October 13, 2019
    No '18 investigation led to huge waste of public funds

    RANTS that police, county investigators and county prosecutors who ignored Chris Shellhammer's self-defense statement on January
    15, 2018, following the Masontown Peach Street shooting, wasted a ton of pubic money on an innocent man's prison housing for
    nearly two years that bail was denied and another ton, ridiculously, on legal costs and a trial.

    Although the trial ended three days ago on Thursday with an acquittal on all homicide and aggravated assault charges and
    Shellhammer was released from prison a few hours later, the tab of the total cost to taxpayers to pay for police, county investigators
    and county prosecutors not investigating the accused's self-defense statement likely won't be known for some time.  

    Then, don't forget, there could be -- no, there should be -- additional costs of any possible civil court procedure and possible
    settlement to tack on, should the innocent man jailed for nearly two years without bail file such a wrongful prosecution case.

    Citizens have a right to hold those accountable public servants responsible for not following through with what any rookie cop,
    investigator or prosecutor knows is basic, general, by the book investigation protocol, to check out an alibi or statement. Not even just
    rookie cops, but anyone ever watching television cop or detective shows or movies knows so much.

    As we here at Rants&Raves too often feel a need to ask whether certain public servants are just plain stupid or downright crooked,
    here we are, once again, at that same place, asking again.

    And, RANTS about it, because these officials don't just seem stupid.

    We can't and shouldn't just write off their not investigating Shellhammer's claim as mere stupidity. Just because the county has liability
    insurance nowadays and Shellhammer's criminal prosecution is nowhere near as extreme a consequence of the 27 years that
    prosecutorial misconduct forced Munshinski to be falsely convicted and incarcerated, the actions of police, county investigators and
    county prosecutors can't be overlooked or blown off.

    State or federal investigators should be buzzing into Fay to inquire why:

  • why police, county investigators and county prosecutors did not ask a neighbor if she saw the deceased man arrive at French's home
    minutes after Shellhammer arrived
  • why police, county investigators and county prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense and courts, by not providing a video
    made a few days after the shooting of the accused's family giving text messages from the accused's phone to the police
  • why investigators tagged beer cans as evidence they found in the dining room, but never evidence tested for fingerprints or saliva of
    the deceased man, to help prove the accused claim he was set up and the deceased hid in waiting for him to visit to attack him
  • why phones of the witness and deceased were not confiscated
  • why the home's gun safe was not mentioned in reports from police, state police forensic units, county investigators and county
  • when -- before or after the shooting -- French's cell phone, as seen in evidence photos, was cracked or purposely smashed or
  • why police, county investigators and county prosecutors labeled this as a killing over a drug deal gone bad since a laughably small
    amount of marijuana was found in the accused's vehicle that he said he didn't know was there
  • why police, county investigators and county prosecutors never questioned how French's 2019 online dating victim held for a few days,
    likely without food, beaten and bloody, was able to have the wear withal to get out of that house of horrors, to get help, but questioned
    how Shellhammer was able to call police and get to the police station injured

    Why the actions of police, county investigators, county prosecutors and county courts do or do not constitute prosecutorial misconduct  
    should be determined by outside, impartial investigators.

    Until an outside, impartial investigator documented that it was all just stupidity on the part of the specific police, county investigators
    and county prosecutors, we have to believe the actions may be more on the lines of criminal in nature, begging to be addressed by
    real police and real investigators.


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