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Scott Dean's new trial denied

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 1:50 PM
Last updated Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 4:53 AM
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A judge on Thursday denied a new trial for Scott Dean.

The former Columbia County Commission member’s adopted daughter, Silda Dean, testified at an Oct. 4 hearing that her allegations of child molestation against him were false. But her recantation, which is considered newly discovered evidence, is not a legal cause to grant a new trial, according to the ruling from Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr.

In December 2011, a jury convicted Dean on two counts. Blanchard sentenced him to 20 years in prison in January 2012. He is being held in Georgia State Prison in Reidsville.

Silda Dean, now 19, told a state Department of Family and Children Services social worker in July 2012 that the allegations were a lie. That social worker testified Friday that she told her supervisor and that the issue was discussed with local and state DFCS legal counsels. Nothing was ever done with the information.

In January of this year, the teenager told her foster mother that she made up the allegations against Dean to get away from his wife, Renee, and get out of their Harlem home.

She wrote a letter that she mailed to her adoptive mother and to Scott Dean’s attorney, Pete Theodocion, in February, explaining that her previous testimony was false and that Dean is not guilty of the charges he was convicted of.

Blanchard cited two reasons in denying Scott Dean a new trial. The first is that the posttrial declaration by a prosecution witness that her testimony is false is not grounds for a new trial because it would only serve to impeach her testimony, he said.

“The (effect) of Ms. Dean’s recantation would only be to impeach her trial testimony, which is not a basis for granting a new trial,” according to the judge’s ruling.

Also, the judge cannot grant a new trial based on the girl’s admission that she made false allegations and lied on the stand unless she were convicted of perjury.

“Georgia statutes mandate that setting aside of such a verdict ‘when the (judgment) could not have been obtained without the perjured evidence and the perjurer has been duly convicted thereof,’ ” Blanchard’s ruling stated.

Theodocion also made an oral motion for modification of Dean’s sentence at the Oct. 4 hearing. Blanchard denied that motion Thursday because it wasn’t filed within the time frame allowed by law. Sept. 25 was 120 days from the date Blanchard’s office received the judgment after the direct appeal and was the last day to file for a motion to modify the sentence.

Dean served on the Har­lem City Council and more than five years as mayor before winning a seat on the county commission in July 2008.

He won the July 2010 Re­pub­li­can Primary in the District 4 commission race despite being accused weeks earlier of exchanging inappropriate text messages with a married county employee.

He resigned from the commission in February 2011 when he was indicted on the child molestation charges.

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Little Lamb
46067
Points
Little Lamb 10/31/13 - 01:55 pm
8
0
Strategy

Dean could try another approach. He could ask for another trial based on incompetent counsel.

mll
665
Points
mll 10/31/13 - 02:14 pm
10
0
This was written as a letter to the editor & posted yesterday so

most likely now won't get published. I'll add it here.**Within the next few days, there will be a decision that will determine the fate of a local man, husband & father. This decision I’m sure will not be made casually & the weight of that decision will affect many people. I am writing about the fate of Anthony Scott Dean. His trial & subsequent conviction & imprisonment have captured the interest of people that do not know him at all. Much has been said, reported & written regarding this man & his life. His fate at this time lies in the judicial system. Whether or not that same system will render justice is actually a crap shoot. Columbia County & the officials that had the responsibility of administering a fair & unbiased trial have failed on many counts. The grand jury that indicted Dean appeared to have been stacked in favor of the prosecution. Important evidence was not allowed to be presented by Dean’s attorney, the reports by media were slanted & the prosecution appeared to have a judicial advantage during the trial which in my opinion led to the conviction of Dean. The jury was freely allowed to be tainted by media reports prior to & during the trial. At the present time the victim of the crime has recanted & stated for the record that there was no crime committed, it was a lie concocted by an unhappy child who has matured into a young adult that regrets her allegations. Also, to add to the problem the victim recanted her testimony over a year ago however the DFACS workers that were given this information by the victim for whatever reason chose not to report this. However, this is the conundrum. If Dean is freed, his conviction overturned, his record cleared of any crimes it will put McDuffie County & maybe Columbia County in a position of being vulnerable to litigation by Dean due to DFACS errors. The fallout from this could affect many of those in power. Both Judge Blanchard & District Attorney Ashley Wright are facing elections next year. I’m sure that will add pressure to the decision. No one running for office in their positions would want to appear to be soft on crime, even when the crime appears not to have happened. The prosecuting attorney, Parks White within seven months of the Dean trial capitalized on his success (used Dean’s case in his campaign materials) & went on to win an election for district attorney in the Northern Judicial Circuit. I’m sure that having to admit that he convicted an innocent man would not be as ad worthy as the conviction of Dean was. None of the officials in Columbia County likely want the role of someone who helped convict an innocent man. So what will happen? To admit the system failed & errors were made does not make an elected official happy. On the contrary it might inspire several machinations to keep the status of Dean the same. I am not educated in law or local politics but I can see the problems of this situation. As in my opinion Dean was indicted, tried & sentenced with the taint of local politics it would be horrific if this latest appeal was handled with politics in mind.

I hope all involved also keep in mind the adopted daughter of Dean’s who with great personal bravery summoned the courage to recant her testimony which placed her into a vulnerable position open to prosecution. It would destroy her if she was to find out that she did not “right a wrong” by telling the truth, that in fact the truth had no value at all & she destroyed her father’s life in the process. I would hate for a child to have that weight on her shoulders for the rest of her life.

I only hope that all involved will try to operate on a higher moral ground that before, swallow their personal pride & do the right thing, the moral thing which would be to set this man free without restrictions so perhaps he can try to repair the damage caused by this fiasco. His children & family deserve that much.

just an opinion
2638
Points
just an opinion 10/31/13 - 02:11 pm
17
0
WHAT?????

So a man is going to serve 20 years in prison for a crime that the so-called victim said never happened?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/31/13 - 02:17 pm
8
0
Sounds alot like blaming the

Sounds alot like blaming the justice system for the problem created by a child lying.

mll
665
Points
mll 10/31/13 - 02:18 pm
13
0
to "just an opinion"

Yes, that is exactly the case with Dean. The victim recants, said she lied but that makes no difference. The court system locally is not there for justice, it's purpose is payback from what I can tell.

mll
665
Points
mll 10/31/13 - 02:24 pm
15
0
The problem started with the child lying

but when the child tried to correct the mistake, admitted her lie, the "justice system" turned its back so I would say the responsibility to correct the error lies with the judicial system.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/31/13 - 02:27 pm
6
2
That's not how it came out

That's not how it came out but I understand. Sounds like you are connected to the situation and the emotion shows in the post. I sincerely hope the truth will finds it's way.

delvias
22
Points
delvias 10/31/13 - 02:29 pm
9
0
politics

This is a sham of justice being done , some Politician in the judicial system is keeping an innocent man incarcerated . Mr. Deen must have seemed a threat to some scuzzy politician or some one in the judicial system . Criminals get paroled for murder, rape and all sorts of real crimes and they get out and do it again and here is a man that has been found guilty on the word of a liar . This has been a witch hunt all along . The girl wanted what she wanted and when she couldn't get it she ruined a man's life and the so called judicial has allowed her to do it and I am sure it is because someone just wants Mr. Deen in jail for some ungodly reason. There is no longer any justice in our county or our country.
go

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 10/31/13 - 02:29 pm
4
7
Just wonder...

I wonder how many people here think it was okay to execute Troy Davis (after the recantation of several witnesses), but are "shocked" that Scott Dean is not getting a new trial. Gosh, and I wonder what's different about those two men that might cause such a reaction....

It's just funny how it takes a case like this to make people realize there are issues with our justice system and that, GASP!, witnesses lie. Eyewitnesses mis-identify people! Confessions can be false! Wonder why it was Scott Dean and not Troy Davis? I wonder.

fishman960
1446
Points
fishman960 10/31/13 - 02:34 pm
3
4
Reality

Whether the girl was lying then or now is the issue here. We believed her story when she alleged Dean did what he did. Now we are to believe her story now? Her credibility is gone for me.
I am not endorsing having an innocent man in prison for a crime he did not commit, but the precedent would be devastating.
For the record, I believed her then. I do not believe her now.

mll
665
Points
mll 10/31/13 - 02:48 pm
6
0
So, if the daughter's credibility is gone

why would you believe her at all? When she recanted her testimony it was when she was living in a foster home with her other sister, apparently happy & doing well. If she had wanted out of the Dean home in the beginning why did she recant when she was out & under no pressure to change her story. She recanted her testimony in June or July of 2012, she didn't come back home until August or September of 2013. There had been no contact prior to that with family members.

mll
665
Points
mll 10/31/13 - 02:57 pm
9
0
to "reality check"

I think what you're trying to state is that Scott Dean is white & Troy Davis was black. I get it. I was somewhat informed about Troy Davis & I also think he should have had a new trial. I am not in favor of the death penalty at all. I seemed to remember that some of the later witnesses were not considered credible however based on the "possibility" of a mistake I agree that Davis should not have been executed. As human beings we should always demand that the system protect the innocent even if it allows the guilty to go free. I am white but never would I condemn a man or woman by color.

fishman960
1446
Points
fishman960 10/31/13 - 02:57 pm
3
2
opinions

We are all entitled to our own opinions. Mine are based on life experiences. I voiced what I believe.
No one has to agree with me.

fishman960
1446
Points
fishman960 10/31/13 - 03:05 pm
5
2
Death Penalty

As many of you know, my family is still waiting for the trial of Adrian Hargrove. He will be represented by a team of legal minds. He is innocent until PROVEN guilty.
Based on the facts that are given as yet, there is no doubt in my mind he is VERY guilty of the charges against him.
He is facing the Death Penalty. It is very easy to say you are against it until it happens to your Uncle, Aunt, Cousin, and her unborn child.
I am for the Death Penalty for him.
I challenge anyone to claim Hargrove is innocent at this time based on the facts.

Valkyrie1
315
Points
Valkyrie1 10/31/13 - 03:07 pm
10
0
Stepping back from the

Stepping back from the emotion of it all, the evidence did not, and does not exist to have Scott Dean in prison. Some of the testimony allowed was questionable. The victims credibility was always in question. He was convicted because he came across as arrogant. I know many an arrogant jerk who is not a child molester.

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 10/31/13 - 03:09 pm
2
6
MLL

That sounds completely reasonable. It's just that if you read the comments here on the A-C website, there's a distinct difference in the tenor when some segments of the population are convicted with child molestation compared to Mr. Dean. And now that this motion is denied - and, by the way, motions like this are granted about .000000001% of the time - everyone seems so shocked.

My point is that there's a whole other world of people out there that get more of the, let's say, "benefit" of our imperfect system of justice. It's just hilarious (for lack of a better word) when it happens to a Caucasian of means and people realize that lady justice ain't so blind after-all.

In spite of this education that some are just now getting, I still expect to see the same "Let's bury him under the jail!" or "skip the trial and go for the needle!" idiotic comments next time one of the undesirables finds himself arrested for a crime like this.

faithson
5158
Points
faithson 10/31/13 - 04:03 pm
8
0
the judge is a good man...

went in front of him as a child advocate, he is not a 'hangin' judge' like Judge Annis. looks like Dean's only way OUT is to get the girl prosecuted for perjury, and convicted. long shot, but if the girl is really sorry for her lie in court, she should take the consequences.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 10/31/13 - 04:06 pm
0
4
sowing and reaping

Sowing and reaping will take care of this situation. It what has been done by those in power is correct it will be a good crop; if not, it will be a bad crop. That's the way life works.

LillyfromtheMills
13309
Points
LillyfromtheMills 10/31/13 - 04:17 pm
7
1
Do not

Put yourself in a position that the law will come get you. (The Judge Blanchards of our world.)The govt is in charge - they will lie, cheat and steal from you. The NSA will listen to you talking to your mother about the pie she baked. We are in another world from which we came. The old folks have told us - we need to listen to their advise - the world as we knew it is coming to an end because of people like Jim Blanchard

Pops
8578
Points
Pops 10/31/13 - 04:29 pm
2
3
Where there's smoke......

there's usually a fire.........

LillyfromtheMills
13309
Points
LillyfromtheMills 10/31/13 - 04:41 pm
6
0
The only fire that is seen here is the little girl

Wanted to go back to Guatemala no matter the cost

seenitB4
87396
Points
seenitB4 10/31/13 - 04:41 pm
7
1
J Blanchard

Give the man a new trial.....& give the girl a buggy whipping.

dichotomy
33058
Points
dichotomy 10/31/13 - 05:02 pm
12
2
I absolutely do not

I absolutely do not understand this and I do not understand what the hell is wrong with Blanchard. When the ACCUSER recants the charge YOU HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THAT. This is not some mistaken witness, THIS IS THE ACCUSER and I cannot imagine that does not count for something in a system that calls itself JUSTICE.

If the accuser lied the first time, then there was NO CRIME. That is an issue I don't give a damn what the law says about reasons for a new trial. You do not keep a man in prison if there is the REMOTEST possibility that there was NEVER A CRIME COMMITTED. WHAT IS WRONG WITH BLANCHARD?

"The first is that the posttrial declaration by a prosecution witness that her testimony is false is not grounds for a new trial because it would only serve to impeach her testimony, he said.

“The (effect) of Ms. Dean’s recantation would only be to impeach her trial testimony, which is not a basis for granting a new trial,” according to the judge’s ruling.

Also, the judge cannot grant a new trial based on the girl’s admission that she made false allegations and lied on the stand unless she were convicted of perjury."

Damned if those are two of the dumbest statements I have ever heard.

Folks, you need to FEAR the UNjustice system because the LAST THING IT IS.....IS JUST. There apparently is not any justice OR COMMON SENSE in our UNjustice system or our SO CALLED JUDGES.

dichotomy
33058
Points
dichotomy 10/31/13 - 05:14 pm
6
2
"witnesses lie. Eyewitnesses

"witnesses lie. Eyewitnesses mis-identify people! Confessions can be false! Wonder why it was Scott Dean and not Troy Davis?"

This is nothing like the Troy Davis situation. This is not some eyewitnesses who were pressured by the NAACP and the New Black Panthers decades later to change their story simply to prevent an execution.

This is the ACCUSER herself saying she lied about the crime...which means, if it is true, a man is in prison for a crime THAT NEVER HAPPENED.....NO MATTER WHAT JUDGE BLANCHARD RULED. Not just for a crime that he did not commit, BUT FOR A CRIME THAT NEVER HAPPENED.

If you can get the dead police officer to stand up and say Troy Davis did not do it then I will believe it. Otherwise, 7 witnesses and bullets from a gun Davis used in another shooting says Davis needed to die for his crime(s).

harley_52
23458
Points
harley_52 10/31/13 - 06:07 pm
8
0
How Hard Could It Be...

...to convict her of perjury if she admits she lied when she testified?

File the charges, convict her, send her to jail, and resubmit the appeal.

I can see why the legal system would object to constantly changing testimony and why the admitted liar should be in jail if the falsely convicted person wasn't really guilty after all.

Little Lamb
46067
Points
Little Lamb 10/31/13 - 06:14 pm
7
0
Charge, then plea

She could plead guilty and the DA could accept a lenient plea deal, if anyone in the DA's office were interested in seeing justice done. That may not be likely, though. The DA even testified in the Dean trial.

Old School Values
126
Points
Old School Values 10/31/13 - 06:49 pm
5
1
Realitycheck. Thw differance

Realitycheck. Thw differance is there were other evidense to convict Troy Davis. Explain how Bloody clothes, belonging to Troy, was found at his Grandmothers. The Blood was identified as belonging to Officer McPhail. Evidense lost due to procedural error. As a paralegal, I have seen many cases, alledging sexual abuse, that were brought by women out of spite..

Stunned 2
4344
Points
Stunned 2 10/31/13 - 06:57 pm
8
0
DFACS should be under investigation

DFACS should be under investigation

freeradical
1078
Points
freeradical 10/31/13 - 09:43 pm
5
1
Halloween Curfew For Free Range Child Molesters

The reason there is an article in the chronicle tonight about the

1000 or so convicted child molesters living among us in the community

who are on " Halloween curfew tonight "is NOT because they were all

given Scott Dean sentences .

In fact virtually none of them were .

The majority of these 1000 or so convicted child molesters living

among us on their much ballyhooed " Halloween Curfew " night were

done with their slap on the wrist sentences about the time Dean is just

getting started with his .

They should all be sentenced the length of Dean's sentence .

It is the fact that almost none of them , EVEN TWICE CONVICTED ,

have ever been given that length of sentence that ought to tell you

what is at work here .

It is obvious that Dean's real crime and offense was committed

against powers much more powerful than a teenage girl .

One look at the multitude of these cretins living among us and it does not

take a Harvard Law professor to deduce that 99% of the time these

Judges have a soft place in their hearts , even softer than in their

heads , for these monsters on " Halloween curfew ".

nocnoc
42744
Points
nocnoc 10/31/13 - 07:54 pm
3
1
Pretty much hinted at this months ago.

The law is clear and clear for a reason.
Otherwise, we would see witnesses being bribed, or threaten if they don't recant. The law is there to protect Justice.

IF she is sincere about wanting to start clean, maybe she can work out a plea deal with the DA for a Perjury conviction, but with a suspended sentence or probation.

2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 16 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES
CHAPTER 10 - OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
ARTICLE 4 - PERJURY AND RELATED OFFENSES
§ 16-10-70 - Perjury
O.C.G.A. 16-10-70 (2010)
16-10-70. Perjury
(b) A person convicted of the offense of perjury shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, or both.

A person convicted of the offense of perjury that was a cause of another's being imprisoned shall be sentenced to a term not to exceed the sentence provided for the crime for which the other person was convicted. ...

So according OCGA she must be convicted for Dean to get a retrial, she must serve a year or 2, or Dean will serve 5 to 10 more years before a parole board will touch a convicted sex offender.

Either way this is a mess.

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