Saturday, January 16, 2010


Wow, it took a lot but we finally got gone on Wed. 1/13. After a lot of help from my son, Sean, the car got up on the trailer but it was too late on Tues. to leave so the plan was to head out early on Wed. That turned into 12 Noonish after another few delays.
Driving out of Colorado there were these snowdrifts that looked like waves frozen in time (which they really are– LOL). I kinda liked the colors; a lot of them were pinkish.
It is not often there is a town with the same name as an acquaintance so I took this photo for Suzie.

We have passed through Dodge City about 2 years ago on our way to Branson. The road was under construction and still is. Last time we checked it out and it looked like old buildings that were newly constructed with new paint – all hype.

Lots of feed lots along the way too. If you don’t see them you can certainly smell them.

Somebody likes wind spinners and yard decorations. I bet there were about 200+ feet.

I read that since it is so cold that some birds will be flying further south. This is one of 4 flocks of geese we saw, all at the same time. H-U-G-E is an understatement.
We passed through Rock, OK and saw a sign in front of a house said - You are between Rock
and our house!!

There was a tiny, rural post office here too, where we stopped to mail an international package. The lady behind the window said she does not do these very often, so Gene had to tell her how.

A dear friend is from Shawnee, OK and knows people there. We waved at them at we went past!!

The whole 3rd day was foggy and this was one of the worst sections just east of Shawnee.
We woke up this AM in Checotah, OK to these beautiful Cardinals in the tree next to our window. We hardly ever see pretty or different birds at our house in CO, so this was a treat. A huge blue jay visited too.
It rained all last night and is raining east of here in Arkansas, so we are staying put until tomorrow. The weather says sunny all the way to FL.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Am I Glad I Was Dismissed from JURY DUTY?

Heck yes.

The questioning of the potential jurors started with the assistant district attorney Jeff Harwood. I think this must have been his 1st trial since the analogy to get things started was almost funny.

He was trying to get us to understand that what the judge says is law is law and we are to abide by that no matter what we think. So he said – this table (and tapped the table) – if the judge says it is a chair you have to treat it as a chair. – HUH!!!??? He even apologized it was a stretch but it was so poor we couldn’t even laugh at it.

Mr. Harwood also apologized for not memorizing the seating chart and calling us by our names. He made several excuses including a long holiday break and not enough coffee. And this dude is a professional? Hardly.

He stumbled around for a while and then it was the defense attorney’s turn – Josh Toloni. Now thinking about it, it was like we were on trial with the way he was firing questions at us and the route he took, to make his evaluations.

At the beginning Judge Kelly told us that either attorney or he could dismiss any of us without giving a reason. This guy said he was going to ask us questions to help him and the other attorney decide which one of us to “THROW OFF”. Wow that is classy talk but I guess to be expected from a public defender. .

One good thing he took the time and effort to memorize the chart, which gives him positive points but not enough to overcome what was coming.

1st was did we know that CO spends more on prisons than on education. Why did we think that? He got all sorts of answers. Then he went on to the death penalty, even tho’ this was not a death penalty case.

Mr. Pepper is African American and so the next fact was - did we know that 20% of the prisoners in CO are of the same race with only 4% of the population being the same. Why did we think that was? There were all sorts of answers like racial profiling, lack of education etc., But then one woman nailed it – she asked him “Why is this an issue? I though we are all people and what does race matter? It seems that in the last year that is all we have heard.” If we could have stood an applauded her, we would have.

Some of the things he asked me were to tell him about the 2 Crimestopper programs I help to start in NM. Next - why there were so many prisoners in this country as compared to other countries? My answer was “lack of respect for the law. There is nothing to deter them from going to jail when prisons are like country clubs. I like the sheriff that makes his prisoners wear pink and that all prisoners should help to grow their food and if they don’t grow it or raise it, they don’t eat it.” When I got done he said, “ You scare me Mrs. Sanchez”. Oh yippeee.!!!!!!!

He was questioning other people too but he came back to me again and asked about the % of African Americans in jail. My reply was WHY and he said that is what I am asking you. SO I said I have no idea, since I have not walked in those shoes.

When his time was up, they had an off the record, whispering meeting with Judge Kelly. Everyone around me kept hearing Mrs. Sanchez; Mrs. Sanchez – so we knew I was going. The man next to me told me not to be jumping up and down as I left. LOL

This was the first time I have been called as a juror. I believe in the system, but no wonder lawyers are regarded like they are. Sleazy manipulators.

But when all is said and done, he had every right to be scared of me, because after reading the article I would not have even needed to get out of the chair to find him guilty.

The question that haunts me tho’ is – if he was on parole – he had been found guilty of something else. Then he murdered 2 people and put on trail found guilty, sentenced and now they are trying him for the escape. Huh?? Why? What a waste? Guess it boosts the district attorneys numbers and wins. And they wonder why the state is poor.

Will I be anxious to be called again? Ahhh NO

The Trial I was Dimissed from details in next blog

Convicted killer facing more prison time for escape
January 06, 2010 1:09 PM
A jury this week found Darneau V. Pepper guilty of escape for fleeing Colorado Springs while on parole shortly after he killed two men and wounded two others.

The jurors returned their verdict Tuesday after deliberating for less than an hour.
Pepper faces a potential punishment of up to 48 years in prison, on top of the two life sentences plus 908 years he is serving for his role in the Feb. 9, 2008, shootings at the Whitney Young Manor apartments in the 2100 block of Delta Drive. The shootings were triggered by a dispute over rap music.

Jurors in this most recent trial were not told of the double homicide. Instead they listened to about six prosecution witnesses who described how Pepper had been on parole and wearing an ankle monitor to ensure he was home each night at curfew.

After the murders though, he fled to Hopkinsville, Ky., where police arrested him six days later.
During his two-day trial, Pepper refused to answer routine questions put to him by 4th Judicial District Judge Patrick Kelly.

Before the trial, Pepper’s defense attorney, Josh Tolini, criticized prosecutors for seeking to pile more jail time on his client who already is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison. Tolini called the trial “a gigantic waste of the taxpayers’ money.”

Deputy District Attorney Jeff Harwood declined comment until after Pepper is sentenced.

A habitual criminal and sentencing hearing have not been scheduled yet.