Day 1- April 25th I book in very early in the morning. My charge is attempted murder. I sleep in the floor in "B" then later move to cellblock "C" to find Maxi Lakes standing over me (the other man that broke into my house with Earnest Hepburn). Verbal confrontation follows and I discover that they stole all my stuff from the inmate box when they called me out to increase my charges to murder and serve other warrants. I am also charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime. I do not even understand why they charged me at all. They take all my clothes and make me hold a thick, green blanket because somebody said I was suicidal. Then they put me in a 5x7 cell naked with no phone calls and no information except for constant verbal abuse and deliberate indifference from all the officers involved. My life is a page directly out of "Dante's Hell." Day 2- April 26th I wake up to a guard shouting at me through the iron door. I am hoping that this is all a nightmare or perhaps I am trying to fight my way out of a coma but it is all too real. I start recounting my last 24-36 hours. I am playing it over and over in my mind trying to figure out how this is my fault when I only defended my friend and myself against an armed aggressor at my residence. Dammit! Why am I naked and why won't you damn people listen to me?! I am missing my final exams. I am losing everything I have worked for since my house burned down. My very life is gone and replaced with this nightmarish reality. Why won't you let me call someone? How can I contact my family or Johnny? What has become of my friend? No answers come from the jailer who will not answer anything. What the fuck? Day 3- April 27th I am visited by the clerk of court today and he tells me of the following: 1. Don't talk to anybody about my case 2. Get on P.C. and stay there (sound wisdom in retrospect) 3. He is trying to get me a public defender Good man, this clerk. I will remember him in the future. I am shuffled out of the cell still naked, clutching the green blanket that is apparently called a "turtle suit". I am heckled as I pass the cell blocks and two deputies. I am led into a room where I first meet Mrs. McMan, an attorney, and public defender Delong. He first assigns me to James Centrall but after I express my concerns with the public defense system in general, he says he will represent me himself. It encourages me somewhat. Later in the day, someone from mental health comes to ask me if I still want to hurt myself. Damn! The reason I am here is because I was trying to save myself and Johnny! What the hell? Why would I want to hurt myself now?! I could have just let the guy continue to shoot at me if I had wanted to die! I am given some orange outfit to put on. Ugh, I hate orange. I'm a Gamecocks fan, dammit! Day 4- April 28th I am still in the 5x7. I can't construe any track of time except for the meals. This busy game of misinformation and disinformation starts. I ask for a call. "I don't know" is the answer I receive. I ask for a doctor. "You have to get on the list." I ask to be on the list. "You'll have to check with my C.O." I ask for the C.O. "He can't see you right now. He's busy." Mrs. McMan's assistant attorney comes by. I tell her what they're doing. She tries to correct it. They make promises to her. Then when she is gone, it's back to the same as if she doesn't exist. She is out of sight and out of mind. I still am not allowed a phone call or a shower but I finally get a roll of toilet paper. The abuse from the other inmates is at a fever pitch. The other wards join in the chorus from time to time.
Day 5- April 29th Mrs. McMan comes by! I feel like she is a little perturbed when I tell her that they lied to her. At least she believes me. They move me to another room in the magistrate's waiting area before moving me back to the 5x7 cell which they call "Detox-2." I now have a roommate that sleeps in the floor and blocks the toilet. The small sink above hasn't drained since I have been here and now it is starting to smell and grow stuff despite my complaint 2-3 days prior. My "room dog's" name is Alex. I can tell something is wrong with him already. He has not shaved in many months and always sleeps. He smells like hell. No really! He has no hygiene at all. He hasn't showered for a very long time I suspect. Day 6- April 30th My "room dog's" full name is Alex Rope. He's not much of a talker. He sleeps all the time and takes meds two times per day. I don't know why. The only things I learn are: 1. He is mental and paranoid. 2. He cannot gain weight and is of concern to the nurse and doctor. 3. He is in for a drug charge (specifically 1 oz. or more of cocaine). 4. He has been here a long time, around a year, but he doesn't really seem to know how long. 5. He has no phone calls to make. He never writes anyone. He receives no visitors. 6. He has not shaved even once since his arrival. 7. He hasn't even had a bond hearing. 8. For all intents and purposes, he is dead to everyone and himself. I do pity him for some reason. However, I am worried about his physical affliction. Does he have AIDS or TB? I don't want to catch anything. He needs to take a shower. Day 7- May 1st I am allowed to try to call someone. I don't know what's going on with the phone. I manage to talk to Rudy for about two minutes. I set up a visitation for next Thursday. That is the only light I see at the end of the tunnel. The attorney does not visit. I try to talk to Alex with no success. The smell in here is terrible. I try to unclog the nasty sink by using hydrostatic pressure at the bottom of the water column. I succeed and feels like another step out of hell. Day 8- May 2nd Mrs. McMan comes by. She has a few questions and so do I. She expresses her concern with my need to tell my side of the story. She basically tells me to shut the hell up and I listen to her. I am offered showers more regularly now. I am starting to apply pressure to Alex to start showering at least on the weekends. Day 9- May 3rd I should have money in my bank account by now but there is no way for me to know. I won't find out until my next phone call on Sunday. I start to complain loudly about Alex's hygiene. I threaten to go to the guards and the doctor if he will not start cleaning himself. Damn, man, give me a break! I am trying to map out in my head some sense of schedule of how this madhouse is being run. No visits, no phone. Day 10- May 4th I get to order pens, paper, socks, underwear, t-shirts and food. Oh, joy! My daughter is an angel and I tell her if I ever get out of here, I will never leave her side again. I do fucking mean that! I go back to the 5x7 with Alex who finally showered. Life is now just south of tolerable. Day 11- May 5th I raise hell with the guards until they finally bring me some brushes and a mop to clean out our cell. Alex helps me clean. Day 12- May 6th
I have adjusted to confinement somewhat. I get to go outside for the first time since my incarceration for 45 minutes. It is good just to smell unbreathed air. Alex and I talk a little. He used to work in Texas drilling oil wells. I believe him. He also worked at a nuclear facility. I believe this as well. I also believe he has some type of Alzheimer's or dementia in the early-onset phase. I do pity him. I don't believe he will live to see his trial. Day 13- May 7th I get a phone call. I make plans to see my daughters tomorrow. This makes me feel good. I talk a female guard into giving me a pen and life is better. It's not good, just better. Day 14- May 8th I almost don't get my scheduled visit. I finally get it but it is not for the full hour. I see Candy and Kerrie. Bless Kerrie's heart. She looks scared to death. I feel happy, at least as happy as you can feel beside close family with no hugs or kisses. I have not seen or talked to my dear Kerrie in 20 years. I still have not hugged her in that long. We discuss what is necessary and I give them a considerably long "pops' to-do-list." I reschedule the next visit and say goodbye. I weep like a baby. Dammit! That's not a good thing in here. Day 15- May 9th There's not much to say. No phone, no shower. I am locked down in the 5x7 for 24 hours. I mail a letter to Kerrie. Day 16- May 10th It's the weekend I think. I draft letters to A.C.L.U and Johnny for my attorney to approve. Today is another 24-hour lockdown. Day 17- May 11th I am allowed a phone call. Candy confirms the next visit. I go outside! The sun is out! It is mother's day. I miss you, Mom. Exercise feels good. I request a doctor form. The response I receive is, "no way." I finish the letters to A.C.L.U and Johnny. I hope my attorney comes tomorrow. I am allowed a shower. Day 18- May 12th My attorney never shows up. I receive more heckling from other cell blocks. Alex is still just a sleeping lump. I am on lockdown in the 5x7 for 24 hours. They do not allow us to clean the cell. I am going to mail the letters tomorrow. Day 19- May 13th I clean up the cell as soon as I wake up. I see Candy and her husband, Mick. It is bittersweet. They have some information for me. It's not all good but they broadened the contacts I have somewhat. It's official. I have fucked up this semester. No finals! I have failed every course. Thousands of dollars are wasted! I am in debt. My grants are fucked up forever! Will this nightmare ever end? I am no stranger to the rain but, damn, this is Noah's flood. They let me out on compound for less than 30 minutes. I'll take it. My attorney still doesn't show up. I remind Alex Dog about hygiene before bed. Day 20- May 14th I was promised a shave last night. For the second week in a row, I waited until after 11:00 pm but Ms. Anastasia lied to me again! My face is an awful, itchy mess! The guys in the cell next to me got to shave last night. This day is like every other day. They have left the lights in my cell on for two days straight now despite my requests to turn turn them off after 10:00 pm. The officers simply ignore us as if we don't exist. Even repeated requests from "Room Dog" Alex, who is usually sedated, have no effect. My attorney still does not show up. I guess this is going to be the normal thing from now on. Words have no meaning. Action is little to none. At the end of the day, we inmates mean no more than test animals
or rabid dogs in cages and get treated with no more respect. This is a sub-human Hell. There need to be changes across the board. No wonder people who are exposed to this type of treatment over the long term can never be reprogrammed to be productive humans! It is a no show-show again by the lawyers and their assistants. This is the state of my world. It's all good, though. Am I getting stronger or more bitter? They seem to be one and the same in this place. I get a phone call. I get my first book from Kerrie in the mail. Bless her heart! No only did she get the book I wanted, she got the best deal I have ever seen. I want to thank her. I have to place an order for a canteen again to get get a few more things. Hopefully I will get some underwear. Commando is not my thing. It chafes me nether-regions. No phone calls again? What the fuck?! I can't call my canteen in! I can't call my daughter! This is bullshit! I yell and scream until I am given my phone call. I barely receive 15 minutes on the phone. I get more bad news from my daughter. Day 21- May 15th It has been 3 weeks that I have been in this 5x7 cell with a man who won't care for his hygiene. I have not shaved for 2.5 weeks. I look and feel awful. My tooth is now abscessing because I am not allowed to have floss. I ask to see my nurse and no one will let me. My life seems so bleak at this time. I have no encouragement or source from which I can draw strength. It seems that this is my darkest hour and the night hasn't even arrived yet. There are new enemies for me now. I hear the neighboring cell blocks talk to me. They say the skinheads have it out for me. Shit! Get in line, assholes. I am going to request no more visits from my family because I fear for their well-being. I want to get a word with the C.O. if possible about my schedule and the possibility of moving to P.C. "D" Block which would allow me TV and more phone time in which I can conduct business and try to improve my plight. I am helpless over my life and these conditions are difficult for me. I must try to focus on what is going on in here instead of try to understand what is happening out there! I shower. The water is not hot enough to wash these stains off my soul. I request a shave from an older guard. He says to talk to Jack. I don't know Jack but I call for him until he responds. He explains that they are very busy. I understand this! Jack is a good man. Day 22- May 16th I see Mrs. McMan. The news she brings is favorable. She tells me to keep my mouth shut. She tells me not to say anything at all. Guess what? No canteen today. Day 23- May 17th There is no canteen here. I've been told another lie. I do not get my contact holder that I paid $6.50 for last week. It's supposed to have arrived by now. I tell the guard and she calls me a liar. They won't give me the money back. She takes my canteen privileges for next week. I've been set up. They must have removed items from my bag prior to me receiving the order. They make me sign the ticket before I can inventory and then they deny that there is anything missing! What a bunch of jerks! Guards and trustees win the day today. I have had a toothache since Tuesday. I complain constantly to the nurse and guard to no avail. This is inhumane and they know it! It is pure mental and physical torture. I want my attorney to tell the Civil Liberties Union that this is wrong. Living in a 5x7 with another person is simply inhumane. I request a shower, a shave, and acetominophen or aspirin for my toothache. I get to shave. I cut my face all over with a cheap, penny razor. I miss many spots. The acetaminophen helps my toothache. Day 24- May 18th Someone is supposed to come tell me when I am allowed a phone call with my daughter. I don't know if I want to see her after her bad experience
getting the rest of my stuff. I shouldn't allow it. It is the safest thing for them in lieu of recent developments. I write letters to Candy and Kerrie to tell them about the plan for my laptop. I want to get Kerrie some money so she can continue to order me books. I also write the book company to see if I can get a current catalog of some type with the authors that I am listing. Day 25- May 19th I see Candy and her baby, Rosa. Rosa is such a little drama queen! She may grow out of it still. I tell her she can have my flat screen and digital streamer. I am not sure why. I know what is going to happen to it: It will get damaged. Of course it won't be her fault when POOF! Pops is out $400.00. Oh well. I try to get Candy moving on some information that I need from the college. She has a hearing in family court today over the disposition of Phil. This is not good. Blood-sucking attorneys are going to make out on this one. Candy's husband has confiscated my new tool box for reasons unbeknownst to me. Is it because he can? Hm. I'm going to have to give that some thought. I'm signing off for today from Detox-2 P.C. Isolation 5x7 with 2 occupants (one of which has a toothache.) Good day. Day 26- May 20th The day starts with a god damned toothache and headache. I have not been afforded any exercise opportunities in 7 days now and I hurt all over. My digestive tract is raising hell. I think it's because of being sedated. Constipation is something that I live with all the time and that alone makes me somewhat lethargic. The last time I went outside, they only gave me 25 minutes. My joints are really starting to bitch now. I have asked to clean up the cell two days in a row but have only been met with "I will look into it" or silence. The toilet is really a mess now and I have to sleep right beside it. Court is going on this week and that is supposedly the reason I am not allowed exercise. My radio clip has a stress crack. I am going to try to get Sony to replace it by writing them today. I am somewhat hurt by Candy's conduct. I am still searching for how to feel about that. Day 27- May 21st I have asked to clean up my cell for 3 days now with no response. I write Barb a letter and receive a letter from June. I will reply and mail the response tomorrow. I have decided not to contact Candy any more for a while as I would like to protect her from these ill-meaning sociopathic bastards. I want to see if the rhetoric about her dies down somewhat. They have obtained too much personal information already. I shower. I call in the canteen. My funds are almost gone but I have to have letters and envelopes and stamps to stay in touch. I hope to get the cell cleaned up tomorrow. Day 28- May 22nd I clean up the cell this morning. There's nothing like a fresh toilet to lie your head next to! I get a long letter from Kerrie. That kid needs to laugh at herself a little or be tickled into it! I write her a long letter back. I try to answer some very uncomfortable questions. It may be too much too soon. We'll see. I will get a phone call Sunday. I do not go outside. It has been 10 days since I have seen the sky, dammit! Day 29- May 23rd The day starts as bad as one can: in a 5x7 with another person. We get our breakfast. It is un-shelled boiled eggs, 2 pieces of stale white loaf-bread, a 4 oz. cup of diluted orange juice, and a bowl of "swill" (super thin unsalted, unseasoned, butter-less, cold slop that I think used to be grits.) It is served on Styrofoam plates and I get no utensils. The lights are off. I am trying to shuck my egg when I my foot hits my orange juice and spills it on Alex's pad and the floor. This is
bad karma. Alex starts raising hell. I don't blame him. I dump the remainder of my plate on my own bed. My blood is boiling. I try to clean the mess in the dark with my only towel, the one I use to bathe, while appeasing Mike at the same time. It is quite difficult to live in such close quarters. The ants attack before I can clean up the mess. Fuck it. Let them bite me. I go back to sleep. It is 11:30 am and the lights are finally on. I get the cell back in order in spite of Alex's rebukes. My tooth still aches and I hope to get to see a dentist next week for extraction. It has been 11 days since I have been outside. I am having trouble remembering green already. It's a funny thing. I shower a midst name-calling from the other inmates. Not everyone joins in. Maybe my skin is thicker because I just smile at them. Day 30- May 24th I submit a written request for some yard time. I have not seen the sky in 12 days now. I will send this record of my first 31 days to my daughter and I hope she will forward it to American Civil Liberties after making copies. Whoever reads this before it leaves will make copies of it but they know that it is accurate. They may try to censor it but I am still an American citizen with no felonies on my record! I get my canteen today. I am on a bit of a sugar rush. I feel giddy and ill at the same time. I write a very hard letter to Candy. This letter is the saddest letter I have ever had to write. Day 31- May 25th I am informed that I will not receive a visit tomorrow because of Memorial Day. I am also informed that I will not be getting any more hot cakes because I am in a detox cell and it is against policy. It's funny because today is one of the rare times that I even care about eating. It sounds trivial but in here, there is nothing else to think about. Detention Officer Seagraves comes by and allows me to clean out my cell with disinfectant and Pine Sol. Thank you, God, for that! Who would have ever thought I would get so excited about Lysol/Pine Sol shit? What in the hell has my life become? I shower. I order a canteen. I am apprehensive about trying to mail these out to Kerrie but it must be done! There needs to be a record of my time here and my treatment by the correctional system as an innocent citizen wrongfully accused of a heinous crime! Also, Kerrie needs to know who I am and what I stand for/against. She will find that I am as real as the day is long (time has a new meaning here.) She will also find I am as flawed as any other human on Earth. I shower. I go outside, thank God. It is cloudy but honeysuckles are starting to bloom! Day 32- May 26th I am going to send all of these logs to Kerrie tomorrow. 32 days have passed and I am coping better but my situation is no better. I am beginning to get very physical due to stress, lack of exercise, and an awful carbohydrate-rich diet. This is my whole existence now. My back constantly hurts. My sciatia has returned with a vengeance due to back muscle atrophy. My prostate is acting up. Urination is very difficult. I still have not heard from V.A. medicine, a dentist, a lawyer, or A.C.L.U. I am just hanging on. What other choice do I have? I owe thousands of dollars on loans and grant paybacks now and it has set me back one year on my degree. If there is a God, a little help please? Now would be a good time! Whatever I did to piss you off, I'm sorry. Damn. I really can't take a joke, can I?
Published on May 29, 2014
An account of my father's first 31 days in jail on a murder accusation with no bond. He wants people to know what really goes on before a ju...