Candace used to do those child beauty pageants, one of my favorite western wear songs was "Third Rock From The Sun" by Joe Diffie. The lyrics describes our situation the month of the raid..."Cause and effect, chain of events, all the chaos makes perfect sense, when you're spinning round, things come undone " And that is why we do not understand how the jury came back with guilty on all counts. I have raised all 3 kids basically based on that phrase "cause and effect" to teach them about the real world, however, CPS says I am wrong, the prosecutor said I must be held accountable (I guess for my house being such a mess, I guess that is what he was getting at and I still stand by my parenting method, these are my kids). CPS, the prosecutor nor any juror has raised my kids, they have never spoken to any of my children to ask their views of the punishments they receive. That is why they do not understand the guilty verdict either. Cause and effect, well that first starts with the flooded basement. The flooding was the cause, the mess trying to clean it was the effect. Everyone wants to say "oh Samantha had a good heart she just go overwhelmed with that many cats" the prosecutor tried to play it off 5 people (3 of which are our children) could not care for 35 cats, 4 chickens and 3 dogs. Well the animals were a breeze to care for compared to trying to dry and empty a full sized basement. I'd rather care for 100 cats than to tackle that basement mess again, that was hard work, time consuming and not enjoyable. But we were doing what I as a homeowner, a parent and an animal caretaker thought we were supposed to be doing. If you would of walked in to my house on Nov 16, 2011 I would had explained it as controlled chaos. Because that is exactly what it was. I knew everything that needed to be finished, I knew what we had gotten behind on and I knew how long it would take to finish it up. I was not overwhelmed with anything until they illegally stole our animals, caused havoc upon our lives, our finances, our freedom, etc. This is where cause and effect has a big effect on how the house looked. With the kids being in school and my husbands work schedule cleaning the basement had to be scheduled in between. So we figured, bring items up on weekends, get done as much as we could and what was left the kids and I could work on getting things put away during the week. We lost a full floor of living space and had no where for 1 person to go let alone everything that was in the basement. That worked for us and we were making headway trudging through it. We did have a few set backs, but we are not robots. I had gotten a stomach bug that lasted 6 days, during that time frame I had 2 cats I had taken to the vet (not a local vet), Josh then got a stomach bug too, then another cat started with a URI and I took her to the vet, Josh wanted to go to the ER over his stomach bug, Josh had a catering event, then I had to go back to the vet for more meds and then the weekend before the raid Candace went to a friends house for 3 days. Those things were out of the norm and caused us to get behind, but we still worked at getting the house back to normal. Keep in mind, Thanksgiving was the following week and guests were coming over. Now let me explain the cause and effect on how I parent these 3 kids. Josh was almost 19 years old, Candace was 17 years old and Parker was 14 years old. EVERY one of these children was old enough to know right from wrong and I do not coddle my kids, I raise them on what the real world is really like. I act like an employer to them in a way. They worked in the shelter, they helped with the cats, the dogs and the chickens. But I also understood they are kids and well, kids will be kids. I am lenient to a point, but will not allow them to take advantage of me because that will teach them not to respect authority of anyone. I parent with the same cause and effect idea. I teach them what their cause and effects do and I ground them based up the effect they have caused. They have 2 punishments, 1 is taking away things the other is making them do their chores and I add more chores to it. Taking things away from my kids does not phase them, it never has. When they were younger, everyone wanted to preach to me, take away their toys, I did, they didn't care, take away the tv, I did they didn't care, take away the phone, I did they thought it was a vacation from friends. So nothing really worked for punishment UNTIL 1 day I left their chores for them to do, boy did I see a change of attitude when I added more chores as a their punishment, that worked for my kids and that is what I chose to stick with. Now since they are older kids, they know they have a 3 day window or that is it, and it works for my family, very seldom do I have to get on them, but I also weigh in school, if we had been out as a family, etc so there is some leniency there. So the night before the raid, Candace and Parker who know the difference from right and wrong, chose to be kids and goofed off because I wasn't home. I was furious with them, of all days I thought, not today. Thanksgiving was the following week, there was still so much to do. This was day number 3 for Candace and Josh, Parker had been doing his chores. So I thought, do I just do it myself and ground them or leave it and have them get the entire house done on Thursday, I chose to ground them to make them do it all on Thursday because their effect of them not doing their chores caused us to be 2 more days behind, so we would do Wed and Thursdays cleaning in 1 day. I was lenient on the fact that Josh and Candace had girl/boyfriends that were coming for Thanksgiving, I could of canceled that but felt that would had been wrong. Josh then asked me if he could just be grounded too because he was tired, hungry and still had homework to finish. It was about 11 pm by that point and I felt there is no reason to even start chores right now so I asked him to at least wash the dishes, he didn't want to, so I told him he then too would be part of the punishment because I asked him that Tuesday to wash the dishes and he didn't. So I took a step back to assess the mess and regroup. I decided, to just calm down as it's just housework and we will get it done the following day, there would be 4 of us and we could get it done in a matter of hours. So I finished up my night to get up early and get a jump start on the following day. Needless to say, we are stunned at the verdict. We understood, the house was a mess we get that, but in all honesty what else were we to do? Were we just supposed to take all the cats and board them somewhere? That isn't even feasible. Were we supposed to go stay at a motel for weeks until we got the basement emptied, that isn't feasible either. Were we supposed to just leave the mess in the basement? The kids wanted their items, so that wouldn't of been fair to them not to try to save what we could. And ultimately, were we supposed to leave Josh in the basement? Essentially, we were convicted because we put our son over having a clean uncluttered house. There was no cause and effect on the animals, they just out right lied, I have already showed proof of that. Unless you want to look at the fact I took 3 cats to the vets, went back for more meds, so 4 trips took time out of the day of me cleaning the house.
The prosecutor kept saying to the jurors "this trial is about accountability".... What about the accountability of doing what I should of been doing? Protecting my adult son. My only regret is helping Jeri Warren. That regret is because I really did not want to help her, I wanted to get my house in order. We all were so excited for Thanksgiving that year. So the jury completely disregarded what was said in my husbands and my defense by the states witnesses. EVERY witness that testified proved beyond a reasonable doubt we are innocent. What about holding the person that illegally stole my dogs accountable for violating our 4th amendment right? What about holding the person that withheld my cats medication accountable for animal abuse? What about holding the person that caused the death of not just 4 of my animals but at least 7 accountable for animal abuse? What about holding the person that lied about being evicted to get me to take cats accountable for lying to the courts? What about holding the person that lied on the stand about why the cats weren't weighed accountable for perjury? Are we surprised it went this way? No. Because we asked our lawyer in December 2011 for change of venue, he refused. We asked our lawyer in April 2012 for change of venue, he refused. We asked our new lawyers for change of venue in May 2013, they said it was too late in the case, we asked for a new judge, they said it wasn't a good idea this late in the case to rock the boat. We filed for a motion to suppress, we then all of the sudden got a new judge. She was the same judge over the matter that started this, she refused to recuse herself TWICE. Then the jury....was the jury tainted? We will never know, however, NOTHING in this case for 4 years has made ANY sense at all, they got what they wanted, a conviction to shut me up, that is what this is all about, not holding me accountable but to shut me up. Remember, the prosecutor is up for re election in 2014, he used me as a token to get votes from animal rights people. (Update: he was reelected) I am who I am, I will not apologize for being an animal lover, for being a compassionate person, for trying to see the good in all people, for feeling everyone must help everyone. I will apologize to my husband, my children and my animals for the one error of my way, that is not listening to my gut instinct when I told Jeri Warren over and over and over I could not help her. I live by the motto "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you" and many times I ask myself when faced with situations I really don't want to do...."what would you want to happen if the roles were reversed and you were the one seeking help?". So here I am, a convicted animal lover of something I did not do. Lost the most precious thing to me (besides my kids) my cats, my chicken and my dogs. We had to surrender all of our 2011 animals as well as all of our 2013 animals, except 2. There are 5 people that live in my house. Each of us had our own pets. I gave up having a pet so Tinkerbelle could stay, who has been part of our family since 9/3/03 and is Randell's cat, and so Parker could keep his new cat Toothless. I have never lived without a pet in all my life, yes, there are 2 cats around me, but they are not "mine" and it is a big difference. My passion to help cats in need is once again a dream, so many lives will parish because I will not be able to help. One thing I know, I will NOT stand and allow this to continue on. Animal rescue, animals, children, world welfare, is my life and always have been. They may have hurt me but they will never break me. I will not be defeated, this closed a chapter of good in my life to start a chapter of better. Unfortunately I will never help another human ever, this is something the State of Indiana has brought upon themselves to allow people to suffer because of their actions.