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A Thank-You Letter

Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2018 at 12:00AM

Dear Legal Defense Fund,
I wanted to write a letter to you to express my gratitude to you for funding my defense. Back in January 2016, I was involved in a life-changing event. I had to make a split-second decision that would affect many lives. A few months passed and I was called into Internal Affairs. I was asked to sit down as I was read my second-degree murder charge. I couldn’t believe what was happening and I had to ask what in the world was going on. My whole world was turned upside down. Soon after, I spoke with my father and the president of my association. We then began to search for someone to represent me in my case. We found a man by the name of Craig Mehrens. I knew that things of this nature cost money and a lot of it. I was assured that the Legal Defense Fund had my back and that they would be providing the necessary funding for the case. I immediately felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. In fact, if I didn’t have the Legal Defense Fund covering the expenses, I fear where I would be today.
Time passed, and my preliminary hearing came about and went as quickly as it came. Soon after, Mr. Mehrens stated that he would no longer be available to represent me, as the trial had become lengthy. It was during this time that I contacted you in order to see if I could have Michael Picaretta represent me for the trial. You gave me no qualms or fight in this regard and continued to support me. From this time on, Mr. Picaretta represented me in my case. As time would pass, he would tell me things that you had authorized for him to do. I was informed that you allowed Mr. Picaretta to conduct a “mock” jury trial. I was absolutely amazed, because I know that typically those kinds of things don’t happen and you certainly did not have to do it. You also funded all of my experts and their needs to do their jobs. I can only imagine how much a trial of this nature would cost, and I again express my gratitude for the time and expenses paid for in my defense. It brings me great comfort knowing that there are good people like you out there that never hesitated to provide the tools and manpower necessary for my defense.
This whole experience has shaped my family and me for the better. I have appreciation for things that I did not in the past, and I have ambitions to better myself every day. There is nothing like having your freedom on the line to make a person really contemplate what is important in life. The first thing I did when I got home was give my son a big hug. I may never adequately be able to repay you for your kindness and loyalty, but my family dearly thanks you for the rest of our lives. I do not know all of the individuals involved in the Legal Defense Fund team, but please pass on my regards and thanks to them.
My sincerest thanks,
PMB

PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.