Monday, May 6, 2013

Bernie De le Rionda - Win at all costs, ALL costs

Recall the blog I wrote about Benjamin Chavis III - the one that probably made you think I am nuts and I probably believe 911 was a conspiracy?  The latter is not true, but I do have further information on whether the State, Bernie de le Rionda in particular, might stoop to jailhouse informants to make their case:

CASE NO. 90,963
This appeal is from the denial of Marc Asay's motion for
postconviction relief by Circuit Court Judge L. P. Haddock,
Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County, Florida. This proceeding
challenges both Mr. Asay's conviction and his death sentence.
A. Mr. Asay was denied a full and fair evidentiary
hearing because the lower court erred in refusing
to consider the testimony of Thomas Gross
recanting his trial testimony and alleging that
the State Attorney assisted and coerced the
fabrication and presentation of false testimony . . 54
B. Mr. Asay was denied a full and fair evidentiary
hearing because the lower court erroneously
refused to consider the Gross recantation in
connection with the claim that trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to investigate or prepare
for the examination of Thomas Gross and that
substantial evidence existed that demonstrated his
testimony was false, misleading, and unreliable . . 59
C. The trial court improperly quashed the subpoena
duces tecum for state attorney files that would
have corroborated Thomas Gross' testimony thereby
denying Mr. Asay a full and fair evidentiary
If Mr. David knew that the state attorney, Bernie de la Rionda,
had told Mr. Gross what to say
he would have presented that to
the jury (PC-T. 511-12). Mr. David would have informed the jury
that Mr. de la Rionda told Mr. Gross it was important to use the
word "nigger" and to discuss Mr. Asay's tattoos
(PC-T. 513).
Most importantly, Mr. David would have disclosed to the jury that
Mr. de la Rionda made additional promises to Mr. Gross and
threatened to prosecute him for perjury if his testimony differed
from his deposition (PC-T. 513, 515). Mr. David testified if the
allegations against Mr. de la Rionda were true, he would consider
Mr. de la Rionda's conduct interference with his defense (PC-T.
Gross met with the state attorney, Bernie de la Rionda, and
told him what he had read in the articles and what information
the police had relayed to Mr. Asay (PC-T. 1958).
Mr. de la Rionda then showed Gross pictures of Mr. Asay's tattoos,
specifically the white pride and swastika (PC-T. 1058). Gross
and Mr. Asay previously discussed Mr. Asay's tattoos, however,
they never talked about the tattoos that Mr. de la Rionda pointed
out to Gross (PC-T. 1058).
Mr. Gross would have testified that 
Mr. de la Rionda helped him fabricate his testimony (PC-T. 1058). Mr. de la Rionda
smiled and winked at Mr. Gross while asking him "Mark Asay told
you that he shot some niggers, didn't he" and "[n]ow, you're sure
that Asay related to you that he is prejudiced, didn't he?" Mr.
de la Rionda emphasized the words "didn't he", Mr. Gross followed
his lead and replied yes (PC-T. 1058-59). Mr. Gross rehearsed
his testimony with the state attorney who reworded his answers so
they were more inflammatory and damaging to Mr. Asay (PC-T. 1059-
60). For example, Mr. de la Rionda told Gross to look directly
at the jury and say "Mark Asay said I shot them niggers" (PC-T.
Marc Asay never confessed to Thomas Gross (PC-T. 1060). Mr.
Asay never even uttered a racial comment in his presence (PC-T.
1060). However, Gross was facing charges and the state attorney
promised him that he could get his sentence reduced (PC-T. 1060).
Therefore, Gross took advantage of Mr. Asay and formed a
partnership with the state attorney; the goal being to convict
Mr. Asay of first degree murder (PC-T. 1060).
Mr. Gross gave a sworn statement in October of 1987 (PC-T.
1060). After giving the sworn statement Gross decided not to
testify against Mr. Asay, because he knew that his statement was
a lie, and refused to give a deposition (PC-T. 1060). 
Mr. de la Rionda then told Gross that if he did not testify willingly he would force him to get on the stand and if he changed his
testimony he would be prosecuted for perjury (PC-T. 1061). Gross
12The proffer of Thomas Gross' testimony described the crime
scene in detail (PC-T. 1063). Mr. Asay's counsel also proffered
a drawing, done by Mr. Gross, of the crime scene (PC-T. 1064;
Defense Exhibit J).
felt threatened by Mr. de la Rionda so he decided to testify
falsely against Mr. Asay (PC-T. 1061).
While coaching Gross' testimony, the state attorney showed
Mr. Gross a picture of one of the victims in Mr. Asay's case and
told Gross that one of the victims was shot in the chest with a
.25 caliber gun and that the bullets partially caved in the man's
chest (PC-T. 1061-62). Gross was also shown a crime scene photo
from another homicide case Mr. de la Rionda was prosecuting and
was told that the state might need a confession in that case (PCT.
1062).12 Mr. de la Rionda told Gross that he would try and
place Gross in a cell with the defendant from the other homicide
case and that Gross should come forward, like he did in Mr.
Asay's case, and announce the defendant confessed to the crime
(PC-T. 1062).
At the evidentiary hearing, collateral counsel specifically
recounted Thomas Gross' allegations and asked the lower court to
reconsider its summary denial of the claim (PC-T. 477-89).
Despite hearing allegations of the worst possible type of
governmental misconduct that could not have been raised on direct
appeal, the lower court refused to consider the claim (PC-T.
489). The issue was not procedurally barred; accordingly, the
matter should be remanded for an evidentiary hearing on this
See also this article on another jailhouse informant in a death penalty trial where de le Rionda was the Prosecutor:
Another Hung  Jury in a Jacksonville Trial
"But prosecutors called a former cell mate of King’s who said King told him he stabbed Burney and was going to strangle Butler while she slept, but he panicked and fled the house before harming his girlfriend."
Thought: Could witness #8 have need of a favor from the State - her name would have given us a clue - oh wait, they didn't want us to have that, her being a minor and all.