Judge Heavey’s Open Letter To Italy With False Accusations Might Be Seen As Obstruction Of Justice

Our post of three weeks ago on how Michael Heavey is accused of breaking his oath of office.

Here now is Michael Heavey’s response.  Good luck with this one. One of our lawyers said it reads to him as if one of Amanda Knox’s sisters had actually written it.

In his open letter to Italy (included in this document) Michael Heavey appeared to disrespect the competence and motivations of a huge number of people in the justice system. As it was on official letterhead, he appeared to be writing officially. And he put out in the public arena many “facts” that were simply not accurate.

Our lawyers on the team indicate that the standard practice if a judge has something to say about a case that is not his own is to (1) write privately (2) on his own letterhead and (3) make quite certain to get NONE of the facts wrong.

Otherwise there is the possibility of serious interference in a case before the courts - of the obstruction of justice rather than its furthering. In this case, of justice for Meredith.

No American - not one, in the course of the past two and a half years - seems to have so mis-characterized the evidence TO ITALY. Or so impugned the motives and competence of the Italian police and Italian judicial authorities TO ITALY.

That post we just linked to was written back then of course. Subsequently, both the Micheli and Massei sentencing reports have been released. They show even more dramatically just how off-target the judge’s attempted interference really was.

Perhaps we might see him apologizing to Meredith’s family, for seeking to deny their justice. Nice if the discipline panel makes this a requirement.

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The best thing about this action against Heavey is that Knox’s groupies can’t spin it as the machinations of a sinister Italian Judicial System.

Kudos to the disciplinary panel for taking this action.

Posted by Janus on 06/30/10 at 07:01 PM | #


I wouldn’t touch this with a 10-foot pole.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/30/10 at 08:23 PM | #

They may not too, of course, given all the hurt so unfairly and callously rained upon them.

But it would be nice for SOMEONE who got it so seriously wrong to at least, for once, try.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/30/10 at 10:12 PM | #

Yes Peter, what a grave injustice to Meredith Kercher, Judge Heavey has disgracefully displayed.

And now he must face the consequences from the judicial disciplinary panel.

A premature draw to the hip and way to shoot yourself in the foot Cowboy Heavey! I’ve read better worded letters written by 8th graders.

“I come in peace”, Cowboy Heavey writes to Judge Mignini, sounds like a line straight out of an old American Western movie or from Gun Smoke/Bonanza TV show!

And oh yes, blame it all on the “Black” guy, “Rudy”. Case ended.

Then, Father Heavey, throws in that he is a devout Catholic and includes several Bible quotes just for good measure. He signs off his letter to Judge Mignini by writing, ” God bless you”, just like any good Christian judge should.

Like the Knox’s and FOA, Cowboy Heavey simply forgot to tighten up the saddle straps and has fallen from grace right off his horse’s ass.

Posted by True North on 06/30/10 at 11:25 PM | #

This is a comment a guy posted on a website which I copied and I am pasting on here for everyone to read. Rather nasty but straight to the point, don’t you think?

“In the West Seattle Hearald, this “judge” revealed that he decided to lobby on Amanda’s PERSONAL behalf after his young DAUGHTER (who’d gone to prep school with Amanda) assured him that “Amanda didn’t have a mean bone in her body.”

Aside from the fact that NO ONE knows what a friend or family member might behave like under the influence of street drugs (abused by Amanda to the point of memory loss), what was this man thinking?!

How could a “judge” fail to recognize the low value and impropriety of:

Lay opinion, hearsay, (prohibited) propensity arguments & fatuous, extra-judicial interventions in criminal proceedings before a court of competent jurisdiction that undermine legal reciprocity/comity?!

Where did Heavey go to law school?!

This man has disgraced the bench, the legal profession, the State of Washington and the nation as a whole.

Heavey clearly has neither the intellect, the education nor the moral character & common sense to be a judge.

Step down, sir.

(I wonder how many cases Heavey has decided based on the ‘gut feelings’ of his 20 year old daughter…)”

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/01/10 at 03:25 AM | #

Hi Tempusfugit. Thank you. That includes some perceptive lawyer language and presumably was written by a smart lawyer with high standards who is embarrassed at the defense case in the document. Maybe there are lawyers who think that it is a fine piece of work and that noble standards are being upheld - but they sure ain’t the ones sending us emails. There seems widespread professional irritation.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/01/10 at 04:23 AM | #

Michael Heavey is a “Judge of King County Superior Court”. Heaven help anyone who comes before him in a court of law. His correspondence is juvenile and embarrassing. His point-of-departure is nowhere near any facts. He was obviously guided by people who had no grasp of the realities of the situation or he was fed with severe misinformation. Either way, his behaviour was and still is a disgrace. Let’s hope that he is removed from any position of authority in future and put out to pasture where he cannot cause any damage.

Posted by Terence on 07/01/10 at 11:31 AM | #

Well, Judge Heavey has this Curt Knox and Edda Mellas tactic: filling a lot of pages without even addressing the matter. So he is a father of three. Fantastic. That makes him surely different from us all. Now he has the insight. He didn’t know he could have had stationery with his own letterhead, again, he fails to score.

Furthermore he insists in all the wrong points.
... led him to an informed conclusion that what was happening to Amanda Knox in Italy was an absolute affront to Truth and Justice. ... Michael Heavy felt obligated to attempt to right these wrongs.

Most interesting do I find these sentences:
Judge Heavey wrote his letters ... to live up to his own ethical standards and to try to ensure that at least basic principles of fairness would be observed by Italian officials. Having observed what was clearly unethical and unlawful conduct, in violation of established standards of American and Italian law ... .

Now this is the best part:
Of course, it could also be said that these actions and public comments were aimed in some part at Ms. Knox’ private interests.

This is so laughable. Then he repeats himself over and over again and fails to actually answer any questions. He merely insists that what he did was in good faith, living up to his “high ethical and moral standards”. Offending, to say the least.

In my opinion he shot himself in both legs - repeatedly. This man is a joke.

Posted by Nell on 07/01/10 at 12:01 PM | #

Hi Peter,
Re your reply to my post above: I am not sure if he is a lawyer but his name his Walter Sobchak from Venice, California and here below is his profile page on the Seattle Times website. 

Hell he knows what he is talking about and rather good with words, certainly not afraid to answer back at anyone attacking his comments or writing bull about this case.

Do yourself a favour and read his posts, amazing stuff and a delight to read!


Posted by tempusfugit on 07/01/10 at 01:53 PM | #

“At the time he wrote his letters, Judge Heavey was unaware that a judge could instead have personal stationery printed which bears the title judge but which would not be confused with official stationery.”

I’m not sure how to say this in Italian or in American English, but for any British readers, this bloke’s just taking the piss.

Posted by SteveW on 07/01/10 at 02:30 PM | #

Hi Tempusfugit. Thanks a lot for the link to all of Walter Sobchak’s inspired comments on the Seattle Times website.

Agreed, they are all of them worth a read and it is great to have yet another strong lawyer’s voice arguing for justice, fairness and common sense.

Two of his comments are particularly helpful to us right now, as we are looking into the adolescents groupies’ “Retired FBI Agent Larry Johnson” to see if he actually exists, his claims seem so utterly incompetent and misinformed.

Our poster Michael has done some excellent work on “Larry Johnson” on the PMF forum which he co-moderates.

These are Walter Sobchak’s two comments on “Larry Johnson” and if any reader has more information or other links on this guy, it would be very nice to have them posted here or emailed.

Peter Quennell

Comment 2 on “Larry Johnson”

Considering the length of the list (below) of the information Steve overlooked, I’m starting to think he didn’t merely “retire” (very) early from the FBI - I’m starting to think he may have been fired.

What kind of FBI man neglects to do a simple check of court records in Amanda’s home town?!

(FYI the statute Amanda was charged under provides for incarcerations of up to 180 days for infractions - ergo, it is far from a trivial charge - and rightfully so: fellow citizens were fearful enough about the rock throwing to call police in)

Comment 1 on “Larry Johnson”

I hope Curt Knox is paying Steve Moore a LOT of $$$ to ruin his FBI-credibility like that.

How could an FBI man MISS so much readily availble info about Amanda?!!

1. In the “murder room” there was a print from a bloody shoe - woman’s size 7.5 (Amanda’s size). The FBI doesn’t care about SHOE prints anymore?

In the “murder room” Raffaele left his DNA on the victim’s bra clasp - this also ties Amanda to the “murder room” because she says she was with Raffaele the whole night.

2. Amanda’s DNA was found in a drop of Meredith’s blood found in Filomena’s private bedroom (where the “break in “occurred. Filomena’s DNA was not in the drop, nor was Rudy’s.

Meredith’s blood is also mixed with Amanda’s blood &/or DNA in their shared bathroom.

3. Amanda did, in fact, have a large hematoma on her neck the morning after the murder. Her roommates noticed it and testified it wasn’t there before the murder.

Amanda also made a point of going on about an ‘ear infection’ related to recent ear piercing - it may also be the case that Meredith ripped those new ear rings out of Amanda’s ear.

4. Meredith’s DNA was found in Raffaele’s apartment. On the blade of his kitchen knife. Meredith had never set foot in this apartment. Amanda’s DNA was on the handle.

5. Rudy ran, but Amanda & Raffaele planned. They arranged the crime scene to make it look like a B&E through Filomena’s bedroom window so as to point blame away from anyone living at the cottage.

THey also cleaned up blood traces bearing their foot prints but not those bearing Rudy’s foot prints.

Their traces (bare foot prints & Amanda’s DNA) in the victim’s blood, however, were revealed by luminol. (Hallway, bathroom & Filomena’s room where they staged a break in).

6. The relationship between Meredith & AManda had soured.

Meredith won the handsome boy downstairs that they both girls were attracted to.

Meredith was asked to do a star turn as a bar tender by Amanda’s boss shortly after he demoted Amanda from waitress to flyer duty.

Meredith explicitly disapproved of Amanda’s infidelities.

Rudy claims Meredith caught Amanda taking her rent money to pay for drugs.

Amanda did blow off a job that relatives arranged for her in Germany before going to Perugia.

Amanda had also just been demoted at a job she needed in order to stay in Italy.

Amanda was failing at making friendships with the girls she was living with.

Amanda did have a police record: she was arrested, charged, ordered to appear in court, found guilty & penalized for “Residential Disturbance” for a rock throwing incident/ party run amok at UW just before she left for Italy. You can still see the public record at the Seattle Municipal Court’s website. (Some are now saying she even made a threat to the police that night when they showed up).

Amanda had 7 sex partners in 8 weeks in Italy. She bragged online about one encounter, with a middle aged man, in the toilet of a public train within hours of arriving in Rome. The story, and some photos, were available for public viewing on her social networking site - all of her friends & family could see it - some were shocked & said so (“that’s gross, Amanda - even for you.”)

Amanda had a preoccupation with rape - she wrote short stories about it & posted them on her MySpace page - she is also rumored to have tried an April Fools Day “rape prank” on a dorm-mate while at UW (replete with knives, ski masks & multiple male attackers).

Based on her statements & actions before, during and after her arrest many, including the other girls living in the house, have speculated that Amanda is severely lacking in empathy & highly narcissistic. Supporters write it off as immaturity or eccentricity. Others, including psychologists, police investigators & profilers see it as evidence of antisocial PD/ sociopathy. Indeed, I think it is interesting to note that Amanda has proudly proclaimed that she “never” feels embarrassed.

Note also, her “boyfriend” of 6 days collected knives and Japanese manga comics depicting rape at knife-point. He also “idolized” a serial killer & toured the death camps on vacation time (he is not Jewish), His MySpace featured a profile pic of him in a surgical gown & cap with a meat cleaver in one hand & a bottle of bleach in the other. He has a history of drug abuse & a record for cocaine possession.

Finally, Amanda knew Rudy. She denied ever having net him in the 1.5 years leading to trial, but was forced to admit on the stand that she’d partied with Rudy on “several” occasions, after which, Rudy confessed to being attracted to Amanda & asked her housemate if she was seein

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/01/10 at 03:57 PM | #

You are welcome Peter; I thought Walter’s comments would be a great addition to your great site. He surely knows what he is talking about. I particularly like that one:

“Drugs ruined Amanda Knox. The day she came home from her ‘going-away’ party with a police-issued citation for “Residential Disturbance” requiring a court appearance, Amanda’s parents should have sent her to rehab, not Europe. Meredith would still be alive if they had!”

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/01/10 at 05:38 PM | #

Hi Tempusfugit. Yes, that comment is sad but very true.

Meredith WOULD still be alive if the literally dozens of warning signals AK was giving off in Seattle had been an inspiration for her parents etc to actually DO something.

Instead, they sent a loaded canon off to Italy, underfunded, already on drugs, and totally without a support structure.

Knox and Meredith were at absolute opposite ends of a spectrum in Perugia in terms of what they were doing there (Meredith was serious - she was also doing economics and polsci), and in terms of their structure and funding ((just nothing beats Erasmus).

If Knox had been properly structured and funded, she would have been supervised and periodically checked out, and loud warning bells would have gone off.

We have suspected for a long time that a lot of the braying from her family and supporters represents smoke blown to cover up for a liability that they actually recognise.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/01/10 at 06:00 PM | #

I’m sure that Heavy would appreciate a letter, let’s say from the French, addressed on French judicial official letterhead stationery, which included attached documents ‘tout écrit en français’ - all written in French - and ‘désolé, aucune traduction!’ - sorry, no translation! A letter urging Heavy to make a certain decision in a court case, urging him to admit that the United States legal system is ‘mauvais’ - wrong. Written by a French judge who has a child who is acquainted with a French defendant in a US murder trial. Written by a French judge who makes a point of stating his choice of religion.

Would Heavy find that such an “official” judicial French letter smacked of arrogance and pandering, not to mention ignorant of actual facts determining the trial?

I think that Heavy should become the defense attorney for Knox. That way, he would go to Italy (where they speak Italian!) and become acquainted with the evidence and the rationale for the jury’s unanimous decision of guilty in this tragic case. After all, he surely would know better how to defend murder suspects in Italy than the top Italian defense attorneys that Sollecito and Knox procured for their trial.

Heavy’s patronizing view of the Italian justice system is insulting and pretentious. After all, with the same evidence that convicted her, Knox would be sitting on death row in the United States.

I also agree with Peter about the desperate moves and noise machine by the Knox/Mellas clan is a smokescreen for a liability, and perhaps a guilty conscience of allowing their daughter to study overseas when they knew that she was not mentally prepared/balanced for such independence.

Posted by giustizia on 07/01/10 at 08:50 PM | #

I see Steve Shay from today’s, West Seattle Herald, again feels sympathetic to Amanda Knox having to spend a third birthday in prison.

Shay quotes Amanda’s aunt, Janet Huff, saying in regards to her upcoming birthday, “Her cellmate brought a cake she made for Amanda while Edda would be visiting. Then Amanda and her mother would hold hands, singing happy birthday. It’s really sad to sit with your daughter and hold hands in jail and that’s your big party”.

It’s too bad that both Shay and Huff fail to remember Meredith Kercher’s birthday and the stark fact that Meredith’s parents no longer have a daughter to hold hands with.

Posted by True North on 07/02/10 at 01:13 AM | #

Psychologists are suggesting to us that this seems the problem of Steve Shay and the other adolescent Knox groupies.

An actual psychological syndrome. An obsession. We have a post on it by an expert coming up. There may be hope for Shay’s recovery yet.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/02/10 at 03:42 AM | #

Hi Peter:  her parents can blow as much smoke as they want to cover up for liability they will have plenty time to feel sorry for themselves during the long years Knox will spend in jail.

Hi giustizia , Great post! Yes I wonder how Heavey would feel if he received such a letter from anyone trying to influence his decision on a verdict for one of his cases. And yes being a lousy judge I guess he might be a suitable lawyer for Amanda and he should just do that, go to Italy and save the girl! I live in London and I have a very good friend who is a court magistrate. He just couldn’t believe when he read about Heavey. He was in total shock! He was even more shocked to read that Heavey was still trying to defend himself and justify his actions.

As for your comments saying Knox would be on death row in the US by now, that’s for sure. I wish people (especially American people) would stop undermining the Italian judicial system and put an end to their bullying attitude: “if the trial was held in America…blah blah blah”. I am sure Italy doesn’t have the best legal system but, unlike in the US, the Italian judicial system guarantees two appeals in all circumstances in which the first appeal is a full re-trial with re-examination of the evidence instead of just of a review of the first.

In the United States where the appeal rights are severely limited the saga would be over and with so much evidence against her, Knox would be frying on the electric chair in most states no doubt.

In Italy she still (and sadly) has a chance with two appeals. And should the appeals not work for her she can still keep her life as a bonus!

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/02/10 at 04:55 AM | #

Hi Tempusfugit:

You are right about Heavy being a lousy judge - and his actions in his letters, using his position as a judge, reflect the lowest pandering and manipulation to influence a murder trial.

How true that in Italy, after being convicted as guilty of murder, Knox can still keep her life as a bonus - while Meredith Kercher was robbed so viciously of her life.

No justice/legal system is without its flaws, but in regards to Italy’s justice system, I’ll paraphrase a previous comment from another poster: “Italy had justice and legal system when people in America were still eating with their feet.”

In defense of the US, most Americans do not question the Italian verdict, with the exception of the tiny number of Knox groupies and those susceptible to the spin of the Knox/Mellas noise machine.

Posted by giustizia on 07/02/10 at 06:28 AM | #

Heavey is a fat joke and he can write all the letters he wants (both to criticize Italy and defend himself) Italy is simply not having it!

Just like the Knox/Mellas can spin their PR noise machine as much as they want, it won’t influence the court last verdict. All these morons haven’t got the message yet that this case is being tried in Italy inside a court and NOT in the US media.

As for the comment you paraphrased: “Italy had justice and legal system when people in America were still eating with their feet.”... lol that’s a good one! But things haven’t changed much really, the US justice and legal system is a fraud!

Let’s not forget this is the country where OJ-the glove don’t fit you must acquit-Simpson and Michael-I love to share my bed with young children- Jackson had their trial.

It is the same country that applies the death penalty in general but most appallingly on retarded people (I mean actually pathologically retarded) and where children can be arrested when they are 5 or 6 years old, the US actually has handcuffs in those sizes).

It is also the country where an ex vice-president justifies torture. And there is also Guantanamo where, in the name of the country’s safety, innocent people are being held, tortured, abused and called terrorists without being given a fair trial or a trial at all!

And with the Heavey fiasco more recently, I can go on forever… Indeed no justice/legal system is without its flaws but hey, to be better than the US system doesn’t take too much.

Posted by tempusfugit on 07/02/10 at 01:41 PM | #

I find these letters astonishing. 

The inaccuracies stand out so far it is hard to know where to begin. From not knowing the facts of the case to the extent of showing extreme disrespect to the victim through to a lack of knowledge of how the Italian system works. 

I am amazed that these letters were even dreamt of, let alone written and sent.  As Giustizia posted above: what would Judge Heavey have thought, had he been the recipient of such a letter?

I think it is right that Judge Heavey is being investigated for sending these, and if the above document is his defence position I see nothing to explain his actions. I look forward to hearing the panel’s conclusions.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 07/02/10 at 07:45 PM | #

Heavey needs to get the heave-ho…

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 07/03/10 at 02:49 AM | #

judge heavey has learned a lot from his time on the bench. deny, deny, deny. i am totally disgusted. i’m with you Mo in Mass. boot this guy now and LOUDLY.

Posted by mojo on 07/03/10 at 12:49 PM | #

The judge’s dim grasp of the real facts seems to be total non-news in Washington State, except in 2-3 online-comments areas.

Seattle readers, might you might feel inspired to spread the Permalink to this post & comments around say 500 Washington State media outlets and blogs?

The fact that Meredith and her family were being seriously disrespected and hurt and her justice threatened should be drawn to the discipline panel’s attention.

Will the panel be taking public testimony? Anyone know?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/03/10 at 02:16 PM | #

The following article excerpts by Steve Shay, appeared in the April 18, 2010 edition of the West Seattle Herald.

Shay profiles Judge Heavey’s son, Michael Heavey, who has announced his candidacy for State Representative from the 34th Legislative District. Shay also cites a statement given by Judge Heavey.

[“I’m very proud of my family’s strong tradition of representing this area,” said Heavey. “Growing up in that environment and being exposed to it as a young person will help (...) my efforts in this campaign. Undoubtedly my father is certainly more of an asset than a liability,” he said with a grin.

“I think he’s a real hard worker, real bright, has a far better temperament than I have, and mature, which I am not some of the time,” said Judge Heavey, obviously proud of his son’s run. He added that beyond that he can’t say too much as he is a judge and must be impartial.]

Such sound campaigning advice by Judge Heavey to his son.

Pending Washington State judicial disciplinary panel’s decision that awaits Judge Heavey, his son may soon regret that his father ever campaigned on behalf of Amanda Knox!

Posted by True North on 07/06/10 at 08:37 AM | #

In his second letter to Italy, Judge Heavey wrote to Italian Judge Matteini:  “In an Umbrian town where every person had been a stranger, her [Amanda’s] roommate and closest female friend had been murdered”.

Contrary to Judge Heavey’s letter statement above, in the first LA7 program that aired on Italian television, an Italian male university student who was interviewed said that Meredith’s death was so shocking to everyone because the University For Foreigners was such a close knit group where everybody knew each other.

Perhaps Judge Heavey meant to confirm what had already been established - that ONLY Amanda had been a “stranger” and failed to make any close female friends while living in Perugia.

Furthermore, with respect to Judge Heavey’s assertion that Meredith was Amanda’s “closest friend”, this is patently false.

It has been noted from official trial testimony transcripts, where Amanda herself said that she only knew Meredith for a short while and was trying to get on with her own life.

Posted by True North on 07/09/10 at 12:06 AM | #

Indeed, she had known Meredith for a short while, but it was still for longer than she’d known her dope-addled boyfriend. Especially for someone growing up with so many sisters, AK should have felt an overwhelming visceral reaction to a bloody attack on a woman who shared the same home, however briefly.

Her quaking at the sight of the open knife drawer, however, seems to have been the only observable window into her vulnerability, and she shut that window quickly and completely.

I would love to hear an account, from the former UW dorm-mate, regarding the ski mask prank; was she ever able to laugh about it—once the masks came off? Did Amanda jump out and shout, “April Fool’s!”, or was the victim actually terrified? How far did it go, and how far did Amanda instruct them to take it?

As to the heavy-handed Heavey: Ignorance of the Stationery is no excuse, Sir. Were you trying to make it up to your little girl for favoring Mikey Jr ? The claims of acting as an advocate against judicial abuse.. would he have sent such a letter on behalf of someone totally unknown to himself (or his daughter)?

I highly doubt so. And as to living mere blocks from her family, unless they dined/ partied/ slept together on a regular basis, why would the proximity of their addresses afford him any better acquaintance with the true nature of the Knoxmellasses than we’ve all been treated to per their telly and courtroom antics?

Posted by mimi on 07/09/10 at 04:56 AM | #
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