Hathaway gave security guard Tigh Croff PROBATION after he chased and killed unarmed homeless grandfather Herbert Silas in cold blood
Judge Vonda Evans gave killer cop William Melendez 13 mos. to 10 years in near-fatal beating of Floyd Dent
Hathaway likens Detroit grandmother, caregiver to criminal banks, Bernie Madoff
Prominent attorneys filed motions to recuse Hathaway for “extreme bias” in Homrich 9 water-shutoffs trial
Join the “Free Mary Stafford Committee,” call her daughter Monique Stafford at 313-458-6464
By Diane Bukowski
February 17, 2016
DETROIT— Comparing her to global banks which caused the 2008 mortgage meltdown and to Bernie Madoff, author of the largest financial fraud in U.S. history, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway yesterday sent 66-year-old grandmother and long-time Detroit community advocate and caregiver Mary A. Stafford to prison for one to 10 and one to five years on two charges involving a Wells Fargo mortgage she was not party to.
The sentences are to run concurrently.
Stafford is now housed at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti. Send letters of support to her at Mrs. Mary Stafford, #972040, 3201 Bemis Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197-0911. She can also be reached by signing up for JPay, at www.jpay.com . Emails and funds can be sent through JPay, as well as photos and Ecards. Funds for Mary’s legal defense can be sent to https://www.crowdrise.com/vindicatingmaryoffalsechargesbygovernmentterrorists5.
In contrast to Stafford’s brutal sentencing for a non-violent crime in which the alleged “victim,” Wells Fargo, says they never asked for prosecution, Judge Hathaway sentenced security guard Tigh Croff to PROBATION in 2011 for shooting unarmed 52-year-old grandfather Herbert Silas to death after chasing him down the street. When Silas turned around with his hands up, Croff told him he was going to kill him, and then did so. Hathaway reduced Croff’s original second-degree murder charge to manslaughter. In chambers, he told the prosecution and defense he would have done the same thing. Croff had testified he thought Silas was going to break into his house.
The prosecution moved unsuccessfully to disqualify Hathaway from hearing the case. To see what kind of person Hathaway freed, look at Croff ‘s XXX-rated Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tigh.croff.
“We love you, Mary Ann,” her family and friends called out to her as she was escorted out by a Deputy Sheriff for processing into the Michigan Department of Corrections system.
“Free my mama,” her daughter Monique Stafford said afterwards. “She has never done anything, not even get a parking ticket, except spend her life taking care of other people.”
At the age of 50, Stafford donated a kidney to Monique, who had gone into renal failure, becoming one of the first living organ donors. Stafford explained this in a letter to the judge. On February 16, Monique had just come home from hospitalization for pneumonia, but raced to her parents’ house to be with her father in the wake of her mother’s incarceration.
For 25 years, while Stafford and her husband Clifford lived at 15474 Gilchrist, she acted as latchkey caregiver to all the children on the block who got home before their parents made it back from work. She even cared for the children of Emmett and Trenise Wyldon.
The latter individual, the actual signer of the mortgage in question, was charged as a co-defendant in the case, said she would inform on the Staffords and others, and got her charges dismissed.
The Michigan Department of Corrections probation report noted that Stafford had taken care of her six younger siblings growing up, had never been convicted of any offense, and made only $700 a month in Social Security benefits. That report recommended an 18-month sentence of probation.
Hathaway commented cynically, “Well Bernie Madoff didn’t have a criminal record either.”
Stafford’s sentence was almost identical to that earlier handed down to former cop William Melendez, 13 months to 10 years for the near-fatal beating of motorist Floyd Dent in January, 2015. Melendez was earlier sued in a dozen cases in federal court, two involving killings of unarmed men.
The Wayne County Prosecutor listed Wells Fargo Bank as the complainant in the case, which involved a mortgage on a Belleville, Michigan home obtained by Trenise Wyldon. Wells Fargo, however, told VOD they had never asked for a criminal prosecution. They said any criminal restitution charges should go to Fannie Mae instead.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Douglas said Fannie Mae, not listed as a complainant, had already received $206,748 plus insurance costs for the sale of the house, and was not asking for restitution. However, Hathaway set restitution at $75,000.
But Douglas then re-worked the sentencing guidelines in the case to a higher level of 10, with Stafford assessed as a “leader” in the alleged offenses over her husband and previous co-defendant Wyldon, the actual signatory to the mortgage. Judge Hathaway nodded approval every step of the way. Wyldon was earlier tried on a misdemeanor count of filing a false credit request, pled guilty, then had her charges dismissed after she agreed to testify against others in the case.
Attorney Anthony Lubkin, who represented Clifford Stafford at the preliminary exam before 36th District Court judge Ronald Giles, earlier told VOD that Judge Hathaway had agreed Sept. 2 to dismiss the charges for lack of evidence, including Wyldon’s missing testimony, in response to briefs he filed after the exam, then mysteriously changed his mind Sept. 8 and set a trial date.
“What happened in those six days to change his mind?” Lubkin asked. Hathaway was appointed to his position in 2001 and then ran for re-election three times. He is up for re-election this November, but he has asked the Secretary of State for an exemption on filing his campaign finance reports.
Lubkin said he had recommended that the Staffords’ new attorneys, Patrick McQueeney and Steve Lockhart, file an interlocutory motion to the Appeals Court objecting to setting the trial. That was never done.
On the court record Dec. 4, the last day of Stafford’s trial, Hathaway firmly ordered an evidentiary Ginther hearing on a pro se motion for a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel, even after Stafford said she had changed her mind and wanted to withdraw the motion for the hearing. But on Feb. 16 Hathaway said he was holding a “third” sentencing hearing after earlier reschedulings.
Stafford’s newly-retained attorney Craig Tank made no motion for the record objecting to a sentencing hearing, although he had been retained to conduct the Ginther hearing. He later told this reporter that Ginther hearings are only held AFTER sentencing hearings, a legal falsehood.
In his first meeting with them, Tank told the Staffords that charges of “obstruction of justice” for filing a “quiet title” lawsuit in the case using two attorneys, and then making a complaint to the Wayne County Deed Fraud Task Force, violated their First Amendment rights. He said nothing of the sort during sentencing.
Tank never obtained the trial transcripts prior to the hearing, as he told the Staffords would do, and repeatedly said he had not been present at the trial. He told Hathaway, “All I ask the court to do is give a sentence tempered by justice and fairness,” never once asserting any belief in his client’s innocence.
Stafford told VOD before the hearing that Tank had “promised” her she would get probation, an unethical promise also made by her previous attorney Steve Lockhart. Sentencing is solely up to the judge, even if he DOES promise something off the record.
Judge Hathaway, dressed in wrinkled clothing and at times mixing up facts, painted Stafford as an incorrigible villain guilty of extreme offenses.
“Nationally, we experienced the greatest crisis in history, the 2008-09 mortgage meltdown and deep recession which followed, a huge disaster,” Hathaway opined. “One can actually point to and ascribe blame to specific individuals and organizations, cite the excesses, fraud and greed of the mortgage banking industry, with dozens if not hundreds of mortgage bankers who should be in prison. The lender [Wells Fargo] in this case was abysmally negligent, the mortgage brokers and title insurance companies downright crooked, but they could not act without crooked borrowers who had no intention to pay back the loans.”
Hathaway then repeated an act of misconduct committed by AP Douglas at trial, saying, “You could see her [Stafford’s] signature right up there on the screen. Anybody that saw the evidence could not have come to any other conclusion.”
Douglas had displayed a clearly Xeroxed copy of a warranty deed (a line ran down the middle because the Xerox was running out of ink), next to Stafford’s original signature on the Deed Fraud Task Force complaint, and asked the jury to use their own judgment as if they were certified forensic handwriting experts.
Deed Fraud Task Force Investigator Mary Williams-Jones testified during trial that she had whited out the signature on the alleged original of the document, made 30 copies, and had Stafford sign each one, contradicting a Michigan State forensic examiner’s advice to obtain 30 DIFFERENT examples of Stafford’s signature on OTHER documents made PRIOR to the execution of the questioned document.
Douglas could easily have used one of those copies for display on the screen.
Stafford contended all along that she was a victim of identity theft, that the name of her company and her own name and signature had been stolen for the profit of others, and that neither she nor her husband was present at any session in which the Belleville home was purchased.
Bank records show Stafford signed a $44,000 check from Reliant Title over to Valerie Kauth of the same company. Kauth also endorsed a check made out to “Private Consumer Consulting Services” although she had no business connection to the Staffords’ company at all. Other parties referred to as complicit but not charged by Judge Hathaway:
In a moving letter to the Court, Mary Stafford wrote before her sentencing:
This is my life as sister, wife, mother friend and caregiver and loving human being who has shown kindness to all my family and others in my life. This is what life is all about; you should help those who cannot help themselves.
This is the first time in my life I have faced a life change involving charges that could send me to jail for committing a crime!
Date one: In December 1982 I, met Clifford Stafford based on blind date. In December of 1983, we went out for dinner and after that we said let’s get together after the New Year. We got married May 9, 1983 in the State of Ohio, Lucas County. Clifford was married and got divorced. He had 2 children in that union, Clifford L. Stafford Jr. and Lashawda Stafford. One year later I gave birth to our son, Kevin L. Stafford born on May 18, 1984. Clifford received full custody of his children, at that time, Lashawda was 14 years old, Clifford was 12 years old, and also Monique was 12 years old.
In 1985 his daughter at the young age if 15 years old got pregnant; she had Nathaniel Hardrick. He came to live we us at 9 months old, under a court order. Lashawda went to Job Corps in Ohio. Nathaniel lived with us until age 15 in 1999. Kevin and Nat grew up like brothers, not like uncle and nephew.
I would like to go to March 2000. This is when my sister Rosalind Green and my daughter Monique M. Stafford, also my brother Larry Sheridan, moved in to the same home that my husband and I had. This gave me and my family an easy way to take care of my sister and daughter.
My sister Rosalind Green was a victim of street violence; she was shot in the head and the police never found out who shot her!
My sister suffered with seizures and was paralyzed on the left side of her body for the rest of her natural life. Rosalind did not have any children but she a loving family that care for her. My sister passed December 28, 2015
Around that say time my daughter Monique went in to kidney failure. Monique was only 25 years old when she found out she was born with one kidney. My daughter came in to this “WORLD” 2 1/2 pounds 3 ounces, she is fighter to live her life to fullest.
At the age of 50 years old I gave my kidney to my daughter Monique through Henry Ford Hospital as a living donor. I was one of the first living donors.
In 2004 Monique lost the kidney that I gave her and she went back on dialysis, and back on the transplant list, as of today. [She is a fighter for life]. All at the same time my girlfriend Sherry asked me for help while she was working. Her mother had dementia. I would take Monique to dialysis and go to Sherry’s home, to bathe and dress and also give her mother Florence breakfast and lunch. I sat with her until 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Florence passed on at the age of 82 years, October of 2005.
Let go back to 2003 when my husband Clifford moved his sister Shirley J. Stafford into our home. She was born disabled at birth, mentally challenged. Around the same time in 2004 we found out Shirley had breast cancer. She didn’t deserve that kind pain and suffering. Shirley was a sweet warm-hearted, happy and friendly human being I knew. She loved sports especially college games like basketball and she knew all the players on every team. Shirley received chemotherapy at Botsford Hospital. I think she received three (3) treatments and then went to Garden City Hospital where she received six (6) radiation treatments with medication. Shirley had some side effects from all the treatment. She made it through all that. Shirley was then a cancer survivor for four years. She got her blood drawn every month for the rest of her life.
In the middle or end of 2010 Shirley’s cancer returned. Now she is going to Providence Cancer Center on Foster Drive off 9 mile. Again she received six (6) chemotherapy treatments, but the cancer spread to her left breast; it had to be removed. She was put on hospice and they sent her home because it nothing else they could do. Shirley passed June 14, 2014. I sat with her until Shirley took her last breath and she was gone.
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