Thomas M. Coffin, A Federal Judge in Oregon, framed a man for murder and rape when he was a United States Attorney. Not only did he frame this man but he asked the judge to give this man 2 life sentences and to have this man surgically castrated. How did he frame this man? Being the prosecutor on the case, Coffin, withheld evidence that would prove the man's innocence. Coffin also introduced circumstantial evidence that were obtained through an illegal search and seizure due to the fact that the search warrant had never been executed. Let me say before I give you the story, that before this man went on trail for the murder/rape, he was offered a plea bargain: A Guilty plea and he would do no more than 7 years in prison and he would be eligible for parole in 24 hours (He had already spent more than 1 year in prison because he would not let his parents put their home up for bond.) He was offered the plea bargain 3 times, and turned it down each time stating "I am innocent!" Let it also be known, that after his 3rd trial, the trial that finally got a verdict, it was overheard that several jurors questioned "Why wasn't he found with blood on him?" "She was beat, so why didn't any close ups of this man at the time of his arrest show any bruising, wounds ?". Then years later, it was found out that there was a statistician among the jurors who had convinced all the jurors of this man's guilt by "running the numbers."
I wish to tell you a true story of the cover up by federal officials and prosecutors of evidence, an illegal search and seizure, conveniently destroyed evidence precluding DNA exoneration, and eliminating certain government witnesses. These facts are supported by:
Victim photos/crime scene photos
Crime scene investigation notes
Tape Recordings of investigation
The actions of federal officials are no different than those committed by the prosecutor in the Duke University Case.
The case that I am about to tell you reflects not a pursuit for justice- but a sating of career ambitions and appeasement of the Mexican Government. It will also tell how not one but two suspects were investigated. One suspect, Michael Kennedy, my husband of 2 years, was employed by the Federal Protective Services in San Diego, California. His job was akin to local police officers duties except on a federal level. Michael has no history of sexual mis-conduct, no history of violence and was living with his parents at the time. His only crime was that he smoked “Kool” brand cigarettes. The other suspect, R.B., who was also a federal protective officer. He had applied for a US customs position that Michael had ultimately received. R.B. had a history of sexually abusive behavior, pornography, and a history of violence and disciplined for making sexual remarks to children. R.B. also had a brown belt in Karate-strangulation could have been caused by a karate chop to the throat- and a former motorcycle gang member. Two witnesses were not allowed to testify. One was R.B.’s girlfriend who was going to testify about his tendency to violence behavior and his sexually abusive behavior. The other one was a female colleague who was going to testify that R.B. had asked her out, when she denied, he stated: “You think you’re going to end up like the other one? You are as dumb as she was!” To a woman, this is threat. It signifies that he may have asked Maria for sexual favors, and when she turned him down, he proceeded to take those favors by force. Interestingly still, despite R.B.’s history, and the fact that he was “O” positive blood type, the investigation on him did not continue as 1) he did not smoke 2) he was a secretor.
On Friday Nov. 23, 1979, Josephine Felix, a resident of Corcoran, California, drove to Tijuana, Mexico, for the purpose of smuggling her sister-in-law, Maria Lopez deFelix, into the United States. Maria was in the trunk of her car and at the Port of Entry in San Ysidro. A customs inspector discovered Maria and turned the two women over to the Immigration Officer for questioning. Both were photographed, and put into separate cells. Around 1:30 a.m. on November 24. Maria was released. She was pointed toward a set of double doors behind which a corridor would take her back to Mexico. Passing through the double doors, Maria encountered Michael Kennedy, who was just returning from the cafeteria. As Maria appeared lost, and Kennedy not knowing any Spanish at the time, he escorted her over to Customs Inspector Clooney, who directed her towards the corridor to Mexico.
On Monday, November 26, 1979, around 10:00 a.m., some thirty three hours after Maria was ordered back to Mexico, she was found murdered in an alleyway behind the Old Customs Building at the Port of Entry. She appeared to have been beaten, raped and strangled. Investigation disclosed that she had been murdered in the Old Customs Building. In the surrounding area, investigators found pieces of Maria’s gold chain, a torn tassel from her shawl, a slip of paper containing the address of Maria’s aunt, and Maria’s gold-plated religious medallion. Her shoes and purse were found hidden in the toilet tank of one of the adjoining cells. Investigators also came across several “Kool” brand cigarette butts and pieces of masking tape.
Michael Kennedy became a suspect because he was one of only two people on duty that night that had possessed a key to the pad-locked gate to the area that the murder occurred, and because he smoked “Kool” brand cigarettes. Michael was scheduled to work from 12 midnight on Saturday Nov. 24 to 8 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, 1979. He routinely walked as part of his patrol the area where the murder had occurred. After his first 2 trials ended in hung juries, Michael was convicted at a third trial of the rape and murder of Maria Lopez deFelix and sentenced to 2 life sentences. (Thank God Coffin did not get the other he demanded: Castration!)
Time of death is crucial to the guilt or innocence of Michael Kennedy as Maria was found on Nov.26, 1979 at 10 a.m. Dr. Thomas Naguchi, an expert witness for the defense and Chief Medical Examiner for L.A. County, testified that the victim died 4-6 hours before she was found. The key here is that the close ups of the victim’s face were not released as evidence at any of Michael’s trials to substantiate Dr. Naguchi’s testimony. The victim did not have any fly larvae deposited in her eyelids at the time her body was discovered. Per Dr.Naguchi, fly larvae would have been deposited in the victim’s eye lids 4-6 hours after death. Counting back the hours, Michael was not at work when her death occurred. For the prosecution, Dr. Luibel, Chief medical examiner of San Diego County, placed time of Death 24-36 hours before she was found. Thus, the with-holding of the victim’s close ups of her face was necessary by the prosecution to get a conviction.
Another example is the removal of former FBI Special Agent Frederick Wallace after his testimony as an expert witness as a hair identification expert for the government. Agent Wallace’s testimony was contrary to the government’s case. He testified at Michael’s first trial that the four or so hair strands found at the crime scene did not match Michael’s hair. Special Agent Wallace was unavailable to testify at Michael’s 2nd and 3rd trials due to “medical” problems. Another FBI hair expert was consulted who testified that they could have been Michael’s hair.
The other evidence that was submitted was the result of an illegal search and seizure. This is just further demonstrated to the lengths that federal officials were willing to go to obtain a conviction. The search warrant was never executed. Rather, FBI agents Jerry L. Barnett, Kenneth A. Vardell, and James M. Bird, told Michael’s parents, that they had a warrant and would need to search the house. During this search, they seized one uniform jacket, uniform pants, uniform shirts, shoes, pocket knife and a roll of masking tape.
Other evidence not released during trial:
2 separate FBI investigative reports placing time of death 8-10 hours before body was found
An investigative page from Special Agent Kenneth Vardell that reflected:
Blood grouping analysis of a bloody tissue at the crime scene was “O” positive
Blood grouping analysis of the victim was Type “A” positive
Blood grouping analysis of Michael Kennedy was Type “A” positive.
Information on the testing done for secretor/non-secretor (a secreter secretes his blood type in his semen, a non-secretor does not). It was found that since the victim had not bathed nor changed her panties for more than 24 hours, that would result in the natural build up of bacteria. Couple that with the build up from the urine that was excreted at the time of death, destroys the ability to identify a secretor from a non-secretor. Further note that all possible body fluids were accidentally destroyed by other evidence collection processes and could not be used later for DNA testing as it was unavailable in 1979.
I need to also point out, that during his investigation and trials, the Federal Officials investigated Michael with the rape and murder of Ramona Hernandez in San Diego. They seized his car and demolished it while searching for evidence. They found blood, which turned out to be canine. The previous owner of the car when questioned stated that her dog had been hurt and bleeding and she used her car to transport the dog to the vet. Several witnesses’ testimonies and time of death made it clearly evident that Michael did not commit that crime. That murderer, too, has never been found, as once again, the federal officials spent so much time and energy in trying to also convict my husband of it.
For years after his conviction, my husband continues to claim his innocence and continues to fight for justice. All of his appeals go unheard. The most recent denial: Judge Larry Adam Burns, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of California, issued an order barring the filing of any document related to the criminal conviction of Michael Edward Kennedy, to preclude any inquiry into the actions of his former colleague and long time friend- Thomas M. Coffin, now a federal judge in Oregon. Coffin was the prosecutor, along with FBI Special Agents Barnett, Vardell, and Bird, did not notify the court that the items involved in the search and seizure were obtained illegally without the execution of a search warrant.
My husband has been very cooperative: underwent 4 polygraphs, submitted his blood for the national DNA data base and never once has violated the conditions of his parole. He was released in 2000 after serving 20 years in Federal Prisons all around the United States. Federal Prisons transfer their prisoners every 2-5 years to another prison. He continued to go to his psychological counseling that was ordered by his parole officer since 2000 in the Sexual Offender Program. Normally, the counseling is only for 2 years, but the PO, in his attempts to break Michael down, forced him to go 2 x month. (The counseling is currently suspended as Eastern Shore Psychological Services refuse to see Michael since he is suing them) Every parole hearing, he has attempted to be taken off supervised parole. The last one he was turned down was in Dec. 2008. Their reasoning being:
1. He is currently appealing his sex registration. (Under Maryland law he is not required to register as his conviction was prior to 1997.)
2. He has not been currently employed for 3 years. (He was laid off from work in Aug. 07 and began a new employment in July 2008)
3. He has not been at his residence for 3 years. (This is an error. He has had the same residence for 5 years)
I hope when you read this, you will want to see justice done as much as we do. To think that these federal officials are still out there and could be possibly repeating the same cover-ups is an injustice to everyone. Of course, we know they are, as we read in the news just a couple of weeks about the man who was released after serving 21 years for a rape/murder that he did not commit. Not only are they out there repeating the same cover ups but they are profitting from getting difficult convictions. Isn't that true Judge?