April 22, 2016 12:45 pm ET
Other issues still haunt crime victim and his wife
Photo by permission of Rick Fletcher: Before crime stole his life
First, here is the story of the convictions as reported by Pam Wood of the Baltimore Sun. This is the link to Ms. Woods’s article which gives you all the details of the trial:
The story I am writing actually began the night before when a well-known community leader called me and asked if I looked at the Facebook page regarding the Rick Fletcher trial, which I had been following. I advised the community leader that I would check it out.
When I went to the site, I saw this note from Mr. Fletcher:
The states attorney called…no trial tomorrow. They all plead guilty.
I responded to Mr. Fletcher with this message:
Rick, something is not right here. Can you call me? I tried your number. You are right, there is no actual trial but they have to appear before the judge just like the juveniles and plead guilty. The judge can sentence them right away or wait for a pre-sentence report. I plan to go anyway…
Immediately, another friend of Mr. Fletcher reached out and tried to assure him that it was OK to go. Message after message went unanswered.
My gut feeling was that Mr. Fletcher, who has suffered terribly after this horrific beating, was beaten down further by the trauma of this whole event and, as he has often told me, sleep is his only escape.
I awoke early to prepare to go to the trial and, at 7:45 am, I received a phone call from Mr. Fletcher. He and I had spoken quite often about this incident, and one could not help feel for a man who just wanted to live his life in a house he called home for 50 years.
Now, sadly, that was all over because of this senseless crime.
Mr. Fletcher told me he was selling his home. It broke his heart, just as those hooligans broke his body.
Sadly, though, that is a tough “sell” as well.
The early morning phone call was quite simple—Mr. Fletcher was very ill due to the many medical issues he was facing and could not attend the court hearing.
He wanted to make it quite clear that his beautiful wife was also suffering in the aftermath of the terrible incident.
Mr. Fletcher spoke about a lot of things. I will keep that conversation private for now.
He did say that, one day, he will tell his side of the story.
He also said that he was turned down for financial assistance by officials who stated he did not qualify, and he felt that the Baltimore County State’s Attorney was not exactly upfront with him. In fact, according to Mr. Fletcher, he referred to it as a sort of “gag order.” Don’t these officials realize what a crime of this magnitude can do to a victim and the tremendous amount of money Mr. Fletcher will have to pay out in medical expenses alone?
Given the amount of money handed out to certain other victims, does that sound fair?
I will have all the details on the issues of the trial that were not covered in the mainstream media, and those details will shock your senses.
However, I want to make sure all of my facts are in order before I post them.
It will not be PC or pretty, but it will contain the gritty truth—warts and all.
This is one of the most important parts of the trial that was overlooked: Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Judith C. Ensor did her job in a very positive and professional way. She was more than fair during the entire proceeding.
I applaud her decision in the interest of justice, as well as for the solace it will provide the Fletcher family.
My next piece will go behind the scenes and take a real look at what has scarred this nation almost from the moment of its birth.
It will be ugly and sad, but you will hear it for yourselves.
I believe that sound will echo in your head for a long time.
I hope Mr. Fletcher sleeps a little better after this.
I have always stated that I write the truth, no matter what. And the truth is that, this time, Judge Ensor followed the rule of law and justice.
There are a whole lot of issues that have yet to be dealt with. Mr. Fletcher felt that politicians did not live up to their promises in dealing with certain issues.
In the video of the crime, seeing Mr. Fletcher lying in the road defenseless makes a profound statement on a host of issues facing the conscience inside all of us.
Some quotes from Mr. Shellenberger:
“Guilty pleas, while sometimes people don’t like them, they are good.” (I think Mr. Fletcher might disagree with that quote.)
“We have finality…” (Maybe for your office but certainly not for Mr. Fletcher.)