Regarding Irma Fritz’s column, “Experience as juror tugs at heart of a writer,” Auburn Reporter, Nov. 22):
As the foreman of the second Caves trial, I need to remind the readers that Irma Fritz was not in deliberations. Besides discussing the trial with Sara Green of the Seattle Times, I’ve kept out of the media: until now.
First, Irma is not The Voice of the Jury. Second, although homelessness was involved as all the players lived in homeless camps, their sole purpose was to conduct their drug trade. It would be irresponsible of me after Irma’s story to fail to address what the trial was all about: a cold blooded gangland drug hit.
Irma uses words of family relationship of the homeless players in this trial doing their best. What Irma failed to state is all three camps were major drug hubs each run by a drug lord. And those “homeless neighbors” in her story were directly involved in moving $35,000 of drugs through the Caves on a daily basis.
Those same “homeless neighbors occupying the lowest rank of society speaking of the importance of respect” were also on a first-name basis with the guy living at the Stadium camp, who at the time of this crime was holding a young teenage girl hostage for prostitution. She was later rescued by the Seattle police.
Those same “homeless neighbors” and their “extraordinary acts of kindness” also had multiple arrests involving thousands of dollars of drugs. For some reason, Seattle continually released them back to the street without any hard time where they resumed their trade of beating the crap out of street dealers who didn’t buy from them. Where is “the need for love, respect and connection” in that?
The Caves trial is about the drug trade in Seattle. Most, if not all, of us jurists were amazed how Seattle knowingly tolerated this situation. Although we had three hanging verdicts, it was clear the assault at the Caves was a retaliatory hit by the Samoans as the Caves drug lord (Asian) attempted to take over the drug trade at the Dearborn camp (Samoan). Reprisal was required. The hit was coordinated at the Stadium camp. The boys with cohorts embarked upon their obvious mission as exposed by the gloating giggling words of an “accused brother reliving their trauma in a third trial” on the hidden video using his hand as a gun showing how he went “tap, tap, tap” up at the Caves, resulting in two people killed and three critically wounded.
Irma, as Paul Harvey would say: this is the rest of the story. Good day.
– Armand Kepler