Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Bunn Lawyer in the Megan Rondini Rape Case is Super Connected - Donald V. Watkins


Bunn Lawyer in the Megan Rondini Rape Case is Super Connected
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 1, 2017.
After Megan Rondini accused Terry Jackson "Sweet T" Jackson, Jr., of raping her on the night of July 1, 2015, Tuscaloosa attorney Jason C. Neff got the call to represent him. The two men spent the 4th of July holiday weekend together at Sweet T's beach house on Ono Island, Alabama. This is where and when Sweet T developed his version of the "truth" regarding what happened to Megan Rondini on the night of July 1st.
Upon their return to Tuscaloosa, Sweet T, accompanied by Neff, marched into the Tuscaloosa Sheriff's Department to answer investigator Josh Hastings' powder-puff questions about Megan's rape allegations. Hastings all but apologized to Sweet T for having to question him about Megan's rape allegations. Hastings' leading questions suggested the answers he needed to clear Sweet T of a rape charge.
Neff's Legal Background and Connections Served Sweet T Well
Neff is a 1998 graduate from the University of Alabama in 1998. He attended the Birmingham School of Law. In 2001, Neff was admitted to the Alabama State Bar.
Neff started his career as a Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted DUI and felony drug cases. Two years later, Neff entered private practice in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He represented criminal defendants in a wide variety of criminal cases, but specializes in DUI and drug cases.
Neff also describes himself as an "expungement attorney." In this regard, Neff offers legal services for making arrest records, booking or arrest photos of the accused, index references in governmental data bases relating to an arrest or charge simply go away.
In addition to Sweet T, Neff's other high profile clients have included Crimson Tide football players and a former Tuscaloosa Police Department captain who served as the Commander of the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force. This police officer pleaded guilty in 2013 of stealing $125,000 in seized drug money that had been turned in as evidence.
Neff also serves the city prosecutor for the cities of Brent and Northport, Alabama. He is also the sitting municipal judge for the towns of Brookwood and Vance.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Neff worked in the District Attorney's Office as a special clerk assigned to Narcotics from 1996-1999. In late 1999, Neff was selected as the Case Manager and later became the Director of the Tuscaloosa County Drug Diversion/Pre-Trial program. He was quickly promoted to Director for the Tuscaloosa County Community Corrections (TCCC).
In 2013, former governor Robert Bentley appointed Neff to the City of Tuscaloosa Civil Service Board. Bentley resigned in April after pleading guilty to ethics violations.
Neff supported Hays Webb for district attorney in the March 2016 Republican primary election pitting Webb and former DA Lyn Head.
Connections Matter
There is no dispute that Sweet T received special treatment in the criminal justice system after Megan accused him of raping her. In addition to "scripting" the investigation on a direct order from Sheriff Ron Abernathy, investigators Adam Jones and Josh Hastings allowed Sweet T to enjoy a holiday vacation before questioning him at headquarters. In doing so, they afforded Sweet T a five-day window of opportunity to get his story together. Neff was a vital part of this preparation.
The videotape of Sweet T's interview at the Sheriff's Department answers all questions about whether Neff's connections as a former prosecutor and sitting municipal court judge helped in Sweet T's case. Investigator Hasting openly ingratiated himself to Sweet T while questioning him in the presence of Neff.
Megan had no attorney present during her interview with Adam Jones. During this interview, Jones converted Megan from a traumatized rape victim into a criminal suspect. After Jones read Megan her Miranda rights, Sweet T became the new "victim" in this incredible story.
Neff's effective legal representation, together with his connections inside Tuscaloosa's law enforcement community, enhanced Sweet T's ability to escape a prosecution in Megan's rape case. As a result, Sweet T is free. Megan committed suicide in the aftermath of her ordeal.

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