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Coeur d’Alene court hearing observations, 7/28/2010

2010 August 1
by admin

On July 28, around 1:20p, pro-Steele visitors began trickling in to the Coeur d’Alene, ID courtroom where a hearing was to be held.  More on the reason for the hearing in a moment.
The Federal courtroom was quite large, with computer monitors at locations where the clerk, the judge, the litigants and others directly involved would sit.  The tone of the room was exceptionally hushed, as two court ‘ushers’ (in official regalia) hovered at the entrance.  The mood was as somber as it was quiet.

Some of us supporters were informed last minute that Mr. Steele might remain in Spokane County Jail, and be present via video conference.  At around 1:30pm, Mr. Steele entered the courtroom with his public defender. Mrs. Steele stood alone when her husband entered; after a few moments, she sat.  He made repeated – but silent – eye contact with all supporters who were seated along with three family members:  Mrs. Steele and their two daughters.  Occasionally, he spoke with his public defender.

By 1:50pm, 14 supporters of Mr. Steele had arrived and gathered on one side of the visitor area.  There were 7 or so other visitors, 3 court officials.  The prosecution team was comprised of 2 men and 1 woman whose backs were to the visitor area.

Quite abruptly and without warning, the courtroom audio crackled to life with the sound of a phone ringing, a woman briefly saying something about “Boise”.  The room then fell silent except for the limited whispers between visitors.

At 2:03pm the computer screens snapped on with a visual of a youngish, female judge, along with voices not visible.  It became clear the judge for this hearing was in Boise along with some support staff, speaking via teleconference to Cd’A.

(NB: All of the court dialogue recounted here is generally paraphrased from very scant notes.)

In fairly quick succession, the participants were identified, then the judge began the hearing.  She indicated this was a hearing to address “superceding indictments”; something was mentioned about bond.  She read the first charge of “using interstate commerce for hire to commit murder”, carying penalty of 10 years, $250,000.  At this point Mr. Steele interjected that he would “waive formal reading”.  The judge quickly replied that she understood, but that he might want to hear all charges first.  He acceded.

The judge then went on to list three new charges:

  • A) use of explosive materials; penalty 10 years, $250,000 + $100,
  • B) possession of a destructive device:  penalty 30 years, $250,000 + $100,
  • C) tampering with victim:  penalty 20 years, $250,000 + $100.

Charge B) above was specified to be consecutively applied to the other charges.

Moving quickly along, these topics were brought up and addressed with Mr. Steele providing responses:  awareness of the maximums of penalties, formal reading waived, unable to hire his own attorney, that he qualifies for the public defender.  Then a brief discussion regarding assets siezed by the government, confirming certain monies had been returned to Mrs. Steele.

The judge then asked Mr. Steele’s public defender how his plea on the listed charges would be entered;  the response was not guilty on all counts.  She continued by elaborating right to trial by jury and other rights afforded, and made two particular references to rights specified by the American Constitution.  A working date of August 16, 2010, 1:30p in Cd’A for the trial
was announced.  Mr. Steele’s public defender indicated they would be requesting a later trial date.  Mention was made of another judge possibly ruling on a matter of the case.

The hearing ended at what seemed like no later than 2:45pm.  Recess was called and the visitors  and the prosecution team filed out, to gather in the hallway leading to the courtroom.  Mr. Steele was escorted out the side door of the courtroom and his last glance back was to his wife and family who he made direct eye contact with. His demeanor seemed to be in “neutral”  as if in a dream state of not knowing what to do or say.

A reporter was in the hallway and she was engaged by a few of Mr. Steele’s supporters who seemed well versed in the true reasons for Ed’s arrest. The Steele family spoke with visitors, then, for a time, Mrs. Steele spoke with the public defender back in the courtroom.  At approximately 3:10pm all parties exited the building.

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Meeting some minutes later at a supporter’s home, many of those in attendence joined together to celebrate Mrs. Steele’s birthday with pizza, a decadent German Chocolate cake and refreshments. We gathered outside in fortunately clear skies to discuss further the hearing just concluded.  Besides casual conversation, many present offered their own observations of
the hearing as well as ideas for legal support.  Excepting Mr. Steele’s son who was not present, the Steele family is solidly unified and believe in his innocence on all charges.  The afternoon wound down as supporters gradually returned home.

====

Postscript:

In the CDAPress.com’s 7/29/2010 report on the hearing, writer David Cole claims, “Whelan played in court the conversation she said was between Steele and his wife”.  It is this writer’s strong conviction that no such recording (or any recordings, for that matter) was played during the session.

9 Responses leave one →
  1. Russ permalink
    August 1, 2010

    Thanks for the update. Speaking on what you described as the get together afterward and conversations as how to proceed, were any conclusions reached as to hiring a defense attorney? One can only wonder about the conversation between the defense attorney and Mrs. Steele. Does Mr. Pevan seem to believe in his clients innocence or is he just playing his role?

    Happy Birthday, although I realize this is probably not one that is so nice. Well, I am at a loss. I just got through reading about how there are strict guidelines for the use of CI’s and I doubt they were adhered to with Fairfax. I really cannot understand why the defender is not more opposed than he is and filing motions to have this thrown out or at tleast the bail issue overturned. I suspect it is because he is not really on Ed’s side and is just going through the motions. Anyone thinking that a public-state paid defender is going to do Ed any good, is fooling himself. They may seem professional to the significant other and supporters, but in reality they work for the state, which is the ones prosecuting. Please remember that.

    I also don’t understand why all these sites Ed wrote for and helped and took part in, basically refuse to do something as simple as placing a banner to raise funds. Who needs such friends. I will say it again, any site that does not make a good effort to help, will lose any support I have given in the past or that I will give in the future. I am tired of the self loving folks that refuse simple help. They are not understanding just how REAL this all is… or they just don’t care. To those types this is just more gossip and intrigue to write about… evidently. Just my opinion. What can Ed say? he is not allowed to say anything and he cannot speak with his looks. Believe me, if you had of looked at me after only one month in that trash hole, I looked like my treatment. All you do is worry about who is going to help you and you have no way to let people know how bad it really is. Besides most don’t believe it is that bad… because they are still walking around free.

    • August 1, 2010

      Russ: To answer some of your questions (or at least to give feedback)… When the Steele family decides on hire of a defense attorney, we’ll announce such. What public defender Pevan thinks is known to none but Mr. Steele, perhaps Mrs. Steele and himself.

      Why Pevan is not “more opposed” and “filing motions” – again – is only known to himself, Mr. and Mrs. Steele. To assess his commitment based on current actions is really speculation on our part.

      You bring up a sad but clearly evident point on “other web sites”. FES admins have contacted some of the highest-traffic patriot (and other) internet locations. Two out of 13 have posted links to this site to date.

      Here’s a perfect opportunity for you to approach web sites to pointedly ask them why they have not made known their stance on supporting Mr. Steele or just to sit and watch. We encourage you to contact those sites!

  2. Russ permalink
    August 1, 2010

    As to your comments, you can bet I will contact them. Tell me the two that have helped and the ones that refused? Thanks for the info update. I have something else to share that repeats my points on the importance of what I have previously stated.

    The more I look the more I find I am correct on a particular issue. This information below was done before I read your latest comment, so bear with me. Ed cannot do anything except hope we are paying attention. I imagine he is very scared right now and in shock. I was when it happened to me. You really become scared when you face the reality of corruption at the highest levels that are supposed to be upholding law, not breaking it.

    —————————————————–

    In camera hearing is mandatory prior to ordering disclosure of confidential informant’s identity or ordering dismissal of indictment. 68 H. 653, 729 P.2d 385.

    Where confidential informer was not going to be called to testify at trial as information informer provided was not the basis for any of the offenses charged against defendant, informer did not actively participate —-(HE DID PARTICIPATE AND HE LIED–Russ) — in any of offenses charged, ((((and proof of defendant’s guilt depended on circumstances at time warrant was executed — THE WHOLE CASE AGAINST ED DEPENDS ON FAIRFAX’S LIES TO THE COURT TO OBTAIN A WARRANT— Russ))))) and not on any information supplied by informer, subsection (c)(2) exception requiring disclosure of informant did not apply. 88 H. 396, 967 P.2d 228.

    (BUT THEY DO APPLY IF INFORMATION WAS BASED ON A LIE AND INFORMANT PLANTED BOMBS THAT HE FAILED TO TELL HIS HANDLERS. IF THE SEARCH WARRANT TURNED UP NOTHING REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WOULD SHOW GUILT ON MR. STEELE’S PART, THEN ALL THE MORE SO IT DISPROVES THE INFORMANTS INFORMATION ON A WHOLE AS THE BASIS FOR ARREST. WE ALREADY KNOW WHO THE INFORMANT IS, SO WE ARE NOT SEEKING A MOTION TO DISCLOSE IDENTITY, BUT A MOTION TO DISMISS BASED ON FALSE INFORMATION BY A CRIMINAL INFORMANT THAT LED TO THE ACTUAL ARREST. THERE WAS NO PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST WITHOUT FALSE INFORMANT INFORMATION!!! INFORMANT LIED TO A PEACE OFFICER AND USED THAT LACK OF TRUTHFUL – (FAIRFAX’S PLANTING BOMBS)- INFORMATION TO FRAME ANOTHER –Russ–)

    Where defendant filed motion for disclosure of identity of confidential informant, arguing that informant would be able to give testimony necessary to a fair determination of defendant’s guilt and that the subsection (c)(2) exception therefore applied, trial court erred by presuming informer privilege applied and not determining whether an exception to the privilege applied. 88 H. 433, 967 P.2d 265.

    Prior to granting the motion to suppress evidence, —-(the circuit court should have reviewed, in camera, pursuant to subsection (c)(3), the sealed search warrant affidavit of detective that was the basis of the district court judge’s determination of probable cause for issuance of the search warrant. 103 H. 191 (App.), 80 P.3d 1012. THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE…BUT THE DEFENDER HAS TO FILE THE MOTIONS TO GET IT ROLLING OR HE WILL LOSE THE CHANCE—- IF THE COURT RULES AGAINST THE PROBABLE CAUSE WARRANT, THERE IS NO CASE AGAINST ED.— Russ)

    ALSO, IF CERTAIN PROCEDURES ARE NOT FOLLOWED IN THE CASE…IT IS GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OF ALL CHARGES AGAINST DEFENDANT….THIS IS WHY I KEEP HOLLERING FROM THE DEPTH OF MY LUNGS… WE CANNOT STALL AND ALLOW AN INCOMPETENT TO HANDLE THIS CASE…THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO GET A GOOD SOLID ATTORNEY WORKING THIS CASE. –Russ–

  3. Russ permalink
    August 1, 2010

    P.S. When you list sites you contacted, just list-no reply, or we won’t help, or wrote back and gladly offered help. That way I will know which ones are just not reading the mail or just choosing not to respond, whichever the case may be. I am very interested in knowing the who is and who won’t. That way I can determine who is really a brother and who is a player just in this for making a living writing and speaking about things.

    PLEASE do inform me because I am already tired of most of them anyway. I think it would be a good thing to list for all to see. Many people go to these sites thinking they are on our side. It’s time we find out who really is on our side. There is no better test than we have now. Either you help with all you can do, or simply put you are just a money making site. That’s the way I look at it because it costs nothing for any site to place a support banner on their website to help the donation fund. And I’m not going to change my mind. Just like with that one site (you know whom I speak) they are worthless and their site is worthless.

  4. Russ permalink
    August 2, 2010

    I have just now listened to the recorded call from Ed to Mrs. Steele. I was not able due to the slowness of my dialup connection, but now someone put it on utube and it was about 7 minuets, so it only took a little over an hour to listen.

    First let me say, after listening to the tape, I am more convinced than before. It seems to me it is obvious that Ed is doing exactly what he had to do. He had to tell his Wife what they were going to do, because she is not a lawyer and the state was planning to entrap her into giving incriminating evidence against her own husband. The way I look at it, it is the state that has tampered with a potential witness for the defense.
    Mrs. Steele was not a victim of her husband, but only an intended victim of the state.
    I also noticed Ed told his Wife exactly what I posted on this board earlier, the Husband Wife privilidge issue. I want to look into cases where the state has been found in wrong-doing by trying to use a Wife unjustly to verify their own made up and weak case. Folks, there is no threat by Ed in that call, it is just his position both as a scared defendent and husband lawyer, that he is trying to get the Wife to see how the state is going to fool her into implicating him. HE HAD TO MAKE THAT CALL AND HE HAD TO SAY EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID. He also said just like I that this would be just like Matt Hale case..meaning a frame up by taking bits and pieces and putting them together to convict. He also states that the TAPE will be a world class production “Mission Impossible” deal. He also indicated he had every right to be scared and he is right. When the government is willing to break the law themselves just to convict innocent people they don’t like, we are all in trouble. Remember I know, they wanted me in prison for 8 years, MERELY FOR POSTING OPINIONS ON A FREEDOM OF SPEECH MEDIA BLOG, speaking things just like I speak here and that all the freedom sites speak about. Don’t just think about it and wonder, but rather KNOW that your government is criminal to the bone. This is a friendly site evidently that posted this audio. The link is below and it’s from Idaho.

    http://www.americantowns.com/id/sagle/videos-page2

    Jailed Edgar Steele Tells Wife Audio was Faked
    running time:06:53

    added by:jewishpropaghanda

    source: YouTube

  5. Wendy permalink
    August 4, 2010

    Great, the government takes all of his wife’s money so she can’t hire a lawyer, so Mr. Steele has to give her legal advice because he, himself, is a lawyer.

  6. Tina (AKA gymnastic chick) permalink
    August 10, 2010

    First I want to applaud Mrs Steele’s alliance with her husband in spite of the government’s relentless attempts to pit her against him.

    I wanted to hear the telephone conversation. But as clicked the link, I suddenly felt so intrusive that I couldn’t get myself to play the excerpt.

    This private conversation between a husband and wife should not have been recorded in the first place, let alone be played for the entire world to hear.

    Furthermore, I didn’t want to reward a hostile and intrusive government by participating in its antisocial behavior or even considering its illegally obtained so-called evidence.

    I also resent their sensory depriving of Mr Steele’s intelligent and finely tuned mind, their returning of our letters under trivial excuses or false pretenses, and their preventing his wife from visiting him. Decent people just don’t treat a frail and elderly man in such a cruel manner.

    I can only hope that this ordeal has a happy ending or that something good comes from it.

    Tina.

  7. Russ permalink
    August 12, 2010

    I don’t understand why someone doesn’t get him a damn lawyer!
    We are talking, that’s all. Bottom line is, he needs an outside
    lawyer. How are the donations coming along?

    • August 12, 2010

      Russ: Generally we agree with your sentiments, and wonder why donations are as modest as they are. If any Edgar Steele supporter had direct access to he and his family, and asked bluntly, “why haven’t you gotten a (non-public defender) attorney”, we suspect the #1 answer would be, “we don’t have the $100,000 to come up with for our own representation”. But that’s neither here nor there; it is Mr. Steele and his family who have to decide within what parameters they can operate. All we can do is support them in the best possible way.

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