Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Told You So

A few months ago I posted about Circuit Court Judge John Rochester's son, John Alexander Rochester, getting busted for trafficking narcotics in Ashland, AL. I also posted some background on Judge Rochester's history of harsh sentences for drug offenders in the past.

I predicted, however, that his son, John Alexander Rochester, would be whisked away to treatment under the cover of darkness and we'd never hear about this case again.

And I was right. On March 21, of this year John Alexander Rochester was bonded out of the Clay County jail by his mother, Linda Rochester and secreted away to a treatment center in Mississippi.

Here are the comments made on one of the posts

"Okay folks, I want you to know this much. John was signed out of the Clay county jail by someone who appeared to be his mother.

The bond amounts were VERY SMALL concerning the charges. For the Distribution of Cocaine and Meth, he had $20,000 bonds- POSTED by one person. Not the way it usually goes. When a bond is posted, it is supposed to have TWO signers, and the property must be worth double what the bond is, liens are counted, and you can only have four bonds signed out at one time. There were at least five charges to my recollection.

People with the same charges have had much larger bonds. Someone accused of not registering as a sex offender got a bond that size.

I am having to go anonymous here because if it is known that I leaked this out, I might make someone angry at me and loose my job.

Don't take my word for it. Demand the public record. You will see it's true.

A few days ago, I heard him order a bonding company loose their license, because they did not come to court, and were not present for what is called a forfeiture case.

I heard later that the company's notice was sent out with only 2 business days notice, and that they sent it to the wrong address.

The law is very clear, a bonding company has 30 days to pay a forfeiture. I was very shocked. They just put someone out of business because of their own screw up, and we wonder why businesses won't come here.

I happen to like that bonding company. They didn't rip people off and only charged ten percent. They came every time they had been called, and were very professionial. I talked to the owner, who told me he had been a bail bondsman for 7 years that he was still searching vigorously for the defendant who failed to appear, and he was very distraught over the situation because his court date for the final forfeiture was set way too early.

It's a shame, I also heard that Judge Rochester had never done that before, and had given Grover Poole bonding over a year to pay a bond, and never revoked them.

Special treatment? Favoritism? You decide."

And another...

John was released on March 21, 2008 on at least 6 different charges. The person who claimed not to be trying to get him out is obviously a liar themselves.

Linda Rochester posted property bonds with her name only on each one as the property holder.

For your information, the Sherrif can allow someone to do that if they so desire. Of course, if you are poor, and have no friends in high places, the jail will require the two property owners. Only the Sherrif or Judge can over rule that.

Either way, I heard that this young man was caught with meth, pot, pills, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia. Serious charges, yes, but he doesn't need help. It sounds like he needs a legal job.
He was a dealer not a user. So what's to help him?

Why would anyone not want him to go to jail for what he was doing? Selling drugs is a crime. The law is the law. Uphold it, or fight for change if you disagree, but in the meantime, you must obey the law. No one is above it.

Another Anonymous

So, on March 21 John Alexander Rochester was released on property bonds totaling $20,000. Usually bonds for narcotics trafficking reach into the hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions. Only one person, his mother, signed the property bonds and that is not the way it is usually done.

Here is what I want to know.

Who set the bond?

What judge heard the bond case?

Was this done in Clay County?

I'll take a stab at my own questions. The answer to 1 & 2 is most likely Judge George Simpson, a real close friend of Judge John Rochester, who also has a son named Luke who used to stay in trouble with drugs all the time when we were in high school. I guess ole George owed Rochester one since Rochester used to handle his son with kid gloves.

I think the answer to my second question is YES, it probably was done in Clay County which screams to be investigated. It should not have been done in Clay County because of the incestuous nature of the criminal justice system. The judges are friends and have been giving each others kids free rides on drug charges for YEARS. It couldn't have been a fair hearing. Couldn't have been. It should have been moved to a different county or a Judge from a different county should have been brought in to handle this case.

But, no, the rich and powerful have a different set of rules by which they live. Us poor folks get fu**ed, to put it bluntly. Our daddies aren't judges in a small town. We don't have powerful connections.

I tell you what I am going to ask the Judicial Inquiry Commission to open an investigation into this matter. I am SICK TO DEATH of preferential treatment being given to those who have money and power. FORGET THAT! If Judge Rochester can sentence poor folks to prison for committing lesser crimes than his boy then, by god, his boy can do some hard time. This was John Alexander Rochester's second offense involving drugs. He should be in jail like everyone else.

Oh yeah, I heard Senator Jabo Wagoner's son was involved in a drunk driving accident a short time ago in Walker County and the driver of the other car was injured. But, not one mention of it in any newspaper in the state. The media ought to be very ashamed. I'd also like to note that there has been NO media coverage of the Rochester case. I found one mention on a web radio site in Anniston but the Anniston Star has not had any story on this case. I find that repulsive.

Then there was Senator Richard Shelby's son who was busted at the Atlanta Intl' Airport in 1998 for smuggling 13.8 grams of hash into the country from England. Customs found it and fined him $500. Had it been you or me we would have been charged with international drug smuggling and we'd still be in prison.

US Congressman Spencer Bacchus's son was also involved in something drug related a few years ago. He got special treatment.

There are many other cases like this involving rich kids whose daddies are senator's, congressmen or judges from Alabama. Today I will update my list of such cases.

There are 30,000 people in the Alabama prison system. The majority of them were sent there originally for drugs or alcohol. 500 a year were sentenced to prison for marijuana before drug court started in Alabama. But, prison is apparently only for poor people.

I am out to change that, starting now. I will ask that this case be investigated by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and I will begin writing letters to editors across the state in hopes that the media will also begin an investigation. The public pays the salary of these judges, who in turn send kids of the poor members of the public to prison....but let their own kids go free. We have a right to know exactly what went on in this case, who the judge was that set such a low bond, how come it was set so low, if it was done in Clay County and what we can expect to happen to John Alexander Rochester when he is released from rehab in Mississippi.

To Judge Rochester....I will be watching you very closely. Believe that! I am going to be a shrill about this case until I get some answers. How do you sleep at night when you have sentenced so many people to prison for very minor drug infractions yet your drug pushing son is pretty much free at a nice rehab center in Mississippi? This won't stand Judge. When you run for office again I will be the first one to point out what you did for your own son and what you have done to other people's sons and daughters for far lesser infractions. I hope the Judicial Inquiry Commission investigates you and takes action against you. I'd like to see you removed from the bench.

UPDATE: A friend of mine sent me all six case action summaries on this case. John Alexander Rochester was charged with possession of Methyl Amphetamine
and the bond was $20,000, possession of drug paraphernalia bond was $5,000, distribution of a controlled substance bond was $15,000, possession of a controlled substance bond was $15,000, 1st degree possession of marijuana bond was $10,000, trafficking cocaine bond set at $20,000.

Those bonds are so low for those charges it is beyond the pale. And just as I suspected Judge George C. Simpson was the judge in this case. I hope the commenter from one of the earlier posts will let us know which two charges bonds were not paid on when John Alexander Rochester was released to the custody of his mother.

My friend who sent the case action summaries also noted the following..

It appears two are Class B Felonies with a minimum of three years incarceration and the rest are possession cases. Now the mandatory three years for trafficking can be either reduced or it can be split so that the person does not have to actually serve the time.

Now, I grew up in Ashland and I know exactly where he was arrested. The park is within a stones throw of public housing and maybe a mile from both the schools. Will there be enhancements added to his sentence like everyone else's? I see no mention of enhancements in the case action summaries.

Does anyone know where he is now? Is he still in treatment in Mississippi? Is he out? When will the grand jury convene and decide whether or not to indict him?

1 comment:

KentAllard said...

It's a good thing I usually read your blog in the morning, because stories like this one make me so angry I wouldn't be able to sleep otherwise. The hypocrisy of the rich & powerful is disgusting.