Could this home invasion ordeal finally be nearing its finale? Just a few weeks short of a full year after it happened, it looks like it is.
I received my subpoena for trial over 2 weeks ago. We were ordered to appear at 8:30am, Monday, June 23, 2014. The very prospect of court hung over me like a dark cloud the entire time that document was affixed to my refrigerator. I had testified at this man’s preliminary hearing. Having a victim take the stand during a prelim is actually highly irregular but the defense was desperate. Despite the claim of the defense attorney to the contrary, I think they just wanted to rattle me. On the inside, it worked. Fortunately I was able to maintain my composure. On the outside, I was bulletproof. Anyway, I was particularly anxious on Sunday night. I didn’t want to go AGAIN, but even more, I just wanted this to end. I lost count of how many hearings and status updates we attended between this guy & his accomplice, but let’s just ballpark it at 10. We called in as required to find out that our scheduled appearance had been delayed. They no longer needed us first thing, just the prosecutor and detective. We were instructed to call and check status again at 11:00am on Monday.
The delay was just more time for the angst to rise. Jariel Herbert was guilty. I knew it. He knew it. The prosecutor, the lead detective, and the defense attorney knew it. Hell, with all of the back and forth, “I will plea”, “I won’t plea”, I’m pretty sure the judge knew it too. Yet for months this snake put his every effort into slithering out of the ramifications of his actions. He spun elaborate tales. He convinced others to lie for him. The prosecution was sick as hell of dealing with him. When I spoke with prosecutor Boer last week, he seemed defeated. He was nearly willing to make a ridiculously generous plea deal just to rid his desk of this compulsive liar’s file. I wouldn’t have it.
So, it looked very much like we were headed for trial. I assumed jury selection would begin after plea talks failed once again. Much to my surprise (and from what I understand, the surprise of Jariel’s own lawyer) Jariel Herbert stood in front of the judge and finally admitted his guilt. He suddenly and unexpectedly admitted to the charge of home invasion in the first degree. The prosecution only had to drop the conspiracy charge (which was the deal on the table for months). I don’t know why he changed his mind in the final hour, but his decision lifted a weight I had carried for nearly a year.
I have one more trip to the courthouse on my agenda. I will be at sentencing to speak my mind in front of the judge. After that I will be obtaining a copy of all court transcripts related to this case and assembling the complete true story of what happened in the early morning hours of July 8, 2013, and the subsequent events that were set into action because of it.
Oh, and to update you on the outcome after my post I’ve Had Enough (a rant), Jariel’s accomplice, Tommy Libbet, has been apprehended. Thanks to a couple of tips (one that generated from my post) we were able to narrow his location to pretty much my own backyard. Community officers took him in last Monday. His sweet plea deal is out the window. This is the latest in the 19 year old’s vast collection of mug shots.
Images from https://www.accesskent.com/InmateLookup/