Appeal Denied for Misty Croslin

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NEW 4 JAX is reporting …

Misty Croslin was denied a motion for a reduced sentence on a  2010 conviction on drug trafficking charges.

Croslin testified in St. Johns County in March, asking a judge to overturn her conviction and sentence. But the judge found Croslin had adequate representation and denied the motion for a reduced sentence.

Croslin claimed that her plea was involuntary because her lawyer, Robert Fields, told her that if she pleaded no contest, she would be sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison as a youthful offender.

“He pretty much just told me not to worry … everything is going to be OK,” Croslin said. “I was under medication and wasn’t fully aware of what was going on. I put all my trust in him.”

Croslin admitted that judges in both St. Johns and Putnam counties told her she would face a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence, but thought that was the maximum, not the sentence she would receive.

Croslin’s father, Hank Croslin, also testified that Fields said repeatedly that his daughter would not get more than six years in prison because she had never been in legal trouble before.


Now my personal comments:

This is terrible news. Thoughts and prayers go out to Misty and her family. The American justice system is rigged and broken. Two 25 year sentences for selling $3,000 worth of pain pills?

All the result of being set up in a police sting that was organized in direct relation to an entirely different investigation. It’s obvious that law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office and Judge Wendy Berger are not being truthful when they say Misty’s drug case had nothing to do with any other legal matter.

I call upon the U.S. Justice Department to launch an investigation into the improper entrapment, prosecution and sentencing of Misty Croslin.

Free Misty Croslin!

 

 

Misty Croslin and Haleigh Cummings

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Haleigh Cummings at age 5 when she disappeared and an age-progression rendering of what she may look like today.

This blog was created in 2014 to focus on the ridiculous prison sentence Misty Croslin received for selling $3,000 worth of pain pills to an undercover police officer: two 25 year terms plus a $500,000 fine and five years probation.

But the reason several law enforcement agencies collaborated in an elaborate sting operation, not on a multi-million dollar drug lord but targeting a small time drug addict who had just turned 18, was the disappearance of Haleigh Cummings. Law enforcement could not admit that was the real reason, in fact they lie to the public every time they deny it, but we all know it’s true.

There was no evidence to ever charge, let alone convict, Misty with anything concerning Haleigh. According to everyone who knew them, Misty took good care of Haleigh: feeding her, taking her to school, playing with her, and bathing her before bed.

Yet in the early morning hours of February 10, 2009, Haleigh was reported missing from her home. She was five years old at the time. And just like Polly Klaas and Adam Walsh, suspicion immediately fell upon the parents (or in Misty’s case, the babysitter in the role of step-mother).

After six years there is still no evidence that anything happened other than what Misty told us that day: Misty, Haleigh and her little brother Junior were asleep at home. Ronald was off at work. When Misty woke up she found Haleigh missing and the back door open.

Over the years many online have played amateur detective and tried to frame and twist Misty’s words prove their own pet theories of what “really” happened. It would take too long to debunk every fact-free personal opinion floating around on the Internet. So let’s take just one recent “language analysis” done by Peter Hyatt:

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Let’s apply the same “Scientific Content Analysis” (SCAN) to Peter Hyatt’s commentary and the 911 operator on the Haleigh is missing call.

The first thing that appears on John Cavern’s blog is how SCAN was developed by Avinoam Sapir. This is an attempt to gain credibility by stating a couple of historical facts. But then the blog slips in a fast curveball: the “analysis” you are about to read is from Peter Hyatt. Was Hyatt personally trained and certified by Mr. Sapir or is he just hijacking his reputation?

Peter Hyatt seems to be a one-man band, self-publishing a sloppy website, self-publishing a vanity press book with a huge photo of himself on the cover, and various podcasts. His Linkedin profile lists 10 years as an “investigator” (although no legal licenses are given), 12 years as “president” of his own analysis service, and 7 years as a “freelance” statement analyst. Over 20 years in the “investigator/analyst” business yet he only shows a handful of testimonials from minor and fringe groups thanking him for his services. He’s also in the business of selling expensive courses about SCAN. That sort of resume doesn’t inspire confidence.

Now to the call itself:

911: You can’t find what?

Clearly, the 911 operator was distracted or not listening. Misty just reported “our daughter” missing. A missing child is most important, an urgent situation that 911 operators train for, yet this operator didn’t respond appropriately.

911: OK, what’s the numerical?

Who uses the word “numerical”? Why not just ask “What’s your address?” This is distancing behavior on the part of the 911 operator who is by words and actions treating Misty like a “numerical” not a person.

911: OK, how tall is she? How much does she weight?

Much is made about Misty not having a quick response to these basic questions. What are we to infer: that she doesn’t want them to know Haleigh’s height and weight? No, Misty was traumatized, panicked and confused throughout the call on even basic details when there was no benefit in lying about them. Some people shut down and don’t think well under extreme stress. A less extreme example: While on vacation I was awakened by a phone call in the middle of the night. The person asked how old I was. I couldn’t think of my own age at that moment. It turned out to be a prank phone call.

911: Does it look like someone tried to enter your house?

Peter Hyatt’s so-called analysis labels this a red flag because Misty does not answer immediately. Was she being coached? How about more likely she had to go check and look at the door to see if there were signs of forced entry to give an accurate answer?

Peter Hyatt then asks, why would Ronald Cummings marry Misty?

Anyone following this case knows the answer. Ronald had sex with Misty when she was still a minor. As police intensified their interrogations they used the threat of prosecuting Ronald for having sex with an underage Misty as leverage to get him to talk. Misty has said on camera in a recorded interview that Ronald married her because he thought that would keep him from being prosecuted for statutory rape. You have only to watch news footage of the engagement party where Misty and her mother are gushing about the engagement and showing off her ring while Ronald storms off in the background, gets into his truck and speeds off alone.

What is clear from the 911 call and all that followed is that Misty was in an abusive relationship, dominated and manipulated by Ronald Cummings, that Cummings had an extensive history of drug dealing and sex with underage girls (Misty and others), and behaved violently.

Let us hope and pray that Haleigh Cummings is found alive and well. If you have any information about Haleigh, please contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

 

 

Misty Writes From Prison

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Misty Croslin in court with her attorney.

“I’m back from court. I pray that something good comes out of it this time. My mama, she is really sick and I need to be out to help her. So I really hope the judges are fair.” — Misty Croslin

Misty appeared in a St. Johns County courtroom on Tuesday, March 8th, to appeal her “no contest” plea to eight charges of drug trafficking in 2010. Since her conviction involved charges in St. Johns County and Putnam County, judges from both counties were present to hear her petition for post-conviction relief.

Misty is appealing her conviction on the grounds that the plea was involuntary based on the failure of Robert Fields (her original attorney) to advise her of the mandatory sentence and that her plea was based on off the record promises made by her attorney that would receive a maximum six year sentence.

Although she was eligible for sentencing as a youthful first offender with a maximum six year sentence, Misty was instead sentenced to two 25 year terms in prison plus a $500,000 fine plus five years probation at the end of her time served. All that for being entrapped in a police sting during which she sold $3,000 worth of pain pills to an undercover police officer.

“I put my trust in him (attorney Robert Fields),” Misty testified. “I didn’t understand any of it.”

 

Legal Fees

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Misty Croslin has come so far. But fighting for her freedom against ridiculous drug laws comes at a price. To pay for her appeals attorney, the family is trying to raise $17,500. (Remember, Misty has to appeal convictions in two separate counties.)

You can donate as little as $5 and as much as your heart and circumstances allow. None of us can do it alone. But if we all come together and pitch in what we can, the goal will be reached. Paypal and all major credit cards are accepted.

The fundraiser is being done by Misty’s father and a friend of the family. All money raised goes for Misty’s legal defense. (This blog has nothing to do with setting up the fundraiser.)

If you would like to donate, go to http://www.justiceformisty.com/

Help Misty

 

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There’s an easy way to help Misty Croslin. Right now she is in need of money for food (beyond the meager meals provided) and basic necessities like hygiene products, socks, writing paper and postage stamps so she can write to family and friends. She also needs money so she can make phone calls. Prisons these days charge for everything.

Any donation you can make goes directly into Misty’s account the next day. It’s a great way to show you care. Simply call JPay at 800-574-5729 or go http://www.jpay.com. Misty Croslin’s inmate number is V36472.

Watch Misty Croslin’s Court Appeal

March 8, 2016: Misty Croslin appeared in court with her new attorney to have her original plea withdrawn.

Click here:

Pro Bono Appellate Attorney Needed for Misty Croslin

With the appeal date coming up soon, the search is still on for an appellate attorney to step up and take on Misty Croslin as a pro bono client. At a time when federal drug sentencing guidelines are being re-examined and reduced, it makes no sense for a first time youthful drug offender like Misty to be sentenced to two 25 year terms in prison and two $500,000 fines. All for convictions on selling about $3,000 worth of pain pills.

But without the help of a skilled appellate lawyer, Misty will be condemned to spend at least 21 years in prison even with time off for good behavior. There is no early parole. She has been in custody since January 2010. She was eligible for sentencing as a first time youthful offender with a maximum six year term. Misty should be getting ready to be released from prison, but she is less than 25% into her sentence.

Who gets a 25 year sentence? Drug kingpins who sell millions of dollars of illegal drugs. Mob hitmen implicated in multiple murders who have good lawyers. Not teenagers on a first time non-violent drug offense. The 25 year sentence is the result of a witch hunt by law enforcement and an over-zealous judge on one side versus poverty and an inept public defender who told Misty she wouldn’t get more than six years if she pled guilty.

While Misty did a great job of winning her right to appeal on her own, she now needs a skilled appellate attorney to handle the actual appeals.

Who will step forward to correct this injustice?

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