Missouri Man, Jeffrey Weinhaus, Serves 30 Years for Surviving
By Ron Lee
Franklin County, MO – The following dialog was captured via a smart watch on Sept 11, 2012, that was worn by Jeffrey “Bulletinman” Weinhaus:
“How’s it going, Jeff?”
“Good. How are you?”
“What do you have the gun for?”
“Why do I got the gun? Why do you got the gun for?
“Cuz I’m authorized to have a gun.”
“Alright. Well I’m authorized to have a”
“Get down on the ground.”
“Get on the ground, Jeff.”
“Get down on the ground.”
“You don’t have to shoot me, man.”
BANG! BANG, BANG! BANG, BANG, BANG!
Six shots, all fired by the police, with four bullets from the same gun finding their mark. The man they shot had been lured to a back lot near a gas station under false pretenses by the same officer who shot him. From the moment the first words were spoken until Jeffrey Weinhaus lay face-down in a pool of his own blood from the multiple gunshot wounds, including a blast to the head, twelve seconds had elapsed. Those twelve seconds changed the course of several lives, none more than Weinhaus. Weinhaus survived to be convicted of assaulting the same police officer who nearly shot him dead and was sentenced to serve thirty years in prison.
Now, ten years into his sentence Weinhaus is seeking the proverbial smoking gun to exonerate him from this obvious wrongful conviction. The problem is the system, the law. With rules set forth precluding defendants filing post-conviction relief cases from entering in any evidence that was available at the time of the original trial, Weinhaus has to be careful with what he presents. The reality is, there was more than enough, at the time of Weinhaus’s trial, to establish a serious doubt as to the official narrative, and much of it came from the police themselves, the witnesses, and the camera watch Jeffrey Weinhaus secretly used to capture the events as they unfolded. But all of that can’t be used now in our procedurally strangled legal system. What can be is a 2014 Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Americans with Disabilities Act, and Veteran Status Discrimination Investigation into Sgt. Henry Folsom’s claim “that his commander, Captain Sarah L. Eberhard of the Division of Drug and Crime Control, had treated him in such a way that prevented him from returning to work after an absence due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” Folsom was the officer who shot Weinhaus.
“The Shooter” – Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Henry Folsom
Before Folsom had been hired by the MSHP on January 1, 1997, he was in the US Army, where he claims to have developed PTSD. Folsom also claims to have suffered from hand tremors and nerve damage. Eventually Folsom became part of the Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control (DDCC) and rose to the rank of Sergeant.
His wife, Amy Folsom, was a deputy prosecutor at the time of Weinhaus’s false conviction and is now running for prosecutor of Laclede County Missouri.
According to the aforementioned discrimination report, Sgt. Folsom relayed that, “some of the symptoms of his diagnosis are that he has angry outbursts.” Folsom maintained that he had been being treated for PTSD during the time Weinhaus was shot but that he had not been medicated at the time of the shooting. It was later discovered that Folsom’s post-shooting toxicology report showed that he had both Ambien and Prozac in his system. Folsom had lied.
If Folsom does indeed suffer from tremors, his shooting skills aren’t affected, as we know that Folsom hits the targets he shoots at.
On October 28, 2001, Folsom shot and killed Bradley Ross Davis. According to Folsom, there had been a physical altercation with Davis that resulted in Davis aiming a rifle at him. It was at that time, Folsom stated, that he shot and killed him. Folsom shot five times, striking Davis each time.
When September 11, 2012, came, Folsom discharged his weapon four times striking Jeffrey Weinhaus each time.
Nine shots. Nine hits. Pretty good shooting if it were target practice and not the wanton taking of lives.
Were these shootings truly justifiable reactions to the situations Folsom was in, or were they prompted by Folsom’s “angry outbursts” when a suspect did not immediately comply? The evidence the US~Observer has exhaustively reviewed in Weinhaus’s shooting and subsequent false conviction reveals there is a dark side to Sgt. Folsom, and his own department knew it.
In an October 14, 2012 “Informal Inquiry into Troop I Investigation Unit” report, Patrol employees reported that, “Sergeant Folsom departs from the truth, and subordinates of Sergeant Folsom are intimidated, and suffer low morale due to Sergeant Folsom’s quickly changing emotional patterns.” His fellow officers even know Folsom lies.
It’s further telling that this Informal Inquiry report came out so soon after Folsom was involved in Weinhaus’s case. You see, there is more to Folsom’s involvement than just the guy who pulled the trigger on Weinhaus, he was the lynchpin in the entire Weinhaus investigation that culminated in a search warrant and Weinhaus’s computers being seized. Folsom was the one who reached out to Weinhaus with the plan to return the computers in a back lot near a gas station. And it was Folsom who was planning on arresting Weinhaus at this meeting on charges that were ultimately dropped against Weinhaus. In fact, it is on record that Folsom was upset about it.
Jeffrey “Bulletinman” Weinhaus
Before he was shot by Sgt. Folsom, Weinhaus was an anti-corrupt-government journalist and publisher who sought to inform others about abuses by public servants. He used his newsletter and YouTube channel, both known as Bulletinman, to berate ‘public’ servants who were more interested in serving themselves.
Like most Americans, Weinhaus had a mild criminal history. He received a lot of moving violations. But Weinhaus was never a violent threat, and one thing is clear, none of his history showed him to be deceptive.
Further, Weinhaus was a family man, father of six, and a man of faith who strongly believed in the Constitution. Living in an open carry state, and as one would expect of a man like Weinhaus, he exercised this right often. Because he believed so strongly that the public deserved officials who were accountable and honest, Weinhaus ran for St. Francois County Sheriff in 2000, and in 2012 was running for Crawford County Coroner – some say as a way to expose the corruption occurring in law enforcement.
On August 17, 2012, Weinhaus uploaded a 9-1/2 minute video entitled “The Party’s Over” that he recorded the previous day. He delivered what he referred to as an “explicit but oh so true” message. Weinhaus had been looking into the August 2005 disappearance of Amanda Jones who was 8-1/2 months pregnant at the time. Weinhaus had also been looking into several murders that he maintains occurred at the hands of law enforcement. He called for nefarious actors of Crawford County to leave office peaceably and gave a deadline of Sept 17, 2012, which happened to be Constitution Day.
Circuit Court Judge Kelly Parker took notice and contacted Sgt. Folsom “concerning threats made by Jeffrey Weinhaus during an internet podcast.” According to a report by Sgt. Folsom, Judge Parker informed Sgt. Folsom that “several employees of the Judicial Circuit were worried about the validity of the threats made by Weinhaus as he is often known to frequent court proceedings as well as state, county and city government functions. Judge Parker specifically requested that the threats made in this podcast be investigated by MSHP DDCC.”
Jeffery Weinhaus poked the sleeping bear one too many times, and it was about to wake up.
Sgt. Folsom and his partner of six years, Corporal Scott Mertens, went to the Weinhaus residence on August 22, 2012, to interview Jeffrey Weinhaus to determine the validity of the threats made in “The Party’s Over” video. Sgt. Folsom was Cpl. Mertens supervisor and mentor at the time. Weinhaus agreed to speak with the officers, outside, concerning the podcast. Weinhaus explained “his purpose behind the podcast was he wished to remove Judicial Officers and other law enforcement personnel from their offices due to violating the ‘oath of office.’” Sgt. Folsom reported, “Weinhaus vehemently denied that he was a danger to himself or others; however, he did express the fact that situations like these were exactly what the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was created for. Weinhaus specifically stated that his plan was that if they had not vacated their offices by September 17, 2012 that he was going to file a writ or other legal paperwork with the courts to remove them from office. Weinhaus again described his planned actions as peaceful.”
Sgt. Folsom, known for “departing from the truth,” created a ruse to gain access to the Weinhaus’ residence. After conversing with Weinhaus for roughly 20 minutes, Sgt. Folsom told Weinhaus that he smelled marijuana coming from the house and his person; a lie that he would use to obtain a search warrant from Circuit Court Judge David Hoven in Franklin County. Sgt. Folsom cuffed Weinhaus to ensure he did not go into his house; Weinhaus’s wife, Judy, was forced to wait outside their residence with her husband and Cpl. Mertens while Sgt. Folsom obtained the search warrant.
Upon securing the search warrant, Sgt. Folsom and Cpl. Mertens seized Weinhaus’ two computers, two video cameras, a laptop, a small bag of marijuana, a jar of potpourri, and a single tablet of morphine, for which Weinhaus claims to have had a prescription. Seizing his “printing press” equipment was a huge issue for Weinhaus; the tools and equipment were necessary for him to provide for his family. Weinhaus emphatically denied using marijuana and believed it was a ruse Sgt. Folsom came up with in order to obtain a search warrant and gain access to the house. It should be noted that during a deposition given under oath, Cpl. Mertens testified that he did not smell marijuana.
The Exchange Set-up
Sgt. Folsom claims that on Sept 11, 2012, Captain Sarah Eberhard ordered him to go alone to St. Clair, Missouri to arrest Weinhaus. Sgt. Folsom stated in a Sept 12, 2012, interview that he asked Franklin County Prosecutor Robert Parks for a favor to assist in obtaining an arrest warrant so Weinhaus could be taken into custody. Allegedly, Prosecutor Parks told Sgt. Folsom that if he brought in a “PC [probable cause] affidavit in the morning that he would issue felony charges for tampering with a judicial officer, felony possession of morphine and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.”
Instead of following MSHP procedures on issuing an arrest warrant, Sgt. Folsom formulated yet another ruse; this time to lure Weinhaus into meeting him. Sgt. Folsom contacted FBI Agents Patrick Cunningham and Michael Maruschak. The two agents agreed to meet in St. Clair to assist in serving the arrest warrant on Weinhaus.
After meeting with Special Agent Cunningham and Special Agent Maruschak, Sgt. Folsom and Cpl. Mertens agreed to attempt to have Weinhaus meet with them at the Missouri Farmers Association (MFA) Oil station on Missouri Route K between St. Clair and Piney Park, which is in close proximity to Weinhaus’s residence. To entice Weinhaus to meet him, Sgt. Folsom called and told Weinhaus that he wanted to return his computers and other equipment that he had previously seized. Sgt. Folsom also arranged through Troop I radio to have two marked MSHP cars from the Franklin County zones in the immediate area of the MFA Oil station in case Weinhaus attempted to flee. So much for Folsom’s supposed orders to “go alone” to arrest Weinhaus. He either doesn’t follow orders or he lied about them.
During the call, Weinhaus agreed to meet Folsom in 15 minutes. Weinhaus immediately began reaching out to several pastors hoping someone would accompany him to the meeting. Weinhaus did not trust Sgt. Folsom and wanted to have someone he trusted with him. As fate would have it, no one was available on such short notice. Weinhaus was eager to get his computer equipment back so he could get back to work and provide for his family. Weinhaus had his smart watch on his left wrist and obviously decided to go to the meeting alone, after all, it was in a public place.
Weinhaus arrived at the station and parked his car near Cpl. Mertens unmarked patrol car to make the process of transferring the computers from one vehicle to the other an easy process.
When Weinhaus got out of his vehicle he maintains he was wearing his pistol on his left hip – a direct contradiction to the testimony of the two officers. His smart watch then caught the ensuing verbal exchange, the officers’ gun fire, and the events as they occurred as he lay face-down bleeding, including the fact that neither officer ever rendered first aid. It also captured both officers’ initial assessment that Weinhaus was dead, saying he is “down.” You can hear and see as Sgt. Folsom rolls Weinhaus to his right side, removes Weinhaus’s holstered gun and tosses it aside. Folsom, for good measure can be heard cuffing Weinhaus, a man he clearly thought was dead.
It is obvious that Sgt. Folsom made the decision to shoot Weinhaus (Mertens’s shots came as a result of Folsom’s shots). What isn’t obvious is the reason why Folsom fired… Was it a cold, calculated delivery of what he though was justice? Was it an “angry outburst” to what he interpreted as disrespect coming from Weinhaus? Was it that Folsom was a scared man with PTSD, who thought any action by an armed man was him “reaching for his gun”? Or was it a reaction to a man drawing a pistol on police officers who already had their weapons pointed at him? (Why would any man draw his pistol on police officers who already have their guns pointed at his face – Weinhaus certainly did not and his watch video verifies this.)
Sgt. Henry Folsom’s Narrative
Sgt. Folsom called his superior officer, Lieutenant George Knowles to report the officer-involved shooting. He informed Lt. Knowles that Weinhaus showed up with a gun in a holster, he was ordered to the floor, and Weinhaus had attempted to draw his firearm as he said, “you’re gonna have to shoot me” (there is a discrepancy as to what Weinhaus said).
Sgt. Folsom will have you believe that he was in fear for his life and he used lethal force. He will try to convince you he was justified. What is Weinhaus’ smart watch account of what happened?
Smart Watch exposes Sgt. Folsom’s lie
On March 26, 2013, at the request of MSHP Sergeant Perry Smith, the Missouri Department of Revenue Digital Forensic Investigative Unit began an examination and analysis of a watch with a digital camera in reference to an assault investigation. The examination was performed by Special Agent Justin Glick:
• There was a 23 minute and 45 second video that captured the officer-involved shooting:
• During the first 4 minutes and 34 seconds, Weinhaus is driving and talking about how Sgt. Folsom called him and wanted to return his computers. Weinhaus continues taking calls, singing and praying. He receives a call from Valerie Weinhaus, former wife and mother of his children, and asked if she had a way of recording the impending meeting with Sgt. Folsom. Weinhaus is heard saying “Well they’re here and I’m pulling in here” and he prays again.
• After recording for approximately 5 minutes and 4 seconds, Weinhaus exits the vehicle.
• After recording for approximately 5 minutes and 17 seconds, the watch turns to capture Sergeant Folsom shoot Weinhaus. The watch only catches a brief part of the shooting and several shots can be heard being fired. Five or six shots can be heard being fired and Weinhaus appears to fall to the ground.
• The watch continues to record and appears to be recording video of the ground.
• After recording for approximately 5 minutes and 26 seconds, Sergeant Folsom says, “He’s still got the gun Scott.” Corporal Mertens asks Sergeant Folsom if he’s got him and he replies he’s got him. Sergeant Folsom then says to what appears to be others in the area it is the police, FBI, and Highway Patrol.
• After recording for approximately 5 minutes and 40 seconds, Sergeant Folsom can be heard instructing someone to cover him, two times. Then, it appears Weinhaus’ gun and holster are removed from him. The video captures his belt, and it sounds like Velcro and buckles are being removed from Weinhaus’s belt area.
• After recording for approximately 5 minutes and 56 seconds, Sergeant Folsom can be heard telling someone to get an ambulance.
• After recording for approximately 6 minutes and 40 seconds, a siren can be heard approaching in the background.
• After recording for approximately 6 minutes and 56 seconds, Sergeant Folsom can be heard saying, “George”, as it appeared he was talking on his cell phone. He can also be heard telling someone about a gas station and a gun in a holster. He says that he (Weinhaus) went to pull a gun out of the holster and went to shoot him (Sergeant Folsom), at which time he shot him (Weinhaus). Corporal Mertens advised he shot also and Sergeant Folsom said five to seven shots were fired. Sergeant Folsom continues his conversation informing the caller that he had Troop C cars en route and an ambulance en route. He suggested that some criminal investigators should respond to the scene. He thanked “George’ and gave him his location.
• After recording for approximately 7 minutes and 50 seconds, Corporal Mertens advised Weinhaus was not dead and they rolled him over. Corporal Mertens can be heard telling Weinhaus to hold on and to stay with them. He keeps repeating for Weinhaus to stay with them.
• After recording for approximately 10 minutes and 48 seconds, MSHP Troop C Corporal L. Keathley said, “Is that a gun in there”, to which Sergeant Folsom replied, “Yea there is and leave it right there.”
What the video makes clear is that Weinhaus never ripped open the velcro to try to take his gun out of his holster before he is shot. Even the two FBI agents and another independent witness claim to have never seen a weapon in Jeffrey Weinhaus’s outstretched hands. However, Sgt. Folsom and Cpl. Mertens both testified in a court of law that Weinhaus did indeed pull his weapon with his right hand from his holster on his right hip. This is in stark contrast to what the video/audio evidence reveals.
It has been reported that after Weinhaus was shot, his charges were slated to be dropped entirely. In fact, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Discrimination Investigation conducted by Lt. Roger Whittler, Sgt. Folsom revealed that “when he was notified by Captain Eberhard that Weinhaus was being released from the hospital where he was (as) a result of the officer-involved shooting, and that Weinhaus was not being charged with any crimes,” Folsom became irate and suffered an “angry outburst.” What isn’t clear is why the charges were reinstated. Did “the powers that be” decide they’d get rid of their liability by prosecuting Weinhaus, and ensuring he was sent away? Did Folsom’s prosecutor-wife get involved? Did Judge Parker push the prosecutor’s office into reinstating the charges? We simply do not know at this time.
Retired Circuit Court Judge Keith Sutherland came out of retirement to preside over a three-day trial of this much-publicized case. According to Weinhaus, he was forced to wear a shock device which was used to prevent him from “outbursts”, which he maintains kept him from speaking and aiding in his own defense during trial.
Weinhaus’ trial attorney, Hugh A. Eastwood, never bothered to depose MSHP Sgt. Perry Smith prior to trial. Sgt. Perry Smith was responsible for the investigation of the officer-involved shooting of his client, Jeffrey Weinhaus. The importance of this fact is that Sgt. Smith knew or should have known by a comparison of Sgt. Folsom’s written account and the Digital Forensic Unit’s review of the Weinhaus smart watch that there were extreme discrepancies.
Prior to sending the case to the jury, Judge Sutherland granted Attorney Eastland’s Motion for Judgment of Acquittal which acquitted Weinhaus of the charges of tampering with a judicial officer and resisting arrest.
During deliberations, the jury asked Judge Sutherland to clarify what is the definition of assault in the first degree. His response was, “I can’t tell you anymore than what is in the instructions, okay, and I believe it’s essentially defined in there as part of the instruction.”
The jury, made up of 10 women and two men, took about three hours to reach a verdict. Weinhaus was found guilty of a class A felony of 1st degree assault or attempted assault of a law enforcement officer, an unclassified felony of armed criminal action against Sgt. Henry Folsom of the patrol. Weinhaus also was convicted of a class C felony for possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor marijuana possession.
The jury found Weinhaus not guilty of a second count of assaulting a law enforcement officer and another count of armed criminal action against Cpl. Scott Mertens.
Folsom let go by MSHP
On Nov 28, 2012, shortly after the shooting incident, Sgt. Folsom was declared “unfit for duty” by Dr. Paul Detrick, Ph.D. Sgt. Folsom saw numerous doctors in the intervening years – none of whom declared him fit for duty. Sgt. Folsom used his accrued paid leave until his termination in December of 2014.
On Jan 27, 2015, Folsom filed a Charge of Discrimination against the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Colonel Ron Replogle and Captain Sarah Eberhard with the Missouri Commission of Human Rights. Folsom stated that following the Weinhaus incident he was ordered to show his prescription for the Ambien and Prozac and reveal that he had PTSD. Folsom claimed that over the next month, his desk and car were searched, and he was falsely accused of improperly storing evidence. Folsom claimed that he received death threats from Weinhaus and his associates and the MSHP did not investigate any of these threats.
On April 11, 2016, Folsom filed a civil suit against the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Captain Sarah Eberhard. After several years of court proceedings, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled against Folsom, making the following docket entry: “Now on this day the judgment is affirmed. The Respondents shall recover against the Appellant the costs and charges herein expended, and shall have execution therefore. Opinion filed.”
On June 5, 2017, Dr. Akeson determined that Folsom was not capable of returning to work.
One thing is certain, Jeffrey Weinhaus’s case deserves further investigation. It merits having whistleblowers expose the corruption on the inside that played a part in this travesty of justice. It deserves to have undercover, investigative journalists cozying-up to those involved, digging for the morsels of truth that inevitably spill out. No one would be safe from investigation; no one’s past could be kept in the closet – especially that of Sgt. Folsom’s.
For those interested in exposing the truth, it is open season on all those who stood by while a man who was interested in accountability was almost murdered by a cop, and then convicted on made-up charges to keep him silent.
MSHP, you cleaned house once before and got rid of your garbage. Now you need to wash your hands: It is time to vacate Jeffrey Weinhaus’s conviction and let him come home.
Editor’s Note: It would be in the best interest of the Missouri State Highway Patrol to not rubber-stamp officer involved shootings, especially in extreme cases like Weinhaus, where it is evident that it was a bad shoot. Sgt. Perry Smith should have concluded what the evidence showed; that Folsom lied about the shooting, and Mertens, who was terrified enough to call his father right after the shooting, went along because that’s what boys in blue do…
It is morally imperative for those who know the rest of the story to contact the US~Observer and give us the facts. Call us at 541-474-7885 or send an email to email@example.com.
Anyone who has been falsely convicted in this jurisdiction or those facing false criminal charges should contact us immediately. The Weinhaus case is a prime example of why you do not place your freedom solely in the hands of an attorney.