Defending Roy Moore
While eating lunch in Oneonta yesterday, I read this Gadsden Times Article:
Already charged with capital murder in the death of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son, Kevin Andre Towles also was charged Wednesday with possession of crack cocaine. . . .
This is not Towles’ first brush with the law. He is a convicted felon but has not served time in state prison. He was charged in 1996 with possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of marijuana, according to records at the Etowah County Circuit Clerk’s office.
An agreement was reached between the district attorney’s office and Towles’ attorney for Towles to plead guilty, and he was given probation. Former Etowah County Circuit Court Judge Roy Moore signed the agreement.
Towles was placed on probation for four years for the charges and was given credit for the time served in the county jail.
Towles was charged in 1998 with robbery. He left the state and then sent a letter to Moore, who was not the judge assigned to the robbery case.
The judge who did handle the robbery case accepted a plea agreement and sentenced Towles to probation on the robbery charges. In today’s Huntsville Times, Moore rightfully complains:
Roy Moore, the ousted state chief justice, doesn’t like his name being linked with accused child killer Kevin Andre Towles.
Instead of questioning Moore why he gave Towles probation on 1996 charges of cocaine and marijuana possession, the former Etowah County circuit judge said Thursday that the media should ask why more recent judges didn’t send the 31-year-old Towles to prison when they had the chance.
The reason Moore did not send the guy to jail is the same reason the other judge did not send the guy to jail: Judges can’t see the future. The only case Moore handled involved nothing but simple possession of drugs; not even distribution, just possession. Probably ninety nine times out of a hundred those cases end up as probation, if that. And that is almost always the right result. No one could possibly predict from a possession charge that the defendant is really a cold-blooded killer. Sure, that’s what happened here, but no-one could have foreseen this at the time Moore agreed to the probation.
Now, probation for a robbery charge is a bit different, because robbery involves violence. Even so, there is no conceivable fault by Roy Moore: He was not involved with the case. Nor should anyone slam the other judge. The DA first had to recommend probation, and would have done so after considering the strength of the case and the chances of Towles committing other crimes. Then the judge would have looked at all the same things and accepted the plea. These guys were there, privy to all the facts, and made their decision in light of those facts. The DA and the judge agreed that under all the circumstances at the time probation was appropriate. To criticise them now, based on events since the probation agreement and without knowing all the circumstances of the probation agreement, is the ultimate Monday morning quarterback job.
Besides, even if Moore or the other judge had put Towles in prison, that would not have prevented this murder. His priors occurred almost ten years ago. He would have been out of jail by now anyway.
Neither judge did anything wrong, or even questionable, in Towles’s cases. Their “involvement” is a non-issue.