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TPC Responds To The Franklin Times News Article: Poor Journalism Misleading The Public In Youth’s Criminal Case

As a writer it’s imperative that any readership finds articles, blog post, or other print media they consume to be absolutely credible from those media organizations that society relies on for hard news, while this established trust helps sustain it’s following. Some reporters along with their editors and publishing executives believe that simply echoing a few quotes from interviewees is actually sound journalism, but the responsibility doesn’t just rest there. Those within our society who are charged with the task of churning out newsworthy content to the masses, have been bestowed with a sacred trust, as gatekeepers of society in the ever evolving age of information and technology. Since most media agencies are in the industry for profit, a balance between factual news reporting and sensational journalism must be sustained. Often times the priority of the business aspect of media spills over into news content requiring intensive fact finding, and some information becomes sensationalized to the extent that reporter’s communication through mass media results in misleading news stories. In the real world of news reporting, information will become distorted, misinterpreted, and frequently void of accuracy. Like any other profession, things just happen.

This perspective is entirely necessary for grasping the premise for this article’s discussion on journalistic practices, when hard news becomes a focal interest of readers seeking media content surrounding human interest stories, and other news information that directly impacts public safety of readership within the immediate culture from which such news content derives. Failure to adhere to certain journalistic standards is a direct violation of the public’s trust who absorb information from media as consumers. I can best describe the argument of breaking the public’s trust through the example of the O.J. Simpson trial, when Detective Mark Furman perjured himself on the witness stand, by lying to the court regarding his usage of the “N-word.” The scene of the tape being played in open court was a defining moment in American culture, that put the integrity of brave men and women working as police officers everywhere, on trial. Prior to Furman’s implosion, white Americans had rarely witnessed the manner in which police tell lies to obtain a conviction of criminal defendants, but the black community had no shock effect at all because that community had long endured such misconduct as an established cultural practice by the police.

With that being said, it brings me to the heart of my discussion for this article. On yesterday I read a news article that was published in The Franklin Times in North Carolina, written by staff writer Carry Johnson. In the article Johnson depicts culminating moments in the Shannon Nyamodi criminal case where the youth pled guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in a plea arrangement. Johnson describes disturbing statements from the Nyamodi youth’s aunt Brenda Nyamodi, who alleged that Shannon was brought up in a turbulent household of abuse, and was subjected to maltreatment. “He had a difficult home life and there was neglect,” Johnson quotes the aunt. It’s a quote from a relative of the defendant, and I can understand Johnson’s desire to report her comments, but somewhere journalistic instinct should have arrived, initiating a desire to get confirmation of the aunt’s statements. The article didn’t contain a rebuttal comment from Shannon’s parents or any documents within public records to support that he or his siblings fr that matter, had been abused. If the allegations are true, an attempt should have been pursued to qualify the comments. I spoke with Elizabeth Crudup (Shannon’s mother) at length regarding her sister’s statements in court, and she categorically denied the allegations. The statements were sensational and the writer ran with it to print without even investigating Brenda Nyamodi’s claims. Had he done so, he would have discovered a strained relationship between the siblings that dates back to their early years of development.

Johnson goes on in the article to perpetuate untruths related to the case that his print media organization has continually published since the news story first broke. He writes a number of quotes attributed to defense attorney Maitri Klinkosum that are dispelled within the prosecutor’s own record on file in the case. The most significant quote from Klinkosum is, “The reason that we’re not going to trial,” Klinkosum said, “is that some of the texts are pretty damning.” The prosecution has always alleged that Shannon and the victim’s daughter had conspired to kill the teen girl’s mother and rob her. Assistant District Attorney Kristin Peebles said investigators were able to get their hands on text messages between the two which were pretty telling. However, when I spoke to Mr. Johnson personally over the phone regarding his article, he seemed to believe that prosecutors had text message exchanges between the two from cell phones. Base on his understanding of the evidence alleged against Shannon Nyamodi and the teen girl, I knew that Johnson had never viewed the search warrant affidavit in the case file. I asked Johnson had he ever seen these text messages, and he replied “no.” The writer’s lack of knowledge regarding these crucial facts in this horrible crime spoke volumes of his lack of journalistic prowess related to basic corroboration of  pertinent facts for his article.

In the weeks and days following this crime, Carry Johnson wrote a series of articles in The Franklin times related to this case and spewed the very same untruthfulness about Shannon Nyamodi having conspired with Rhonda Maclean’s 15-year-old daughter. He conducted no research into police allegations that they received from sources who implicated Shannon. Johnson’s article read, “According to investigators, the incident was set in motion weeks before as they allege the girl and Nyamodi exchanged text messages, setting up the hit.” He admittedly stated that he has never seen these alleged text messages, and I doubt very seriously if Johnson ever asked to see them. If the authorities would have denied him access to them, he could have obtained a freedom of information request to obtain them. I mean, if the text were “very damning” as Klinkosum alleges, any intelligent person would think that police and prosecutors would have wanted the entire world to see them, while confirming that Shannon Nyamodi was in fact guilty. These text have never been made public, and as a journalist Johnson should have been proactive in determining why. The below images should resolve why these alleged text messages have never been made public:

 

FBWResult1

State Bureau of Investigations Search Warrant affidavit obtained for the Facebook accounts of both Shannon Nyamodi and the victim’s daughter. The investigator’s findings are very damning, not for Shannon Nyamodi, but rather the prosecutor’s entire case against this young defendant. Without the link between them which sources allege was a conspiracy, there is no motive, nor probable cause to even arrest shannon.

FBWResults

The Search Warrant affidavit clearly reveals that in fact, no Facebook text exchanges ever transpired between Shannon and the teen girl. Additionally, the investigator didn’t even turn his findings in until nearly 3 months after August 27, 2012 which was the date he made the discovery that no text were exchange between the pair.

 

Yet, Mr. Johnson is completely comfortable with writing quotes in his articles for The Franklin Times, from lawyers who are in fact lying to him. This document is the entire case against Shannon Nyamodi in a nut shell, and Johnson failed to follow very rudimentary journalistic fact finding that could have spared this youth from such a horrendous ordeal. How is it even possible for consumers who patronize The Franklin Times to even trust this writer’s credibility? Read the entire Facebook Search Warrant affidavit below:

 

FBsearch3 FBsearch4 FBsearch5 FBsearch6 FBsearch7 FBsearch8 FBsearch9 FBsearch10 FBsearch11 FBsearch12 FBsearch13

 

Johnson’s article goes on to explain that Shannon Nyamodi had shot the victim with her own .22 caliber rifle.“They planned to use a .22 and they were going to use bug spray if shooting didn’t do the job,” Peebles said. Johnson goes on writing, Investigators recovered the gun underneath the truck that Nyamodi slept in, which was parked on the road in front of Maclean’s home. It’s just insane that such basic facts were missed by this writer. See below:

 

116 shearin court

This is the truck Shannon Nyamodi was known to sleep in when he frequented his friends home, but the only problem is that Johnson didn’t get this right either and it’s always parked in front of the Young’s family house at 116 Shearin Court where Rhonda Maclean ran for help after being shot, and not several homes away at 109 Shearin Court where the crime occurred.

report9edit

The inventory of seized property log indicates that the victim’s .22 caliber rifle was found inside the home where the shooting occurred at 109 Shearin Court, and not under the truck as Johnson;s article alleges.

 

Then there is the matter of the DNA that Johnson’s article alleges, “Investigators recovered the bank bag that was covered in Nyamodi’s DNA, forensics scientists concluded. Where is this report which is also public record. I wonder if Mr. Johnson has ever seen a copy of that report as well. Sources who spoke to TPC on conditions on anonymity, reveal that testing on the bag had such a small portion of Shannon’s DNA on it, that it more than like came from a police officer who had handled the Nyamodi youth during his arrest and inadvertently touch the bag, while transferring his DNA. Why has this crucial DNA report from scientist never been made public? The other disturbing element of the case related to this crime is that investigators sought to test the bag and not the money. During a court proceeding in which Rhonda Maclean petitioned the court to retrieve the money stolen from her the night she got shot, both the prosecutor, and the defense counsel declined to test it and the court turned it back over to Maclean. When allegations are made that DNA exist in any criminal case, it’s never been made public, Johnson never corroborates the existence of such scientific test results, makes that portion of his article as well as the prosecutor’s assertion not credible.

The very existence of DNA is perhaps the most culpable and compelling source of evidence a prosecutor could obtain. Coupled with the victim’s daughter allegedly accepting a plea deal in exchange for testifying against Shannon Nyamodi, presents an extremely strong case, but these facts only heighten suspicion as to why prosecutors willingly and readily prepared to offer this defendant a plea deal. The entire song and dance that the courts were lenient on Shannon because of his purported difficult upbringing is just not convincing at all. The very presence of Shannon’s aunt Brenda Nyamodi in the courtroom for these secretive proceedings (if she was in fact there at all) is suspect at best. Brenda Nyamodi was one of the very people who telephone Shannon’s mother the night before, tipping her off that Shannon would be accepting a plea deal in court the following day. The nasty message she left on Elizabeth crudup’s phone sounded vindictive, full of spite, and malice as if her intentions were to torture her sister, according to the mother.

Johnson’s article quotes Klinkosum’snegative comments to the court related to Shannon’s mother and me (David Adams, the article reads) as the Administrator of The People’s Champion Blog. Johnson wrote:

The case included some hurdles, Klinkosum admitted. Nyamodi’s mother, Elizabeth Crudup, and others began a social media campaign earlier this year, accusing officials of delaying Nyamodi’s day in court and his exoneration. In a Youtube video and in accompanying blogs by David Adams, who refers to himself as The People’s Champion, Nyamodi’s mother made a range of accusations, from the court system dragging its feet, to a good-old-boy network that is denying Nyamodi justice. In the video, Crudup, urges people for help with Nyamodi’s bond, plus a “really good, pro bono lawyer.”

Klinkosum’s comments aren’t surprising when considering the harsh manner that Elizabeth Crudup says that he has treated her. An attorney interviewed for this article told TPC, that if the mother is correct regarding her treatment by her son’s attorney, his actions are extremely unprofessional at best. He also states, that most law firms try to create an inclusionary environment with their clients family members, providing documentation upon request, answering questions, and giving regular updates pertaining to their loved ones case. Regardless who has paid the retainer for representation in a criminal case, rarely is the mother of a defendant outcast from involvement in the client’s case. Crudup says that Klinkosum has had her thrown out of his law office on multiple occasions without cause. Crudup told TPC that Klinkosum has been spreading innuendo and rumors about her mental health, and according to Johnson’s article he stated on record, “he believes Nyamodi’s mother suffers from mental illness that made his upbringing difficult.” Instead of Klinkosum mounting a fight for Shannon Nyamodi’s defense in what appeared to be a an extremely weak case against him, he insults his client’s mother by implying that she is mentally ill, according to Johnson’s article.

On what basis does Klinkosum make such slanderous statements about Shannon’s mother , and how does writer Carry Johnson even qualify his comments without substantiating facts to support any mental health issues of the mother whatsoever? A compelling argument could be made that Johnson’s article was more about Shannon’s mother, and that she was responsible for her son’s plight. the article appears to be a witch hunt designed to smear Shannon’s mother name, while pleading to the court that he was some poor helpless kid that made a bad mistake, and now has so much empathy for the victim and his violent actions. This is very far removed from the young defendant who spent nearly a year and a half in isolation at the hands of his torturous jailers at the Franklin County Detention Center. All of this drama, and results in the prosecution escaping having to present culpable evidence against Shannon Nyamodi. It’s apparent that these kinds of articles printed by Mr. Johnson are from a perspective with close ties to both Klinkosum and the prosecutor. No research of pertinent facts were ever done by this writer. What professional journalist does that? Carry Johnson should be ashamed of what i believe to be nothing short of poor journalism, and his efforts has completely misled the public within the surrounding communities who patronize The Franklin Times.

 

 

The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

 

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

As a writer it’s imperative that any readership finds articles, blog post, or other print media they consume to be absolutely credible from those media organizations that society relies on for hard news, while this established trust helps sustain it’s following. Some reporters along with their editors and publishing executives believe that simply echoing a few quotes from interviewees is actually sound journalism, but the responsibility doesn’t just rest there. Those within our society who are charged with the task of churning out newsworthy content to the masses, have been bestowed with a sacred trust, as gatekeepers of society in the ever evolving age of information and technology. Since most media agencies are in the industry for profit, a balance between factual news reporting and sensational journalism must be sustained. Often times the priority of the business aspect of media spills over into news content requiring intensive fact finding, and some information becomes sensationalized to the extent that reporter’s communication through mass media results in misleading news stories. In the real world of news reporting, information will become distorted, misinterpreted, and frequently void of accuracy. Like any other profession, things just happen.

This perspective is entirely necessary for grasping the premise for this article’s discussion on journalistic practices, when hard news becomes a focal interest of readers seeking media content surrounding human interest stories, and other news information that directly impacts public safety of readership within the immediate culture from which such news content derives. Failure to adhere to certain journalistic standards is a direct violation of the public’s trust who absorb information from media as consumers. I can best describe the argument of breaking the public’s trust through the example of the O.J. Simpson trial, when Detective Mark Furman perjured himself on the witness stand, by lying to the court regarding his usage of the “N-word.” The scene of the tape being played in open court was a defining moment in American culture, that put the integrity of brave men and women working as police officers everywhere, on trial. Prior to Furman’s implosion, white Americans had rarely witnessed the manner in which police tell lies to obtain a conviction of criminal defendants, but the black community had no shock effect at all because that community had long endured such misconduct as an established cultural practice by the police.

With that being said, it brings me to the heart of my discussion for this article. On yesterday I read a news article that was published in The Franklin Times in North Carolina, written by staff writer Carry Johnson. In the article Johnson depicts culminating moments in the Shannon Nyamodi criminal case where the youth pled guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in a plea arrangement. Johnson describes disturbing statements from the Nyamodi youth’s aunt Brenda Nyamodi, who alleged that Shannon was brought up in a turbulent household of abuse, and was subjected to maltreatment. “He had a difficult home life and there was neglect,” Johnson quotes the aunt. It’s a quote from a relative of the defendant, and I can understand Johnson’s desire to report her comments, but somewhere journalistic instinct should have arrived, initiating a desire to get confirmation of the aunt’s statements. The article didn’t contain a rebuttal comment from Shannon’s parents or any documents within public records to support that he or his siblings fr that matter, had been abused. If the allegations are true, an attempt should have been pursued to qualify the comments. I spoke with Elizabeth Crudup (Shannon’s mother) at length regarding her sister’s statements in court, and she categorically denied the allegations. The statements were sensational and the writer ran with it to print without even investigating Brenda Nyamodi’s claims. Had he done so, he would have discovered a strained relationship between the siblings that dates back to their early years of development.

Johnson goes on in the article to perpetuate untruths related to the case that his print media organization has continually published since the news story first broke. He writes a number of quotes attributed to defense attorney Maitri Klinkosum that are dispelled within the prosecutor’s own record on file in the case. The most significant quote from Klinkosum is, “The reason that we’re not going to trial,” Klinkosum said, “is that some of the texts are pretty damning.” The prosecution has always alleged that Shannon and the victim’s daughter had conspired to kill the teen girl’s mother and rob her. Assistant District Attorney Kristin Peebles said investigators were able to get their hands on text messages between the two which were pretty telling. However, when I spoke to Mr. Johnson personally over the phone regarding his article, he seemed to believe that prosecutors had text message exchanges between the two from cell phones. Base on his understanding of the evidence alleged against Shannon Nyamodi and the teen girl, I knew that Johnson had never viewed the search warrant affidavit in the case file. I asked Johnson had he ever seen these text messages, and he replied “no.” The writer’s lack of knowledge regarding these crucial facts in this horrible crime spoke volumes of his lack of journalistic prowess related to basic corroboration of  pertinent facts for his article.

In the weeks and days following this crime, Carry Johnson wrote a series of articles in The Franklin times related to this case and spewed the very same untruthfulness about Shannon Nyamodi having conspired with Rhonda Maclean’s 15-year-old daughter. He conducted no research into police allegations that they received from sources who implicated Shannon. Johnson’s article read, “According to investigators, the incident was set in motion weeks before as they allege the girl and Nyamodi exchanged text messages, setting up the hit.” He admittedly stated that he has never seen these alleged text messages, and I doubt very seriously if Johnson ever asked to see them. If the authorities would have denied him access to them, he could have obtained a freedom of information request to obtain them. I mean, if the text were “very damning” as Klinkosum alleges, any intelligent person would think that police and prosecutors would have wanted the entire world to see them, while confirming that Shannon Nyamodi was in fact guilty. These text have never been made public, and as a journalist Johnson should have been proactive in determining why. The below images should resolve why these alleged text messages have never been made public:

 

FBWResult1

State Bureau of Investigations Search Warrant affidavit obtained for the Facebook accounts of both Shannon Nyamodi and the victim’s daughter. The investigator’s findings are very damning, not for Shannon Nyamodi, but rather the prosecutor’s entire case against this young defendant. Without the link between them which sources allege was a conspiracy, there is no motive, nor probable cause to even arrest shannon.

FBWResults

The Search Warrant affidavit clearly reveals that in fact, no Facebook text exchanges ever transpired between Shannon and the teen girl. Additionally, the investigator didn’t even turn his findings in until nearly 3 months after August 27, 2012 which was the date he made the discovery that no text were exchange between the pair.

 

Yet, Mr. Johnson is completely comfortable with writing quotes in his articles for The Franklin Times, from lawyers who are in fact lying to him. This document is the entire case against Shannon Nyamodi in a nut shell, and Johnson failed to follow very rudimentary journalistic fact finding that could have spared this youth from such a horrendous ordeal. How is it even possible for consumers who patronize The Franklin Times to even trust this writer’s credibility? Read the entire Facebook Search Warrant affidavit below:

 

FBsearch3 FBsearch4 FBsearch5 FBsearch6 FBsearch7 FBsearch8 FBsearch9 FBsearch10 FBsearch11 FBsearch12 FBsearch13

 

Johnson’s article goes on to explain that Shannon Nyamodi had shot the victim with her own .22 caliber rifle.“They planned to use a .22 and they were going to use bug spray if shooting didn’t do the job,” Peebles said. Johnson goes on writing, Investigators recovered the gun underneath the truck that Nyamodi slept in, which was parked on the road in front of Maclean’s home. It’s just insane that such basic facts were missed by this writer. See below:

 

116 shearin court

This is the truck Shannon Nyamodi was known to sleep in when he frequented his friends home, but the only problem is that Johnson didn’t get this right either and it’s always parked in front of the Young’s family house at 116 Shearin Court where Rhonda Maclean ran for help after being shot, and not several homes away at 109 Shearin Court where the crime occurred.

report9edit

The inventory of seized property log indicates that the victim’s .22 caliber rifle was found inside the home where the shooting occurred at 109 Shearin Court, and not under the truck as Johnson;s article alleges.

 

Then there is the matter of the DNA that Johnson’s article alleges, “Investigators recovered the bank bag that was covered in Nyamodi’s DNA, forensics scientists concluded. Where is this report which is also public record. I wonder if Mr. Johnson has ever seen a copy of that report as well. Sources who spoke to TPC on conditions on anonymity, reveal that testing on the bag had such a small portion of Shannon’s DNA on it, that it more than like came from a police officer who had handled the Nyamodi youth during his arrest and inadvertently touch the bag, while transferring his DNA. Why has this crucial DNA report from scientist never been made public? The other disturbing element of the case related to this crime is that investigators sought to test the bag and not the money. During a court proceeding in which Rhonda Maclean petitioned the court to retrieve the money stolen from her the night she got shot, both the prosecutor, and the defense counsel declined to test it and the court turned it back over to Maclean. When allegations are made that DNA exist in any criminal case, it’s never been made public, Johnson never corroborates the existence of such scientific test results, makes that portion of his article as well as the prosecutor’s assertion not credible.

The very existence of DNA is perhaps the most culpable and compelling source of evidence a prosecutor could obtain. Coupled with the victim’s daughter allegedly accepting a plea deal in exchange for testifying against Shannon Nyamodi, presents an extremely strong case, but these facts only heighten suspicion as to why prosecutors willingly and readily prepared to offer this defendant a plea deal. The entire song and dance that the courts were lenient on Shannon because of his purported difficult upbringing is just not convincing at all. The very presence of Shannon’s aunt Brenda Nyamodi in the courtroom for these secretive proceedings (if she was in fact there at all) is suspect at best. Brenda Nyamodi was one of the very people who telephone Shannon’s mother the night before, tipping her off that Shannon would be accepting a plea deal in court the following day. The nasty message she left on Elizabeth crudup’s phone sounded vindictive, full of spite, and malice as if her intentions were to torture her sister, according to the mother.

Johnson’s article quotes Klinkosum’snegative comments to the court related to Shannon’s mother and me (David Adams, the article reads) as the Administrator of The People’s Champion Blog. Johnson wrote:

The case included some hurdles, Klinkosum admitted. Nyamodi’s mother, Elizabeth Crudup, and others began a social media campaign earlier this year, accusing officials of delaying Nyamodi’s day in court and his exoneration. In a Youtube video and in accompanying blogs by David Adams, who refers to himself as The People’s Champion, Nyamodi’s mother made a range of accusations, from the court system dragging its feet, to a good-old-boy network that is denying Nyamodi justice. In the video, Crudup, urges people for help with Nyamodi’s bond, plus a “really good, pro bono lawyer.”

Klinkosum’s comments aren’t surprising when considering the harsh manner that Elizabeth Crudup says that he has treated her. An attorney interviewed for this article told TPC, that if the mother is correct regarding her treatment by her son’s attorney, his actions are extremely unprofessional at best. He also states, that most law firms try to create an inclusionary environment with their clients family members, providing documentation upon request, answering questions, and giving regular updates pertaining to their loved ones case. Regardless who has paid the retainer for representation in a criminal case, rarely is the mother of a defendant outcast from involvement in the client’s case. Crudup says that Klinkosum has had her thrown out of his law office on multiple occasions without cause. Crudup told TPC that Klinkosum has been spreading innuendo and rumors about her mental health, and according to Johnson’s article he stated on record, “he believes Nyamodi’s mother suffers from mental illness that made his upbringing difficult.” Instead of Klinkosum mounting a fight for Shannon Nyamodi’s defense in what appeared to be a an extremely weak case against him, he insults his client’s mother by implying that she is mentally ill, according to Johnson’s article.

On what basis does Klinkosum make such slanderous statements about Shannon’s mother , and how does writer Carry Johnson even qualify his comments without substantiating facts to support any mental health issues of the mother whatsoever? A compelling argument could be made that Johnson’s article was more about Shannon’s mother, and that she was responsible for her son’s plight. the article appears to be a witch hunt designed to smear Shannon’s mother name, while pleading to the court that he was some poor helpless kid that made a bad mistake, and now has so much empathy for the victim and his violent actions. This is very far removed from the young defendant who spent nearly a year and a half in isolation at the hands of his torturous jailers at the Franklin County Detention Center. All of this drama, and results in the prosecution escaping having to present culpable evidence against Shannon Nyamodi. It’s apparent that these kinds of articles printed by Mr. Johnson are from a perspective with close ties to both Klinkosum and the prosecutor. No research of pertinent facts were ever done by this writer. What professional journalist does that? Carry Johnson should be ashamed of what i believe to be nothing short of poor journalism, and his efforts has completely misled the public within the surrounding communities who patronize The Franklin Times.

 

 

The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

 

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

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4 Responses to “TPC Responds To The Franklin Times News Article: Poor Journalism Misleading The Public In Youth’s Criminal Case”

  1. Dating advide

    TPC Responds To The Franklin Times News Article: Poor Journalism Misleading The Public In Youth

  2. Richie Altic says:

    With thanks! Valuable information!

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