The Mayor of Memphis, AC Wharton, referred me to his Director of Police Toney Armstrong (who is out of the office this week), and from Armstrong’s office I was referred to Major Polk, the head of investigative services. He did not seem very eager to speak to us or to follow up on the information we are offering, but he did promise that he would speak to his boss and to the prosecutor’s office.

He said he wouldn’t even promise to contact Stephen, who has firsthand knowledge of, and contact with, the mysterious informant I have been calling Deep Throat.

I tried to sweeten the appeal by telling him that this morning Stephen went to the public library to download a file from his e-mail that Deep Throat had told him would be out there. It wasn’t. Instead, there was a tap on Stephen’s shoulder and Deep Throat was there in the flesh. He is a middle aged white guy with a crew cut who speaks with a thick foreign accent. Deep Throat asked Stephen to accompany him to his car, where he showed Stephen two thick files of photographs and credit card receipts. The photographs were of Noah and Micah Scheulin at a young age performing sex acts on men for the camera. Stephen estimates there were at least fifty such images, maybe more. Some of the credit card receipts had Noah’s and Mica’s dad’s name on them. They were together ten minutes.

The police major did not seem impressed. “Can’t you offer me anything more concrete?” he asked.

“Hell, I’m getting this information secondhand. You need to speak directly with Stephen Sydebotham. He saw the photographs with his own eyes. He met the informant in person. If you don’t follow up on this lead, it’s going to look very bad. This is going to blow up into a very big story.”

“It was a big story when it happened. A terrible crime was committed against a 23-month-old baby girl,” he said. “Prindle was found guilty by a jury.”

“Sure, a jury that was not given the facts by a lawyer that’s flipped on us. And yes, I’m sure it was a big story locally based on the seriousness of the crime. But now you’re about to send an innocent kid off to prison for it.

“There are credible allegations that someone else is boasting he did the crime and that Prindle is going to be serving the time. The fact you’re unwilling to even look at this information will be a big story, and the Memphis Police Department is not going to look good in all of this,” I said.

Bottom line, police Major Polk didn’t even ask the name of the suspect. I told him we had the names of people the suspect has been talking to, but Polk didn’t ask for them either. I told him a lot of the people in this case are connected in weird ways, but he didn’t ask about that. For a man in charge of investigative services, he didn’t seem very curious. I got the distinct impression he just didn’t want to know. Major Polk hasn’t called back.

I called the mayor’s office and reported all this so the mayor can’t say he didn’t know how his police are handling this.

A whole day lost. Only one more day to go until sentencing.



Groove of the Day 

Listen to The Kingfish performing “You Can Lead a Horse to Water”


8 Responses to “stonewalled”

  1. July 9, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Prisonmovement's Weblog and commented:
    So Memphis Police Department Major Polk…and Mayor AC Wharton KNOW the system is sending an INNOCENT child to prison…and what do they do? NOTHING….read and weep…..

  2. 2 James T. Snead
    July 9, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    My question is what in the world are these stupid people waiting on. Everything is in front of them yet they are just dragging their feet and stalling for time. Sigh…….. I am kind of getting tired of hoping for better. I am just really hoping the best for James and everyone caught up in the whirlwind of unfortunate events.

  3. 3 Patrick Murphy
    July 10, 2012 at 1:40 am

    To hell with the authorities. Contact the mainstream media. Contact another defense attorney – often the first consultation is free. Contact whatever board oversees lawyer conduct and ethics. James’ lawyer has bailed on him. Raise a freaking ruckus with anyone and everyone. Start with every newspaper editor, investigative journalist, and child welfare society in TN.

  4. 4 Gloria
    July 10, 2012 at 3:19 am

    It’s evident that the protection and well being of childrens is not a priority in Memphis sadly. this is a very interesting article, it talks about Florida but may well be said about memphis too.



  5. July 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

    its hard to trust authorities, cops, judges, and well a person like the man that was james attorney. It seems to me that attorney is a budy buddy to that prosecutor u know what. There is laziness in the prosecutor, judges, police and then it goes to the jury. THEY ALL WAS SO DAMN QUICK TO PUT JAMES PRINDLE AWAY LIKE A ANIMAL. Justice has failed in florida, pannsivania, and indiania and tennessiee. They need to back off james prindle and grow up. Shows you how stupid laws is these days. VERY CORRUPTED . Here we have james innocent and they still wanna destroy james and be a risk to death and prison. they need to get off their lazy @ and dig deep in getting the right person to whoever his name is. James needs to be set free, be sent to boys town or someone loving to adopt him. He need a life of joy, healing process, love, chances, skills. And friends. Well he does have friends and thats us all on here that supports james.

    • July 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      Too many in the justice system, on both sides are too lazy to do the hard part – investigate the case- prosecutors take the easy way out and refuse the case unless they are offered a plea deal and it is accepted. Disgusting.

      Victim rights are nowhere in sight.

  6. 7 roberta
    July 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I feel sad that james is in detention ,no DNA so wheres proof ? Some one out there bragging they did it …why havent they got ALL those that were present in for some serious questioning? How can they put a child in an adult court ? Thats one broken law for starters .As in christian Fs case …Why was james blamed ? What happen to parents that left an underage child looking after other children ,where were they at the time when their baby girl needed them ,why turn against james when they should have been there perhaps its guilty. mind and they need to blame some one cause they cant accept blame themselves .I know english laws and ways are different from U.S.A rules and laws .We have children here that have commited murder but they have D.N.A and genuine statements from those children .They serve around 10 year and get help in every way form and fashion to become better behaved people and safe people before their release .I feel sad that person guilty can stand back and watch james go serve lengthy sentence for something they too chicken to admit .They need help or they certainly reoffend again .PLEASE KEEP EYE ON THOSE WHO GUILTY CAUSE THEY CAPABLE DOING SAME AGAIN .

  7. July 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    For a surprisingly candid indictment of all that is wrong with the (Florida) justice system, see the final hearing of the Florida Innocence Commission at :: http://thefloridachannel.org/video/61112-florida-innocence-commission/ (the audio is especially poor for about the first 3 minutes — and not very good throughout — so you won’t be able to have the tv on in the background and still hear it. i’ve emailed the florida channel and asked them to amplify the audio, but haven’t heard back from them yet.) there is also a final report appendices file that i have saved, if you want a copy of it send me an email request at mike@trout-2012.us

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