This was the trial judge. He, like most judges, lean to the prosecution side of the trials. Willett's irascible manner and wanting to know how much time everything is going to take made him some powerful enemies over the years. The Bramblett trial was no exception and Willett frightened Doubles and Grimes till they would consent to all prosecution expert witnesses before any knowledge was given of their qualifications. If the prosecution brought in the building maintenance man in a suit and tie as an expert on brain surgery, Doubles and Grimes would have agreed.
Doubles did this little Uriah Heep squat when answering the judge. He never stood or looked at the judge, or anyone else, for that matter. Doubles was terrified of Willett.
Willett allowed the videotape, it was nowhere near the conditions, time, season and weather conditions the the old lady saw the truck. Willett allowed the pubic hair in evidence, neither child had been molested and the fireman standing on the bed, the fireman's gloves all over the bed, and the heavy tarp thrown over the bed compromised that. The pubic hair was determined it may have been Bramblett's.
Bramblett asked Willett to hear the tapes that Keesee edited before played in court and was turned down. Bramblett asked to see the pictures the prosecution was going to use and was turned down. This is Bramblett asking the judge. Bramblett asked if he could ask questions of some witnesses; Willett said talk to his lawyers. The lawyers weren't about to ask questions Bramblett wanted asked.
Bramblett tried many times to fire his lawyers but Willett would not allow it. Bramblett was asked the lawyers and the investigator to contact peoplehe wanted but that never happened. Doubles opening was three (3) minutes and his closing was ten (10) minutes. The closing was written at the defense table and Doubles couldn't read what he had just written.
After listening to all the lies and one sided evidence he allowed against Bramblett, this florid, fat faced boozer had the gall to say, " I hope there's mercy somewhere for you and all those victims." Bramblett told Willett, "I'm just going to say one more time, for the record, I did not kill the Hodges family."
Willett was fired by the General Assembly after being on the bench for twenty years. Some of the attorneys that appeared before him became politicians that determined his job, and I'm sure firing him was delightful.
Was the Senior Virginia Supreme Court Judge. He wrote the majority opinion on Earl Bramblett's appeal, which is automatic with the death penalty. Death penalty cases in Virginia are upheld. Always have been, and until the people now on the court die, always will be. Compton's death was a good start. Compton went far beyond the court's purview denying the appeal, he praised the police and forensics that "proved" Bramblett guilty. He was praising lies, the bogus evidence shown here and proven it is not facts. Compton was a sad old man trying to be relevant in a world that had passed his diminutive intellect.
No sooner than Compton's praise the newspaper reported that the Vinton Police Department was being investigated by the Grand Jury. The Police Chief, Rick Foutz, quit abruptly and so did the next in line, Lt. Bill Brown. It had been found the two had been stealing firearms from the evidence room and sometimes took illegal property and never charged the criminal, they stole merchandise and money from charities as well as claiming "evidence was a joke at the Vinton Police Department." These are the investigators that charged Earl Bramblett for murder. These were the police Compton praised for remarkable police work and forensics. Compton never understood because he lived in his own little cave-world courthouse.
Compton is dead now and I'm sure has the very warmest of spots in Hell. Let us pray!
Grimes was the attorney that argued Bramblett's appeal before the Virginia Supreme Court so that was a predictable conclusion of failure.
James C. Turk
The Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. A judge that is all over the board when it comes to decisions. Alzheimers? At one time thought to be Bramblett's chance at justice. Through the grapevine I leearned he thought Bramblett guilty and thought Bramblett had been smart enough to not leave evidence. Judges are supposed to make decisions on facts. Not Jim!
Turk is more interested in getting his picture in the society pages than making correct decisions. He claimed the made up gun evidence wouldn't have had any effect if known by the jury, and claimed the jail house snitch recanting his testimony wouldn't help either. What the hell did he want, a video tape of someone else murdering the Hodges?
Turk chastised one of Bramblett's lawyers for stating Barry Keesee helped Turner's (the jail house snitch) testimony by telling him facts of the case. It is shown in another part of this website that is the absolute truth. Tuck said, "that is a serious charge you are making." But Turk didn't take it serious. This was a death penalty case. Everything should have been serious. Maybe she should brought a society editor and photographer from the Roanoke Times with her.
I wrote Turk two letters. The first asking him to reconsiderhis decision turning down Bramblett's request for a new trial. He wrote back saying he hoped the 4th Circuit would help. The 4th Circuit had a split decision, two judges against a new trial,one for a new trial. The last letter to Turk was April 2, 2003 and I asked he not let these people kill Bramblett with their false evidence and lies. I even included my original FBI-FOIA files and sent it Priority mail asking for a signature. Guess he was too busy smoozing with the Roanoke Social Set to take the time to read it.