-- Read the 81-page court document HERE or a PDF copy HERE.
According to the defense team's press release, three major issues drive the appeal:
1. Defendant’s Motion for a New Trial and Claim of Ineffective Assistance Based on Trial Counsel’s Pending Disbarment and Deficient Performance During Trial (Page 33): According to the appeal, the defense was unaware that Edgar's attorney was being investigated for various felonies. The Denver Post reported on June 30, 2010 that Robert McAllister was being investigated for wire fraud and money laundering. He pled guilty on May 24, 2012 and told the Post he felt he provide inadequate representation to "a client convicted earlier in the year of murder for hire". During the 2011 trial, the defense was unaware that Edgar's attorney, Robert T. McAllister, was being investigated for felonies during the Steele trial and was indicted in July 2011 by the same US Government that was prosecuting Steele. McAllister was quoted by the Denver Post, "Two months later, McAllister told a judge in Idaho that he had provided ineffective counsel to a client convicted earlier in the year of murder-for-hire. The trial occurred while McAllister was dealing with his possible disbarment. "At the time . . . I did not recognize the extent to which my mental state had deteriorated" as a result of his remorse, McAllister wrote.
2. In the complaint the defense alleges that a Government informant may have been secretly taping trial counsel’s communications during defendant’s trial (Page 38)
3. The defense will seek to highlight what it alleges are inconsistencies and misstatements by Larry Fairfax in the 2011 trial. The filed appeal alleges Fairfax did not tell anyone he placed the bomb on Cindy Steele's car and then had shifting rationalizations for not doing so. "First, the defense emphasized the instances in which [Larry] Fairfax had concealed material facts and/or been demonstrably untruthful, including the following: Fairfax did not tell Sotka or anyone else in law enforcement about the fact that he had placed a bomb on Cyndi Steele’s car on June 9th, June 10th, or at any time until after the bomb was found on Cyndi’s car on June 15th (see below). (RT 419, 1430)" Fairfax said he did not do so because, among other things, he “didn’t have [his] immunity yet”, “didn’t want to get in trouble”, thought the device had fallen off, and that “thought he could get away with it.” (RT 488, 505; see also RT 476, 531). (Page 20)
The appeal also takes issue with two instances where the defense believes the district court should have required a unanimous verdict. First, they claim the district court committed plain error when it failed to require a unanimous verdict as to the factual basis for the "interstate travel" element alleged in and/or incorporated into counts one, two, and three. Second, they contend the district court committed plain error when it failed to require a unanimous verdict as to the object of allegations contained in count two. To refresh readers' memories, here are the four counts upon which Steele was convicted (from pages 15-16 of the court document):
-- Count One: use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire (18 U.S.C. § 1958);
-- Count Two: aiding and abetting use of explosive materials to commit a federal felony (18 U.S.C. § 844(h));
-- Count Three: possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(B)(ii));
-- Count Four: tampering with a victim (18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(3)).
The requested outcome of the appeal, as specified on page 78 of the court document, is that the court should remand this case for an evidentiary hearing on appellant’s claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, which places in issue all counts of conviction. Alternatively, should appellant’s remand request be declined, the Court should reverse appellant’s convictions on Counts One, Two, and Three of the superseding indictment.
Cyndi Steele notes that the forthcoming documentary, "Witness to the Persecution - The Plot to Silence Edgar Steele", will expose perjury and evidence tampering by FBI Special Agent Michael Sotka, the invalidity of the search warrant, judicial misconduct by Judge Winmill in excluding two key defense audio experts, eavesdropping by the Federal Marshals in violation of the attorney-client privilege and giving copies of those privileged discussions to prosecutors, an interview with audio expert Dennis Walsh demonstrating that the Government’s two audio recordings should have been inadmissible, how the Federal Government blackmailed Edgar’s defense attorney Robert T. McAllister into sabotaging the defense of Edgar’s case, an interview with an eye-witness to Edgar’s June 11, 2010 arrest demonstrating that 45 minutes was deleted as a cover up from the recording made at the Steele ranch. Copies will be eventually available to the general public. According to the Coeur d'Alene Press, it has cost more than $400,000 to defend him so far. Through May 2013, the family has raised more than $105,000 in donations for his legal defense.
Meanwhile, Donald E. Pauly continues to take a different approach to this case; his approach has been robustly criticized on Stormfront. On The Steel Tragedy website, Pauly maintains that Steele was not criminally responsible for his acts because surgery to repair a ruptured aorta dislodged many small blood clots which traveled to his brain and made him go insane. He notes that brain damage is a common to various degrees for all types of open heart surgery and is known as pump head. But what has turned people against Pauly is his repeated insistence that Cyndi Steele is using her website to swindle people, although Cyndi insists she was buffaloed by Robert McAllister. Pauly says he wants to raise money to retain a psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating heart surgery induced brain damage, as well as a lawyer experienced in special actions filed in Federal Appeals court. He wants to contact them to give them the background on this case and get them started on the project, and intends to pay them as donations from the public come in. But all this will do is divide the effort to get justice for Steele. It would be better if Pauly combined his efforts with Cyndi Steele, but the relationship between them at this point is non-existent.
The monster Stormfront thread begins HERE in June 2011, but the most recent input regarding this development begins on page 67. Pauly posts on the thread as Trojan Cowboy.