To: Captain Dickens and Captain Miller – Death Row and General Population Captain’s Office
Captain Dickens and Captain Miller:
The assault, which C.O. Sheffield initially launched against me 17 days ago, on 10-20-11, has continued for an entire two-and-one-half weeks. I came back from bench warrant on 10-19-11, and the morning of 10-20-11, I asked C.O. Combs to please inform property officer Ms. Martinez that I needed my property. He did so, and told me that Ms. Martinez said she would get to it whenever she had the time. (Coming from Ms. Martinez this translates to: “You are not getting your property any time soon.”) Several hours passed and I asked Mr. Combs and his co-worker to please check on my property. They did so and I was told that it might be after the weekend before I get my property. It was a Thursday.
This not only would have been a violation of TDCJ-CID policy, ACA standards, and state and federal laws, but a particularly egregious act, because I had extremely important court deadlines to meet. I asked Mr. Combs to please inform the Sergeant and Lieutenant on duty of the problem and he did so and said they told Ms. Martinez to bring me my property. This enraged Ms. Martinez and her partner C.O. Sheffield, and instead of bringing me my property they absolutely attacked and ransacked my property in retaliation! Several officers told me that Ms. Sheffield said she was “going to find some reason to write me up,” and she did. I was written a Code 6 “Possession of a weapon—a weapon is any instrument intended to be used to inflict injury on another person,” and immediately taken to Level 3. Never before in the 35-year history of Texas Death Row has a single person been written a case for possession of a pencil sharpener blade, much less a weapons case and been moved to disciplinary status. This is, however, exactly what happened to me on 10-20-11 (Case # 20120053215). They only recently started taking up pencil sharpener blades, and hundreds have been found and either overlooked or discarded. In the ten years I’ve been locked up I’ve never had a single assault case or weapons case, and I’m an artist and there is only one way to sharpen pencils and colored pencils: with pencil sharpener blades. Pencil sharpeners were supposed to be placed in the pod pickets for our use but this didn’t happen, and furthermore the only way to sharpen colored pencils is by using the blade out of the casing, otherwise the pencil leads break constantly. I most certainly did not have them as any type of weapon, and really, a sharpened spoon and many other available things would be a more effective weapon than a miniscule blade, which is less than an inch long. I would like to respectfully request to be moved back to Level 1 status and have the 45 days Commissary restriction and 15 days rec restriction that I was given for this case reversed. I’ve been given the same punishment for doing absolutely nothing that people are given when they violently stab and assault officers, take a hostage, murder another inmate, burn up an officer’s face with boiling hot oil and piss or crap or other such extreme and violent activity. Level 3 is supposed to be reserved for “violent and assaultive offenders” only. Even Level 2 is supposed to be restricted to offenders who commit major disciplinary offences.
Furthermore, almost all of my property was either unjustly confiscated by C.O. Sheffield and C.O. Martinez or it is apparently “missing.” This includes my legal books, religious books, Arts and Crafts items; hygiene items, legal work, envelopes and many other things. It’s eleven days later and I still do not have my property. (Please see attachment 1 “Missing and Unjustly Confiscated Property of 10-20-11”). Some of my unjustly confiscated property was listed on a Prop 8 form (Log back # TL-789DR1011) dated 10-20-11 signed by Ms. Martinez and another Prop 8 form (log back #TL-789DR1011) dated 10-20-11 signed by Ms. Sheffield. As all ranking staff members are very well aware of, both C.O. Martinez and to a much greater extent C.O. Sheffield are notoriously known for unjustly confiscating, stealing and destroying property.
The “Reason For Confiscation” noted on both Prop 8 forms is “Excessive Amounts.” This is, of course, absolutely arbitrary and thoroughly illegal. A.D. 3-72 the “Offender Property Directive” section VI D clearly defines “excessive amounts”:
D. Excessive Amounts — Property possessed in excess of the quantity indicated on the Prop-01 (i.e., more than one pair of shower shoes or more than two pair of personal shoes.
A quick review of the Prop-01 form shows that not a single piece of my property qualifies as “Excessive Amounts”. For example, my deodorants (2) were confiscated but the Prop-01 clearly states that I can possess “any amount of deodorants as long as they can be stored properly,” and furthermore, “properly stored” was not listed as a “reason for confiscation” for any of my property. Also, we came off of a major shakedown lockdown only three days before my property was attacked on 10-20-11. Lt. Worthy, Sgt. Fernis and the Region I shakedown team as well as the G.P. “Field boss” crew hit my section. They stayed in my cell for an hour and a half going through every single piece of paper I had. Not a single thing was confiscated or stolen from me. And you know very well that most certainly Lt. Worthy and especially Sgt. Fernis are never going to let anyone get by with anything they’re not supposed to have.
Ms. Martinez was in my cell that day and nothing was taken. Sgt. Fernis did mention that I had a lot of books, but I said I wanted to send some back out, but they both said they weren’t doing property pickup until next Monday, which was 10-24. Furthermore, second shift staff searched and inventoried by my property on 10-18 when I was about to go on bench warrant and nothing was taken. Also, that morning my property was “shaken down” by the D.R. shakedown crew and nothing was taken. So, on 10-12, the morning of 10-18 and the night of 10-18 all of my property was thoroughly searched by at least 10 officers and found to be in perfect compliance and nothing was taken. Then, on 10-20 when C.O. Martinez and C.O. Sheffield—two officers widely known as the two worst on Texas Death Row—got ahold of my property and the majority of it gets destroyed, unjustly confiscated or comes up missing.
Ms. Sheffield and Ms. Martinez also list some of my unjustly confiscated property on a Prop 5 form dated 10-21 and signed. On the night of 10-18 when my property was inventoried and packed up and taken to the property room to be held for when I was on bench warrant I was given a Prop 5 form by nightshift staff (signed by C.O. Beaurcheaux [sp?]). How is it that the 10-18 Prop 5 form lists, for example, 10 watercolors, shoes, hot pot, bag of Arts and Crafts, yet these and other things are not listed on C.O. Martinez and C.O. Sheffield’s property forms of 10-20 and 10-21? They are the only ones who touched my property after the 10-18 inventory. There are only two options: either a magic fairy elf secretly froze time and made himself and my property invisible and took it away to secret magic elf fairy land or Ms. Martinez and Ms. Sheffield knowingly, willingly and intentionally violated TDCJ-CID policy, state and federal laws and ACA standards by stealing and destroying much of my property.
Many inmates, because of similar actions in the past, have filed many complaints against C.O. Sheffield and C.O. Martinez. As almost unfathomable as it seems, C.O. Sheffield is directly responsible for 4 out of 6 people currently on Level 3 being down here. On 8-12-11 she attacked inmate Carrol Parr and ransacked his property, and he has been on Level 3 since engaging in acts of protest because of this. On 10-13-11 Ms. Sheffield initiated an attack on inmate Adam Ward in which his property was ransacked and he spoke up in protest against Ms. Sheffield’s oppressive actions and the situation escalated to the point where Ward was repeatedly gassed. On 10-14-11 C.O. Sheffield attacked inmate Robert Garza, stealing and destroying some of his property, including personal photos. Ms. Sheffield violently confronted Mr. Garza cursing and yelling at him directly in his face and she had to be physically restrained by other staff members. Mr. Garza did react to this attack by spitting in her face (which is certainly not condoned), but the fact remains that C.O. Sheffield instigated the situation. Then, of course, I am on Level 3 as well because of Ms. Sheffield (I’ve done nothing reactionary).
Ms. Sheffield is very well known for her violent tendencies, extreme abuse of authority and gross violation of TDCJ policy, state and federal law. Around 2004 Ms. Sheffield who was then a Sergeant was literally ran off of the Death Row building and barred from working back here due to her egregious actions. In general population she continued her reign of terror until she was demoted from Sergeant back to a regular C.O., and somehow this year she ended up back on this D.R. building (which now has all new supervisory ranking staff members).
I would like to respectfully request that the issues of concern I’ve explained be addressed, and most specifically that I be moved back to Level 1 status, given my property back and the 45 days Commissary restriction and 15 days rec restriction be reversed. One of my closest friends already paid around $2,000 in plane tickets and travel fees to come see me for special visits at the end of November/beginning of December. I’ve already missed seeing my mom for a visit because of this, and I’ll miss more visits soon if I’m kept on disciplinary status. The plane tickets aren’t refundable. My people are sending me letters written while in tears, with their stomachs knotted and hearts filled with pain and anguish because of what’s happened. That’s what I’m concerned about more than anything.
Thank you for your time in this very important matter.
Turned in 11-7-11
*Above mentioned enclosure attachment attached
*The camera-video system obviously recorded these actions. I respectfully request that the recordings of all above-mentioned incidents be saved.
cc: file, Major Mullins, Warden Simmons, Warden Muniz
MISSING AND UNJUSTLY CONFISCATED PROPERTY OF 10-20-11
• Unjustly confiscated property listed on the Prop 8 dated 11-20-11 signed by Ms. Sheffield: 2 bowls, 1 cup, 7 soaps, 8 toothpastes, 6pk. 4 tablets (?), flosses, 2 deodorants, 3 boot strings, 3 pair socks, 2 shorts, 15 pair earplugs, 118 envelopes, 16 magazines, 22 books. (Yes, she obviously went insane with my property.)