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Wrongfully Accused: Alfred Joseph Sanchez Jr.
What would you do as a parent if you found that your son/daughter were wrongfully accused? How would you feel if all of the evidence pointed to their innocence and they were charged with a crime they did not commit?
During the early morning of March 28,2009 Alfred Joseph Sanchez was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before he was even 21 years old, Joseph already had served 2 tours in Afghanistan and a tour in Iraq, decorated with honors he wasn't even old enough to be in a Bar & Grill. A member of the 2nd Battalion,75th Ranger Regiment he was getting ready to deploy for the fourth time. So what happened?
Joseph Sanchez Jr. (aka) Joey an endearing name that was giving to him by his family. Grew up in a loving home with 2 additional siblings. A sister and A brother. Since he was small 'Joey' was always well mannered. He never created any problems and was not confrontational. Guided by his parents he was taught to turn the other cheek.
Looking forward to serving our Country he enlisted in the Army in June 2007. Excited about his future he prepared for Boot Camp. In August 2007, he was bound for Ft. Sill Oklahoma, were he became a Ranger 13 Fox Fist, class 0208.
His future was bright and all who knew Joey, never had any problems with him. Joey was looking forward to deployment, he love his Country and always did for others without asking for anything in return. When he called his parents and told them he was off to Iraq they were proud of their son. He knew he would be putting his life on the line; but Joey was a person who was not fearful. He was always honorable and respectful to both family and friends. To strangers he would lend a helping hand, to his fiancee' Joseph (aka) Joey will always be her everything.
Getting ready to return for more schooling in Georgia, he had been stationed at Lewis McChord in Tacoma, Washington. Residents of Olympia already were against the military and had been trying relentlessly to get the base closed for years. Many who reside in Olympia are anti-government and anti-military. One would say, almost Klan-like. They are somewhat tolerant of others; but if there is an opportunity to place the military in the spotlight they will.
The capital of Washington state, only boasts approximately 45,000 residents. Recognized for the brewing of Olympia beer until 2003 and home to artists and musicians, its a little sleepy town where many residents hope to keep their city out of the limelight. But in the early hours of March 28,2009 the city of Olympia was about to change as reported by TheOlympian. Joseph Sanchez (Aka) Joey was accused of stabbing Brad Merten with a kitchen knife from Charlie's Bar & Grill. Brad Merten spent 5 days in the hospital with a punctured lung, broken rib and a damaged liver.
According to all testimonials both groups were involved with heavy drinking and Sanchez was not even old enough to be served in the bar. Shouldn't the bar owner have been fined, for serving a minor?His attorney, Sandra Johnston of Tacoma stated in her closing argument there were '37 reasons to doubt' the information in question. In all of the images presented, there was no clear image of a knife, from the kitchen or on Joseph Sanchez's person.
There were conflicting testimonials from Sanchez's group and Brad Merten's friends- about what happened on March 28,2009. Oddly Brad Merten was the only person who testified against Sanchez. Interesting considering all were intoxicated, how would he have known for fact that Joseph Sanchez stabbed him?
Brad Merten testified that when he turned around, he had seen Joseph standing behind him. Nobody else testified that they had seen Joseph standing behind Brad Merten. He also stated that he had seen something shiny in Sanchez's hand. Nobody testified they actually had seen anything in Joseph's hand; nor did they ever see a weapon.
During closing argument, it was clear that Merten's testimony about how the stabbing occurred was not credible. Brad Merten 'originally' had testified that he had been stabbed outside Charlie's Bar & Grill, and the evidence of blood-spatter had given a trail that began farther up on fourth street. There was clear indication that he had been stabbed prior to entering Charlie's. In fact there was clear indication that he had been stabbed somewhere else before he arrived at Charlie's Bar & Grill.
But the prosecution argued that Brad Merten had no reason to lie. Defense attorney Johnson also argued, there wasn't any blood on Joseph Sanchez's clothes; nor rips or tears. Sanchez and Melville had told detectives prior to trial they went back in to get their bar tab. However; it was argued that the time stamp on the bill was different then the time they ended up back at the bar and grill.
The first trial ended in a hung jury, six for and six against. Johnston, Sanchez's Attorney agreed for Judge Pomeroy to look at the case again; because Brad Merten's mother was persistent about putting Joseph Sanchez behind bars for the stabbing of her son. All that were involved in the case except for Brad Merten felt strongly that Joey was innocent.
In December 2011 Judge Christine Pomeroy handed down her verdict. Joseph was guilty of first-degree assault and sentenced to 10 years behind bars. Shock waves rippled through the court when the sentence was read. Even though the video footage had shown Joseph Sanchez with only his cellphone in his hand and all evidence given to the courts had shown he was innocent.
After reading all of the on-line news lines. There are clearly issues in our court system. Here are the questions that I have about the case. It is clear that Joseph Sanchez was at Charlie's Bar&Grill on March 28, 2009. However after reviewing facts , questions are raised.
Why was there a blood trail leading from down the street, to Charlie's Bar&Grill ? Why was the blood never tested for DNA?
There wasn't any blood-spatter found on Joey's clothes?
Where is the weapon that has never been found?
All of us know receipts can be time-stamped prior to departure. Restaurants do it all of the time.
Where were the other witnesses in the trial? Why did people not wish to get involved?
What made Brad Merten so credible? He was a local , Joseph was not.
Olympia, Washington is known to dislike the military. The are still trying to have the base closed. Could Joseph have been a pawn?
The video footage does not show Sanchez or Melville removing a knife from the kitchen. Isn't it strange that a weapon has never been found? No proof that the knife even existed in the kitchen at Charlie's Bar&Grill. ****Looks like a cover-up*****
With a bar room brawl anybody could have stabbed Brad Merten. Based on the trail of blood leading to Charlie's Bar&Grill, it appears that it had to only be Brad Merten's. Nobody else was bleeding. Why did Brad Merten change his story?
Why was the Bar owner of Charlie's Bar&Grill not fined for serving a minor?
Brad Merten claimed he had seen something shiny in Joseph Sanchez's hand. How odd, when nobody else had seen anything in Joseph's hand but a cellphone.
All of them were impaired, so how could Brad Merten's recollection be so clear?
There were '37 reasons' not to charge him in the first trial. Do you think if he were really guilty that they would have requested a 'bench trial?'
Why does Brad Merten currently work in another bar?
Why does Brad Merten state in 'The Olympian' and I quote, " I kind of look over my shoulder all the time now,"he said. What is he afraid of? ***I believe he knows he wrongfully convicted an innocent person and is feeling vulnerable and guilty. He was never sure who committed the crime. He didn't like the military; nor Joseph Sanchez's name.
Don't you find it odd that both the prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim and Judge Christine Pomeroy are now going into retirement? *** Looks like they had one more notch to place on their belt.
A young man stripped of his life because another cannot stand the military. For Brad Merten it was an opportunity to place someone behind bars. Why? Because he could not honestly say who did it. A race card was played because of the name. Brad Merten doesn't care for Hispanic people. Sadly Joseph Sanchez is not all latino. His mother white, his father Hispanic and both are American. But why would it matter anyway?
For Brad Merten he believes justice was served. But how can he rest knowing, he put a young 20-year old man behind bars, that did not commit the crime? He was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Joseph's parents and grandparents are god-fearing people who know the truth about their son. He was loving, caring and would not harm anyone. He proudly served our Country and was honorably discharged in November 2010 from the United States Army, before the second trial began.
Our Military protects and serves. It is so shameful how they are treated. Right your Congressman, start a cause, get mad! It is wrong and has to stop.
How many more people will be place behind bars for crimes they did not commit? How many t are waiting to be released?
Joseph is currently appealing his case and in the meantime Brad Merten knows exactly what happened, but will he ever be honest with himself? As he walks around bragging, deep down he truly knows what happened.
Brad Merten did not really know what happened it has been reported that he was quite intoxicated so there was no way he could have identified anyone clearly. Sadly his perpetrator is walking the streets of Olympia, while an innocent young-man sits behind bars. Convicted for 10 of a crime he did not commit.
Racism, hate and lack of conscience runs rampant in Olympia, Washington. The people that serve our Country are being treated like rubbish for protecting our rights as American citizens. Many people in Olympia do not believe in our military or our government so why would they care if one of our own did time for a crime they did not commit?
Brad knows the truth. He knows who really did it and it was not Joseph Alfred Sanchez Jr. (Aka) Joey. What would Brad do if the shoe were on the other foot that night?
Do you believe our Government is corrupt?
With all facts leading to Joseph's Innocence, do you believe Brad Merten lied on the stand just to get a conviction?
Joey's family knows there son did not commit this crime. If you are looking for more information about how you can help. Joey's family has already created a cause to help free there innocent son. You can find more information at fundly com- Justice for Joey.
Thank-you to Joseph Sanchez's family for allowing me to write about him and share the story. Thank you for also giving permission to share the pictures on this article.
We will pray that your son is freed because innocence should never be behind bars.