Thursday, April 14, 1994
George Skatzes' letter to his attorney (1994)
Taken over and edited for scan-typos from:
The following was typed 2/13/98 by Ann Louck from George Skatzes' 16 Pages of handwritten notes:
George W. Skatzes A-173-501
P. O. Box 5500
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
LETTER TO: Jeffrey F. Kelleher Attorney At Law
The Leader Building -Suite 410
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
April 14, 1994
RE: Visits From The Highway Patrol -(Plot) Dear Mr. Kelleher,
I would like to take the time to write about the actions of the Highway Patrol and to give my opinion on the plot to pressure me into turning States evidence against the alleged key figures in the Lucasville riot My first meeting with the Highway Patrol -one Sgt. Howard W. Hudson and another trooper - (name unknown) -came about on 10-19-1993.
On said date -10-19-1993 -Captain Adams -a Captain with the Chillicothe Correctional Institution -came to my cell and told me that I had an Attorney Visit.
Even though at this time I did not have an Attorney, I didn't think Captain Adams would lie to me. I went on the visit fully expecting to meet an Attorney!
Captain Adams took me to a room upstairs. Upon entering the room Sgt. Hudson introduced himself and identified himself as one representing the State of Ohio. Sgt. Hudson made the statement about the other trooper and himself- "Obviously we are not Lawyers -we want to talk to you about the riot -give you the chance to roll -etc." I understand they have a job to do -but why do they feel it is so necessary to keep the fact that they came to see me so quiet? I didn't tell them anything and I have nothing to hide! Sgt. Hudson further stated that they didn't tell anybody about coming to see me. Why are they so deceitful? They make it appear that I have something to hide right off. Was it their plan to use me -to set me up from the very start? After the visit and upon returning to the north hole -I immediately [told?] the two (2) inmates I'm back here with, that I had a visit from the Highway Patrol.
Referring to the visit of 10-19-1993 -I feel they really tried to pressure me into making a statement about the riot and the alleged key figures. To cut a long story short -they told me how they were in the process of getting all of their people (snitches) on this side -(their side) -and the ones that would not help them -they would be on the other side and left to fight for themselves.
On the visit of 10-19-1993 Sgt. Hudson and the other trooper straight out told me if I did Not help them they would see to it that I would spend the rest of my life in prison -no matter if I went to trial on riot related charges or not. Of course they reminded me how they can keep me in prison with no problem since I am doing a life sentence for aggravated murder to begin with. They went on to tell me if I helped them -they could help me. I told them that there is no way I could do anything to help them -and with that the visit ended and I was returned to the north hole.
At this point I didn't figure the Highway Patrol would ever attempt to talk to me again. Knowing how the system works -and being an obvious target for retaliation -I set my mind to doing the rest of my life in prison!
Moving on to 3-31-1994- Sgt. Fouty- a sergeant at Chillicothe Correctional Institution -came and told me I had a visit. I didn't ask him what kind of a visit -family member -friend or lawyer. Figuring it was a regular visit -I went through the strip search procedure. Sgt. Fouty cuffed me up and he took me out to the visit. Upon leaving the north hole -walking up the steps and into the hallway -I started to turn left and go to the regular visiting area. At this point Sgt. Fouty directed me to this office off to my right -Not the regular visiting area!
The Visit on 3-31-1994 -upon entering the room I noticed a few members of the Staff from here -Chillicothe. At this point I couldn't figure out what the visit was all about.
Then to my surprise I became aware of Sgt. Hudson's presence! This is another visit with the Highway Patrol. Everybody cleared out -then I found myself in this room with Sgt. Hudson and some other trooper (name unknown). Also the Prosecutor handling the Lucasville riot -I don't know his name either.
So in the room -three (3) State Officials and myself. Sgt. Hudson read me my rights and he told me anything I say can and will be used against me. Sgt. Hudson went on to tell me how they are there to see me one last time. If I do not help them Now -the next time they come they will have some indictments for me. He then informed me that I would be charged with Three (3) Capital Murder cases! At this point I told Sgt Hudson I could not make such a serious decision without first talking to my Investigator, whom I fully trust. They have been keeping her from visiting me - so Sgt. Hudson or somebody would have to make special arrangements to get her Approved for a visit. When I stated that I really needed to talk with my Investigator, Sgt. Hudson picked up the phone as if he would call her for me. I then told him a phone call would not do. I would have to talk with my Investigator face to face and (4 to 5 words at bottom of Page 4 not printed out by Copier).
At this point I had nothing more to say to these people. The one trooper did ask me how they would know what my decision would be once I talked to my Investigator. I then told this trooper that after our visit -if they would in fact set the visit up for us -I would have my Investigator call them to inform them as to what the decision would be. That was about all that was said at this point. I was taken back to the north hole.
Here is something worth making a note of. After requesting the visit with my Investigator, Sgt. Hudson didn't outright agree to setting the visit up, but I figured he would. Keep in mind also that I had [to] ask to talk to anybody from the Highway Patrol or the Prosecutor's Office. I ask them to set up a visit for me with my Investigator. This visit was to be between [her] and [me] only!
At this point there was no way for me to know just how Sgt. Hudson would handle the setting up of the visit. Later I found out that Sgt. Hudson called my Investigator on 3-31-1994, right after our visit. I was told that Sgt. Hudson told the Investigator that I agreed to talk to them -but wanted her there to make sure everything went alright. This is a Falsehood! Seems to me that Sgt. Hudson lied to my Investigator! Again -after requesting to see my Investigator on a visit face to face -I [do not?] have to talk with anybody from the Highway Patrol or the Prosecutor's Office. I clearly stated that my Investigator would call them after our visit with my decision. I feel strongly that Sgt. Hudson [did not] have to deceive my Investigator by telling her I agreed to make a Statement and I wanted to have her there to ensure things would go right! That was wrong on his part!
Now let me make a note on what took place Tues. evening 4-5-1994. This does play a part in this Plot the Highway Patrol is acting out.
At this point a Mr. Coyle, the Deputy Warden here, enters the room. He ask me if I felt it would be wise for me to go back to the north hole. This shocked me! I surely wasn't expecting such a move from these people! I told Mr. Coyle that I have done nothing wrong and there is nothing for me to hide!
I further stated that if I [did] go back to the north hole, this would make me look like a snitch! Mr. Coyle asked me if the other inmates here in the north hole would think of me as a snitch anyway. I asked him why should they even have such a thought in their mind. At this point I told Mr. Coyle that I would not go to any other lock other than the north hole! Period! At this time Mr. Coyle left the room. I have no idea where he went or what was going on. I just sat there waiting for them to take me back to the north hole.
Something worth make a note of: Every time I talked to the Highway Patrol, which was twice as I described in this writing, I always told the other inmates I am in the north hole with. Twice before this visit of Wed. 4-6-1994. I should say, to keep the record straight. It is my policy to be as up and [?] as possible with the other inmates here in the north hole. I have nothing to hide. However, I [did not?] tell them about my Investigator coming to visit me on Wed. 4-6-1994. I kept that hush hush and to myself to ensure the fact that I would have the visit with no problems. On my word, just as soon as I came off the visit that day I had every intention of telling the other inmates about my visit and how I went about getting it. I play it straight with these people. Never have I lied to them about anything!
As far as the other inmates of the north hole knew, I was going to visit my Lawyer on that Wed. 4-6-1994. This is not what I told them. In fact, I didn't tell them anything. They just took it for granted that I was going to visit my lawyer.
Back to the room upstairs. After the visit Sgt. Wilson, Sgt. Fouty and C.O. Ackley were present of course. I was still cuffed to the table. We were just waiting to see what they were going to do with me since I told them I wanted to go back to the north hole.
All in all, I spent about three (3) hours cuffed to that table. Cutting a long story short, Mr. Coyle finally came in the room and told me it was the decision of Central Office that I [not] go back to the north hole and said decision was Non-negotiable! So the truth is these people created a very serious situation for me -then they made me run and hide from the problem they created! I was made to look like a [?] put the lives of my love ones on the line, as well as my life, and they didn't think anything of it!
At this point I was forced to move to three (3) house. Three (3) house is another lock up block for the inmates at Chillicothe. The north hole is used at this time for three (3) inmates from Lucasville only.
When I left the room I had the visit in, I was confronted by several Correction Officers, exact number unknown. They had the video camera. They must have expected some trouble out of me. Keep in mind, I went to three (3) house under a very strong objection! I wanted to be brought back to the north hole! I have done nothing to run and hide from! No way did I give the Highway Patrol or the Prosecutor any info, statement or anything! There was no reason for me to leave the north hole! They only forced this move upon me so I would look like a snitch!
Let me back up to the conversation with Mr. Coyle for just a minute. Mr. Coyle told me that he would see to it that I would be transferred out of Chillicothe within the next couple of days. Being very honest about it, I have no doubt been treated the very worst while being locked in this north hole. Out of the three (3) of us back here, I am the most disrespected. It is a long story, but I do receive the worst treatment, so I would sure welcome a transfer out of Chillicothe!
I'm sitting in three (3) house Wed. night 4-6-1994 knowing very well that the other two (2) inmates in the north hole figured I turned State's evidence since I did not come back. This whole sleazy set up sure caused all of us to go through a lot of head changes and it could have put a lot of lives on the line! That is had this not been cleared up. This sleazy move was set up and carried out in an effort to defame me also!
Going to Thurs. morning 4-7-1994. I was called back up to the room in which I had the visit in. At this point in time the Warden Mr. Coyle and a Gary Moore talked to me. I voiced my very strong objection to these people for the way I was forced to move out of the north hole! Not that I care so much about liking the north hole. but the way they forced me to move. I was made to look like a snitch! I talked with the above mentioned people for a while. I expressed my views as to how they cut the lives of my love ones in danger. That fact didn't seem to matter at all! To cut a long story short, at this time, again I was told that I would be transferred out of Chillicothe within the next few days. At this point these people told me they would be getting back to me no later than Monday 4-11-1994. to let me know where they would be transferring me. Soon I left the room, went to rec., shower and to get my property. So all in all I figured I would be leaving Chillicothe soon. That was that.
Now Phase Two (2) of the Plot:
Thurs. afternoon 4-7-1994. Sanders is scheduled to go to Scioto County to answer the last Indictment he received. It is my strong belief that they had this whole thing planned. The Highway Patrol and the Prosecutors! By no means are these events any sort of coincidence! In my opinion. what they done was very sleazy and evil! They should not be allow to get away with this!
So Sanders goes out to the Scioto County Jail. Strange as it may seem. but this time not like the other time he was placed in the Scioto County Jail, he was locked on a range with several other inmates from Mansfield and Lucasville. So here we have Sanders armed with the knowledge that I went out on a visit the day before and I [did not] return! Since he is so conveniently placed on this range with the other inmates from the other prisons. Also for some reason he was left on this range for 45 minutes to one (1) hour. He was able to talk to everybody and pass on the info as he knew it. I went out on a visit and [did not] return. Anybody that has any knowledge of prison life understands how the inmates will take that info and run with it! So there is no doubt that I am labeled as a snitch now! This was their evil plan! It is up to me to clean up what they have done to me! The damage has been done !
Another point -of course Thurs. 4-7-1994 I did not have this info. but I found out later. Somehow Sanders’ lawyer heard about the Indictment he received Tues. 4-5-1994. so to keep Sanders from going to Court alone on Thurs. 4-7-1994, he faxed a Motion to Scioto County on Wed. 4-6- 1994 in an effort to have Sanders' Arraignment postponed. They had the Motion in plenty of time. so it would have been no problem for them to postpone the Arraignment. but doing so would have messed up their plot to have the word put out that it looks as if I turned snitch! One hell of a Plot!
Well, as it was, I was sitting in three (3) house waiting to get transferred out of Chillicothe. All the while a lot of damage, serious damage was being done to my character! Because I won't help these people by snitching, they put me through all this! It is not right!
Moving along to Friday 4-8-1994 about noon or so. C.O. Ackley came to three (3) house and told me I had a visit. I ask him who the visitor might be. He did not know but he said he would find out for me. I told him if it was somebody from the Highway Patrol or the Prosecutor's Office, I would not talk to them! I would refuse the visit! Mr. Ackley then left to go find out who was here.
It wasn't long after Mr. Ackley left, Mr. Coyle came to talk to me. He told me that Gary Moore was here to see me. Mr. Coyle further stated that they might move me back to the north hole. First off I would have no problem talking to Gary Moore, he treated me very fair and with the utmost respect. So I went with Mr Coyle to talk to Gary Moore.
They took me to the room that I had the visit in on Wed. 4-6-1994. The Warden, Mr. Coyle and Gary Moore were present.
Cutting a long story short, they told me I would be moving back to the north hole that day! I can't believe this! First I am told how I can't go back to the north hole after my visit, then I'm told I will be transferred out of Chillicothe. Now on Friday, for some reason, I can return to the north hole! Well, they were able to carry out their Plan -the damage has already been done -I was made to look like a snitch, so it no longer matters where I am housed! One hell of a head game!
Making a Note of this, both Wed. 4-6-1994 and Thurs. 4-7-1994 when I talked to the Warden Mr. Coyle and Gary Moore, I really tried my very best to make these people understand the very serious position I was put in. I begged them to at least let me come down here to the north hole and face these inmates. I wanted to explain to them that I [didn’t] roll or snitch on anybody! They would not let me do this, so I had to ride it out! In prison a man's name and his word means everything and when these people set out to destroy a man like this, it is not easy to take!
Friday afternoon 4-8-1994 around 3:00 p.m. or so I moved back to the north hole, but they have yet another Phase to the head game they are playing!
Before I moved back into the north hole, for no visible reason they [?] one of the other inmates housed in the north hole to move. They moved him down to three (3) house and as of the date of this writing, he is still down there! There was really no reason for this move.
I had a visit with my Lawyer on Sunday 4-10-1994 and he informed me that phone calls were made to Chillicothe to make sure I was still here. This was done on Friday 4-8-1994 and these people wouldn't even tell the caller I was here! They play a mean game when one will not cooperate with them.
At a later date I plan to expand on this writing and go into full detail about the treatment I have received in this north hole and everything. This is just a brief writing to expose the plot and have it notorized before the three (3) Capital Murder Indictments are served on me. I feel they are coming Very Soon!
After being duly sworn -on my word I swear that the statements in this writing are true and correct to the very best of my knowledge. I swear to the truthfulness of this writing as I shall answer unto My God.
Notorized on the 15th day of April 15, 1994
Signed by: George W. Skatzes
Notary: Angelina J. Remy, State of Ohio
Commission Expires March 21 , 1996