Archive | December, 2013

Father Forgives Man Who Killed His Son

Posted on 26 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

Ben Jones

Ben Jones

In a remarkable act of forgiveness the father of toddler killed almost 20 years ago said he was “okay” with Elko County District Attorney’s decision to accept Cody McCormick’s plea bargain that effectively frees the man after 17 years in prison.

“This has been an extremely hard year,” said Ben Jones, father of Jacob Jones who was killed almost 20 years ago on a December night in Carlin. “It brought back so many terrible memories. But in the end I am okay with him (McCormick) going free.”

Accused child killer Patrick Cody McCormick will plead ‘no contest’ to involuntary manslaughter and leave the Elko County Court house a free man on January 7th. Originally tried and convicted for the 1995 first degree murder of toddler year Jacob Jones, McCormick was serving a 20 years to life sentence when the Nevada Supreme court overturned his conviction last November.

He was released from prison and immediately re-charged with the crime to which he pled “not guilty” in March of this year.

McCormick’s change of plea hearing is set for January 7th.

The plea bargain can be likened to a compromise between a man who spent 16 years in prison for a crime he insisted he never committed and a District Attorney who facing a public outcry was loathe to drop charges completely.

“I am satisfied that he still will be a convicted felon and have to report that every time he fills out a job application or applies for a loan,” Jones said. “ A total pass would have been very difficult to swallow. Let us hope he will do something productive with the rest of his life. Time my son will never have.”

suppsnewyBy agreeing to the deal, District Attorney Marc Torvinen, all but agreed that McCormick did not receive a fair trial and may have been convicted of a crime he did not commit. The key phrase in that sentence however is the ‘all but’. While accepting the no contest plea may have been painful to the Elko District Attorney he also saved the state what could have been millions of dollars in damages McCormick might have sought should the case had gone to trial a second time and he would have been found ‘not guilty’. And a not guilty verdict was all but assured:

nbtny“I have consulted with a number of my colleagues and all in agreement that if we proceeded to trial at this point on the Murder charges it is a near certainty that Mr. McCormick would be acquitted,” Torvinen wrote in a letter to Jacob’s father, Ben Jones earlier this week. “I have been doing this for over 30 years; I have litigated many, many murder cases; and the unfortunate reality of this case is that it has been fatally compromised by the failure to conduct some testing that was available at the time of Jacob’s death; this testing should have been done; it was not done; and it cannot be done now.”

The complete letter: Torvinen letter -Medical experts.

The crux of Torvinen’s decision for the plea bargain is directly tied to the Nevada supreme overturning of the original conviction. The court ruled McCormick deserved a new trial not because of any misconduct from the prosecution but rather because of the incompetence of McCormick’s original attorney Ron Yengich of Salt Lake City.

The court ruled however that Yengich made a crucial error that might have sent an innocent man to prison for 15 years.

wrecnewy

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Dobrescu Throws Book At Newcastle

Posted on 26 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

Newcastle with attorney Charles Odges at sentencing.

Newcastle with attorney Charles Odges at sentencing.

White Pine District Judge Steve Dobrescu threw the book at former ESP inmate Mike Newcastle adding at least another 4 and a maximum of 15 years to his original 20 to life sentence earlier this month.

In his ruling now being webcast on the High Desert Advocate’s website www.coyote-tv, Dobrescu said he was surprised by the original sentencing recommendation of a minimum of just two years.

Newcastle’s sentencing

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“This was a very serious crime,” Dobrescu said.

Still taken from March 2011 video of inmate Newcastle after he attacked a guard. Now the inmate is claiming he was “tortured”.

Still taken from March 2011 video of inmate Newcastle after he attacked a guard. Now the inmate is claiming he was “tortured”.

Newcastle was found guilty this October of assaulting a guard with a deadly weapon by a White Pine County jury. It was an alternative verdict to the charge he was originally facing, attempted murder.

During his trial newcastle asserted that not only that he had not assaulted the guard but he was actually rendering aid and that he was tortured by responding guards after the event.

Newcastle did not however give the name of the ‘real’ assailant and his claims of torture were not only ignored by the jury but also ignored by every attorney he has sought to shop his lawsuit to in the state.

But it has not been all bad news for Newcastle, last week the inmate in phone calls and emails, ESP inmate Mike Newcastle informed friends and well wishers that he is now being housed at the High Desert Prison in Clark County.

High Desert State Prison is a Nevada state prison in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada, near Indian Springs. It is the largest institution of the Nevada Department of Corrections and the newest having opened on September 1, 2000.

High Desert is a medium security prison where most inmates have access to basic amenities such as a gym, classrooms and yard time that their fellows at ESP can only dream of.

nbtnyAccording to the ESP administration between 75 to 80 percent of Ely Max’s convicts are on permanent lock down 23 hours a day.

ESP is the only maximum security prison in the state and was built to house the worst of the worst inmates, convicts who not only committed the most violent crimes on the outside but also violent crimes while incarcerated.

Serving a 20 years to life sentence for the brutal murder of his wife and convicted this October for battery of a guard, Newcastle would at first glance to be the ideal candidate for permanent residence at Ely.

Just why he was transferred remains a mystery as of press time.

wrecnewy

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BLM Ok’s NV Mine Jobs For Christmas

Posted on 26 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

miners

 

White Pine County received a Christmas present this week with the Bureau of Land Management– 500 jobs.

According to a press release the federal agency Midway Gold’s Pan Mine located about 50 miles west of Ely or 22 miles southeast of Eureka. project received the go ahead December 20th.

The decision allows the mining operator to construct and operate a new heap leach gold mine that would consist of two primary open pits, three satellite pits, one heap leach pad, three rock disposal areas and a transmission line.  The total surface disturbance would be approximately 3,301 acres.

cinemanewyAccording to BLM project manager Dan Netcher the proposed mine will employ some 500 workers in its combined construction and extraction phases

The life of the mine is initially projected to last a decade.

“Mine life is always hard to predict,” Netcher added. “A lot depends on the price of gold and of course how much gold is found.”

When mining first began on the Carlin Trend in the 1960’s, for example, it was then predicted that the ore would last some 15 or 20 years. Almost 50 years later the mines are still going strong as the deposits continue to confound experts.

hdanewyOnce through the regulatory and permitting process work at the mine site could begin as early as late 2014 or early 2015 which is also the time the Long Canyon mine located between Wendover and Wells in the Pequops Mountains is also expected to beginning construction.

Environmental concerns for both projects are however considered minimal. The open pit of the gold Rock Mine is to be built on the open pit of the Easy Junior and the Long Canyon however appears to be almost free and clear or any concerted green opposition. The Nevada Sierra Club was barely aware of the project as was its sister organization in Utah.

wrecnewyWhile both projects are located near “historical” trailways such as the Pny Express and portions of the California trail, opposition to them from pioneer groups has been negligible.

“There are markers and monuments along the way,” said BLM spokesman Chris Hanefield. “I imagine those historical groups are satisfied.”

One of the reason for this lack of interest may imply be the fact that Long Canyon is in the sweetest of sweet spots of any mine in recent history.

In addition to being having ‘smoking hot’ ore the area is a stones throw from Interstate 80, has no endangered species living anywhere near it and does not have any significant archeological sites located on it.

hrnewyThat is however not true for another proposed mine site located less than 20 miles north of Wendover.

Last month the BLM denied a request for a mining claim from Mesa mining. The $85 million proposed potash would have meant up to 40 long term high paying jobs . While the plant was to be located on the wasteland of the Salt Flats a wagon train historical group mobilized to keep the mine and its jobs from ever becoming realized because what could be 150 year old wagon ruts could still be present in the area near the mine site.

lettynewy“I’ve seen this same story reported in a number of publications and I just want to set the record straight regarding the misleading historical information it contains. There were a lot more than four wagon trains that used the Hastings Cutoff. Maybe there were four in the same the year (1846) the Donners used the trail, but it continued to be used until at least 1850. I think in 1850 alone about 12 trains used it.” Wrote one anti-potash works blogger. “…When profit is the motivation, land and the “little” people are paid lip-service and are ultimately exploited. Learn from your history folks, don’t just blindly chase the almighty dollar.”

The irony that those pioneers were in fact also chasing the almighty as they sprinted across the Hastings Cutoff to make it to the gold fields of California seemed to escape the writer.

nuggetnewy

 

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WWES & WWHS Poster Contest Winners

Posted on 26 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

FIRST Place:  Hayden Hillstead SECOND Place: Livy Reamer  THIRD Place (tie): Isaac Gonzalez , Ryan Evans grade 3, honorable mentions: Adrian Soriano, Kayle Richards, Lisbeth Mercado, Damian Gonzalez, Nolan Kruse, Itzel Pacheco, Pricila Cornejo,  Erik Osario, Jerrick Carter, Daisy Benauides,  Jordan Eveleth, Crystal Velasco, Enrique Gonzalez, Lisandro Cervantes, Maven Haynes, Joshua Ramos.

FIRST Place:  Hayden Hillstead SECOND Place: Livy Reamer  THIRD Place (tie): Isaac Gonzalez , Ryan Evans grade 3, honorable mentions: Adrian Soriano, Kayle Richards, Lisbeth Mercado, Damian Gonzalez, Nolan Kruse, Itzel Pacheco, Pricila Cornejo,  Erik Osario, Jerrick Carter, Daisy Benauides,  Jordan Eveleth, Crystal Velasco, Enrique Gonzalez, Lisandro Cervantes, Maven Haynes, Joshua Ramos.

 

ambulnewy

Jonathan Lopez, Teague Neilson, Jesus Robles, Jordan Treto, Samara Graham, Damary Carmona, Izzy Perkins, Joel Nunez, Perla Lujan, Elle Condi, Allonzo Ceballos, Anika Dobbs, David Correa

Jonathan Lopez, Teague Neilson, Jesus Robles, Jordan Treto, Samara Graham, Damary Carmona, Izzy Perkins, Joel Nunez, Perla Lujan, Elle Condi, Allonzo Ceballos, Anika Dobbs, David Correa

 

aquanewy

Art teacher Mrs Cheryl Bishop: FIRST Place: Natalie Soriano, SECOND Place: Xena Mayly, THIRD Place: Sami Maddox, honorable mentions; Haily Christensen, Selena Peterson, Cassandra Haro, Leyli Ojeda, Wendy Marquez, Mckenna Bair, Brianna Holloway.

Art teacher Mrs Cheryl Bishop: FIRST Place: Natalie Soriano, SECOND Place: Xena Mayly, THIRD Place: Sami Maddox, honorable mentions; Haily Christensen, Selena Peterson, Cassandra Haro, Leyli Ojeda, Wendy Marquez, Mckenna Bair, Brianna Holloway.

centranewy

 

wwhsposterb

Art teacher Mrs Cheryl Bishop: FIRST Place: Natalie Soriano, SECOND Place: Xena Mayly, THIRD Place: Sami Maddox, honorable mentions; Haily Christensen, Selena Peterson, Cassandra Haro, Leyli Ojeda, Wendy Marquez, Mckenna Bair, Brianna Holloway.

wwhspsoter

 

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Social Darwinism For The Nice Guys

Posted on 26 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Over the past three or four years we have been seeing first hand and hearing second hand how nice it is to shop as the Christmas season draws to its conclusion.

Despite the crowds and the looming dead line of December 25th, people, both shoppers and salesmen seem to be infused with for lock of a better phrase the Christmas Spirit.

That is not so unusual it is a happy time of year but what seems to be different especially over the last few years is the deep decline in general nastiness that also seemed to go hand in glove with the late Christmas rush.

Of course that is mostly by way of anecdotes. There is nothing newsworthy about niceness or common courtesy or politeness.

Where there is a story is of people being nasty but lately at least towards the end of the season there has been a drop in those.

Yes there has been a strong up tick in the beginning of the season detailing the worst of human nature. Black Friday is what it is called.

We have never gone out on Black Friday and we aren’t the only ones by far. According to statistics 90 percent of Americans don’t participated in that orgy of greed and avarice.

Then in a conversation with a friend we began to ponder an interesting idea.

Perhaps there is only so much nastiness to go around and the number of nasty people is limited. And because of Black Friday they are all concentrated in just one terrible day of the year.

Perhaps corporate and individual greed have conspired to give the 90 percent of us a very nice present– a relatively peaceful holiday season.

We are sure they didn’t do it on purpose but thanks anyway.

 

We are old enough to remember when franchises were new as were big box chains.

Now a days one can travel from one end of this country to the other and eat in the same restaurants, shop in the same stores as if one is not traveling at all.

But just because that is the way things are does not mean that is the way things will always be.

It would be interesting that all the new federal regulation and oversight from health care to raising the minimum wage will have unintended consequences.

While it is easy to strike a nameless faceless corporation it isn’t easy to strike Joe’s Deli especially when Joe is the  dad or uncle or friend and the workers know almost as well as Joe just how good or bad things are.

And while it is easy to see thousands of employees as numbers in a system the smaller work force becomes people.

Perhaps we are at the return of the age Mom & Pop where no hamburger taste exactly the same again.

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White Pine District Court December 2013

Posted on 25 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

Newcastle sentencing

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Christina Parent Sentencing

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David Bender Sentencing

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Randal Pirnar Arraignment

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Richard Glenn Seely Change of Plea

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Jerry Wayne Burton Sentencing

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Christopher Hawkins Sentencing

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Qwyntun John Urrizaga Sentencing

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Tina Griffin Probation Revocation Hearing

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Frank Miller Probation Revocation Hearing

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Nicholas Kramer Probation Revocation Hearing

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Nicholas Glettig Criminal Motions Hearing

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Antoinette Ooshawe Arraignment

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Michale S. Williams Change of Plea

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Mindi Rae Roholt Change of Plea

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Accused Child Killer Goes Free, Mother/Suspect Will Never Be Charged In Killing

Posted on 19 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

Patrick Cody Mccormick with his attorney David Lockie

Patrick Cody Mccormick with his attorney David Lockie

Accused child killer Patrick Cody McCormick will plead ‘no contest’ to involuntary manslaughter and leave the Elko County Court house a free man on January 7th, sources revealed this week.

Originally tried and convicted for the 1995 first degree murder of toddler year Jacob Jones, McCormick was serving a 20 years to life sentence when the Nevada Supreme court overturned his conviction last year.

Jacob Jones

Jacob Jones

He was released from prison and immediately re-charged with the crime to which he pled “not guilty” in March of this year.

McCormick’s change of plea hearing is set for January 7th.

suppxThe plea bargain can be likened to a compromise between a man who spent 16 years in prison for a crime he insisted he never committed and a District Attorney who facing a public outcry was loathe to drop charges completely.

click for plea bargain

McCORMICK plea agt proffer

And like all compromises no one is completely happy with the deal.

McCormick who has long maintained that Nevada had imprisoned an ‘innocent’ man will not contest the charge he is indeed a child killer albeit an accidental one.

ewmountxmassBy agreeing to the deal, District Attorney Marc Torvinen, all but agreed that McCormick did not receive a fair trial and may have been convicted of a crime he did not commit. The key phrase in that sentence however is the ‘all but’. While accepting the no contest plea may have been painful to the Elko District Attorney he also saved the state what could have been millions of dollars in damages McCormick might have sought should the case had gone to trial a second time and he would have been found ‘not guilty’. And a not guilty verdict was all but assured:

“I have consulted with a number of my colleagues and all in agreement that if we proceeded to trial at this point on the Murder charges it is a near certainty that Mr. McCormick would be acquitted,” Torvinen wrote in a letter to Jacob’s father, Ben Jones earlier this week. “I have been doing this for over 30 years; I have litigated many, many murder cases; and the unfortunate reality of this case is that it has been fatally compromised by the failure to conduct some testing that was available at the time of Jacob’s death; this testing should have been done; it was not done; and it cannot be done now.”

click for DA letter to Ben Jones

Torvinen letter -Medical experts

nuggetxThe crux of Torvinen’s decision for the plea bargain is directly tied to the Nevada supreme overturning of the original conviction. The court ruled McCormick deserved a new trial not because of any misconduct from the prosecution but rather because of the incompetence of McCormick’s original attorney Ron Yengich of Salt Lake City.

The court ruled however that Yengich made a crucial error that might have sent an innocent man to prison for 15 years.

Part of the Supreme Court ruling:

“… Appellant argues that counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate whether the victim died from anaphylactic shock due to an  allergic reaction to penicillin. The record before this court indicates that counsel was deficient and that appellant was pre-judiced by that deficiency. 

Counsel testified that he knew the emergency room physician could not 

rule out a penicillin allergy as a cause of death; that he could not recall 

discussing it with Dr. S. Dunton, the medical expert with whom he briefly 

consulted; and that he would have presented expert testimony that the 

victim died of anaphylactic shock had he had such an expert opinion. 

Counsel provided no reason for why he did not investigate this possible 

defense. It was thus objectively unreasonable for trial counsel to have 

abandoned the potential defense without first investigating it. Strickland,  

466 U.S. at 690-91. 

Moreover, appellant has demonstrated a reasonable 

probability of a different outcome had counsel presented expert testimony 

regarding a penicillin allergy. The testimony of two key witnesses provided the only evidence at trial that appellant fatally abused the 

victim.

Patrick Cody Mccormick with his attorney David Lockie

Patrick Cody Mccormick with his attorney David Lockie

wrecxOne of those key witnesses was Jacob Jones’ mother, Jennifer, who McCormick and his family insist should have been standing trial instead.

“If Patrick Cody McCormick is so blatantly innocent why did the DA prosecute him and not Jennifer back in 1996?  Jennifer knew as soon as Jacob died that either her or Cody was going to prison.  So while Cody and others waited for the medical facts, Jennifer convinced the DA that she was in an abusive relationship and to prosecute Cody not her. She had the child’s body cremated the minute that the County Pathologist finished the autopsy so that a second Pathologist could not examine the body.  She convinced herself, her family and others that it must have been Cody, ”  wrote Cody McCormick’s brother Jason earlier this year.  “The County Pathologist, who testified in the evidentiary hearing, stated that the events leading to Jacob’s death happened while Cody was at work the night before Jacob’s death.  In the trial the Pathologist changed her testimony, stating that she could pinpoint the time of the events to the 10 minute interval when Cody was alone with the child.  When asked why she changed her medical opinion she said she recently attended a conference and learned new information.  When asked to provide medical studies or journals to support the opinion she could not.  The Jury was forced by the Jury Instructions and lack of alternative medical opinion to find Cody guilty of first degree murder.  That is how a blatantly innocent person goes to prison.”

ambxThat contention is at least partially supported by the plea agreement where Jennifer Jones admission to striking her son and feeding him antibiotics is detailed. (Plea agreement is published on page 4)

Jones strongly denied those allegations in a letter earlier this year:

hrx“I am the mother of Jacob Jones and feel everyone should know the kind of person Mr. McCormick truly is. If I am typical trailer trash than Mr. McCormick was the head trailer trash that man hit a child who was only fourteen months old not did he hit him till he stopped crying he shook him till his brain stem was removed from the brain does that sound like a upstanding citizen to you not only did he do that but then after my son was declared legally (sic) dead he held my hand and told me he had done nothing wrong he went to my sons funereal sat by my side and let me believe he did nothing wrong. I admit my mistake in staying in the abusive relationship (sic) he should take responsibility (sic) for what he did Which is kill an innocent child for no other than his crying was making him angry when I left the house that morning my son was alive and walking around yes I gave him the medication but it was not an adult dose and I certainly did not cause any of the bruising that was found. Before his attorney says things about people maybe he should get the whole story and know who he is talking about including the man he is representing seems to me he would want to know what kind a man he truly (sic) is aside from abusing me my older son and Jacob he also abused his own five children. Please remember that the person who’s life was taken is not given a chance to speak and tell you about his death we need to be that voice and make sure this man never hurts anybody ever again if that means leaving him in prison than lets do that please. “

nbtxJennifer Jones will never stand trail, even if the District Attorney was inclined to press charges. She was given immunity  17 years ago for her testimony at McCormick’s original trial.

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“Tortured” Ely Max Inmate Moved Nicer Medium Security Prison

Posted on 19 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

Still taken from March 2011 video of inmate Newcastle after he attacked a guard. Now the inmate is claiming he was “tortured”.

Still taken from March 2011 video of inmate Newcastle after he attacked a guard. Now the inmate is claiming he was “tortured”.

An Ely State Maximum Security Prison Inmate who accused guards of torturing him after he attacked another guard has been transferred to the relatively benign High Desert Prison in Clark County.

In phone calls and emails, ESP inmate Mike Newcastle informed friends and well wishers that he is now being housed at the High Desert Prison in Clark County.

High Desert State Prison is a Nevada state prison in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada, near Indian Springs. It is the largest institution of the Nevada Department of Corrections and the newest having opened on September 1, 2000.

hrxHigh Desert is a medium security prison where most inmates have access to basic amenities such as a gym, classrooms and yard time that their fellows at ESP can only dream of.

According to the ESP administration between 75 to 80 percent of Ely Max’s convicts are on permanent lock down 23 hours a day.

ESP is the only maximum security prison in the state and was built to house the worst of the worst inmates, convicts who not only committed the most violent crimes on the outside but also violent crimes while incarcerated.

nbtxServing a 20 years to life sentence for the brutal murder of his wife and convicted this October for battery of a guard, Newcastle would at first glance to be the ideal candidate for permanent residence at Ely.

However the policy of reserving Ely for only the worst of the worst may not be always the practice.

This July at least four ESP inmates belonging to Nazi gang including the gang’s alleged leader were transferred to the medium security Lovelock prison not for becoming non-violent but for agreeing to testify against fellow inmate James Ofeldt in his murder trial this coming February.

James “Big Time” Ofeldt is accused of the May, 2011 murder of cell mate Erik “Bingo” Hauser.

centraxOfeldt has never denied killing his cell mate but has insisted that he was acting in self defense.

Ofeldt’s attorneys have laid at least a preliminary case of self defense and according to more than a few pieces of correspondence between prison officials and the White Pine County Sheriff’s office they may have enough to raise at least a reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.

Documents obtained by the Advocate at least suggest that both investigators from the prison and the White Pine County Sheriff’s Department did not dismiss that angle out of hand.

aquaxAccording to those and other documents Ofeldt was fingered for killing to seal a truce between two white prison gangs the Aryan Warriors and the Skin Heads. Ofeldt, the correspondence suggested, was accused of ironically being a snitch by the Aryan Warriors and Houser was picked for the job.

There is however apparently a difference between snitching and snitching.

While Ofeldt was reportedly facing a death sentence for the mere suspicion of ratting out a fellow inmate, those who have agreed to testify against him are allegedly being rewarded with better conditions and even transfers out of Ely Max to much nicer facilities at Lovelock medium security.

wrecxAccording to court documents at least  four inmates who were all in Ely Max at the time of the killing and who are listed as witnesses for the prosecution in the case all four have since been transferred to the medium security prison in Lovelock. One of those four, whose names have not been released, is described as the leader of the prison gang who put the contract out on Ofeldt.

So why was Newcastle also rewarded? According to friends of the inmate the reason may have been the unwanted publicity over the so called torture and the video of a bound Newcastle being manhandled by prison guards shown during his trial.

ewmountxmass

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Wendover Dreamers Making Their Own Kind of Music

Posted on 19 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

joshthompson

Josh Thompson

 

While 20 or even 10 years ago it was unthinkable two Wendover young dreamers are hoping to make it to the big time world of the music industry without leaving home.

beto

Beto Jamil

“I am not against traveling,” said Alberto who goes by the music handle ‘BETOJAMIL’. “In fact I want to travel more but for me its a choice, I don’t have to travel to pursue my music not like what it was back in the day.”

aquaxBack in the day, only a little less than a decade ago aspiring musicians and singers almost had to take their act on the road sometimes paying dues and playing toons in every small casino and bar in Nevada hoping to get noticed by somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody else.

Starting with the advent of digital recording and later the internet that time is over. Musicians with access to a mid level computer, sound equipment and smart phone can put a polished or not so polished on the world wide web from anywhere in the world and for BETOJAMIL and fellow traveler Joshua Thompson that any where includes Wendover.

nuggetx“Josh Thompson is an acoustic rock singer-songwriter from the mountainous areas of Northeastern Nevada. With years of writing and recording experience and a multitude of influences ranging from country legends such as Johnny Cash to metal superstars Slipknot, his unique style and lyrics will have listeners intrigued from the very beginning. Armed with a six-string and a no games attitude towards music, he takes listeners by storm with his edgy, anger-lined vocals and clean, rhythmically appealing music.” Says Thompson’s bio on Reverbnation page.

centraxReverbNation.com is a SaaS company, launched in 2006, that focuses on the independent music industry. It aims to provide a central site for musicians, venues, labels, and industry professionals to collaborate and communicate. The company offers web promotion, fan-relationship management, digital distribution, sentiment tracking, web-site hosting, and concert booking and promotion.

While not going with Reverbnation, BETOJAMIL has gone old school at least relatively old school by posting a youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq5dOUPwF34.

nbtx

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No Thanks

Posted on 19 December 2013 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

We received two thank you’s this week we are not sure we deserved and we are not sure we want them.

The first was from a friend of Mike Newcastle who credited our stories about his so called torture for his transfer out of ESP also called the Graveyard to the relatively cushy High Desert Prison near Las Vegas.

While we agree in principal that prison inmates should be treated humanely we also know that in the management of violent men sometimes one has to be violent. We also know the guards while being professional are still men. We also know that there but for the grace of G0d, we go.

Once 30 years ago we also guarded prisoners and we committed a war crime. He was a blond haired blue eyed East German volunteer to the PLO. Our IDF unit captured him in a skirmish outside of Sidon, Lebanon along with about 30 other of his comrades. Our job was to guard him and his buddies until the MP’s picked them up.

They were bound hand behind their backs sitting down with their ankles tied together. They were helpless and as we walked down the rows the German said quite distinctly judenschwein as we passed.

We kicked him in the face.

Granted we were young and granted we were not trained to handle POW’s and granted we were in a war zone and granted the Nazi SOB had it coming, but if that had happen today with cell phone cameras and the internet we shudder to think what would have happened to us.

But with it being 1982 all we got was a yelling from our captain, a child of Holocaust survivors. He yelled until we told him what the German said.

So we completely understand if the guards handling Newcastle did not treat him so nice just after one of their comrades was beaten half to death.

We probably would have done worse.

The second thank you was from the family of Jacob Jones who credited our coverage of the story as a major reason why the DA did not just drop the whole case instead of getting that plea bargain.

Despite never having to serve another day in prison McCormick will have to carry around the label of felon for the rest of his life.

And after reading the proffer we are not sure he deserves even that.

Mr. McCormick could have very well been a victim of Popular Science.

Those were the days when “shaken baby syndrome” was getting heavy publicity and the death of Jacob Jones seemed to fit it perfectly.

That is until one looks just a little bit deeper.

But no one did and an innocent man may have 17 years in prison for the crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So we felt uncomfortable with the thanks, but by the end of this day we realized that it really does not matter whether we feel uncomfortable or not.

Our job is to report the news, what other do with that reportage is up to them.

And yes if we were covering the war in Lebanon instead of fighting it we would have gone to town on Israeli soldiers kicking the crap out of Nazi POW’s.

It would have been a heck of a story.

 

Kudos to those volunteers from the Salvation Army ringing Christmas bells for the needy.

Yes we call it Christmas and no we don’t celebrate it at home.

That doesn’t mean we don’t approve of the holiday. And we don’t expect an apology when someone wishes us a merry one.

Seriously how can anyone of any faith begrudge good cheer of his fellows?

So Merry Christmas to all of those who keep the holiday and in the words of our landsman Irving Berlin:

May All Your Christmases be Bright.

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