Will Tina (Martin) Naas REALLY be going to trial in a couple of weeks??
JACKSON CO.—We’re trying to figure out if El Prosecutor Grande Mike Wepsiec in Jackson County is simply trying to clear his docket before he’s no longer in charge of the office of state’s attorney, or if something more interesting has come to pass.
Regardless of the reason for it (which is why we’re even here discussing it with you), the fact remains: Tina (Martin) Naas is scheduled to answer to a jury of her peers on August 14, 2012, well over two years after she was charged in Jackson County with Solicitation to Commit Murder for Hire. This charge stems from her alleged involvement in the case that her ex, former sheriff Raymond Martin, now sits in a federal prison over: Intimidation of federal witnesses in his drug case in Gallatin County.
For those unfamiliar with the whole story, the Solicitation part occurred while Raymondo was being held at the Jackson County Jail in Murphysboro, where he hatched a plot to kill the two key witnesses in his federal case, Jeremy Potts and David Woods. In January of 2010, Raymondo’s son Cody and then-wife Tina (Kristina) were visiting him and allegedly discussing how to carry this out. This resulted in all three of them facing state charges in Jackson County.
Raymondo’s charges were dropped when the feds picked them up. Tina’s and Cody’s dragged through the system, however. It appeared it was all a foregone conclusion after we sat and listened, in September 2010 in federal court in Benton, to hour after hour of Raymondo on the phone with his kid and wife, plotting how the two federal witnesses were going to get done in. Cody even turned on his father and, bravely, sat in the witness stand in federal court and testified against his father, proving that he still had a conscience even after what he’d been through at such a young age (21 at the time).
However, Tina was still hanging out there, even after the conviction and right up to sentencing.
Raymondo was sentenced in January 2011, about a month after Tina secured a surprise divorce. She never showed up at any of the federal proceedings, which we found odd. And she’s been going on with her life, business as usual, ever since. So it’s somewhat surprising that a court date has actually been set, doubly so since Wepsiec will no longer be prosecutor this December as he chose not to run for another term. Most folks figured he’d just boot it to the next prosecutor. We were among those folks.
So…do we head off to Murphysboro on August 14? Conventional wisdom would dictate yes…as, if she doesn’t want to go through the grueling business of a jury trial, Tina might take a plea…and that’s newsworthy as well. However, experience has shown us no, as, every damn time we’ve made the three-hour trip, something delays the proceedings. Continuances, continuances, continuances. Not to mention that the file has been, for all intents and purposes, impounded. Every time we went there last year even when there WEREN’T hearings scheduled, we didn’t have access to the file; it was “in the judge’s office.” It became an exercise in futility.
We’ll go, however. It’s what we do. Maybe Ang can sell a few books while we’re there, since Murphysboro is in it prominently. Whatever the case, we’ll bring it to you. Be watching…and be sure to pick up not only the current issue of Disclosure that’s on stands now, but also the newest, August special edition, which hits the stands a week from Monday, and which we’re fervently working on right now, hence slow posts.
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