justice

GUILTY!

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.

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Images from https://www.accesskent.com/InmateLookup/

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I’ve Had Enough (a rant)

I’m angry. As I have stated in the past (The 7 Deadly Sins ~ Day 4, Wrath), I don’t handle anger well. It’s all-encompassing. I’m obsessing over it. I can’t write. All I can think about is how mad I am. Why am I so upset? Because I was right. In this case, that is the last thing that I wanted to be.

I asked the prosecutor not to go easy on him. Living across the street from him, I knew that this was not a dependable human being. I had heard him taunt passersby. I saw him behave violently toward his own family members. HE BROKE INTO MY HOME WHILE I SLEPT AND STOLE NEARLY EVERYTHING OF VALUE THAT I OWN. Then, he sold my possessions, out of a garage that I can see from my front window, right under my nose, to shady individuals who absolutely had to know that they were purchasing someone’s stolen property (what kind of human excrement does that?) After the robbery, my dear neighbor offered to help find the culprits. He told me he’d keep his eyes open and ears to the ground. He came to my home to check on the progress of the investigation. This man pretended to care about my plight, simply to gain information about the case, all while selling our belongings to strangers. Yes, his partner in crime was the ringleader. Yes, it was important to get him. No, it was not worth setting this guy free to do it. Now I’m being told that we don’t even NEED Tommy’s testimony to convict his accomplice. When the prosecution made the disappointing decision to cut him some slack, I expressed my extreme displeasure. I was dismissed. I was told, “If he screws up, he serves out the rest of his sentence in jail.” I knew it wasn’t that simple. I’ve seen him abscond before. Even prior to this fiasco the police were constantly looking for him. When they found him once, I watched this kid fiercely resist arrest from my own front yard. So did my youngest child. I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN.

I can’t continue to sit here and do nothing. I am seething. I spent hours combing social media sites looking for clues to Tommy Libbett’s (aka Tommy Norfside Savage) whereabouts. I found a recent picture of him smoking a joint, smart for a guy on parole. In the background, I can see a couch, photos on the wall, and a picture collage on a shelf. I’ve compared those surroundings to pictures posted by every one of his contacts. I think I know where he is. That just makes me more furious. If I’m right, the same people who got away with harboring him before are getting away with it now. Anyway, this guy has a GRPD task force on his ass. I still think I’ll find him first. It’s a question of desire. Mine absolutely outweighs theirs right now.

If you’ve seen this guy, call the Grand Rapids Police Dept at (616) 456-3403 immediately, please. He WILL be present to testify against his co-conspirator, Jariel. If you think this kid sounds bad, I’ve got much more to tell you about that accomplice. Thankfully, after much hassle and a decent sized scare, they managed to finally put that guy behind bars, where he sits, awaiting trial. Trial is scheduled to begin this month. Part of the plea deal that allowed Tommy to do just 10 months for his part in the home invasion in the 1st degree (a felony that carries up to a 20 year sentence), was that he would testify. I intend to hold his ass to it.

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