From David — A weblog (with full archive)

August 16, 2021 — A mistrial

Even before the court session opened today it was clear to the judge, the prosecutor, and the defense that there was a mistrial. The jury had been selected last Friday, and all was in order to move ahead. All the witnesses had been summoned for today, the prosecution and defense were ready to go. But over the weekend, a juror grew uncomfortable with the proximity that would have been required in the jury box…there was no room for social distancing. And with the Covid delta variant on the rise, there was ample reason for consideration. The only other accommodation would have been to position the jurors in the general seating area of the courtroom…where it’s distant and dark. Such distance and resulting reliance on video monitors really would have compromised a fair trial. That’s because so much relies on jury members being able to clearly see the defendant, witnesses, the attorneys, the judge. So, the trial was scrubbed for now. It will be rescheduled for late October or early November. Judge Janice Cunningham said THAT trial will not be postposed and will be set up for social distancing if necessary but with enough time to do it right in order to preserve a fair trial. That also would mean that there would be no access by the media or general public and that the proceedings would be shared live on YouTube to meet the concept of an open court.

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July 27, 2021 — Wherefore art thou?

I have been missing in action. Much has happened. There has been an arrest in the Deannie Peters case. James Frisbie has been arrested and while details are still pretty limited pending court proceedings…they will be coming.

Casey West also has let me know that Dennis Bowman has a trial date set for January of 2022.

And to the point here, Dineane Ducharme will stand trial August 16 in Eaton County’s 56th Circuit Court, Judge Janice K. Cunningham presiding, for her part in the murder of Roberto Caraballo in the Jack in the Box case. As well, to the best of my knowledge Beverly Anne Magliochetti (aka Beverly McCallum) remains in an Italian jail awaiting extradition.

Gotta get my paperwork in. Every time I want to put a camera in a courtroom I need to ask for permission. This is what that looks like.

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March 9, 2021 — A body found

Skeletal remains have been found near Saugatuck. So far, just questions. But this from WOOD TV.

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February 24, 2021 — Dennis Bowman bound over for trial

Dennis Bowman’s wife testified that he confessed to the murder of their adopted daughter Alexis Miranda Badger/Aundria Bowman. Here are the details from reporter Carolyn Muyskens and chronicled in the Holland Sentinel. He is headed to trial in Allegan County Circuit Court. In a subsequent development, Bowman has been linked to a 1979 assault, according to WOODTV.

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February 22, 2021 — Dennis Bowman in court

I caught a news report yesterday that Dennis Bowman was headed for a preliminary hearing in Allegan County’s 57th District Court today for the murder of his adopted daughter Alexis Miranda Badger also known as Aundria Bowman. Bowman has been charged with murder, first-degree child abuse and mutilation of a body. At the time of the hearing this was a live link to the court. There will be plenty coming out about it.

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September 15, 2020 — Fifty years ago today

Shelley Speet Mills was murdered in Grand Rapids.

The crime remains unsolved.

I finished date film about the case–a process that took ten years–and came out four years ago. I invite you to watch it. Alas, the settings on Vimeo do not allow me to give it away, but I can sell it for 99 cents, which I am doing.

If you need you 99 cents back, let me know.

But if you order it up–or even you don’t–please send up a prayer that this case be solved. I believe that it can be.

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August 10, 2020 — Digging for the truth

An exhumation last week in Ottawa county sought DNA answers to Jenny, a Jane Doe who had been murdered. Here is the story from The Grand Rapids Press.

For some odd reason, this case has never been on my radar. I had sought out all the unsolved homicides in the county and for some reason this one never came up. Others did.

We can wish investigators all success in their identification of the victim–always a good start–and then finding the killer. We know it can happen.

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July 22, 2020 — And that’s how he died

We reported on the June 8 death of James Cleophus “Bubba” Nelson. At the time we had no cause of death. That has been rectified.

According to the Jackson County Clerk’s Office, the cause of death was complications of metastatic prostate cancer. I am so grateful for the kindly offered help of the Clerk’s office.

Nelson’s hometown obituary read this way:

JAMES CLEOPHUS NELSON, 73, formerly of Charleston, W.Va., born on May 31, 1947, to the Late Edward and Jessie Nelson. He passed away on June 8, 2020, at Duane Waters Medical Center in Jackson, Mich., after a long illness.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lynn Nelson; his brothers, Eugene, William, Floyd, Leon, Howard, Herbert; and sister, Virginia.

He leaves to cherish his memory his sons, Ricardo and Marcus Nelson of Cincinnati, Ohio; sisters, Ethel Bright (Ronald), Maxine Nelson, Naomi Courts, all of Charleston, W.Va., Lucille Nelson of Columbus, Ohio; a host of a nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.

Arrangements entrusted to Sherwood Funeral Home in Jackson, Mich. Due to the COVID-19, a private memorial will be provided at a later date.

Here is a link to the newspaper account including a pacific smiling photograph of the deceased.

No place in the obituary does it mention that he was a murderous monster. But then, most often families get to pay for obituaries and so they pretty much read the way the families want them to.

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June 15, 2020 — Word has come that James Cleophus “Bubba” Nelson died in prison

The same source who shared that Harry Dean Keith died also shared that James Cleophus “Bubba” Nelson has died in prison.

Here is the account according the WHTC in Holland. And, while it makes no mention of his death here, is the OTIS sheet for his discharge:

He was a monster. After raping and killing Janet he went on to attack another woman some years later. As in Janet’s case, he used a belt to strangle her and, after raping her, left her for dead. When he was sentenced that woman drove from the south, Ohio maybe, and tried to get to the Grand Haven courtroom in time to see him come to justice. The roads were slippery and she was involved in a car crash. Still, she managed to get there, but too late to witness the sentencing. All that took great courage.

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June 15, 2020 — Harry Dean Keith has died

Harry Dean Keith, involved in the 1979 murder of Janet Chandler, has died. We learned of his March 17 death from a reader. His testimony during the trial helped to advance the cases against the six who were charged. (Two pled and four were convicted.) You can view it here. There was plenty more that he knew that he took to the grave. It’s my assessment that he could have been much more helpful.

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