Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tommy Ward Innocent A Message From His Sister

Tommy Ward's sister Joice sent me an email along with a comment on my blog, "Barbara's Journey Toward Justice". The email she wrote to me was heartbreaking. She knows her brother Tommy Ward is innocent and has the facts to prove it.
Never mind that the police had no real evidence against him, no motive, no prior knowledge of the victim, no crime scene clues, such as fingerprints, blood, semen, hair, saliva, footprints and there was no crime scene. And in spite of the fact that Tommy Ward's dream of the killing has been proven false - and proven false again and again in multiple ways.
I guess that means nothing to the court of law and Ada, Oklahoma police. And for the interrogators from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Joice does read my blog, please post any comments or your thoughts to her here. Joice may God Bless you and your family and with His help your brother Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot will be set free.

Here is the story of Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot for people not familiar with the murder case.
From Ward and Fontenot Website
They were literally dreamed onto death row.
And in spite of the fact that the dream has been proven false - and proven false again and again in multiple ways - Karl Fontenot and Tommy Ward remain in prison. Tommy Ward, for hours, told police he didn't kill Denice Haraway.

He told them, however, that he had a dream about her.

That was good enough for the Ada, Oklahoma police. And for the interrogators from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

It took them nine hours of questioning in a locked room for officers to extract the confession from Tommy.

Karl, an impressionable street kid with no family and few friends, was easier to break. After only two hours the police had another confession, one suspiciously similar to Tommy's.

Problem was that the confessions shared some of the same wrong information.

A major mistake was that both identified Odell Titsworth, a man who could not possibly have committed the acts, as the primary culprit in the abduction, rape and killing of Ms. Haraway.

The police questioned Titsworth, realized he couldn't have done it, and let him go.

Never mind that the police had no real evidence against Tommy and Karl, they remained in jail.

There was no motive, no prior knowledge of the victim, no crime scene clues, such as fingerprints, blood, semen, hair, saliva, footprints.

There was no crime scene. At the counter where Ms. Haraway had apparently talked to her abductor, the cigarette in the ashtray was thrown away and the counter was wiped clean.

The site of the killing?

At the time of the trial, there was no site of the killing. There was no body. Ms. Haraway had simply vanished.

At the first trial, not a shred of physical evidence was presented. Yet, both Tommy and Karl were sent to death row.

Four months after the trial, the confessions were proved erroneous in additional ways.

The body was found.

Tommy's dream, the primary evidence against him, had placed the body at the west edge of Ada. The actual body was found in a remote area twenty-five miles east of town.

The prosecution had told the jury, based on the dreams, that Tommy and Karl had killed the young woman with a knife and then burned the body.

It turned out that she had not been stabbed. She was, however, shot once in the head. That head wound had been described by neither Tommy nor Karl.
Karl and Tommy were given new trials.

But they were both again convicted.
They have been incarcerated about 22 years.
Tommy is serving a life sentence. Karl's sentence: life without parole.
As they serve another man's sentence, the real killer walks free.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand - WHY is this man still in Prison?!?!!
There is NO evidence.
And America wants to tell other countries how to treat their citizens?!?

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sandy said...

I am one of Tommy Ward's first cousins. My cousin... I am one of Tommy Ward's first cousins. My cousin Joice is a strong woman and very vocal, she is not afraid to tell it like it is. Tommy's case had really put a rift between some of our relatives. My family and Tommy's have always stood our ground and stood beside Tommy, in believing that Tommy is innocent. Tommy was really close to my Mom and Dad. What Joice told you is true. We want our families to be healed from this anguish and hell we have been going through for the past 22 years. My cousin was unable to have adequate council in the very beginning, because my aunt and uncle could not afford it. Our families didn't have much money, but what we lacked in money, we have in our faith. My hat off to Mr. Fritz too. Thank you for helping tell the world of this injustice.

Ang said...

I've just finished reading Grisham's book 'Innocent Man'. I immedietely logged on to find more info. It saddens me, or more importantly it scares me to think this really could happen to anyone. I am well aware of the corruption of Police forces everywhere, even where I live. Too many people put too much trust in these people that are supposed to be protecting us. I know there are all kinds of good cops around, but there are equally as many bad. It also bothers me tremendously to think of how many people serving time are mentally ill and go undiagnosed, they are just tarred as being "crazy". With today's technology these things should not be happening!

Anonymous said...

i still cant believe how crazy this is especially after reading the book. That these 2 men are still in prison will never get to lead a normal life or have a family of their own.. i drive to ada about 2-3x a month & know where happyland is located.. This makes you scared to go to ada what if you get stopped and think you look like someone else.. what would they do to you.. i pray for tommys family that they get peace for all they have been thru =and that their brother,uncle cousin son gets out soon.. god bless all the family and what you have been thru.

Anne said...

I graduated HS with Tommy Ward's brother, Joel. I was also part of the nursing staff that cared for Tommy's and Joel's dad, during his final illness. The family was kind and caring with the elder Mr. Ward, I remember that. Joel, though quiet and financially disadvantaged, always seemed like a very nice kid. Having also read the books, I find it very hard to imagine that Tommy, in particular, was involved, though my brother, who sat in the courtroom during the entire trial, disagrees. However, my brother heard only the "facts" that the state wanted him to hear. Has the "Innocence Project" become involved in this case? It's time for Tommy to come home, but maybe not to Ada, where there is danger in dreaming.

Barbara's Journey Toward Justice said...

Anne - Can you contact me ? My contact information is on bottom of my blog on right. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Barbara,

]My name is Mary Ann as a child my
family lived across the road from the "Wards" and later up the road My sister and I spent many and nights, hours playing with Trisha,Joyce,Melvina,Kay,Jimmy,Joel,Melvin and Tommy.
And I can tell you one thing they were the best.
To this day I nor my sister Shelia believe Tommy did what he was acussed of and feel he should be set free.
One would have to know this family to understand where I am coming from why I beleive Tommy is Innocent.
Writing this brings tears to my eyes for it takes me back to my childhood years memories of the Wards.
This family has been through so much and deserve some justice and peace of their own.
My thoughts and prayers are with them.
John Grisham prove Tommy innocent bring him home to his friends and family who love and beleive in him.

Lynelle said...

For 25 years I have wished I knew something that could have proven Tommy's innocence, because I know he is just that - innocent. I used to live in Ada and knew Tommy quite well at the time - he was the most gentle soul I knew in the entire town. Tommy and Karl both spent a great deal of time in my apartment in the months before the murder. Unfortunately I moved away from Ada just a couple of weeks before the murder.

I can still remember his tears over his pet bird dying. Tommy is not a killer - he is too caring and sensitive towards others' pain. Anyone who knows him would know that with how he always looked after and protected Karl. I've known since the beginning without a doubt he was innocent.

Joice, please tell Tommy that I have been praying for him all these years and still follow his case as closely as I possibly can. Also please tell him I am sorry for losing contact with him so many years ago - we used to write frequent and lengthy letters when I still lived in Indiana back in the late eighties.

I do have a question about his parole hearing though - I've been waiting for quite some time ever since I noticed it was due this month (2/2009) but when I checked his DOC info, I see it is blank now. I'm not sure if that means there will not be a parole hearing, it is in process, or if it is somehow already completed. I would love an update if you have a moment. I'll check back on the blog site to see if you (or anyone else) has responded.