Valeska Sought GAG Order - None Ordered - However I Did A Voluntary GAG Order -Rickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Oct 21 2012 10:18 PM
HOUSTON COUNTY: This article is written in response to “DA sought gag order in gambling trial”.
On Tuesday evening I printed an article “Kickoff for trial of the black man arrested for playing poker is at 9 AM on Wednesday”. When Circuit Judge Kevin Moulton called the case of Dothan Police Department Cpl. Jeremy Kendrick, in the name of the State of Alabama versus John C. Turner for the offense “Exhibiting gambling devices in barred house where speaking tubes or electronic signals are used”, Valeska had my article in his hand.
Dothan Police arrested John Turner on October 15, 2010 for the offense. The case was ready for trial. Dothan Police Cpl. Jeremy Kendrick personally asked Doug Valeska to prosecute the case. Turner was being represented by Dothan Attorney Joey ( Billy Joe Sheffield III ).
Valeska opened up seeking a gag order on the media, most especially me. Valeska wanted to make sure no jurors were prejudiced by the article. Valeska also argued the article was based on race and connected the Turner case to Country Crossings and Center Stage. Valeska complained that Turner was a business partner of Rickey Stokes, which made my article biased.
Valeska is quoted in the Dothan Eagle as saying “ these are merely false allegations to prejudice a jury. How do we get a fair trial when these kind of untruths are put out there in the social media. We’d like Stokes gagged because first of all it’s his partner”.
Turner’s attorney Joey Sheffield countered Valeska was upset because the article did not favor the District Attorney’s Office. Valeska countered and argued the local television stations and Dothan Eagle do not run personal attacks”.
Judge Moulton denied the gag order request. However, I ( Rickey Stokes ) told Judge Moulton that I would not run any articles on this case until it was over.
NOTE: How many times does Valeska call the media to trash someone and get articles printed about their prosecution to inflame potential jurors before the trial? Many times he alerts the Dothan Eagle to the article.
The trial started on Wednesday. Judge Moulton kept everyone in court until 9:45 PM on Thursday evening to finish the trial. At 9:45 PM Thursday evening the “broke and under funded” District Attorney had 9 people in court, four the table with him, prosecuting John Turner under this 1923 law of “Exhibiting gambling devices in barred house or where speaking tubes or electronic signals are used”.
The jury returned Friday morning at 9 AM to begin deliberations. Several time during the day the foreman returned to the court informing Judge Moulton of a huge divide. The Judge urged them to continue to deliberate.
At 4:10 PM Friday afternoon the foreman told the Judge they were still divided. Judge Moulton told the jurors his plans were to continue deliberations until 5 PM. District Attorney Doug Valeska told the Judge he wanted the jurors to come back Monday. He did not want a mistrial.
The jurors took a break and then rendered their verdict.
“We the jury find the defendant, John Turner, NOT GUILTY.
Valeska’s Arguments Against My Article And The Gag Order Attempt
District Attorney Doug Valeska made accusations against me and called me a liar in court. I asked the Judge to allow me to respond on the record. That request was denied.
However I did offer to the Judge I would not write any article about this case until the trial was over. I kept my word.
First of all, John Turner is a black man. So when the headlines read “Kickoff for the trial of the black man for playing poker”, that is a true and correct statement. Kick the messenger, but look, he is a black man.
Valeska and Kendrick made accusations Turner had a small casino, it was a high stakes poker game. No evidence presented supported their accusations.
Valeska said I was making it a race issue because I said the “white” people in west Dothan were not prosecuted when they were robbed playing a poker game. A man had a gun stuck to his head and the money taken. That is a true statement. Again Valeska, kick the messenger but what I said was true.
Valeska said there were large screen TV’s to alert for police approaching and bars on the doors and windows to prevent law enforcement access. The evidence showed a 911 call ( which I will have loaded Monday and posted where you can hear the 911 call ) where the people inside called thinking they were being robbed when the police raided the place. If the equipment was to alert it did not work.
Evidence showed the bars on the windows and doors had been there for double digit years. The bars on the windows and doors was put into place, as many in the area, to keep the burglars out. Because it was an unsafe neighborhood.
Valeska was offended that I linked the no arrest in Country Crossings and Center Stage to this case. I stand on the truth, white people were running Country Crossings and Center Stage.
From the 07/25/2012 Press Release of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange;
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2012
AG STRANGE, DA VALESKA AND SHERIFF HUGHES ANNOUNCE
SEARCH WARRANT SERVED AT CENTER STAGE ALABAMA IN HOUSTON COUNTY
(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Luther Strange, Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska and Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes announced that a search warrant was served today at Center Stage Alabama in Houston County by law enforcement agents from the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Public Safety and the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.
If I told something that was not true, it came from the Attorney General Press Release. Valeska is involved, no one was arrested.
Valesa is personally prosecuting this case against Turner under a 1923 law. He said because law enforcement asked him to. Why? And why does he run from Country Crossings and Center Stage, and the white people robbed in the westside of Dothan, and none were prosecuted. If he can take 9 people and prosecute the black man, then why not Center Stage?
Valeska filed a motion that contained false information. The court did not sanction him on that filing. A true statement, a proven statement.
So when Doug wants to challenge on what I said and call me a liar, I will open camera and mics up for him anytime and we will debate it. I wanted to on the record where he made his comments but was not allowed.
Defense Attorney Joey Sheffield ( Billy Joe Sheffield III ) did an outstanding job in the defense of this case. He did his homework and was prepared for the defense of this case.
I will have more to say and outline more from the 100 pages of notes I made during the trial.
There is some more information I need to compile on Monday to explain more about this case.
I respect Doug Valeska. I am not trying to downgrade him. However, he wants to destroy everyone, and that is not his job. He wants to prosecute everyone in his path, and he needs to begin to apply some common sense.
The same goes for the officers. When they mess up, ohhhh do not hold them responsible, but well, some feel everyone needs to be arrested.
There is more to come.