by Joseph Koniski
| Before I begin chapter
two of the travesty of justice, I need to remind the people who know, and
inform the people who don't, about the grand jury indictments of Police
Chief Jerry McCartney along with Detective Walker. These two were
indicted by the grand jury on four counts of jury tampering, or jury rigging,
or misuse of government property to garner information about prospective
jurors, or charges of that nature.
At that time Captain Gary Burchfield and Captain Leon Stintson of the Steubenville Police Dept. had been under indictment for theft and fraud and the jurors for their trial was about to be selected. What McCartney and his cohort were doing was making sure that Captains Burchfield and Stintson's jurors would be "selectively" selected.
Now it's true that neither McCartney nor Walker were ever convicted of those charges, and neither were Burchfield or Stintson. In fact, no police officer was ever convicted of anything in Steubenville, even though there were instances where they were caught red-handed with stolen tires or with the back seat of a patrol car full of stolen merchandise from a city department store such as Mr. Wiggs.
What that has to do with my trial, is that in retrospect, it is very easy to see how the jurors may have been selected to stack the deck against a fair trial. Although Steubenville is about 20% black, there were no blacks on my jury; there were no "street people" on my jury; there was no one selected who didn't believe that the Steubenville Police Dept. weren't among the finest in the land.
This is who was on my jury:
(1) HERBERT SHIRE, jury foreman and
admitted personal friend and fellow country club member of Prosecutor Stern.
You have already read my version of the incident, so now I will give you a summary according to Mamula's testimony.
At the preliminary hearing, Mamula
begins by stating that I ran a red light and immediately upon stopping
me, that I begin to curse him, and threaten him by calling him a rookie,
and that he didn't know who I was, and that I ran this town and that I
would have his badge for this.
After answering several questions by the defense attorney Dennis McNamara, McNamara came over to the table and whispered in my ear that Mamula had said more than enough to hang himself and that he would prove it if I were indicted. I was indicted.
As I now get into my criminal trial I would like to point out that what you are about to read are not allegations, but are direct and verbatim excerpts from my trial transcript. Page numbers and precise lines are included.
At this time I would appreciate it if you would pay careful attention to the testimonies I'm quoting, because, aside from the police officer's accusations, there is not one iota of physical evidence that indicates that I committed this act. Fact is, ALL of the physical evidence produced was directly contradictory to the policeman's accusation.
Here is a summary of the policeman's testimony:
Page 65, line 14. Patrolman states that he recently had 480 hours of Police Training at the Police Training Academy.
I cite this remark because it will
soon become apparent that everything the officer said he did was contrary
to his recent training.
The patrolman testifies that I ran a red light and called in my license plate number at 20:43. This time becomes important.
The patrolman then states that he stopped my vehicle and as soon as he approached my car I immediately began to verbally abuse him and while searching for my driver's license, I began to take stuff out of my glove compartment and the center console, and tossing these articles about the car. He states that he asked me to stop what I was doing and to exit the car. Patrolman claims that I continued to look for my license, so he moved closer to the vehicle, stuck his head in the window, and placed his hand on the door. Patrolman claims that I then produced a screwdriver and stabbed him in his right hand, not ONCE, not TWICE, but THREE TIMES! Patrolman then describes how he subdued me with one hand, used his radio to call for assistance, and finally to get his cuffs and handcuff me.
At the Police Academy, a patrolman is taught that when an individual begins to act irrational, he is to take two steps back, draw his revolver and then ask the individual to exit the car. THIS PATROLMAN DID THE EXACT OPPOSITE. After claiming to be stabbed by a "MADMAN" (his description), the patrolman does not go for his gun, does not use his 5 cell flashlight as a weapon, does not go for his night stick, does not use his handcuffs, does not use his mace, but instead goes for his radio to call for assistance.
The time of this call is 20:50. This indicates that 7½ minutes elapsed between calls, and would mean that we were struggling for that long of a time. The use of only one hand becomes a BIG ISSUE because this is the only way that the patrolman can account for there not being any blood on my clothing. Actually, there was no blood, no grass stains, no dirt stains, no nothing, after 7½ minutes of alleged wrestling.
Page 79, line 10.
Mamula states "My right hand wasn't of much use at the time."
Continuing on this line of questioning by Mr. Stern,
Page 83, lines 13-17.
"I am having trouble with my middle finger.", "The hand is stiff.",
"It doesn't respond to movement.", "It's sluggish."
On further questioning by Mr. McNamara, Mamula testifies,
Page 100, line 4.
"I couldn't grab anything with my hand."
If all of this were true, the question of whether Mamula could manhandle me with one hand and be able to disarm me, then handcuff me, is debatable, but we will let other testimony repudiate his remarks.
According to Dr. Fazarris' testimony (who treated Mamula),
Page 112, line 20.
"Nothing wrong inside the hand."
Then McNamara cross examines.
Page 116, lines 6-9.
"There did not appear to be any deep structure damage.", "The distal motion,
power, sensory, profusion, were all intact. That is, everything distal
to it was intact."
The above testimony was made by a professional doctor who was the attending physician to Mamula's wounds. It gets even more asinine when Mamula's top supervisor, the Chief of Police, Jerry McCartney, contradicts Mamula's previous testimony. Chief McCartney testifies as follows:
Page 127, line 23.
"When we arrived, he was talking on the radio."
This is totally contradictory to Mamula. Now I would like to refer to the officer's accusation of running a red light. An eye witness who was directly behind the police cruiser testified that I definitely did not run the red light. This young man was a reluctant witness and had to be subpoenaed into court, but he was adamant about what he saw.
In the Prosecutor's closing statement he practically acknowledges that I didn't run the red light, and made light of the subject by stating,
Page 304, lines 18-25. "So maybe Mr. Koniski didn't run the red light, but the red light is not the issue here."
My argument is that IT IS A BIG PART OF THE ISSUE because it's the only initiative for "probable cause", and the first of Mamula's MANY LIES. Now I'd like to review Mamula's testimony beginning on page 75-107.
Mamula testified that once he approached my vehicle, that I immediately began throwing things about my car from the center console, the glove compartment, and from under the seat. He then stated that at this time he came closer to the car, placed his hand on the door, and stuck his head in the window, and I came up with a screwdriver and stabbed him. This is totally contradicted by Mr. Thomas' testimony,
Page 198. "I cleaned Mr. Koniski's car and I cleaned it real good. Under the seats, between the seats, everywhere. There were no papers in the car, no tools, no stuff, and no screwdriver."
My car was immediately towed, impounded, and kept in a locked garage. From Mamula's description of my actions, the car should have been a total mess. According to Chief McCartney's testimony on page 291, lines 9-14, his police officers from his Detective Bureau were sent up to search and examine the car. When questioned as to whether they found any tools, debris, papers, or anything in the car, his reply was,
Page 291. "No, no they didn't find anything."
Kind of makes you wonder what happened to all that "stuff" Mamula said I was throwing around in the car. Now for the "alleged weapon". The instrument that Mamula claims to have been stabbed with was a 4½ inch phillips screwdriver. This tool was sent away to a Forensic Unit to check for prints. MY FINGERPRINTS WERE NOT ON THE SCREWDRIVER.
Probably the most important piece of evidence at the trial was a tape recording. The tape was supposed to have recorded all incoming calls to the police station. In my testimony I claim that immediately upon being stopped, I showed the patrolman my registration, but was unable to find my drivers license. I told him that he could check on whether or not I had a valid drivers license by my Social Security number, which I gave to him. I am positive that he called this in because I heard the response come back, "Yes, valid drivers license of Joe Koniski."
This portion of the tape was ERASED.
This is not just an accusation, it is for the moment, an unproven FACT.
This tape was played at my trial, but note in the transcript on page 147
that the tape is totally inaudible. The only way the jury or any
one in the courtroom could distinguish what was being said on the tape
was through an interpreter. This so-called interpreter was none other
that Sgt. Villamagna, a fellow police officer of patrolman Mamula.
Review of the Facts
Fact: An eyewitness testifies that I did not run the red light.
The prosecutor reveals that at a previous time the young man was arrested on a public intoxication charge, and this was his way of getting even, and getting revenge on the police department.
Fact: My prints are not on the weapon.
The Prosecutor states that this is often the case in trials of this nature.
Misdirection: After some 300 visits to my place by the police, the Prosecutor states that this is NOT POLICE HARASSMENT. They were merely doing their duty.
Misdirection: In his closing statement, the Prosecutor states that I had contrived an elaborate plan by going to the Mayor, the City Manager, the City Solicitor, the newspaper, and the FBI, and was going to use this plan just in case I got into trouble and needed a way out.
Common sense tells us that it would take a genius to contrive such an elaborate plot, while on the other hand, it would take a complete moron to devise such a plot and then blow it on an insignificant $15 traffic violation.
Prejudicing the Jury: The words 'gambling', 'illegal gambling', and 'casino' are used over 85 times at the trial. There was no illegal gambling going on, and this can be attested to by the number of arrests made during the many visits the police made to may place, a casino. There was no Crap table, no Roulette wheel, no Slot machines. There was only a Backgammon table, a Pinochle table, and a Card table.
Closing Statement: Final analogy- "Manuel Noriega"
All past records indicate no history
of violence, no assaults, no fights, no insubordination. Only institution
shots were for gambling.
How Evil is the Steubenville Police Department?
In a lengthy article in the Steubenville Herald Star dated Sept. 28, 1997, Attorney James McNamara gave a sworn deposition in federal court, summarizing all the law suits his firm handled against the Steubenville Police Dept. His firm alone had sued the Steubenville Police Dept. over 40 times, and its clients were awarded well over a million dollars.
He also stated that several insurance companies have dropped and stopped insuring the Steubenville Police because they were "Too Great a Risk". The article then listed cases and the names of numerous victims who were abused and falsely arrested by the Steubenville Police and the amounts of money awarded in each case.
How evil is the Steubenville Police Department? Ask Anthony or Mark Gilliam. Ask Michael P. Woodland or Jim Spencer or Joe Fasone or Ed Cunningham, or literally dozens (if not hundreds) of its other victims.
Consider this: I have followed all proper procedure to procure a polygraph test which was to be paid for at my own expense, to add credibility to my innocence, but in all instances I was denied. Why? I have asked the courts to relinquish the tape that was played at my trial to have it analyzed, which would prove that it was erased and/or altered. Request denied. Why??
The material on this site has been on the web for some time now, but neither Prosecutor Stern nor Chief McCartney have openly tried to repudiate any of it. Why???
If this material is falsely and maliciously displayed, why haven't steps been taken to have it removed? If this material is true, then why in the hell am I still in prison, and Stern and McCarntey still in public office?
Those questions will evidently answer themselves.
I speak the
truth because the truth will eventually set me free.
©2000 IIAO Inc.