The last victim of PCSO’s drug sting, an almost unrecognizable Misty Croslin, gets sentenced to 25 years on a charge of trafficking oxycodone in St. Johns County; because of ineffective counsel, but mostly for being just plain stupid. After being foolish enough to have plead no contest, did anyone really expect any other outcome?
We last took up the topic of Misty being stupid in Misty Croslin is Beyond Stupid.
Robert Fields to Misty’s detriment is no Jose Baez.
One can only wonder why Misty Croslin’s attorney, Robert Fields, was in court at all since he is not making any money. I ask: Does Robert Fields have a retirement plan with the prosecution; since he might as well be working for them. All Fields has done all along is metaphorically hold Misty’s hand, sympathize with her, and tried to convince her that he has worked very hard to get her off, but that it was just the big bad criminal justice system that finally had done her in. That is total nonsense. No well-financed drug criminal with any smarts at all will ever hire Fields, after this outcome. Fields counseling someone to plead no contest without a legally binding proffer agreement in place offered just plain bad advice that was tantamount to legal suicide, and Fields knew it all along, in my humble opinion.
What was actually said during this court hearing is rather sketchy, but a few quotable quotes have surfaced.
Appealable statements allegedly made by Judge Wendy Berger
Had this been a jury trial, these statements most certainly would be grounds for an appeal. Of course, pleading no contest without a proffer agreement in place gives the judge carte Blanche opportunity to do almost anything.
I “realized there is a hefty minimum mandatory, but the problem with youthful offender [sentencing] is the six years.”
This quote strongly suggests to me that Misty Croslin did in fact qualify for youthful offender status. It was just that this particular judge decided to NOT abide by the legislatively mandated maximum sentence. Which, of course, is prohibited by law. Judges intentionally break the law, or commit a reversible error as they say, intentionally all the time. This puts the onus on the victim of the judge’s wrath to spend big money required by an appeal, not to mention the time. These type of appeals usually take a year a or more to work their way through the legal system.
“Maybe you wouldn’t have gotten caught as soon, but you would have gotten caught.”
That is like saying, had Misty Croslin been caught selling pot on her own, she would most probably have been busted for a minor drug offense. At which point, Misty as a first-timer to the criminal justice system would have experienced a wake-up call. She would have had the legislatively mandated opportunity for youthful offenders to part away from a life of crime.
But, the nice PCSO decided to set her up with an offense that carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 25-years. And, they kept on setting her up until she had racked up enough offenses under her belt to send her away for 240 years. Misty Croslin was penniless, and clearly did not have the financing required to sell major amounts of prescription drugs. Big, bad, and heartless LE obviously decided to set Misty Croslin up for a major rather than a minor drug prison sentence. All of which should have been part of a well planned entrapment defense delivered by Fields.
Stupid Misty Croslin Retrospective
The visual appearance of Misty Croslin during the last few months has changed dramatically.
Misty Croslin’s Quotable Quotes
“I do know I was wrong for what I did. I am not trying to blame anyone else.”
“When you grow up and you’ve got no money or nothing, and that’s a way to get money so you have something to eat … it sounds pretty good, you know.”
“I learned my lesson not to mess with drugs.”
“I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t set me up and come at me wanting pills.”
“I’m into marijuana; I don’t sell it, I smoke it.”
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Haleigh Cummings case. I wouldn’t have been set up. People are judging me and they don’t even know me.”
Referring to Ronald Cummings: “I loved him, and it was better than where I was.”
Misty’s Ineffective Counsel
Everything presented by the defense at the hearing in St. John’s County would have gone over well in a jury trial. With the right jury she might even have walked. But, after pleading no contest all their comments were pretty much pointless.
Overturning convictions with a successful Appeal in general requires a jury trial, end of story.
The prosecution strongest evidence went along the lines that Law Enforcement investigator Travis Smith, stated Croslin told undercover agents that she had four sources for drugs. At one point, she promised to buy 50 percoset, Smith said, adding that she did all the calling and transactions with the FBI. Had Robert Fields put any effort into this defense at all, he would have figured out the strategy of the prosecution through discovery and would been prepared to impeach Smith’s testimony. I rather doubt that any cross-examination of Travis Smith even took place at this public lynching. Furthermore, Misty just like Casey Anthony wouldn’t even had gone to trial at all until next year.
Robert Fields to Misty’s detriment is no Jose Baez.