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  #176  
Old 12-16-2010, 08:57 AM
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Nodine called Downs a 'whore,' threw object at her forehead, friend testifie

Nodine called Downs a 'whore,' threw object at her forehead, friend testifie
Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 3:02 PM Brendan Kirby, Press-Register

BAY MINETTE, Ala. – Stephen Nodine showed up uninvited to a condo shared by Angel Downs and her friends during Mullet Toss weekend, called her a "whore" and threw something at her head, a woman testified this afternoon.
The woman, Tracie Sweatt, testified that she was one of Downs’ best friends. The weekend, occurred two weeks before Downs died from a gunshot wound outside of her Gulf Shores home.

Nodine, 47, stands accused of murder, stalking and an ethics violation.
Sweatt testified that Nodine knocked on the door of the condo that the women were staying at and demanded to see Downs. Sweatt told jurors that he opened one of the bedroom doors and found Downs, asleep and in her pajamas, with a male friend, who was fully clothed.

“You’re a whore,” Sweatt quoted Nodine as telling Downs.

Sweatt said that Nodine threw what appeared to be a garage door opener at Downs’ forehead. Sweatt testified that she demanded Nodine leave.
“It seemed within seconds, her cell phone started going off with text messages,” Sweatt said.


The next morning, Sweatt said, Downs confided her fear of Nodine.
“She said she was afraid of him,” she testified. “She said, ‘I am afraid he is going to kill me.’”

Under cross-examination from defense lawyer John Williams, Sweatt testified that Downs did not tell her that Nodine was staying in the victim’s home during the weekend of Mullet Toss to look after her cat.
She said Downs also did not tell her that Nodine and his teenage son had stayed at her home on the Friday before her death. She said she would have been surprised given what had transpired two weeks before.
“But, no, given their relationship, it would not surprise me,” added Sweatt, who described the couple as on and off.

The Friday of Mullet Toss in April, Sweatt testified, Nodine confronted Downs and her friends on the beach.

“What’s up my Gulf Shores b-----s,” she quoted him as saying.
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*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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  #177  
Old 12-16-2010, 09:07 AM
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Stephen Nodine defense depicts Angel Downs as woman with reasons to kill herself

Stephen Nodine defense depicts Angel Downs as woman with reasons to kill herself
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 5:12 PM By Brendan Kirby, Press-Register


Former Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine is pictured in Judge Charles Partin's courtroom at the Baldwin County Courthouse Monday morning, Dec. 6, 2010, in Bay Minette, Ala., for his murder trial. Nodine's defense attorneys Wednesday afternoon depicted Angel Downs as a woman with reason to kill herself. (Press-Register/Mike Kittrell)

BAY MINETTE, Ala. — Murder defendant Stephen Nodine’s lawyers began their defense this afternoon with an aggressive attempt to depict the victim with reasons to kill herself and a past inclination toward suicide.
The defense introduced records showing the Angel Downs’ income from her job as a sales manager at Benchmark Homes had declined by nearly half in two years. Her $83,754 earnings in 2008 dropped to $65,062 last year and were on track for about $45,000 this year when she died from a gunshot to the head May 9.

On the day Downs died, an acquaintance testified, she complained about her financial problems.

“She told me that she could not pay her bills. She told me she was not making enough money to pay her bills,” said Patricia Callahan Owens, who knew Downs and Nodine from beach outings in Pensacola. “She told me she was working more and making less money.”

Owens testified that Downs, 45, told her that she planned to ask for a raise the next day and that she might not have a job by the end of the week. Rob Cunningham, the president and part owner of Benchmark Homes, testified that Downs once before had asked for a raise but had not gotten one.

While the defense maintains that Downs shot herself, prosecutors allege that Nodine shot her after months of stalking her. In addition the murder and stalking charges, Nodine also faces an ethics violation for the alleged personal use of a pickup truck that Mobile County government issued to him when he was a county commissioner.

Timothy Dennis, a former Gulf Shores police officer, testified that his department sent him to Downs’ home in October 2006 when the woman’s sister called to say she feared Downs may have swallowed pills. He testified that he forced his way into the home when Downs would not answer and found her naked and unconscious on her bed, with shallow breathing and a yellowish tint to her skin.

Dennis testified that he saw empty pill bottles and a suicide note that read, in part, “I’m sorry for all that I’ve hurt.”

The defense introduced hospital records from that event.

Earlier, an official from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences testified that the state lab ran tests on clothing and other objects taken from inside Nodine’s truck, as well as swabs taken from the steering wheel and the vehicle, itself. All tested negative for Downs’ blood, he said.

The only item that did contain Downs’ blood, he said, was her gun that was found near her body.

The acquaintance from beach, Owens, and Karen Callahan, both testified that they did not see Nodine and Downs quarreling during the May 9 outing in Pensacola. That contradicts testimony from others there that day who said that the couple did argue.

Nodine’s attorneys will continue their defense Thursday.
__________________
*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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  #178  
Old 12-16-2010, 09:13 AM
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Judge in Stephen Nodine trial refuses to throw out murder, stalking, ethics charges

Judge in Stephen Nodine trial refuses to throw out murder, stalking, ethics charges
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 3:34 PM By Brendan Kirby, Press-Register

Former Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine on the steps of the federal courthouse in Mobile on Oct. 28, 2010. A Baldwin Circuit Court judge on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010, refused to throw out murder and stalking charges against Nodine after the state had rested its case in the death of Angel Downs. (Press-Register/John David Mercer)

BAY MINETTE, Ala. – A Baldwin County judge this afternoon refused a request by murder defendant Stephen Nodine to throw out murder and stalking charges.

At the conclusion of the state’s case, defense attorney Dennis Knizley argued that prosecutors had failed to present enough evidence for the jury to consider the charges.

Circuit Judge Charles Partin said that the state’s alternative theory of murder – felony murder in the course of stalking – was “thin” but that he would allow the jury to consider it. The judge also ruled the state had presented enough evidence for jurors to consider a separate stalking offense and an ethics charge related to the alleged unauthorized personal use of Nodine’s government-issued pickup truck.

The defense now is presenting its case. Knizley contends that the victim, Angel Downs, shot herself on May. 9.

Complete coverage of the Stephen Nodine investigation, murder trial
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*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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  #179  
Old 12-16-2010, 09:21 AM
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Baldwin prosecutors wrap up murder case against Nodine; defense pushes suicide theory

Baldwin prosecutors wrap up murder case against Nodine; defense pushes suicide theory
Published: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 5:00 AM By Brendan Kirby, Press-Register


Former Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine arrives at the Baldwin County Courthouse Monday morning, Dec. 6, 2010, in Bay Minette, Ala., for his murder trial. (Press-Register/ Mike Kittrell)

BAY MINETTE, Ala. — Baldwin County prosecutors wrapped up their murder case against Stephen Nodine on Wednesday with testimony from the victim’s neighbors and two men who said they had dated her during the last year of her life.

The former Mobile County commissioner’s attorneys, meanwhile, opened their defense by attempting to depict Angel Downs as a woman with reasons to kill herself and a suicide attempt in her past.

In addition to murder, prosecutors have charged Nodine with stalking and an ethics violation related to his alleged misuse of a government-issued pickup truck. The trial, which continues today in Baldwin County Circuit Court, likely will hinge on whether jurors believe the prosecution theory that Downs’ death from a gunshot to the head May 9 was a homicide, or the defense contention that it was a suicide.

Bolstering the prosecution’s assertions that Downs, 45, was trying to end her often-tumultuous relationship with Nodine, two men testified that they had dated her in recent months.

Scott Bedford, a financial planner from Gulf Shores, testified that he met Downs on April 2 through an online dating service and began seeing her. He told jurors that he met Nodine on May 4 in Gulf Shores at a news conference related to the BP PLC oil spill.

During their brief conversation, Bedford said, Nodine made a derogatory comment about Downs. “I found it offensive,” he said.

Bedford said Downs did not seem depressed in the weeks before her death.
Roland Naseman, who told jurors that he dated Downs in 2009, testified that Nodine on April 1 of that year alternately banged on the door and back window of the condo in Fairhope where Downs was living at the time.
Naseman testified that the banging went on for about an hour before Nodine finally passed out in his truck.

On cross-examination, Naseman acknowledged that he stopped dating Downs, in part, because he questioned whether her relationship with Nodine was over.

“He had come up several times in the relationship,” he said. “Until she was finished with him, I didn’t want to date her.”
Defense attorney Dennis Knizley used a letter that Downs wrote days before her death to contradict testimony from her friends that she was done with Nodine.

Knizley said Downs’ letter, a reply she apparently had written to a seven-page letter she received from Nodine the Thursday before she died, expresses her love for Nodine and her desire to spend the rest of her life with him. She also expressed her desire for Nodine to divorce his wife, Knizley said.

Several of Downs’ neighbors in The Ridge condominiums off Fort Morgan Road testified they heard a gunshot shortly before 8 p.m. on May 9. Lannie Hill that he heard the gunshot and went to Downs’ house after a neighbor knocked on his door. He testified that he called 911 after he saw Downs lying in the driveway.

That contradicted the statement to the 911 operator, in which Hill said he heard a gunshot and saw a red pickup leaving the subdivision. In fact, it was other residents who had mentioned seeing the truck.

One of those who did see the truck, Roger Whitehead, testified that he heard a gunshot and quickly walked outside to investigate. When he got outside, he testified, he saw a red pickup truck with a blue county license plate driving toward the exit of the subdivision. The vehicle blocked his view of Downs’ home, he said.

Questioned by Knizley, Whitehead testified that he believes there was some delay from the time he heard the gunshot to when he walked out and saw the vehicle. Knizley played a videotaped interview with a Gulf Shores police officer on the day of the shooting in which Whitehead said he saw the truck go by right after the gunshot.

The first person to arrive at Downs’ home after the shooting, Nancy Hill, testified that there was not nearly as much blood as is shown in a crime scene photo taken later by Gulf Shores police. She said that Downs’ blonde hair was beginning to darken with blood.

Hill’s testimony could help explain why investigators never found any blood on Nodine, on his clothes or in his truck. It also is consistent with testimony from Dr. James Downs, a medical examiner hired as a private consultant by the District Attorney’s Office. Downs told jurors that the blood would have oozed out of Downs’ body rather than spurted.

Ann Myers, a nurse who lives in the neighborhood, testified that she saw Downs’ long, blonde hair “fanned out, like a halo” from the top of her head.
“It was the most unusual thing, as a nurse, I’ve ever seen, as far as gunshot victims go,” she testified.

The defense introduced records showing that Angel Downs’ income from her job as a sales manager at Benchmark Homes was on track to drop from $83,754 in 2008 to about $45,000 this year.

On the day Downs died, an acquaintance testified, she complained about her financial problems.

“She told me that she could not pay her bills. She told me she was not making enough money to pay her bills,” said Patricia Callahan Owens, who knew Downs and Nodine from beach outings in Pensacola. “She told me she was working more and making less money.”

Testifying about a suicide call he was sent on in October 2006, former Gulf Shores police Officer Timothy Dennis told jurors that he found Downs naked and unconscious on her bed, with shallow breathing and a yellowish tint to her skin.

Dennis testified that he saw empty pill bottles and a suicide note that read, in part, “I’m sorry for all that I’ve hurt.”
__________________
*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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  #180  
Old 12-16-2010, 09:42 AM
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Baldwin prosecutors wrap up murder case against Nodine; defense pushes suicide theory

Baldwin prosecutors wrap up murder case against Nodine; defense pushes suicide theory
By Rob Holbert and Ashley Toland Trice
Published DECEMBER 15, 2010

The sixth day of testimony in the murder trial of former county commissioner Stephen Nodine saw a variety of witnesses -- from technical experts to self-described friends of both Nodine and Angel Downs, as well as members of Downs' close circle of girlfriends, who refer to themselves as "the sisterhood," all of which told of a violent relationship between the two. One of these "sisters," Emily Simmons, said Downs warned her that if they ever found her dead it would be by Nodine's hand, not her own.

Nodine is charged with the May 9 shooting of Downs, his mistress for nearly six years, who was found lying in the driveway of her Fort Morgan Road condominium with a gunshot wound to the head. Neighbors reported seeing Steve Nodine leaving the scene moments later in his red county-issued pickup truck. However, the defense has maintained Downs was alive when Nodine left, and she took her own life.

The morning's session of the trial was mostly eaten up with some very technical testimony from AT&T's expert on cell tower usage who went through each of Nodine's and Downs' cell calls from May 9 and indicated the area from which they were likely made. Newcomb walked the expert through each call, seemingly losing the assembled audience as well as the jury along the way.

At the end of the testimony it was unclear why there had been such detail in regard to the cell towers.

The morning started with a rapid-fire succession of witnesses, most of whom were on the stand for only a few minutes allowing the state to enter specific pieces of information into the record. There was a 911 operator who affirmed the record of that evening's emergency call, followed by a Baldwin County Sheriff's detective who testified to finding two letters -- a seven-pager and another one-pager -- in Downs' night stand. He did not testify to the contents of either.

Baldwin County District Attorney's Office Investigator Trent Wilhelm also testified for some time, walking through the list of calls to both Nodine's and Downs' cell phones. He had ascertained the names of all of the people the two either contacted or were contacted by during that day, but there was no information as to the content of any of the calls.

The jury was then was shown video of Nodine buying a Diet Mountain Dew at the Bayshore Market in Fairhope at 8:17 p.m., after Downs' death. The video showed him entering the store in his dark blue shirt and light blue bathing suit and quickly getting the drink and heading to the cash register. According to the time signature on the video, he was in the store only 44 seconds. Wilhelm noted that the video's time was set 13 minutes fast, so it showed him entering the store at 8:30 instead of 8:17.

A receipt found in Nodine's truck showed him being there at 8:17. Later in the morning, the market clerk, Tina Anderson, testified that Nodine came in and went straight to the cooler to get his drink. She said he only talked to her briefly, wishing her a good evening, but that she could smell his breath.

"There was a heavy smell of booze when he spoke to me," she said.

County Administrator John Pafenbach was also briefly called to the stand to testify about the use of county-issued vehicles. Pafenbach said personal business was not allowed in county-owned vehicles, except for in marked law enforcement vehicles. Upon cross-examination, Knizley asked Pafenbach if county commissioners were given any information prohibiting personal use of their vehicles, and Pafenbach testified that they were not.

Perhaps the morning's most interesting testimony came from Josh King, the Don Carlos employee who waited on Nodine May 9 while he drank coffee at the bar. King testified that Nodine "seemed nervous and fidgety," and that he stared at his phone a lot during the time he was there.

He also said the then-commissioner yelled something as he walked out of the restaurant.

"He made a loud outburst like 'Oh no!' as if he heard a bad piece of information," King said. "He seemed as if he was upset on his way to leaving the restaurant."

The afternoon session began with the testimony of Russell Yawn, a "digital evidence" expert who specializes in collecting data from cell phones, computers and other electronic devices.

Yawn testified he was not able to obtain any of the information from the Blackberry recovered from Downs' condo because it was password protected. Blackberrys are wiped clean after 10 failed password attempts. They did not make that many attempts in the recovery process, hoping to preserve the information, but they were unable to get into the phone. The company who manufactures Blackberry, RIM, can offer no assistance in this matter, he testified.

Yawn was, however, able to obtain incoming and outgoing messages from Downs' iPhone. He explained the device has something called a "vacuum function" and will save these messages into a database until they roll off.

District Attorney Judy Newcomb asked Yawn about an unsent message around April 29. Defense attorney Dennis Knizley objected to the contents, and the lawyers approached the bench for some time to discuss the matter.

It appeared the jury would receive a transcript of at least some of the iPhone messages, but they were not read in court. The witness was excused.

The next witness up was Joy Chastain, of Midtown Mobile. She said she had met Nodine ten years ago and was also acquainted with Angel Downs. Chastain was asked about calls made to her from Nodine after Downs' death, where the accused told her an account of what happened that day.

Nodine said they had been at the beach that day. He had dropped her off but had to return because he left his wallet. He said when he returned he went back in but he did not see her, he just shouted up to her that he had gotten it and left.

She said Nodine said he did not see her in the driveway as he was leaving, nor did he hear anything.

"He said the radio was up, the air conditioner was going, and he didn't hear a thing," she testified.

Chastain also said Nodine told her that on the way home from Pensacola Beach that day, Angel said "why can't we be like Romeo and Juliet."

Chastain said Nodine said he was certain she had planned to kill him and then herself.

Nodine also told her his prints could be on the gun because Angel had asked him to help her load it some time earlier.

In the weeks leading up to the trial, Chastain said Nodine told her how much he missed Angel and how much he loved her. He wasn't happy with the way she was being portrayed, and he was going to do his best to defend her.

But after the charges were amended to include stalking and ethics charges in addition to the murder, he told Chastain he wouldn't be able to protect her. He was going to have to do whatever he could to "prove his innocence."

The next witness called was Leslie Goula, who worked a beer tub at the Widespread Panic concert with Angel Downs at The Wharf the Friday and Saturday night before Downs' death on Sunday, May 9.

Goula testified the two were in charge of selling canned beer and water and other items at the concert. She said they used bottle openers to pop the tops. She said she did not sustain any injuries to her hands, nor did she notice any injuries on Downs' hands from popping these tops.

Earlier in the trial, Knizley had asked Dr. James Downs, the state's medical expert, about wounds on Angel's hands. The expert had said they were consistent with defensive wounds. But Knizley asked if it was possible Angel got them from opening beer bottles the previous two nights.

One of the more haunting moments of the day came when a voicemail left to Goula by Downs at 7:35 p.m., within minutes of her death, was played in the court. Hearing Angel's voice brought tears from her family members.

The message started out, "Hey girl, it's Angel. I was just calling to check on you."

She went on to say she had had a good time working with her that weekend and hoped they could work together again. Downs said she thought there was another concert coming up but she would have to check and see.

The message ends, " I hope you had a great weekend."

The next three witnesses, "sisterhood" members Tracie Sweatt, Christine Salley and Emily Simmons were all with Angel Mullet Toss weekend, April 23-25, a couple of weekends prior to her death. They observed several incidents and an altercation between Downs and Nodine over the course of the weekend. They all testified Angel had told them at varying times she was "afraid" of Steve Nodine.

Sweatt testified she had arranged for a group of girls to stay at a friend's condo that weekend. The condo, The Atlantis, was situated on the beachside near the Flora-Bama.

Sweatt said the first time she saw Nodine that weekend was on Friday. She and Angel and some of the other girls were laying out and Nodine walked up to them on the beach and said, "What's up my Gulf Shores *****es?"

He stayed 10-15 minutes and left.

Under cross examination, defense attorney John Williams asked if Sweatt was aware Angel had asked Nodine to stay at her condo that weekend to watch her cat. Sweatt said she learned of that on Sunday.

On Friday night, Sweatt testified, they all went to the Flora-Bama and Nodine was there, though she said no one in their group had invited him to her knowledge.

A man named Scott Bedford was with them at the bar, which straddles the Florida and Alabama state lines. Angel had met him on match.com, according to earlier testimony, and had been on a few dates with him.

Simmons would later testify that she and Angel walked up to Nodine to say hello, and Nodine said to Angel, "I see you have a boyfriend. I'm watching you."

The witnesses testified they all went out to dinner on Saturday night and out to Live Bait, another popular bar and restaurant in Orange Beach. Two guy friends of Sweatt's ended up staying at The Atlantis condominium with the girls that night as well.

On Sunday morning, around 8:30 - 9 a.m., Sweatt said there was a knock on the door. She opened it, and it was Steve Nodine. He came in and opened the first door he saw, where he found Angel and another man, Aaron Pugh, sleeping in the same bed together. Sweatt testified Pugh was fully clothed and Downs had her pajamas on.

Sweatt said they were both sleeping until Nodine opened the door. Sweatt was standing right behind Nodine. Pugh and Downs both woke up. Nodine threw what appeared to be a garage door opener and hit Angel in the forehead and yelled, "You are a whore." Sweatt told him to get out, and he left.

She testified Angel immediately began getting a flurry of text messages from Nodine, though she was unaware of the content.

Williams asked her during cross examination, if she and her husband had invited Angel to go out on a boat with them on Mother's Day, the day of her death. Sweatt said they had but Angel had told Simmons she had a stomach virus and couldn't go. Williams asked her if it surprised her that Angel had lied to them about that since she had actually gone to Pensacola Beach with Nodine.

Sweatt said nothing surprised her with their relationship. It was "on again, off again," and she characterized it as "rocky."

Under redirect, Newcomb asked Sweatt about the flurry of text messages and communications Angel received from Nodine Mullet Toss weekend and his surprise visits, and if they were wanted. Sweatt said Angel did not want him around that weekend.

Newcomb said, "Do you think it is difficult to tell him (Nodine) no?"

Sweatt said, "Absolutely."

Sweatt was excused.

After the brief testimony of a 911 employee who verified times of the 911 calls, Christine Salley took the stand.

Salley was also present Mullet Toss weekend and witnessed an incident on Sunday, while they were all laying out on the beach. Salley said she was the first to walk up on Nodine on the beach, as she was making her way back to the condo. Downs and Simmons were still down by the water.

Nodine said to Salley, "where's that f*cking whore?" Salley replied, "Don't say that."

Nodine said, "You know I caught her in bed with another man this morning." Salley said, "It's not what you think."

Salley said Nodine wanted Angel's house keys because he said he had left his wallet there. Salley said Nodine told her, "y'all are all a bunch of f*cking whores too."

Around the time Downs moved to The Ridge, she told Salley she chose that particular condo on Fort Morgan Road because she wanted a property with an attached garage, so Nodine would not be able to tell if she was home or not.

Salley also testified to an incident in November 2009 in New Orleans. She said she and a friend were supposed to meet Nodine and Downs at a Saints game, but they never saw them.

Salley said as she was leaving the game she received a call from a man she did not know named Marlon Brown, who told her Angel's location. Salley said she went to that location and found Angel sitting in a car, upset with a "blank stare" on her face. Angel told her "she and Stephen had been fighting, but she had managed to get away from him."

Salley said when she found Angel she had scratches on her arms and there was blood on her clothing. Salley cleaned her up and took her to get something to eat and Angel stayed with her that night.

The next morning, she and Angel went over to Nodine's hotel room at the Chateau Sonesta to get all of Angel's belongings. He gave them to her, and they all rode back together because Nodine did not have a ride.

"I told him to get in a not say a word," Salley said. Other than saying he was "hot," he followed her order, she said.

Under cross-examination, Williams asked Salley if Downs was intoxicated in New Orleans and if she had fallen that evening. Salley said no to both.

The final witness of the day was Emily Simmons, whose testimony proved to be the most dramatic of the friends.

She testified that while on the beach that Mullet Toss Sunday, she said, as Salley had, Nodine came up to them screaming, calling them all "whores" and an assortment of other names, including "white trash" and "sluts."

Simmons also testified Nodine demanded Angel's keys because he had left his wallet at her house. She said Angel refused this request and said she would mail him anything he left.

The yelling was so loud, another man who was on the beach that day tried to intervene, she said. He and Nodine ended up getting into an argument. While that was taking place, she and Angel left and went back to her condo to look for the missing wallet.

The two women went into Downs' condo, according to Simmons, but they do not find the wallet. They do, however, find that Angel's gun had been pulled out and placed on her bedside table, presumably by Nodine, she said.

Simmons said Angel said Nodine was always pulling it out when he was over there, saying he wanted to clean it.

Simmons noted Angel told her after finding this, "if you ever find me dead, I would never kill myself."

Simmons also detailed, Nodine showing back up at the condo, at which time Angel let him in to look for his belongings. Simmons said she stayed in the car. A few minutes later, Angel comes running out of the door and tells Simmons Nodine tried to break her arm, but she screamed and he let her go, the friend said. Nodine then left and Simmons and Angel return to the Flora-Bama, according to her testimony.

At that point, the judge dismissed court until 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. At which time, Simmons will be cross-examined.
__________________
*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:04 AM
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WKRG State Rests In Nodine Murder Trial

WKRG State Rests In Nodine Murder Trial
by Jessica Taloney Published: Wed, December 15, 2010 - 8:57 am CST

VIDEO

BAY MINETTE, Alabama - 3:00 p.m.
The state has rested its case in the murder and stalking trial of former Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine.

1:10 p.m.
Testimony continued Wednesday afternoon with Angel Downs' neighbors testifying about what they heard and saw the night of Downs' death.

Peggy Hightower told jurors she was talking with a group of neighbors when she heard a gunshot. Hightower testified that the neighbors immediately began discussing whether it was a gunshot that they heard. Hightower says moments later the women saw a red pickup truck speeding toward the exit of the neighborhood.

11:45 p.m.
Two men who dated Angel Downs in the year before her death testified about confrontations with Steve Nodine, who at the time was a Mobile County Commissioner.

Scott Bedford, a financial advisor in Gulf Shores, told jurors he met Downs on April 2 after exchanging messages on Match.com.

Bedford testified that he did not know who Nodine was until he was introduced to Nodine by Mayor Robert Craft at an oil spill press conference on the Tuesday before Downs' death. Bedford testified that after Mayor Craft walked away Nodine made a negative and "offensive" comment to him about having seen Bedford with Angel Downs the weekend before. Judge Charles Partin would not allow Bedford to say what Nodine told him afater the defense objected to a question about the remark.

Bedford, who testified that he was still dating Downs when she died, called her death a murder.

Another former boyfriend, Ronald Naseman, told jurors he and Downs dated briefly in the spring of 2009. Naseman testified that he was with Downs at her home in Fairhope on the night of April 1, 2009. Naseman said Nodine showed up at her home and began knocking on the front door and on a back window. Naseman, who said he and Downs were both afraid, testified that the knocking went on for 45 minutes to an hour. Naseman left Downs' home after Nodine fell asleep in his car across the street.

9:20 a.m.
Testimony continued on Wednesday with one of Angel Downs' closest friends reading aloud a text message that she says Downs wrote to former Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine.

Emily Simmons testified that Downs showed her the text message, which was written in response to a confronation on the beach the weekend before Downs' death.

In the message, Downs wrote "I stuck around because of promises you continue to break and here we are six years later." The text message continued saying "yes, I've been with you because I have trusted you. Does that make me a whore because you are married?

Defense attorney Dennis Knizley objected to the text message being read aloud because there is no way to know if Angel Downs' actually wrote the text or whether Nodine received. Circuit Court Judge Charles Partin allowed the text message to be read in court.

The text message went on to say "I'm tired of sitting on the fence waiting back and forth... you have finally pushed me off the fence. Would you like me to visit Kimberly's office screaming about how you have been f***ing both of us for six years?"

Nodine, who resigned from the Mobile County Commission in the wake of Downs' death, is charged with murder, stalking and an ethics violation, but his attorney has argued that Downs' death was a suicide.
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Day 8 of Nodine murder trial adjourned Fox10News WALA

Day 8 of Nodine murder trial adjourned Fox10News WALA
Updated: Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010, 9:42 PM CST
Published : Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010, 8:51 AM CST

April Douglas

BAY MINETTE, Alabama (WALA) - UPDATE 6:09 p.m. Court has been adjourned in the murder trial of Steve Nodine. Court is expected to reconvene Thursday morning at 8 a.m.

4:34 p.m. Rob Cunningham, President of Benchmark Homes is on the stand.

Cunningham testified Downs worked for him for about six years. She was the Sales Manager for the Foley Office.

The real estate market is not doing so well in Baldwin County and was declining through 2010.

Cunnigham said in 2009 Downs asked for a raise. She sent a letter asking for more money.

"Has Mr. Nodine ever had a conversation with you about Ms. Downs employment?" Knizely asked.

"No," Cunningham said.

"Can you describe her demeanor?" Newcomb asked.

"Really good she lifted us all up she was a joy to be around," testified Cunningham.

3:50 p.m. Karen Callaghan is called to the stand.

"Did you notice any affection?" Williams asked.

"They were holding hands when they walked down to the water," Callaghan said.

"Did Ms. Downs tell you about any physical problems she was having with her hands?" Williams asked.

Objection.

"Did you notice if they were drinknig?" asked Williams.

"I saw them with a beer in their hand, I cant say I saw them drinking," Callaghan said.


3:44 p.m. The next witness is being called.

Patricia Callaghan Owens, stay at home mom.

May 9, Patricia and her husband Steve went to Pensacola Beach with her family, and met a group of family there as well. Owens and her family go to Pensacola Beach every Mothers Day.

The witness said Steve Nodine and Angel were at the beach when Owens got to the beach. She said that Downs and Nodine seemed normal. Owens said Steve and Angel played paddle ball together.

"Did you notice any animosity between Steve and Angel?" Williams asked.

"Not that I saw, not that I am aware of," the witness said.

"At the end of the day did you have a discussion with Angel Downs?" Williams asked.

"Yes," Ownes said.

"Was that your first one-on-one discussion with Angel?" Williams asked.

"Yes other than our greeting," she testified.

The witness said, "Angel told me she could not pay her bills. She told me she is not making enough money to pay her bills. She is working more and making less money. Whenever something is needed to be done she would be called in to do it. She told me she was going in the next day to talk about money and that she may not have a job.," Owens said.

"Did she express any more concerns?" Williams asked.

"No, not to me," "Owens said.

"Did Angel tell you how she planned to trade in her car? Did she tell you how she planned to sell her lot?" Newcomb asked.

"No," said Owens.

Newcomb showed the witness a picture from the beach on Mother's Day of 2010. The picture has been admitted.

3:30 p.m. Tricia Bankstin, Director of Medical Records South Baldwin Regional Center is next on the stand.

The defense has asked for Downs' medical records to be entered into evidence. The medical records show when Downs was admitted into the hospital after she attempted suicide.

The state has asked to review them, and there has been no objection to the records being admitted.

3:29 p.m. An officer who responded to the scene of Angel Downs' suicide attempt in 2006 is the next witness for the defense.

Timothy Dennis, talked about gaining entry into Downs' home.

"I found Ms. Downs laying on the bed in the master bedroom," testified Dennis.

"Can you describe her physical state?" asked Knizely.

"She had no clothes on, jaundice and had shallow breathing," testified Dennis.

"Jaundice?" asked Knizely

"She was yellow," testified Dennis.

"Was she unconscious?" asked Knizely.

"Unconscious," stated Dennis.

"There was some empty pill bottles next to the bed," testified Dennis.

During cross examination Judy Newcomb asked about how Angel Downs' looked.

"Her makeup was on, she had her face on," testified Dennis.

The witness was excused and Knizely called his next witness to the stand.

Tricia Bankstin, Director of Medical Records South Baldwin Regional Center.

3:14 p.m. The state has rested its case.

Defense attorney Dennis Knizely called a Patrick Goff with the Alabama Department of Forensic Science to the stand.

Goff is looking over a report he brought with him.

"On May12, 2010 we received from detective Justin Clopton five items. Two items were swabs, shirt, swim trunks and a pistol.
The items were in connection to the Angel Downs case," testified Goff.

"Did you do an analysis of that pants and shirt?" asked Knizely.

Goff testified the items were negative for presumptive presence of blood. The clothes belonged to Steve Nodine.

Two swabs were taken from the door of Nodine's truck tested negative for blood.

"On May 25 of 2010 we got some additional items from Detective Clopton," Goff said.

The items included a hair sample, cigarette butt and swabs.

"All the swabs came from the same Ford F150 pickup," said Goff.

Swabs included - a cardboard box from the back seat, driver side of door , drivers side floor area, door

jam rubber gasket, arm rest , from the upper portion of the drivers, passenger seat head rest, passenger seat back seat near head rest, drivers side running board.

All were examined for presumptive presence of blood, some of the items were positive for presumptive evidence of blood.

The items tested positive for male blood.

"There was no sign of female blood in the vehicle," testified Goff.

"The only blood found that matched Ms. Downs was on the gun," testified Goff.

3:03 p.m. Judge Partin denied the defense's request to acquit the charges.

2:49 p.m. Dennis Knizely is asking for acquittal on all charges, including the murder charge and felony stalking charge.

"They have failed to meet the burden," said Knizely about the issue of ethics charges.

Dennis Knizely asked Judge Charles Partin to acquit Steve Nodine of all the charges including ethics violation, murder and stalking.

"There may be evidence of a homicide, but there is no evidence that says this man," said Knizely.

Baldwin County District Attorney Judy Newcomb stated her case before Judge Partin.

Newcomb recounted the testimony of Angel Downs' friends who told jurors about Nodine watching Angel Downs, and throwing a garage door at her, and beating on her doors and windows.

"Ms. Downs' felt the police could not help her and that there was no way for her to get away from him," said Newcomb.

"From text messages, Angel tells her sister someone is trying to break into her house, someone is stalking her, she sends her sister a text saying Steve Nodine is here and moments later she is dead," said Newcomb.

Judge Partin wants to get clear in his mind what an act of stalking is in addition to the alleged murder.

2:08 p.m. "I knelt beside her," testified Myers.

She said she got inches from Angel Downs.

"I really didn't do anything except a physical assessment."

Myers said Downs' breathing was slow and shallow.

"I looked at the head wound and after, during general physical not touching her. Just a look I knew there was nothing I could do." testified Myers.

"After I did the initial assessment, her hair was fanned out like a halo, and there was no blood in it. I thought it was the most unusual thing I had ever seen as a nurse as far as a gunshot," said Myers.

Myers is excused and court is in recess until 2:30 so the court can get exhibits in order.

2:05 p.m. An audio recording of Roger Whitehead talking to a Gulf Shores Police Officer the night Angel Downs' died:

"I heard a gunshot and when I came out and stepped outside there was a red truck in this driveway that was a county four door Ford but when the gun shot went off I heard it and he was pulling off that way. Four door crew cab Ford and he has been here, trucks been in and out of here. It has county tags I know for sure," Roger Whitehead told the officer.

"I know that was his county truck, went by almost when the gunshot...it was like the gunshot and he was pulling off," he added.

"I mean I came out of my house right when I heard the gunshot and his county truck was pulling past the house," he said.

You could hear Whitehead as he told this to a Gulf Shores Police Officer.

Ann Myers is the next witness. She is also one of Angel Downs' neighbors.

Myers is a nurse.

1:45 p.m. For the second time in two days someone has been caught recording audio of the Steve Nodine murder trial.

We do not know why.

Major Anthony Lowery with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office confiscated the device.

The jury is not in the room.

Whitehead told an officer on the scene this:

"It was like the gunshot and he was pulling off."

The video and audio was captured on a body cam worn by a Gulf Shores police officer.

1:27 p.m. Roger Whitehead is a firefighter in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Mountain Brook is a suburb of Birmingham.

On May 9, Whitehead said he and his wife got a pizza at 7:00 p.m. They were going to pick it up. Whitehead said he saw Nodine at the complex around that time.

Whitehead said he and his wife brought the pizza back, fixed a salad and the kids were watching television.

"Have you been in other units at the Ridge?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes, ma'am," testified Whitehead.

Whitehead described the units at similar, mirror images of one another.

"We had our four person table in the kitchen, all four of us were sitting at the table," he said.

"We hear a gunshot," testified Whitehead, while they were sitting at the table. "When it went off, my wife stated, 'That was a gunshot.' I rose up from the table."

Whitehead gets up to go outside, telling his 14-year-old son to stay inside.

"When you came out, what did you see?"

"I walked outside and saw the Red F-150 as it was leaving from that area," testified Whitehead.

Newcomb asked about the direction the truck was traveling.

"It was headed out of the complex."

Whitehead said the red truck was blocking his view of the driveway.

Knizley is cross-examining.

"The gunshot went off and he was pulling off?" asked Knizley. "Did you talk to one of the police officers?"

"I said

I believe it was a Red Ford F-150 that they needed to be on the lookout," testified Whitehead.

Knizley wants to play part of the body camera video from the night Downs died in her driveway. He wants the part to be played where Whitehead is talking to an officer.

Judge Charles Partin has excused the just to talk to the attorneys.

1:16 p.m. Court is back in session. Peggy Hightower, one of Downs' neighbors, is on the stand.

Hightower was among a group of neighbors walking the night Downs was shot in her driveway.

"I heard a shot. To me sounded like a gunshot," testified Hightower. "Everyone kind of jumped and some of us said, 'Was that a gun shot? Or firecracker?' One lady said that was definately a gun shot."

"At what point do you observe a vehicle?" asked Newcomb.

"Shortly after the gunshot," said Hightower. "We talked a bit more to discuss what we heard. Well, we saw this red pickup truck speeding right by us."

Hightower testified she motioned for the truck to slow down.

"A woman in the group recognized the truck and said she was going to go check on Angel and make sure she was okay," testified Hightower.

"Did you go to the scene?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes," said Hightower.

"Did you get near Ms. Downs' body?" asked Newcomb.

"No," testified Hightower.

"Did you know who was driving the truck?" asked Newcomb.

"No," testified Hightower.

"Had you seen that truck before?" asked Newcomb.

"I'm not sure. I know it was a red truck," testified Hightower.

Defense Attorney Dennis Knizley is cross examining the witness. Knizley asked Hightower to point out her apartment on a map.

Knizley pointed out it is not uncommon for people to walk dogs in the neighborhood. Knizley asked the witness if she heard anyone screaming, shouting, or anything before she heard the gunshot.

The woman said she did not.

Knizley questioned the woman about the speed should use to drive through the complex.

She concurred it was five to ten miles per hour.

The witness has been excused.

Roger Whitehead is the next witness.

11:57 a.m. Court is recessed for lunch.

11:52 a.m. New witness Charla Canale is also a neighbor of Angel Downs.

Canale was outside her home walking her dog on the night Downs died and stopped to talk to other neighbors.

"We heard a gunshot," testified Canale.

Newcomb asked what happened after they heard the gunshot.

"We talked a bit more and then Peggy Hightower put her hand out and said, 'there is somebody coming fast,' and she put her hand out. Then I noticed it was Angel's boyfriend's truck," said Canale. "It was going fast, in the neighborhood there is one street in and one street out."

Newcomb asked what Canale did after she saw the truck.

"We talked for just a few minutes and I started walking my dog home, and I wondered if Angel was okay. So before I got home I went to my neighbor's," said Canale. "I said, not sure if you heard the gunshot, but I am worried about Angel. I heard the gunshot and saw her boyfriend leave."

Canale described seeing Downs in her driveway.

"I said, 'Oh, my God, she is laying on the driveway,'" said Canale.

Canale testified she did not touch Downs. Canale said someone mentioned giving Angel CPR and someone said, "I don't think we should touch anything."

11:43 a.m. Nancy Hill is the next witness for the prosecution.

Were you home on May 9?"

"Yes."

"At anytime did you hear a gunshot?"

"Yes."

"What did you do?" asked Newcomb.

"We weren't sure what it was, and we talked about whether it was a firecracker," said Hill.

A neighbor came over then and asked if the Hill's heard a gunshot. The Hill's said they thought it was a gunshot. Then they went outside.

"I was the first one out the door," testified Hill. "I walked down the step and as soon as I had a view of the driveway, I could see her. I could see someone laying on the driveway. So, I went across the street to her driveway."

Newcomb asked who went with her to the driveway. It was Charla, and Hill's husband.

"I told my husband to call 911," testified Hill. "I went around to Angel's left side."

"What did you do?" asked Newcomb.

"I started talking to her. She was breathing, I could see her stomach going up and down. I could hear her every few seconds sigh. So I started talking to her," testified Hill.

"Did you touch her?" asked Newcomb.

"No," answered Hill.

Downs' mother cried during the testimony.

"Did anyone join you near the body at one point?" asked Newcomb.

Hill testified there was not that much blood on Downs that night when she saw her. A photograph of Downs lying dead in her driveway was projected on the wall.

"On May 9 of 2010, did you see a red truck?" asked Newcomb.

"I believe I saw it in the morning, in the visitor's slot," testified Hill.

The witness was not cross-examined.

Nodine's mother's cell phone rang out during testimony. Judge Charles Partin took the cell phone.

11:31 a.m. Mollie Ducote runs the Food and Beverage Operation for the Wharf. Ducote hired Downs to work for May 7 and 8 at The Wharf for the Widespread Panic concert.

"Whenever

I got up on Sunday morning and checked my email, she had sent me an email," testified Ducote.

Ducote got the email on the morning of Downs' death.

Below is a portion of the email:

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work at The Wharf. I had such a good time making new friends and meeting new people (boys)... Have a wonderful weekend... with kindest regards, Angel."

The witness is excused.

New witness is one of Downs' neighbors, Lanny Hill. Hill said he was at home on May 9, 2010.

"Sometime after 7:45 my neighbor knocked on the door and asked my wife and I to go across the street and check on what had happened," testified Hill.

Hill said he heard something prior to the neighbor knocking on the door.

"As I was looking back later, it was a shot being fired," testified Hill. "I was in the kitchen in the front."

"When you heard the noise, did you do anything?" asked Newcomb.

"No," answered Hill.

Hill said he and his wife, Nancy, went across the street to see Downs.

"She (Nancy) walked up to Angel to the head and knelt down and started talking to her. I dialed 911," testified Hill.

"Did you ever move Ms. Downs' body at all?" asked Newcomb.

"No," answered Hill.

After he called 911, said he just waited for the responders to come in Downs' driveway.

"The whole neighborhood gathered there, eventually," Hill said.

Hill said he did not see anyone move Downs' body.

During cross-examination, Hill said he did not see any truck.

11:12 a.m. Scott Bedford dated Angel Downs.

The couple met through Match.com.

"April 2, we met in person at the beach, and pretty much started dating after that," testified Bedford.

"At the time of her death were you and Ms. Downs dating?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes," said Bedford.

Bedford said the last time he saw Downs was Mullet Toss weekend.

"While you were at the Flora-Bama did you see Mr. Nodine?" asked Newcomb.

"I did not. I did not know who he was at that time," said Bedford.

Bedford said he would not have recognized him. Newcomb asked about the first time Bedford met Nodine.

"Tuesday before her death, I had gone surfing before work. There were a couple of news crews there doing an impromptu news conference about the oil spill," testified Bedford.

Bedford said he is a friend of Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft, who was at the conference. Craft introduced the two men.

"He turned and said, 'Scott, do you know Commissioner Nodine from Mobile?'" testified Bedford.

"At that time, did he make any statements to you about seeing you at the Flora-Bama Mullet Toss weekend?" asked Newcomb.

Knizley objected.

"On May 4, did you have a conversation with Mr. Nodine?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes," said Bedford.

"Did he say something about seeing you at the Flora-Bama?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes," said Bedford.

"Did he make a comment regarding Ms. Downs?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes," testified Bedford.

"Did you take that as a negative comment?" asked Newcomb.

"Absolutely. I found it offensive," testified Bedford.

"After that did you continue to have contact with Ms. Downs?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes," he said. "We had plans to see each other that weekend, (of her death). She called back and said she got her dates mixed up and had to work Friday and Saturday night. I did not see her," said Bedford.

"Did you see her Sunday?" asked Newcomb.

"No, I called her that morning, left her a voice mail," said Bedford.

Bedford went on to testify that about 5:30 he sent a text message to Downs.

"To see if we were going to do something that night," said Bedford.

Downs did not respond. That was the day Downs and Nodine spent at Pensacola Beach.

"During the time you were Ms. Downs did she express any concerns about her well-being because of Nodine?" asked Newcomb.

"No," answered Bedford.

"On May 8, did you exchange text messages with Ms. Downs?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes, I sent her a text asking how she did the prior evening," said Bedford.

"Did she appear depressed in any of the exchanges you had?" asked Newcomb.

"No," answered Bedford.

The defense did not cross-examine.

10:53 a.m. One of Angel Downs' ex-boyfriends is on the stand. He said he was dating Angel in April of 2009.

April 1, the witness was at Downs' home in Fairhope.

"While you were at Angel's house did Mr. Nodine appear?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes I saw him sitting in his truck," said the witness.

"At any other time, did anything happen outside?" asked Newcomb.

"We were in the back bedroom watching tv and there was a knock on the front door. Then a knock on the back window. Angel told me to be quiet and not say anything. I didn't say anything and then there was knock on the front door. It went on for ten, fifteen minutes and there would be a little break."

"Did you hear any language?" asked Newcomb.

"No," said the man.

The witnessed testified it went on for 45 minutes to an hour. He said Downs was scared, and so was he.

"When he would go to the back window I would go to the front. Because I felt like if he was going to break in there would be a confrontation," testified the witness.

After this confrontation,

the witness said he did not date Downs again.

"Did Angel text you the morning of April 2?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes," said the witness.

"Did she tell you anything about Mr. Nodine?" asked Newcomb.

Knizley objected. Judge Partin sustained.

The witness did not call police.

"What, if anything, did Ms. Downs say about Mr. Nodine's ability to be arrested by the police?"

Again, Knizley calls an objection. Again, Judge Partin sustains.

Cross-examination by Knizley begins.

"Was the reason you didn't end the relationship because you felt the relationship with Nodine was over?" asked Knizley.

"Yes sir," testified the witness.

"Was he in a Ford Escape that night?" asked Knizley.

Yes," testified the witness.

10:36 a.m. Tanya Greisinger has taken the stand. She has known Downs for ten years.

"Did y'all have one or more conversations on May 9?"

Greisinger said Downs did not sound like she had slurred speech. She said Downs called her twice while on the way home from the beach.

At 7:34 p.m. Greisinger said Downs called her. Greisinger was unable to answer the phone. She was unable to reach Downs again that night.

10:34 a.m. Christian Lee is employed by Yahoo. He is a legal assistant, a custodian of records. Lee lives in California.

Lee gathers email snapshots. Lee retrieved email for the prosecution.

He has been excused.

10:28 a.m. Michael Fair said he knew Nodine from the beach. Fair using a walking cane when he entered the courtroom.

Fair was at the beach on Sunday May 9 with Nodine, Downs and a group of other people. Fair said he had a conversation with Angel.

"She seemed very normal, nothing out of sorts. Not happy and bubbly. Just sort of normal," testified Fair.

"Did you have a conversation about her and Mr. Nodine's relationship?" asked Newcomb.

Knizley objected.

"Did you make any observations regarding physical contact between Angel Downs and Steve Nodine?" asked Newcomb.

Fair testified that Nodine would give Downs a little kiss.

"She responded not aggressively and allowed him to kiss her...on the mouth," he said.

"At anytime did you ask Ms. Downs to sit in your lap?" asked Newcomb.

"Yes," testified Fair.

"Did she?" asked Newcomb.

"No she would not," testified Fair.

There was no cross examination and the witness has been dismissed.

10:09 a.m. Terry Haire, Derek Haire's wife, is on the stand.

The couple spent the day with Downs and Nodine at the beach on Sunday. Downs died later that night.

Haire testified she met Nodine on the beach, and mainly only saw Angel and Steve on the beach.

"The only thing she said to me, 'FYI Terry, I did not spend the night with Steven last night.' Because I saw them come walking from the Hilton," testified Haire. "He walked over to her chair and he just kind of went over took her by the hands and took her down by the water's edge and he was talking to her and he was leaning into her ear and she tried to get away. And she turned around the other way to try and block and she was finally able to get around him."

Haire said this happened around 4 p.m.

"Did you see Mr. Nodine touch her hair?" asked Newcomb.

"No, I did not," answered Haire.

"Did Mr. Nodine have sunscreen on?" asked Newcomb.

Haire could not remember.

"When you left, were Angel and Steve Nodine still there?" asked Knizley during cross-examination.

"Yes," answered Haire.

Haire testified that Downs was drinking on the day.

"Had Mr. Nodine complained to Ms. Downs that she was drinking too much?" asked Knizley.

"I didn't hear that..." said Haire.

"Did you hear Steven accuse Angel of being drunk?" asked Knizley.

"I didn't hear him say that, but I remember her telling something to my husband," said Haire.

Newcomb objected. Judge Charles Partin sustained.

"She said, 'I've had one,'" testified Haire.

Knizlwy said Haire told a police officer this summer that Downs had more than one.

9:12 a.m. "In the last year, how often would you see Ms. Downs?" asked Newcomb.

"Daily," answered Simmons.

"Other than the time you told us about at the apartment during Mullet Toss, have you ever seen Ms. Downs with that gun?" asked Newcomb.

"No," testified Simmons.

Tuesday, Simmons testified that Angel told her that the gun was out on the night stand, and that Nodine liked to clean it every time he came over.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Dennis Knizley questioned when Simmons got to the beach for Mullet Toss.

Knizley wanted to know if Downs told Simmons that Nodine was staying at her (Downs') house while she was at the beach.

"He made an off-color remark to y'all and you said you took it as a joke?" asked Knizley.

"Yes," answered Simmons.

Simmons testified about a night at the Flora-Bama where Downs met Scott Bedford for a drink. This took place Mullet Toss weekend.

"Did they have a drink at the Flora-Bama?" asked Knizley.

"Yes," answered Simmons.

Knizley said that the group spoke to Nodine first. Tuesday, Simmons testified that Angel Downs told her Nodine was watching her.

"That Nodine didn't come to y'all, y'all stopped and talked to him,"

said Knizley.

"Yes," answered Simmons.

Knizley pointed out that Downs and her friends talked to Nodine first.

"Was there any violence or any threats that evening?" asked Knizley.

"No," answered Simmons.

"And you and her came to him twice?" asked Knizley.

"Yes," answered Simmons.

Knizley moves on to the morning Nodine discovered Downs asleep in the bed with another man.

"Did she tell you Steve Nodine came to the condo and saw her in bed with Aaron Pugh?" asked Knizley. She didn't tell you that he made any physical threats to her?"

"No," testified Simmons.

"So there was no threat of physical violence, even after he saw her with this man?" asked Knizley.

"No," said Simmons.

"And he had never before threatened her before that with physical violence?" asked Knizley.

"No," said Simmons.

"That would be, he did not?" asked Knizley.

"He did not," answered Simmons.

Knizley moved on to Simmons' testimony Tuesday where she told jurors about Angel's gun on the bed. Simmons said Downs told her that Nodine liked to clean it every time he came over. This took place when Simmons and Downs went to Angel's apartment Mullet Toss weekend to help Nodine find his wallet.

"Now, you never saw a gun did you?" asked Knizley.

"No," testified Simmons.

"You testified that she said the gun was out," asked Knizley. "Did you ever go back and look?"

"No," said Simmons.

"It was at that time you say that y'all had a conversation that she (Downs) said if she were to die, that she didn't kill herself, Steven did. So, she brought up suicide?" asked Knizley.

"Yes," answered Simmons.

"Did you know about her previous suicide attempt?" asked Knizley.

"No," said Simmons.

Simmons, Downs and a other women were a tight knit group of friends.

"Y'all had a name for your group?" asked Knizley.

"I'm sorry?" questioned Simmons.

"Did y'all have a particular name?" asked Knizley.

"The sisterhood," said Simmons.

Simmons said Downs named them that.

"Most of the group was in their 30's?" asked Knizley.

"Yes," testified Simmons.

"And how old was she?" asked Knizley.

"45," said Simmons.

Knizley questioned Simmons about Downs' alcohol consumption. Simmons said Downs would have two beers a month, maybe more on a special occasion.

"Now in the week and a half before her death that alcohol consumption increased, did it not?" asked Knizley.

"Yes," said Simmons.

"Now at Mullet Toss, she consumed alcohol Friday, Saturday and Sunday?" asked Knizley.

"Maybe one or two," testified Simmons about Sunday.

Simmons testified that Downs also drank the weekend of her death.

"Nine days before her death she used alcohol four or five times and that was unusual..." said Knizley.

According to Simmons' testimony, Downs only drank two beers a month.

"Not for special occasions," testified Simmons.

Knizley asked Simmons if she considered working a special occasion. Simmons and Downs worked selling beers at the Widespread Panic Concert the weekend Downs died. After work the women had drinks.

Simmons testified that Downs did not get help from Nodine.

Simmons referred to the Mullet Toss weekend.

"She did not feel like she could get help, because he felt like he was above the law," testified Simmons.

8:52 a.m. "Did Ms. Downs show you the text after the incident on the beach?" asked District Attorney Judy Newcomb.

"Yes. I was coming home from class on that Monday night and she asked me if I would stop by her house and read a text she had typed," testified Simmons.

Simmons read the text message aloud in court:

Below are portions of the text. The text is believed to be written to Steve Nodine from Angel Downs:

"I stuck around based on promises you continued to break."

"For reasons you have chosen to stay." (married to his wife)

"Yes, I have been there through it all."

"I told you weeks ago that was not going to happen."

"We have yet to have that conversation and it is going on six weeks now."

"Yes, you are being nicer to me because you don't want to lose me or me tell your secrets."

"You still stay, you are not divorced."

"I am tired of sitting on the fence sitting... back and forth."

"After I was totally humiliated by you, you have finally pushed me off the fence."

"This should have been between us and yes it was innocent... he has never made an attempt to be with me."

"He was being my friend."

"I trust him as a friend."

"You know how scared I get... I do see you are sad. I am so sorry if it hurts you."

"Now our business is out there for everyone, and not because of me."

"Always protecting you - you were actually threatening to kill a stranger and threatening to rip out his Adams apple."

"Please just stop hurting me... I apologize if I hurt you in any way."

8:37 a.m. Court is back in session in the Steve Nodine murder trial.

Emily Simmons, a friend of Angel Downs, is back on the stand. She picked up her testimony talking about Mullet Toss weekend.

"She (Angel) said she was just scared. He started text messaging and calling her," Simmons testified.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:55 PM
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Mistrial declared on murder, stalking charges

not sure what's up with this thread....maybe there's a new one in another place, but I didn't find it using the search function....anyway, verdict is in, so posting an update. Please move if necessary....thanks

"BAY MINETTE, Alabama — A jury today found Stephen Daniel Nodine guilty of making personal use of his government-issued pickup truck but could not agree on murder and stalking charges related to the shooting death of Nodine's mistress, Angel Downs."

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/12/step...e_verdict.html
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:00 AM
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Nodine Jury Foreman: “I Believe He’s Guilty”

Published: Thu, December 23, 2010 - 2:57 pm CST
News Five sits down with the jury foreman in the murder and stalking trial of ex-Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine.


Jessica Taloney


MOBILE, Alabama - In a crowd of more than 60 potential jurors, stood juror number eleven.

Ronnie Douvier, a mechanic from Bay Minette, would become the foreman in one of the most high profile murder trials in South Alabama.

"I really didn't know a super alot about it, just that he was accused of it," said Douvier, recalling what he had heard about the case before the trial began. "He was a commissioner in Mobile and nothing much more."

Douvier admits he wasn't prepared to see some of the graphic pictures shown during the two week trial. But, the testimony and evidence that stood out the most to him was what he heard from neighbors, who saw Steve Nodine's county truck speeding from the scene, and photographs shown in court of the gunshot wound to Angel Downs' head.

"The way the U-shape was," said Douvier describing the imprint of the gun on the right side of Downs' head. "The way the damage was done... the gun had to be held against there."

Douvier was one of nine jurors who believes the then-Mobile County Commissioner killed his long-time mistress. Nodine's statements to police and his behavior in the hours after Angel Downs' death were something Douvier says made him look guilty.

"The fact that he didn't call Angel Downs after he found out there was a deceased woman in Gulf Shores. That he didn't call her and check on her," said Douvier. "There are too many stories he couldn't keep straight. I believe the last time he saw her was in the driveway."

But, trying to convince three other jurors, who viewed the evidence differently, turned out to be impossible.

Douvier described the jury room in the first hour of deliberations as tense with at least one juror who insisted from the start that her mind could not be changed.

"We could have come out two minutes after we walked in," said Douvier, responding to criticism about how quickly jurors announced they were hopelessly deadlocked. "She said there was no way she was going to vote not guilty, and there was nothing we could do to change her mind. We could have come out right then."

Douvier calls their inability to reach a verdict one of the biggest disappointments in his life. "I just wish we could have given Angel Downs' family the proper verdict... Which I thought was guilty and still think is guilty."

<object height="236" width="420">



<embed src="http://www.wkrg.com/news/video_external/nodine-jury-foreman-i-believe-hes-guilty/1203501/" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" allowscriptaccess="always" allownetworking="all" height="236" width="420"></object>
WKRG.com News
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I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:17 AM
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Dissenting juror stated she would not convict going in

A little inside info on the University of South Alabama student Bethany. On one of the news articles in the comments it is said she was overheard telling another prospective juror she would never convict.

Also, the “young juror”, i believe is the sameone who had experienced a “gun incident”, she supposedly shot her husband’s finger off or something like that.
That is the reason Knizly did not have her struck from the jury…..........

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/12/diss...odine_cas.html
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I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:04 PM
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The Susan Murphy-Milano Show - Here Women Talk Radio - Angel Down's Murder Trial

The Susan Murphy Milano Show - "Time's Up!" Where we Rant, Rave and Highlight the Good, the Bad and the Evil, Searching Out Solutions for victims of crimes. Live Thursday, 2-4 pm ET (11am-1pm Pacific)
Listen ~ Chat ~ Call 914-338-1186

CLICK <a href="http://herewomentalkradio.com/">HERE to LISTEN</a>

Jan 6, 2011; 3-4PM EST; 2-3PM CST; 11-1PM PST
Susan's Special Guests are Kevin Lee, journalist and Cherry Simpson, crime victim advocate/activist. As they review the Murder of Angel Down's, the recent mistrial and what the future holds for lone suspect, ex-Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine.
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*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:05 PM
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Thanks for this info. I will be sure to tune in..
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorJaybird View Post
Thanks for this info. I will be sure to tune in..
It was a great show. About the possible suicide attempt - Kevin wanted to state the fact Angel didn't leave a note or make provisions for the care of her cat. He went on to tell me about suicides he had worked where pet owners made sure instructions were left for their animals' care, who are like demi-children to them.

Also very few females shoot themselves in the head in public.
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*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:48 AM
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Here Women Talk Angel Downs murder Case 1/6/2011

To listen or download the Susan Murphy-Milano Show click here Angel's case is in the second half of the show.
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*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:35 PM
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Support Justice for Angel Downs

Displaying all 3 posts.

  • Support Justice for Angel Downs
    1. How is Nodine paying for food? Is he receiving food stamps? He obviously has been well fed.

    2. Is Nodine receiving unemployment? Or receiving retirement funds?

    3. Why would Family court judge order he pay $6,600 in child support if he had no way to pay it? Is he paying it?

    4. Why is Nodine not working? It was one of the main arguments given for his being released with the GPS.

    5. If he was found impoverished why would high rent condo not be considered a taxable gift? Does anyone know the details of this? Does he have a car how is he paying for that?

    6. If Fed Atty. is allowed to work with Baldwin County Atty. on murder charge (which are not authentic) why aren't the family's victim's rights being upheld? Do they need to be invoked each time a new motion is made? How can they approve an atty if they've not decided to retry for murder?

    7. http://law.onecle.com/alabama/crimin.../15-12-23.html The amounts of costs of Baldwin County atty seem outrageous as there is no official murder case.


    <abbr title="Friday, April 8, 2011 at 10:27am" data-date="Fri, 08 Apr 2011 08:27:31 -0700" class="timestamp">6 hours ago</abbr> · Delete Post
  • Support Justice for Angel Downs
    What was the name of Nodine's house arrest host, John Lynam's girlfriend who died after the Mardi Gras. Ball (KOR)? Leaving a son without a mother. Was her death investigated? Was a toxicology test or autopsy done. Was Lynam drug tested? Was there an Obit? Was this part of the reason Nodine moved? Was Lynam no longer a viable host because of death?


    <abbr title="Friday, April 8, 2011 at 10:40am" data-date="Fri, 08 Apr 2011 08:40:23 -0700" class="timestamp">5 hours ago</abbr> · Delete Post
  • Support Justice for Angel Downs
    We are expressing our awareness of "Bruijn's attempts" to stir public sentiment against prosecution by squandering as much public money as possible. This is a flimsy and under-handed tactic. Steve Nodine built a career and reputation by living off of public money. He's upto old tricks.

    Approved expenses include $3,000 for an audio-visual/computer expert. Stephen expressed his desire to make a DVD of his life showing all the "good" things he had done in his life. $38,000 and we don't know if Hallie is going to retry??


    <abbr title="Friday, April 8, 2011 at 4:31pm" data-date="Fri, 08 Apr 2011 14:31:52 -0700" class="timestamp">a few seconds ago</abbr> · Edit Post · Delete Post
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*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:39 PM
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Steve Nodine Living in Orange Beach

http://www.wkrg.com/alabama/article/...-2011_7-19-pm/

Pascal Bruijn tells WKRG today that Angel's family was aware of Stephen moving before he moved to Orange Beach. That is a lie. Stephen moved on the weekend and the family was not informed of the move until Tuesday afternoon (2 days after the move). I, Angel's Mom, does not appreciate the media being told my family was aware of info...rmation. The family does not have to lie. I think Mr BRUIJN owes us apology.

I search the web daily after I get off work and googled the address on S Georgia Ave and saw where the house was for lease. We contacted the DA office Monday to see if they were aware of it being for lease. They contacted us Tuesday afternoon that Steve had moved the week-end.
I pray that God will reveal the truth and save Alabama their time and money


Request to loosen Nodine's house arrest rejected
Updated: Thursday, 31 Mar 2011, 8:34 PM CDT
Published : Thursday, 31 Mar 2011, 8:33 PM CDT

MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) - A federal judge has turned down a request to loosen "house arrest" restrictions placed on former Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine.
...
Gordon Armstrong, one of Nodine's attorneys asked the judge to replace the restrictions with a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew so Nodine could exercise and consult with his other attorney.

Nodine pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge last year. He's scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Baldwin County DA Hallie Dixon has yet to decide if Nodine will be retried on murder and stalking charges in connection with the death of Angel Downs.
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*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:51 PM
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http://www.wkrg.com/alabama/article/...-2011_3-06-pm/

Steve Nodine was sentenced to 15 months today on a federal gun charge, he was taken into custody immediately.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:50 PM
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I don't frequent this forum and there were several threads for Angel Downs I hope I have the correct one? If not please notify a mod and have it moved. TIA!

http://www.wkrg.com/alabama/article/...2011_10-12-am/

by WKRG Staff

Published: Fri, August 05, 2011 - 10:09 am CST Last Updated: Fri, August 05, 2011 - 10:12 am CST

New Motion Filed In Steve Nodine Murder Case

Quote:
Nodine's attorney wants to know if any of the drugs stolen by a former employee of the Baldwin County Coroner's Office belonged to Angel Downs, the woman he's accused of killing
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:10 AM
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State Wants Nodine's Cell Phone Records

*Note - Allegedly someone played a golf tournament with Nodine (prior to Angel's shooting death) and in Nodine's golf cart were numerous cell phones. I hope they get ALL of his different cell phones and ALL their records. I am surprised they haven't gotten these by now.

Nodine's Attorneys in Miami to Discuss Case

Both of these have related videos.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:17 AM
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Stephen Nodine murder trial relocation could cost taxpayers up to $100,000, prosecutor says

http://blog.al.com/live/2012/06/step..._trial_re.html
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:22 PM
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http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/...APN/1209071007

Ex-Mobile commissioner pleads guilty to harassment

<snip>

The murder and stalking charges will be dropped in the death of his former mistress Angel Downs, who was found dead from a gunshot wound outside her home in May 2009.

The sentencing for Nodine is expected to be held on Oct. 24.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:08 AM
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http://modmobilian.com/2012/09/14/ke...-or-blindfold/

Kevin Lee: Blinders or blindfold?

Posted on 14 September 2012 by Klee

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I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:10 AM
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Just FYI the Plea was a blind plea and it in no way eliminates the statute of limitation on murder. The plea paper work states nolle prossed which means if more evidence comes out they can retry. He has not been found innocent.

BTW the family wasn't notified until after the blind plea was accepted.

The special prosecutor states he feels Nodine caused Angel's death and I believe he truly wanted to try the case.

Nodine has cost the state an incredible amount of money. And it is sad he is now re-victimizing Angel and her loving family in the press.

Whetstone is one good prosecutor and in my opinion his atty's may have advised Nodine to take the plea.

I am always hopeful. We don't know what kind of sentence he'll get. After the court disposition is passed on to the next State criminal department - we'll know more. If he gets time he'll go to DOC, or probation, parole or both. They have a say on how his sentence is served and the family can appeal to them.

There maybe more charges of perjury filed. He lied about being broke. He's already cost the state supposedly 1 million.

What I don't like is the defense is now trying the case in the press which is of course all one sided. I also don't like that they are trying to say the DA Hallie is vindicated. I don't believe that. IMHO Hallie is who messed this whole case up.

Nodine wants you to think he is innocent and has been exonerated. But that's not true.

Angel has a large loving family who hasn't put their faith in the justice system but in God. I think that is best and we may all be surprised what happens. Lets wait and see - it's not over til the fat lady sings. And we all know that is in God's time.

Just look at Beth Holloway - she is never going to give up. A mother who knows can't.

I'm curious to see if 48 hours proceeds and how they present the case. (He was seen on beach with son and camera crew - while there was a gag order in place). The piece which appeared in the American Spectator was pure fiction.

Maybe the family will seek out a civil suit, I don't know. I know they truly believe Angel did not kill herself and Special Prosecutor Whetstone stated in the news, he felt Nodine was responsible. I agree with him.
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*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.

I agree with what John Douglas said in his book Law and Disorder:

"Our 1st allegiance must always be to justice. Justice is often uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean we should turn our heads away. Justice is truth in action. Whatever it means and wherever it takes us. Justice is not a political game, it is a search for truth."

Last edited by ChaCha; 09-15-2012 at 08:16 AM. Reason: added more info
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:57 PM
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http://classic.lagniappemobile.com/article.asp?articleID=5792&sid=1"
A quick end for the lengthy saga of Stephen Nodine
By Kevin Lee
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:56 AM
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ChaCha - thanks for keeping this thread updated. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to follow it for such a long time.....I guess it's been a couple years for me - life has interrupted!

Here is an update from 48 Hours:

Stephen Nodine-Angel Downs saga gets national attention with "48 Hours" broadcast

http://blog.al.com/live/2013/04/step...downs_sag.html
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