In my opinion Scott Dean is very deserving of a second trial or hearing since the victim has recanted her claims. His case was tried in public through the media before it ever went to court.
There are some very disturbing facts that have surfaced since his trial. A few members of the grand jury that indicted him were questionable in my opinion. Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle’s brother-in-law, Gerald Hargrove, was on the grand jury. While Mr. Hargrove is an upstanding citizen and a friend of mine, I would have thought he might have recused himself or Sheriff Whittle would have demanded it.
Also, Judge Mike Annis’s wife, Gina, was on the grand jury. While I know Gina personally, and she is a wonderful person, I would have thought the same thinking would have applied.
In a situation of trying a sitting county commissioner for something as sensational as child molestation, the obvious approach would have been to have the GBI handle the investigation. I believe this is commonly done in the case of elected officials as there is ample cause for the investigation to be tainted in such cases.
The actual glee portrayed by some of the media and local politicians as to Dean’s predicament made the whole judicial proceeding questionable. I have never seen such obnoxious behavior within a community. I can only surmise that Dean stepped on some political piggy toes on his rapid rise within Columbia County politics.
I attended most of the trial and became aware of what facts were presented and what facts were not. The evidence that was not allowed in the trial was greater than what was presented. I don’t believe the jury was given a fair chance to bring a clear, unbiased decision. I also do not believe that 20 years in prison with 20 additional years of probation was warranted in this case.
I believe Dean is innocent of any wrongdoing, and I sincerely hope all those who are committed to actual justice will demand that he receive a hearing in regard to this new revelation.
Mary L. Leach