Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Run To Witness Justice and Remember Lost Friends

The Following was posted on the Ann Arbor American HOG Chapter website. The link below has the story with pictures.

Ann Arbor American HOG site with pictures

Written by Grant Sweet
Many of you may know that Nancy and I along with Marty Condron rode to Milwaukee to attend the sentencing of the woman who struck and killed Mike Fleming while she was driving drunk. I have many thoughts about this but a lot of it is disjointed and hard to get down on paper, so I will do my best.

We left from the dealership at noon on Sunday May 10th. The trip over went well with the exception of our little excursion through Chicago. How those who live there manage to keep their sanity while driving on the Skyway, I do not know. Construction, rude drivers, tailgaters and people who either through ignorance or design refuse to merge from a lane that is clearly (a warning sign every ½ mile) ending. What a *$%#@!! mess.

We started our day Monday at the Harley Davidson museum. Steve Johnson who has tirelessly advocated on Mikeys behalf had arranged a guided tour of the facility for us. Some of the women did not go on the tour but joined us for lunch. All of our chapter members that where with Mikey that day were in attendance, the Consiglios, the Betzs, Bill Stein along with Mike’s cousin Dora and her sister Lisa.

After our lunch we went to the rivet wall to see the markers. I have to tell you that this affected me emotionally more than I normally would admit. The rivets for Mikey and Tom are up and are next to one another which I found to be fitting as we lost them both the same summer. We spent a few minutes there with the news crew hovering around and I presented Steve with a certificate of appreciation from the chapter for all his efforts. When we could not be in court for Mike, he was. I can not think of many people who would do what he has done for people he did not know.

At about 12:30 we left for the Courthouse In a memorial procession of about 10 – 12 bikes under the watchful eye of yet more news cameras. Once we where all settled into the court room I looked around and was gratified to see so many bikers on hand to show support. Wisconsin Abate members, HOG members, Blue Knights and others. We pretty much took up more than half of the gallery.

As all courts go we were not on time and at the last second it was decided that no one would be able to give a victim impact statement. A cousin did not meet the definition of a relative under the law and I guess that friends just don’t count. Very disappointing. Once the procedural stuff was through the prosecutor started his remarks and I was having trouble figuring out whose side he was on, as he came across as if he might be sympathetic to Boland. The defense then had their opportunity to make a statement and came up with what you might expect “she went to the bar and had two or three beers about three times a week. Never more then just enough to get buzzed” of course except that day. Give me a break. I am a big guy and can hold my own, but if my BAC was what hers was while she was driving that car, I would have been out cold. She was no three or four beer drinker. Boland then made a statement. She was tearful and apologetic but I had difficulty discerning whether she was remorseful or was just crying because she was going to go to prison.

The Judge was the man who had to make the decision as to what her sentence would be. He seemed to be a tough one and did not seem to buy into the story that the defense had tried to sell. Nor did he seem too concerned with the prosecutor’s weak performance. He placed significant weight in the letters that he had received from many of us. In the end he decided that she would get a fifteen year sentence. 10 years incarceration with no early release and 5 years of supervised release there after.

This trip for me has brought back the realization that our Hog family suffered to many sad losses last year. Some too young, some too unexpectedly and some so needlessly. I sincerely hope that this riding season will find us having only good rides and good times so that we can all gather at the next winter party to reminisce about the rides and not about someone who is no longer with us.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Up to now this website has only had news about Mikey's case, well that has come to a close and the future of this site is still a work in progress. The website will continue to honor the one we all love Mikey just not sure how we will do that at this point.

As many of you may know I have purchased Mikey's motorcycle and restored it to it's pre-crash condition. For me it is a great honor to ride this bike in Mikey's honor. This past weekend with Mikey watching over from above I attended "Rolling Thunder" in Washington D. C. well there I ran in to some of my Ann Arbor family Grant and Nancy from the HOG chapter, they then introduced me to a few more of Mikey's friends. It just shows how small the world is running to each other so far from home.

With the close of a powerful Memorial Day weekend I got the message below in a email and felt that this would be a great place to share it.

REMEMBER

It's the SOLDIER - not the reporter,
who gives you freedom of the press.

It's the SOLDIER - not the poet,
who gives you freedom of speech.

It's the SOLDIER - not the organizer,
who allows you to demonstrate.

It's the SOLDIER - who salutes the flag,
whose coffin is draped with the FLAG,
who allows the protester to
BURN THE FLAG !!!

THANK YOU TO ALL THE SOLDIERS, LIVING AND DEAD,
AND THEIR FAMILIES, FOR THEIR SACRIFICES.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mikey's Killer gets 15 Year Sentence

I am at a loss for what to write. Not that I don’t have thoughts to share, its just that I am not sure how to say it.

This weekend, the riding party returned to Milwaukee to remember Mikey and attend the sentencing of Ms. Boland. Well, as time is short right now, I think it is best summed up with this statement: “Our immediate family grew to Michigan this weekend with eight of the best people you could meet.” Actually, it is even larger as many could not make the trip and we plan on meeting them this summer at Mikey’s Memorial Weekend ride - details to follow.

Ok, now the facts of the sentence. The judge sentenced Boland to a total of fifteen years with ten years in prison, another five on extended supervision. He also ordered no early release or challenge program to reduce the prison time.
We had about 40 bikers present in the courtroom to show our support for Mikey. The ride to the courthouse from the museum had fifteen to twenty bikes lead by Mikey’s bike newly restored after the crash. Video of the ride leaving the museum was posted in the CBS 58 link below.

Rather than go into every detail of the sentencing I feel the local media covered things well so those links are listed below.

ABC Channel 12 WISN (the video on the link when posted was from the night before sentencing)
http://www.wisn.com/news/19431851/detail.html

NBC Channel 4 WTMJ
http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/44749297.html

FOX Channel 6 WITI
http://www.fox6now.com/news/witi-090511-boland-sentence,0,6471990.story

CBS Channel 58 WDJT
http://www.cbs58.com/index.php?aid=7439

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/44745867.html

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Details of Mondays Sentencing including Free Bike Parking

Well the justice system has done its work and on Monday morning the killer Kathleen Boland will be sentenced. I am asking for your help! We need as many people in the courtroom on Monday at 1:30PM, we will be there to both support Mikey’s family who are in from Michigan and send a message to the judge and let him know biker’s are watching.

What: Sentencing for Kathleen Boland Biker Killer

When: Monday May 11th at 1:30PM

Where: Safety Building 821 W. State Street, Milwaukee 53233
Room 502 Judge Konkol

The sentencing has been moved to a larger courtroom to allow for the biker community to show its support at this important even. It would be great to have people standing in the back with all the seats full!

Right after the sentence is delivered we will hold a press conference outside were the family and riding party will answer media questions. If you have time and would like to please join us, the more people present the better!

If you will be riding your bike down the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department has invited us to use the wall along the loading dock at the Criminal Justice Facility (the jail) for free motorcycle parking. We will have a few bikes from Michigan joining us as well.

Free Motorcycle Parking
Criminal Justice Facility 949 N. 9th Street, Milwaukee 53233 Loading dock along wall. Park anytime after 12:30PM


For anyone interested Mikey’s family and friends are gathering at the Harley Davidson Museum for a private tour Monday morning at 9:00am, we will then have lunch at the restaurant on site and leave for a group ride to the Safety building and parking area at 12:30. Everyone is welcome to join us. Only charge is for museum admission and lunch if you chose. Mention the friends of Mike Fleming group and get reduced admission of $12.00.

If you have any questions you can call Steve Johnson at 414-455-4935

For our supporters from all over who will not be in the courtroom Monday check back here for all the details of what happened.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Write a Letter to the Sentencing Judge

The court has scheduled May 11th at 1:30PM for a sentencing hearing in room 502 of the Safety Building. If you can attend to show your support for Mikey that would be great! This is the date it is important to have as many bikers as possible in the court room to both show support and let the judge know as biker’s we are watching!

The Judge is only allowing one member of the family and one friend of the victim to speak at sentencing. Therefore we are asking everyone to write a letter to Judge Konkol asking he sentence Ms Boland to the max existent that the law allows, in addition we would ask that annually after her release from custody that she be required to visit the site of the crash with her probation officer and leave flowers or spend the weekend of the crash in the county jail. These letters do have a great effect on the Judge and what he does it is important to get as many letters sent as possible!

If you would like to write such a letter it will need to be written addressing Judge Daniel Konkol, however it will need to be sent to the Victim / Witness Specialist District Attorney’s office as all parties in the case need to receive copies of all letters before they are forwarded to the judge you will find the address to mail the letter to below.

Please note the last date to send letters and get them forwarded to Judge Konkol is May 1st.

Write your letter to:
Judge Daniel Konkol
Case number 2008CF00430

Mail letters to:

Lisa Maggiore
Office of District Attorney
Safety Building RM 615
821 West State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Killer remains in Jail new Sentencing Date May 11th

This afternoon the court heard the killer’s motion regarding advancing the sentencing date. The Judge started things out by letting her attorney know the reason sentencing date was set so late was due to his schedule. All the attorney’s were able to settle on a new sentencing date of May 11, 2009 at 1:30PM.

There was no discussion about her complaints that the Milwaukee County Jail being too uncomfortable for her. The Judge did the right thing once again and left her in Milwaukee County Jail to wait her sentencing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Killer Files Motion "Jail Uncomfortable"

On Monday of this week a motion was filed by defense titled “Motion to Advance Sentencing date or In the Alternative Reinstate Bail. I have in my hands a copy of the said motion and have listed the major points below well providing my thoughts and comments as well. However the Readers Digest version is the killer is not comfortable in the Milwaukee County Jail and wants out.

The mater has been set for a motion hearing before Judge Konkol on February 25th at 1:30 in room 502 of the Safety Building, I of course will be in court room in person to bring you all the details.

Now here is the text of the motion:

“That as was made known to the Court, the defendant suffers from a medical condition known as syringomyelia, a chronic disorder involving the spinal cord that includes as symptoms muscle weakness, motor impairment, problems with balance, incontinence, scoliosis headaches and constant pain;”

“That the defendant is suffering all of the aforementioned symptoms at this time and given the pod conditions of the Milwaukee County Jail and a lack of any available treatment fears she will be left crippled;”

“That the defendant understands that while the Court has not predetermined her sentence, she recognizes that there exists a very real possibility that she could be incarcerated for a significant period of time and that her time in custody now would count towards any imposed incarceration.”

“That despite this fact, the defendant submits that the Milwaukee County Jail is unable to meet her needs vis-à-vis her medical conditions which is causing her much pain, discomfort and embarrassment to the point where it is reaching a level of cruelty not suffered by other defendants similarly situated.”

Wow did they really say her staying in the jail is at a level of cruelty? How about the pain and cruelty suffered by Mikey in the crash were Ms Boland’s criminal actions took his life?

Then they go on to talk about her suffering embarrassment and discomfort. So if I understand her attorney she is embarrassed by her medical conditions and how the other inmates view her? First off you don’t get to spend time in jail for doing things correctly! Secondly were is any remorse for the life of Michael Fleming who she killed do her chronic drinking problem!


“That if she is sentenced to a term of imprisonment in the Wisconsin State Prison System, upon information and belief, the available prison system would be better suited to meet her specific needs.”

All they are saying here is prison time is easy time and more comfortable than the Milwaukee County Jail.

“Accordingly, the defendant respectfully requests that her sentencing date be advanced from June 5, 2009 to a date as soon as possible consistent with the Court’s and counsels’ schedule and with the timely preparation of the Court ordered presentence investigation report.”

That’s fine but set the sentencing as soon as possible!

“In the alternative, the defendant respectfully requests that the Court vacate its order remanding her and reinstate here bail in the amount of $20,000.00 an d order her to home confinement with the of scheduled medical visits to await sentencing.”
This is a real problem! In the time she was out on bail before she did NOTHING to address any needs for treatment for her chronic drinking problem, now she wants out as a convicted felon killer? No way! The citizens of Milwaukee would be in danger of this women and the risk of her fleeing to avoid prison is real as well!

Judge Konkol did the right thing when finding her guilty and ordering her held in the Milwaukee County Jail tell sentencing. Let’s make sure he continues to do the right thing and keep her behind bars!