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Phone call between Dabney Olguin and Tom Chantry 5/24/2019

Tom Chantry: Hello.

Dabney Olguin: Hey Tom.

Tom: Hey Dabney.

Dabney: Hey brother, we are praying for you, man. And um, I just want you to know that we love you, man. I want you to know that up front before we continue the conversation, just to know that, we’re praying for you. We love you, and our hearts are broken to hear of the news.

Tom: Yeah, yeah, it’s tough news, but, uh, yeah, it’s um, I appreciate all that. I am, uh, you know. It’s been a little more than 2 weeks. I’ve calmed down, and, um, I’m just kind of getting back to work, trying to get into a productive Godly routine here, so, that’s, that’s all I can do. So…

Dabney: Do you, um, do you have any sense of whether there will be an opportunity, uh, to make an appeal sooner than later?

Tom: No, not sooner. It, it never goes quickly. It’ll be a couple years in all likelihood, um, while that plays out. The, um, the, the, the what happens is there are, there are minimum dates, you know, you’ve got such-and-such date to file, and then supposedly the appellate court has such-and-such a time to, to respond. But, the system is backlogged, so the very first thing that will happen is it will be put off. Um, you know, because they’ve got to go through things in the order that they get them, so it, it will take a while. Um, the reality on appeals is that every single appeal is an extreme longshot. Um, the appellate court and the supreme court of the state, for obvious reasons, they don’t like overturning juries. They don’t like ordering new trials. They don’t like the expenditure, etc., etc. So, they are slow to do so. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but it’s, it’s, all, all, you know, the best appeals in the world are more likely to fail than succeed, if that makes sense…

Dabney: Mmm.

Tom: …um, now, having said that, um, you know we now have 2 trials worth of, uh, misconduct by the prosecutor, very questionable decisions by the judge, and flat out contradictory testimony from multiple witnesses. Um, the way that you do an appeal is you, you know, you, the, your, your attorney for the case makes one last motion before sentencing, and its a motion for the judge to overturn the verdict and set a new trial based on whatever you’ve got, right, um.

Dabney: Mmm.

Tom: That is a formal appeal, that, not, not appeal, it’s, it’s like a formal motion. It’s never grant…

Dabney: Okay.

Tom: If, if the judge thought any of that were true, he could have stopped it before this point. So, that’s not going to be granted. It never is. But you make that, and then when the judge refuses it, you’re able to kind of bundle all of your different grounds for appeal into one and say, “Look, he should have granted this motion to overturn trial because 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,” you know, start going through things.

Dabney: Got it.

Tom: Um, so, my attorney has done that, and, his comment about it when he was done and looked at it, and remember, this goes back to before he was even on the case…

Dabney: Yeah.

Tom: He said, in, in the context of, no appeal is likely to succeed, he said this one is very likely to get the attention of the appellate court. I-, i-, in, other words, they’re going to look at it and say, “Really? We need, we need to dig a little bit here,” Now, that…

Dabney: (inaudible)

Tom: …you, you know, so …I, I take all of that to say, this is a higher low percentage appeal than most low percentage appeals, that kind of way of…

Dabney: Yeah, yeah.

Tom: …chatting about it makes sense. I think that’s probably, I think that’s probably where it is. But, um, you know, my current status Dabney, I’m, I’m, I’m here until July 19. Normally sentencing happens at about a month but, because of my visiting judge from out of county, everything got pushed back to 2 months. Um, so, I’m, I’m here at the very least until the 19 th of July. Remember theres a second case. We have no idea what the status of that is because before this trial, the judge just kind of threw up her hands and said, “Okay, we’re setting a telephonic conference for late June.” And, so, until we get to late June, we have no idea what the thinking is on that. Um, given the fact that it’s almost certain that I will get the equivalent of a life sentence at this point, we really don’t know what the interest is going to be from the Attorney General’s office that has to prosecute that other case. We, we just don’t know what they’re going to do, so…

Dabney: I mean is that what you’re, is that what you’re expecting at this…

Tom: …no…

Dabney: … point in terms of the…

Tom: …oh, in terms of the sentence? Yes.

Dabney: Really.

Tom: Yes…

Dabney: They won’t do a consecutive?

Tom: No, we’ve been trying to tell people this for years, this is a life sentence, and I…it’s, we, we keep saying that, no, it, it’s going to be a life sentence. So, I mean whether it’s, you know, 48 years or 60 years or, you know, we, we just, we can’t say…

Dabney: But

Tom: …it’s going to be a life sentence, uh…

Dabney: So, so, your, your lawyer said…th will not do that.

Tom: It’s not an impossibility, but here’s the situation Dabney. According to the la-, according to the sentencing structure today, if, if these allegations had been current, it would have been impossible. Um, you know, we’re going to try to make the argument that it should be sentenced according to the guidelines in the 1990’s. The problem is, all that that will do is make it the judge’s discretion, and the judge is my age and has only been a judge very briefly. His entire legal career has taken place under the current sentencing guidelines. So, you know, even if he looks at it not, and goes, okay, yeah, the sentencing guide lines are back then, it, it’s still th-, th-, the leaning even back then would have been towards, um, consecutive sentencing, and, and, knowing the judge, that’s whats going to happen. So, you know, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll make that argument, but it’s, its…because that argument is out there, it’s not a zero chance, but, you know, put it less than 5 percent that he does anything else. Um, so, giv-, given that fact, we really just don’t know, so, I’m here until the 19 th . Normally…

Dabney: Okay.

Tom: …normally…

you serve them all at once that, that’s an impossibility, they

uh…um

when

Dabney: July 19 th you said?

Tom: July 19 th is sentencing. Normally, within a couple of weeks of that I would leave here for a processing center that the Department of Corrections has, be there for about a week, and then, and then be put on a prison yard. However, I can’t leave here while the other case is unresolved. So…

Dabney: Yeah.

Tom: …we really don’t know, I mean, that, you know, that, i-, i-, it’s all the typical range of things that was out there before. They could start off from plea bargains, or they could go to trial, or the problems in the case could become so insurmountable that they say, aaa, we’re dropping this because you’re already convicted. Um, we don’t have any leaning one way or another what they’re thinking. Um, and, and, certainly if it’s the last one they’re not going to think that way until after I’ve been sentenced. But, um, you know, I’m, I’m going to be here in this jail probably for a while, probably at least until some time in the fall. Um, possibly for another year. Um, and then, you know, eventually once all of that is resolved, um, I would be off to prison. Um, sometime early fall we’ll be filing our appeal, and then you’re looking at 6 months for the appellate court to say whether they’re going to take it up or not, except what they’ll do is they’ll extend that, you, you know. So, it’s anyhow, yeah, that’s where we are. That’s where we are. Um

Dabney: Was your attorney…shocked by the outcome?

Tom: No, he wasn’t. Um, the outcome was incorrect, but he, he made the comment before trial, “Juries are unpredictable. One jury will go one way, and another jury will go another.” He made the comment during trial, um, once we had actually seen the state of the evidence in this trial, he made the comment that “if the jury took the burden of proof seriously, I would be acquitted.” Um, and that’s why the prosecutor was doing everything possible to distract them from the evidence and to try to, uh, make me look like a bad person. He said if they take a shortcut to the burden of proof, and just say, well, she’s convinced us that we don’t like him, and therefore we’re going to convict him, that, that, that’s how I wou-, that’s how I would get convicted. Um, anyone whose worked in the legal system understands that that’s a possibility. That’s why, that’s why attorneys lean so hard towards saying, you ought to seriously consider plea bargains. Yeah, and, I, you, may remember I tried to explain that 2 ½ years ago, um…

Dabney: Yeah.

Tom: You know, it’s just, juries are unpredictable. That’s, this is exactly why. Y-, you do your best to select a group of people, and then you sit there and go (unintelligible)…are they going to listen to the law and say here’s the burden of proof and focus on what they’re supposed to focus on, or are they going to sit there and wallow in emotion for 2 weeks and make a verdict. You can’t tell, you can’t tell, and you can’t tell by looking at them either. It’s just, you know. So, shocked? No. Um, does he know that it was an incorrect verdict? Yes, of course he does.

Dabney: Mmm.

Tom: Butand you, I think, were getting our regular updates, so you have some sense of what I’m talking about there.

Dabney: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tom: They, they, they only had 1 witness. Wh-, what it all comes down to, they only had 1 witness. We caught him 11 times, um, making misstatements either to police or under oath. I mean, that, that’s pretty impressive for 1 day’s testimony. 11 misstatements under oath or to police. Not like, you know, oh, you know, so-and-so says that you said thus-and-such, but, you know, things that are actually recorded, written down, uh, uh, uh, I mean, again, it’s…

Dabney: Yeah.

Tom: Y-, y-, you know what’s go-, you know what’s going to happen Dabney? Here’s whats going to happen. I’m going to be sentenced on the 19 th , the sentence is going to hit the papers, and a lot of people in that jury are going to have their lives ruined.

Dabney: Hm.

Tom: I’m not kidding. They’re going to have nightmares for the rest of their life, because, th-, th-, th-, the, the approach out here, you know, Arizona has done everything it can to maximize convictions, and so it is illegal to even mention to jurors what the potential sentence is for something. Then they have no idea what they’ve done. They’ll find out on July 18 th [sic] what they’ve done. And, if, if it follows normal pattern, my attorney may wind up getting phone calls from some of them saying, “What can we do?” And the answer is nothing, you screwed up, deal with it. You know, (laugh)…

Dabney: Wow.

Tom: Yeah, yeah, that’s, again, that’s, that’s the legal system in this banana republic out here. It’s uh, you know, um…

Dabney: Yeah, they said it’s so incredibly disturbing that y-, you could have your entire life taken away based upon one person’s testimony, and that is it.

Tom: M-hm, m-hm.

Dabney: I mean, y-, in the situation when its one person’s word against another, you come to the conclusion that you don’t know, and therefore you can’t proceed on, on anything, but, t-, but…

Tom: …y-, you can. You’re speaking logically. But, you’ve got to keep in mind that these people are being hammered by a prosecutor who is intentionally driving her own witnesses into tears. I mean she was mean at times trying to make witnesses cry on the stand because they didn’t have any evidence to give. And, she’s…

Dabney: Wow.

Tom: …she, that, that’s how I was convicted. That’s it, that’s how I was…

[You have one minute left.]

Tom: So, yeah

Dabney: Well, um…

Tom: …it sounds like…

Dabney: …hey brother, I’ll keep, I’ll, yeah, I’ll keep feeding, um, I’ll keep feeding the, uh, the meter, um, cause, yeah, we’re at 14 minutes right now and, so, it makes sense, it’s 15 minutes, but, I’ll feed the meter, and you just continue to give me a call when you have opportunity and we’ll continue to talk.

Tom: I will. You know we would up talking about this a lot. I want you to know that I’m doing reasonably well. Talk, talk with Karen about it. I am doing reasonably well, and I want to talk to you about your ordination next time I call, okay.

Dabney: Yeah, we’ll talk about those things later. I love you brother; we’ll talk to you again soon.

Tom: Thank you Dabney.

Both at same time: Alright, see you, bye, bye.