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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

c8d7/1238473952-hartmann.jpgIt’s becoming increasingly clear that the jailhouse snitch who testified that he heard Brett Hartmann confess to killing Winda Snipes was lying to get out of jail sooner—committing perjury ("Deadline," March 25). But Summit County prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh is still pushing to have Hartmann executed on April 7. Apparently, she’s learned nothing from the Clarence Elkins debacle.

Here’s the transcript of the e-mail exchanges between the lawyer for the jailhouse snitch and Hartmann’s attorney. We left in the typos:

From: Richard Vickers
To: Thomas Adgate
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:22 AM
Subject: Brian Tyson

Dear Mr. Adgate
I am an investigator with the Federal Public Defender's Capital Habeas Unit. I am assigned to the Brett Hartman capital case. … On March 5, 2009 the Ohio Parole Authority recommended against clemency for Hartman. Hartman's case for clemency is now before Governor Strickland.

We continue to seek information to present to Governor Strickland that would support commutation for Hartman. Yesterday we were informed by a media source that you may have information regarding your former client, Bryan Tyson who testified at Hartman's trial regarding a jailhouse conversation in which Hartman admitted killing Winda Snipes and removing her hands. Because Hartman made no inculpatory statements to investigating police, Tyson's testimony detailing a "jailhouse confession" by Hartman was powerful evidence in the state's case.

Our media source claims that you have information that Tyson did not testify truthfully. It is our understanding that prior to Tyson testifying against Hartman, you advised Judge Callahan that Tyson would perjure himself.

Hartman's execution on April 7 is inevitable unless we can provide compelling evidence that he may not be the perpetrator of Winda Snipes's murder. If Brian Tyson did testify falsely, such in formation would be of great assistance in our plea for clemency. Please contact me at **** so that we can discuss this matter. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

To: Richard Vickers
From: Thomas Adgate
Re: Brian Tyson

I went to judge callahan after the testimony, not before, a huge difference. As a result of attorney client privaledge, I am unable to assist you any further.

From: Richard Vickers
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 10:31 AM
Subject: Re: Brian Tyson

Hello Mr. Adgate, I thank you for your response and appreciate the delicacy of the situation you face vis-a'-vis the constraints of the attorney client relationship. I have one further request which I do not believe implicates any client confidences. Was there anyone else present when you spoke with Judge Callahan, specifically were any of the Summit County prosecuting attorneys present? If so, would you please advise me of the person's identity? I do not mean to bother you, but Mr. Hartman's execution date is looming. Thank you again.

To: Richard Vickers
From: Thomas Adgate
03/17/2009 01:48 PM
Subject Re: Brian Tyson

no one was present and I did get a ruling from the ethics committee, which indicated I have to hold my silence....which really bothers me but that is the way it is torn.

There’s still time to tell Governor Strickland how you fee. — James Renner

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