WHY DO WE HAVE "REASONABLE DOUBT"?
This new investigation finds many weak points in the process
of finding Patrick Swiney guilty of Murder 1. It is fair to say though,
that there are indications that the case should be treated as a "Crime
of Passion", which carries with it much lesser sentence than the one given
to Patrick Swiney.
EVALUATION OF SWINEY CASE
by Dr. Boris DeKorczak, Ph.D - Private Investigator - 1997 - written before
the exculpatory forensic reports were found
Allegations that the State had suppressed exculpatory evidence
The testimony of the State Medical Examiner regarding non-performance
of autopsy examination – find reasoning behind it.
Time of death of the victims. -?
Any other suspects?
Inefficiency of defense and lack of Motion for Discovery.
Lack of medical examination of Patrick immediately after
Psychiatric evaluation of Patrick. ?
Mike Campbell and his relationship with victims – reinvestigate.
His arrest records?
Ronnie Pate. – Investigate his records, drug connections
Patrick’s Police reports and/or eventual drug ring investigation
reports. Internal Affairs reports?
Lab tests of projectiles v. lab test of the 22 barrel.
Evidence of Betty and Ronnie Pate involvement in sexual intercourse.
Vaginal swabs, DNA, etc. Any lab tests? If yes – what were the results.
Was there a paraffin test done on Patrick hands after the
Gun powder residue test of Patrick’s clothing?
Forensic tests of the window glass holes; Entry or exit?
Blood spatters.-? Forensic lab discoveries?
Shoddy police Investigative Team’s work at the CS. – Is it
the usual procedure?
SYNOPSIS OF THE CASE OF PATRICK SWINEY, CASE #92-0724
Patrick Swiney was a police officer in the State of Alabama
for 13 years. From 1965 to 1969, he was with the Huntsville Police Department.
From 1969 to 1973, he was with the Vestavia P.D. From 1973 to 1977 he was
with the Gulf Shores P.D. From 1977 to 1980 he worked as a legal investigator
for Bell, Johnson, & Hill, Attorneys at Law in Pelham, Alabama. His
supervisor was Richard W. Bell, Attorney. From 1980 to 1986 he worked as
an over-the-road driver for various transportation companies, and was home-based
in Shelby County. His academic accomplishments are as follows:
Associates of Arts Degree, Jefferson Davis College, Brewton, Alabama, 1993
Truck driver training, University of Montevallo, 1982
University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama (Criminal Justice/Psychology)
Huntsville Police Academy, 1976
Associate Instructor, Huntsville Police Academy, 1968
Alabama State Police Academy, 1967
Specialized Education Programs:
Private Pilot - single engine land (147 hours logged - approximately 225
Photo-Electric Intoximeter School, Alabama Department of Health Permit
Certified Forensic Photography, University of Alabama, 1978
Electricity/Basic Electronics, Technical Training Center, 1969
Alabama Civil Defense, Medical Self-Help Training Center, 1967
Advanced First-Aid, American Red Cross First-Aid Training Center, 1967
In 1977, Patrick turned in his badge. He was given a choice
to stay and join in on the under-the-table payoffs or leave, so he left.
While Patrick was serving at the Gulf Shores P.D., there many threats made
against his life. The most serious was the threat to kill his 3 year-old
daughter who was living with her mother 250 miles away. This threat was
taken seriously because the three men who threatened to kill his daughter
informed Patrick that they knew the color of her house, how many people
lived in that house, the telephone number and other details to convince
Patrick that they meant what they were saying. Patrick attempted to confront
these three men, but they slipped out of town that night in the trunk of
Before he left the Gulf Shores Police Department, Patrick gathered the
original evidence that caused the Federal Court to convict the Baldwin
County D.A. and the Chief Investigator with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s
Office for their corruption. At the same time, Patrick was involved in
a drug ring investigation, where 47,000 pounds of drugs were uncovered,
and he was on the verge of uncovering a link between the drug ring and
the officials in Baldwin County whom he suspected of laundering money and
During this investigation, there was an assassination attempt on Patrick’s
life. Three men attacked Patrick and cut his face up pretty badly. Photographs
are available. Patrick’s family doctor put in several hundred stitches
and today there are no noticeable scars. Only one of the three men who
attacked Patrick was charged with simple assault and fined. The Baldwin
County Judge in the case lowered the charge from first degree assault with
intent to murder without consulting Patrick, or the Gulf Shores Police
Department, where the assassination attempt took place. The other two men
were never charged. This is all a matter of record in Baldwin County.
In 1987 Patrick, age 43, married Betty Snow, age 38. Betty Snow’s family
is well-heeled and very influential in Alabama. Influential enough to get
the State to put in an Interstate off-ramp to their business when there
weren’t any other businesses around for miles. Betty Snow was very close
with the Shelby County D.A., Mike Campbell, who went to high school with
Patrick and who was a friend of the Baldwin County D.A., who was arrested
We have since determined that Mike Campbell and Betty Snow were having
an affair while she and Patrick were married. Betty Snow was also still
romantically connected to her ex-husband, Ronnie Pate, when she married
Patrick Swiney, but Patrick was unaware of this at the time. Had he been
aware of this, they would not have gotten married. Patrick and Ronnie Pate
never met and never spoke to each other.
One night, after a bad argument, Patrick voluntarily left their house
to avoid further conflicts. He loaded his belongings in his truck and drove
to his mother’s house, feeling worn out because of the arguing, a result
of him trying his best to help his wife with her excessive drinking problem.
The next day he returned to their house to collect his telephone and answering
machine and his .22 rifle. That night he remembered his dog, Crybaby, had
been left outside and he decided to go check on her. According to Patrick’s
mother, he got all "gussied" up, thinking he’d go make up with his wife
and give it another try, for she had begged him not to leave the night
When he arrived, he looked in the window to see if she was home and
he saw his wife and a man who turned out to be her ex-husband in adulterous
acts. That was when he blacked out [see newspaper article quoting him as
saying it felt as though he’d been hit on the back of the head with a baseball
bat]. When he more or less came to, he saw his wife and ex-husband lying
on the floor, having been shot. He also saw himself sitting there with
a .22 rifle lying across the palms of his hands (almost as though it had
been put there). This was the .22 that happened to be in his truck at the
time, along with the telephone and answering machine he’d picked up earlier
that day. And, even though it made no sense to him at all, he assumed,
"Oh my God, I must have shot them!"
His immediate reaction was to try to get medical help for them. He rushed
to his sister’s house and told his sister and mother they had better call
the paramedics because he thought he might have shot them, but in all truth,
he had no memory at all of what happened (and to this day, still doesn’t).
His mother told me he was as white as a ghost when he walked in to tell
them what had apparently happened, and that he was so shaken up that he
was in no shape to take care of the phone calls to get help for his wife
and Ronnie Pate.
Patrick Swiney, has received a conviction of capital murder with a sentence
of life without the possibility of parole. He is currently serving time
at Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama.. The charge of capital murder convicts
him of premeditated and conscious murder. case at all
Writ of Habeas Corpus submitted 28 March 1997 is now in the Federal
courts, and he is awaiting a response from them. Patrick Swiney has already
served 8 years .
It is now the year 1997. Patrick Swiney is now a 52-year man who is
still being held in prison on a capital murder charge after 8 years of
trying to get a fair trial. His sentence is life without the possibility
of parole. The District Attorney’s name is J. Michael Campbell of Shelby
Campbell is no longer in office. Patrick’s Community campaigned together
and voted him out after the trial. The current District Attorney was the
Assistant D.A. during Patrick’s trial. His name is Robbie Owens. D.A. Owens
told Patrick’s mother, sister and others after the trial, "that Patrick
really got a raw deal." Today, we are calling on D.A. Owens to come forth
with the truth about the "wrong" that occurred.
there was not one scintilla of evidence presented against Patrick Swiney,
the State Medical Examiner testified that basic autopsy examinations were
not performed at the request of D.A. Mike Campbell.
evidence that would have freed Patrick was purposely destroyed forever,
the scene of the tragedy was not secured, but abandoned,
evidence found at the scene was offered to the court as evidence but never
evidence that was presented revealed that what happened at the scene could
not be determined,
Mike Campbell continually asked the jury for the death penalty knowing
that the required statutory aggravating circumstances were never present,
the defense attorney, Richard (Dick) Bell, testified that his only reason
for his errors and omissions was to merely save Patrick from the death
penalty when he also knew the required elements were never there,
no Motion for Discovery was ever filed,
no Motion for Suppression of statements made and evidence to be used at
trial was ever filed,
the State rested its case, having not proven its case, and Dick Bell did
not make a motion for the jury to submit a written verdict of not guilty,
Judge Rochester told the jury that it was more likely that Patrick committed
the crime than that Patrick did not the commit the crime,
that Mike Campbell perjured himself before the Judge,
that Dick Bell was a witness to this perjury,
that Mike Campbell insisted to serve Patrick with an unrelated small claims
suit in front of the jury for the purpose of further swaying the jury against
that the jury was not impartial going in,
that Mike Campbell knowingly lied to the press and to the jury,
that Mike Campbell counseled the victim’s family to plead to the jury not
to hand down a death penalty, when Campbell knew a death penalty was impossible,
that Judge Rochester told Mike Campbell, Dick Bell, and another attorney
in chambers that all they had, at the maximum, was a manslaughter case
that the State never proved its case against Patrick,
that the jury did not take part in the penalty phase of the trial,
and that Patrick, was presumed guilty until proven innocent.
Patrick has never claimed innocence. He claims he just doesn’t
know what happened because he blacked out and didn’t witness the events
that took place. He placed himself at the scene of the tragedy but he was
there because he lived there. The argument with his wife the night before
did not constitute imminent threat of divorce [see Mike Campbell’s statement
to the contrary]. Up until the time he saw his wife with another man, Patrick
had not questioned his wife’s fidelity. They had rocky times in their marriage
because of her drinking problem, but there is no evidence of any sort of
abuse at any time.
Both Mickey Johnson (a member of Patrick’s family who is also an attorney
and who was initially planning to help defend Patrick) and Dick Bell told
Patrick that in chambers during a pre-trial conference, Judge Rochester
said to Mickey Johnson, Dick Bell and Mike Campbell, "Why can’t you reach
some type of plea agreement, the most you have on the man is two manslaughters,
and that’s max."
The defense attorney, Dick Bell, claimed that Patrick’s actions
were a result of "heat of passion", but at no time was an expert witness
called to verify how "heat of passion" works. This would have substantiated
that in cases of heat of passion, "IF" Patrick was responsible for the
deaths, then the charge should have been lessened to fit the offense of
accidental homicide. In cases of "heat of passion", manslaughter is the
possible maximum charge, and more often than not, there is little
or no prison sentence because the person suffering from the heat of passion
syndrome is not a criminal, but a victim who suddenly snaps when unexpectedly
confronted with a first-hand view of his or her spouse committing adultery.
[ref: Bureau of Justice Statistics report dated Sept., 1995]
The Bail Bond:
D.A. Campbell, on the other hand (even after hearing the judge’s
words at the pre-trial conference), insisted that Patrick stalked his wife
that night because he planned to murder her. Patrick, being a police officer,
is a marksman shot and knowledgeable of weapons. Had this been premeditated,
he would not have used a .22 (the weapon that was assumed, though not proven,
to have caused the deaths) but a weapon that would have been sure to accomplish
their demise without question. Had this been premeditated, Patrick would
not have tried to get medical help for the victims and stuck around to
see what he could do to help. Had this been premeditated, Patrick would
not have placed himself at the scene of the tragedy. Had this been premeditated,
Patrick would have left town, after covering his tracks, just like any
criminal would, except that Patrick is not a criminal, but an honest and
To prove his point, Campbell tried to show that Patrick had murderous
tendencies because a witness of the D.A.’s said he saw Patrick shoot a
crow with a pellet gun while Patrick and his wife lived together. This
witness also established that Patrick was keeping crows out of Patrick’s
garden. But in truth, Patrick was keeping the crows from eating
the seeds he’d put out for his tiny blue birds which were becoming extremely
rare in Alabama.
To further prove his point, Campbell called Betty Snow’s influential
family to the stand and they said that they heard Ronnie Pate tell them
that Patrick threatened to kill him, except that Patrick and Ronnie Pate
had never met, never spoken to each other, and Patrick did not even know
his wife was still involved with him. And unfortunately, Ronnie Pate was
no longer alive to substantiate what the Snows said they heard him say.
Still, the defense attorney did not object to this hearsay. This strategy
[as Bell testified later] was to keep Patrick from the receiving the death
penalty, except that Bell had already heard the judge’s words in the pre-trial
conference and had already told the jury that Patrick’s actions were a
result of heat of passion.
In addition, Campbell told the jury that Patrick and Betty Snow were
getting a divorce and that she thought it had been a mistake to marry him
in the first place. Except that she was no longer alive to verify this
statement either. And still, the defense attorney did not object to this
Since there is no possible way to defend oneself against hearsay, and
since the defense attorney was not making any objections to the hearsay,
Patrick had no choice but to testify. He testified that he blacked out
and had no recollection of what happened. He said, "It was like someone
had hit me in the back of the head with a baseball bat." He does not and
has never had a drug problem, and he was not drunk that night. In other
words, the black out was not caused by drugs or alcohol. It could have
been caused by shock or it could have been caused by a blow to the back
of the head with something that felt like a baseball bat.
When he was charged, Patrick’s community banned together to
raise bail in the amount of $150,000. When Mike Campbell saw this, he went
to the court to get the bond raised to $500,000 and within one day, the
community of property owners put their life savings and properties on the
line to raise that bond for Patrick. This action alone attests to Patrick’s
decent and ethical character. The community trusted him and knew he was
not guilty of murder. They still feel this way about him after all these
years. Their signatures are on file.
The Habeas Corpus Hearing:
The reason the court raised the bond was because D.A. Campbell, told
the court that Patrick Swiney was a transient. His defense attorney, Dick
Bell, was there to hear this and he laughed (as though it were a supreme
joke) as he reported this to Patrick, knowing that Patrick and the D.A.
had gone to high school together and that Patrick grew up in Shelby County.
This was outright and intentional perjury on the part of Mike Campbell.
The State Medical Examiner testified that he deviated from his normal
procedures because Mike Campbell had specifically requested that
he not perform certain standard autopsy examinations. The State Medical
Examiner testified that this request was highly unusual, yet he went along
with Campbell’s request, knowing that this was against the standard ethics
of protocol which are designed to ensure impartiality.
The court not only let the intentional destruction of this evidence
slide, it did not immediately direct a verdict of not guilty, as it should
The examination did not include a vaginal swab which would have proven
adultery. Did D.A. Campbell want to prevent the court from finding out
The scene of the tragedy was not secured, it was abandoned. Evidence
of an alleged crime scene must be in someone’s care from the "secured"
alleged crime scene to the court room. Everyone knows that without the
scene being secured, anyone could remove or plant evidence.
In court, Mike Campbell said, with conviction as though fact, that the
fatal shots came from outside and went through the window. But the window
in question was not removed until late the next afternoon. The scene had
been abandoned, and only later did they go back to the scene of the tragedy
to collect the window. Obviously, this is a blatant break in the chain
of evidence, because anything could have been done to that window while
no body was there to insure that everything remained the same.
After the Habeas Corpus Hearing, D.A. Mike Campbell, made the
statement to Patrick’s mother, sister and others that, "At no time was
Patrick in danger of the death penalty. The required elements were never
Mike Campbell told the jury that, "The defendant was on the hunt that
night. He was wounded. His pride was hurt. What was left was hatred and
jealousy of the ugliest kind. And he murdered her." He told the newspapers
and the court that, "Mrs. Swiney had been married to Ronnie Pate five years.
She married Swiney on the rebound and had been with him five months before
asking him to leave two nights before the shooting. The marriage never
got off the rocks. She rejected him. She hurt his ego. It was a cold, white-hot
heat of jealous rage, not heat of passion," This was said with such passion
that you’d have thought these were the raw feelings going on inside Campbell
himself when he learned of the affair Betty Snow was having with
Mike Campbell told the jury that Patrick had planned to kill his wife
and Pate. That he and his wife were in the process of getting a divorce
and that Patrick had become extremely jealous because he knew she was going
to return to Pate.
During this process, the jury asked the court two important questions:
(1) what is heat of passion, and (2) what is reasonable doubt. Judge Rochester
told them while explaining reasonable doubt, that is was more likely that
Patrick committed the crime [of capital murder] than it was that he did
not commit the crime.
This investigator finds more then "reasonable doubt in guilt of Patrick
Swiney. The question if a crime of passion or murder has been committed
puts the sentencing in deep doubt. Lack of psychiatric opinion about the
state of mind of Patrick Swiney makes this charade look even more like
Inquisition court than American Justice. Investigation goes on.