few thoughts I have in response, as I've stayed out of the comments string.

1. I never said Crabtree was a saint by any stretch. I said I thought murder seemed to be a stretch from what little evidence I saw. Regardless, it wasn't even close to being a pivotal point of the post. In fact, it was included as an anecdote towards the end of the post.

2. I'm not too concerned with responding to some of the tirades listed here because they were posted anonymously. People get nasty behind the anonymity of the internet and I don't find it worth the time and energy required to engage in any debate with them. I probably should really just delete their comments but for everyone's enjoyment, entertainment, or education, I'm leaving them.

3. My wife is expecting twins any day now. They will be my first two children and our parents' first grandchildren. Frankly, blogging has taken a pretty big backseat lately and probably will for a while. While I appreciate the interest this post has generated, I have no intention of exploiting it or doing anything further with it. If I lived in Clearwater County, I can't imagine I'd be voting for Jeanine Brand. The Sunderland story is enough for me to steer clear. I'm still appalled that she refuses to issue an apology to the Sunderlands.

The other stories on their own aren't as significant to me. The only information I have on them is what I found online. I haven't talked to anyone directly about them. I simply found them curious given the information available on each of them. They both appeared to have a valid argument for an overly aggressive prosecution that didn't handle the cases appropriately. On their own, I may not have cared as much, but when combined with the Sunderland case, it seemed plausible that there could be a pattern with Brand. I'll let those who live in her county duke it out in the next election as to whether or not that's true.

As for future commenters, it would be awesome if you would include your name or an email address or something that identifies you. If you're going to rip other commenters or me, I honestly have no problem with that at all. We've put our thoughts out here and they deserve to be scrutinized. But the least you can do is refrain from hiding behind a wall of anonymity.

Thanks.

1/27/2010 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Jeanine Brand is doing and EXCELLENT job!..I cant believe all the b@llshit comments on the Boe case, you people are soo mis-informed and from what it sounds like, just plain stupid and arrogant. For one, Boe never bought shit from crabtree..it was distributed..you know like candy at a parade, for two the photo, a reminder of why she does what she does, still cant figured it out, let me paint you a picture... It would be like me working for red cross and having a picture of Haiti victims on my desk......Anonymous is 100% correct on every aspect...and Joey dont worry about who they are, they have every right to be anonymous...YOU and everybody else on the other hand, if you have such a busy and fabulous life, unless your directly involved in the case, and actually know what your talking about and have the facts straight, just shut up..be my guest and throw the whole...cry cry freedom of speech back at me..I dont care..you and everybody else besides anonymous who commented on the case are WRONG...

oh and by the way heres my contact information...
you are all dumb asses besides anonymous for not having your facts straight@yahoo.com and you can reach me at 218-stop blogging about shit you know nothing about..

1/28/2010 9:26 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Well, I don't know about the rest of you but that argument seems pretty darn convincing, huh?

It just proves my point. People stoop to phenomenally low levels when hidden behind a wall of anonymity.

1/28/2010 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Gwen declared,

From the Grand Forks Herald 1/28/10- regarding the Martin case:

"County Attorney Jeanine Brand said the brothers are charged with manslaughter and not murder because evidence suggests they did not intend to kill their sister but were culpably negligent in her death."

Ok - what's the difference here between what Crabtree did? Why is Crabtree being charged with murder and not manslaughter?

Nobody is saying that what Crabtree did was ok - but it seems the charges are not being applied correctly.
If someone knows the reason - I'd like to know.

1/28/2010 4:24 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Gwen, I don't know what the difference is and that was my point. From all of the evidence I've seen, manslaughter seems appropriate. Based on my understanding of the law though, murder does not.

I know, it's clearly a sore point for people and I hate that it's even become an issue for anyone. The point of this post was the Sunderland case, NOT the Crabtree case.

But since people seem fired up about the Crabtree case, I suppose it has to be addressed. And I agree with the conclusion you've come to. I don't understand why they settled with a charge of murder rather than manslaughter.

1/28/2010 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Gwen declared,

ok - I looked up murder in the 3rd degree " a. Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree b.Without intent to cause death, proximately causes the death of a human being by, directly or indirectly, unlawfully selling, giving away, bartering, delivering, exchanging, distributing, or administering a controlled substance"

Ok so it seems that both the Martin case and the Crabtree case meet the definition of murder in the 3rd and they both meet the definition of manslaughter. In my opinion what the Martins allegedly did was far worse than what Crabtree allegedly did - yet he is being charged more severely. Crabtree did not force Boe (from what I know) to take the pills, according to the charges the Martin's actually stangled the sister. This is only my opinion and I am not condoning what either party did.

1/28/2010 8:28 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Nice Gwen! I'm obviously no lawyer here. :)

I'd love to have spent more time with this but with my wife due any day with twins and me just starting a new job among other things, I just haven't had the time to dig into it.

1/28/2010 11:45 PM  
Anonymous tksue17@yahoo.com declared,

Joey: Enjoy these last days of peace and quiet nights.You and your wife have so much to look forward to-double happiness. In reading all these comments-some of which are more than a bit disturbing-it is beautiful to know there is such wondrous joy ahead for you and your family. Thank you Joey for caring so much about something so far removed from you.

1/29/2010 1:13 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer declared,

From Star Tribune 1/27/10:
(regarding the Martin case)

Her death came after the deaths of two other women: 19-year-old Katie Poirier and 16-year-old Julie Holmquist. "There was very much a scare around here that there was someone in the northwest region here killing females. It was huge," Clearwater County Attorney Jeanine Brand said.

Julie Holmquist was abudcted on 7/30/98 and Katie Poirier was abducted on 5/26/99.

Leisa Martin went missing 10/28/1998.

Poirier's abduction was AFTER the Martin death.

I don't remember a "huge" scare either.

1/29/2010 6:24 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

After some of the comments I've had lately here I was dreading reading what these last two people had to say when I saw your comments pop up in my inbox this morning. It was really refreshing to see two comments that weren't full of bitterness and spite! Thank you!

1/29/2010 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

(b) Whoever, without intent to cause death, proximately causes the death of a human being by, directly or indirectly, unlawfully selling, giving away, bartering, delivering, exchanging, distributing, or administering a controlled substance classified in schedule I or II, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $40,000, or both.

The above is the reason Crabtree is getting what he is getting...and the fact that he was on probation already for burglary, disorderly conduct, etc. when it happened and the fact that he has a history of violence and criminal activites (and all of them, sadly, were not reported) like the beating of that lady in Shevlin. Besides the charges being right one with the Crabtree case, the more of a criminal history someone has, and especially being on probation, the more severe the consequences. i really wish people would at least attempt to be familiar with the laws/statutes before posting. You all know there is a family who is grieving right now over the loss of Boe don't you? What if Boe was your son or family member? Crabtree has a roof over his head, a nice bed to sleep in, and is served three meals a day for free while getting family visits and phone calls every week and probably smiling, because he knows, just like the rest of his crimes, he will get a slap on the wrist and maybe, even with these charges serve 4-5 years, while Travis is 6 feet under...never getting to see his family again and let's not forget, Travis is not here to defend himself like Crabtree and his attorney are. If Crabtree didn't have the record he has with his criminal history, this county and the people of this county, then maybe I would start to believe just a little that these charges were too harsh, but they are right on. As a resident of this county all my long life, this Martin case only proves what I have been saying all along, we need someone who isn't afraid to uphold the law/statutes such as Miss Brand, unless you live here...you don't undertstand. This is one of 2 of the poorest counties in MN so of course the crime rate is up too.

2/03/2010 2:06 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Once again, this post was about the Sunderland case. I think previous comments have already shown the Crabtree case to be pretty irrelevant.

2/03/2010 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Well if it's irrelevant, why did you post about it then? You were the one who brought it up and when people google names to do with cases, your blog comes up...so don't blame everyone else. Sorry, when you blog, you don't always hear what you want to hear, see what you want to see and not everyone agrees with you, especially when you aren't from here and don't know scribble about the people you are talking about...or even about the laws/charges that pertain to the cases. You have a degree I see...use your knowledge to educate yourself further b4 posting or don't post at all if you can't take the replies.

2/03/2010 2:33 PM  
Anonymous justicegal@live.com declared,

Please quit defending Ms. Brand. Joey's blog was right on - "jeanine brand: what were you thinking?!?" The real issue here is the Sunderland case. Someone on here posted that the county violated a MN Statute. Who is going to be held accountable for that?

2/03/2010 3:51 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Once again, a few things.

1. Thanks for the more civil tone in the last few comments.
2. The anonymous comments are still annoying.
3. Crabtree has nothing to do with the Sunderland case. The only reason I had included it previously was I was looking at other cases Brand had handled to see if there were other instances of excessive charges and suspected that case may fit that description. It's been pretty well established that the state of Minnesota's definition of third degree murder does seem to fit what Crabtree did. I may just remove that portion of the post altogether so people quit talking about it.
4. Unfortunately, the emotions, pain, and suffering of those involved in any of these cases are irrelevant in a court of law.
5. You're right, I don't always hear what I want to with blogging. That's what I love about it!
6. The slap about my degree and education was uncalled for. Let's keep personal attacks like that out of this.

2/03/2010 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Let's get one thing clear about Crabtree "beating a woman to a bloody pulp", the woman was drunk, and attacked crabtree, she got a couple of stiches in her forhead, and admitted to the investigator that she was trying to get crabtree in trouble. It was the night of wedding and she was harassing him! Crabtree was already married when boe died. he was not planning his wedding. the other people at that party have drug possession charges, and the host continued to sell drugs out of his home after his "friend" died. I think the host already had the drugs and didn't want to go to prison after he was caught selling in March of 2009 and blamed crabtree.

3/02/2010 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Everyone at that party should be charged. Not just the one who peed clean, sure the others lied to cover up their usage.

3/02/2010 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

The people that think they know this case so well I would like to ask you WERE YOU THERE? or are you only going by what your drug addicted relatives(who were also related to Travis) and their friends were telling you what happened that night? Did you know that the person whose house this happened at was a drug dealer who was busted by the Paul Bunyan Task Force and Clearwater County Sheriff's office was selling drugs with Travis? There is a witness to this, it was four days before this so called gathering. Did you know that this drug dealer was selling drugs before Travis died and after Travis died in this same house? I have the Paul Bunyan Task Force Papers and Clearwater County Sheriff's interviews to prove it. Did you know that this convicted drug dealer has been busted more than once for selling drugs?This convicted drug dealer only got 45 days for his second drug crime? Did you know that many of these witnesses/relatives to Travis are known drug users and dealers, If you live here in Clearwater County, you knows who's selling and using. Let me clarify the Jeanine Brand connection for you. Even Jeanine Brand stated in her interview to the Grand Forks Herald that "she has gotten to know the family over the years"...is that black and white enough for you? So anonymous please correct your facts about what you know. You stated that the family was not known to her before this case yet the County Attorney stated this to a big city Newspaper. Did you also know that Jeanine is related to the Sunderlands; and that the crime victim advocate is related to the Sunderlands/Boes/Randbergs/Thompson/Anderson's who is helping the deceased's family? How can this case not be biased? How can a jury pool not be tainted? How can this be a fair trial if everyone thinks they know everything that happened that night just because everyone heard something about that night and put their two cents into it. Jeanine is even telling these witnesses, who are relatives not to talk to investigators about the case. Isn't this tampering with witnesses? Seems to me Ms. Brand has a bit of Prosecutorial Misconduct going on and abuse of power here wouldn't you say? If she was doing such a good job why is she using drug dealers as witnesses? All the people that were there that night should be charged with neglect and disregard for the deceased too. They were his relatives and good friends, why didn’t they stop each other? Why did they all give conflicting statements? The party host/drug dealer gave five different statements. One of Travis’s good friends/cousins gave conflicting statements; about who was even there and what happened. Does anyone know that Travis, and two others at the home left the residence at 3am to ride around in Rice Lake? Does anyone know that Travis made himself throw up so he could drink more beer that night after everyone left? Does anyone know what Travis, the drug dealer and another witness; who is the County drunk were doing after everyone left? Why did the drug dealer say they went to bed at 1:30AM when they were riding around until 4AM in Rice Lake; Rice Lake is a known hotspot for pills and smash houses as they are called down there. Did you know that the drug dealer and drunk waited a whole hour after they found Travis before they called for help? Why? What were they hiding? They all know the dangers of drugs yet they were all a part of it. They just don’t want to get in trouble I’m sure. I want to know how can people point their fingers at someone else and forget to look at their own families. They know who uses and sells drugs in their families. How many families are your relatives hurting yet you want a scapegoat to blame it all on!You need to get the facts straight before trying to act like you know everything!I'm only raising awareness of Ms. Brand's misconducts and abuse of power and the bullcrap that is going on in Clearwater County. Either you have to be related or have gotten to know some families over the years to stay free from persecution in Clearwater County.

3/04/2010 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Boe would be alive if he said "no to drugs" and all the other's that were at that home that night...where were his relatives and family? oh yeah they were right there doing drugs with him! wow! I also believe Travis Boe was selling drugs also around a school look it up on the MN judicial website...he chose that lifestyle now didn't he? he knew the consequences? I'm sure he was a good kid but so is everybody else's kids too until they get in trouble with drugs and then everybody wants to blame someone else.

3/04/2010 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Anonymous stated:
"Did you also know that Jeanine is related to the Sunderlands"

Clarification: Ms. Brand is NOT related to the Sunderlands.The Sunderlands NEVER have been,never were and we pray to God, NEVER will be related in any way to Ms. Brand.
But I DO believe and agree there is a whole lot of corruption in Clearwater County, unfortunately those who are in a place to do something about it cannot seem to see that; either that or they simply have made the choice not to acknowledge the corruption.

TLM

3/04/2010 7:26 PM  
Anonymous tsue17@yahoo.com declared,

Interesting that the local community newspaper just won a major award that is about "the abuse of power by the local county attorney"
See http://www.startribune.com/local/86726692.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU
In your March 7th Sunday Star Tribune.

3/06/2010 10:46 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Wow, thanks for that link! I'd love to see the reports that paper has published.

3/08/2010 12:59 AM  
Anonymous tsue17@yahoo.com declared,

Joey:

If you go to: http://www.mjc.umn.edu/
and scroll down to Excellence in Coverage of Breaking News (Smaller Organization)
Tom Burford
Farmers Independent
Series on Jennings and Clarice Sunderland
which is the second site mentioned all the articles by Mr. Burford are there.
Again, Joey, thank you for caring.

3/08/2010 7:04 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Thank you! That's exactly what I was looking for.

3/08/2010 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/153548/publisher_ID/40/

now how come their not pressing charges against someone? where did he get his morphine? someone had to of given it, bartered or sold it to him?

3/09/2010 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Gwen declared,

Court Drops Murder Charge

"Clearwater County Attorney Jeanine Brand said her decision to drop the charge against Brian Crabtree came down to a medical examiner’s conclusion that morphine and alcohol, not just morphine, caused the death of Travis Boe."

The autopsy was out in May and he was charged in Sept. Isn't the autopsy the same thing as the medical examiner's report?

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/event/article/id/100017149/publisher_ID/3/

3/25/2010 6:26 AM  
Anonymous gene declared,

as a resident of clearwater county i belive ms. brand is NOT a good county attorney. i am ashamed that she throws elderly men in jail, that she trys ruining a school teachers life and most of all that she wont own up to her mistakes. LETS DO SOMTHING ABOUT THIS!!!!! she is up for re-elction this year along with MOST of our county officals. lets send a message that we as a county wont take this abuse of power anymore. i encourage residents of clearwater county to run for these positions and try to make a difference. im not happy to just sit here and complain its not just her its the county as a whole and id love to see manny new names next year on the county website under officals. so i think its time to quit complaining and do somthing about it and thats exsactly what i entend to do.

3/27/2010 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Justice Gal declared,

Regarding Karbowski case . . .

Look at what the article says - "over zealous county district attorney wanted to get a conviction no matter what the costs to an innocent individual."

http://www.press-on.net/2009_5_1web.pdf

I agree with Gene - some changes need to be made. She is supposed to be a "minister of justice" and it appears to me she is strictly working on being a "minister of INJUSTICE."

Perhaps one day soon she will "reap what she has sown."

3/27/2010 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Please don't draw conclusions about the Martin case without knowing the facts. One man is guilty as sin, the other innocent and being falsely accused by his younger brother who is a sociopathic coward incapable of telling the truth or taking accountability for his actions.

7/24/2010 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Whomever wrote that last blog on 7/24/2010 about the Martin case show your name.
You should take accountabilty for your accusations.

7/27/2010 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Justice Gal declared,

I previously posted on 3/27/10 that "Perhaps one day soon she will reap what she has sown."

It looks like that day came on 11/02/10 when Jeanine Brand was voted out of office.

11/05/2010 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Theresa declared,

Joey:
Many months ago I found your blog by "chance" the very day you posted this. Truly you are a hero to me Joey and I say that most sincerely. I appreciate more than I can tell you that you took a stand on this.

11/05/2010 9:42 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Thanks for the support! I had no idea this would get as much attention as it did when I posted it. I just saw a case that looked fishy to me when I read the story about the Sunderlands and then watched the news story. It brought tears to my eyes and made me angry. I always try to be fair though so I thought I'd see if this was an isolated incident or if things like this had happened before. Unfortunately, it didn't take a lot of digging to find more.

I have no idea who Richard Mollin is. I didn't even post this with the idea of seeing Brand voted out of office. But from my perch over 250 miles away on election night, I was smiling for everyone in Clearwater County and especially for the Sunderland family.

11/05/2010 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Connie declared,

We were smiling too Joey - in fact we're still smiling! We are so thankful that Rick Mollin won.

11/05/2010 12:08 PM  

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