Tuesday, September 8, 2009

David Harold Eugene Earls - Indicted - Justice for victims now possible

A Pittsburg County grand jury indicted convicted child rapist David Earls, 65, early today on three counts accusing him of committing lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 16.

After a scumbag fool of a judge gave him 20 years for raping a FOUR YEAR OLD then suspended 19 years of his sentence. There is no place in the criminal justice system for someone that stupid.

The indictment, unsealed by Associate District Judge James Bland at the Pittsburg County Courthouse offices, accused Earls of fondling a 5-year-old child. Another count accused Earls of kissing the child’s “belly-button.”

The third count accused Earls of undressing a 6-year-old child and fondling the child.

Bland set bond at $400,000.

Earls had been brought from the Pittsburg County Jail to the Pittsburg County Courthouse offices for an initial court appearance on the charges.

Earls stood facing the judge, handcuffed and shackled, and showed no visible reaction when he heard the allegations against him.

Asked by the judge if he understood the charges, Earls said “I think so.”

Earls’ previous defense attorney, Tim Mills, was in the courtroom when the charges were read, but said he was not entering an appearance on behalf of Earls.

Following the initial appearance, Mills sat in the courtroom and spoke with Earls for several minutes.

As Earls was escorted from the courtroom, the News-Capital asked him if he was remorseful.

Earls appeared prepared to reply, but Mills told him “Don’t answer that.”

Earls then left the courtroom without saying anything.

As the grand jury neared the end of its work earlier today, two envelopes had been opened in court by Okmulgee County District 24 Judge John Maley. The Okmulgee County judge was appointed to preside over the grand jury. One of the envelopes contained an indictment and the other a supplement.

The documents remained under seal until Earls could be brought before the court.

After returning the indictment and supplement, members of the grand jury were released and thanked for their work.

The Pittsburg County Grand Jury had been meeting at the county courthouse since Monday. It was seated at the request of Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s office to look into “alleged lewd and lascivious acts against a child under 14 which were carried out by David Harold Eugene Earls which were not the subject of any prior adjudicated charge and plea agreement.”
Earls was convicted in the rape of a 4-year-old girl and is scheduled for release from the Pittsburg County Jail on Sept. 24. His sentence in that case, including another 19 years of probation and a $1,000 fine, was part of a plea bargain with the Pittsburg County District Attorney.
The grand jury’s judge, Judge Maley, on Tuesday had appointed an attorney to represent Earls before the shackled and chained prisoner was brought to the courthouse. Then Earls spent about 30 minutes testifying before the grand jury.

Earls told the News-Capital Tuesday before entering the judge’s chambers adjacent to the grand jury room that he planned to testify. Afterwards, he said he was unable to say what was discussed.

After Earls left the courtroom Tuesday, jurors met for about 32 minutes without their alternate jurors, an indication they were deliberating about indictments.

Before testifying, Maley appointed attorney Blake Lynch to represent Earls. A clerk explained that Lynch works for the same law firm that employs Earls’ former attorney, Tim Mills, and that Mills was out of town on Tuesday.

Lynch and Mills work for the Pat Layden Law Firm.

Lynch also did not represent Earls at today’s hearing.
Mills had been Earls’ defense attorney in the child rape case when the controversial one-year plea bargain sentence was struck with District Attorney Jim Bob Miller’s office. After the sentence, at least three women came forward with allegations they were raped or molested by Earls as children.
Edmondson said he called for the grand jury investigation after his office heard of a pattern of abuse by Earls.
“The evidence we gathered indicated Mr. Earls was a serial child molester and the risk of his being released to the public was too serious for us not to take the action we took,” Attorney General Drew Edmondson told the McAlester News-Capital at the time.
In addition to Earls, it is believed the grand jury has also heard from the mother of the young girl he raped when she was 4. The mother and grandmother spent about two hours at the courthouse Monday.

It is unclear how long any of the potential witnesses might have spent testifying before the grand jury, which is meeting in secret in a courtroom at the temporary courthouse. The courtroom and judge’s chambers share an interior door believed used by those who are appearing before the jury.

Grand juries are investigative bodies that meet in secret, and any investigative materials and records are sealed. They are being advised in their inquiry by the Attorney General’s office.

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