And Nancy Grace and the wingnut brigade get their scalp- a Duluth Grand Jury just indicted a mentally ill woman for running away from her marriage and scaring the delicate sensibilities of the mainstream media.
Jennifer Wilbanks now faces up to 6 years in prison because for 3-4 hours, folks in Georgia were under the impression she was kidnapped but escsaped.
That is what she is charged with, because she did nothing wrong the four days she was simply missing.
I hope you thugs are proud of yourself. Law and order, idiot style.
By the way, if I may, let me speak for the law and order thugs everywhere. I am thrilled that the Duluth DA has taken his duties seriously, and after much soul searching, has decided that in his infinite wisdom, prosecutorial discretion dictates that this great evil not be left alone. We will all be safer with Jennifer Wilbanks off the street, and I hope he does not delay the swearing out of the warrant. This woman must be stopped before she has another mental breakdown and disappears, sending Wolf Blitzer and Nancy Grace and the rest of idiot nation into the vapors again.
SHE MUST BE TAUGHT A LESSON!
*** Update ***
If you think this is justice in action, and not, as I contend, nothing more than grandstanding by a DA and a cheap and transparent attempt at extortion, ask yourself why she was indicted on a felony and a misemeanor charge. The only reason is to offer dropping the felony for repayment of the funds they chose to spend while she was off in Vegas not breaking any laws and suffering from a pretty obvious mental breakdown.
But the mob must have justice. At least they didn’t dress her up as a witch:
CROWD: Burn her! Burn! Burn her! Burn her!
BEDEVERE: How do you know she is a witch?
VILLAGER #2: She looks like one.
CROWD: Right! Yeah! Yeah!
BEDEVERE: Bring her forward.
WITCH:I’m not a witch. I’m not a witch.
BEDEVERE: Uh, but you are dressed as one.
WITCH: They dressed me up like this.
This is mob justice and catering to the lowest common denominator, pure and simple.
I don’t get it… the last line of the article says that the police don’t intend to file charges… bu the Grand Jury indicted her anyway?
Anybody who knows a thing about the legal system care to explain what’s going on?
The Albuquerqe police, where she filed the report, are not pressing charges. Before she confessed in Albuquerqe, though, while she was there, she called home, and essentially told her parents the same lie she told the Alb. police. The Duluth police chief was with her parents, and thus, the false report.
This is nothing more than grandstanding and an attempt to extort some money from her.
Your ability to get pissed off is amazing.
Thank you. It is an art.
I live about an hour and a half away from Duluth & couldn’t have cared less about this story, but the citizens of that area were quite upset because they spent about forty grand doing a search for her and for her assailants after she lied about being abducted.
This is just part of the process & I’d bet that a deal will be reached where she serves no time, repays the city/county and a fine and then sits back for the movie rights.
She did nothing? John, lying to the police is not “nothing”. Personally causing forty thousand dollars of a city’s money to be spent because of a lie is not “nothing”. You need to calm down, you’re starting to make Sullivan look calm.
All of the money was spent BEFORE she lied to the police. They are charging her to blackmail her into paying them for getting the vapors.
This is not hysteria on my part.
Eventually Wilbanks called authorities from a pay phone in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and said two people had abducted her, then recanted her story during questioning by the FBI and police.
Wilbanks, 32, is charged with one count of making false statements, a felony punishable by five years in prison, and one count of making a false report of a crime, a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail, District Attorney Danny Porter said.
This person’s husband to be suffered from speculation that he killed her. Her parents and family were subjected to great worry. The taxpayers of Duluth are out about $50,000. Hispanics were maligned much like Susan Smith in South Carolina that blamed the death of her children on a black man.
It’s been suggested that Jennifer has mental problems but to call her mentally ill I’d like a link to her mental health physician and his views not some armchair psychiatrist.
I had to google Nancy Grace to find out who that was. Just another Jerry Springer inspired clone of our celebrity obsessed culture.
Adam – is this what you’re referring to? Albuquerque police have said they will not file charges. Jurisdiction is determined by where the crime occurred. The telephone call originated in New Mexico but the police reports originated in Georgia. I think New Mexico is merely relinquishing jurisdiction. Probably because they do not want to bear the cost of another media-hyped trial. Not that Nancy Grace would regret that.
How much city money & time is going to be wasted on this misbegotten attempt to prosecute her? I bet over $40,000 no problem. Her 3 hour lie to the police wasn’t the cause of the city’s expenses.
My question is why can she be prosecuted in Georgia for things she stated to police officers in New Mexico. Shouldn’t the prosecutors be more focused on what is really destroying America, like Marijuana(Sarcasm). This is so F*ng Stupid.
So how much did that piece of toast end up going for on Ebay?
Like John said, this is an attempt to recoup some of the money from her.
But this has been going on for years. How much do your local business owners pay to the police for responding to false fire or burglar alarms? I’m not in agreement with it but there it is. AND those business people committed no crime which Jennifer did.
Jennifer also made her claims to Georgia police and FBI as well as New Mexico. Just think, if they recover that money from her they can use it to go after what is really destroying America.
This is appalling! I consider her to be a nitwit, but adults are allowed freedom and privacy. If they want to walk away from their families and lives, they can. The Duluth PD made the decision to launch a full scale search, ultimately they bear the responsibility and liability.
Albuquerque is where the false report was filed so it’s their jurisdiction. The Albuquerque PD and DA are the only ones who can file those charges legally. Does Duluth have a false police report signed by her?
Indicted isn’t the same as convicted. I can’t imagine she could be convicted. If she is convicted, I can’t imagine it would stand on appeal. I suppose Duluth wants to throw good money after bad, spending another $10k or so trying to convict her of an offense committed in another jurisdiction.
It’s understandable that the community is pissed, but this is crazy. Her attorney should definitely ask for a change of venue.
She’s already said she would compensate the city for the search they did after she left town. And as John has pointed out, that search was made and the money spent while she was quietly riding a Greyhound out west (which may be stupid, but is far from illegal). Only later did she make the false statement to New Mexico authorities. She recanted in about an hour.
So. She’s apologized. She’s committed to repay the money. She’s entered into treatment. The jurisdiction where she first reported the “crime” has declined to prosecute.
She must still be punished.
Grand Jury: The grand jury power is broad. Basically, the grand jury process overrides the decision of a law enforcement agency.
I doubt that the woman will serve any time. I sincerely hope not.
John’s use of the word “thugs” is exactly, precisely and profoundly right on. This is thuggery … but unfortunately, “thuggery” pretty much describes the state of prosecution in this country. It’s out of control. We long ago passed the point at which “tough on crime” became political capital, and it works as long as the “tough” guys are appearing to be “tough” on somebody …. anybody.
This particular example is hideous to watch, but it is not as egregious as others. Wilbanks will not likely spend time in jail, but other people will, who should not have to. The public hasn’t caught on to the fact that entertaining court cases and pit bull prosecutors are good tv, but lousy justice. It’s reason why I pay dues to be an ACLU member. ACLU can be the only thing standing between you and some ambitious prosecutor using you as a stepping stone to a higher-paying office.
As long as the public pays little attention, the government can do whatever it wants. That’s why you have a war in Iraq, predatory credit card lending supported by law, the so-called Patriot Act and all its outrages ….
Jennifer Wilbanks is the canary in the mineshaft.
Well, that would have been a bad message, if that’s what had happened. But the point is that law enforcement spun up before hearing her story, is it not? Or else why would they be searching in Duluth when they know she’s in Albequerque?
What a joke…there are violent criminals who get convicted and walk away with probation and there is talk of jail time for her. She is lucky the NM police aren’t pressing charges because then the issue might be federal because it crossed state lines…and then mandatory minimums might be applicable.
It is obvious that she is suffering from some kind of mental condition. I took a look at her picture posted as part of the CNN story and she has the look of a deer caught in the headlights. Those eyes were screaming for help. She should be punished for what she did, but felony charges? I don’t get it either.
“that’s why you have war in Iraq, predatory credit card lending supported by law, the so-called Patriot Act and all it’s outrages”
…AND WHITEY’S ON THE MOON!!!
“I don’t get it either …”
It’s simple: Big egos, and prosecutors.
It’s all about that. You can believe that or not as you wish. Big egos and power.
Citizens should be careful that they don’t get the “daddy” government they wish for, with all its imagined “protections”, because the one thing that isn’t being protected is your liberty.
Predatory credit card lending? What? Did they hold a gun to your head and force you to charge all that stuff? You have to use some sense on monetary things. Having a large balance on a credit card is almost as stupid as taking out one of those ‘interest only loans’. They don’t force you into it. You volunteer!
AS for miss Wilbanks, she might not deserve jail time, but she deserves some kind of punishment for lying to police. Restitutuion on the search costs works for me.
It’s simple: Big egos, and prosecutors.
I do believe it…sad (pathetic) but true.
M. Scott Eiland
It does seem like overkill–DAs all over seem to be susceptible to the temptation to make a big splash by overcharging a famous or infamous defendant. LA’s latest buffoon of a DA comes to mind, with his assigning eight full-time ADAs to the terribly important task of getting a felony shoplifting conviction against Winona Ryder and then not objecting to a sentence of probation (when he could have pleaded the case out as a misdemeannor and also had her serve no jail time). Hopefully, the local voters responsible for reviewing the job performances of these individuals will react accordingly when they next have the chance to do so.
Restitution for what?
For leaving town without telling her mommy? You can’t be serious.
For telling a story upon which essentially no action was taken? Even the Albuquerque police were not stupid enough to launch a manhunt on the basis of a goofy, uncorroborated story.
You want to be paid for a bout of national voyeurism? Fuck you.
I’m all for law and order but this is just grandstanding. You’re absolutely right, John Cole.
If I went to Vegas for a weekend without telling anybody and somebody reported me missing I don’t want to go to jail for six years.
She needs to meet with some mental health professionals to get it together. But jail? No way.
Rocky, you might want to take a look at the recent bankruptcy “reform” act and figure out how it works in your interest (pun intended).
We aren’t talking about how and why people borrow. We’re talking about how and why huge corporate interests can lobby the government into doing whatever they want. If that’s okay with you, fine. It’s not with me.
She must still be punished.
The slobbering mob must have their vengeance, or the terrorists win.
at least she didn’t turn anyone into a newt…. Think it will be a trial by a jury of her peers or will they see if she weighs as much as a duck and is made of wood.
They could make a bridge out of her…
Ni…ni…ni (oops different scene), LOL!!
at least she didn’t turn anyone into a newt….
She turned me into a newt…but I got better.
I’m sure “Burn ‘er anyway!” isn’t that uncommon to hear in Georgia….
SHE’S A WITCH!!!!
BURN HER…BURN HER!!!
And of course it will be shown live on TV…Nancy Grace will anchor the coverage for CNN and Bill O’Reilly for Fox.
She should not lie to the police, but this seems excessive. I can’t stand court “reporting” by all the news networks, anyway. Who watches all these shows?
Forty thousand dollars down the tubes because of a scatterbrained idiot. But lets not assign responsibility or be judgemental. I mean how many people couldn’t gone to college for four years, how many poor couldn’t have been helped, how much extra police protection or fire protection could have been provided. How many additional books for libraries.
Yeah you gotta be pissed off at those mobs. What hicks and judgemental too.
Well, I am sleeping better knowing that she is going to jail and not going to terrorize my t.v. anymore. (sarcasm)
What a waste of time and effort.
I think I have figured out what is at the root of the outrage…she disrespected the sacred institution of marriage. The wingnuts have fought so hard to “protect” marriage that she must pay for having second thoughts on taking the vows.
TJ- once again, that $40,000 on the search was spent BEFORE Wilbanks lied to the cops. So even if she had fessed up and told the truth, that money would have still been spent. Whatever that poor young women is guilty of, she should not be punished for making the morons at the cable “news” networks look stupid. She should be given a medal for that.
Ya’ll act like it’s the police’s fault for looking for the lady! What should they have done after she disappeared- just sat around and wait a few days, until she turned up dead?
Let’s say she had been really kidnapped, and turned up dead a few days later, bound in the nearby woods and dead from cold or dehydration. You all would have been screaming bloody murder at the police for not getting off their asses and looking around for her. Knowing that most kidnap victims are killed within hours of their kidnapping, the police had NO choice but to look around for her. And Jennifer knew full well what would take place when she staged her disappearing act.
According to the ‘free Jennifer’ crowd, the people who are close to us have no responsiblity to contact the police when we go missing, and the police have no responsibilty to look for them. C’mon, that is ridiculous. Sorry I want to live in a world where my loved ones and the police bother to look for me if I go missing after I go for a jog without taking my credit cards or car keys.
I don’t recall anyone saying the police shouldn’t have looked for her when the girl’s parents called them. The larger point is that it’s NOT ILLEGAL to take off on a Greyhound for Vegas without telling anyone. Perhaps it was stupid, inconsiderate, foolish or all of the above, but it was NOT illegal.
You know, yes its not illegal, but I almost think it should be. Sorry all you Libertarians out there.
After all we have a resonsibility to look for people who go missing, and in today’s world of kidnappings, I think there should be a responsibility not to up and disappear like that, in an obviously staged manner. Never mind even lying to the police about it afterwards. Okay, I know that would never happen, but in a fair world it should.
And as for Jennifer, she might end up picking up some trash for a few weeks and paying a fine left over from her bailed wedding. Boo hoo. How will she ever survive?