Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Preliminary Hearing For Mandie Kearns, Charged In Palm Springs Racial Attack Against Three Blacks, Postponed Until August 17th

The Palm Springs Desert Sun reported on June 23rd, 2007 that a white woman accused of stabbing three people in April in Palm Springs because they are black had her preliminary hearing postponed Friday so her attorney could negotiate a plea. This post also references a second Desert Sun article published just one day before.

Mandie Kearns, 28 (pictured at left), is accused of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a weapon likely to produce great bodily injury (one count for each victim), along with separate hate crime and gang enhancers, for a grand total of six counts altogether.

Kearns is accused of stabbing a black couple and attempting to assault a second black man behind a Starbucks in the 100 block of South Belardo Road around 10 p.m. April 5th. Police said Kearns had possession of a bloody knife and admitted her involvement in the attack when officers arrived.

The injured victims, both 20, were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center, where the man was treated for stab wounds to his back and shoulder and the woman for two collapsed lungs, according to Palm Springs Police Sgt. Mitch Spike. The other black man was apparently uninjured.

However, Kearns' attorney, John Patrick Dolan demurs. "This case isn't exactly what the district attorney thought and the charges don't reflect the true facts," said Dolan. He also suggested that although his client ended up with the knife, a juvenile actually committed the crime. Dolan said he believed the juvenile was currently in detention. Dolan also maintained the hate crime and gang allegations against Kearns were exaggerated. However, Dolan did not explain why he was seeking to negotiate a plea if his client is innocent. Perhaps it reflects the possibility that it's a politically "hopeless" case, or maybe it reflects the allegation that the hate and gang enhancers were "exaggerated" rather than untrue. If the latter, perhaps Dolan is trying to get the charges reduced to creating a public disturbance, simple assault, or something of that nature.

However, according to my previous post on this case, Kearns also faces charges in two additional separate cases: receiving a stolen vehicle and possession of dangerous drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia and trespassing, so the attempted plea bargaining could encompass these situations as well.

Kearns' mother, Donna, has said her daughter is neither violent nor a white supremacist, and added that she was raised in a home open to all races and that her boyfriend was Latino. [Ed. Note: I'm sure her boyfriend is still Latino. Perhaps they mean he is now her FORMER boyfriend]

Kearns, who faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, is being held in lieu of $575,000 bail. As a result of Dolan's intention to negotiate a plea, the judge decided to continue the preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to order Kearns to stand trial until August 17th.

Commentary: Eyewitness reports discussed in my previous post paint a slightly different picture. Kearns was reportedly one of five white adults who encountered 15-20 blacks "chilling out" around the Starbucks as is typical of blacks when they get together. Words were exchanged, the rumble was on, and when the smoke cleared, two blacks were hurt, and Kearns "found" herself with a bloody knife.

However, my take is sill basically that Mandie Kearns may be the victim of a reputation. Perhaps in the past she was a wild woman who had difficulties with the local blacks. But even though she's apparently settled down now, the local blacks won't forgive her past, and when they saw here outside the Starbucks, and knowing that they outnumbered her, decided to scam and jam her. Blacks don't like to fight against whites unless the odds are overwhelmingly in their favor. However, Kearns decided to fight back. As far as I'm concerned, it's self-defense even if she used a knife. Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

But the issue of the separate charges complicates matters. which may lead to a plea bargain and some jail time, although certainly not 30 years. At least Kearns fought back - as a result, she's still here. Unlike Channon Christian.

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