The woman at the epicenter of a Texas filmmaker’s crusade against allegedly corrupt police may soon be freed thanks to a federal judge’s decision to vacate her sentence.
Yolanda Madden, who was jailed in 2005 after being convicted of possession of and intent to distribute narcotics, was the reason that Barry Cooper came to Odessa, Texas last December. After being hired to embarrass the local police by Yolanda’s father Raymond, Cooper set up a fake marijuana grow house and baited officers to stage an illegal raid. When they did, police were confronted by an empty house and lots of cameras, with a hand-written poster explaining they had become part of a new reality show called “KopBusters”.
For Yolanda, the stunt was just the beginning of efforts to secure her freedom. Cooper and Madden’s father insist Odessa officers planted the narcotics she was jailed for.
At a Thursday evidentiary hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Junell granted a motion to “vacate, set aside, or correct” Yolanda’s sentence, effectively guaranteeing a new trial and possibly her freedom, according to CBS 7 in Odessa.
Madden has previously lost an appeal before the fifth circuit court. That decision is available here. [PDF link]
“We have proof that neither one of the cops were at where they said they were,” Raymond Madden told the CBS affiliate.
Cooper, a long-time drug officer who turned against prohibition and became an activist, claims Madden’s arresting officers were his former partners.
“The lead investigator, Officer Greg Traveland, claimed he took a verbal confession from Yolanda at the police station when he was actually miles away booking informant, Keith Phillips, into jail,” Cooper wrote on his Web site.
Cooper and Madden’s attorneys allege that to cover his tracks, Traveland then altered Phillips’ booking paperwork to make it appear that a now-deceased officer had brought the man in.
“I know it’s been hard on her to be away from her family but we’re looking forward to getting her smiles and her hugs,” Madden’s grandmother told CBS.
Cooper, who recently helped officers from Combine, Texas arrest a former police chief accused of soliciting minors, said he plans more high-profile stings soon.
This video was broadcast by CBS 7 in Odessa on Dec. 11, 2009.
This video was broadcast by CBS 7 in Odessa on Nov. 25, 2009.
Matt Gaetz forgot which network he was on: Surprised CNN anchor said ‘I’ve never been called Sean Hannity’
Rep. Matt Gaetz seemed to confuse cable news networks during a Thursday appearance
Gaetz was interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo, who aggressively challenged Gaetz on the facts as the Florida Republican attempted to defend President Donald Trump.
Despite the fact Cuomo's interview was nothing like the puff segments Gaetz is used to on Fox, the congressman seemed confused by the end.
"Congressman, you are always welcome, wherever I am, at nine or eleven, whenever," Cuomo said.
"Thanks Sean," Gaetz replied.
"Did you just call me Sean?" Cuomo asked. "Did you just call me Sean?"
California lawmaker who chaired Republican Assembly caucus leaving GOP — to become an independent: report
On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the former Assembly Minority Leader, is leaving the Republican Party and registering as No Party Preference.
"Instead of focusing on solutions for the big problems that we've got, we focused on winning elections," said Mayes in his announcement. "For me, I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with gamesmanship."
Mayes, a controversial figure who was implicated in an affair with a fellow public official, represents Yucca Valley. He is the second Republican Assemblyman this year to leave the party, after Brian Maienschein of San Diego, who Maienschein of San Diego.
‘Quantum physics generator’ incident in Ohio results in evacuation — hazmat found no radiation
Authorities in Columbus, Ohio evacuated dozens of homes after a man called 911 to report being burned by a
"Firefighters say nothing threatening was found in a northwest Columbus garage," WCMH-TV reported. "According to firefighters, a man called and reported that he received ‘RF burns’ while building some sort of ‘quantum physics generator’ in a garage. The man used words like ‘particle accelerator,’ ‘alpha rays,’ and ‘radiation’ while describing how he was burned."