An Expose of the Parallel Judicial History of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs considers itself a law and order community. But in El Paso County justice is as selective as it is across America.While Jacob was still awaiting trial, Vern Smalley, a retired colonel was tried for blowing away a seventeen year old.The two had been engaged in an angry game of bumper tag during morning traffic. After the teenager motioned him over to the side of the road,Smalley, who patrolled the highways like some aging Road Warrior, removed a gun from his glove compartment and rolled down his window. The kid walked up to him. Some witnesses say he punched Smalley. Others say he didn't. Smalley testified that his pistol accidentally discharged into the teenager's chest.Experts countered that the pistol couldn't possibly have accidentally done anything. The youth, Carmine Tagliere, died instantly, along the shoulder of that busy highway. The jury acquitted Vern Smalley and the community applauded the verdict."Smalley was just protecting his property," was the most common response. The prosecutor, who happened to be Bill Aspinwall, lamented the fact that the jurors had held a mere teenager as fully accountable for his actions as a fifty-two year old man. Interesting line of reasoning. A seventeen-year-old can't possibly have the reasoning capacity of an adult unless he's fifteen and his name is Jacob Ind, of course.

Soon after Jacob's verdict, a fourteen year old girl plea bargained the murder of her seventeen-year-old boyfriend. The shooting had been premeditated. Angelique Thomas hadn't been in fear for her life so self defense wasn't a factor. The court sentenced her to six years' probation.

Immediately following Jacob's verdict, co-prosecutor Gordon Dennison declined to prosecute a seventy-one-year-old retired military man (Dennison himself is a former military prosecutor), who, after an argument with his wife, ran over her with a truck.When she didn't die, he backed up and ran over her again. No charges were ever filed against the murderer, who was deigned to be too old to be held accountable for his actions.

A year after Jacob's trial, Eugene Baylis was acquitted of walking into a biker bar, killing two men and injuring several others. Following an earlier altercation, Baylis had gone home, loaded himself up with grenades and enough firepower to equip a militia and returned to open fire on his tormentors. Since this involved the death penalty, Baylis had at his disposal a crack team of defense attorneys who spent two years working specifically on his case. They proved that, despite police and eyewitness accounts to the contrary, Baylis had been shot at first and acted out of self defense. D.A. Suthers, who obviously believes that the only good jury is one that returns a guilty verdict, castigated the twelve for their contrariness - though more than ninety percent of local cases end with a conviction. If this were a communist country or a banana republic, we would scoff at a system so stacked against the rights of the individual. We would dismiss its proceedings as a "kangaroo court." Instead,we Americans call it "justice."

And as far as the idea that the law would have taken care of Kermode and Pamela Jordan, two examples will suffice.

One year after Jacob's sentencing, seventy-two year old Francis Everett, a senior volunteer at a local elementary school, went before Judge Looney on a sexual assault charge. Everett admitted to taking the hands of seven first- and second-grade girls and placing them on his penis while he read them stories in class. The acts took place over a two-year period and were witnessed by many of the other children. Everett also admitted sexually assaulting another young girl, a family friend, while baby-sitting her.

Looney approved a "stringent plea agreement." Everett will remain free so long as a therapist deems he can be rehabilitated. If he is found eligible for treatment, Looney will either sentence him to probation or a community corrections program. Under Everett's plea agreement, which was drafted by one of D.A. Suthers' prosecutors, the self-admitted child molester will also undergo a polygraph test to help determine whether he has sexually abused other children. If so, he is to name names in order that these additional victims will receive proper counseling. In exchange, the prosecutor will not file additional charges regardless of whether Everett has molested one additional child or one hundred.

While Everett is required by law to stay away from children under the age of eighteen, including his own grandchildren, Looney said, "I will probably never agree to unsupervised visits. I might agree to supervised contact."

Another example of "child protection" occurred, yet again, in Woodland Park. Soon after Jacob killed his parents, one of his classmates, Lonny Smith (*) told WPHS counselors that his father had been raping him and his threee brothers for years. The counselor reported the abuse and the boys, two of whom were underage, were yanked out of the home. One of the investigators told Lonny - as if he were to blame "You're never going to see your father again." Although Lonny was sixteen at the time, he ended up living with a couple of other teens and eking out an existence until graduating. Nothing was ever made public about the father's crime. The family was not well off, but the dad was very active in the community. He received five years in a work release program - meaning that he works in the community during the day and returns to a facility at night. All of Lonny's classmates were aware of both the molestations and the subsequent "punishment," which they regard as a sick joke.

Recently my daughter, who is friends with all four brothers, told me, "As it turns out, Lonny's stepmother was also molesting the boys."

"Yeah? What happened to her?"

"She divorced the father and left town."

Back / Top of Page / Kenneth D. Davis
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THE MURDER OF JACOB. Copyright 1997 by Mary Ellen Johnson. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or review. For information, contact Voices Publishing, 743 Gold Hill Place, Suite 243, P.O. Box 220, Woodland Park, CO 80866-0220.

ISBN 0-9655668-0-3 First Edition/February 1997.

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