SC Supreme Court Case

Justice Denied The Briefs Motion to Stay

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On February 15th, 2005 Chris Pittman was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He had been held in prison for over 3 years (since the age of 12) until his trial began. Even though three experts in the adverse effects of antidepressant medications testified that the fault was not his, he was found guilty by the jury.

It was documented that the jurors were confused. One of the first questions they sent back to the court was “Is he being tried as an adult?”

There is substantial evidence to suggest that a juror named Platt discussed the case, the deliberations, and even the “split” between jurors, outside of the jury room, and prior to the verdict. He admitted to discussions about the verdict with his wife, who watching the trial on TV thought Chris innocent.

Platt admitted that he had, indeed, had an encounter with someone in the restaurant and that he had also discussed that encounter with Jason Cato. Mr. Cato, a reporter who has written numerous stories on this case over the last three years, many of which were exclusives – has been “taken off the Pittman case” and gagged. Prior to the gag Mr. Cato had also advised Chris Pittman’s aunt and his father of this discovery.

Investigator Dale Davis related in an Affidavit she went to the Buffalo South bar where the conversations were reported to have taken place, and, while there, she saw both Mr. Platt and a “blond man,” who was identified to her as one of the people who had been working in the bar on that Monday night. Unfortunately, when Ms. Davis attempted to interview the blond man, Mr. Platt grabbed his sleeve and pulled him into the kitchen. When the man returned he was evasive, although he did give a tell-tale nod to the investigator.

The bartender testified Platt told him "he thought the young man was guilty" on the night before the jury returned its verdict. Three jurors said Platt mentioned talking with his wife about the case – also forbidden under jury instructions. Platt conceded to the judge his wife was troubled by Pittman's young age at the time of the crime, but said he told her there was nothing the jury could do about that. Juror C remembered Platt had said he and his wife did not "agree on the same thing about the case."

Two female jurors testified they felt they had to go along with a majority decision that Christopher was guilty, even though neither believed that way. One woman, identified as Juror C, told the judge "she and a few other jurors did not want to render a guilty verdict" but "the rest of the jury was bothering her to vote guilty" because that was the majority's vote and the others told her the decision had to be unanimous.

Another woman, called Juror D, told Judge Pieper she "never decided that he was guilty" but voted that way in the end because of an "understanding that everybody had to be in the same agreement."

The motions filed concerning these juror matters failed.

Four months later Judge Pieper presided over a trial concerning the shooting death of Kenneth Ravenell by his brother, Frederick Ravenell, a 42 year old electrician. The two had been arguing. The shooter had previous convictions, including burglary and shoplifting. He was found guilty of lesser charges. Judge Pieper’s sentence for this shooting death was two years probation.

On September 1st, 2005 a Jamestown SC man was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of a woman and a teenage girl nearly two years before.

Prosecutors said Albert Nole fired his shotgun at Lorenzo Taylor in front of a home on U.S. 17-A on Nov. 28, 2003.

Nole and Taylor argued and, as the fight broke up, Nole pulled a 12-gauge shotgun from his truck and fired at Taylor from less than 50 feet away, seriously wounding him. Melissa Nixon, 15, and Latoya Williams, 24 were standing behind Taylor in the line of fire were shot and killed. A jury deliberated nearly five hours before returning the guilty verdict against 69-year-old Albert Nole.

Judge Pieper sentenced Nole to four years in prison. Yet Christopher (12 at the time of the shootings) remains in prison and will be held in prison for another 26 years.

The SC Supreme Court asked to hear Chris’ case. The ruling meant Chris, at 16 years old, would bypass the SC Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court stated his case "involves an issue of significant public interest or a legal principle of major importance". And still the SC Supreme Court found no basis for a retrial nor did they agree to dismiss the charges. The US Supreme Court is Chris' only chance of freedom. The story continues...