August 9, 2011

Federal prosecutors seek forfeiture of bond on man shot and killed by lawmen in May

8-9-2011 Alabama:

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Federal prosecutors are asking a man to make good on a $100,000 bond, after he used property to secure the pre-trial release from jail for his son. The son, William Jimmy Page Jr. of Hoover, was shot and killed in May by lawmen after he fled.

Page was charged with enticing a minor for sex

The U.S. Attorney's Office on Monday filed a motion for the forfeiture of the property for his bond. Prosecutors noted the costs and risks to law enforcement in ultimately tracking down Page to Florida and that the parents did not help in their search.

Page's attorney, who has been trying to get the charges against Page dismissed and the bond removed, said he is troubled by the position the government has taken.

"Their reactions to my pleadings indicated to me a lack of compassion on their part to the loss that these parents have suffered," said Tommy Spina. "It appears to be nothing but retribution against the family and his father who posted the bond. .¤.¤. I say shame on the government."

Prosecutors say their request for bond forfeiture is warranted.

"Although this situation is regrettable, we must preserve the integrity of the pre-trial release system in order to maximize the safety of the community when offenders are released on bond," said Peggy Sanford, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Birmingham.

Page was charged in December 2010 with one count of attempting to entice a 13-year old boy to engage in illegal sexual activity. He had been arrested after he made arrangements to meet a teen at a Hoover store, but the teen was actually an undercover officer.

A piece of property owned by Page's father was put up as collateral for the $100,000 bond. Page lived at his mother's house in Georgia and was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet while out on bond.

Page's mother on March 25 discovered her son had fled from her home, leaving a 14-page suicide letter that falsely indicated he had left to go commit suicide in the woods, according to prosecutor's memo. Law enforcement officers responded and located Page's global positioning satellite monitoring device about two blocks from the house.

On May 26 local and federal law enforcement officers caught up with Page inside a St. Petersburg apartment.

"The defendant had no clothes on but had a pistol in his right hand pointed down toward the floor. The officers yelled for the defendant to put the gun down and get down on the floor but the defendant refused," according to the prosecutor's motion. "As the officers continued to yell at the defendant he raised his pistol to shoulder height and pointed it directly at the officers."

Officers shot and killed Page after repeated demands for him to drop the gun.

Prosecutors say in their motion that they had argued against bond for Page; that he was charged with a very serious crime and posed a significant flight risk and that he had previously told law enforcement officers that he would kill himself. Prosecutors also say Page's parents were not appropriate custodians for him while he was out on bond because the father is a convicted sex offender for molesting two boys, ages 15 and 10, when the defendant was 16 years old.

A magistrate judge granted the bond. Prosecutors appealed but a federal judge also granted the bond. Prosecutors in their motion also say Page's parents hindered law enforcement efforts to locate their son by providing lawmen with false telephone numbers, failing to provide new telephone numbers, and failing to promptly report contact with their son, according to the prosecutor's motion.

"The sureties in this case, the defendant's parents, played no role whatsoever in apprehending the defendant," according to the prosecutors' motion. "In fact, the actions of the sureties served more to delay and hinder law enforcement in locating and apprehending the defendant."

The parents did not have anything to do with Page leaving and they reported his departure promptly, Spina said. The parents also dispute the claims in the prosecutors' motion that they hindered law enforcement in tracking their son after he disappeared, Spina said.

Spina said he has been trying for months to get the government to dismiss the case against Page after he died.

"A mother and a father lost a child," Spina said. "They have a hole in their heart and the government wants to punish them by taking a piece of property that was pledged for the bond." There's no dispute that Page did something wrong, Spina said. "He breached the trust of those who put him on the bond," he said.

In their motion, prosecutors also note the cost and risks to law enforcement in tracking down Page. "The government incurred significant costs and inconvenience in finally apprehending the defendant, necessitating the involvement of law enforcement across three states. The officers who ultimately entered the .¤.¤. residence to bring the defendant in were placed in fear for their own lives and the lives of their fellow officers, and were forced to shoot the defendant."

Spina said he recognizes law enforcement incurred expenses and exposed themselves to considerable risk. "But the responsible party is the defendant and not his parents," he said. ..Source.. by Kent Faulk -- The Birmingham News

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man, this is an absolute OUTRAGE !!
If I lived in the HUSTON area I would go and offer any help I could to this poor young man. I would be running this story in the national media for a week. But we all know that is not going to happen. At least the prosecutors gave him the benifit of the doubt
instead of believing that lying little (you know what). I thought a 14 year old girl would NEVER lie about something like THAT! Well the proof is in the pudding!