By Edward Snook
CROOK COUNTY, OR – Taken from his home in handcuffs on April 8, 2010, Prineville, OR resident Jerry Keller was arrested for simply, and factually, exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Keller told Bureau of Land Management employee Benjamin Renfro that he didn’t agree with his taxes being used to purchase an H-1 Hummer for Renfro to drive around town in, as told in our previous article.
On July 19th 2011, almost a year and a half after interaction with Renfro, Jerry Keller finally had his day in court, however he was now facing a “crooked” judge and a malicious and vindictive prosecutor’s office without a jury. That’s right – no jury for Jerry Keller – this man was stripped of his absolute Constitutional right to a jury trial. The District Attorney simply dropped the misdemeanor crimes against Keller to mere infractions – akin to a speeding ticket.
History on Corrupted Keller Case
Arrested for allegedly interfering with a fire-fighter and disorderly conduct and facing criminal charges, Jerry sought the help of the US~Observer and took his false arrest public. Keller stated, “I don’t know how to thank you,” after the criminal charges were dropped. The US~Observer’s investigation and exposure of an attempt by public officials to rail-road an innocent man, who had no criminal record, forced Crook County District Attorney (DA) Daina Vitolins to drop his criminal charges. Vitolins knew that if Jerry was afforded a jury trial, he would be found innocent by his peers. So, she prevented Jerry Keller’s right to a jury trial by reducing his criminal charges to mere infractions.
Vitolins lied in a letter written to this writer on June 29, 2011. I had attempted to meet with Vitolins in Prineville about the Keller case in late June, 2011, and she was unavailable. In her follow-up letter to me, she stated, “I have an affirmative obligation to make sure that Mr. Keller receives a fair trial in this case. For this reason, I may not discuss the case while it is pending.” Pure B.S. folks!
The deceitful and conspiring Vitolins had no intention whatsoever of having a “fair” trial for Keller. In fact she had been talking plenty about the Keller case prior to trial with the very people that helped her attempt to damage this fine American by convicting him of a crime. A few of the people that conspired with her would be BLM employee Benjamin Renfro; his lame “crime victim” attorney Janine Robben, from the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center; assistant district attorney Victoria Schwartz, who prosecuted this case for Vitolins and I would opine, Renfro’s wife Tammara. According to witnesses Tammara is District Attorney Vitolins’ right hand gal. In other words, Tammara works in the DA’s office as assistant to Vitolins. Tammara also handles the emails that are sent to DA Vitolins. Maybe the above begins to explain why the “crooks” waited thirty days from Keller’s original encounter with Renfro, to produce an embellished, false police report and have him arrested.
Bureau of Land Management employee Benjamin Renfro’s attempt to force criminal charges upon Jerry Keller by filing a false police report failed; however, he and his cohorts continued their destructive charade on an infraction basis. Renfro went to the extreme by obtaining the assistance of attorney Janine Robben from the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center out of Portland, Oregon. Renfro and Robben at this juncture proclaimed that Benjamin was a victim. Robben then filed a motion the day before trial, requesting an order to show cause. In the motion, she asked Judge George W. Neilson to rule to prevent Jerry from talking to the media, and individuals, and stop making signs regarding Renfro’s honesty – what she called “Victims honesty.” She also asked Neilson to “Punish the defendant for his violation of the victim’s rights.” Judge Neilson had to deny the motion.
Judge Neilson’s Involvement
There is no question whatsoever that Neilson was prejudiced against Keller. Keller attempted to remove him from the case over a year ago and Neilson refused. Neilson virtually insured that the vindictive prosecutor would walk away with a partial win. At the end of the day Neilson found Keller not guilty of “Disturbing the Peace” and guilty of “Interfering with a Firefighter.” Ignorant prosecutor Schwartz then asked Neilson to order Keller to take “Anger Management” classes as part of his sentence, but Keller’s defense attorney, Jim Leuenberger of Portland, objected, informing Neilson that all he could do by law would be to impose a fine. Neilson then fined Keller $100.00. This sentence was very calculated as Neilson knew that Keller couldn’t appeal his decision if the fine was less than $250.00.
One of Keller’s supporters who attended the literal Kangaroo Court conducted by Neilson stated, “This Cocaine judge assisted the prosecutor with her case – you could tell that he was prejudiced.” This “Cocaine” statement most likely came up due to the fact that years ago I met with Neilson in his chambers in Madras, Oregon regarding accusations that he had been using Cocaine and that he had been “passed out drunk.” Even though I informed Neilson at the time that I had affidavits regarding the accusations, he denied them and the very next day this judge had an attorney from Portland, Oregon call me. The attorney threatened that Neilson would sue me for libel and slander if I published anything about Neilson’s alleged drug and alcohol usage – I published the accusations and they failed to sue me…
Prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances was clearly attempted by Renfro and his “gang” – something sixty-seven year old Jerry Keller and many other Crook County residents have publically stated they aren’t going to put up with. One lady who attended the hearing stated, “In prosecuting Jerry the DA put on quite the show of how this nation takes our money and insults lady justice and common sense.”
One thing is certain – Jerry is not a criminal. It is also certain that had he not taken this public and fought so hard for his rights, he would be a criminal today. The US~Observer commends Jerry for standing up for himself, something that every prudent person in Crook County should be proud of – this country desperately needs more Jerry Kellers.