Guest: How The Shavlik Case Came Undone

We have gotten a statement from the Journalist who was at the Shavlik trial who taped the entire trial start to finish, she obviously had a better understanding to the debacle then anyone else. We have been notified of a few more of the same kinds of trials coming up soon. If you or someone you know is being falsely accused of a crime please contact us and I will put you in touch with the new activist group that is watching these cases. None of them are lawyers but they all know how to read evidence.

If you are in trouble and faced with a crime do not, absolutely do not just take a plea bargain, that is what makes it so easy for these people to railroad others, people are afraid and most times have never been in trouble so they bully you into agreeing to admit to a crime you are not guilty of. If everyone made these goons take them to a jury trial we could effectively stop these kinds of things from happening and insure that the justice system was being run correctly. At the very least we could plug up the system so badly that they wouldn’t have any incentive to pursue these malicious and frivolous cases.

Mark Roe does not care about the citizens, he is a politician with an ego the size of Texas and a mean streak in him a mile wide. He lets child molesters and rapists go free so he can carry out personal vendettas for himself and his buddies, he lets child beaters go free so he can make sure he steps up the political ladder. He needs to go.

This past two weeks was the second prosecution of Lori Shavlik for Arson in the 1st degree for some light colored smoke appearing in the dryer area of her tanning salon business and also a second charge of Arson in the 2nd degree for a candle that looked like it may have scorched a few things in the bathroom of her Snohomish business a tanning salon a week earlier.

The first trial the jury was hung.  Friday, March 4, 2016 the jury acquitted Lori Shavlik of Arson in the first decree and Arson in the second decree.

The day before the jury wasn’t quite so sure.  The jury  thought they had a consensus while two jury members said “guilty” during the jury poll.

No one has ever seen this before.  Defense counsel John Crowley had never see it in 30 years and neither had Judge Millie Judge.

The court inquired to Juror #3 (but not #8).  She had voted guilty.  The court then asked the foreman if he thought they could come to a 100% consensus with more time.  The court did not question Juror #8 (when Ms. Yahvavi asked)  because after #3’s response, it made no difference Judge Millie Judge said.

The foreman said he thought they could come to a consensus with more time so the court marched them back to deliberation right before 4:30PM Thursday March 3rd.

The jury could not repair it with only a few minutes of the day left,  so everyone had to come back on Friday, March 4, 2016 while everyone else had to sit around and wait.

But wait!  There’s more.  In the heat of the jury confusion Thursday, March 3rd, Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Francesca Yahvavi looked over at juror #3 and smiled a big grin just after juror #3 fouled everything up… and juror #3 smiled back!  Virtually everyone caught it.

Now it could hardly be overlooked that throughout the entire trial, Ms. Yahvavi seemed to be curiously smiling inappropriately.  One might have thought she had some level of Angelman syndrome – .

But after awhile it was clear Yahvani’s apparent smugness was more narcissistic in nature – She knew something in advance because she initiated it. The only time Yahvani wasn’t smiling was during her close.  And there was good reason for this.

During his close, Defense counsel John Crowley was suddenly on fire pointing out how Snohomish County never proved the fire was an arson (absolutely true) much less that Ms. Shalvik had anything to do with it.   (True again).  Everyone in the room was wondering the same thing.

By the fourth day, those very issues were beginning to grate on everyone attending trial (including the jury) wondering when, after 25 state witnesses and 7 days of trial, Yahyavi was going to get to all the blood ‘n gore… er… fiery inferno that cost less than $100 to repair.

Ms. Yahyavi forgot to mention the repair cost.  In fact, she “forgot” to mention just about every basis to establish the charge of Arson in the first and second decree.

Washington State law defines 1st decree arson RCW 9A.47.020 as:

a)      Causes a fire which endangers human life, (nope)

b)      Causes a fire that damages a dwelling, (nope)

c)      Causes a fire where there is a human, (nope)

d)      Causes a fire on a property valued at ten thousand dollars or with the intent to collect insurance proceeds. (nope)

Number “d” is particularly significant.  Here is why.

Snohomish County Brady Cop Major Crimes Detective David Fontenot was allowed to “assist” Ms. Yahvavi during the entire trial while he served as a witness against Ms. Shalvik after he was allowed to listen to every other witness’s testimony first.

No other witness is afforded this courtesy in the name of objectivity.

If this were not bad enough, Fontenot got on the stand and attempted to insinuate Ms. Shalvik not only set the fire with no evidence what so ever to prove it, but that she did for the insurance proceeds.  (Not to mention $100 hardly meets any typical deductable).

Defense Counsel Crowley put on the record that Fontenot had committed perjury.  However, he didn’t mention the word “perjury.”

Crowley had in his hand an email to Fontenot from Ms. Shavlik’s insurance company stating there was no insurance in place during the fire.  Yes, it’s true,  Fontenot lied.

Curiously, Crowley never introduced anything derogatory in front of the jury against Det. Fontenot including the insurance email even though, with cameras running, he had objected to SCDPA Yahyavi’s motion to suppress the Brady information (because his client threatened to fire him if he didn’t).

It was so blatant that one could hardly stop thinking that Crowley must have been extorted in order to protect Fontenot… or maybe it was about protecting the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office from the loss mitigation in the event of a malicious prosecution charge… because municipal error and omissions insurance won’t cover fraud thus exposing them to personal liability IE no immunity for bad acts.

Leaving out information in order to prevail by any means possible is sometimes known as “lawyering.”  Otherwise known as “cheating.”   One thing it is not, is a fair judicial process promised to our citizens by both the US Constitution AND the Constitution of the State of Washington.

Ms Yahyavi was the embodiment of “lawyering” and more.  So in the end, when Ms. Yahyavi faced Mr. Crowley’s rather enthusiastic and rational close, there was a complete character change in her.

Yahyavi was losing her case.  She was confused.  She was reaching for a foothold and there was none.   She was clearly holding back tears, her voice was quivering, she had lost all her arrogance, confidence and rhythm.

The entire trial, Ms. Yahyavi planned little attacks the classic schoolyard bully saboteur.  She was the source of an whole other circus going on behind the scenes within the trial.

For example, not expecting news reporters, she decided to heckle them when they arrived.  (This is a very bad idea).   There was not a doubt as to what she did.  It was recorded on video.  There was a direct cause and effect every time.

At the end of each heckle, she could be seen sitting at her table giggling – she clearly was getting a big charge out this and obviously thought it was a big joke – poking the bee’s nest with a stick as it were.

After her close and a break for lunch, there was a rather conspicuous reconstitution back to Ms. Yahyavi’s former arrogant self when the jury  was ready with their first verdict Thursday, March 3rd.

Ms. Yahvani walked in and out of the courtroom just before the March 3rd drama wearing that weird smile ear to ear.  She was even bearing teeth.

This is when Yahyavi and the juror #3 were caught smiling at each other like long lost lovers just after Juror #3 and #8 confused the verdict during poll.

Was this jury tampering?  Sure looked like Jury Tampering.

Jury Tampering is defined under federal law 18 US Code Chapter 73 – Obstruction of Justice.  Jury tampering is criminal and a federal crime.  If Ms. Yahyavi tampered with a juror it is now questionable as to who the real criminals are in this case.

After the jury left the room, defense counsel Crowley put the “smiling” between Yahyavi and juror#3 on the record before court adjourned (probably because it was being video recorded).  Judge Millie Judge, looked pretty uncomfortable but did not act.  Juror #8 seems to have blended into the background to “jury pool” another day.

The past week of dealing with Ms. Yahyavi’s little junior high “pranks” suddenly took shape.

Earlier in the trial, I was one of two reporters standing in the hallway anxious to interview Ms. Stalvik during lunch a few days earlier.  We all thought the jury had come out in whole but, unexpectedly, Juror #3 surprised us as we talked about going to a nearby restaurant, specifically “Pho Ha.”  Curiously when we arrived at Pho Ha, juror #3 had arrived ahead of us.

We assumed this was just a coincidence at the time.  As a result, we were careful to not to talk shop while she was there or to accidentally engage Juror #3 in any manner so as not to disturb the sanctity of the juror.  In fact, no one engaged in any communication regarding the trial during lunch making it difficult to get a substantiate interview with her.

But what if it were the reverse?  What if juror #3 was actually there to eavesdrop on us?

Throughout the trial, Yahyavi, from the beginning, seemed arrogant and overconfident.  It was as if she knew something no one else did – she was smiling and doing inappropriate things.

Now there appeared to be an explanation for it.  It wasn’t Angelman Syndrome at all.  It was clear that no matter what kind of defense was put up, Yahyavi knew “the fix’ was in – she would prevail.  She was at least angling for a mistrial so she could try Ms. Shalvik a third time.

That day, March 3rd, when the jury skewed their verdict, the court sent them back to deliberate further,  It was close to 4:30 and they did not have time to come to consensus.  When the court reconvened to adjourn for the day on the record, Ms. Yahyavi “declined” to attend.

Since no verdict was attained on March 3rd, it forced everyone, including the (happily married with 5 kids and a spattering of grandkids) defendant Ms. Shalvik, to endure the experience a jury verdict a second time all over again.

A public records request was immediately made for any data from Ms. Yahyavi’s communication devices – on which  she had been texting prolifically on during the entire trial.

The email read receipt for this PDR was noted early the next day (March 4th ) and the five day response was at 9:28AM, while the jury was still out.

An exchange ensued where the Public Information Officer was able to immediately confirm that Ms. Yahyavi did not have a “work issued cell phone”  which curiously was not what was asked for.  What was asked for was all data from all her communication devices and methods.  This Snohomish County reply was at 11:52AM.

At about 12:14PM the jury apparently came to a verdict a second time.

At 12:33AM a clarifying reply was made to the public information officer that the PDR did not specify the type of device and under O’Neal Vs. the City of Shoreline and Nisson Vs. Lindquist, the requestor has a right to view all of the data on any device.

At the courtroom at about 1:10PM, prior to the jury being present, Deputy Prosecutor Yahyavi walked in again with a teeth bearing smile.  This was concerning given what has been consistently observed throughout the trial while the most likely outcome was that there would be a 100% not guilty verdict for acquittal.

And that is exactly what the jury did.  The jury acquitted.  So why the teeth bearing smile “tell?”

Was this last smile a last effort to torture the wrongfully accused one last time?  What did she know that we didn’t?  Ms. Shavlik was fully acquitted.  So what was it?  It was a mystery.

The next morning we got the answer.

It appears that Ms. Yahyavi had already written her last ditch biased “hit piece” – a Snohomish County press release that was picked up by the Everett Herald Saturday March 5, 2016.

The Everett Herald:

1)      Stated Shavlik was in financial trouble then produced no documentation to prove it only hearsay “witnesses.”  (Defamed Shavlik.)

2)      Stated Shavlik owed back rent and failed to mention that she was in a dispute with the building owner who had capriciously raised the rent $1,200 a month with no notice and that it was settled for a small amount of money.  (Withholding evidence – More defaming).

3)      Forgot to mention that the Snohomish County Detective David Fontenot was a Brady Cop, which Prosecutor Yahyavi failed to disclose, then when exposed, Yahyavi motioned the court to exclude – asking the court to break the law, well-established Brady obligations of prosecutors.

4)      Failed to mention that the “employee” Rebecca Bradshaw was an informant in a case that Brady Cop Fontenot owned regarding a large federal drug prosecution on the “Black-ice (heron) cartel.”

5)      Failed to mention that Rebecca Bradshaw had a compromised drug addict brother who was up on numerous charges but has yet to be prosecuted.

6)      Failed to mention that Fontenot was allowed to sit in the court room handling all the prosecution’s exhibits, then testify in opposition to well-established rules that any witnesses are to be excluded until after they testify.

7)      Failed to include that Fontenot, true to form, lied on the stand stating Ms. Shavlik had insurance when he was in possession of email from her insurance company stating her insurance was not in force at the time.

8)      Used the word “torch” (for less than a $100 worth of damage – hardly meeting the definition of “torching.”)

9)      Stated there was a smoldering fire when the prosecutor failed to establish that the small amount of white smoke localized in the laundry area was even still alive when the fire department got there.

10)   Stated  a can of Goof Off, sponges and dryer lint were found in the wall by the dryer vent when the original fire photos had no sign of these items and one of the firemen – withheld by the prosecution as a witness – had stated these items fell out of the dryer venting in the first trial.

11)   Failed to mention that the cause of the smoke was undetermined by qualified experts because there wasn’t enough evidence to make a determination although the experts were compelled to look at the electrical junction box since it was blackened on one side – the blackened side that the prosecutor withheld from the jury..

12)   Mentions that when the jurors attempted to find Ms. Shavlik not guilty there were two dissenting votes.  When the court allowed them to have more time as if it meant the prosecution got hosed by the court.

Ms. Shavlik was acquitted.  If the Herald had shown up and done their job instead of regurgitating what the sour grapes Prosecutor sent them, they would have known all this.

Even without a PDR, it is only because a camera and two investigative reporters attended the entire trial and have it on video that we know the Everett Herald did not attend even a moment of the trial.  Thus there could only be one way the Everett Herald would have the information they wrote in their “hit piece” piece.

Of note correctly Ms. Shavlik was acquitted. Thus there would be no reason to review any transcripts from the trial in preparation for the Court of Appeals.  Once independent cameras showed up to document the entire trial, this was the only outcome Snohomish County could have without exposing the records tampering.  It was now a level playing field.

Clearly Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe was very interested in this trial.  He was present nearly every day and sat in for many long periods of time.  He appeared to be having a meeting in the men’s room with Fontenot earlier in the trial.

The morning of Wednesday March 2nd, I nearly ran into him head on coming out of the elevator as Roe was hurriedly going in.  There was no activity on the floor at the time except Judge Millie Judge’s chambers.

This was the day defense counsel John Cowley suddenly was uncharacteristically on fire during his close and Ms. Yahyavi seemed confused as to why she was losing her case.  (Apparently she didn’t get the memo).

If we didn’t have the Public Records Act;

1.       The photos used as evidence with the “scrubbed” metadata would not have been discovered.

2.       The inconsistencies between facts and fiction would not have been revealed.

3.       The history of the Brady Cop Fontenot would not have been uncovered.

4.       The nefarious drug history of the other suspect Rebecca Bradshaw as an informant to Brady Cop Fontenot and his “Black ice” cartel case would not have been exposed.

5.       Confirming whether or not the Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor was jury tampering, would not be possible.

And that is why we love the Public Records Act.

Christy Diemond,Exec. Producer