Political Prisoner Eric King Trial Court Report
Eric King is a US political prisoner who was taken into a supply closet and attacked off camera in August of 2018 at FCI Florence. He was hard 4 pointed (while completely compliant) for 5 hours and soft restraints for another 2. While 4 pointed BOP staff had 3 hours off camera with him. He was forced to urinate on himself and was not given water, proper clothing or a blanket. Despite this in August of 2019 the US Attorneys charged Eric with assaulting a federal officer. He has been on communication restrictions for over a year and was unable to receive mail until very recently. He can receive books.
Eric King Court Report: March 14, 2022 (Day 1)
Judge Martinez opened the proceedings and addressed the jury pool solemnly explaining, “Our system cannot survive without jurors!” From there, both the Government and Defense whittled down the pool to the appropriate 12 and the alternate. Some highlights or lowlights of the process were one woman being excused because she was prejudiced against Mr. King solely based on the fact he was a prisoner. Another juror’s father had been brutalized by the police and permanently disabled. They were both excused.
(Gov. Opening Statement)
The Government laid out its case, claiming Mr. King was completely not injured in the storage closet exchange. Their evidence of this was a photograph of Mr. King taken moments after Wilcox struck Eric. This was immediately countered by the defense showing a photograph of Mr. King with a very clear black eye taken two days later. They then attempted to maximize Lt. Wilcox’s injuries by describing his blood stained shirt in dramatic fashion.
(Ms. Regan’s Opening Statement)
Attorney Lauren Regan began the defense by explaining that Mr. King has been wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit, further explaining he was defending himself from an unjust attack by Lt. Wilcox, who had walked him into a broom closet for an ‘attitude adjustment’. Ms. Regan further explained that the blurry pictures the government will try to pass off as evidence are indicative of the intentionally obfuscated true facts of the case.
(Poignant quotes from Lauren Regan’s Opening Statement):
“Nothing legitimate happens between a prisoner and a guard in a storage closet.”
“The evidence will show that Mr. Wilcox chose to create this situation. Without visibility, there is no accountability!”
(Lt. Wilcox’s Testimony)
The Government opened their case with a direct examination of Lt. Wilcox. Wilcox was nervous and uncomfortable, pausing for laughter at strange moments in his testimony. From the Government's line of questioning, it was clear they'll be basing their case upon the fact the storage closet is really a Lt.'s Office, and that Eric was 'extremely agitated' upon arrival in the Lt.'s hall. Wilcox's testimony came across as weak and heavily coached. Wilcox claimed the storage closet was a 'transitory office'. Again it was clear that statement had been coached and rehearsed.
The 2nd day of Eric King's trial starts Tuesday morning at 8:45am. The public access telephone number is: 877-336-1828. Enter access code 9449909#
Eric King Trial Court Report: March 15, 2022 (Day 2)
8:30 AM (Before the jury entered the Chamber)
Day two started with some highly disconcerting news. Yesterday, while Mr. King was in court, unbeknownst to him or his counsel, his cell was emptied of all his belongings, including a bevy of attorney/client privileged documents. The obvious concern here is that the B.O.P. had taken control of sensitive documents without any oversight, and if they chose to do so, there is no telling who previewed and potentially copied these documents. This potentially corrupt action could easily tip the hand of defense strategy in this important case.
Based on the fact that this case is primarily about B.O.P. lies, the idea that B.O.P. officials had custody of Mr. King's privileged documents all day and did not violate the defense’s privacy is a difficult pill to swallow. Mr. King was then notified he would be moved in the middle of his trial from FCI Englewood to FDC Englewood, an entirely different prison with different guards and procedures. This move could easily be perceived as punitive or retaliatory, as a disruption at such a critical time could easily upset any individual who is incarcerated and accustomed to their routine as well as staff attached to their current housing.
The attorneys for the government, the Marshals, and all other officers of the court claimed to have no prior knowledge of this action taken by the Bureau of Prisons. The government claimed Mr. King's property was only taken for 15 minutes where Mr. King shared that it had been missing for 2.5 hours. (This made it impossible for him to prepare adequately for today’s hearing. His documents and belongings were actually taken in the morning and held ALL DAY). Despite the fact the Judge explicitly said Mr. King had done nothing to deserve this transfer, he then allowed Mr. King to be moved this evening to FDC Englewood based on the belief that it would be a similar level of surveillance and conditions. Several years ago, Judge Martinez had explicitly ordered Mr. King to not be subjected to further diesel therapy by the B.O.P. This entire event was understandably upsetting for Mr. King.
Ms. Regan, Mr. King’s lead defense attorney, asked for an evidentiary hearing to bring all B.O.P. officials to testify under oath that Mr. King's documents were not viewed, shared, or copied. She also asked for photographic evidence of Mr. King's new conditions of confinement. She was denied on both requests.
The two main government witnesses today used conveniently fuzzy recollections to cover up the obvious inconsistency in their testimony. Ms. Regan cross examined Lt. Wilcox while Ms. Alvarez handled Lt. Kammrad. Some of the inconsistencies included where Lt. Kammrad was located when Mr. King was brought into the storage closet before the assault occurred, who did the medical photography of Wilcox’s hands, timeline inconsistencies etc. It has become clear that the government’s case will largely try to obscure the truth through heavy coaching as well as an incredible loss of memory when examined by the defense attorneys. Tomorrow, we expect to be another long day of testimony for both sides, though Judge Martinez has consistently tried to keep this trial on track for the scheduled timeline and 5 day trial.
Please join us tomorrow for court. The public access telephone number is: 877-336-1828 and enter access code 9449909#
The Civil Liberties Defense Center is representing Eric pro-bono & there are significant costs associated with bringing a case to trial. Please donate at https://cldc.org/donate/ and put ‘For Eric King Legal Defense’ in the notes.