Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Judge Finds Jeffrey Walker A "Truthful And Credible" Witness

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Judge Eduardo Robreno today described Jeffrey Walker, the dirty cop-turned government cooperator, as a "truthful and credible" witness. What's more, the judge said, Walker's testimony withstood the "crucible" of cross-examination by a half-dozen skilled defense lawyers.

The jury, however, didn't see it that way on May 14th when they rejected Walker's testimony and acquitted six defendants on all 47 counts of a RICO indictment.

But an undeterred Judge Robreno approved a downward departure in the sentencing guidelines for Walker, and gave him 42 months in jail. The judge squared his findings that Walker was truthful and credible with the jury verdict by saying there was a difference between being found not guilty and being innocent.

Jeffrey Walker entered the courtroom wearing a beard, an olive green jumpsuit and handcuffs. He was there to be sentenced by the judge on one count of attempted robbery and one count of carrying a firearm in relation to committing a crime of violence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek, the big loser in that 47-0 massacre of a verdict, stood up and went through the crimes Walker had pleaded guilty to the day he was caught red-handed in a sting operation walking out of a drug dealer's house with a stolen $15,000.

Walker had planted drugs on the dealer and then arranged a police stop so the guy would get nailed, Wzorek said, while Walker was busy cleaning out the drug dealer's house. But the drug dealer turned out to be another FBI cooperator. Walker also lied to a judge to get him to sign a search warrant, Wzorek said.

Under the regular sentencing guidelines, Wzorek said, Walker was looking at a sentence of between 43 and 57 months before the judge granted a downward departure.

Wzorek went on to praise Walker's work as a cooperating witness. The day he was arrested in May 2013, the prosecutor said, Wallker "immediately admitted his own guilt." The prosecutor also praised Walker for breaking the "institutional code of silence" that prevailed in the Philadelphia Police Department. The defendant broke that code by admitting to crimes he had committed and implicating others, Wzorek said, meaning the defendants.

The prosecutor seemed to be forgetting that none of the jurors believed Walker.

Walker met with the feds between 30 and 40 times, Wzorek told the judge. Walker's testimony was very important in "providing an insider's view of what was going on in the Narcotics Field Unit," Wzorek said.

That's all great Tony, except once again you seem to be forgetting that the jury didn't believe a word Walker had to say.

Walker's testimony was "credible and reliable," Wzorek insisted to the judge. The prisoner has already served 26 months, Wzorek said. Besides always being honest with the feds, the prosecutor said, Walker had to contend with the illness of his sister, a cop, who died of cancer the day the jury reached their verdict.

"His cooperation was extraordinary," Wzorek told the judge about Walker. "So were his crimes."

The judge agreed with the prosecutor, saying that Walker's testimony was "truthful and credible." His accusations were corroborated by the accusations of the drug dealers, the judge said. Meanwhile, the judge said, he found the testimony of two supervisors of the Narcotics Field Unit, Lt. Robert Otto and Sgt. Joseph McCloskey, to be "non-credible."

Walker's supervisors failed to detect that Walker had been stealing on the job since he first became a cop at 19, the judge said. Walker's supervisors usually gave Walker good reviews, the judge said, telling him he was a "team player" and advising him to "keep up the good work."

When they found out that Walker had become a cooperating witness, the judge said, those same supervisors "conveniently" changed their opinion of Walker.

The judge then explained how he squared his finding that Walker had been "truthful and reliable" with the verdict of not guilty 47 times. To explain himself, Judge Robreno quoted the closing statement of defense lawyer Jack McMahon.

There is no verdict of innocent, McMahon had told the jury, according to the judge. There is only the quality and quantity of the evidence to consider, and whether the evidence was sufficient to prove a verdict of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

"The government has failed to prove" a verdict of guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt," the judge concluded. So the jury reached the correct verdict, the judge said. But that doesn't mean "the defendants were innocent," the judge said.

Walker's lawyer, Thomas Fitzpatrick, said that Walker was a 20-year veteran of the police department who had  "received several commendations for bravery." In his personal life, however, Walker had been divorced twice and had a drinking problem, Fitzpatrick said. When he became a cooperator, Walker's sister and ex-wife were still still cops, Fitzpatrick said. But Walker never faltered in his work as a witness.

Fitzpatrick conceded that Walker's crime was "a scheme for money." But the lawyer said, "in the depths of his remorse," Walker had confronted his past sins.

Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick said, the defendants are all free men. And they are feeling "so bold" that they just filed a defamation suit against the police commissioner and the mayor, Fitzpatrick said. [He forgot to mention the district attorney, the third defendant in the defamation suit].

"Jeffrey Walker is a good man," Fitzpatrick told the judge. He's "sincerely remorseful for the things he's done." Now, "he's trying to do the right thing," the lawyer said.

When it was his turn to speak, Walker told the judge, "I have no excuses."

He apologized for his crimes to the police commissioner, his co-workers, and to the community, while reaching for a Kleenex.

The day he was arrested, Walker told the judge, was a "turning point."

"Finally," he said, "I moved in the right direction."

"I've been messing up for so long," Walker said, wiping his eyes before he really started crying. "I know I've messed up."

In announcing his sentence, Judge Robreno said the rogue cops trial had been a "difficult case." About the government, he said, "They took a risk" in prosecuting a case where the victims were a bunch of "drug dealers."

It was Jeffrey Walker's cooperation, the judge said, "that made the filing of the case possible." The "bottom line," the judge said, was that "without Jeffrey Walker there would be no case." And without this case, the judge said, the community wouldn't have gotten an inside look at the work of the Narcotics Field Unit.

The judge did not mention the inside look the case provided at the work of the FBI, which didn't bother to interview a dozen police eyewitnesses to the alleged episodes of misconduct before the indictment was filed. Or the work of the U.S. Attorney's Office, which failed to provide any corroboration for the accusations of the drug dealers.

Ralph Cipriano can be reached at ralph@bigtrial.net.

19 comments:

  1. And the Federal Prosecutor continues with his lies along with the support of a corrupted Judge who from the beginning was tainted by the lies of the Federal Prosecutor and his team of lying Federal Agents and Philadelphia Police Sergeant. The true story was told during that trial and the Jurors heard it all. That is why they looked directly at the Federal Prosecutor in complete disgust and stated "47" times NOT GUILTY. They listened to all the witnesses including Jeffrey Walker and heard the lies. They heard it all and made their decision based on the truth, not the one sided lies presented to the Grand Jury or the corrupt Federal Judge who even now makes unjustified and defamatory comments about officers who testified truthfully. Why didn't the Judge comment about the lies the "drug dealing victims" told on the witness stand and were caught in or even the lies that the righteous FBI Agents told on the stand and were caught or call on. Why does this whole case continue to be a complete cover up by the Federal Prosecutors, The City Solicitor's Office, Rufus Seth Williams, Ed McCann, Chuck Ramsey and Nutter. What will all do when the truth comes out about it all. Will the citizens of this city finally demand accountability of those they have entrusted to protect them and do what was in the best interest of them as they swore to do? How is it possible that Jeffrey Walker admits that he committed "thousands" of crimes, has hundreds of cases thrown out, causes hundreds more convictions to be overturned and will cost the tax payers of this city millions of dollars and only gets 42 months incarceration. With time served, he will be out in less then a year. Citizens of this city, demand that Rufus Seth Williams and Ed McCann tell you why they withdrew almost 500 criminal cases against violent drug offenders back in 2012-2013 even before anyone was arrested or charged with a crime. Do not continue to accept "NO COMMENT" from them. Don't you want to know the real story behind why this all started? You will find it disturbing beyond belief and realize that you and your families safety have been put in great risk due to the criminal and corrupt behavior of Rufus Seth Williams and Ed McCann. You will not only demand their resignations, you will insist they be prosecuted Federally by those they encouraged to wrongfully prosecute those innocent officers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe some jurors will see this.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe ,and maybe they will write and tell the judge what they think of his sentence.

      Delete
  3. What message is the judge sending to the public, telling the prosecutors that next time do a better job, you just did not prove your case, of course the prosecutor is always right, the jury just got it wrong. Spend more of the publics money on worthless cases that make the prosecutors look like they are saving the poor unsuspecting citizens of Philadelphia.
    I am confused, I thought once the jury spoke that was it, we had to accept the verdict. Walkers light sentence was promised from the beginning for his "cooperation". I am sure Philadelphians will feel much better with Walker on the streets soon. I was told there is no justice in a courtroom and this is a prime example. I am flabbergasted and disappointed. I suppose the judge had to give Tony a bone after he lost so bad.
    What is the moral of the story, do what ever illegal crime you want as long as you have someone to give up, you have a pass with the prosecutors and the judge. Interesting how the governments morals have rubbed off on everyone and the state of the country is a perfect example.
    I applaud the attorneys in this case, letting us all know what the government really does , lie and scheme and make one another look good , I suppose its the code the government follows, no matter the human toll. Thanks for the example feds, we learned a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Federal judges are appointed, not elected by the people. He would never bite the hand that feeds him. He just happened to throw his own credibility out the window when stating someone who was caught in many lies on the witness stand was "credible" and "truthful".

    ReplyDelete
  5. This entire indictment was laughable. This loser gets caught red handed and admits he has been robbing drug dealers for years as well as committing other crimes and he gets 3 1/2 years, you bet your ass if the six officers were found guilty they would of gotten the max sentence the judge could give them, this once again shows how fucked up the justice system is. I hope and pray the six officers sue the pants off all involved and they all walk away with a shit load of money in a settlement. Walker is a piece of shit and that judge needs to step down as well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like the Judge works for the US Attorney.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Being as though finding decent jurors these days is difficult as it is, stating that 12 people, who just gave up their lives for 9 weeks to serve the public, did a poor job is not going to make finding decent jurors any easier. In fact, it's a real slap in the face Your Honor. Shame on you for believing a liar (for lack of better terms), maybe you want to get yourself some street lessons. Walker is a true thug, and you fell for his tears and bs. At least our jury did not.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Robreno is the true definition of a judge. Tough and fair. Not owned by either side. When someone is right...they are right. Jury got it right. So did the Judge. Saw thru it and said so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far your the only one that feels that way. The judge is part of the prospection team. Former federal prosecutors should never be made judges, its an us versus them mentality. We are in a very dark period in our country , similar to the inquisition period in Europe. " Cooperation" is what the government got from Walker, this was his reward. Thank God for the attorneys and the wonderful jury, or these men would never have seen the light of day again. If this is the type of justice we are dolling out in this country, and we are, its a very, very low period for our civilization. If I may suggest some light reading ,try the website for the National Registry of Exonerations , of the more than 1600 so far exonerated you will be amazed that half are listed as "official misconduct" being the cause for the release of the convicted person, meaning the prosecutor or D.A. hid evidence, or some other means of incriminating the defendant. The judges ruling was a slap in the face to the jurors, the public , the families of the officers, the entire American legal system. Judge Robreno is known as very tough when it comes to sentencing, this was a gift to the prosecution. The display by the prosecutors at his sentencing should disturb all law abiding citizens, His light sentence is meant to show the world the feds still have the upper hand. Unlimited power with no accountability.

      Delete
    2. Sorry it should have read, the judge is part of the prosecution team.

      Delete
  9. It's amazing that a judge can make those comments....he is just as corrupt as all the agents and prosecutors....I guess birds of a feather do flock together.....so glad the 6 cops got their jobs back and I hope they make the city go bankrupt in the lawsuit.....

    ReplyDelete
  10. Otto and Mccluskey's truthful testimony got those boys home and that is whats most important. Robreno had to give him a light sentence. No one would ever cooperate in the future if he didnt. He just chose to throw the police department under the bus so he didn't look like a scumbag for giving a sick criminal 3 1/2 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully Obama will hurry home from Africa, the speech he gave to the African people should be given here to the judicial department, he said, the law is the law, no one is above the law, democracy must be protected and corruption must be stopped.
      Yeah right, maybe they are buying it down there, because we know better, how hypocritical of the president. When the average American lives in fear of the judicial system , we have a problem. When people believe there is no justice and witness the almost daily events of crime in America, the presidents words were very hollow indeed.

      Delete
    2. The real atrocity here is walker was caught red handed by the federal corruption task force. He was not working for McCloskey or Otto and had not been under their supervision for 2 years. He spewed his venom on the other officers and helped get them indicted because that is what the feds wanted, and he gladly obliged them to get
      his deal. The judge being a former federal prosecutor knows how the game is played and backed the US attorney by granting the deal. The reasons given to the press for this sweetheart deal are just fluff and an excuse by using the Supervisors credibility when they were not even walker's supervisors when he commited the crime for which he was charged.

      Delete
    3. Judge didn't throw the department under the bus. That would have been wrong and unfair. Did no such thing. Just these frauds and those that lied for them. Never maligned the whole force.

      Delete
  11. I always find it funny that when the prosecution gets a guilty verdict they praise the jury but when they get a Not Guilty the judge and prosecutors say the jury was wrong and not guilty isn't innocent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They need to justify spending millions and millions on cases that should never have made it to the federal level. When do we find out how much was spent on this trial and the Traffic Court trial, in addition to the harm it caused to the citizens of Philadelphia and all the defendants families. Both trials were not worthy of being in federal court, this trial helped to show the public what the prosecutors do for a living, Trumping up charge when there were already disciplinary boards in place for both the police and the Traffic Court Judges, to handle these types allegations . Save us from terrorist plotting our ruination, Wall Street trying to undermine its investors, the mental ill shooing innocent people in churches and schools, this should keep them very busy. The federal building in Philadelphia at all times wants a high profile corruption charge running, too bad they have to invent the crimes to do so.

      Delete
  12. So, seven weeks of testimony by mostly prosecution witnesses that the jurors openly were disgusted with shown by their uncontrollable sudden outbursts from the jury box about the lying testimony they were hearing from the prosecutor's witnesses, including the testimony of Jeff Walker and the testimony of FBI Agents who were caught lying on the witness stand and admitted to such things as charging the officers with crimes while they were on vacation in Florida and all this judge decides to comment on is that "HE" and only "HE" believes the testimony of Lieutenant Otto and Sergeant McCloskey was not credible. By the way, the jurors had had enough of the prosecutor's lying witnesses way before Otto and McCloskey even took the stand and openly exclaimed in court "how much more of this do we have to listen to". This is truly an outrage and simply proves even further that this entire case was a personal vendetta against these officers due to a deal made with the devil between Rufus Seth Williams, Ed McCann and the Federal Prosecutors to justify the crimes committed by Rufus Seth Williams and Ed McCann when they without cause threw out almost 500 criminal cases against violent drug offenders and continue to say "NO COMMENT" regarding their reasons for doing so. Citizens, please listen and demand the answer. There is much much more to this story that will cost you the tax payers millions of dollars that could have and should have been used for better causes in this city.

    ReplyDelete

Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

 

Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog Copyright © 2016 BigTrial.net

Privacy Policy: BigTrial.net does not distribute, share or sell email addresses, or any other personal information received from this website.