Protect Missouri Crime Victim Rights and bring justice!

Protect Missouri Crime Victim Rights and bring justice!

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Jessica Franklin started this petition to Missouri Governor and

My father is a monster. He is a child molester and child rapist. We built up enough courage to take our nightmare to the police in May 2015.  It took over 1.5 years just to gather sufficient evidence to charge him. He was finally charged with these gruesome charges on November 4, 2016:


Stat Sodomy-1st degree Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a person less than 14 years with a deadly weapon. 
Stat Sodomy-1st degree Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a person less than 14 years with a deadly weapon. 
Forcible Sodomy
Statutory Rape-1st degree-sexual intercourse with a person less than 14
Satutory Sodomy-1st Degree sexual intercourse with a person less than 14 years
Rape-Victim less than 14year of age. 

To hear this news after 1.5 years was the biggest relief. He was arrested and held in the Lawrence County Jail on a $600,000 bond (something we knew he couldn’t afford). For the first time we felt a sense of justice was going to be served. If only we knew this was just the start of the biggest emotional roller coaster….


In November somehow my father had the money to hire the infamous Dee Wampler as his attorney. I will never forget our first hearing. It was a bond reduction hearing. The prosecutor Don Trotter, pulled all of the victims aside to tell us that there was a good chance he was going to be let out on bail today. That his bond was set significantly high, and didn’t believe that it would remain that high. He kept telling us to make sure when we speak with the judge we tell him everything that we would like to see such as: ankle bracelet monitoring, access to no children, no access to weapons, etc. I remember looking at the prosecutor with tears in my eyes and saying, “this isn’t happening.” “He is not getting out of jail.” “I am not accepting this.”. Because what a lot of people didn’t know is he was more than just a child molester. He had a very very violent history. I was deathly scared he would shoot one of the victims that lived in the same town as him if he got out. 3 of us stood up in the crowded courtroom and told why he shouldn’t get out. Why his bond should not be lowered. The judge took a few minutes to look over the charges, and take an account of what we had to say. Looked up and said, “Mr. Able your bond reduction is denied.”. In our eyes this was a huge victory. The prosecutor was in shock, we were in shock. It was a huge victory.  Dee Wampler and even the prosecutor was so sure he was going to get this reduction. Mr. Wampler even had a bail bondsman sitting in the courtroom with a check in hand from my father. More hearings are held (victims were always present) and case moves up in court. With the change of judge Dee Wampler filed another motion for bond reduction in 2017. Once again, we were facing the same possibility of him getting out. Once again we told the reasons why he should be denied bond reduction and one again it was DENIED. Denied by a different judge. After this hearing, Don Trotter took us outside the courtroom and told us we have a strong case and we have a very good chance of winning this at trial. Trial was set for April 2018. In March 2018, he was still behind bars and asked for a continuance which was granted. Trial was changed to February 2019. In July 2018, once again he filed a motion to be released. That fear came back again. He had been in county jail for over 1.5 years at this point. We knew he was having what we heard was severe medical issues and lost over 100lbs. So Dee Wampler filed a motion to be released based on medical concerns. THIS MOTION WAS DENIED. At this point, I was confident justice was going to be served that he wasn’t getting out of jail. He would spend the rest of his life behind bars. 2018 passes and February 2019 rolls around. This was when Trial was supposed to take place. We get the heart wrenching news that trial has been moved to October now. The last week of October 2019. At this point we are ready for this to be over, we are ready for closure. We had been to so many hearings. Each time talking in front of the packed courtroom. While his wife and my grandma sit on the other side smirking, while Dee Wampler gets to act like this was our fault. Literally, makes you feel like you are the one who did wrong, not the huge guy that rapes 6 year olds. There was one hearing where we showed up at 9am, and didn’t leave until 2:30 pm just to be told he wasn’t going to be seen by the judge that day. 


May 2019 rolls around all 3 of us received calls from the Victim advocate stating that Don Trotter was in court with Dee Wampler with different cases and they discussed Jimmy’s case. She said Wampler brought up to Trotter that he would take a plea deal. The victim advocate said Trotter would not do less than two 5 year consecutive sentences so 10 years on Class B felonies. This plea deal would keep us from having to share our stories again, be cross examined and questioned by Dee Wampler and his associates, and we would have our day in court to read victim impact statements. These victim impact statements are so crucial in plea agreements like these. According to the Missouri Department of corrections:


Five purposes of the victim's right to be heard at sentencing:

 1. Exercising your opportunity to speak on your own or your loved one's behalf - The offender may exercise the opportunity to have witnesses give personal testimony on his/her behalf. Likewise, the Victim Impact Statement gives the victim the opportunity to be heard. 

2. Providing information to the sentencing body - The impact of the offense is an important consideration in deter- mining the appropriateness of a plea agreement and can influence the court's decision to accept or reject a plea. 

3. Improving the perceived fairness of sentencing - By sharing the impact the crime has had on their lives and voicing their views on sentencing, victims can play an essential role in the appropriate administration of justice. 

4. Explaining the crime's harm to the defendant - The victim can offer the court a unique perspective on the impact of the crime. 

5. Benefitting and empowering the victim.


The beginning of June was the last we heard from our victim advocate stating that they were unsure if he has taken the plea deal yet and no hearing has been scheduled. 


JULY 2nd, 2019- All 3 of the victims received individual phone calls that we did not expect to receive. Jimmy Able was sentenced to 9 years on Class C felonies. WE WERE NOT TOLD ABOUT THE HEARING. THEY CALLED US AFTER THE HEARING. This was a huge let down. The emotional pain and that gut wrenching feeling will not go away. That was supposed to be our day in court. Our day to say what we needed to say. We firmly believe there is no way the judge would have accepted the plea agreement if he got to hear our victim impact statements. We thought 10 years on Class B felonies was low. But for it to be 9 years and Class C felonies, and we didn’t get notified?!!!!

 

We deserve justice. Our Missouri Constitutional Rights were violated. We deserve the right to be heard. We deserve our day in court for closure. This man deserves so much more than 9 years in jail (oh and yes he can be released early on good behavior and gets credit for the 2.5 years he has already been behind bars.). 


Don Trotter you did wrong. You are a prosecutor for the State of Missouri. You are supposed to be bringing justice NOT VIOLATING Missouri Constitutional given rights. What you have done to us can never be forgiven. What you have taken away from us can never be brought back. That pain we feel, that gut wrenching pain is never going away because you didn’t let us have the closure we deserve. 


Please share our story, we want to be heard. We want justice.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!