Letter: Writer wants to see headline: "Yes, there will be a trial - again"
Yes, there was a “Hearing in Columbia – Again” before the SC Supreme Court regarding the trial and conviction of Michael Beaty. The State filed a Petition for Rehearing with the Clerk of the SC Supreme Court 01/13/2017. Michael Beaty’s attorneys also filed a Petition for Rehearing.
Why would the State file for a Rehearing when they got the conviction they sought? One reason is that the Supreme Court, in their ruling after the first hearing last October, found errors in Trial Judge Jeffrey Young’s opening remarks to the jury. Judge Young shifted the burden of proof of guilt away from the State where it belongs, according to the Justices. Additionally, the Justices ruled that in criminal cases after the December opinion becomes final, prosecutors will be required to open and close cases in full on the law and the facts. They will not be permitted to raise new matters, as did Mr. Stumbo in Michael Beaty’s trial. Presenting new “facts” or theories provides a huge advantage to the prosecutor because the defense is not allowed to respond. Mr. Stumbo did this in very dramatic fashion using a power point presentation in his closing against Michael Beaty. It was a cold and calculated performance that should not have been allowed. If these antics will not be allowed in future trials, why not grant Michael Beaty another trial to correct the errors of the first trial?
I am very sorry that Ms. Asbill died. Her family and friends lost someone they loved dearly. However, many people in Laurens County and beyond have been deceived for the past four years in so many ways. I could give many examples, but this is not the forum for that.
Who among you knows what positional asphyxia is? Did any law enforcement officers consider this manner of death during the investigation? How do they explain a ligature mark only on the front of the neck? Did a blood alcohol level of 0.239% contribute to Ms. Asbill’s death? If you do not know what that level of intoxication does to a person, google it, please. Was it ever reported in this paper or any other that William Alexander recanted false statements he made to police the night he was questioned while under the influence of drugs and alcohol? Once false information is disseminated, it is very difficult to learn the truth when the false statements are not corrected.
A deceased woman cannot be brought back to life. But a wrongful conviction against Michael Beaty can be remedied.
Police and prosecutors want convictions. When unproven theories are proposed and facts are denied, families themselves are deceived. Yes, there was a hearing in Columbia – again. I want to see a headline that says “Yes, there will be a trial – again.”