HAVEN KIRKPATRICK GUILTY ON ALL COUNTSPosted by Jack Howser on Friday, October 14th, 2011 @ 2:32 pm.
WAYNE CO.—Edwards County resident Judge David Frankland has issued a verdict in the case of former Fairfield instructor and coach Haven Kirkpatrick: guilty on all eight counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust, authority or supervision, all Class 2 felonies.
The verdict came down at 2:17 this afternoon, October 14, after a day and a half of testimony in the bench trial, in in which it was revealed that for all intents and purposes, Kirkpatrick not only pursued the teenager (beginning in February 2010) but took great steps to ensure the girl was quiet about the relationship between the two. Kirkpatrick was 29 at the time; while we’re unsure of the victim’s date of birth, it’s entirely possible that she was 16, and not 17, when the whole thing kicked off.
The closing arguments that commenced shortly before 1:30 today told the tale, encapsulated.
Mike Valentine, Edwards County’s prosecutor who was brought in on a conflict for Wayne’s duly-elected prosecutor (David Williams, whose wife works at the school where Kirkpatrick was employed for the past four years), eloquently summed it up, calling into play first the riveting testimony the victim (whom we WILL NOT, as was a promise more than a year ago, name), this testimony delivered mostly through sobs.
“She gave full and descriptive details of the actions that took place when she was with Haven,” Valentine recounted. “True, both sides wanted it, true, Haven said ‘This is so wrong, this is so wrong, this is so wrong,’ but laws are in place to prevent this kind of thing. Haven took advantage of a depressed, underage girl, one she believed was threatening suicide, between February and May of 2010. There were 3,956 texts placed by Haven to the victim’s phone and 1,617 received by the victim between May and June of 2010. Do we know what they were about? No, but if you ask me, there was more going on with them than ‘lol’ and ‘hi how ya doin.’
“The victim tried to protect Haven, which is why her story changed three times,” Valentine continued, “but in doing that, she did more than Haven did to protect her, showing that the victim was the mature one in the situation. You think she’s doing this for attention?! I sure don’t think so; it was an emotional two and a half hour testimony, and a grueling cross examination, all of it showing that while the victim was inconsistent in three interviews, Haven Kirkpatrick lied all over the place. Haven ordered the victim to watch the movie ‘Loving Annabelle,’ why? in order to warn her not to go out and talk about their relationship. Haven had no care for the well-being of the victim…she just didn’t want to get caught.”
During his closing, Valentine clarified something from Tiffany Williams’ testimony earlier in the day: that the photo Kirkpatrick had of herself and another girl in a car WASN’T of Williams, as Kirkpatrick claimed it was to the investigators when she showed it to them and told them she “could get all the sex she wanted from” the girl in the photo, indicating it was a former girlfriend (Williams). Williams stated she’d never been in that car with Kirkpatrick. Apparently someone arrived at the conclusion that it was the victim actually photographed in the car with Kirkpatrick….giving a sick kind of psychological twist to the fact that Kirkpatrick referenced this photo during her interrogative ‘interview’ with local authorities July 1, 2010.
Bryan Drew, as is his forte, gave a rather offensive wrap to a rather offensive defense.
He mentioned the “many inconsistencies” noted at the times of the incidents, places, ages, etc. of people/events revolving around these “stories” bout Haven Kirkpatrick.
“Haven was nothing more than a friend to this girl,” Drew said. “She was not in a position of authority on June 4, 2010 when the first kiss occurred. The incidents that happened between June 4 and 19, there was no way she was in a position of authority during this time fram, and the state hasn’t proved beyond a reasonable doubt that all statements and ‘facts’ are true!
“Rick White has a way of telling about the interview what he ‘thinks’ they all said,” Drew stated, referencing the fact that to the detriment of the case, White hadn’t recorded his interview with Kirkpatrick—always a stupid idea, if someone actually consents to be interviewed, but this is the way White rolls. “Haven had taken a Xanax that night she was interviewed; (the victim’s father) was out in the parking lot at the sheriff’s department and she was afraid for her life from this guy. White says Haven touched the victim, Haven denies it; Jonah Kinsolving says ‘yes you did,’ Haven denies it; Haven says she pushed the victim away on several occasions. There were so many discrepancies. Yet, Haven and the victim were in public and around friends on several occasions! Then we’ve got the victim smoking pot, wanting to have sex with Mr. Kirksey, who lost his job teaching at the high school” (Drew neglected to mention that testimony revealed Kirksey actually got his job back later) “and the testimony, all through this, is inconsistent!
“Are we gonna convict her on a journal?” Drew asked Frankland. “In that journal the victim says Haven is the only reason she’s alive, and she was so awesome to do this or that, helping her with her sexuality issues. Here we have a troubled girl with mental problems and pot problems, fabricating things. It’s ludicrous! There’s no evidence. Haven follows protocol, gets help for the victim, cared for her.”
Then Drew completely outdid himself on the disgust-o-meter.
“The prosecution is just biased about Haven’s homosexuality!” he declared with no basis in fact for this allegation. “Did she make mistakes? Yes. Did she have to lose her job over them? Probably. But did she commit a crime? NO! No one has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt she has committed a crime, and I hope you find her not guilty.”
Valentine got the final word, and without missing a beat, jumped up and said:
“A position of authority doesn’t end at the end of a school day or at the end of a school year! It continues throughout the child’s term of a teacher’s employment at the school that child attends. You wanna call something ludicrous? That whole ARGUMENT was ludicrous! A 100-pound girl pushing Haven Kirkpatrick against a wall aggressively and Haven not being able to resist is LUDICROUS.
“This victim looking this teacher in the eyes in a grueling cross-examination and telling the truth is good enough for me,” Valentine wrapped up, ending the proceedings, at which time Frankland left the courtroom to make his decision.
When he returned, he read the law, then advised that the state had proven Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse beyond a shadow of a doubt, the state had proven position of authority and the victim’s age beyond a shadow of a doubt, and pronounced Kirkpatrick guilty on all eight counts.
Our reporter there advised that while the family of the victim was in tears, Kirkpatrick had no expression whatsoever, “I didn’t see a tear come out of her eye,” he told us. Drew responded by letting out a sigh with puffed cheeks, and threw his notepad down on the defense table in front of him. We couldn’t help but wonder if this was much like his reaction to the loss in the Gaddis case in Jackson County not too long ago. He’s batting a thousand in losses these days, it seems.
Kirkpatrick is scheduled for sentencing December 14 at 10 a.m. Since all 8 counts are Class 2 felonies, her sentencing range isn’t extensive (3-5 is what we’re thinking) but because she’s a first-time offender, there’s still a likelihood of probation. However, Frankland isn’t one to be messed with, as we’ve said before, and he might go the distance with this. In the meantime, Kirkpatrick is free on $10,000 cash bond, and left the courthouse today undetained.
There has been a considerable amount of speculation as to whether she’ll actually be at the sentencing. As much money as her parents have put out, the loss of the bond, were she to skip and just disappear, might not be that big of a deal. Back last summer, there was a LOT of talk between Carmi and Lawrenceville (towns of origin of her parents) that plans were being made to get Haven out of the country. Hopefully, some sense will prevail in this. Valentine, to his credit, did ask that Kirkpatrick’s bond be revoked and she be detained until sentencing. The only win Drew had this time was that he ask that the bond remain in place, and Frankland determined to do so.
In the aftermath, we’re wondering about all the punks in Fairfield who were so behind “saving Haven” as they were up to last summer. A bunch of young people were busy attending school board meetings in her defense, helping perpetuate the story that the victim was making up everything Kirkpatrick was being accused of. Their loyalty was nothing short of sickening, especially in light of what people in Gallatin County already knew about the woman. We haven’t heard a word from any of them….so perhaps this verdict will piss them off so bad that they’ll grace us with their presence here on the website. In the meantime, please feel free to voice your opinion. Do you believe Drew took on a losing case with the intent all along of disparaging the victim and revictimizing her, like he was going to do with Todd Fort’s victim? Do you think the age of consent in Illinois is ridiculous? How do you feel about Drew making much over the homosexuality aspect? And how do you feel about how ‘tolerant’ people are of 18-19-20-year old kids having openly homosexual relationships with a teacher, who is supposed to have had their best interests at heart when she had them in her classroom or on a team, coaching them? Let us know….we wanna hear you.
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