By Edward Snook
West Palm Beach, Florida – Sadly, on October 13, 2006, 85 year-old Lucy Miller was killed while making a reckless U-turn. In April of 2007, Jamie Clark, the other party to the accident, was charged with D.U.I. Manslaughter. Now, evidence has emerged showing prosecutors withheld evidence of Clark’s innocence. Justice is not being served here. More-so, this case exemplifies the old adage “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right.”
On August 27, 2013, 41 year-old Jamie Clark’s Post Conviction Relief (PCR) hearing began in front of Judge John Kastrenakes. The hearing lasted 3 days wherein 15th Judicial District Assistant State Prosecutors Leigh Miller and Judith Arco extracted numerous twisted lies from their witnesses, in an all-out effort to deceive the judge. Jamie Clark’s attorneys Alan Ross and Benjamin Waxman were able to clearly show that material evidence was not made available to Clark’s original defense council prior to or during his trial and subsequent false conviction.
Florida State Prosecutor Dave Aronberg
State Attorney Dave Aronberg has been aware of the facts of this case for many months – he has been well-aware of Clark’s innocence, yet he has chosen to hinder justice and cover up the false conviction of Jamie Clark. Aronberg allowed his prosecutors to make blatant attempts in open court to twist and distort information. If any prudent person were to analyze the evidence presented to Judge Kastrenakes during the recent PCR case, they would have to conclude that the prosecutors were actually attempting to make Kastrenakes look ignorant and gullible, which he is not, by trying to get him to accept distortions that completely contradict fact and common sense.
Briefs are due on this case by October 11, 2013 and Judge Kastrenakes said he will give his ruling by November 15, 2013. Before I expose some of the lies and deceptions that were perpetrated by State Attorney Aronberg’s Office during this recent PCR hearing, I prompt you to read our initial investigative article titled, “Florida’s 15th Judicial Circuit – Past Officials Flip-Flop on Justice” by clicking here.
A Brief Review of Clark’s Case History
An exhaustive US~Observer investigation showed that the accident was unavoidable due to the fact that Miller, while attempting to make a U-turn, pulled directly in front of Jamie Clark. Miller failed to yield to oncoming traffic, as required by Florida Statutes. The State of Florida would, after two years, add a charge of Vehicular Homicide. Clark’s charges were originally dismissed by Judge John Kastrenakes in December of 2010, due to the state filing a “Nolle Pros” Motion (The State of Florida dropped charges to avoid the court’s order to go to trial immediately).
According to information obtained by the US~Observer, Assistant State Attorney Ellen Roberts, after much influence by people associated with “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” (MADD) and Lucy Miller’s son Steven Schumer, re-filed Clark’s criminal charges in January of 2011, over 4 years after the accident. Clark was represented at his September 12, 2011 trial by Attorney David Roth and according to witnesses and trial records, Roth failed to adequately represent Jamie Clark. Jamie was convicted on September 15th 2011, and incarcerated that same day, nearly five years after the accident.
The prosecution claims that Jamie Clark was traveling 85 mph in a 45mph speed zone, and “approximately 74mph”, at impact, nearly 30 mph over the posted speed limit. Defense experts and Mr. Clark claim that he was traveling at “54-55mph” and “50 mph” at impact. The calculations and methods used by the state to define his speed have been exposed by experts for the defense as well as third parties not associated with the reconstruction, as both unbelievable and contrived.
The state falsely argued that Jamie was “speeding”, therefore he gave up his right-of-way (this alleged act is not defined by Florida Criminal Law). The defense proved that Ms. Miller failed to yield to oncoming traffic causing the accident to be unavoidable (this act is clearly defined by Florida Statute). The actual speed in which Jamie was traveling has become the crux in this case. If the evidence withheld by the state, had been provided to the defense prior to trial it could have prevented the false conviction of Mr. Clark and proven that Ms. Miller was solely at fault and Jamie Clark was not speeding excessively.
An event data recorder or EDR is a device installed in some automobiles to record information related to vehicle crashes or accidents. Information from these devices can be collected after a crash and analyzed to help determine what the vehicles were doing before, during and after the crash or event.
One main point in pursuing a PCR case for Clark was that the State of Florida withheld the Event Data Recorder (EDR) aka “black-box” findings from Ms. Miller’s Toyota Camry from the defense prior to Clark’s conviction. While testifying during the recent PCR hearing, Clark’s original attorney David Roth stated, “On multiple occasions we requested information from the state regarding those issues (data from MS. Miller’s vehicles EDR).” He continued, “…on multiple occasions Mr. McMichael (original prosecutor) and Ms. Roberts (trial prosecutor) advised me that there was no retrievable data from either EDR’s on the Infiniti (Clark’s vehicle) or the Toyota (Miller’s vehicle).”This testimony showed that the prosecution attempted to deceive the defense by withholding evidence they had in their possession. Clark’s new defense attorney’s Ross and Waxman found documents in the prosecution’s file in 2012, well after the conviction of Jamie Clark. The documents included the EDR printout from Ms. Miller’s Toyota Camry. Defense attorneys have proven that Mr. Clark’s Infiniti engine diagnostic print-out was provided to the defense in place of the Toyota Camry EDR. The Toyota Camry EDR documents were curiously, and we believe intentionally absent from the state attorneys file until 4 months after the trial. In January 2012, a court clerk was required to fax the EDR information to an insurance agency pending a civil lawsuit by Ms. Miller’s family and left the documents in the file.
While questioning previous defense attorney David Roth, Alan Ross provided exhibit 4, which was entered into evidence without objection. While reading the documents, Roth stated, “It indicates on the discovery itself that it is the Camry on the face of the discovery.” As Roth continued to read the discovery beyond the first page he continued, “It’s a 2003 vehicle, and it is the Infiniti according to the content of the discovery,” not the Toyota Camry. The State had attached an engine diagnostic printout from the Infiniti in lieu of the Toyota EDR printout. This was what Ellen Roberts provided the defense to reportedly trick them and to ultimately deceive the court by withholding material evidence.
Ellen Roberts had been the head of Traffic Homicide Department for twenty years. Ellen Roberts reportedly lied many times throughout her testimony, but that should not surprise anyone, she has a reputation of allegedly lying without hesitation!
During the PCR hearing, while questioning the original prosecutor Adam McMichael, defense attorney Ross asked, “…did you seek to have the event data recorder of the Toyota Camry which was the vehicle Ms. Miller, the victim in this case was driving, processed or downloaded?” Adam McMichael replied, “Not as part of the initial reconstruction, no.” After admitting that the Toyota’s EDR was obtained by prosecution, McMichael continued, “…but, unfortunately during that period of time I was also transitioning in and out (resigning as the prosecutor in the Clark case). I also let Ms. Roberts (the new prosecutor) know that I had received the event data recorder printout, and had given it to I believe the Boca Raton Police Department and that it needed to be disclosed, and that was the end of it.” Ross asked, “and you said, it needed to be disclosed?” McMichael replied, “Yes, It needed to go out in discovery to ah, because I had not done so.”McMichael continued, “If I were to have stayed on the case, I would have just given it (EDR) to him (the defense attorney).” McMichael was attempting to shift any blame from himself to trial prosecutor Ellen Roberts.
McMichael also testified, “If you don’t have pre-crash data then post-crash data is irrelevant.” This is simply another false statement according to experts, which McMichael is not.
Adam McMichael, Ellen Roberts and new prosecutors Leigh Miller and Judith Arco know all too well that the EDR was not provided and they also know the damage this evidence would have done to the initial prosecution of Clark. They have blatantly continued their attempt to cover-up, lie and distort the truth to retain a false conviction and keep a man who was wrongfully convicted in prison. It is very important for our readership to see that this entire cover-up, and attempted deception upon Judge Kastrenakes Court, is being directed solely by State Attorney for the 15th Judicial District Dave Aronberg.
Why the EDR, whether given to the defense or not, is important
Definition of Delta-V: In astrodynamics a Δv or delta-v (literally “change in velocity”) is a scalar which takes units of speed. It is a measure of the amount of “effort” that is needed to change from one trajectory to another by making an orbital maneuver. Delta-v is produced by the use of by reaction engines to produce a thrust that accelerates the vehicle. –Wikipedia
Delta-v is recorded in the EDR, which can greatly assist in how to accurately determine the speed of a vehicle in an accident. This is important because the Delta-v’s from the EDR of the Toyota Camry were not used by the State of Florida’s “expert” Reconstructionist Officer Michael Daly for his final analysis. Instead, he relied solely on a method called Linear Momentum. Furthermore, Daly had only “reconstructed ONE ACCIDENT prior to his reconstruction of the accident involving Mr. Clark.”
During testimony, officer Daly said he was “not sure” if you could use a Delta-v number, if it’s a known number to work backwards to determine speed of a relevant vehicle. According to Reconstructionist expert Thomas P. Lacek you can determine pre-crash speed by using a post-crash delta-v and working backwards from that known number.
Thomas P. Lacek
The US~Observer contacted Thomas P. Lacek P.E. Crash Reconstruction & Occupant Kinematics Expert, a third party reconstruction expert out of Pennsylvania. He has over 30 years of experience and over 20 years in accident reconstruction. He reconstructs approximately “100-150” accidents per year.
While speaking with Mr. Lacek he stated, “If you give two engineers exactly the same data, they better come up with pretty damn similar answers; or, somebody’s either leaving something out or twisting something.”
When asked if you can use Delta-v to determine speed, he replied, “Absolutely, however when using an EDR data set, first the EDR data must be consistent with the physical evidence. Don’t just blindly use it.”
When asked if Linear Momentum is an accurate method of accident reconstruction Lacek replied, “Depends. Depends, momentum deals with what we call vectors which have magnitude in direction. So if the angle changes, so does the answer. Accurate scene mapping is imperative for accuracy when using momentum.”
Lacek continued, “I’m not picking on or trying to uh, lower the integrity of the work by the police. You’ll hear about all these courses they’ve done. Well basically they’re trying to learn the technical stuff. They are non-technical people trying to learn technical stuff. To engineers, it’s second nature. It’s just applied science. “And one of the possibilities for them (police or schools) not using (or teaching) momentum is the non-technical people getting screwed up on the angles. If you’re going to use (linear) momentum, you better know it and accurately apply the distances and angles when calculating speed using momentum. That angle is critical (angle of impact).
Momentum’s been around an awful long time. It is universally accepted, however there’s a lot of times there are mistakes made.”
Police Officer Michael Daly
State expert Michael Daly testified the accident was a rear-end, inline collision, to bolster the state’s effort to obtain the angle they needed to get the speed they wanted to show. This is allegedly a blatant lie, one that had to be directed by someone other than Daly, because he just isn’t that intelligent. If the various pictures of the damaged cars are closely examined and compared to pictures presented in court, it is clear that Daly and/or others rammed the cars together in a blatant attempt to manufacture rear-end collision evidence. Some would call this action a “criminal conspiracy.”
An inline collision causes an accordion effect, collapsing the damage from the rear to the front, which is not present in the physical evidence. With a rear-side collision the damage is from right to left, clearly shown in this picture taken the night of the accident. Even the wheels, folding over at the top, show it was a side impact on the right rear of the Camry. Remember, Expert Thomas Lacek stated, “If you have the angle wrong, your results will be wrong.” In this case the results were obviously wrong!
It is important to note that as of June 2010, when asked if he had any experience with EDR’s, officer Daly stated, “Not any formal training, No.” Furthermore, officer Daly appeared to be very confused by questioning, or simply did not know the answer(s) to several questions asked regarding post-crash data, angles of departure, delta-v and other pertinent information.
Trial Prosecutor Ellen Roberts
Trial prosecutor Ellen Roberts, when asked during the PCR hearing if she was aware that previous prosecutor Adam McMichael was sending the EDR from the Toyota Camry to Toyota stated, “Initially we knew there was nothing to be gained from the data.” This proves to me that Ellen Roberts lied to the judge in an attempt to deceive the court. She had to have known there was relevant material on the Camry’s EDR, or she would not have hid it from the defense. Statements from numerous reconstruction experts, which Ellen Roberts is not, prove that the EDR was material and very important to Mr. Clark’s defense.
Experts for the Defense were Andy Fore and Dr. Robert McElroy. Dr. McElroy reconstructed the accident using the Delta-V from the Camry EDR printout and determined Clark’s speed was 49 MPH at impact. Andy Fore, who also reconstructed the accident for the defense had reconstructed over 1,000 accidents at the time he reconstructed Mr. Clark’s. Mr. Fore is board certified in forensic engineering, accident reconstruction, and bio-mechanics by the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. He is also certified by the Accreditation Commission on Traffic Accident Reconstructionist (ACTAR). To date, Mr. Fore has reconstructed over 3,000 accidents. He used three different techniques to determine the speed of Mr. Clark’s vehicle at impact was 50 MPH. These three methods were also mentioned by third party Reconstructionist Thomas P. Lacek, who has no attachment to this case whatsoever.
The three methods used were conservation of momentum, conservation of energy, and crush analysis. These methods are widely considered amongst professionals as a more accurate means of accident reconstruction than linear momentum.
Key points to consider:
Judge John Kastrenakes
– The EDR from the Toyota Camry, for whatever reason was not provided to the defense prior to trial. Numerous experts have stated this EDR is absolutely material to calculations concerning Clark’s accident.
– The state’s expert, officer Daly calculated that after the accident, the Infiniti’s speed was over 50 mph after impact. He used the final resting point of the Infiniti for his final analysis.
– Post crash witness Mr. Cheslow stated that the Infiniti traveled 15-20 mph across three lanes of traffic after contact with Ms. Miller, not 50 mph as stated by Daly.
– Mr. Clark’s post-crash interview provides a statement that he physically drove his car up onto the curb after the crash to avoid oncoming traffic which proves that the Infiniti’s final stop (as determined by officer Daly) could not accurately be used when calculating linear momentum. During a recorded statement, just minutes after the accident, Daly asked Clark, “So you can’t tell me if you drove it (Infiniti) to that point over there from any point prior to there?” Clark responded, “No, No… I drove that car (his infinity) from the curb… so, the car was under my power up onto that curb…for sure. I definitely drove that car on top of that curb.”
– The damage to the Infiniti according to defense experts does not display damage consistent with a 74 mph crash.
Rabbi Marci Bloch
– The only eye witness to the accident – Ms. Bloch stated in a taped interview that, “I cannot answer if that person (Jamie Clark) was speeding or not… But I know for sure I would have never made that turn.”
– Again, Mr. Clark’s interview with Daly shortly after the accident provides evidence that Mr. Clark physically drove his vehicle post-crash. This fact alone refutes the prosecutions calculations that were taken from the final resting point of the Infiniti. Judge Kastrenakes stated several times during the PCR hearing, he wants the “TRUTH”! All he needs to do to accomplish this is to listen closely to Clark’s video interview with Daly, especially between 22–25 minutes into the interview.
Read this quoted statement from the only eye-witness, Rabbi Bloch, very carefully – “It was very clear to me when she (Lucy Miller) was making it (U-turn), that I had a moment of wanting to say, ‘Don’t go…What are…What are you doing!'” Rabbi Bloch further stated, “And… And… It was almost like there wasn’t enough judgment in the turn, because it was… I… I… would never have made that turn.”
Editor’s Note: Jamie Clark’s defense is entitled to use the evidence from the Event Data Recorder to help present his case to an impartial jury. The EDR is material and very relevant to what happened. Three different experts separate from this case have all confirmed that an EDR is relevant to accident reconstruction and material to this case – why else would an EDR or “black-box” be installed in a vehhicle?
Steven Schumer “Middle”
State Attorney Dave Aronberg should understand by now that the pressure from the US~Observer will not go away in West Palm Beach. Aronberg has allowed his office to continue to distort the truth and deprive justice by his inactions, after being made clearly aware of the evidence in the Clark case by the US~Observer.
We have received an alarming amount of complaints regarding this case and we intend to continue investigating Dave Aronberg and others involved until Jamie Clark receives justice. Prosecutors and others associated with this case have some unbelievable “skeletons in the closet” information to be disclosed to the public in the very near future.
Florida State Prosecutor
And, how about this absolute shocker; the only eye witness to the accident and whose testimony was restricted at Clark’s first trial was Rabbi Marci Bloch. She is a Jewish Rabbi. Lucy Miller was reportedly coming from “Temple,” so I would assume she was Jewish, just as I would conclude that her son, Steven Schumer, who has reportedly pushed for the continued incarceration of Jamie Clark is also Jewish. Now for the real kicker; State Prosecutor Dave Aronberg is Jewish. Could there be a connection here?
I happen to have Jewish friends and the US~Observer is not real big on conspiracies, unless they can be proven, but my readership can rest assured that we are currently digging deep into this subject matter. By the way, Jamie Clark is not Jewish.
Please be responsible, call State Attorney Dave Aronberg at 561-355-7100 or by email at StateAttorney@sa15.org and let him know that you don’t appreciate unethical and dishonest prosecutors attacking Jamie Clark or any other innocent person.
If you have any information regarding anyone involved in this article, especially Dave Aronberg, please contact the US~Observer immediately at: email@example.com or by calling 541-474-7885.
Further, do you have friends, family or acquaintances in Florida? Call them and get them concerned and involved in this tragic case of abuse being leveled at a fellow American.