While some people may think that it would be natural for me, the mother of a wrongfully accused double murder suspect who has been in the Leon County Jail for nearly two years, to jump on board with any candidate running against the incumbents State Attorney Willie Meggs and Sheriff Larry Campbell. But for those who know me personally, they may tell people differently. I’ve always made sure that my kids were held accountable for everything that was against school rules, laws or anything where they stepped out of line. In which my sons never did any act of violence. My sons care about people, especially their friends. That’s why it was so disappointing for me to have taken my son to the Leon County Sheriff’s office to assist them with their investigation in regards to the murder of my son’s friends and they in turn use racist vulgar language, violate our Civil Rights, tell so many lies and ultimately charge my son with 2 counts of First Degree Murder–charges that will send him away for the rest of his natural life. The many lies out of the Leon County Sheriff and the State Attorney’s office have affected my family and the community.
In February 2012, Sheriff Larry Campbell’s son, Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell, stated to the media in regards to Henry Segura’s case, “My dad being sheriff doesn’t change the way I would handle the case,” Campbell said, “Dad doesn’t tell me how to prosecute cases, and I don’t tell him how to be sheriff.”
We all know that local law enforcement is the root to all criminal cases. Every person that is arrested is housed at the Leon County Jail. It would be ridiculous for any citizen who doesn’t know Jack Campbell personally, to believe that his dad’s position as sheriff doesn’t have any influence on how he prosecutes his cases. Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell is the Lead Prosecutor on my son, DeShon Thomas’ case. As you all may know, my son was 17-years-old when he was hastily arrested and charged with the double murder of his pregnant 20-year-old ex-girlfriend and her 17-year-old brother. I strongly believe that because the Leon County Sheriff’s detectives haste to zone in on my son, they allowed the more than likely perpetrator (someone who the victims’ mother pointed out) to assault someone else with a gun. This person, who was a male friend of the male victim, had recently gotten into a serious physical fight with the male victim and had recently been living with the victims. The mother and brother of the victims told Leon County Sheriff’s detectives that upon this particular male moving out, he continued to burglarize their home—going as far as putting a latter up the back of their townhome and breaking in through the female victim’s bedroom window. But instead of detectives hauling this teenager in for questioning, the sheriff’s office allowed this teenager to stay out into the community and months later assault a victim with a gun. In which the gun used in the murders had not been recovered. So it could possibly be the same gun used in the murders. So in an effort to keep me and others from finding out about this 17-year-old boy, who is by the way on the State’s Witness list (because he was named by the mother—not because he was interviewed by detectives), despite his extensive juvenile criminal record, the Prosecuting Attorney kept his charges in the Juvenile Court Division–which means if Leon County Sheriff and State Attorney’s office fail to admit their mistake in charging my son, this teenage boy will be released back into the community to re-offend.
My son and I are not afraid of going to trial. My son is alive to stand up for his wrongful arrest and his disgusting experience with the Leon County Sheriff and State Attorney’s office, whereas some are not (Rachel Hoffman).
Recently, Sheriff Candidate Lisa Sprague wrote a rebuttal that was published in the Tallahassee Democrat. In her rebuttal she definitely states more than enough information that would make me vote for her if I was still a Leon County resident. One of the things that I found to be most important in her rebuttal was how she promised to bring the Leon County Sheriff’s office into the 21st Century. Before I state why I found this to be so important, I just want people to who may be tired of my letters/articles published in the TallahasseeO to understand that what I share with you all is not just about me and my son—it’s about you and your child or your child and your grandchild. My son and I should’ve never been put in this position. I pray that nobody else in Tallahassee or surrounding counties will never find themselves going from a helpful citizen to a wounded falsely accused victim. Yes, victim—my son (family) and I are victims of the Bullying—Good Ol’ Boy Network between the Leon County Sheriff and State Attorney’s Office—the “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. Anyway, I spent numerous hours reading and re-reading so many pages of the Discovery Report prepared by the Leon County Sheriff’s office. Outside of reading statements of the victims family, boyfriend, friends and foes—and oh, yeah– the 3 to 4 different statements that’s on file from the State’s “key witness” (my son’s ex-roommate)—I also read several deputies/detectives statements. In reading those statements, it seemed as if some of the deputies/detectives skilled work and time was being undermined. Again, keep in mind, that the Leon County Sheriff’s office is the root in solving this case. So for instance, a K-9 dog was used in an attempt to pick up the scent of the murder suspect. According to the K-9 dog’s handler, the dog didn’t go nowhere near in the direction that the State’s “key witness” said that my son came away from the townhouse—simply right across the street. According to the State’s “key witness”, my son went over to the victims’ residence after he got off from work (Taco Bell). How hard would it have been for a dog to pick up a Taco Bell scent? Ok—so now picture this—my son’s competent defense attorney cross-examines the dog handler and he has to explain the completely different route that his dog led him on versus just right across the street. Also, detectives say their “key witness” said that he drove my son to the Family Dollar which is less than a half mile away from the victims’ residence, where my son dropped a gun in the dumpster (another spot where the dog did not hit on) despite going in that direction. Also, despite their “key witness” giving them this information over a week after the murders, deputies and detectives still went dumpster diving at the Family Dollar. They came up empty. If I’m not mistaken, commercial dumpsters are emptied two times a week. They asked Family Dollar manager for surveillance—they came up empty. I can go on and on with this—what I took away from reading was LCSO staff were running around Tallahassee like field rats looking for evidence to prove their case against my son because none of the witness statements proved their hostility claim (detectives boldfaced lie) that they stated in order to help them obtain their very first search warrant. When in fact what they should’ve been doing is listening to the victims’ mother and younger brother. There was no Gunshot Residue kit used on my son. However, detectives used them on the victims’ mother and brother, but not from the mother’s girlfriend who was also on scene when the bodies were discovered. How sad is it for former Detective Odham to have stated the wrong name of the victims’ mother on the Probable Cause Arrest Affidavit. Still today on the Docket Report has the wrong name of the victims’ mother. How can a detective present himself and represent his agency to a grieving mother as one who wants to solve the murder of her children and not present her properly before the court. It really goes to show how little interaction he had with the victims’ mother. And how he and others probably didn’t listen to her because her words were steering them away from my son.
Over a week after the murders, detectives did a voice stress analysis on the owner of the car that detectives say their “key witness” said he used to drive my son over to the victims’ residence. This witness’ statement didn’t add up in the way detectives wanted it to go so they dismissed her as a creditable witness.
I really can go on and on with this, but my point in all of this is—if my son was to have done all of what the State’s “key witness” said that he did, both inside and outside of the victims’ residence, then what does that say about the K-9 dog, deputies, detectives, and crime scene technicians who all came up empty handed in regards to evidence against my son. The victims were not murdered outside in a parking lot; they were murdered in their home. Also, and even more shameful—is that The Tallahassee Democrat reported Sheriff Larry Campbell went out to the crime scene. All throughout his campaign he’s been bragging about how he goes out into the field with his deputies. Well, what’s the point in going out into the field with your deputies if you’re not going to teach them or help them in any kind of way? Sheriff Larry Campbell also brags about his gun experience. Well, with that much gun experience, he should’ve been able to look at the victims and see that there was no way that they could’ve been murdered with a 9mm handgun. The velocity between a .38 caliber handgun and a 9mm handgun is nowhere near the same. Leon County Sheriff’s detectives told a Grand Jury that a witness saw my son enter the victims’ residence with a 9mm handgun. LCSO told a judge that the victims were murdered with a 9mm handgun in order to obtain a search warrant of the residence where my son was living—
nothing. Are we to believe that a 17-year-old is so sophisticated that he wouldn’t leave any type of worthy evidence behind? Take it from me—my son is not that sophisticated. If he were—he wouldn’t have allowed himself to be entrapped or whatever by Prosecutor Jack Campbell and his cronies—whatever they put in place for him to be charged with solicitation to commit murder. They put my son with a bank robber/ gang member in jail (and Jack Campbell says that he doesn’t tell his daddy how to run his jail—if that’s true I’m going to buy unlimited tanning sessions at a tanning salon).
Seriously, I still have a lot of respect for the legal system. I have been a single parent for the majority of my son’s life. It wasn’t a lack of parenting as to what landed my son in jail. My son did some of what I’d planned for him to do—he was going to college and he was working. What landed my son in jail was a pack of lies by adults who are supposed to be role models for the communities that they were sworn in to represent. My son has been in solitary confinement for 74 days. He’s not allowed to have any visitors and he’s not allowed to make any phone calls. This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing or talking to him. But you know what—there are staff members at the Leon County Sheriff and State Attorney’s office who in their mind have been in solitary confinement for many years. People say that they pity me. Well, I say I pity those who work in the Leon County Sheriff and the State Attorney’s office that are afraid of being vocal against their unethical bosses–those who are afraid to vote for positive change. A vote for Lisa Sprague will ensure to rid Sheriff Larry Campbell who disregards hardworking deputies credentials and experience, instead elevating those deputies who walk his walk and talk his talk—or better yet come from a wealthy family. I’m sure Lisa Sprague will agree that all deputies put their lives on the line when they put on their uniform—no one deputy should be treated differently. Now I don’t know who all will read this—but if you’re a Leon County citizen or a law enforcement officer and you feel like things are fine just the way they are, then vote for Sheriff Larry Campbell (may God have mercy on your soul). Now if you want change—and you want out of “solitary confinement”, I strongly recommend you to vote for Lisa Sprague. She’s been sent to liberate you—take advantage!
Tallahassee citizens are the sunshine—Sheriff Lisa Sprague is the root—State Attorney Pete Williams are the colorful petals. It’s time for a new day in Tallahassee.