Update: Tuesday, May 5, 1998
John Brown: The Witness Nobody WantsBy Jean Duffey
John Brown was scheduled to give a deposition at 10:00 A.M., Friday, May 1, in the office of Darren O'Quinn, the attorney for Jay Campbell and Kirk Lane. Brown was not there at 10:00, but O'Quinn said he had notified Brown in writing and confirmed the date with Brown in a follow-up telephone call. Assuming Brown was running late, John Hall, our attorney, and I proceeded to cue up audio tapes in preparation for the deposition. When Brown had not shown by 10:15, O'Quinn tried to call the number he had for Brown, but there was no answer.
Hall and I proceeded to proof read the transcript of the video tape of a July 18, 1994, meeting of several investigators, including John Brown. We played a section where Brown discusses Campbell and Lane being possible suspects "very early on in the Henry and Ives homicide investigation." Larry Patterson, a state police officer participating in the taped meeting, mentions the existence of several state police intelligence reports about Campbell being "involved in stuff he shouldn't be involved in."
This was an apparent surprise to O'Quinn, since both statements were in direct conflict with Brown's sworn affidavit. O'Quinn asked Hall if there was more on the tape. Hall responded, "plenty" and handed O'Quinn a copy we made for him. It was now nearly 10:30, so I looked up several numbers I had for Brown and handed them to O'Quinn. O'Quinn suggested I call Brown.
I said, "It's not up to us to get him here, he's not our witness."
O'Quinn replied, "He's not our witness."
I responded rather indignantly, "Of course he is. He signed a sworn affidavit for you, not us."
O'Quinn took the list of numbers and paged Brown. When Brown responded, he claimed he was confused about the date. While Brown was on the phone, O'Quinn, Hall, and the court reporter agreed to be available the rest of the day, but Brown was not agreeable, so Hall and I packed up and left.
With discovery deadline approaching, it looked like we would not get Brown's deposition in time to file our motion for summary judgment, so Hall and I discussed whether or not we even needed it. We went through the evidence we had obtained in preparation for the deposition, and concluded it was more than adequate to prove Brown's affidavit is a pack of lies. We decided we didn't even want Brown's deposition, but Pat Matrisciana (who is being sued by Campbell and Lane) wanted to give Brown the opportunity to explain his obvious about-face. Pat, who has an undying faith in people's propensity to do right, hoped that Brown would "redeem himself."
Although Brown had been given several chances to give a deposition (six deposition dates had come and gone), Hall and I decided to give Brown one more chance - he could take it or leave it. Hall called O'Quinn and the court reporter and all agreed to come in Sunday, May 3 at 3:00 P.M. They were bending over backwards to accommodate Brown.
I paged Brown from Hall's office and after the hellos the conversation went like this:
Me: Your depo has been rescheduled for Sunday at three.
Brown: I've got a client in Dallas I have to see.
Me: Reschedule him.
Brown: I can't. Do you want me to lose a thousand dollars?
Me: I'm not real interested in how you have to manage it, John. You've avoided at least three requests for us to take your depo, and this'll be the last chance you'll have to explain your position.
Brown: What do you mean?
Me: To explain whose side your on.
Brown: You know whose side I'm on.
Me: No, I don't. Well, yes. I guess I do. You've gone over to their side.
Brown: You know better than that.
Me: All I know is the sworn affidavit you signed speaks for itself, and unless you give a deposition, that's the only statement we have that you made under oath, and we're going to have to prove it's false. If you don't show up Sunday, we're going to put into the record a taped telephone conversation you had with Pat a couple of weeks ago. Here's part of it.
I played two or three minutes of the tape into the phone receiver.
Me: Do you remember that conversation?
Me: Do you remember calling Campbell and Lane idiots, and do you remember that some of the statements you made to Pat make you sound like the idiot?
Brown: Why are you doing this?
Me: Because you give us no other choice. We have to neutralize your affidavit before motion cut-off date or Pat could lose this law suit. You're choices are to give your depo or we use the tape, and frankly, John, if we introduce the tape into the court record, it's going to ruin you.
Brown: Is John Hall there?
Brown: Can I talk to him?
Me: I'll let him know you're holding.
I put Brown on hold and told Hall, but Hall was on another line and Brown hung up before Hall answered. The next thing we heard from John Brown was at 4:35 that afternoon. He faxed Hall a letter addressed to O'Quinn and Hall.
Brown's letter is an attempt to manipulate the events to make it appear he is being mistreated. He gives his account of our conversation but changes it enough to support his claim. Then he goes on to make a bizarre statement that he will take the "Fifth Amendment" if he continues to be harassed or threatened.
In the first place, no one threatened or harassed him. To the contrary, everyone has bent over backward to accommodate him. In the second place, we don't care if he takes the "Fifth." The Fifth Amendment is the right against self-incrimination. We know John Brown perjured himself, and we don't need his admission to prove it. He might be wise to take the "Fifth."
As far as his claim that I said "you need to remember what side you are on," John Brown has no side. He is useless to either plaintiff or defendant, because his false affidavit discredits any testimony he would give for either party.
We gave Brown the opportunity to protect himself from a possible perjury charge by explaining under oath why he signed a false affidavit. Brown has chosen to avoid giving a deposition, and John Hall is obligated to protect his client, Pat Matrisciana. If that means proving John Brown perjured himself, then that's what he'll do.
The entire transcript of the telephone conversation between John Brown and Pat Matrisciana has been transcribed by a court reporter and will be posted soon on our website. That and Brown's affidavit are in direct conflict and both have become part of the court record which will likely destroy Brown's credibility and render him useless to anybody as a witness in any case from now on.
Having to deal with a traitor was not a choice we made. It was a choice John Brown made for us. It has taken John Hall, Linda Ives, Pat Matrisciana, myself, and several others a great deal of time, money, and energy to neutralize Brown's affidavit. It had to be done to save Pat's defense, so we did it. If Brown is destroyed in the process, I hope that will be a message to other dirty, lying cops.
John Brown's letter to attorneys Hall & O'Quin
FROM: CENTRAL PROTECTION INC PHONE NO. : 455 0527 May 01 04 : 1998 35PM P1
May 1, 1998
Directed to the attention of:
I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused today. Obviously, there was some miscommunication about the day. I had understood Tuesday instead of today. More importantly I am concerned about a conversation I had with Jean Duffy when returning Mr. Hall's page this afternoon. I not now and have never been influenced, coerced or frightened by threats as conveyed by Ms. Duffy today. I would hope that Mr. Hall is unaware of the threat even though it was made from his office phone and after being placed on hold Mr. Hall never came to the phone.
Ms. Duffy made reference to a taped telephone conversation I had with Pat and made statements that I should attend a Sunday deposition or she would ruin me and "you need to remember what side you are on".
Gentlemen, there is not a side here there is only the truth and not Ms. Duffy or anyone else on either side of this case will change my testimony by threat or any other means. If I continue to receive harassment and or threats I think of to (sic) words that both of you will understand "Fifth Amendment". PLEASE NO MORE DAN HARMON TYPE TACTICS.
I do request to be furnished with a copy of the tape in question prior to my deposition. If l need to retain an attorney I will.
You may contact Jean Duffey at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Ives: email@example.com