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St.Louis County prosecutor should be investigated for conspiracy to suborn perjury

Solidarity rally and march for Michael Brown in response to the Furguson grand jury decision

Solidarity rally and march for Michael Brown in response to the Furguson grand jury decision

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon should appoint a special prosecutor to to investigate St.Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch and his two assistant prosecutors for engaging in a conspiracy to suborn perjury in the Michael Brown shooting case and Darren Wilson should be charged with murder for killing Michael Brown.

Witness 40, whom we now know to be Sandra McElroy, was the only grand jury witness who corroborated Darren Wilson’s claim that Michael Brown grunted, lowered his head and bull-rushed him leaving him no alternative except to shoot him to death. Her testimony was contradicted by 16 eyewitnesses who testified that Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown as he raised his hands in the universal gesture of surrender.

Thanks to Michael Bastone, Andrew Goldberg and Joseph Jesselli at the Smoking Gun, we now know that she committed perjury before the grand jury. She was not present at the scene and made everything up after following media reports about the shooting.

For example, she lives approximately 30 miles from Ferguson and initially told the grand jury that she drove to Ferguson to meet with an African-American friend with whom she had last had contact in 1988. But she could not recall her name or her address. When she returned to testify a second time before the grand jury, she admitted that she had not told the truth.

When Sandra McElroy [Witness 40] returned to the Ferguson grand jury on November 3, she brought a spiral notebook purportedly containing her handwritten journal entries for some dates in August, including the Saturday Michael Brown was shot.

Before testifying about the content of her notebook scribblings, McElroy admitted that she had not driven to Ferguson in search of an African-American pal she had last seen in 1988. Instead, McElroy offered a substitute explanation that was, remarkably, an even bigger lie.

McElroy, again under oath, explained to grand jurors that she was something of an amateur urban anthropologist. Every couple of weeks, McElroy testified, she likes to “go into all the African-American neighborhoods.” During these weekend sojourns–apparently conducted when her ex has the kids–McElroy said she will “go in and have coffee and I will strike up a conversation with an African-American and I will try to talk to them because I’m trying to understand more.”

Her journal entry for the day of the shooting says she went to Ferguson “to stop calling Blacks ‘ni**ers’ start calling them people.”

Hooray for her.

I encourage readers to read the article. The authors did a splendid job doing what good investigators should do. Discover the truth.

What is deeply troubling is how easy they were able to determine who Witness 40 was and prove that she made up everything. They figured that out in two days. The FBI figured it out when they interviewed her on October 22nd, before she testified before the grand jury. Questions  we must all ask are:

1) why didn’t the police and the prosecutor figure this out?

2) if they did figure it out, when did they do so?

3) did they know that she made the whole story up before they put her on the stand for the first time at the grand jury?

4) if not, did they know that she was a liar before they put her on the stand for the second time at the grand jury?

They were incompetent, if they did not know she was a liar. If they did know she was a liar, they suborned perjury by having her testify before the grand jury — not once, but twice. Subornation of perjury is a felony.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch has some ‘splainin’ to do, but he probably should exercise his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent as should his assistant prosecutors, especially the one who gave the wrong legal definition regarding the lawful use of force.

Seriously folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

Although McElroy did a terrible thing, she has serious mental health issues that need to be considered lest she be judged too harshly. I suspect she was used and I am more offended by the people who used her and abused the public trust to prevent the grand jury from indicting Wilson.

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Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.

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