Justice for Veteran John Knospler
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John Knospler, a decorated Marine with multiple combat tours with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, and 1st Special Operations Training Group, is in need of our help. John honorably served 8 years and 3 combat deployments serving our country.
Due to some extremely unfortunate circumstances, John has become a victim of injustice.
In October 2013, John was invited out to a veteran-sponsored hunting trip with friends and family to Keeline, Wyoming. After a day of hunting, John went to get a drink at a place called "Racks".
There was a terrible winter blizzard that evening. When he was ready to leave, rather than drive drunk, he decided to sleep in his car. John was startled awake to James Baldwin, a Casper local and career criminal, punching through John’s driver-side car window, lunging at John, and threatening to kill him.
James Baldwin had a long and violent criminal history (18 felony counts of vehicle burglary, as well as multiple counts of assault and evading police).
Knospler attempted to start a manual transmission Chevy Cobalt and drive away, but was unable, due to Baldwin’s assault and the weather conditions during the blizzard. During the struggle, and in pure self-defense, John drew his pistol and shot Baldwin so that he could evade the scene safely, he didn't know if the attacker was acting alone. John then headed to the local police station. He was pulled over one block from the police station.
There are clearly some very questionable if not illegal actions that have taken place against John Knospler.
The case was tried locally and while the facts, which are highlighted below, clearly prove self-defense, John was found guilty of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 30-50 years in prison. Listed below are some undisputed facts of the case.
Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as: 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion"; or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life.
The state expert investigator, John Daily, was commissioned by the assistant DA and confirmed through forensic evidence that Baldwin (Attacker) broke into the window of John Knosplers vehicle and attacked him. The state expert confirmed that John Knospler tried to flee the situation during the attack and was unable due to weather.
The states expert confirmed the window was punched out. Picture and medical evidence shows Baldwin's knuckles and right arm were cut from the glass when Baldwin punched out the window. The State Expert concluded glass dispersion inside vehicle was consistent with window being punched out. The ballistics investigation puts Baldwin bent over and inside the vehicle.
The assistant DA refused to prosecute the case and left the DA office. The assistant DA told the DA that the evidence shows self defense and he could not prosecute based on moral grounds and that he "would have probably done the same if in the same situation"
The DA took over the case.
State expert John Daily's reconstruction report was not used by the DA, instead a Wyoming firearms expert was brought in and asked hypothetical questions and no reconstruction was completed. After the case, the same Wyoming firearms expert was fired for drug use.
Local informants within Casper, Wyoming notified investigators that the establishment "Racks" is known around town for "roofying" people and robbing them
There were inconsistencies with prosecution’s witness testimonies, where multiple witnesses changed their story after meeting with the prosecutor. The bouncer, for example, testified that he witnessed the entire incident, even though the bar’s cameras clearly disproved his testimony. Regardless, the false testimony was allowed as evidence.
The same bouncer, as local informants report, ran a scheme with Baldwin to rob drunk patrons at the establishments he worked.
The DA claimed Baldwin was a good man, and was just out to drink. Baldwin, the night of the incident was just out of jail and scheduled to be back in court and facing more jail time for a DUI charge just weeks prior.
The former Casper chief of police, told the DAs office that he was in MARSOC and called to gather information on John Knospler. The Chief of police told the DAs office a narrative of a bad marine and was a troubled marine. This could not be farther from the truth. No one at MARSOC, that I have talked to, including the marines that John served with, and senior command, have reported receiving a call. When I told theses marines the description that was given, their response was... "its an out right lie", "full of crap" and "clearly this is someone reporting false information to make themselves seem more important". The chief of polices started the untrue narrative against John Knospler that had a huge butterfly effect.
The same Casper Chief of Police lists that he retired from the PD. News Media reports that he was fired and received a vote of no confidence from his officers.
There were MAJOR concerns within members of the jury. One of the concerns was the DA's connection to the head of the Jury.
Another concern with the jury was that the Baldwins criminal record was not allowed into the court.
The DA has been quoted saying "No compelling evidence of an assaultive act by Baldwin was ever presented... Knopsler still has a duty to retreat before using deadly force as long as he would not increase the risk to him-in other words, “he could have just driven away”. John tried, proven by the evidence.
Maybe there was a reason the DA refused to use the report commissioned by his own office.
John needs our help. He has filed for an appeal through the Wyoming state supreme court but his appeal was denied and his options are running out. He has exhausted his life savings and is in need of financial support to continue this fight. His case received some coverage from the local media, however, it has received little attention outside of Wyoming.
We need to generate awareness and make this a widespread issue on a national scale. With all of the ridiculous stories in the media, this should be on everyone’s radar.
This is a clear example of injustice to a decorated combat veteran acting in self-defense. With your help, we can bring John home. Thank you!
If you would like to donate to John, please do so at link below NOT through Change.Org https://gogetfunding.com/john-knospler/
Link to article with supporting documents. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/injustice-john-knospler-stephen-komorek
Link to John's Defense Page. http://www.johnjr.knospler.com/webver2/index.html
DA hired investigator John Daily's report. http://www.johnjr.knospler.com/webver2/investigation/johndaily/johndaily.html
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