Friday, March 26, 2021

More Prosecutorial Misconduct In Carl Holmes Case; D.A. Krasner Failed To Disclose Personal Conflicts In Biased Crusade Against Cop

By Ralph Cipriano

In indicting and prosecuting former Police Chief Inspector Carl Holmes, District Attorney Larry Krasner failed to disclose a personal conflict of interest.

As a defense lawyer in 1996, Krasner represented Christopher Butler, the convicted robber of a 7-11 who pointed a gun at Holmes, and was found guilty of assaulting him. Butler got 6 to 12 years for the robbery.

But Krasner also represented Butler in a civil rights suit against the city, claiming that after Butler robbed the 7-11 and pointed a gun at Holmes, Holmes used excessive force against Butler by shooting him seven times. The civil rights suit was settled in 1997 for $80,000.

As a result, Greg Pagano, Holmes's lawyer, filed a motion in Common Pleas Court to disqualify Krasner as prosecutor in his continuing vendetta against Holmes. The motion to disqualify Krasner as prosecutor because of Krasner's undisclosed conflicts was filed on the same day that Judge Kai Scott dismissed the second of three sex abuse cases against Holmes that were the result of decade-old allegations made by three women who are former cops.

"Philadelphia District Attorney, Lawerence Krasner, failed to notify this Court, Supervising Grand Jury Judge, the investigating grand jurors and defense counsel of his role in the criminal trial, post-trial, criminal appeal and civil cases, directly related to the testimony and credibility of Carl Holmes," Pagano wrote. 

"Under the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, DA Krasner has a duty to disclose that which is material to a defendant’s innocence. Mr. Krasner’s role as defense counsel to Mr. Butler in criminal and civil proceedings, attacking Mr. Holmes’ credibility and police work constitutes Brady/Giglio material," Pagano wrote, referring to evidence that must be turned over to the defense.

The case against Holmes has already been marked by prosecutorial misconduct in the D.A.'s office.

In January, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Karen Simmons twice admonished Assistant District Attorney Rachel Black for a lack of candor regarding the ability of one of the complainants to show up in court to testify against Holmes. 

Judge Simmons caught ADA Black telling a bald-faced lie -- that the complaining witness who had accused Holmes of sexual abuse couldn't appear in a Philadelphia courtroom because she had serious health problems and was supposedly hiding out in Florida, in fear of catching COVID. 

The truth was that the witness herself, Elisa Diaz, in one Facebook post after another, had dismissed the pandemic as a hoax and a sham. She had previously driven from Pennsylvania down to Florida in a fully equipped RV, and so she was perfectly capable of driving back up to Philadelphia to testify in court.

In court, when confronted with Diaz's Facebook posts, ADA Black immediately flipped her story. ADA Black told the judges that the health concerns that she had about Diaz appearing in court weren't about Diaz's own health. No, ADA what Black was supposedly concerned about were the Philadelphians that Diaz might infect if she came to court, because Diaz didn't believe in wearing a mask.

That tap dance only served to further anger the judge. 

"Miss Black's actions were inappropriate, they were wrong, they were intentional," Judge Simmons stated in court to two of ADA Black's supervisors on Jan. 13th. Black has since resigned. And now Pagano has accused her boss, D.A. Krasner, of additional, and more serious prosecutorial misconduct in the same case. 

Can anybody in D.A. Larry Krasner's office play by the rules? Not, apparently, when Krasner is going after a cop.

Today in court, Judge Scott dismissed the second sexual abuse case filed against Holmes, on behalf of former Police Officer  Christa Hayburn. Only one sex abuse case of the original three remains against Holmes, the one filed on behalf of former Police Officer Michele Vandegrift. 

In his motion to disqualify Krasner as prosecutor, Pagano wrote:

"DA Krasner’s continued failure (as of the date of filing of this motion) to disclose, further demonstrates a bias against Carl Holmes and creates a significant appearance of impropriety. Under the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3.8, 1.11(d) and 1.11(e) a conflict of interest exists due to DA Krasner's involvement in the criminal case and civil case, where Carl Holmes was the victim and defendant."

"DA Krasner’s representation of Mr. Butler appears improper because he asserted his discretion making a conscious decision to convene a grand jury and file charges against him [Holmes] - after a prior administration [under former D.A. Lynne Abraham] declined to charge him with respect to a complainant that the Commonwealth described was the 'heart of the case,'" Pagano wrote. 

"The fact that DA Krasner failed to make a timely disclosure to the Court, the grand jury and defense counsel, and has yet to make any disclosure, is in fact improper."

"DA Krasner’s current prosecution of Carl Holmes and failure to disclose to the Court, the grand jury and defense counsel violates Mr. Holmes' due process rights to have his case reviewed by an administrator of justice with his mind on the public purpose, not by an advocate whose judgment may be blurred by subjective reasons," Pagano wrote.

"Under Rule 1.11(d) and 1.11(e) DA Krasner should not have participated in the prosecution of Carl Holmes due to his prior involvement in both a criminal case and civil case where Carl Holmes was the victim and defendant."

One of the things Krasner has yet to disclose to the courts is what part of the civil rights lawsuit award of $80,000 did Krasner collect as a fee.

The robbery that Butler was convicted of took place on Dec. 3, 1994 at the 7-11 at 34th and Lancaster Avenue. According to trial testimony, the then 19-year-old Butler put a gun to the head of a cashier and said, "Open the register." Then, after he collected the money, Butler ordered the cashier to lie down on the floor. A witness who briefly entered the store and quickly left, summoned police.

Next, Sgt. Holmes came bursting through the door of the 7-11 yelling, "Freeze, freeze, freeze." But Butler aimed his gun at Holmes. And so Holmes, fearing he was about to be shot, opened fire, firing ten shots. Seven hit the target, which was Butler. An eighth bullet fired by Holmes actually went down the barrel of Butler's gun. It was evidence that in court the prosecutor in the criminal case used to argue that it proved that Butler was aiming his gun at Holmes.

The former prosecutor in the case who saw the surveillance video from the 7-11 said that what Sgt. Holmes did that day in the 7-11, by risking his own safety to stop a crime, was  the single most amazing act of bravery he'd ever seen. 

For his actions that day in the 7-11, Sgt. Holmes was awarded a Commendation for Bravery by the police department, and was warded the medal of Heroism by the Pennsylvania Crime Commission in 1995.

In a three-day bench trial, Butler was found guilty of robbery, a gun charge, and simple assault. He was sentenced to 6 to 12 years in jail. 

But after the trial was over, Larry Krasner, then Butler's defense lawyer, argued on appeal that although his client aimed his gun at Sgt. Holmes, Krasner was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Butler "would have in fact fired the gun."

Krasner further alleged that in firing his gun at Butler, Sgt. Holmes had used "excessive force" by shooting him seven times.

Krasner's appeal in the criminal case was dismissed. But Krasner subsequently filed a civil rights lawsuit against Holmes, the Philadelphia Police, and the city, alleging that Holmes had violated Butler's civil rights by shooting him seven times. And as the city often does, rather than duke it out in court, the city opted to settle the suit in 1997 for $80,000.

The sexual assault charges against Holmes, a 6-foot-6 former offensive tackle at Temple University, were originally filed on Oct. 24, 2019, after he was indicted by a grand jury. A preliminary hearing was held on March 12, 2020, as to the allegations from two complainants, Christa Hayburn and Michele Vandegrift. The third complainant, Elisa Diaz, was unavailable, and so that preliminary hearing was postponed for nearly a year before Judge Simmons threw out the charges.

Holmes was charged with aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault by forcible compulsion, and indecent assault without consent. The grand jury accused Holmes of sexually assaulting three female police officers, by kissing them, fondling their breasts and digitally penetrating their vaginas.

Pagano, Holmes's lawyer, insisted his client was innocent, and that when the case finally went to court, Holmes would be found not guilty on all the charges. Pagano also argued that the indictment of Holmes amounted to a continuing witch hunt by Krasner.

In a motion to dismiss the case filed on Sept. 25, 2020, Pagano argued that "the allegations in this case have received extensive local press coverage beginning approximately ten years ago. All of the complainants in this case have exhaustively litigated civil claims against the police department in the court system for approximately 10 years."

"The police department's internal affairs unit and the DAO investigated all of complainants' allegations for approximately 10 years," Pagano wrote. "No criminal charges were filed in any of the cases" and in one of the cases, the D.A.'s office decided not to pursue charges.

In a motion to dismiss the case, Pagano said that ADA Black had failed to turn over grand jury transcripts, even though a motion to compel discovery production had been filed five months earlier.

What records that were turned over Pagano said, revealed that "the presentment in this case is the product of prosecutorial misconduct -- including but not limited to gross neglect and the investigation and in the presentation of evidence to the grand jury, including the presentation of perjured testimony, selective presentation of evidence to the grand jury and the omission of relevant facts and evidence to the grand jury."

Hayburn, a former police offficer, alleged that on Jan. 6, 2006, Holmes, who at the time was her boss, dragged her into the passenger seat of his Dodge Durango, kissed her, grabbed her breasts and penetrated her vagina. And then, Hayburn charged, Holmes dropped his pants, grabbed her hand and made her jerk him off.

In the investigations of Hayburn's allegations conducted by Internal Affairs and the DAO, 33 cops and 7 civilians were interviewed, Pagano wrote, and phone records were obtained by subpoena. Holmes's police car was seized and searched for forensic evidence, as were Hayburn's clothes. 

Hayburn claimed that she had told another officer about being abused by Holmes. But when Police Officer Rollie Ramos was interviewed, he "did not corroborate what she says," Pagano wrote.

"Due to glaring inconsistencies and lack of corroboration between Ms. Hayburn's story and the evidence, the DAO declined to prosecute the case" in 2008, Pagano wrote.

To make matters worse, in May of 2018, the District Attorney's office appointed Hayburn to the D.A.'s Crime Victim Advisory Committee [CVAC]. Her official CVAC biography released by the D.A's office stated she was a "survivor of sexual violence at the hands of a fellow police officer." 

Hayburn was appointed secretary and stayed on that committee until March 14, 2019. The D.A.'s office, however, didn't see a conflict.

"Ms. Hayburn's volunteer and peripheral role in the CVAC during the part of the DAO's investigation into sexual assault allegations against Carl Holmes does not create a conflict of interest," wrote Krasner and Black to the judge.

"Nor does that limited advisory position 'corrupt' the case against the defendant in any way," Krasner and Black wrote. "While the DAO should have disclosed Mrs. Hayburn's role on the committee earlier, this oversight underscores the wall between the Special Victims Unit and the rest of the DAO meant to protect the integrity of secret investigations."

In his motion to dismiss the charges against Holmes, Pagano argued that after the district attorney's office and Internal Affairs investigations didn't produce an indictment of Holmes back in 2008, "Hayburn turned to the press, and for 10 years, she was a persistent and public critic of Holmes and the police department."

"The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News responded with alacrity and biased press coverage for more than seven years," Pagano wrote. "Hayburn was interviewed, photographed and quoted in several front page articles by the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer."

Staying in character, the Inquirer today published yet another biased story about the second case against Holmes being tossed by a judge. In that story, the Inquirer repeated all of the since discredited allegations against Holmes by non-credible witnesses, but the newspaper continued to portray those allegations as facts.

The Inky also gave Christa Hayburn a platform to give a speech for two fat paragraphs about how she had been re-traumatized by the recent events in court. How she felt like she had had a scab ripped off, had her old wounds doused in alcohol, and then told to put a Band-aid back on. 

From a discredited witness, it was all very stirring. And then as they always do, the Inquirer finished the job by covering for Larry Krasner, by not mentioning the previous prosecutorial misconduct in the case by ADA Black. 

From a libel standpoint, the Inquirer's behavior in their last two stories about the Holmes case, where they printed lies as truth, and covered up prosecutorial misconduct in the D.A.'s office that targeted Holmes, would seem to constitute the definition of actual malice, which is the biggest hurdle in any libel case involving a public figure, which Holmes surely is.

Add the Inky's latest crimes against journalism to the mountain of evidence from more than seven years of biased reporting that vilified Holes, and to me it all adds up to the perfect libel suit against a newspaper that for years has displayed a reckless disregard for the truth.

Note to the Inquirer: this social justice crusade could cost you big time. 

The second sexual abuse claimant against Holmes, former police officer Vandegrift, also claimed that she was assaulted by Holmes, but she didn't disclose the alleged incident to anyone for seven years, Pagano wrote. 

The third alleged victim, Elisa Diaz, "did not disclose for almost 15 years," Pagano wrote. And the story she told was a real stretch.

As Pagano has recounted the facts of the allegations, in 2004, Diaz, on the advice of her mother, went to see Carl Homes in his office at the Police Academy to make a complaint about alleged sexual harassment involving another officer, Sgt. Randy Davis.

According to testimony, Holmes assisted Diaz in defusing the situation. At a subsequent meeting arranged by Holmes, he and a deputy police commissioner met with Davis and basically gave him an admonishment to "cease and desist," Pagano said.

In testimony, Diaz's mother credited Holmes with helping her daughter resolve her problems with Davis.

Then, 15 years later, in 2019, Diaz revealed that during her 2004 meeting with Holmes, where she showed up on the advice of her mother to make a complaint about sexual harassment by another officer, Holmes chose that occasion to allegedly "violently and physically assault her during business hours," Pagano said.

During the alleged assault, Diaz allegedly "runs out to her car and calls her mother screaming and crying," Pagano said. The same mother who testified that it was Holmes who helped her daughter deal with sexual harassment from another officer. 

Pagano said his investigation revealed that Diaz had a less than stellar record in the police department. According to Pagano, Diaz was a "train wreck" who disobeyed orders, crashed a car, got into a fight with another female officer, and fraternized with drug dealers. 

On top of that, Pagano said, while she was out on disability leave from the police department because she had allegedly been traumatized, Diaz appeared in an episode of Bad Girls, a British TV show, where she was filmed naked in a hot tub kissing another woman.

Another train wreck is the D.A.'s office under Krasner. The record in the Carl Holmes case has now established that with no new evidence at his disposal, D.A. Krasner chose to pursue a petty, 23-year-old personal vendetta against Holmes, only this time he abused his authority as a D.A. by convening a grand jury to do his dirty work. 

In his motion to disqualify Krasner as the prosecutor against Holmes, Pagano wrote about the responsibilities of the district attorney, who's supposed to act not as a partisan, but as an impartial minister of justice.

“The important power and vast discretion vested in the district attorney mandate disclosure," Pagano wrote. "In our society, the district attorney has virtually unfettered discretion to determine which cases to pursue and what crimes to charge. In order to ensure that this power is properly exercised, the district attorney must be held to the highest ethical standards which include avoiding even the appearance of a conflict of interest."

In this case, there's more than the appearance of a conflict, there is absolute proof of an actual and undisclosed conflict that resulted in putting money in Krasner's pockets.

The D.A.'s indictment and prosecution of Carl Holmes is riddled with prosecutorial misconduct from beginning to end, from the top to the bottom of the D.A.'s office. The actions of former ADA Black, as well as the actions of Krasner himself, reveal a partisan D.A.'s office with no moral compass. A D.A.'s office that instead of pursuing justice, was out to settle an old personal score of Larry Krasner's, a petty personal vendetta against a cop.

That's not what a grand jury investigation is supposed to do, settle petty partisan feuds, but that's exactly what Krasner convened a grand jury for. 

As District Attorney, Larry Krasner is a disgrace to law enforcement. Based on the prosecutorial misconduct revealed in the Carl Holmes case, Krasner is unfit for office. He should resign, or be removed from office.


  1. Do we have an Attorney General? Oh right, he's a Democrat.

  2. Krasner types are how Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein got away with being violent, serial sexual predators and pedophiles.
    Currently, Kamala Harris helps normalize Bill Clinton's long, troubling history of sexual assaults and rapes.

    1. Kamala Harris has never been grilled by any Reputable Reporter for any News Agency and asked to explain the Settlement of $400,000,00 to a sexually abused Member of Her Staff by her then Chief of Staff when she was Ca. Attorney General

      Her giggling Retort, so far, has been that She Knew Nothing about The Matter.

      This Wench is a lying criminal next in line to replace the feeble President.

      Come on Man.

  3. I hope You are exhausting Your Sources in Law Enforcement to explain the extraordinary effort by the Rogue Secret Service Detail to intervene in the documented 2018 Hunter Biden Illegal Firearm Purchase as Reported by the NY Post in a Friday News Dump.

    Biden's News Conference is a Lesson from the Krasner Example of Promoting Lies/ Deception and Calling on Preapproved Questions from Reporters swimming in infested waters.

  4. Ralph, Well since The Democratic Party has not decided to back Krasner I'm sure he is shutting his pants!! It's clear that Vega is turning the corner! Hey Jerry Rocks! You are shitting also! You know why? Because the Vega camp knows all about you and everything you have done since you became a Krasner Cuck!!. Sylvia Morales the chain smoker! Sorry mistake for a cop!! No skills. Well maybe one skill! Lol. 18th floor will be cleared out!! Attorneys and cops Krasner brought in don't throw away those uniforms! See ya!! This is going to be epic! Hey Rocks how come you knew about the LT. Test before anyone else and you still finished dead last??? Hmmmm. Karma!!

  5. Still crickets from Councilwoman Sanchez on who she is backing. Hmmmmmm. She's a Krasner sellout!!!!

  6. The criminal filed a lawsuit because a police officer shot him after he robbed a store then pointed a gun at the officer? And he got 80k? Did i read that right?

  7. You read that right. Obviously, the city of Philadelphia is a chump when it comes to settling nuisance lawsuits rather than duking it out in court. Krasner the career defense lawyer took advantage of the system.

  8. Thank you, Ralph. Another great piece. Especially your final paragraph; so, so true and accurate. Myself, I'm of the opinion that he should be incarcerated, as well. He's worse than the scum he works so hard for to set free. Come to think of it, I'm now of the opinion that he should be executed. He does very bad things with very bad intentions.


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