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Still awaiting decision in Thomas case

By Rob Holbert

OCTOBER 23, 2009



After a full day of deliberation Friday, the jury in the trial of ex-judge Herman Thomas could come to no conclusions and was released for the weekend by Special Judge Claud Neilson.

The jury twice asked questions concerning points of the judge's instructions, delivered to them Thursday, including having the judge re-read his entire list of instructions over again. Still, despite a seeming flurry of activity concerning Thomas and his attorneys toward the end of the day, Friday ended without a decision.

"It's like trying to pick a wife out of a whorehouse," defense attorney Robert "Cowboy Bob" Clark said outside the courtroom after the jury was released for the weekend. "They can't seem to come to a decision. I came to one right away. They say they're hung."

Lead prosecutor Nicki Patterson didn't agree with Clark's assessment that the jury is hung, or can't come to a unanimous agreement.

"No one has polled the jury or taken a vote. I'm not sure he (Clark) knows. No one does," Patterson said.

She said the length of time the jury has been deliberating - about 10 hours total by Friday's end - indicates the jury is taking it's duty seriously and giving careful consideration to the more-than 20 charges facing the former Mobile County Circuit Court judge.

Originally Friday morning it seemed the jury wanted more detailed instructions on the definitions of Assault in the Second Degree, but Neilson ended up going over the whole list of instructions again. Later in the afternoon, they asked for a more detailed description of Attempted Sodomy, which Thomas is accused of in the case of the first alleged victim to testify in the trial.

Both defense and prosecution attorneys expressed confidence the case was going well, although the always-brash Clark still predicted total victory for his client.

"I'm not concerned about nothing," Clark said when asked if he was concerned about the length of time the jury has been out.

Patterson wouldn't go that far, saying only that sending the jury home over the weekend is always something that can make a prosecutor worry the case could lose momentum, but it's impossible to tell.

Clark said if the jury comes back in Monday and is still hung, Neilson will give them an Allen Charge, otherwise known as a "Dynamite Charge," that will instruct them to go back in and stay until they have a verdict. Patterson again disagreed with Clark's analysis, saying he had been the one to suggest that to the judge, not the other way around.

If the case is ultimately hung, it would be declared a mistrial and could be retried.

The court will reconvene Monday at 9 a.m. and deliberations are expected to begin again then.

bama478 says:

OCTOBER 27, 2009
5:41 PM
  Money talks
proud says:

OCTOBER 27, 2009
1:59 PM
  This is a terrible day in the City of Mobile. I am outraged!!! This case is embarrassing I feel for the victims. Think about it... if you were a man how much would you really say in public that happened to you by another man, a judge would you tell if he penetrated you, I dont think so. So who is taking into account that these guys are still in prison or jail and they were not able to tell all out of fear that this would happen to them again in lock up. I am a Angry Black Educated Man and I am MADD AS HELL!!!! I hope they sue the hell out of Thomas. I hope the Feds prosecute him. I hope he is never able to practice law again. If thinks now that he is free to do as he please. Out of 100 cases none of them stuck what the hell? I would not be surprised if he ends up shot. The DA in this conty must go. I like John Tyson... but its time for him toi go. His office has lost its power, he only goes after the little man. Where is Steve Garidian? Was this a host all along? Who believes in the system now Tyson Must Go!!!!! Tyson Must Go!!!!! Tyson Must Go!!!! I am so Damm angry I can hardly type this message. What the Hell? It could be hundreds of guys out there, was the county and state afraid that they would have to go back and review all of Thomases cases? I think so. was they afraid they would be sued? This will have terrible backlash!! Cant wait until election time!!
okrapod says:

OCTOBER 26, 2009
2:52 PM
  Beautifully said Judicial_Watch. Thank God you are out there and thank you Lagniappe! Where can we get an extra large new broom to sweep the dirt out of Mobile instead of just under the rug?
mobeeleel says:

OCTOBER 26, 2009
1:21 AM
  Well said. Well said. If Tyson loses this thing, he ought to just pack his bags and leave office.
judicial_watch says:

OCTOBER 24, 2009
4:40 PM
  To those who have been apologists for the Tyson administration, and criticized the role of lawyer Joe K., read: "When Good Men Do Nothing: The Assassination of Albert Patterson" by Alan Grady. You will get the feel for how important it is for citizens who can’t get law enforcement to discharge the duties of their office to begin compiling evidence and making an investigation. When the government will not enforce the law, a citizen has every right to and not let the community be taken over by the corrupt, as happened in Phenix City, Alabama. 1. Because Tyson did not begin these prosecutions in the Spring of 2007 (when the affidavits of the victims introduced at the attorneys conflicts hearing were produced, they were dated March-May 2007) the ethics cases statute of limitations expired. I do not give Atty. King or the federal authorities a pass on this either, shame on them, too! 2. Tyson was told years ago that Thomas had violated almost every one of the Alabama Fair Campaign Financing laws. In effect, he appears to have used his campaign funds as a slush fund to buy off charities, schools, people, etc. The law simply does not allow this. Campaign funds can only be used for very specific campaign uses and if the campaign committee is dissolved (which his has never been) then the balance can be donated to another campaign committee of a 501(c)3 charity. If what Herman Thomas was doing to his campaign fund was legal, then Gov. Hunt would have served two full terms. Besides, does anyone think that Herman making a purchase from “Zoghby’s Uniformsâ€Â? on August 12, 2006 for $255.00 had anything to do with a campaign? The statute of limitations has run on all of this. or 3. The prosecutors, Patterson and Tierney NEVER talked to any of their witness before calling them to the stand. And dont tell me they didnt want to be accused of coaching witnesses. Good lawyers talk to their witnesses, and tell them to always tell the truth and to tell anyone that the meeting too place. Not talking to your witnesses is just plain old laziness. This led to the debacle of Judge Graddick being crossed about going to dinner “with criminalsâ€Â?. The proper question was “Judge Graddick, have you ever been to dinner, lunch, or otherwise socialized with any criminal defendants who were on your docket?â€Â? All of this will Lee Hale, Jr. made Graddick look real bad. 4. With all of Herman character witnesses bragging about his mentoring “young peopleâ€Â?, why didn’t the prosecutors ask those witness “Have you ever seen Herman Thomas mentoring a girl?â€Â? Of the hundreds of cases that Thomas transferred, I understand that there was only ONE FEMALE. This would have shown that he was after young men. 5. Martha Thieney, a nice lady, but she should not get near this case. In 2001 or 2002 Michael Anderson, Sr. filed a series of Rule 32 motions alleging that Herman Thomas had wrongfully heard his murder case (Anderson is the man who sued Thomas in 2001 and first brought Thomas’ evil deeds to light). In Anderson Rule 32s he said that Thomas was trying to bury him in prison since Anderson knew all of his dirty secrets. Tierney defended this action in court and argued that Thomas’ sentence was fair, etc. Thus, she (Tierney) knew all about these allegations 7 or 8 years ago but did nothing. 6. Finally, why the stony silence from the “mainstream pressâ€Â?. The Apple Snails continue to get more press than this story. Judges Hogan and Sullivan were convicted in 1984 of being thieves but it was front page for weeks. Is there a collective guilt in this community? Herman Thomas was on the board of directors of a statewide bank, Springhill College, the University of South Alabama, two dozen civic boards, and “gave advice to the Archbishopâ€Â?. Are the leading citizens of the community embarrassed and ashamed that he pulled the wool over their eyes for 20 years? Is the Mobile Press-Register embarrassed that it never even talked to Michael Anderson, Sr. in 2001 when he filed a sworn lawsuit, with attached affidavits and sent them copies every few months? We should all be embarrassed by this. If the local prostitute claims that the well respected preacher raped her, it should be investigated. If a mental patient at Searcy claims that a doctor or nurse has been sexually abusing him, it should be investigated. And yes, if a convict of felon says judge has abused him, it should be investigated. Lagniappe should will an award for helping to expose this!

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