Fred Leatherman Trials (Incomplete list)

1982 - Virgil Smith, Mark Wentik, and Doug Ilgenfritz - Self defense plea fails.

1986 - Stolen Records - I assume this is the "white collar" crime he represented.

1988 - This is by far, my favorite.  He defended White Supremacists! Not only white supremacists, but the group that murdered Alan Berg!  Natalie, Michael, Al, y'all listening??

Frederick D. Leatherman, Jr., Seattle, Wash., for defendant/appellant Randolph George Duey
1985 Press photo of George Duey
All the appellants were members of a radical right-wing, white-supremacist group known as the "Order" or the "Bruders Schweigen" (Silent Brothers). 
This group included appellants Lane, Pierce, Duey and Kemp, among others. Each member had previously associated himself with various right-wing radical organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, the National Alliance (a neo-Nazi organization), and the "Christian Identity" movement (a "Christian" group with extreme racist and anti-Semitic views).
 Matthews, Pierce, Yarbrough, Duey, Barnhill, Kemp and Evans robbed Brinks' Ukiah, California armored car run. The robbery netted approximately $3,600,000 in cash. The participants in the robbery received as "salary" and "bonuses" $40,000 for their part in the crime. The rest of the money went into the coffers of the Order. Some of the money was "donated" to other right-wing groups.
 During this time period, members of the Order also murdered two people. In May, 1984, Richard West, a potential member of the group, was murdered because he was believed to be a government agent. On June 18, 1984, a member of the group murdered Alan Berg, a Denver radio talk show host.
During their trial, Leatherman brought Far Side comic books to trial for the defendants to pass around. When his clients brought white cardboard crosses into the courtroom Leatherman asked the Marshalls not to take them away.
Duey was convicted and sentenced to 100 years.  The group is still influencing the white supremacist movement from prison. Read more...

Another white supremacist case defended by Leatherman:

These three men were convicted of bomb plot.  Leatherman represented Steven Nelson.
Convictions upheld   In Gay-Bar Bomb PlotSAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court yesterday upheld the convictions of three members of a neo-Nazi group in Idaho for plotting to bomb a gay bar in Seattle.  
The three men were arrested in May 1990, before the bomb could be assembled. Robert J. Winslow, Stephen E. Nelson and Procter J. Baker were convicted of conspiring to build a pipe bomb and travel in interstate commerce to kill, maim or wound people.
1992- Jay Gearon, Joleen Gearon 
A Bellevue couple accused of using a church as a front for prostitution changed their plea to guilty today, admitting they intended to cheat the Internal Revenue Service.
The dramatic development in the federal tax-evasion trial of Jay Gearon, 47, and Joleen Gearon, 41, who operated the Ultimate Life Church, came as the government was about to rest its case.
In a statement read by defense attorney Fred Leatherman on behalf of both defendants, the Gearons said they formed the Ultimate Life Church out of "deep religious beliefs" that they still hold. But he added the couple knew the church would not qualify as a tax-exempt religious organization if they siphoned off income for their personal gain, as the government charged.
1996 - Jason Vevik was  Not the baby daddy
but in 2011 his client, Jason Vevik WAS a home invader
He has internet though, if you'd care to write to him:


Dwayne Woods
Convicted of 1st Degree murder and sentenced to death. Another one bites the dust. I'm beginning to think the Brady and Sixth amendment antics were done as an appeal tactic.  Surely he didn't suck this much as an attorney. His execution was stayed in 2010. (Appeal w/mention of Fred's ineffective counsel)

Brian Lord - Female 16 Murdered
Fred Leatherman pulls out of another trial...
(2002) George said the delay she requested is about half the nine months granted the defense when Illa replaced Lord's original lawyer, Fred Leatherman. Leatherman asked out of the case last December after a series of disagreements with Lord. 
 Guy Rasmussen 


Rasmussen raped, brutalized, and killed a 9 year old girl.  He had offended with children twice before.  Leatherman tried to get him off with an alibi testified to by other child molesters.  He was sanctioned in this trial (although he claims he's never been sanctioned), along with his co-counsel:

(1996) In the murder trial of Guy M. Rasmussen, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Karen Strombom has levied sanctions of $500 against both defense attorneys, Fred Leatherman and Linda Sullivan, as well as the county's Department of Assigned Counsel. <snip> And prosecutors have successfully sought sanctions of $500 against Sullivan for her alleged failure to provide them with an expert's notes before trial.
Now, Wagner and Corey-Boulet are seeking another $1,000 in fines against the defense team for similar reasons. Sullivan and Leatherman have secured the services of noted Tacoma lawyer Monte Hester to defend them. [Link]
The jury convicted Rasmussen of 1st degree murder and sentenced him (10 voted for death penalty, 2 against), life in prison without parole.

Leatherman wasn't present for either the final arguments in the trial's penalty phase or for the penalty verdict. He left the courtroom before Sullivan's final arguments Tuesday to launch what turned out to be a fruitless appeal to the Washington State Supreme Court to delay the trial because of new evidence.
He was in Florida at a legal seminar when the verdict was announced. [Link]
Is it SOP for the lead counsel to go to a legal seminar during closing arguments??


Michael Wayne Gallatin
Michael Wayne Gallatin was scheduled to be sentenced to prison today by Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Harris.
Gallatin, 38, was convicted June 21 on five counts of first-degree rape, two counts of burglary and one count of possession of methamphetamine.
According to state sentencing guidelines, the former ironworker will face between 36 and 47 years in prison.
Gallatin still faces trial in Oregon, where he was indicted for the November 1997 death of a Clackamas woman. DNA ---- a major factor in the prosecution of the rape cases here ---- allegedly links him to the …
(1991) Johnathan Gentry - 
Washington's longest-serving death-row inmate loses latest appeal
Gentry was convicted of killing Cassie Holden, a Pocatello, Idaho, girl who was visiting her mother in Bremerton in June 1988. An autopsy found she'd been beaten with a large rock.
Cassie was only 14 years old.  Gentry has served 18 years on death row, only one other person has served longer.  DNA from Cassie's blood (a relatively new science in 1991), was found on Gentry's shoelaces.

Fred Leatherman, Gentry's attorney, says the test used to convict his client was far from infallible. The test showed DNA extracted from blood on his shoelaces matched that of the victim and that of just one in every 555 people.

The PCR test has been used only once before in the state in a criminal trial, in Kitsap County against Jonathan Gentry, convicted of killing a 12-year-old girl during an attempted rape. Because he was sentenced to death, Gentry's case is being automatically appealed, and part of the appeal is a challenge to the test.
"I don't think anyone thinks the . . . test itself is invalid or unreliable," Leatherman said. "But when you take it and apply it to crime-scene evidence, you're not sure what you're replicating. First you have to extract the DNA - it's frequently contaminated by DNA from other sources. You don't know where the stuff has come from.
"In the absence of accepted research that has proven to scientists that what they say is in fact true, I don't buy what they're saying," Leatherman said. [Link]
Paramjit Singh Dhaliwal 
Cabbie shoots unarmed man in the middle of the afternoon, fled the scene and was not arrested for three months.  Frederick Leatherman, represented him:
"He believes he was justified in doing what he did, and I do, too," said Leatherman. "I think the facts will establish that he used reasonable force to defend his life." 
Leatherman said he doesn't know where his client has been and declined to comment on when and how Dhaliwal contacted him. But he acknowledged he has been working on the case since January.
 Leatherman resigned as Dhaliwal's attorney because he is now a potential witness who possibly will be called to rebut testimony he believes is false.
"It's just a weird case," Leatherman said. "It's a big huge mess right now, that's all I know."
WTF? No wonder Leatherman is hauling scrap for a living, he rarely stayed on a case.
(2001) A month after a jury rejected the self-defense claim, King County Superior Court Judge William Downing sentenced Dhaliwal yesterday to 25 years in prison for killing cabdriver Jasbir Bassi.
Thank goodness Leatherman took himself off the case, otherwise the guy would be on death row!

James Mayfield  Long And Slender Fingers at Easter
James Mayfield was in a hell of a jam when I was appointed to represent him by Magistrate Judge John Weinberg of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.James was a private in the Army stationed at Fort Lewis. He was a polite and beautiful young African American man from a deeply religious Southern Baptist family in Beaumont, TX. He had never been in trouble with the law before. I remember his dark eyes pooled with tears and his soft and long slender fingers when I shook his hand for the last time.I never found out how James, who was a regular church-goer at the time, hooked up with the two gangstersFor the last time, I shook hands with the beautiful young man with soft long slender fingers whose life incomprehensibly went off the rails one night during a murderous rampage with those hands that neither he nor anyone else will likely ever understand.My heart was empty and cold as he turned and walked away.My God! What have I become? I wondered.

This is how Leatherman describes a man, James Mayfield, who, along with two other men, took a machete and killed three children, the youngest 18 months old, in front of their father, and then killed him.  Story here

Darold Stenson

Finally, there was the Darold Stenson case - this appeal, a must read,  (also watch video here), says it all as far as Frederick Leatherman's absolute gall to speak to the qualifications of George Zimmerman's attorney.  He never won a case and threw more that one of his clients under the lethal injection table.  Mr. Leatherman went as far as to try to get Mr. Stenson's family to lie about his childhood - to say the mother drank and abused her children.  They refused to lie.  Leatherman said they were repressing their memories and that he could relate to that.  (When have I read this from Letterman before?). Leatherman's declaration of incompetence.  Stenson's innocence website.



There are undoubtedly more cases, but I am exhausted from digging.  More when time permits, contributions to this page are welcome! Back to blog...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After watching the video - thank you for linking that, by the way - something else caught my attention about Mr. Stenson's case. Mr. Leatherman boasts about his ability to have all DNA evidence excluded in that case and as the prosecution pointed out early in their argument, some of it was wrongfully excluded.

I also decided to start doing a little digging into Mr. Leatherman's boasting about his co-founding of the "Innocence Project Northwest" and what he says is truthful - he did co-found it. However, according to the article linked below, he did not participate in any of the 13 cases that they looked at. I don't have a whole lot of time to dig into it to see what exactly he did do other than say "yeah, that sounds good" and vow to stand up for clients that had "ineffective assistance" while being much worse than "ineffective" for his own clients. Things that make you go "hmm."

http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/dec_2000/innocence_project_northwest_helps_wrongfully_accused.htm