Jackson County State Trooper/Murderer

Here are a couple articles about the latest State Police shooting, courtesy of the Hurherald, and one from the Marietta Times. Once again, WV’s “finest” at their best. It is about time that we as citizens come to realize that there is something WRONG, stop discounting these stories as being fabricated, stop assuming that the State Police would NEVER lie about such things! It is time for us to put our foot down in regards to “investigated by the State Police’s internal review department.”

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TROOPER KILLS JACKSON MAN WHO HAD ATTEMPTED SUICIDE

(09/03/2007)
A Jackson County man was shot and killed by a state trooper late Saturday night, the agency said he refused to drop his weapon.

Dead is Michael Fisher, 35, who tried to commit suicide earlier this summer by jumping into the Ohio River after his 4-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son drowned.

WTAP-TV News says members of Fisher’s family are giving a much different account of the shooting than the State Police, asking “Was Michael Fisher murdered by a state trooper?” a claim given by family members.

Fisher was steering a small boat that collided with a barge in heavy fog near Ravenswood. Killed in the accident were his children, Samantha and Jesse Fisher, and sister-in-law Jennifer Posten.

Two days later, Fisher jumped from the William S. Ritchie Jr. Bridge after negotiating with police for 45 minutes, he survived the 75-100 foot fall.

State Police say an unidentified trooper was responding to an un-related call and heard gunshots coming from the Fisher residence on Windale Ridge near Ripley.

In an official statement by Sgt. S. E. Wolfe of the State Police, “The trooper gave several lawful commands to have him drop his weapon and an altercation ensued, which resulted in Mr. Fischer sustaining fatal gunshot wounds that led to his death.”

A report on WTAP-TV said Dustin Haynes, a witness, said the trooper first shot Fisher three times. “Michael hit the ground and the cop got out of the car and shot him three more times.”

Fisher’s family says he was in the front yard firing off some shots into the air when a state police trooper came up the driveway, according to TV-13.

The family said Fisher was “letting off steam” by shooting the gun in the air.

The Charleston Gazette reported father-in-law Johnny Haynes said “He didn’t mean to hurt nobody.”

Jill Fisher said when her husband realized a State Police cruiser was approaching the house, he “slung the gun” to his right before walking toward the trooper with his hands in the air.

Her nephew, 15-year-old Dustin Haynes, alleged that the trooper started firing his gun at Fisher even as his vehicle was still moving, according to the Gazette.

“How hard is it when you throw your hands up, you don’t have to unload a clip in a man,” said Michael’s wife Jill . “Especially when there’s a 10-year-old and 15-year-old standing behind me saying don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” she said.

Dustin Haynes and Jill Fisher allege the trooper then left the cruiser and stood over Fisher, shooting him three times at point-blank range.

“Six [bullets] went in him and three hit the house,” Jill Fisher said.

The trooper involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave while State Police complete an internal investigation.

FAMILY CLAIMS TROOPER IS “COLD BLOODED KILLER” – State Police Say Man Refused To Drop Gun

(09/04/2007)
A Jackson County family is disputing the WV State Police’s version of how a 35-year-old man was shot and killed late Saturday night, calling the officer “a cold blooded killer.”

Jill Fisher, wife of Michael S. Fisher, contends he was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot by a State Policeman who was on his way to another call.

Fisher had apparently been shooting a gun up-in-the-air.

In an official statement by Sgt. S. E. Wolfe of the State Police, “The trooper gave several lawful commands to have him drop his weapon and an altercation ensued, which resulted in Mr. Fischer sustaining fatal gunshot wounds that led to his death.”

Fisher told media “That stupid son-of-a-bith (officer) was trigger happy,” admitting Fisher had been firing-off a gun into the air, which caught the attention of the officer.

Mrs. Fisher contends her husband had been shot and was on the ground when the officer shot him three more times.

She said he had thrown down the gun and everyone was hollering for the trooper not to shoot.

Family members said the trooper, without flashing lights or sirens on the patrol car, unlatched a gate and drove up a one-eighth mile driveway to the residence.

“He didn’t even put his car in park,” according to Fisher, who said the shooting was also witnessed by her two children and a nephew.

Family members are contending nine shots were fired by the trooper, including three shots that hit their house.

“If the cop thought he was in danger, he should have backed off down there some place,” said Johnny Haynes, “He should have presented himself and asked if (Michael) had a gun.”

This summer Fisher had been in a boat on a foggy Ohio River when he collided with a barge, killing his children, Samantha, 4, Jesse Fisher, 16 months, and Jennifer Posten, 33, his sister-in-law.

Two days later Fisher. attempting suicide, jumped off the William S. Ritchie Jr. Bridge at Ravenswood, surviving a 100-foot fall.

The case is is being investigated by the State Police’s internal review department.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

— Time: 8:05:38 AM EST

The family of W.Va. man disputes state’s account of shooting

By Jess Mancini and Jody Murphy, Special to The Times

FAIRPLAIN, W.Va. — A man shot by a trooper Saturday night was killed ‘‘in cold blood,’’ the wife said Monday, disputing the state’s version of the incident.

Jill Fisher said Michael S. Fisher, 35, was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot by the unidentified West Virginia State Police trooper. Mrs. Fisher said after her husband had been shot and was on the ground, he was shot three more times.

‘‘That stupid son of a bitch was trigger happy,’’ Mrs. Fisher said of the trooper.

Fisher was killed at 11 p.m. Saturday by a trooper responding to gunfire from the Fisher’s Windell Ridge Road home.

State Police on Sunday issued a statement saying Fisher refused to put down the gun when repeatedly ordered by the trooper.

The trooper didn’t say anything other than identify Fisher as the man in the boating accident, Mrs. Fisher said. Fisher was involved in a boating accident on June 23 on the Ohio River that killed his two daughters and sister-in-law.

Dustin Haynes, 15, the Fishers’ nephew, also said the trooper made only that statement when he got out of the car to confront Fisher. According to Haynes, the trooper said, “You’re the one who killed those kids.’’

Haynes said he was about three feet away from Fisher when he was shot.

The shooting also was witnessed by the Fishers’ two children, Mrs. Fisher said.

A daughter, Alexis Haynes, 10, said Fisher fired a shot in the air before dropping the gun, the trooper got out of the car and that’s when the shooting started.

‘‘That police officer shot my dad,’’ Alexis said.

Mrs. Fisher said no shots were fired when the trooper was on the property. Mrs. Fisher, who was standing near her husband, said he had thrown down the gun before the trooper arrived and everyone was hollering for the trooper not to shoot.

The trooper, without flashing lights or sirens on the patrol car, unlatched a gate and drove up the near-eighth of a mile long driveway to the home and got out of the car, Mrs. Fisher said.

‘‘He didn’t even put his car in park,’’ Mrs. Fisher said.

A shot from the trooper struck Fisher, which put him on the ground, Mrs. Fisher said. The trooper stood over Fisher and fired three more shots into him, emptying his weapon, Mrs. Fisher said.

Fisher, who didn’t speak but was crying, was still breathing, said Mrs. Fisher. Mrs. Fisher said she attempted CPR on him, but was moved away from him by other officers who arrived at the house.

“I said ‘You … up old boy. You done killed my husband,’” Mrs. Fisher said to the trooper. “He said ’Yes, ma’am, I did.’”

Mrs. Fisher said she was manhandled by the police officer, handcuffed and put in a cruiser.

Johnny Haynes, Mrs. Fisher’s father, who was called by his grandson a few minutes after the shooting, also said he was manhandled by the officers and ordered to leave. He said he arrived 15 to 20 minutes after the shooting.

The family is speaking to a private detective and a lawsuit is planned, he said.

‘‘You better believe it,’’ he said.

Nine shots were fired by the trooper, Mrs. Fisher said, including three shots that hit the house.

“He is a cold-blooded killer,” Mrs. Fisher said of the trooper.

Fisher was piloting the boat on the Ohio River under dense fog. The boat collided with a barge, killing his children, Samantha, 4, and Jesse Fisher, 16 months, and Jennifer Posten, 33, his sister-in-law.

Fisher, distraught over the accident, attempted suicide two days later by jumping off the William S. Ritchie Jr. Bridge. He survived the 100-foot fall.

Mrs. Fisher said her husband often fired his gun on their 10-acre property, even before the boating accident. She said she also fires guns on the property.

State Police Sgt. S.E. Wolfe of the Jackson County detachment Sunday said the trooper ordered Fisher numerous times to drop the large caliber revolver. The trooper, who was in the area on an unrelated incident, feared for his life and shot Fisher, Wolfe said.

A deputy sheriff also responded and officers performed CPR on Fisher, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Members of the Fisher family all dispute that, saying no law enforcement personnel attempted any lifesaving measures on Michael Fisher.

“I was the one saving him,” Mrs. Fisher said. “They didn’t try giving him CPR. I had his airways open. I was breathing in his mouth. He had tears rolling down his face and I told him I loved him.”

Published in: on September 4, 2007 at 3:22 pm  Comments (2)  

Lawsuit alleges State Police ‘executed’ man

 By Andrew Clevenger 7/11/07 Staff writer

Two West Virginia State troopers executed a fleeing Greenbrier County man who had previously threatened to expose illegal police activities, according to a lawsuit filed in Kanawha Circuit Court on Tuesday.Joshua Phillip Morgan, of Ronceverte, was killed in a police-involved shooting on July 10, 2001, between Union and Alderson in Monroe County. State Police responded to the area after hearing radio traffic that a suspect had fired on a Monroe County deputy during a traffic stop and had fled into the woods.During the search, then-Senior Trooper V.S. Deeds and then-Sgt. T.D. Bradley spotted Morgan coming up a path, according to statements they gave to investigators the night of the shooting. They said they shouted a warning to Morgan, but he crouched and fired three shots at them with a handgun before taking cover in the brush.- advertisement -The officers returned fire — Bradley with a shotgun and Deeds with an AR-15 rifle — and eventually killed Morgan after a brief shootout, according to their statements. Both officers said they never fired their pistols.But the lawsuit, filed by Morgan’s mother Sharon Carr, alleges that Bradley and Deeds killed the 21-year-old by shooting him between the eyes at close range with a large-caliber handgun.The lawsuit cites a report by John T. Cooper, a forensic pathologist from California, who concluded that Morgan died as a result of “multiple bullet wounds to the head, administered at close range by one or more handguns.”Cooper’s report claims that he examined Morgan’s body at the Morgan Funeral Home in Lewisburgon July 23.“Three of these injuries [to the head] exhibit characteristics of contact wounds. This injury pattern indicates purposeful execution of a defenseless victim,” the report states. “Prior to execution, the victim had been disarmed, if in fact he was ever armed, and he had been incapacitated by shotgun fire.”An autopsy by the West Virginia deputy chief medical examiner concluded that Morgan “died as a result of multiple (undetermined) shotgun wounds of the head, back, abdomen, and upper and lower extremities.”A State Police investigation into Morgan’s death concluded that Bradley and Deeds acted appropriately.Bradley is now a lieutenant with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Charleston, and Deeds, now a sergeant, is the detachment commander in Lewisburg, said State Police Lt. D.B. Hess of the Beckley detachment.Carr’s lawsuit alleges that Morgan had knowledge that police officers possessed and sold illegal drugs, gave alcohol to underage females in exchange for sexual favors and sexually assaulted underage girls.When Morgan threatened to disclose this information to members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, he was arrested, beaten and threatened by Deeds and others on June 20, the suit alleges.From the time of that incident until his death on July 10, 2001, Josh lived in fear,” the suit maintains.On the day her son was killed, Carr took steps to have him involuntarily committed, court records show. The suit alleges that she did so only after Deeds falsely told her that Morgan was addicted to OxyContin.This warrant, as well as two others issued weeks earlier for “petty crimes,” became the pretext for a manhunt for Morgan, the suit contends.According to the mental hygiene petition filed by Carr, she believed that her son was addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and posed a threat to himself and others.“Yesterday [Morgan] told [me] that he would take a bullet to the head before he would go to jail,” Carr wrote in the petition.Carr originally sued the officers in federal court, but Chief U.S. District Judge David A. Faber dismissed that suit in March 2005.Faber ruled that Carr’s lawyers failed to properly disclose information regarding Cooper as an expert witness by the required deadline. With Cooper’s report inadmissible, Faber granted the defense’s request to dismiss the case.Carr appealed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld Faber’s ruling in August 2006.Former State Police Superintendent Howard E. Hill Jr., and the State of West Virginia are also named in the lawsuit filed Tuesday.To contact staff writer Andrew Clevenger, use e-mail or call 348-1723.

Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Former state trooper to be sentenced in Oct. after guilty plea

By BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A former West Virginia state trooper who was charged with distribution of cocaine base (crack) and hydrocodone in early May pleaded guilty to one count of the indictment and will be sentenced in October, court documents reveal.
Thomas C. Jennings, 47, of Maybeury, pleaded guilty to a single count of distribution of crack cocaine before Chief U.S. District Judge David A. Faber of the Southern District of West Virginia at U.S. District Court in Bluefield on June 25. The court entered an order on July 9, scheduling Jennings’ sentencing for 11 a.m., Oct. 15, at U.S. District Court in Bluefield.
Jennings faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the count of conviction, a fine of as much as $1 million, a three-year term of supervised release and a mandatory $100 special assessment.
The charges contained in the indictment allege that Jennings was involved in drug distribution from June 27, 2005 until Nov. 15, 2006. Assistant Federal Public Defender Edward H. Weis represented Jennings in the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Miller A. Bushong III represented the government.

Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 6:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

7-6-07 Run, Hide, the Terrorists Are Here!

Are we at war? Is the army coming? Have the terrorists arrived? Is there an escaped serial killer loose in the woods? What’s with the big scary helicopter, flying low, flying in circles, disturbing the peace all over the county, terrorizing our kids and our farm animals, robbing people of their privacy for part of an otherwise peaceful and uneventful evening? Folks, welcome to the world of police state surveillance. OK, this is just a WILD guess, but unless I’m all wet (and it’s not raining at the moment)I’d have to say that was a POT CHOPPER that just robbed us all of our privacy and peace of mind. Hunting the EVIL WEED. O-o-o-oh, boogymans!!!! We’re all gonna die!

So, how do all you regular everyday citizens of Calhoun County like being under the watchful eye of “Big Brother”? Because they weren’t just looking for herbal nasties while they were up there with their scopes, they were looking for anything at all. They have high powered binoculars and probably heat seeking gizmos too, designed just for spying on you and me. Heck, they can probably look right in your window and see you changing your clothes or getting out of the shower. Ain’t it grand? And the funny thing, just supposing somebody WAS growing something nature intended and government outlawed? Wouldn’t the very presence of these extremely intimidating machines (both mechanical AND human) be enough to send folks scurrying into the ding weeds to PULL up or cut down their despicable gardens before someone else does? (Thereby not eliminating much of anything)…

Back in 1984, the pot choppers flew hot and heavy in these parts. And for several years after. We’ve all had  experiences with these militaristic scare tactics before. And after talking it to death between literally hundreds of folks, we all came to the conclusion that MOSTLY these guys are just flying around trying to scare people and burning up taxpayers money in fuel and manpower, when in reality, they don’t generally find much of anything. It’s all just about show-of-force.

But do the citizens of this county really NEED or WANT to be watched so heavily from above? (I mean after all, you guys ain’t GOD or anything.) Because let’s face it, if they’re out to get you, it’s damn hard to hide from a helicopter. And if you are minding your own business and just having a nice peaceful barbecue, or you’re skinny dipping in a private farm pond somewhere, or having a bit of afternoon delight with your lady love out in some remote field, they’ll be right there looking. Don’t-cha feel special?

Published in: on July 6, 2007 at 11:58 pm  Comments (8)  

LOCKIN’EM UP! – WV Leading The Nation


“Lockin’em up”

Lowest crime rate – highest lock-up rate. It’s plain to see what the trouble is. If you hire 5 people to look for problems you will have 5 people finding a bunch of problems. If you hire 10 people to find problems, amazingly enough, twice as many problems will be found. The day your employees stop finding problems is the day they are no longer needed. The police in WV MUST find crime to fight or they would lose their jobs. It follows that if there were fewer police, in statistical terms, the crime rate would go down. More police means more arrests=higher crime rate. Less police means less arrests=lower crime rate. This is VERY SIMPLE MATH, and it’s all relative anyhow.

Obviously, the rural counties of WV simply have too many police.

How did that happen?
The history of the WV State police is pretty interesting. They were formed right after WW1. WV was one of the first 4 states to form a State Police organization. It was felt that West Virginians were particularly violent and socially unacceptable folk. There were labor wars going on, coal miners wars, feuds, and all the rest. The WV State Police were spawned by fear of the population and formed with the creative use of lies and propaganda. Altho most citizens opposed the formation of a State authority, the governor at the time was determined to get what he wanted, no matter what. They formed the State Police to take the place of the National Guard and the militias, with their duties generally being MILITARY in nature. (They even started out wearing WW1 uniforms) The fear of communism was a starting point…

In due time there was quite a large number of State Police and with the labor wars under control, they needed to find something else for them to do. The roads were getting better, so they were mostly used as highway patrol for a long time. Years went by, and they found that no matter how many State Police were patrolling the highways, the accident and highway death rates did not improve, so they simply hired more. Which did not help still. So they started giving them more power and more jobs to do. It seems that many times local police “would not” enforce unpopular laws and of course us violent and ignorant West Virginians MUST be controlled…

Well, there are no longer any wars going on among the citizens. The highway accident rate only improved when they lowered the speed limit. The State Police have been given too much power for their necessity. They are a monster that was created to control the violent masses  and their time for usefullness in such matters is over. It’s far past time to begin reducing numbers to a more reasonable level.

Of course too many police is only one aspect of the problem. WV actually has fewer police per capita than alot of states, due to it being such a rural area. Epidemic inhumanity, corruption, and lack of compassion by prosecuting attorneys and judges who insist on doing everything “by the book” and not making allowances for the individuality of each case, refusal to take responsibility for mistakes, coupled with the fact that the citizens of this state tend to be particularly poor which makes it very difficult for many “offenders” to make bail, and WV having one of the WORST systems for handling MENTAL ILLNESS and DRUG ADDICTION, makes WV truely a “jailbird state”. These issues MUST be delt with or the entire state will not only go bankrupt from trying to keep so many people locked up, but anyone thinking about moving here or coming here for a vacation would probably think twice due to our reputation of locking everyone up.

What can be done? Not much, as I am convinced that IDIOTS and criminals are running the show. That is the only logical explaination…

Published in: on March 22, 2007 at 3:24 am  Comments (3)  
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