Friday, August 14, 2009
White Hate Crime Scapegoat Mandie Kearns Finally Released From Prison, Paroled To The Palm Springs Area
A little bit late with this news, but it's still good news nonetheless. Mandie Kearns, a mother of five who was a victim of judicial railroading in California, was released from prison and paroled to the Palm Springs area on July 12th, 2009. Full story published July 29th in The Deseret Sun.
You can review all previous posts on this case HERE, starting with the most current post. Story also tracked on New Nation News, and discussed on the ArgueWithEveryone forums.
Kearns, a resident of Desert Hot Springs, was sentenced to four years in state prison in April 2008 and given 19 months credit for time already served, after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact and to a hate crime enhancement stemming from the April 5th, 2007, stabbings of a black man and woman near a downtown Starbucks in the 100 block of South Belardo Road during the Palm Springs VillageFest. She was originally charged with attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon likely to create great bodily injury, as well as gang and hate crime enhancements, and struck a plea deal as her preliminary hearing was set to begin on November 21st, 2007. The local nomenklatura was out to get her for something from Day One, and unfortunately, they succeeded in part
There is still some confusion about just exactly what went down. The jist of the story is that on April 5th, 2007, Mandie Kearns was part of a small group of five Whites who walked by a group of 15-20 Blacks and possibly some Latinos mixed in. They started mouthing off to the Whites, who initially ignored them. As the Whites approached the Starbucks, they apparently had enough of the Black attitude, and one of them yelled something and made an obscene gesture. The Blacks then chimped out and charged the Whites, and the fight was on.
One of the Whites in the group, a juvenile, produced a knife to defend herself and stabbed one the Blacks, then passed the knife to Kearns, who took it from the juvenile and put it in her purse. Unfortunately, when the cops caught up to Kearns, they found the bloody knife in her purse and decided she was the assailant. And when the subsequent investigation revealed that Kearns had once belonged to a "white supremacist" group called Suicidal Tendencies, the prosecutor sunk his talons into her and wouldn't let go, because he thought he had a slam dunk case. He deliberately asked for an outrageous bail of $575,000; as a working class mom, there was no way Kearns could make that type of bail. So she sat in jail.
The prosecution wasted little time in piling on the attempted murder charge and the three counts of assault with a deadly weapon likely to create great bodily injury charges, as well as gang and hate crime enhancements. Kearns' lawyer John Patrick Dolan jousted back and forth with the prosecution for several months. Meanwhile, one witness, Valentina Murrell, told an investigator she never actually saw Kearns with the knife but that she did see another, younger girl pass the weapon. Murrell also told the investigator that Kearns was not the person who stabbed her because she was on top of Kearns during the entire fight and was stabbed in the back.
Finally, realizing that it could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt that Kearns stabbed the Black man, Michael Jeandron of the Riverside County District Attorney's Office allowed Kearns to plea down to an accessory charge and a hate crime enhancement. And finally, on April 21st, 2008, Kearns was sentenced to four years, though credited for time already served. During this whole time, her five kids have been in foster care. And that's another story in itself; according to Donna Kearns, who is Mandie's mother, they split up the five kids into two different foster homes. And in one of the foster homes, no English is spoken.
There's no evidence that the system ever went after the juvenile who did the stabbing. There's no evidence that the group of Blacks and Latinos who started the fight were held accountable. The system zeroed in on Mandie Kearns - and ONLY on Mandie Kearns - because she had a reputation for being a "white supremacist". Justice was NOT served in Palm Springs.