Once again we are back in a sorry, seedy courtroom in Alabama’s 20th circuit, trying to negotiate the rule of law with a D.A. that knows no rule of law along with the D.A.’s “back pocket” cronies. This week involved Judge Brad Mendheim in a Rule 32 hearing filed by Gregory Sellers pro se from Holman Prison where he has been incarcerated. Sellers was moved to the Houston County Jail in anticipation of his court scheduled 8:30 a.m. , July 8 hearing. Unfortunately, little goes by the books or schedule in the 20th circuit. At the last second Sellers was advised that his hearing had been changed to July 5.
Gregory Ray Sellers filed a Rule 32 hearing on the grounds of incompetent counsel. His previous attorney: C.J. Haywood, who had been appointed by Judge Brad Mendheim and is one of the good judge’s two (2) handpicked lawyers selected by the judge and appointed by the judge per the judge’s whim, to represent indigent defendants, of which a prison inmate is considered indigent.
Now to get in the good graces of a local judge and to be put on their ultra short list of 2 lawyers that will receive $$$ from the county to represent indigent clients, a hand selected lawyer has to keep his judge buddy happy and as they say; “play well with others”, specifically cause no problems or issues whenever D.A. Doug Valeska puts on his party pants and is pulling one of his steam roller routines; playing tough on crime and pushing whomever is in his crosshairs off to a lifetime in prison. Said appointed defense attorneys must not cause too many headaches, issues or go against the D.A. or the judge, he is just to roll over and do whatever is asked of him.
In Sellers case, attorney C.J. Haywood appointed to represent Sellers allegedly FAILED to put on ANY witnesses or arguments for the defense. Please make sure you understand that statement: NO ONE WAS ALLOWED TO TESTIFY AGAINST DOUG VALESKA AND HIS CLOWNS IN THE D.A. OFFICE. So what you had was Valeska and his cronies putting on their dog and pony show, then the lawyer hired by the judge and approved by the D.A. did NOTHING to show anything unto the court to defend his client. This was not a single, one off, type of issue with one single attorney. This scenario has been recounted to us innumerable times involving various court appointed attorneys, most of the complaints have involved attorney Jack Blumenfeld who apparently makes the predominance of his livelihood from cases thrown his way by the Houston County indigent Court defense fund.
Good ole hand selected lawyer boy, C.J. Haywood was not the first attorney representing Gregory Ray Sellers. Sellers originally hired (paid for) attorney Mark Overall, which upset D.A. Valeska to no end because apparently Overall would not pull a roll over like a dog routine in order to give Valeska an easy win. Attorney Overall so pissed off Valeska that he and another one of his Dothan Country Club buddies; Judge Mike Conaway, sought to do everything in their power to force attorney Overall out of the practice of law. Now don’t be shocked, this is not the first lawyer that has gotten in the way of Valeska and his Courthouse Crowd and in retaliation the backroom deal buddies employed by the citizens of the 20th circuit, have done what they needed to, including makeup seemingly silly innocuous grievances in order to force those that fail to play dirty pool or rather dirty court with them out of the practice of law.
Valeska, who we have been advised by credible sources, is or has allegedly been a member of a White Supremacist Group, could or would not let a black lawyer, even a young, well educated one such as attorney Mark Overall, get all uppity and go against the local Klan running the courthouse.
Consequently, Sellers lost his independent thinking attorney, Mark Overall, who apparently upset Valeska and Mendheim’s apple cart by demanding that Gregory Ray Sellers’s case be moved to another district, aka a change of venue.
Overall’s requested change of venue was directly tied to D.A. Doug Valeska and involved a large amount of money and Valeska’s own wife. Gregory Ray Sellers stood accused by Valeska and or his office of: kidnapping Seller’s then girlfriend and other alleged torts against said girlfriend, one Candance Hatcher Santiago, who had been intimately involved with Sellers for several years. Unfortunately allegedly Sellers and Hatcher/Santiago were both big Meth users; so much so that those with intimate knowledge of the situation stated “they both shot meth up”.
HERE IS WHERE THIS STORY GOES OFF THE RAILS: Sellers girlfriend at the time; Candace Hatcher Santiago, has close financial ties involving the Valeska’s. Hatcher’s deceased Grandmother was a well known successful Real Estate Agent/Broker; Hazel Kistler. Kistler left an estate of a few million dollars which included rental property from her business; A-1 Realty. Valeska’s wife has been managing Hazel Kistler’s estate as the V.P of a local bank for several years. Candace is one of allegedly 2 persons that benefit from Kistler’s estate. Apparently Valeska’s wife also benefits from managing Kistler’s estate. Now someone in that kind of money managing position has to protect their money train; certainly no one would expect Doug Valeska to do anything to upset the apple cart of cash being delivered to his very own bedmate.
Gregory Ray Sellers may not be the only person Candace Hatcher Santiago has sold up the river with the assistance of good buddy, Doug Valeska. At least 2 other men have received sentences similar to Sellers; LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE, while Ms. Hatcher Santiago, who has been arrested for multiple drug torts and other issues, consistently received a little slap on the wrist.
Fast forward to July 5, 2015, Gregory Sellers was brought into the Houston County Courthouse before Judge Brad Mendheim. Sellers who figured off he was better off representing himself than having one of Valeska or Mendheim’s hacks essentially hack up his chances, had brought with him from Holman prison a box of legal documents necessary to defend his case. Unfortunately Sellers was separated from said documents and that same box of documents never made its way to Sellers’s jail cell in the Houston County Courthouse during the approximate 30 days Sellers waited for his hearing. So Sellers was brought into the court with an earlier than expected hearing date, he was seated at the defense table, handcuffed, without benefit of any documents necessary for his defense. When he questioned Judge Mendheim about the loss of defense documents, Mendheim allegedly cursed a round or two and the hunt for Sellers documents by court and jail house clowns ensued. During this melee, Mendheim was observed in his chambers conversing with attorney C.J. Haywood the same lawyer Sellers was alleging in his Rule 32 hearing as ineffective counsel. Sellers documents were eventually found and delivered to his defense table where they were unceremoniously dumped out on the table by the deputy making the delivery, wherein Judge Mendheim gave a still handcuffed Gregory Ray Sellers approximately 10 minutes to go through and organize his documents needed and to prepare for his presentation.
In the end Mendheim did not rule on Sellers case July 5, he chose to wait to deliver the, as we anticipate, bad news for Sellers in writing at a later date, as if any kind of other outcome is in their pre determined cards.
HONEST, IMPARTIAL, UNQUESTIONABLE COURT PROCEEDINGS? JUST ANOTHER DAY IN THE RIPPED UP, STOMPED ON , DEVOID OF CIVIL RIGHTS, COURT IN HOUSTON COUNTY, ALABAMA’S 20TH CIRCUIT.
Even Gregory Sellers criminal appeal appeared to have been rigged by the good ole boys, caught in a gigged fish net, court. Sellers had no communication with the attorney appointed to appeal his case except a letter sent to the lawyer, Christina Lamere Robinson a fresh out of Jones Law School graduate that apparently wanted to impress those in the courthouse who had appointed her. Robinson failed to include in her appellate brief, as per her client, Gregory Sellers’s request, that he had incompetent counsel aka attorney C.J. Haywood.
DURING THE ORIGINAL TRIAL, JUDGE BRAD MENDHEIM CALLED GREGORY SELLERS “EXTREMELY DANGEROUS”. CAN YOU SAY CHOO CHOO? ANOTHER PERSON RAILROADED IN THE 20TH CIRCUIT, HOUSTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE BY THE DIRTY LITTLE “COURTHOUSE CROWD”.
Isn’t it unusual that it appears all men involved within the past few years with Valeska cash cow, Candace Hatcher Santiago, are all found to be dangerous enough that all are prosecuted and sentenced to life without parole? What better way to insure that no one interferes with or shares Candace’s deceased Grandmother’s money which might take a single penny away from Valeska’s own household coffers.
Additionally, someone should be asked, “Who prepared Hazel Kistler’s end of life documents possibly when she was residing in a nursing home in Dothan, documents that gave the Valeska household legal authority to control Kistler’s estate”? Could it possibly have been one of Valeska’s very close, very tight, estate planning “expert” buddies who would benefit from same?
IF ANYONE HAS INFORMATION REGARDING HOUSTON COUNTY COURT PROCEEDINGS WHERE YOU WERE DENIED THE RIGHT TO PROVIDE WITNESSES DURING YOUR CASE, PLEASE CONTACT US AT email@example.com, AS THIS APPEARS TO BE A PATTERN AND PRACTICE.