Connecticut inmate, Dr. Ernest C. Garlington, requesting unbiased legal representation following testimony that sentencing judge’s wife intimidated his attorney.
Suffield, CT (BlackNews.com) – Dr. Ernest C. Garlington is currently incarcerated at the MacDougall Walker Correctional Institution located in Suffield, Connecticut. He was sentenced to a term of 33 years following a highly publicized criminal trial in 2007. The frenzied media coverage was based on the charge that Dr. Garlington conspired to murder the step-father of Boston Celtics guard, and former UCONN hero, Ray Allen.
Beyond his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, he raises serious issues as to the fundamental legitimacy of the original trial the partiality of the trial judge, the insufficiency of the evidence, police misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, judicial misconduct as well as conspiracy, obstruction of justice, fraud and coercion on the part of the presiding judge, his wife and the prosecutor.
The CT Public Defenders Office has assigned three different attorneys to Dr. Garlington’s habeas case over the past 3-1/2 years. None of these attorneys have been willing to expose the corruption in this case to defend Garlingtons innocence, due to conspiracy, coercion, threats and manipulation. The habeas case has been stalled because these Public Defender attorneys have withdrawn from the case, forcing Dr. Garlington to sit behind bars. The CT Public Defenders Office has effectively revoked Dr. Garlingtons constitutional right to a habeas trial.
In his obstructed efforts to file a writ of habeas corpus, Dr. Garlington’s Federal Civil Rights have been violated. He has repeatedly been denied his constitutional right to fair, unbiased, effective assistance of counsel. Thus far, two public defenders have applied for, and received permission to withdraw from Dr. Ernest Garlington’s case due to concern of retaliation from Judge Patrick Clifford, the original presiding judge. The third public defender was requested to withdraw because he will be called as a witness during the habeas case.
March 2008: Following the trial, Garlington hired the law firm of Denner & Pellegrino (Boston, MA). Attorney Jeff Denner was informed by Dr. Garlington that he overheard a Court Marshall say that Judge Cliffords wife, a realtor, was going to sell Ray Allen an $8M home, with a sizeable commission. Garlington also explained that Clifford mentioned something about the home, but when he asked his attorney, Willie Dow, about it, Attorney Dow said it was nothing and he did not know anything about it. Attorney Denner checked the transcripts and discovered there was no mention of an $8 million dollar real-estate deal, so he ordered the tapes of the trial.
The incriminating discussion, which included the presiding judge stating: “We need money. We’ve got my daughter’s wedding to pay for. My wife better start shaking the money tree,” was revealed on the tapes and the court was ordered to revise the transcript by including the $8.7M real estate deal. [CR9-173818] Attorney Denner stated: In my 25 years of practice, Ive never heard anything like this in open court.
Judge Clifford is the poster child for Judicial Misconduct because Judge Clifford had been rebuked previously by the court for having outrageous conversations in open court. [Taken from transcripts during jury selection on 10/23/2007 and 10/24. The court and the defense attorneys have a copy of the taped conversation and it is public record.]
The Garlington Family made a formal complaint to the Judicial Review Committee regarding the incriminating discussion caught on tape about the $8.7M real estate scandal. The complaint was ignored. Dr. Garlington, from his prison cell, discovered that documents presented as evidence from the investigation of the real estate scandal contained fraudulent signatures. Garlington received results from an independent Signature Examination report on December 8, 2010. [Report available upon request] The results confirmed, with absolute certainty, that Judge Cliffords wife, Susan Clifford, forged the signatures of Daniel and Diane Dolan [the homeowners and friends of Judge Clifford) to cover-up the quarter of a million dollars she would have received in commission if she had sold the $8.7MM mansion to the alleged victims step-son, Ray Allen, before or after the trial. Garlington submitted his findings to the Judicial Review Committee.
2011: Attorney Bruce McIntyre withdrew from Dr. Garlington’s case after only 3 months. He has represented numerous clients before Judge Patrick Clifford, as well as been appointed, directly by Judge Clifford, to represent a client in a 2011 case.
2013: Attorney Ted Koch requested to withdraw from representing Dr. Garlington [Superior Court, Judicial District of Tolland, Dated January 10, 2013 – Docket #124004333-S], citing concern about his present/future relationship with Judge Patrick Clifford. In court transcripts he is quoted as saying: “I want to say up front, that my reason for withdrawing from [Dr. Garlington’s case] is not personal to Dr. Garlington. We have an amicable relationship. He’s not being unreasonable, and he’s not being crazy.” Also: “. . . without going into details, Mr. Garlington has some claims against Judge Clifford that there’s some basis for, as far as I can tell, and that would be quite powerful claims to make. So, it’s essentially a conflict of interest question.”
November 13, 2015: Dr. Garlington’s third public defender, Attorney David DeRosa, sought to withdraw from Dr. Garlington’s case [Docket 124004333-S] at the request of Dr. Garlington. The failure of current counsel, Attorney David DeRosa from the Division of Public Defender Services, to report to the Division of Public Defender Services and the Statewide Bar Counsel Grievance Committee Attorney Kochs actions in this matter, creates a further conflict of interest with the Division of Public Defender Services and any attorneys affiliated with said Division.
As per court instruction, Attorney DeRosa met with Attorney Koch to provide background on the habeas case. Attorney DeRosa stated: “Mr. Koch said the case just got crazy. People calling me and everything else and I just had to withdraw.”
Attorney DeRosa additionally stated in court that “Susan Clifford [Judge Clifford’s wife] contacted Attorney Koch regarding Dr. Garlington’s case.” These allegations of judicial misconduct are further enhanced by Attorney Koch’s statement to Attorney DeRosa that Judge Clifford himself pressured Attorney Theodore Koch Sr. (father of Attorney Koch) to encourage his son to withdraw from representation of Dr. Garlington. The presiding judge (William H Bright, Jr.) responded: “I can understand why Mr. Garlington would conclude that the only reason that Judge Clifford’s wife would be calling Attorney Koch would be to pressure him about the case. That’s a reasonable inference for him to draw.” Dr. Garlington explained to Judge Bright that “Susan Clifford knows that her falsified signature is going to become a part of this habeas,” at which time the Judge asked Attorney DeRosa: “Are you prepared to, if you need to, put Judge Clifford’s wife on the stand and question her about this alleged fraud and the conversation with Attorney Koch?” To which Attorney DeRosa responded: “Sure, Your Honor.”
Dr. Garlington plans on calling Attorney McIntyre, Attorney Koch and Attorney DeRosa to testify regarding the coercion, intimidation and fraud being perpetrated on his right to fair, unbiased, effective counsel.
In short, in an effort to avoid exposure of criminal acts which occurred during the original trial, officers of the court have coerced and bullied the Public Defenders Services to effectively revoke Dr. Garlingtons Constitutional rights to a fair and impartial habeas trial, thereby violating his Federal Civil Rights. Dr. Garlington simply seeks the opportunity to prove his innocence.
For more information, contact E.A. Harris 631-680-9357
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are not those of www.copylinemagazine.com, but those of the author.
Photo: Dr. Ernest C. Garlington