Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prosecutors seek death penalty for Palm Beach County shooting


The State Attorney's Office said Monday it will seek the death penalty for
a man convicted of fatally shooting his roommate in a mobile home west of
West Palm Beach 2 years ago.

Michael Israel, 25, was found guilty Friday of shooting Shawn Eiland, 34,
on Oct. 12, 2006, in the 5900 block of Tiffany Place.

According to court documents, a witness told detectives that Israel went
into a rage after learning that Eiland tried to sell Israel's computer.

Israel originally told investigators that he shot Eiland during a fight in
self-defense.

But another witness told investigators she heard Israel yelling, "Where's
the cracker? I'm gonna ... kill that cracker," documents state.

Witnesses said Israel then went into the mobile home, grabbed a gun,
confronted Eiland and shot him as he cowered on the floor.

The jury returned a guilty verdict after 3 hours of deliberation and the
judge scheduled sentencing for March 30.

Prosecutors have asked for the death penalty.

Israel's girlfriend, Sabrina Patterson, 21, of west of West Palm Beach, is
awaiting trial for accessory after the fact.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said she tried falsely to implicate
someone in the shooting.

(source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

7 comments:

Christina Grand said...

The information in this article is completely incorrect. Below you will learn what happened with the incident and in the trial. There is also a letter to the House of Representatives from one of the jurors who is outraged!

------------------------------

Michael came to South Florida where he became friends with a white male by the name of Shawn Eiland. He then met Sabrina Patterson who became his girlfriend. She and Shawn were now like his family since he had lost both parents at age 4.

Shawn had rented him a room in his house and there were a lot of people who were coming and going since they all had a lot of friends. A young black male and his girlfriend with their two kids had rented one of the rooms as well.

One day Michael and his friends were out getting some car parts while the young black female with the two kids remained at the house in the room. When they returned in the evening, they entered the house to find Shawn with several of his friends smoking crack cocaine. Michael was upset and concerned for his friend smoking drugs and also concerned for the two kids that were in the other room even though the door was closed. He expressed to Shawn that he was not happy about his friends being there because many things have been missing from the house and felt that Shawn’s friends were stealing since there was a computer that had been missing as well and was informed that his friends were trying to sell it.

Michael’s friends had gone to the back of the house into his room to play video games while the gentleman went into the room with his girlfriend and two kids. Michael continued his argument with Shawn and asked him to make his friends leave. Shawn became very upset at the request and told Michael that he had no right to tell him what he can do in his house and who he is allowed to have over since he is only renting a room from him.

Shawn was high on crack cocaine at the time and was not in his right mind. He started yelling and screaming and walking back and forth and then the came out waving a gun. Michael was concerned for all of the people in the house including himself and Shawn and attempted to take the gun from him.

They wrestled for the gun from the kitchen to the living room and were rolling around the floor. Shawn had his back turned to Michael and extended his arms forward with the gun. Michael was able to pull Shawn’s arms back to try to grab the gun but then realized the gun was pointing toward him. Michael then grabbed the nozzle of the gun and try to snap it into the opposite direction and out of Michael’s hands. The gun accidentally went off and Shawn was shot in the back of his head.

Michael didn’t know where Shawn was shot exactly because he didn’t see any blood. Shawn was still talking and Michael asked him if he was okay. Words then became sounds and everybody was telling Michael to hurry up and leave because he is a black Jamaican man with dread locks and the victim is white. He dropped the gun and ran as did the other people in the house. Apparently one of Shawn’s friends must have picked up the gun and left with it.

The young black woman and man in the room with the two kids started gathering their stuff when they heard the gunshot. They did not see anything, they just knew they needed to get out of there for their kids sake. Sabrina’s brother was one of the friends at the house who had come down the hallway and was watching them struggle for the gun and saw that it was an accident and that the gun had gone off while Michael was trying to save Shawn from hurting anyone in the house or himself. The black couple had asked Sabrina’s brother to drive them away from the scene to get the kid somewhere safe.

As they were running out of the house, Sabrina had walked up and asked what was going on and why was everyone running out of the house. As her brother was running to the car with the kids and the couple’s things, he told her to just leave there was an accident. Instead, she looked in the house and saw her friend Shawn on the floor bleeding. She immediately called 911 and tried to do CPR. At this time, the girl who has the two kids saw Sabrina conducting the CPR as she was running out the house. Sabrina was screaming at the top of her lungs until the police arrived.

She was extremely in shock and confused. She did not know what happened. She had great concern for her boyfriend and her brother since they were both in the house at the time. She was completely traumatized because she had Shawn’s blood all over her and was concerned if he was sick since he uses drugs. When the police began to question her, out of fear, she told them that she didn’t know anyone in the house and that she was walking by and saw people running out and looked in to see what had happened.

The couple with the two kids returned to the scene to get more of their kids items and milk. The police then took them in a substation and questioned them for hours. They told the police over and over again that they were in the room and did not see anything. But that wasn’t good enough for the police. The officers told them they could either be a suspect or a witness and that if they did not tell them what they wanted to hear that they were going to arrest them for the crime, put them in prison and take the kids away. Finally after such a long time of being interrogated and badgered, the young man said that if a story is what they want, that’s what they’ll get, just the story. The man then made up a horrific story that satisfied the police and they let them go. Due to this created story, the accident was now considered a homicide murder.

Neighbors were questioned and most said but they did not want to get involved. The police went to a trailer across the street from the incident and said that he was investigating a murder. He spoke to the man of the house and he said he saw nothing, that he and his girl friend were fighting at the time and did not want to be involved. His girlfriend, seemed very excited and said “I will, I will get involved.” She began to write the statement which was then later recorded.

There was another incident that happened in the neighborhood while they were investigating this accident. They’re focus and prime suspect was someone else at this time. Later the next morning, they have picked up Michael Israel and another friend for questioning. At first Michael lied out of fear of exactly what is happening to him now and said that he did not know anything that he had just heard about the incident. He was then asked if he knew Sabrina Patterson and he said that she was his girlfriend. The police questioned and questioned him and gave little bits of information that they knew that he was there an assured him that the judge would be lenient because it was an accident. He explained exactly what I had mentioned above to the police in a recorded statement.

The detective then ordered the arrest of Sabrina Patterson for accessory after the fact of first degree murder because she had lied and said that she didn’t know anyone but was in fact Michael’s girlfriend. Apparently, the police hoped that with such harsh charges, Sabrina would then testify against Michael so that they can secure a conviction. Sabrina may be guilty of obstruction of justice if in fact this would be deemed a crime, however this was simply an accident and they were both charged excessively.

On February 17, 2009, Michael’s trial began. The prosecution’s first witness was the girl who was in the room with the two kids. She came on the stand and said that everything in her statement was untrue because she was being badgered by police. She said the only thing that she heard was the commotion and the gunshot and then her and her boyfriend gathered their belongings and left with their kids. She did say that while she was leaving, she saw Sabrina crying and screaming and trying to give mouth to mouth resuscitation to Shawn. The defense attorney then asked for a mistrial based on her testimony that her statement to the police was due to being badgered.

The father of the two kids, was next on the stand and also the prosecutor’s witness. He stated that everything in that transcript was a complete lie and that he made up the lie because he wanted to get milk for his kids and that is why he returned to the house. He said he was badgered by the police, his freedom threatened and was told that he could either be a witness or suspect and be charged with this crime. The defense attorney once again asked for a mistrial because the charges brought against Michael Israel and Sabrina Patterson were based on the statements by these two witnesses. The judge once again denied the motion for mistrial.

The prosecution then brought the police officer to the stand who question the young black couple. He admitted that he felt that they were not telling him what he wanted to hear and that he told them that they could either be a suspect or a witness. He also admitted that he was not letting them go until he was satisfied with their story. This was all said on the stand. The defense attorney again asked for a mistrial and it was denied by the judge.

The medical examiner’s office sent the woman who examined Shawn and she said that it could have been an accident. She also said that she was not sure from which angle or where the bullet was shot from. She stated she doubts it was from close range because of the absence of soot or residue. The defense attorney again asked if it could’ve been an accident and she said yes it very well could have been.

On Thursday, February 19, 2009, the lead detective then took the stand and said that she did not feel it was an accident because of the way Michael described how they were on the floor when the gun went off. She feels it is impossible that he was shot in the head from behind the way Michael said, but does not have a medical examiner’s degree. The defense attorney pointed out, that from the beginning of the investigation, the police the deemed this as a criminal homicide and never tried to determine if this was in fact an accident. She said that her compassion for Michael when the court played his account of what happened was just a police technique. She stated that she conducted a very thorough investigation and that she followed every lead that came in and question everyone who was there. The defense attorney pointed out that there were so many people in the house but only two people were brought as witnesses and everyone else who said they did not want to be involved was left alone and not present.

Later that day, I had spoken with the mother and father of Sabrina Patterson and let them know that Michael was on trial because Sabrina’s case was set for calendar call the following month and there was a plea bargain available for her. Sabrina’s mother had called me and mentioned that her son was there that night and would like to speak to me because he wanted to testify. When he came to my house, he told me that it was an accident and that he wanted to testify and had tried to tell Sabrina’s attorney last year of what he witnessed. She discouraged him and said not to bother because it was most likely too late. I asked him why he wasn’t questioned by the police and he said that he saw the police badgering the young black gentleman with the kids and how they put charges on his sister who was trying to save the man’s life. He never thought it would get this far and at the time did not want to be involved. His father had informed him of the trial and told him he should come forward. I immediately sent an e-mail to the attorneys in regards to this new information that would support Michael’s account of what happened which was played in court.

The following morning on Friday, February 20, 2009, he had gone in front of the judge while the jury was not present and testified that it was in fact an accident. The judge said that she will not allow his testimony to be heard by the jury because he is not offering any new information compared to what has already been testified to in court by other witnesses and Michael’s recorded statement. The defense attorney then pointed out that his testimony would in fact support Michael’s recorded statement but the prosecution said she would want to give him a full deposition and that would take time. The defense attorney was in agreement but the judge said no and that he was not allowed to testify in front of the jury.

The prosecution and defense both made their closing arguments. The jury was then dismissed for a few minutes so that they could talk about one of the jurors who they felt they had been sleeping from time to time during the trial. He was one of the two only black men on the 14 person jury. He was not an alternate and the prosecution asked that he would be made the alternate and removed. The defense stated that he is supposed to be judged by a jury of his peers and no one on the jury was at his peers except for the two black men and asked that he stay. Previously during the trial, other jurors tried to say he was sleeping but when asked if he was okay and if he was following everything, he made it extremely clear to the judge that he was confident that he understood everything that was going on.

The jury came back in and juror number 12, the black gentleman and juror number 14 a white gentleman were both relieved from their jury duty. They were both given certificates from the judge which had her business card on it. The white gentleman went up to Michael and shook his hand and wished him good luck. He then left the courtroom.

The judge then told the jury that they can go back into the deliberation room and that she would check on them at 4:45 PM. I waited around for a little while and then decided to go downstairs. As I was walking out of the courthouse I looked to my right and juror number 14 was also walking at the same time. I asked him what his verdict would have been if he was still on the jury and he stated firmly that Michael was not guilty of that crime because it was proven to be an accident. He felt the prosecution had an extremely weak case with very little evidence but was deeply concerned about Michael getting convicted because of things that he had heard the other jurors saying. He then went outside and made a phone call and asked me to watch as things and came back and told me that he had called the judge again.

While he was outside he saw one of the deputies who told him that the jury had asked for some information. He came back in and told me, so we both went upstairs and back into the courtroom and waited until 4:45 PM. When the jury was asked if they needed more time, the jury sent a note they only wanted one more hour because they were almost to a decision. They came out almost an hour later and found Michael Israel guilty of first-degree murder and he will now face the death penalty.

We were all shocked at the verdict due to all of the information presented at trial. The fact that he was excessively charged based on false statements should have been enough for an acquittal. The juror number 14 now known as Tim Sweet was extremely upset because the jury was more concerned about going home by five o’clock and not coming back on Monday.

On Saturday morning, the juror had called me crying and kept saying that he did not know why the judge didn’t do anything. I asked him what he meant and he said that he called her several times and she did nothing to stop them from their conspiracy. It was then that I learned that he had called the judge while he was still a juror and left a message with her assistant of what this jury was planning on doing. He was very upset that she did nothing. He called while he was a juror and then again almost immediately when they started deliberating.

Not only am I, Michael, the defense attorneys and even the deputies shocked and disturbed by this verdict and the conduct of the judge and the prosecutor, but juror number 14 is completely outraged and has written a formal statement and has submitted it to the administrative judge and officials in the House of Representatives.

Currently, Michael is a waiting his trial for the death penalty on March 30, 2009. We feel that due to all of the occurrences in his trial, he should be granted a new trial with a new judge.

Most of the people on his jury were of the middle to upper class Caucasian race. There was only one upper class black man and possibly an Indian. Michael didn’t stand a chance. Even with a tremendous lack of evidence, he was convicted.

--
Christina Grand
Direct Line - 561-248-8800
www.lostbehindbars.org

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LETTER FROM JUROR TO ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE AND HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE

LETTER #1

To: Chief Judge Kathleen Kroll/Diane Ferry From: Ted Sweet Name: Re: State of Florida vs. Michael Reggie Isreal

Fax : 561-XXXXXX Sent: 2/23/09

Pages: 4

___________________________________________

Your Honor:



From Friday February 13, 2009 until Friday February 20, 2009. I was a Juror on the case of The State of Florida vs. Michael Reggie Israel. I was Juror number 14 and the Summons to appear was sent to me under the name that appears on my drivers license, Theodore Robert Sweet



At 3:45 PM on the 20th of February I was dismissed from Jury Duty after Judge Brown released me as I was an alternate.



After carefully listening to the Judge’s final instructions to the Jury, we were given a 15 minute break. Since I was did not know I was an Alternate Juror at that time I was in fact still a Juror.



During the three days of the trial which included all the aspects of a trial, the Judge instructed us that we should not talk among ourselves until the Jury was formally given the case in which to deliberate.



During the last and final break, prior to Judge Brown’s announcement of the Alternates, at least five members of the Jury voiced an opinion about the case. It was the opinion and agreement of these Jurors that “ no matter what, they were going to make a decision today, not wishing to come back on Monday”. There was talk of their having “ plans for the next week “ and not wanting to come back on Monday.



One Juror was extremely anxious, as he had a business trip to attend and needed to be on an Airplane for his Monday business meeting.

His motivation was to get out that day and not miss his trip.



Later while we waited by the glass doors for the Bailiff to open the doors, again there was murmuring about ending things today.



These Jurors, clearly did not follow the instructions given by the Judge as to not talk about the case and a “ time limit “ was placed on the deliberations.



These twelve men and women, holding in their hands the balance of a man life, were predetermined prior to deliberations. Therefore, knowing that a verdict would be forth coming I waited for the outcome in the courtroom.



At 4:55 PM the Judge instructed the Bailiff to gather the Jury back into the Court Room in which I believe the Judge would have dismissed them until Monday morning.



The Bailiff returned with the Jury’s request for one more hour “ as they believed they had reached an agreement. That request was granted and just as I suspected, at 6:00 PM a verdict was rendered. Guilty of Murder One.



Prior to hearing the verdict I learned that a young black man came into the Court Room Pleading to give his testimony as an eye witness because he was there that night of October 12, 2006, a saw it was an accident. The Judge denied his request and the Defense asked for a Miss Trail. It was denied.



Your Honor, I served my county during the Viet Nam War as an Army Medic. I am sickened and appalled that such a travesty of justice has taken place involving a twenty-four year old black man, and that a man is facing the Death Penalty for what could have been the mere convenience of the Jury that wanted to go home and not return the following week.



With over twenty witnesses, numerous items of evidence, and even the testimony of the Lead Detective in the case agreeing on cross examination that this “ could have been an accident “ it only took 2 hours to come to a verdict.



We are suppose to be tried by a Jury of our peers, and this Jury consisted of one black man, and a group of men and women ten to forty years older than the defendant. I ask you, was this a Jury of his peers?



I wish to add that once I was dismissed as a Juror and given the card of Judge Brown, with her telephone number on it, I called to report the “premeditation” of the Jury to go home. I only got a voice mail message.



As Administrative Judge of the 15th Judicial District, I am urging you and pleading with you that you intervene in any way the Laws of this State allows you to do.

I beg of you, Your Honor, not to allow this verdict to stand, and most of all not allow this Jury to deliberate with the same self imposed time constraints as the did in rendering their initial verdict.



Even though the final decision of this defendant possibly receiving the Death Penalty is the sole decision of Judge Brown, she must give weight to the decision of the Jury.



If there is any thing I can do to restore the absence of justice, please call upon me at once.



It closing, I wish to state that this verdict could, like the movie, come from “ The Dirty Dozen”.



Respectfully,



Ted Sweet

Theodore Robert Sweet/Juror # 14

CC: Florida State House of Representatives Priscilla Taylor and United States House of Representatives Alcee Hastings



LETTER #2

Fax Transmittal Form

To: Chief Judge Kathleen Kroll/Diane Ferry
From: Ted Sweet Name: Re: State of Florida vs. Michael Reggie Isreal

Fax : 561-XXXXX
Sent: 2/23/09

Pages:

___________________________________________

Your Honor:

I am writing you again because I need to make clear some facts that I may have not have made clear in my prior communication to you.



I previously wrote you that after our last break, when I was still considered a Juror I tried to communicate to the Judge Brown what had transpired during the break in which many of the Jurors made it clear that they were putting a time limit on the their deliberations and not wanting to remain past Friday.



After every break we had as Jurors we were given the opportunity to retire into the Jury Deliberation Room until being called back into the court room. It was during this time that I planned to send a note to the Judge Brown reporting what had just occurred.



Unfortunately, after this final break when I learned I was only an Alternate Juror, instead of the usual time we had in the jury room we were immediately and directly sent back into the court room.



Had we done what we had always did before , ( return to the Jury Room prior to entering the court room, I would have had time to write the Judge a note of the conversation and decisions many of the Jurors had made as to the “ time limit “ they had set on deliberating the verdict.



I even attempted to phone Judge Brown but not having her direct number I had to call the main courthouse number and they were enable to connect me in time before I was due back to report to the Bailiff. I wasn’t panicked or overly concerned at that time because, as I mentioned before, I thought we would have been placed in the Jury Room before entering the courtroom and I could write my note to the Judge.



As it happened we were lead directly from the break to the courtroom.

As I stated before, I received a certificate of appreciation and the Judge’s card and I called that number after being dismissed as an alternate Juror only to receive voice mail.



I left message about what happened with the Jurors, and in my mind there was still time for the Judge to act or intervene in the interest of justice being served.



There was no action taken by the Judge.



The Judge’s phone is answered by the Judge’s assistant.



I called again the following day which was Saturday. I called Ms. Diane Ferry on Monday February 23, 2009 and she promised to call the Judge and call me back.



I was told that the Judge could not speak to me as it was an on going case. It was then that I decided to call your assistant and fax you this note.



Once again, I beg you to do anything in your power to halt the railroading of a young black man who deserves a fair trail without Jurors who set limits on time to deliberate a verdict.



If possible, please do not let the same Jurors decide on weather or not Michael Reggie Israel is to live or die.



Respectfully,



Ted Sweet

Theodore Robert Sweet/Juror # 14

CC: Florida State House of Representatives Priscilla Taylor and United States House of Representatives Alcee Hastings

Anonymous said...

this entire "story" is crap. Mr Sweet is a nosey man without a life of his own to tend to. He is just upset that he was only an alternate. He is obviously lying and has a hidden interest in this case. There were people on the jury that ARE considered his peers, he does not know what he is talking about. I was in that courtroom everyday and I saw the jury and the large african american man was sleeping and snoring almost the entire trial, so obviously that is why he was dismissed as an alternate. He wouldn't of known anything pertaining to the case, that is unfair to the laws that we abide by. He killed that poor kid, he is dead and gone, at least he is still alive and breathing. It was no accident and he has NO ONE to back up his "story." The girl who wrote that is probably romantically involved with him b/c why else would she make up a "story" and make mr israel look so sweet and innocent. He did it, in cold blood, pre-meditated and he shot him in the back of the head, standing over him, execution style, like shawn was scum on his shoes. He will rot in jail where he belongs and I have no doubt that the jury looked at the case and it was clear to them, it had nothing to do with their "plans", that is ludicrous. The judge is a fair judge and has been for years and she has conducted herself with the utmost of respect and law pertaining to the defendant. Race has nothing to do with this crap so people should just leave that out. Like Shawn chose to be white and like Michael chose to be black, in the end, Michael lost control and killed him in rage and he will regret it for the rest of his life. He lied, lied, and lied. Listen to the tapes, listen to his busted witnesses who were obviously lying about "making it all up", everything fit into place. Mr Sweet can complain and lie all he wants, he is obviously not right upstairs, his elevator doesn't o all the way to the top. Thank god he wasn't an actual juror in the end because he sounds like a real wacko. He didn't hear any jurors saying jack crap, he just is obviously trying to grab for straws and make up elaborate stories to make up for him not being selected. If it were the other way around, and it was the black man dead, would you have wrote that wonderful "story." You should be tried for perjury b/c you are falsifying court testimony and actual facts that occurred in that courtroom. You should be ashamed of yourself. The jurors selected were citizens of Palm Bch County just like you and me and they did their job as best as they possibly could. They obviously looked at the facts and hello all 12 agreed. No one would have changed my mind if I would have been selected as a juror after going over what happened, he DID it. If one juror thought of him as not guilty, the verdict would not have been GUILTY. There was an african american man on that jury and he saw thru the lies, thank god for justice. That poor kid's family had to bury their flesh and blood and here you are writing a travesty that sounds like you are trying to write a fiction novel. Get a life and leave justice up to jurors and judges, judges sit up there for a reason, thank god you aren't a judge. You would be setting murderers free.

Anonymous said...

I am a family member of Shawn Eiland. After reading the posts by Christina Grand and Mr. Sweet I am outraged. While I understand that everyone is entitled to a fair trial, the allegations made on this site are bogus. Michael Israel was given a fair trial and was convicted of murder. Why? Because he murdered Shawn Eiland, in cold blood.

Ms. Grand has twisted and left out many key elements that led the jury to fairly convict Michael Israel of first-degree murder. She fails to mention that after shooting Shawn, Michael Israel stood over him, kicked him, and said something along the lines of, “I hope you’re dead.” She also fails to mention that as he left the scene with his friends, he shot into the air and celebrated according to a neighbor’s testimony. He laughed while, Shawn was dying inside the house. Ms. Grand also states that the medical examiner doubted the shot was from close range. First of all, Shawn was not dead when paramedics arrived. They worked on him before he died, trying to save him. That may be the reason for no residue. Also, I thought Ms. Grand said that Michael Israel and Shawn struggled for the gun. If two people are struggling for a gun wouldn’t one be shot at close range? Get your story straight Ms. Grand. The fact is Michael Israel stood over Shawn and shot him in the back of the head.

It is said that Michael was afraid because he shot a white man. He shot a man. Color is no matter. Murder is murder. The last time I checked it was not okay to kill anyone; black, white or other. The race card should be used carefully. There are times when it applies, but this is not that time. The trial here is about a murder, not race.

My family did not have much information prior to the trial, but it quickly became clear during the trial that this was NOT just an accident. It saddened us as we learned what Shawn's final moments were like. He was pistol whipped and shot in the arm before being executed. Ms. Grand states that Shawn's friends were present and took the gun, which we know to be untrue because of a neighbor's testimony which says she saw Michael with the gun as he left the scene. No friends of Shawn's were present, unless you think Michael Israel and the others present with him were 'friends.' Testimonies changed because people conveniently forgot the truth or just didn't want to get involved. From the start witnesses were hostile because they were all friends of Michael Israel and tried to protect him. No real reason for the murder was ever established. They had a fight was all we really got from it. The people there on October 12, 2006 did not seem to cooperate with the police. Maybe they did not understand the gravity of the situation, but a man was dead and police were trying to do their job and figure things out.

Anonymous said...

....cont. . ..
To know that Michael Israel accidentally killed Shawn would have made us all feel better, but it's just not true. Bullets were found in Israel's room and although Shawn was no choirboy, he wasn’t violent. He was an addict and may have offended his housemate, but that does not give anyone the right to take his life. If there were a problem they should have called the police and had Shawn locked up for having drugs in the house. Consequently, all the drug paraphernalia found in the house was attributed to Shawn. No one else in the house did drugs at all apparently. Of all the people living there besides Shawn (at least 4 adults) not one person noticed his addiction? They just continued to let an addict live with them and their children?
During the trial one witness was almost held in contempt of court because he refused to answer questions and was uncooperative and hostile. Ms. Grand does not mention this information. Nor does she come clean and clear when she discusses Sabrina Patterson's brother. It should be known that Sabrina’s father was present in court to hear Michael Israel's taped confession and only the next day was her brother’s willingness to testify brought up to the court. For two years he stayed quiet and then all of a sudden wanted to testify after another family member was present to hear all of Michael Israel's confession? I’m sure that is the reason the judge did not allow him to testify.

I am sure Shawn was abusing drugs. My family has been there with him through his nightmarish addiction for years. He was estranged from the family at the time of his death because of his problem. Shawn's father is estranged too, by the way, not dead. He left when Shawn and his brother were very young and even after they tried to establish contact years later, he did not want anything to do with them.

In some ways I am sorry for Michael Israel, but he chose to stand over Shawn as he "cowered" and shot him in the back of the head. It was an unfortunate decision, but as an adult he did the crime. Now he must do the time.

After reading the posts I feel Shawn needs an advocate. Even after being dismissed Mr. Sweet continues to come to court proceedings. He sits behind Michael Israel supporting a murderer while my family relives this tragedy over and over. Some people do not have enough in their lives and leech off the despair of others by creating drama, which makes them feel important. Mr. Sweet has made it his mission to derail the trial by trying to be some kind of false hero. In the process, pain is inflicted on the victim's family. If you read this Mr. Sweet, my advice to you is this- go donate your time elsewhere. Find a soup kitchen or veteran’s facility that needs volunteers and do your civic duty there where it can be appreciated and used. This case no longer concerns you and your ridiculous rantings.

I am not against organizations like LBB, in fact they are necessary to protect people in certain situations. This situation, however, does not warrant the organization to stand behind Michael Israel. In fact, it weakens their objective by making it seem like a group of misdirected people who feel sorry for the 'black' guy and twist the facts to strengthen their case. Ms. Grand is trying to free a murderer while wearing on a family's emotions as we feel threatened, outraged, and helpless. Ms. Grand you have been duped by Michael Israel and need to really look back over the facts. You are wasting your time defending him.

Anonymous said...

... cont. . .

Ms. Grand’s "story," which reads like a cheap novel, is riddled with misinformation to gain sympathy. It is a sad situation all around for those involved. Go to the court documents and you will see how many inconsistencies are in her "report." For example, Sabrina Patterson was IN the house at the time of the shooting and was urged to call 911 as others, including her boyfriend and brother, fled the scene. She did not just happen to show up as everyone fled for safety. Ms. Grand also believes Sabrina Patterson was overcharged? She is free now, but should have been given more jail time because she did obstruct justice. She lied to the police and told them someone else committed the murder. Therefore, police were led down the wrong path. If she told the truth from the start, it is possible that the gun may have been recovered, changing the whole situation. That gun may still be on the street and may one day result in someone else’s death. She bought Michael some valuable time, which could have made a huge difference in the case. I'm sure she was scared and conflicted, but she still hindered a HOMICIDE investigation. It can be said however, that Sabrina Patterson was the best of the worst, choosing to call 911 and staying with Shawn as he lay dying. For that we are grateful.

To anyone who is reading this I urge you to seek out the court documents and examine the information yourself before you believe everything you read here. Michael Israel had his day in court and was fairly convicted of first-degree murder. Facts here are conveniently left out, distorted and untrue. Shame on you Ms. Grand and Mr. Sweet!

A.L.

Lost Behind Bars Advocates said...

Unfortunately it seems easier for the family of Shawn Eiland to find it easier to believe that Michael Israel murdered Shawn but that is not the case. Witnesses that were not allowed to testify during the first phase of the trial that Shawn's family got to see have now be allowed to testify. The prosecutor made sure they did not testify during phase one because she knew that they would not have won their case. In fact, the United States Department of Justice is fully aware of this case and possible misconduct by the police, detective and prosecutor. The stories that the family has mentioned above that Shawn was cowarding on the floor and Michael shot him in cold blood is untrue. That is what the prosecutor used from a statement of three people who were badgered by police and they created the story to avoid being charged for the crime. They stated on the stand that those stories were made up and that their entire statements were lies because the police put them under duress. One of the individuals wrote a letter to the judge stating his statement was made up because the police threatened him with jail time. Now since Phase two of the trial was completed last week, MANY JURORS ARE COMING FORWARD DEMANDING MICHAEL ISRAEL'S RELEASE AND THEY KNOW BASED ON THE INFORMATION AND EVIDENCE THAT CAME OUT DURING THE SECOND PHASE THAT IT WAS IN FACT AN ACCIDENT AND MICHAEL IS INNOCENT AND THEY ARE COMING FORWARD TO FIGHT FOR HIS FREEDOM. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Shawn and his family because no life should be lost so young. However, if Shawn did not have a gun that day and was NOT high on crack waving it around, Michael would have never tried to be a hero to take it from him which he was trying to do so Shawn did not hurt himself or anyone there. Shawn and Michael were like brothers and unfortunately what Michael was trying to make sure did not happen, did. The gun went off during the struggle. Eyewitnesses verified that now. Michael never had possession of the gun. Shawn did not die by Michael's hand, we are sorry that you too have been misled and lied to by the prosecutor and that is why jurors are very upset now because they too were deceived as was the family of Shawn Eiland.

Lost Behind Bars does NOT defend those who are guilty. We do not support criminal activity and we would NOT have taken on this case if we did not know for a fact that Michael Israel is INNOCENT.

Unfortunately, there are many law enforcement officials, prosecutors and even judges that paint a picture to secure a conviction for their professional advancement and do not even care about the lives of innocent people that they are destroying. That is a fact.

Anonymous said...

That story is a load of BS!!!! I lived in that same trailer with Shawn and Israel. Israel did not care about people coming over to smoke crack, because he was selling crack cocaine and made money off of everyone that was there. Shawn did not own a gun. Michael Israel and two of his friends owned a gun, and a Taser gun. Which was going to be used on me on 9/16/2006. Thanks to Shawn I barely escaped with my life and pregnant at the time. I came home to NJ called the police to tell them what had happened. They took a report but never did anything about it. Shawn would have still been alive if the police had done something about it. Another thing!!! Shawn did not rent a room fro Israel. Mike owned that trailer and Shawn lived there with him Israel was the one renting the room. Christine Grand, I don't know who the hell you are but get your facts right!!!! Israel is a cold blooded murderer.