I am Patrick Swiney's elder sister. As of this writing, Patrick is 55 years old. I am retired and living on disability. I try to carry our mother to visit him in prison every couple of months if possible. Each year it becomes more and more difficult to make the long drive to Atmore. I live in Alabaster, Alabama, in the house where my brother was born. He never was a transient, so when Mike Campbell told the judge Patrick was a transient, to raise the bond, it was a lie.
I know many of the people who were involved in my brother's trial. I recently saw the hand-written police report by Lt. Stanley Oliver and was shocked at what I read. Stanley Oliver is my nephew [my deceased husband's nephew]. Stanley has done a lot of good things for me and my family. For the life of me, I don't understand why he lied about what I told him on the night of the shootings. I never saw his report until just a few months ago. I was unable to set that record straight during the trial because, though I was subpoenaed, I was never called to testify. I never told Stanley Oliver or any other police officer that my brother told me he "did it." Yet the police reports say this is what I told them [see attached]. There are other anomalies in the police reports but I never knew about them until just recently. As sad as it was that night, especially for my brother, I think the police could have done a better job at reporting things accurately. For one thing, our mother and I are not the only ones who saw Patrick's condition when he first told us of the shooting. My brother was in a state of shock. Our friend, Jerry Mead was at my house when Patrick arrived to have me call 911. Jerry also went to the crime scene with us, but Jerry's name isn't mentioned in any of the police reports I saw. I don't know why Jerry was never interviewed or deposed. He was never called to testify in the trial either. I don't understand this because Jerry could have told the jury how stunned and "out of it" my brother was, like maybe he was hit over the head to make him unconscious. I guess we'll never know for sure, but I do know one thing my brother does not lie. Anyone will tell you that Patrick Swiney will tell the truth even if it means he'll get into trouble for it.
I know what it feels like to be a victim of violent
crime. My husband was murdered by two black men in Birmingham, Alabama.
But even as a victim, I only wanted the guilty people to be punished. I
would hope that if Nell Snow knew the whole truth she would also seek freedom
for my brother. But with Mike Campbell being so close to the Snow family,
and with him in a position to manipulate the law like he has, I seriously
doubt Nell will ever really know what happened to her daughter. My brother
was the only suspect. Therefore, everyone assumed he did the shooting.
We all thought this even before the trial ever started - everyone the family,
jury and newspapers just figured he did this. And, to make matters worse,
Patrick didn't know because he was unconscious, so he couldn't say for
sure. For that reason, he was willing to take responsibility.
My cousin, Mickey Johnson who is an attorney, told my mother and I how he was in the judge's chambers when the judge said the most they had was manslaughter. Mickey was going to represent Patrick at the trial but changed his mind at the last minute because he was worried that his own personal reputation might hurt Patrick. Mickey is also first cousin to Mike Campbell, the D.A. After Mickey changed his mind, our mother hired Dick Bell because she thought Dick and Patrick were friends, since they had worked together for two years. Patrick didn't know anything about the decision to hire Dick Bell until after all the fees had been paid, and my mother didn't know that Dick Bell was primarily a divorce attorney.
One thing I do know. Patrick didn't hunt them down like Mike Campbell said he did, and Patrick tried his best to get help as soon as he saw them shot. I know, because I was there when he asked for help. He was so shaken up over the shootings, he was white as a ghost, so much so that I swear, if someone had cut him with a knife that night, I bet he would not have even bled. He was in a daze and he stayed that way for a long while after he was arrested and before he was bonded out. Everyone ignored him when he said he'd been hit over the head with a baseball bat. I'll never understand why the police didn't send him to the hospital for examination to make sure he was all right.
If my brother shot Betty and Ronnie Pate, then it wasn't on purpose. And I think he has served more punishment already than was fair. But I have recently seen the State's forensic reports that say he wasn't the one who did the shooting, plus the police reports that are not accurate, so now I'm wondering what is going on. I'm told that the forensic reports were never shown during the trial [I don't know because I was not allowed to hear anything that went on at trial because of being subpoenaed]. But if these forensic reports were never shown to the jury, then this was far from a fair trial and it makes me think further that Mike Campbell had a lot to hide that I had not considered before because I didn't know about these things before. It also makes me feel certain that I was never called to testify just to keep me quiet.
Based on all of this, I ask you to do whatever is necessary to free my brother from prison once and for all. Free him without prejudice so he may not be called to trial again. After all he's gone through, he and our family deserve some peace for a change. We've all been in hell for 11 years for something my brother didn't do. Where's the justice in that?
P.O. Box 156
Alabaster, AL 35007