This is the 4th article in a series of articles about the case People v Terrence Truitt, pending in Oneonta, New York, Otsego County.
Part I of the series is here.
Part II - here.
Part III - here.
Here is an interesting timeline of some events in Otsego County and the neighboring Delaware and Broome Counties that can help add some perspectives to analysis of this undoubtedly criminal case - but with a likely wrong defendant.
In creating this timeline, I used documents about federal criminal cases against Christian Maire and Justin Hobbie that I personally obtained from Pacer.gov, information from the New York State Department of Education (regarding teaching certificates of Justin Hobbie), a press-release of the New York State Governor's office (about the visit of Lt Governor to Oneonta, NY, on December 19, 2018), from Senator Seward's Facebook page, and open-access materials of mass media sources.
|1-Feb-02||Provisional certificate in Physical Education issued by the New York State Department of Education to Justin Hobbie, 41, expired 1/31/2007|
|1-Jan-05||Justin Hobbie's wife finds child pornography on her husband's computer and tells him to delete it|
|1-Jan-05||Justin Hobbie starts working in Cooperstown School District - according to press reports: "Justin Hobbie, 41, taught gym and health classes at the school for 13 years and coached girls soccer and track. "|
|1-Feb-07||Permanent certificate in Physical Education issued by the New York State Department of Education to Justin Hobbie|
|1-Jan-08||The first date listed on seethroughny.net when Justin Hobbie worked for Cooperstown Central School, no prior data is available on the cite, possibly, Justin Hobbie started working in the Cooperstown Central School in 2002, when his provisional certificate was issued|
|1-Sep-12||Health Education Professional Certificate issued by the New York State Department of Education to Justin Hobbie|
|21-Mar-16||The Superintendent of Justin Hobbie's school, Clifton J. Hebert, is found dead in the woods, allegedly after an ATV "accident". No homicide investigation occurs.|
|23-Oct-17||A criminal complaint is filed against Christian Maire, of Binghamton, NY, of being a ringleader of a global child pornography production, possession and distribution ring|
|23-May-18||Christian Maire, 40, of Binghamton, NY, pleads guilty in a federal court in Massachussets, to charges of production, possession and distribution of child pornography in a global child pornography ring. "Nine men, who formed a porn posse dubbed the “Bored Group,” posed online as teenage boys for years to manipulate teen girls into performing sex acts while they watched for their perverse pleasure.|
|More than 100 girls across the country, ranging in age from 10 to 17, were victimized and sexually exploited by the group, which operated from 2012 to 2017, according to the Detroit Free Press. " The group's members divided themselves into three groups, each with a specific role in manipulating their teen victims: “talkers,” “hunters,” and “loopers,” according to court records cited by the paper.|
|The "talkers" were responsible for finding young victims; The “hunters" were in charge of luring those very same girls to unmonitored chat rooms where they were coerced into on-camera sexual acts (in one particularly grotesque case, a girl was manipulated into having sex with her dog); Then, there were the "loopers,” whose role was to intervene if a victim became suspicious or didn’t want to perform sexually, figuring out a way to force victims to do so, even if that meant blackmail.|
|Some girls were even coerced into cutting themselves.|
|12-Oct-18||Otsego County Judge John F. Lambert, 45-46 (admitted to practice in January, 1999), is given an award by a large local business, the Clark Foundation, for working as a coach in Cooperstown School District where his three children - Jack, a senior in that high school, a Anna, a sophomore in that high school, and Charlie, a middle schooler (7th grader) in that school, are studying|
|5-Dec-18||A federal judge accepts Christian Maire's plea agreement|
|5-Dec-18||At Christian Maire's sentencing, one of the victims of Christian Maire's ring explained to the court that she submitted to the ring's desires because of threats to her own and her family members' lives. "She said she thought the members of the group were her friends.|
|“I was blackmailed into doing things I didn't want to do,” she said. "They would threaten to come to my house and hurt my family and I. They even named everyone in my house, so I knew that these threats were serious. They would tell me to take off my clothes and touch myself in sexual ways. So, I would try to accommodate their desires because I was scared."|
|6-Dec-18||Justin Hobbie is arrested after federal law enforcement executes a search warrant at his home issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York and, according to the criminal complaint, allegedly find child pornography and evidence of its distribution, on Justin Hobbie's gaming home computer and on his personal cell phone, ages of children in the images are allegedly 3 to 12.|
|7-Dec-18||A criminal complaint for possession and distribution of child pornography is filed in federal court against Justin Hobbie. On the same day, he resigned as a coach of the Cooperstown School District.|
|11-Dec-18||Superintendent of the Cooperstown School District Bill Crankshaw disclosed that he talked to 7th graders to seniors in high school about their "level of concern" and that he created a "response team" to talk to students (potential witnesses). "Superintendent William Crankshaw sent audio messages to the school community on Sunday and Monday nights to inform parents of the meeting and ensure to them crisis response teams will have a plan and “the necessary staff is in place to discuss students’ feelings during this most unsettling time.”|
|12-Dec-18||A U.S. Assistant Attorney talks to 175 parents of Cooperstown School District and tells them that the arrest of Justin Hobbie is only the "top of the iceberg", and that the investigation will continue, mentions that the teacher will remain in federal custody until at least December 19, 2018, his detention hearing|
|13-Dec-18||New York State Senator James Seward visits Oneonta, NY, ostensibly to read to his granddaughter's Kindergarten class at a Christian school|
|19-Dec-18||New York State Lt Governor Hochul visits Oneonta, NY, ostensibly to visit some local businesses.|
|28-Dec-18||A house in the teacher's hometown burns to ashes|
|29-Dec-18||The former East Meredith firefighter John Heller dies, according to the coronoer's report, of smoke inhalation, after he succeeded in saving his 4 young nephews and his fiancee, also a firefighter, from a fire on the 3rd floor of the apartment building|
|31-Dec-18||Terrence Truitt was arrested and charged with arson that supposedly resulted in John Heller's death.|
|3-Jan-19||A GoFundMe campaign for the legal defence of Terrence Truitt was shut down after it collected $225 towards the $5,500 retainer of a private attorney. Timothy Truitt, one of the brothers of Terrence Truitt, who has filed the GoFundMe petition, mentioned in the petition, with details, that his brother, a man of color, was racially profiled and framed. Oneonta, NY and Otsego County, NY, indeed, have a long history of racial profiling in criminal cases.|
|4-Jan-19||Christian Maire is murdered in federal detention while waiting to be assigned a federal prison for his sentence|
|4-Jan-19||John Heller is buried, with New York State Senator Seward present. "At the service, state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, presented the Heller family with a New York State Liberty Medal and said a commendation would be made on the Senate floor so Heller would be “a permanent part of New York state’s record and history.”"|
|4-Jan-19||A felony hearing is held for Terrence Truitt, with an assigned attorney James Hartmann, who is married to Nancy Deming, law clerk of a local criminal court judge Gary Rosa. Hartmann, instead of moving to dismiss the case because the prosecution's main witness did not have the necessary documents to base the charges upon, agreed to adjournment of the felony hearing and to continuiation of his client's detention in the Otsego County Jail.|
|9-Jan-19||Autopsy of Christian Maire's body shows he was stabbed repeatedly, according to the investigation, by 7 inmates|
|10-Jan-19||Truitt is held for the action of the grand jury by Judge Lucy Bernier (a former board member of the Oneonta performing arts center previously sued for racial profiling of renters and denying available rental spaces to minority-owned businesses)|
What can we take from this timeline combining events from several events, occurrences and criminal cases centered in Otsego and the neighboring Broome County?
Here it is.
On December 5, 2018 a local (Binghamton, NY) man is sentenced in federal court as a ringleader of a global ring creating, possessing and distributing child pornography.
At the sentencing, one of the victims mentions that she was coerced into participating in creation of child pornography because members of the ring enumerated for her members of her family and threatened their, and her own, lives, if she does not comply with their demands.
At the same sentencing, the victim also predicted that Christian Maire will be beaten severely in prison.
The sentencing information has been sealed, Christian Maire was placed into a federal detention center awaiting assignment of prison as his permanent incarceration destination, but what is mentioned in the open records is that the court "accepted the plea" - obviously in return for giving the court and the prosecution valuable information about the ring.
The very next day, a health class and physical education teacher of 13 years (and a girls' coach) of a local school where, by mere coincidence, three children of one of the local criminal court judges go and where that criminal court judge is volunteering as the porn-creator's colleague, another coach, is arrested for creation, possession and distribution of child pornography.
The judge (John F. Lambert) and his three children become at least witnesses in a child pornography investigation. The children - as potential victims. The judge - as a parent of potential victims and at the very least as a witness of a crime, if he knew of his colleagues activities in the child pornography ring, or as a co-participant, if he knew and participated in the ring.
The teacher's wife, a kind woman, told the federal law enforcement when they found child pornography on her husband's computer and cell phone that it was not accidental or first time, or "a virus brought it", but that she has found child pornography on his computer 13 years prior - back in 2005, when he had still a provisional teaching certificate, and told him to erase that child pornography from his computer.
"Coincidentally", 2 years prior to the arrest, the Superintendent of that same school district was found in the woods dead, supposedly because of an "ATV accident", and the case was not investigated as a homicide.
The new superintendent of the Cooperstown School District, likely, knowing how his predecessor ended up dead in the woods, immediately after arrest of the teacher, engaged in tainting memories of children, potential witnesses and/or victims of a crime of creation, possession and distribution of child pornography, on a global scale, under the guise of creating a "crisis team" that absolutely needs to talk to child witnesses to "help them cope" with "what occurred".
Then, parents, riled up by the arrest, were gathered by a federal prosecutor and told that the investigation into the child porn ring continues and that the arrest is just "the top of the iceberg". The prosecutor also hinted that the teacher may be released after his detention hearing.
The very next day, the teacher, through his attorney, notified the court that he is just fine in federal detention and does not want to be released from there (obviously considering federal detention safer).
On the same day as Justin Hobbie waived his detention hearing, Senator James Seward shows up in Oneonta, NY, publicizing his visit as an opportunity to read to his granddaughter's Kindergarten class in an Oneonta Christian School.
On the supposed day of federal detention hearing (now waived) Lt Governor of the State of New York happened to visit the area and talk to local officials.
Within 8 days of her visit, Christian Maire, the likely source of information about the teacher, files a notice of appeal, appealing his conviction and sentence.
The next day, a house in the town where the arrested teacher lived burnt to ashes.
The next day after that, the apartment building of the local former firefighter (about the same age as the local teacher) burns, and the former local firefighter dies - supposedly of "smoke inhalation", supposedly while saving his four young nephews and his fiancée who herself happens to be an able bodied and fully trained firefighter who could participate in saving the boys rather than waiting to be saved by her former colleague and present fiancé.
"Smoke inhalation" is a very convenient cause of death - it does not show whether a person has lost consciousness prior to inhaling the smoke, and whether anybody, using the chaos of the fire in an apartment building, caused John Heller to lose consciousness, either by knocking him out, or by simply holding his neck artery for a couple of minutes.
Within several more days, on January 4, 2019, a week after Christian Maire filed a notice of appeal, Christian Maire was exposed in federal detention to a mob of 7 inmates, ages 34 to 47, according to the press, where at least 1 had a knife (prohibited by prison rules). As a result of severe beating and stabbing, Christian Maire died - in a completely preventable death, since prison authorities knew what kind of risk an inmate with such a conviction and sentence is exposed to, and especially with a threat that he will be beaten up that came from his victim at sentencing.
Now, what makes me smell a rat here? Or several rats?
What makes me think that the Superintendent's "crisis team" is a concerted effort of damage control in a school where a judge worked, for years, as a coach, elbow by elbow with an accused child pornographer, and where the judge's three children go?
What makes me think that the visit of the State Lt. Governor to Oneonta, NY was not to tour local businesses - but to talk to local officials about this particular case and how to deflect attention of the public from the child pornography scandal?
But, what would deflect public interest from such a child pornography scandal? A murder, of course.
And, a murder of a likeable local person, a hero.
By a dislikeable person, preferably, a person of color - in this particular area, that is important, given its history of racial profiling in criminal cases.
What makes me think that the fire in the town where the arrested teacher lives was a warning to him to keep his lips tight?
What makes me think that John Heller may have been a witness in that same investigation - and was sacrificed, with an honorable and lavish funeral and a medal for heroism?
What makes me think that the teacher was shown:
- by the fire in his hometown that destroyed a house completely;
- by the death of a local person under interesting circumstances;
- by the murder of the likely source of information that has led to the teacher's arrest - a murder in federal detention, no less, where the teacher thought it is safer for him to remain, and not to be released
And what makes me think that there was a concerted effort of those behind the cover up to make it impossible for the indigent Terrence Truitt to hire a qualified private criminal defense attorney and instead to be stuck with Judge Lucy Bernier's interesting "choice" of an assigned attorney - a husband of a law clerk of one of the few criminal judges in the area (who all talk to one another and, if necessary, arrange the necessary cover-ups)?
Now, who, under these circumstances, will preside over the criminal case of the fall guy, Terrence Truitt?
Judge John Lambert, well-known for coverups in favor of local police committing misconduct, and a witness (at the very least) in the likely connected child pornography case?
Judge Brian Burns whose nonprofit A.O. Fox Hospital receives, every year, tens of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit of the prosecutor assigned to the Truitt case, Michael Getman (himself a son of a judge who was caught by NY Attorney General in defrauding nonprofits by hundreds of thousands of dollars, but who escaped unscathed because of his blue blood as a son of a judge) (the source is tax returns of both nonprofits on guidestar.org)?
Judge Gary Rosa whose law clerks' husband represents the defendant in the case?
Or, will they bring in a clean judge from outside the area - if such a thing is possible in the State of New York, a clean judge?
Time flies, but what remains unchangeable in upstate New York, Otsego and Delaware Counties - is corruption of local public officials.
Stable as a rock.