Pensacola-Gulf Breeze, Florida resident Mark Turner has been convicted of contrived charges, and he believes, knowingly false charges. He had his right to a fair trial tampered with and completely crushed, his first amendment rights exhaustively ignored and the State of Florida is set to send this man to prison.
As a spectator out here just looking at trial documents, it appears to me, a novice but a novice who reads well, that Mark Turner was convicted of nothing – but nevertheless convicted and facing prison time.
From my spectator perch, this is about whether or not Mark Turner received a fair trial. He has documents that cast doubt on the fairness of his trial, but he can find no way to get his information evaluated.
His appeal officially begins on October 5, 2009. All the players on the prosecution side seem to be community “friends.” No one will fairly consider his evidence. No one will hear his claim that his evidence was tampered with.
After the trial, Turner filed a complaint with the Florida State Bar against Special Prosecutor Russ Edgar, Jr. In the complaint, Turner charges, among other things that Russell Edgar “permitted the civil attorneys [Turner’s own civil suit against Pete Moore]…to participate in the criminal depositions, despite the fact that those attorneys were potential prosecution witnesses in the criminal case….” Michael Guttmann was Pete Moore’s attorney. The State charged Turner with owing money to Pete Moore (although Moore never claimed to be a victim of anything done by Turner). From the Bar Complaint supplied to me from the Florida Bar:
…Guttman was called as a key State witness in the criminal trial. Mike Guttmann is not a State employee and Prosecutor Edgar allowed Guttmann to lead and participate in the deposition of Pete Moore which ultimately led to the criminal prosecution of Mark Turner. Guttmann was thus able to tailor his testimony at the criminal trial with the impermissible advantage of having knowledge of deposition testimony of other witnesses and alleged victims.
To emphasize: Turner believes the first charges against him were filed to get him to dismiss his civil suit against Pete Moore. The first charges included nothing about Pete Moore. Pete Moore was not mentioned in the case against Turner. Turner believes when he refused to drop his lawsuit, new charges were filed which included greviances against Pete Moore. From the Bar Complaint:
Although PM [Pete Moore] had received $205,000.00 for money allegedly owed by Mark Turner to PM, and although the matter was being litigated appropriately in civil court, Edgar included PM and PMC [Pete Moore Chevrolet] as alleged victims in the criminal case.
The July 6, 2006, arrest of Mark Turner came over a year after the $205,000.00 check was requested and received by PM’s attorney, Guttmann. Edgar was aware of the $205,000.00 because a copy of the check was contained in the State’s evidence (shared with the defense attorneys), and the check was discussed during Edgar’s deposition of Nancy Turner. Edgar ignored that check in order to over-charge Mark Turner, and Edgar intentionally excluded that check from the financial figures that he presented in evidence to the jury. This check was ignored as exculpatory evidence in determining balances owed by the State’s Forensic Accountant.
The complaint charges that Edgar prevented Turner’s civil attorney, James Chase, from testifying as a defense witness – even though Chase’s testimony was critical to money laundering charges against Turner. Edgar, with full knowledge, the complaint says, knew that the money was placed in a trust account. James Chase had the proof of the trust account. The complaint charges that when Chase was called by the Defense, “Edgar threatened that if James Chase were called as a defense witness, Edgar would inform James Chase of this 5th Amendment rights in front of the jury…,” which the complaint alleges was a pointed suggestion that Edgar would arrest Chase for his testimony.
The complaint ends with a note to investigators, informing them that Turner has over 24 boxes of legal documentation containing documents to support his complaint.
Prosecutor Edgar was required to respond to Turner’s complaint. In a letter to the Bar dated June 17, 2009. Edgar side-stepped Turner’s claims that he filed charges against Turner to bring about the dismissal of the Pete Moore civil case:
I was assigned the case by the State Attorney in May 2007 to replace the attorney assigned the case who left the office for private practice. My review of the case showed that multiple victims and criminal acts were not charged, and, as a result, I amended the charges.
I have to ask, as a novice, if charges were “not charged,” and if Pete Moore made no charges against Turner, then how did Edgar get information about the mortgage given to Turner by Moore? Just asking. Remember, I’m no expert.
Do prosecutors “look around” for things to charge, if no charges are made?
Edgar answers each of Turner’s complaints. He says that evidence “showed clearly that Mark Turner…never owned the business…,” which is not the conclusion of the trial.
See Trial Vol. 8, pages 1454 – 1462 at Mark Turner’s website.
Randall Sansom, the CPA for David Turner made it clear that David Turner never filed tax returns to reflect the ownership of the business discussed in this trial.
Mark owned the business in question in this trial. Mark’s brother was not proven to own the company – ever. It was proven that his brother, David, had not paid taxes on the company, but Mark had, and it was proven that Mark ran the business, did the buying, did the selling or supervised the selling.
Yet the State of Florida charged that Mark stole his brother’s business and the Judge said Mark could not be convicted of that charge.
In Prosecutor Edgar’s response to the Florida Bar, in Footnote No. 6, Edgar asserts that Mark Turner’s brother, David, was the owner of Auto Gallery of Pensacola. The above testimony and Judge Jones’ own comment that Mark could not be convicted of that charge, should have been considered, in my opinion.
From Turner’s website under the category Criminal Case in his left-hand sidebar:
Pete’s attorneys compiled 4 books of endless billable hours of research and delivered them to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department.
The allegations made against my wife and me did not claim Pete Moore as a victim. The allegations made against my wife and me were criminal. How does a civil law firm practice criminal law without a criminal attorney on staff?
Who paid for all those billable hours? Investigator Busbee met with me and my civil attorney Jim Chase during a taped interview…See Sheriff Dept.Video in “Evidence that should have been shown”. Jim and I both thought this meeting was to go over my tax returns to prove that I, not my brother, owned the business. This was already proven to the attorneys for the Bank of Pensacola. That is why they released the checks to me not my brother. Criminal charges were filed against me to block my civil case and to this day continue to deprive me of my civil rights.
Since Mark’s brother, David Turner, started all of the criminal charges…and in the end, all were dismissed, Mark says this on his website:
When I asked a prosecuting attorney if I could file charges against my brother David for stealing a $40,000 deposit, my checkbook, title file and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cars, motor homes, etc…he informed me the State Attorney’s Office does not do “Tit for Tat”.
I believed this man because even Sheriff’s officer Busbee, on video, said“My job is to build a case against YOU. The finger is pointing at YOU”.
I tried to simplify things for him and explained my tax returns reflected David had no ownership in my company. David’s tax returns did not reflect he had any ownership in my company. Busbee said “I know, I told your brother he had serious tax problems if this was his claim”.
Edgar’s Bar response also throws water on the $205,000 that Turner paid to Moore to close out Turner’s mortgage commitment. Edgar indicates that the lack of recognition of the $205,000 being paid was not admitted into trial because it had nothing to do with the amount Turner paid to Moore.
When I have attempted to follow the money in the testimony from Pete Moore’s comptroller, I cannot see how it is possible that the $205,000 payment is not critical to the case.
In closing, in Mr. Edgar’s response to Mark’s bar complaint, Edgar says that he did not get involved in the Turner case until another state attorney, Brian McCleod resigned. Edgar says he did not “institute” the case against Turner and was only “assigned” the case about one year after the case was filed. The case was filed in 2006.
The following transcript is of the video below. In the video, Turner’s goal is to show that Russell Edgar was involved in his case from the beginning. You can watch or read, or do both. The video is somewhat difficult to hear, but I think I have transcribe it accurately:
Begin Transcript – all text in brackets [ ] is mine, Maggie:
[Mark Turner speaking] Good morning. Mark Turner here.
I filed a bar complaint against Special Prosecutor Russell Edgar. He claims his involvement in the framing of me began in 2007. I’m going to read to you after I filed this bar complaint, his response back to the Bar, No. 1 the second page, No. 1 here…let me see if I can beam you in here, I’ll take it slowly and then I will read it to you (realize my means here are kind of primitive. But they’ve reduced me to this.)
I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting them – my freedom. What it says on the second page is “the court records will show that assistant state attorney, Brian McCleod, not I, instituted the criminal case against Mark Turner.”
[Turner reading from Bar Complaint response from Edgar] Now I’ve not filed any bar complaints against Brian McCleod because he quit the State Attorney’s office.
Now, as I start this tape right here, you can see that Russ Edgar is a liar. It is my belief that Brian McCleod wanted nothing to do with the framing of me and that is why he quit the State Attorney’s office.
[Unknown speaker] (test 1-2-3-4): This will be a sworn court statement taken today, November 2 and 3, 2006 in the office of the State Attorney, by Russell Edgar and Brian McCleod present, Mr. Rick Hamilton [Pete Moore’s General Manager] and counsel with him.
This statement is being taken with Greg Smith’s participation and his counsel, and Mr. Smith if there is any time you need to consult with your client or stop the questioning, feel free to (inaudible).
Mr. Turner then re-runs the tape to document the date, which is November 2006.
[Turner speaking] Now I filed the bar complaints about Russ Edgar, Special Prosecutor for the State of Florida, close friends with Mike Guttmann [Moore’s civil attorney] and Pete Moore. These are the gentlemen who I believe conspired against me to frame me and put me away for 90 years.
In this sworn bar complaint here, in the sworn statements that Russ was taking there of Anthony Ramsey and Rick Hamilton, you’ll be able to hear him say that this was way before the dates that he claims to the Bar.
[Turner speaking] Now Anthony Ramsey is underneath my Motives. You’ll see where he was paid $5000. I have a thumb print on the check where he got paid the $5000 and in his depositions, his civil depositions, he admits that he was also given a SUV for the conspiracy to rob me.
[Turner speaking] Now Rick Hamilton, Anthony Ramsey, Pete Moore, David Turner, Russ Edgar, Greg Smith, Mike Guttmann, Kevin Hausfeld and Larry Matthews are the individuals who conspired to rob me.
[Turner speaking] The tape you’ve just seen is showing where Russ Edgar lies about his involvement. Thank you for your time. Transcript end.
In connection with the transcript, and the video below, here is some explanation.
In Turner’s Trial Volume 3, page 579, Anthony Ramsey states he was currently working with Pete Moore Chevrolet and was in Internet sales. He says he formerly worked for Auto Gallery of Pensacola [Mark Turner’s company] and also worked in Internet sales and sales on E-Bay.
Ramsey tells the Special Russ Edgar that he was hired by Mark’s brother, David Turner, and that he was also David Turner’s son-in-law. Ramsey said he reported to Mark Turner. See the evidence here.
If the above documents are too small to read, Anthony Ramsey is asked “what car did you get?” He answers “A 1992 Isuzu Trooper.” He is also asked what David Turner and his girlfriend got. Ramsey answers a Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable and says he thinks it is possible Turner also gave the girlfriend a car.
Then Ramsey is asked “Did you receive any other compensation, other than maybe a car, when you moved or left Auto Gallery of Pensacola? [Mark Turner’s business]. The answer: “Yes, sir. David paid me $5,000.”
None of Turner’s formal complaints to the Florida Bar about the various attorney’s involved are receiving any real scrutiny. Filing a bar complaint in Florida seems to accomplish nothing more than the defendant giving information and the prosecution denying any of it is true.
This is such a confusing case. It seems impossible that there is not someone interested enough in justice and the “American way” – protecting civil rights, to step up and help Mark Turner.
Background and related: