Patterico's Pontifications

8/3/2008

Chuck Philips Knew Facts Undercutting Page One Story of Innocence and Failed to Report Them

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 9:27 am

Here is Thursday’s testimony from Waymond Anderson, who on Wednesday accused Chuck Philips of suborning perjury and smuggling threats for Suge Knight. (Full disclosure: my boss prosecuted Anderson. I have not spoken with her about this.)

From my Friday post, you will remember that Chuck Philips wrote a Page One article touting Anderson’s innocence of the murder, and later told an interviewer that he believed Anderson was innocent. Philips claimed that evidence showed Anderson was in Mississippi just before and after the murder.

That means Philips fell for a mighty interesting story. Because, as Thursday’s testimony reveals, Anderson told police that he was in Compton — not Mississippi — just before and after the murder.

Anderson admitted being in Compton when the murder was planned:

Anderson also admitted that he was present in Compton right before and right after the murder:

Anderson also admits that he helped acquire the vehicle that was used in the murder, and knew the location of the gun that was used to facilitate the murder.

These facts were mentioned in the D.A.’s response to Anderson’s petition. They were set forth in the first paragraph of the introduction to the D.A.’s response. The D.A.’s response says Anderson admitted being present in a Compton record store for the planning of the murder, just one day before the murder — when Anderson’s travel records supposedly show him in Mississippi. I obtained that response through a public records request and it clearly sets out the facts testified to by Anderson on Friday.

Philips didn’t mention any of this in his Page One story. Nor did he mention it in his follow-up story about the District Attorney’s response — even though these facts were prominently mentioned in that response.

Philips was so tied up in this inmate’s story of innocence that he didn’t report basic facts that undercut that story.

What’s Anderson’s explanation for these taped statements? He says a policeman named Tom King, who is now a City Councilman, forced him to say those things as part of a scheme to arrest another individual.

The credibility of that statement, I’ll leave for the reader to decide.

BONUS PELLICANO ANGLE: Also, in Thursday’s testimony, Anderson claimed that he had met with Larry Longo (a former D.A. who lost his job after getting mixed up with Suge Knight while prosecuting him) in prison:

[Longo] said that he was at an investigator by the name of Anthony Pellicano’s office, with the husband of the district attorney on the case.

Anderson goes on to say that while Longo was at Pellicano’s office, the subject of railroaded defendants came up, and his name was mentioned — because the LAPD supposedly knew about his alibi.

The more you read of this fellow’s testimony, the more you realize how foolish the L.A. Times and Chuck Philips were to put any stock in his credibility.

And I haven’t even told you about his deposition yet! That’s the best part.

But it will have to await a future post, because I’m out of time for now.

10 Responses to “Chuck Philips Knew Facts Undercutting Page One Story of Innocence and Failed to Report Them”

  1. Pulitzer-prize winning journalism …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  2. Patterico you were talking about discontinuing your blog for lack of hits; I don’t know whether that’s the “hitting 40 blues” or not.

    But someone needs to review the Daily Dog Trainer and wipe their puppy nose in the messes they make. The staff numbers are way down at the Times (as are the advertising and subscriber numbers). It shows–the paper is thinner. But all that means is the screwups are in more concentrated form.

    So it’s a dirty job–but you’ve shown that you are just the guy to do it. I hope you keep up the good work, and keep blogging away.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  3. Phillips comes across more like a scriptwriter than a journalist reporting the facts in a news story.

    This would be a great series. When you finish, you should think about a summary post like the year-end review.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  4. “…more like a scriptwriter…”

    Which could be explained by the LAT’s too close proximity to Hollyweird.
    Just as every waiter/waitress in L.A. seems to have a script under review somewhere,
    the staff at Spring St. seems to think its’ future lies within the Entertainment Industry, not journalism.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  5. Perhaps everyone has “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” too firmly imbedded in their memory.

    I find myself wondering (given the staff cuts and justifiably parlous financial situation at the LAT) whether Phillips actually has a drawer full of maps showing where real bodies are buried. There must be other explanations for LAT editors to continue publishing a reporter whose stories are guaranteed to draw more flies than readers – that’s just the first that comes to mind.

    Rick Ballard (0a8990)

  6. Trust me — Patterico has more than enough GREAT material for a screen play on this subject. I think that’s what he’s doing now.

    If he’s not, I’ve read a bunch of it and I’m might quit my day job and take a shot at it.

    Think “Shattered Glass” but with guns, drugs, gangs, and the murder of two of the bigges rap artists of all time.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  7. rap artists

    Sorry, but I’m pretty sure this is an oxymoron.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  8. “Trust me — Patterico has more than enough GREAT material for a screen play on this subject. I think that’s what he’s doing now.”

    I have no idea where you get that thought, since there’s no truth to it whatsoever.

    Patterico (33c6a8)

  9. You write this and it gets made, wls, and Patterico will be threatening to quit because of too many comments.

    Apogee (186a12)

  10. I am the attorney representing Waymond Anderson at his habeas corpus evidentiary hearing currently underway in Dept. 130 of LASC regarding Anderson’s murder conviction. Mr. Frey’s “Pontification” of 8-3-08 contains a serious factual error regarding Anderson’s explanation for his taped statements to police. Anderson does not say that former LAPD officer Tom King “forced him to say those things as part of a scheme to arrest another individual,” as the column asserts. What Anderson testified to (in an h/c hearing in 2002 and again at the current hearing) is that King knew of Anderson’s extensive history as an informant for the gang unit of the Detective Support Division of the LAPD in the late 80′s, and asked Anderson to get information about the murder from a codefendant who was already in custody and charged with committing it when Anderson was arrested for the same crime. According to Anderson, King told him that once the codefendant, who was represented by counsel, supplied information about the murder, Anderson was to relay it to detectives, but to say he came by the information at some time prior to the codefendant’s arrest.

    This is not as implausible as it may sound at first. At the time, the jailhouse snitch scandal (Leslie White, etc.) was quite recent, a damning Grand Jury report was in wide circulation, and police awareness that they could not legally direct informants to gather information on represented defendants was high.

    At the current hearing, the murder case’s I/O, Kent Anderson (no relation to Waymond), seeking to rebut Waymond’s testimony, stated that he did not become aware that Waymond had been an informant until sometime well after Waymond’s arrest in 1994. King, Kent Anderson’s supervisor at the time of Waymond’s arrest, in a recorded interview by the LADA in 2007, stated flatly that Anderson had never been an informant for LAPD at any time.

    On 8-19, former LAPD detective Steve Strong testified at the h/c hearing that he used Waymond as an informant in at least 20 cases from 1986-1989, and that Waymond’s information was always good. More to the point, Strong’s testimony made clear that I/O Kent Anderson knew of Waymond’s informant status during this period, and discussed it with Strong while K. Anderson was a detective with South LA C.R.A.S.H. The fact that King was Anderson’s supervisor at the relevant time makes it more than likely that he, too, knew of Anderson’s work for LAPD. If Waymond’s story regarding what these detectives wanted from him is so obviously incredible, why have they found it necessary to lie about what they knew regarding Waymond?

    One last thing: Unrebutted evidence taken at the current h/c hearing shows that five days before the murder for which Waymond stands convicted, he purchased American Airlines tickets to travel from LAX to Jackson, MS. The tickets were purchased on a credit card in Waymond’s name that he had in his possession when he was later arrested for the murder. This may not compel the conclusion that Waymond is innocent, but it is certainly more credible than anything from the testimony of King or Kent Anderson.

    David L. Bernstein (003dc7)


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