RC Catalyst endorses Garland F. Byers, Jr. for district attorney. Four years ago, RcCatalyst endorsed Ted Bell for district attorney. Unfortunately, Bell has not lived up to his campaign promises. Bell who is running on his record that comprises:
- allowing Jennie Reynolds off with probation in the baby LeBron murder
- not following through for an SBI investigation into the Covington/Fenner mistrial juror Perry Shade
- having so few trials in McDowell County that several planned trial terms had no cases
- having 4 $100,000+ attorneys on his staff that between them probably don’t have 10 trial cases-one has not tried a single case in Superior Court
- five years after Matthew Fenner’s alleged incident in the Word of Faith Fellowship sanctuary there has not been a verdict in any of the four cases
- Bell has never tried a Murder case of any type (1st Degree or 2nd Degree) to a jury verdict and, in 2017, in his one jury trial, didn’t try anything more serious than a Class F felony.
- Bell played his political card at the Justin Covington attorney release hearing
- Bell marks cases with a red star that need “special” attention
- Allowed an admitted sex offender to plea out to a much lesser charge
- Did NOT prosecute anyone in the steroid use & conspiracy to distribute drugs within the Sheriff’s department – there were charges that could have been made
- reclassiffied an employee’s job that she was not qualified to perform
- allowed misreporting of time worked within the department
- did not convey a cult expert name to ADA Byers in the Fenner case
- was not in court during most of the Fenner trials, hearings, and motions
- did not support or offer victim witness services
- did not support his ADA’s decisions or inform them of SBI investigation statuses.
- violated applicant’s privacy
- overstepped his authority in confronting a former detective’s son, cursing him in front of the detective and his own kids and then threatening him saying, “You better hope you never have a reason to be in court in this county.”
- accepting defective detective investigations in trials – one did not even take a picture of the crime scene in a sexual assault case of a minor
Byers on the other hand has consistently tried cases in the courtroom. He has an extensive background in criminal law as well as law enforcement experience. Jurors and judges alike relate well to Byers and even when it appeared the lawyers were arch enemies, they maintained a professional friendly relationship outside of court.
Byers has 30+ years in the criminal court system. His cases are well prepared – he ensured that the WoFF defendants got fair trials by insisting that they have separate lawyers.
Having worked in private practice as well as under 3 different district attorneys, Byers understands the power and proper use of the district attorney’s office. As a manager, he has tracked cases, performances, and statuses of cases. Most importantly he knows what an investigator does in the office and what other support functions that must be done.
Garland Byers will make the district attorney’s office a professional organization with proper job descriptions and pay, equalized case loads, and with a staff willing to actually try cases in both counties.