Bad judges or bad judgment that’s the question today that Spokane area residents need to have answered.
This article is the first in a two part story that will go in depth into how a suspected violent rapist was placed back on the streets for less than a tenth of what the normal bond would start at.
More importantly what role was played by his sister in-law a setting municipal court judge for Airway Heights in securing his release on such ridiculously low bond?
Did Judge Jennifer L. Fassbender use her position as a setting court judge for the City of Airway Heights, to get her friend and mentor from Gonzaga Law School, Superior Court Judge the Honorable Ellen Clark, to give her brother in-law a ridiculously low bond on a first degree violent rape charge?
People put their faith in judges to be honest, above board, people that are there in-part supposedly to protect the people within their jurisdiction.
So what happens then when it all goes horribly wrong? Who protects the people when two judges, also from the same law school leave everyone with a bad taste due to their appearance of improprieties?
Are they criminals, conspiring to circumvent the criminal justice system or just exercising the old practice of Quid Pro Quo, Latin that translates to â€œsomething for something?â€ I scratch your back you scratch mine!
Judges are supposed to act in a manner that avoids even the appearance of improprieties.Â Otherwise like these two may have acted, they lose credibility.
People also look to the news agencies to keep them informed on important issues. What happens when the media either fail miserably to recognize a story, or worse recognize it but bury it because they have endorsed the judge three times for re-election?
The Spokesman Review had a reporter setting in Judge Ellen Clarkâ€™s courtroom when she arraigned Michael Fassbender on 1st degree rape charge. The reporter wrote an article saying this individual had been released on $20,000 bond.
From the start bells should have started ringing but either didn’t or was simply ignored. But then the same newspaper has also endorsed her three times for re-election.
The Spokesman Review covered Judge Fassbender’s appointment was just three months ago. On Aug 20,2009 they ran a story regarding her appointment.
Fassbender is not a name that rolls off your tongue in Spokane everyday say like Smith, Jones, Williams, or even Clark. There can be exact two found in the phone book one the suspects brother and two the judges the suspects sister in-law.
Contact was made with the columnist Doug Clark of the Spokesman Review to see if he and one of the judges involved in this travesty were related. While he was not advised what this story was about he was polite, and courteous. He stated while he has known John Clark, Ellen Clark’s husband for many years he was not related in any manner.
Judge Ellen Clark set the unusually low bond of $20,000.00 for the 1st degree rape charge. This means the suspect comes up with $2,000.00 dollars he’s back on the street. He pays a bail bondsman the $2,000.00 they put up the rest.
Someone would have to use their real property as collateral for the $20,000.00 since Michael lived with his brother and sister in-law the judge, he would not have the real property to put up. Did they secure the bond with their property? The bail bondsman alludes to as much before suddenly clamming up.
Judges normally look at a suspectâ€™s prior criminal record if any. The officers report as to what occurred, the possibility of the person re-offending while out on bail. The danger to the community this suspect would pose. The suspectâ€™s record we don’t know about it so letâ€™s assume for discussion it was clean.
The officerâ€™s report is very clear that this was a very violent rape, one that could easily have escalated to murder. There is nothing ambiguous about the officerâ€™s report. Any judge that has as much experience as the Honorable Judge Ellen Clark should know that rape suspects frequently re-offend.
Unless Judge Clarkâ€™s many years of marriage to a well known defense attorney has left her so jaded, she should give some credence to the officerâ€™s reports.
The judge should know that a suspected violent rapist where the evidence is very consistent with the victimâ€™s statements of what occurred; could pose a significant danger to the victim, as well as every female in this area. People like this suspect are in fact the poster children for high bonds!
The people of Spokane need to remember that because a suspect is related to someone considered to be important does not mean they’re not extremely dangerous.
Kevin Coe was the son of the Spokesman Reviews Editor and Chief while he was raping women all over the South Hill of Spokane. He also had no arrest record prior to being arrested as a serial rapist.
See part 2 . Bad Judges or Bad Judgment?
Just to let you know
I have recently had a stroke that has resulted in some seizures. At times I make grammar errors as I don’t always have someone available to proof read these articles, before I have to submit them.
I try to do my best to keep the information fresh. The old brain doesn’t connect the dots as it once might have. The stroke dusted some of the dots of my dice I’m afraid. Thank you for being so understanding, as the wisdom goes â€œWe do not write as we want, but as we can.â€ – W Somerset Maugham
Please feel free to point these errors out to me as I review all comments and try to use the information to give you a better article.