Topic: Two years and counting...
This blog is dedicated to supporting Raymond Lee Jennings, 33, of Lancaster, CA, who has been accused of murdering Michelle O'Keefe on February 22, 2000. He was arrested near his home on December 13, 2005 and has been awaiting trial in an LA county jail since that date.
First off, even though this is a forum to support Raymond, I personally would ask that all posters show respect for the victim, Michelle O'Keefe, as well as any of her family and friends! They have suffered the ultimate loss and everyone must remember that the family has been and will continue to be grieving for their loved one.
Wow, to be honest, I really don't even know how to begin, I just feel that Ray needs the support of his friends and family while he's wasting away in jail as trial after trial is being postponed. That in itself is one thing that angers me the most! First of all, it has been nearly 8 years since the murder took place and it took police over 5 years to make an arrest...now Ray has been sitting in jail for over two years, slowing losing the life he's made for himself. Seriously, just about every month the trial is slated to start and every month it gets postponed. The latest postponement was on January 23, 2008 because lawyers on both sides claimed to be unprepared to go to trial. So, does the prosecution have a case against Raymond or not? One would think that 8 years was sufficient time to build a case!! Now, I'm not a lawyer or in any way connected to the legal system, but anyone with a basic understanding of our Constitution may begin to believe that Ray's Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial is being severely violated! I have however, done a little research on the topic of accused persons who have challenged the court system when their cases have floundered within the legal sytem for extreme amounts of time and I found the following link to be very informative: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=407&page=514. It's alot to sift through but generally explains the topic well in layman's terms for those of us who may not have an entensive legal background. If anyone else is interested in exploring this angle of Raymond's case, feel free to post any helpful information!
Well, I think I am going to take a break to gather my thoughts before I go off on a total tangent! For those people who are just stumbling across this blog and would like more information about the background on Raymond's case, you can see video clips of his arraignment and read archived newspaper clippings at http://www.michelleokeefe.org/. The family has done a great job at memorializing their daughter so please be prepared to see Raymond portrayed as nothing short of a monster in their blog as well as in articles by the AV Press. That newspaper is another topic in itself..I'm sure that they will come up on here quite often! It's an excellent study of how an accused person can have undue prejudice mounted against them before their trial. Like I said though, that's for another day!
I would like to leave my best wishes for Raymond...stay strong, there ARE people on your side!