Well, it’s happened. I got word earlier this evening that Julie Amero‘s case had finally been disposed of. It seems that today, hiding from the glare of media coverage, Julie pled guilty to disorderly conduct, paid a $100 fine and went on her way.
A shame, for sure. What? You thought I’d be happy? I am, to a certain extent, yet I’m rather perplexed why she had to plead to anything at all to get this nightmarish ordeal to end. Rick Green, who has been championing her cause, has the details:
Amero agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. Amero, who has been hospitalized and suffers from declining health, also surrendered her teaching license.
Judge Strackbein ordered a new trial over a year and a half ago, in June of 2007 (yes, it has been that long). So what the heck has been going on since then? I suspect the State got another expert to review the logs and investigate the computer, but 18 months?
No, what’s closer to the truth, I suspect, (and evidenced by the surreptitious manner in which this case was resolved) is that the State was embarrassed publicly and nationally and closed its eyes tight and clenched its teeth and hoped and prayed this would go away so it could quietly slink into the courtroom and do away with this stain.
New London County State’s Attorney Michael Regan told me late Friday the state remained convinced Amero was guilty and was prepared to again go to trial.
“I have no regrets. Things took a course that was unplanned. Unfortunately the computer wasn’t examined properly by the Norwich police,” Regan said.
“For some reason this case caught the media’s attention,” Regan said.
He’s just playing dumb. He knows exactly why this case caught media attention – shoddy police work in an area that a growing number of people know a lot about: computers. If this was some investigation where the question was interpretation of DNA evidence or the trajectory of bullets on a windy evening, Julie Amero would have been halfway through her sentence.
Instead, the police department messed up big-time in an area where a lot of people pay attention (and have been victims themselves).
Instead of owning up to their mistake and the possibility that there was an error, the State tried to shore up its ego by stretching this prosecution as long as it could.
What’s even stinkier is the fact that they just couldn’t let her go. Having kept her in limbo for 18 months, with failing health, wasn’t enough. They had to extract something – even if it were a slice of flesh.
I can understand why she accepted the offer and why her lawyer probably convinced her to take it. Get it over with. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s pretty obvious the only reason the State insisted on it is to make themselves look slightly better.
They aren’t fooling anyone.
Enjoy your evening, Julie. There’s nothing good on TV, but I suspect you don’t care.
Update: Karoli, who first brought Julie to my attention, writes indignantly about the pound of flesh the State took from her.