Please Overturn The Wrongful Conviction Of Matthew Ryan Ailer (Matt Ailer)
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Matthew Ryan Joseph Ailer was wrongfully charged with obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over workers’ compensation benefits (Not Fraud) on his October 16th 2011 workers’ compensation claim in Missoula Montana. On December 11th 2015, Matthew was found guilty, and now the wrongful prosecution has become a wrongful conviction. Matthew did not commit this crime and his innocence can be proven. We will prove on this petition and through this site (matthewryanailer.wordpress.com) that he did not commit this crime, that he was wrongfully charged and convicted, and that his defense in court was not allowed to bring in crucial evidence (including his own charging documents) that would have proven his innocence.
The following information in this petition and through this site wasn’t allowed in court for the jury to hear. The information presented in court by Prosecutor Mary Cochenour and the media reports are completely one-sided. First, we will give an overview of this case (more details and evidence can be obtained through this site), then we will address the witnesses, then we will address the media reports, and then we will provide evidence through this site to prove Matthew’s innocence. The goal is to overturn this wrongful conviction and restore Matthew’s faith in himself and the world around him.
Also, please support this petition: Deferred Sentence for Matthew Ailer (https://www.change.org/p/judge-kathy-seeley-helena-probation-and-parole-give-the-innocent-matthew-ryan-ailer-a-fair-and-just-sentence-matt-ailer) - Matthew will be sentenced before his conviction is overturned. So, this petition urges Judge Kathy Seeley to give Matthew a deferred sentence.
Prosecutor – Mary Cochenour
One of many state investigators – Butch Huseby
Montana State Fund claims adjuster – Cecelia Robinson
Owner of Garden City Janitorial of Missoula Montana – Cory Miller
Witnesses to October 11 2011 Buffer Accident
Matthew Ryan Joseph Ailer – General Manager of Garden City Janitorial (Owner Cory Miller). The defense wasn’t allowed to state that he has no criminal record, that he had been a business owner, and that he’s an inventor who was wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.
Jeffery Raymond Russell – Janitor of Garden City Janitorial (Owner Cory Miller). The defense wasn’t allowed to state that Russell is a prior convicted felon in at least two different states – Montana (Montana Convicts and conweb) and California. His Montana record includes stalking and theft while his California record includes forgery, possession/manufacturing/selling of dangerous drugs, writing bad checks, and under the influence of a controlled substance.
Chelsea Mae Chafee – Janitor of Garden City Janitorial (Owner Cory Miller). The defense wasn’t allowed to state that Chafee is a prior convicted felon in at least two states – Montana (Montana Convicts and conweb) and Washington. Her Montana record includes theft, burglary, and criminal mischief (arson), while her Washington record includes criminal possession of dangerous drugs and obstructing a peace officer.
During the trial, the court limited the information that the jury could hear. Among the information that was left out were the extensive criminal records of Chelsea Chafee and Jeffery Russell along with their motives to commit perjury during the investigation and at trial when they testified. Also, the prosecutor objected to allowing the charging documents to be heard in court. The charging documents contained false information, outright lies, usage of words that were taken out of context, and false information that has nothing to do with the actual charge.
Overview of the Actual Events – The Truth
While working for Garden City Janitorial as a General Manager, Matthew was in two work-related accidents. In May 2011, Matthew swerved from hitting another vehicle and collided with a guardrail while driving the company work van (Pictures of the work van accident). He submitted the first report to Montana State Fund (First Report). This is the accident where his doctors confirmed his Conversion Disorder began and still currently affects him today.
Jeff Russell (Janitor of Garden City Janitorial), Chelsea Chafee (Janitor of Garden City Janitorial), and Matthew had to work together under the direction of Cory Miller (Owner of Garden City Janitorial). According to the Garden City Janitorial Company Profile, Miller runs background checks on every employee. If Miller does indeed do background checks on every employee, why would he not inform Matthew (the General Manager) about the extensive criminal records of Chafee and Russell? What is the purpose of conducting background checks if Miller employs people with extensive criminal records that work at local businesses and on statewide government contracts? (Company Profile).
On October 11 2011, Russell, Chafee, and Matthew were working when the buffer accident occurred. While Russell and Matthew were lifting the buffer (Buffer pictures) into a work truck, Matthew’s arm became numb and he lost control of the buffer. Russell tried to hold the 200 pound plus machine but was unable to, and it then fell on him and it grazed his body. Matthew went to the hospital less than an hour later because he feared the numbness on the right side of his body. Russell (Notarized Letter), Chafee, and Matthew (First Report) all submitted the truth to Montana State Fund shortly after the accident. Matthew has always told the truth, and the facts from his story have always remained the same. As you will read below, Russell retaliated against Matthew and Chafee for losing his job by giving a false statement to state investigators. Chafee told the truth for three years until the state forced her into a false confession.
As a result of the work-related van accident, his doctors diagnosed him with Conversion Disorder, and later on, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depression Disorder, and Suicide Ideation. His main condition, Conversion Disorder, also called functional neurological symptom disorder, is a condition in which you show psychological stress in physical ways. The condition was so named to describe a health problem that starts as a mental or emotional crisis — a scary or stressful incident of some kind — and converts to a physical problem. His doctors also noted that the work-related buffer accident aggravated his disorders.
For Matthew to get treatment for those medical conditions, his general doctor (Dr. Eric Ravitz) asked several times for him to see the proper doctors for his conditions and was denied by Montana State Fund each and every time.
After being denied by Montana State Fund, Matthew was placed at MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement) in January 2013 by Dr. Ravitz. This stopped all medical and wage loss benefits (wage calculations) from Montana State Fund (Benefits stopped). Matthew gave up these benefits so he could receive the necessary treatment for his conditions. He then travelled to Seattle, Washington from Missoula, Montana to see specialists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Washington in order to get the proper treatment for his medical conditions. Since 2013, Matthew and his family had to use private insurance and also had to pay out of pocket for his medical care in Seattle and Missoula, and have spent over $18,000.00 in order to get the necessary and proper treatment for his conditions. He then returned back to Missoula to his treating doctors and medical exercise program, and, to this day, is still receiving treatment for his conditions, which he and his family pay out of pocket.
From the time he was diagnosed, all doctors have said that he does indeed have Conversion Disorder, and later on, PTSD, Major Depression Disorder, and Suicide Ideation. Matthew had no control over half of the $64,000 that was for medical benefits and all doctors said the benefits were medically necessary and reasonable. They have all said that it’s literally, physically, emotionally, and mentally impossible to exaggerate or fake Conversion Disorder – you just can’t do it. You either are diagnosed with it or not. It’s not something you can plan to get or exaggerate later on. (None of this was allowed in Matthew’s defense)
During the winter of 2011, Russell and Chafee were working for Garden City Janitorial cleaning two businesses – Safeway and Watkins & Shepard Trucking of Missoula Montana. Chafee witnessed Russell committing theft at Safeway (Safeway theft investigation) and Watkins & Shepard Trucking. In February 2012, Chafee turned Russell in for those thefts and he was then fired from his job.
In retaliation for losing his job, Russell falsely testified against Chafee at her unemployment hearing (Chafee Unemployment Decision) and then at her arson and theft trial (Russell testimony). She was convicted for those arson and theft charges, but it was later overturned in part because of the false testimony by Russell (None of this was allowed in Matthew’s defense).
Because Matthew and Chelsea were in a relationship at the time, Russell then decided to turn his attention to Matthew. Five months after the buffer accident, and, after he was fired from Garden City Janitorial, Russell gave a statement to state investigators where he falsely stated that he helped Matthew and Chelsea stage an accident. Russell even stated in a recorded interview that without promised immunity he wouldn’t cooperate with the state’s investigation. The jury never heard these events as it was not allowed by the court.
Agent Anthony Poppler was one of the many state investigators who investigated this case. In his report, he interviewed Cecelia Robinson (Montana State Fund claims adjuster), Russell, Chafee, and Cory Miller (Owner of Garden City Janitorial). He then reviewed the case files submitted to him by Montana State Fund investigator Gaylen Buchanan and reviewed all of the medical records. He then submitted his report to Mary Cochenour for review. Cochenour decided to not prosecute Matthew due to lack of evidence and because of how the case was handled by Montana State Fund.
So why would the state continue their investigation at this point? They all questioned Russell’s credibility as a witness and they questioned his unbelievable story. They went through several investigators with all of them turning it over to next one citing insufficient evidence to prosecute. It finally landed into state investigator Butch Huseby’s hands. Cochenour and Huseby thought if they could get Chafee to turn then it would be a case of two versus one. The evidence, the doctors, and the facts wouldn’t matter then. This is a complicated case with lots of moving parts, and they knew it would be hard for a jury to understand the complexity of a case like this one. It’s very difficult for a person who isn’t well versed in Conversion Disorder to understand the complexities of it.
Meanwhile, Chafee had been sitting in Montana Womens’ Prison for arson and theft for two years, and was waiting for her conviction to be overturned. Cochenour and Huseby visited her on a number of occasions in attempt to convince her to change her story (Rights violations). Chafee was given false information in their attempt to sway her to tell their version of the “story”. They also threatened her with a PFO (Persistent Felony Offender) charge. Because she was convicted of a previous felony, they threatened to charge her with a new felony for her alleged involvement in the buffer accident. That new charge would then cause the PFO charge – the persistent felony offender shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term of not less than 5 years or more than 100 years. She would have faced this new charge plus the PFO charge, and, based on her criminal history, would have received the max sentences on these charges.
Cochenour and Huseby gave her a time limited choice: change her story on Matthew and get released from prison or face at least another 10 years in prison without parole. Chafee considered being away from her young daughter for 10 years and made a choice any mother would make in that situation. She said in a telephone recording that she would lie to the prosecutor in order to get the plea deal and be with her daughter. The jury never heard these events or recordings as it was not allowed by the court.
Why would the state put a mother in a difficult situation like this one? Why would the state go to extreme measures in order to get a charge in this case? They had no other evidence other than the testimony of two felons with questionable character and the motive to lie (None of this was allowed in Matthew’s defense).
Russell and Chafee’s False Testimony
Before the trial started, Russell had five documented and different versions of how the accident was staged (Look at the table of contents page). Five! When the defense questioned him on the stand, his story changed two more times. The changes in those versions vary from where it happened, how it happened, and even when it happened. Because of the many versions of Russell’s story, Chafee tried to match his story but was caught lying on the stand.
Matthew testified on the stand and didn’t hide behind his lawyer. On the stand, the facts, the evidence, and the truth didn’t change unlike the testimonies of the other witnesses. Even Cochenour’s cross examination of Matthew lasted about 15 minutes because she knew he was telling the truth.
The media reports all reference the false information in the charging documents and not any testimony that was actually said in court. Those reports don’t mention the perjury by Jeffery Russell and Chelsea Chafee on the stand, it doesn’t mention the state’s own expert witness testifying that any version of the story put forth by Russell and Chafee would be impossible, it doesn’t mention how the state was allowed to use false information in court, and it doesn’t mention how the state forced witnesses to match their “version” of what happened.
The media reports claimed that Matthew laid flat on the ground, and that Russell and Chafee placed a 200 pound plus buffer on top of his body. Then a 150 pound Chafee said that she jumped on top of the machine, and forcefully rocked it back and forth in an attempt to injury him (over 350 pounds directly on top of Matthew). When no injury was produced, Russell stated he punched Matthew repeatedly in the arm and leg in an attempt to create bruising, and that he saw “black and blue bruises all over Matthew’s body.” (One of many false versions by Jeffery Russell and Chelsea Chafee) Let’s use some common sense here – wouldn’t there at least be some bruising if a buffer that weighs over 200 pounds plus a person weighing over 150 pounds are forcefully rocking back and forth on top of someone? (Read the “Overview of the Actual Events – The Truth” for what actually happened)
What the media reports doesn’t state is that Matthew went to the hospital less than an hour later, and the reports from the emergency room doctors did not find any bruising, marks, or broken bones. In fact, Dr. John Jurist, the state expert witness, testified that if Russell and Chafee had actually put that machine on Matthew that he would have at the very minimum suffered broken ribs to very serious bodily harm. Matthew went to the hospital because he feared the numbness on his right side of his body.
Prosecutor Mary Cochenour and the media reports also state that Matthew exaggerated his symptoms in order to negotiate a larger settlement. Completely false. He had no bruising or broken bones, and he just wanted to know why he had numbness and pain on his right side. He eventually found out from his doctors that he had Conversion Disorder. It’s literally, physically, emotionally, and mentally impossible to exaggerate or fake Conversion Disorder – you just can’t do it. You either are diagnosed with it or not. It’s not something you can plan or exaggerate later on. It seems that Cochenour and Butch Huseby (the state investigator) couldn’t comprehend this aspect of the defense. While on the stand, Huseby was asked if he had investigated Conversion Disorder. His answer – “Does Google count?”
All doctors before, during, and after the investigation, including the state’s doctors, have agreed that Matthew currently suffers from Conversion Disorder, and they all state that it started with his May 18th 2011 van accident. He also currently suffers from PTSD, Major Depression Disorder, and Suicide Ideation.
After reading this, you can see why the jury believed the one sided argument by the prosecutor. Matthew’s defense was not allowed to bring in crucial evidence and testimony that would have proven his innocence. The jury would have rendered a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict if they had heard just one third of the information presented in this petition and through this site. Shame on Prosecutor Mary Cochenour and Investigator Butch Huseby for allowing the innocent Matthew Ryan Ailer to be convicted of a crime he did not commit. Shame on Prosecutor Mary Cochenour for turning Matthew into a political pawn for her own gain and manipulating everyone with her one sided argument when she knows that he is innocent of this charge.
Over time we will add more details to this petition and on this site. We will update this petition and the site with more information as it becomes available.
We are asking everyone to stand beside Matthew and support him in this very distressing time in his life. Matthew will appeal this wrongful conviction to the Montana Supreme Court. Thank you for reading, signing, and supporting this petition! God bless you and your family!
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