Monday, November 5, 2018

Back in action: Catch-up; Former Louisiana detective Mark Handy pleads not guilty to perjury and evidence tampering charges, WAVE3 reports. (Reporter Maira Ansari)..."The charge of perjury resulted from the Edwin Chandler case, while the charge for tampering with evidence resulted from the Keith West case. West, along with another man whose conviction was overturned, Jeffrey Clark, sat directly behind Handy in the courtroom. When asked what was it like to see Handy in the courtroom, West answered, "I didn't even want to look at him. I want him to pay for what he has done to me and my family." In the 1990s, West was convicted of shooting two men inside of a car. West claimed all along it was self-defense saying the men had threatened to rape and kill him. West took a deal for two counts of manslaughter and served more than six years in prison. Then West's conviction was overturned because Handy withheld evidence that backed up his story and even recorded over a witness statement. The last time West saw Handy in person was when he was given two life sentences in 1995. He wanted to be in court on this day to see Handy. "I've been hurt by this crooked cop," West said. "He sworn to protect the law and yet he broke it himself.")

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Ever since I gleaned insights into the perverse Louisiana criminal justice system by providing assistance based on my knowledge of Charles Smith  to lawyers trying to get Rodricus Crawford - an innocent man - off of death row,  I pledged to keep an eye on other Louisiana cases of forensic interest. The Mark Handy prosecution - prosecution of a former detective  who has
been at the center of three homicide cases which resulted in four overturned convictions and accused of acting inappropriately in investigations in all of them. Welcome back to Louisiana!

Harold Levy. Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Handy has been at the center of three homicide cases which resulted in four overturned convictions. In each of those cases it was alleged that Handy acted inappropriately during his investigations. The Kentucky Supreme Court has acknowledged Handy lied under oath in court documents."


Background:   1992 - Jeffrey Clark and Garr Hardin:Rhonda Sue Warford had been stabbed to death, and her body was found in Meade County. Clark and Hardin were arrested in connection to her murder. The allegations revolved around a satanic cult, including claims that Hardin killed animals. Handy testified Hardin told him he "got tired of looking at animals and began to want to do humans." That's something Hardin denied saying. There were also questions revolving around a blood-stained rag, which was taken as evidence in the case. Both Hardin and Clark were sentenced to life in prison. The Innocence Project got involved in 2009. Modern DNA testing revealed it was Hardin's blood on the rag, which is what he had testified during trial. Their convictions were later overturned after they both served 22 years in prison. They filed a federal lawsuit in July 2017. They have been granted a new trial. 

1993 - Edwin Chandler Brenda Whitfield, 25, was shot and killed at a Chevron gas station. The shooting was captured by surveillance video. However, that tape was later recorded over with a video of David Letterman. A former employee, who was not present at the time of shooting, stated the shooter looked like Chandler, who was 19 at the time. At first, Chandler turned himself in on an unrelated check fraud warrant and told police he did not have anything to do with Whitfield's murder. But, he later confessed to the crime and was arrested and charged with Whitfield's death. During his trial in 1995, Chandler testified that his confession was false after being threatened by Handy that he'd arrest his sister for harboring a criminal. Chandler also stated that he was fed information by Handy in relation to the murder. Chandler was convicted of manslaughter and first-degree robbery. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. In April 2002, Chandler was released from prison on parole. The Innocence Project got involved. In 2009, fingerprints on a bottle set on the counter by the shooter were found to belong to another man, Percy Phillips. Chandler was exonerated and Phillips was charged with Whitfield's murder. In October 2012, Chandler's civil lawsuit settled for $8.5 million. During those court proceedings, the court questioned Handy's investigations and truthfulness, acknowledging Handy had lied under oath in other cases as well. WAVE 3 News found out that multiple investigations into Handy had already been conducted.

The entire story can be found at:

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:  Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;