What In the Sam Hill Is Going On?
Editor's Note: Information provided herein is derived from court records, news media reports and/or reader contributions. While the Editor of Bubbaworld makes every reasonable effort to insure the information presented is as accurate as humanly possible, we can not attest to the accuracy of the data obtained from outside sources. Individuals pending trial or against whom charges are dismissed are entitled to a presumption of innocence. They have not been found guilty in a court of law but were simply charged with a crime. Please keep this fact in mind as you read through what follows. Throughout this article direct quotes when used will appear in bold type, comments and opinon of the Editor of Bubbaworld will appear in italic, as does this editor's note.
Publication Date: 2/21/05
On January 20, 2005 the Poteau Daily News in a report titled, "Talihina man charged with child pornography" reported that William Michael Wade, age 63, of Talihina, OK had been charged with possession of child pornography, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and attempted display of obscene material.
The referenced article stated that an affidavit filed by LeFlore County
Deputy Sheriff Sam Hill indicated that Hill accompanied by Talihina Police
Chief Jack England went to Wade's residence on December 19, 2004 in regard to
an alleged assault having occurred at the Wade residence.
The report went on to state that Deputy Hill's affidavit also indicated that in the course of the investigation that Wade granted the officers permission to search his home. The report also indicated that in Deputy Hill's affidavit it was alleged that a woman at the residence told the officers that Wade's computer contained images of children between the ages of four and 10 engaged in various sexual poses and acts and that Wade had been attempting to get the woman's children to look at the pornography on the computer.
The Poteau Daily News article went on to state that Deputy Hill's affidavit also indicated that when Hill touched the computer's mouse, disabling the screen saver, that an image of a juvenile girl engaged in sexual intercourse with an adult male appeared on the screen. The news report went on to state that the affidavit indicated that Hill found other images on the computer which contained children engaged in various sexual acts and poses.
As of the date of this writing, the referenced news report is available in the archives of the Poteau Daily News by Clicking Here
On February 18, 2005, the Poteau Daily News in a report titled, "Child
pornography charges dismissed" reported that all charges against William
Michael Wade had been dismissed at the request of Assistant District Attorney
The referenced report quoted Nicholson as stating, "upon further evaluation of the evidence and the inability to locate an essential witness, I didn't feel we could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt at this time.
The referenced news report went on to indicate that Nicholson stated that the charges had been dismissed without prejudice and could be refiled at a later time. Additionally the report indicated that a petition previously filed by the District Attorney's office to revoke Wade's probation from an earlier conviction for food stamp fraud had also been dismissed.
As of the date of this writing, the second referenced news report is available in the archives of the Poteau Daily News by Clicking Here
In the opinion of this writer, if ever there was a case that begs the
question "What the Sam Hill Is Going On?" this is it.
Taking the Poteau Daily News quote attributed to assistant District Attorney Meg Nicholson as an accurate representation of what was actually stated can only leave law abiding persons everywhere in shock and dismay.
Throughout the history of our criminal justice system the sworn affidavit of a certified law enforcement officer witnessing the commission of a crime is often the ONLY evidence upon which charges are brought to trial. What better witness can a district attorney have than a law enforcement officer that actually witnesses the crime in progress? In cases alleging the existence of child pornography on a computer, what better evidence can a district attorney have than the computer itself?
Pause for a moment and consider the statement attributed to ADA Nicholson.
"upon further evaluation of the evidence and the inability to locate an essential witness, I didn't feel we could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt at this time.
Basically there are two conditions contained in that statement along with a very big 'AND'.
First consider the phrase, 'further evaluation of the evidence'. Just what does that mean? Did the further evaluation of the evidence reveal that there was no child pornography located on the computer? If that were the case then of course the charges should have been dismissed WITH prejudice, as there would have been no crime committed. Since this was not the case one can only surmise that ADA Nicholson felt that child pornography did exist on the computer.
Next consider that great big 'AND'. And means what it says. For example, 'this AND that' combined together result in something happening or as in this case not happening. The 'and' ties the two conditions specified in the above quote together. It is therefore essential to understanding the meaning of the statement as quoted.
Lastly consider the phrase, 'the inability to locate an essential witness'.
Huh? Is Deputy Sam Hill somehow missing?
It was Deputy Hill that allegedly discovered the child pornography on the computer. What more essential a witness could there be than Deputy Hill?
Granted it was alleged in Hill's affidavit that 'a woman' informed him of the existence of the child pornography on the computer 'AND' that woman alleged that Wade had been attempting to get her children to view it. However that potential witness was in no way required to prove the simple existence of the alleged child pornography on the computer, as that issue would be addressed by Deputy Hill's likely testimony of discovering the illegal materials upon the computer, a computer in the Wade residence. Then of course there's always the computer itself, a most essential witness in many child pornography cases.
While Mr. Wade's guilt or innocence can only be determined in a court of law and in a fair trial, the handling of this case by the District Attorney's office leaves a lot of questions and doubt. Questions and doubts, which in the opinion of this writer, center upon the honesty, integrity and devotion to the rule of law on the part of both the District Attorney's office and Assistant District Attorney Meg Nicholson.
There's certainly enough questions and doubts for one to stand up and ask, "What in the Sam Hill is going on in LeFlore County, Oklahoma?"