This is not an event! It is an unfolding tragedy.

Life deals us all some pretty tough cards. On October the 15th, Amber Marie Cole lost her son Eric Summerfield as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest. The suspect, one Tristan Carr is another 18 year old, who graduated along with Eric from Forsyth High this past year. Both were friends according to many people I spoke with.

Both families are decimated as you might guess. None more so than the mother of Eric, as I witnessed her pain and grief at the courthouse in Forsyth on October the 25th where she came face to face with the alleged killer of her son.

Please get something straight from the get go. I was not a really great friend of either Ms, Cole or her son. But, nor was I a stranger. I knew Amber for some many years and we liked and respected each other. Eric came to swim in my pool along with Bandy NGO and her kids only just a year ago. Eric was young, he was full of youth and was great with her kids. (I wish now that I could have known this young man better). Time, however, does not allow for second chances it seems…

I’m posting on my Facebook account for one reason only. And, that is to ask for a few of you to show up at the next court appearance of Tristan Carr, currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, in a show of support for Eric’s mom, Amber. The hearing is scheduled for 9AM at the Judicial Building at 266 Main Street in Forsyth MO.

I posted this, on my own, without anyone asking permission to do so. Living is full of a few wonderful times, interspersed with sadness. But, it is the coming together of a community that weaves a healing fabric, and which allows us to move forward.

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First hearing for teen charged in murder of a friend.

court-building1Forsyth MO. – It was the morning of October 25, 2016 and I got myself dressed early, so that I might attend a hearing set for Tristan Carr, set for 9AM at the Court House located at 266 Main Street in the Division 1 Associate courtroom, with Judge Tony William presiding. I went to the trouble of going there not knowing if I would even be allowed in, but made the effort anyway, as I knew the deceased Eric Summerfield and what an impact his death had been on those close to him. That morning dawned sunny, seasonally cool and with almost no wind. (A definite counterpoint to what was an otherwise very solemn day). For Tristan Carr was about to hear what sort of case the State had against him concerning the death of Mr. Summerfield, and whether Judge Williams felt there was enough evidence presented by the prosecution to carry it forward to a trail.

Some of the possible outcomes of a criminal trail are; involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter or murder in either the first or second degree (in my opinion). The differences being that voluntary manslaughter requires an intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm while involuntary manslaughter does not. [Note that premeditation or deliberation before the fact, however, are elements of a murder charge and not one of manslaughter]. Note also that any and all charges were subject to a preliminary finding that Mr. Carr was mentally fit to even stand trail in the first place.

Prior to the hearing on this date, the charges brought against Mr. Carr at his arraignment on October 17, were murder in the 1st degree and armed criminal action. Both of which, pointed to the serious nature of the evidence the State felt it had against him. [Note that in Missouri, murder in the second degree is a Class A felony punishable by 10-30 years or life in prison, whereas murder in the first degree is punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole].

I arrived at the courthouse at about 8:50 AM along with a friend named Lisa. We entered into the admitting area where we were told by an officer named Jimmy to remove all items from our pockets, including our belts! An elevator then took us up a floor to the courtroom where we encountered Eric’s mom, Amber Cole who was with friends and who appeared distraught. She had been through a lot over the past week and it showed clearly.

Shortly after 9AM, we were allowed into the courtroom where we were informed that there would be a two hour delay in bringing Tristan to stand before the Judge. At that point we all left to go get coffee, and in my case, some food. While eating I elected not to return to the courthouse, oping instead for my friend to go back and to take notes.

Apparently when everyone returned to the courtroom, Tristan had already been brought in and was seated. He made eye contact with the mother of the deceased, broke into tears and said he was sorry. At that point, I was told that the mother also lost it and began crying.

Two motions were made, once for a continuance to the following week and for a reduction in bond. The continence was accepted while the bond reduction was denied according to my understanding.

According to the docket entries, there was a motion for a change of judge filed by Mr. Carr’s public defender and a continuance to Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 9AM in the same courtroom with Judge Tony Williams presiding.

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Thoreau understood ‘Civil Disobedience’ to a tee!

henry_david_thoreauIn 1849, Henry David Thoreau wrote a paper titled ‘Resistance to Civil Goverment‘. And, while they may have spelled the word ‘government’ differently back in those days, never have such words had such timely import! Today we refer to the intent of his essay as ‘Civil Disobedience’.

Thoreau begins his paper with, ‘I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe—”That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.’ [I supplied the bold type]

Those words really struck home, for me. As a Nation, we are preparing to elect a known crook and congenital liar to the land’s highest office, in my opinion! When Hillary Rodhammer Clinton takes the pledge of office on or about January the 21st, the words she speaks that day will be meaningless other than perhaps to represent one of the final nails in the coffin containing the remains of a once great Republic.

Thoreau then goes on to state that it is never a government the propels a country to greatness, but rather the character of the masses, contained therein, that gets the job done. In his words, ‘Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way.’

I doubt that old Henry would have believed the current horrific state of this country back in 1849. In his day, the ‘structure of control on the Delaware’ was vastly less complex. The cancerous tumor, it would it would one day become, only the smallest mole on the butt of a then healthy Nation. Yet, even back in the 19th Century, Thoreau wrote, ‘All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.’

Thoreau, and the people of that time, fully understood that things could go south in a hurry. Now, 167 years later, they have…

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ObamaCare, or how many will be getting unwanted anal probes!

ndThe ACA or Affordable Healthcare Act or Obama Care just might be in trouble according to some industry experts. In 2017 almost every state will see double digit increases with some states such as Minnesota looking at increases as high as 67%! Imagine getting an increase like that in the mail!

What had been once billed as ‘affordable’, is fast becoming unattainable for many unless they are getting subsidies, in which case the taxpayers are footing the bill. Some individuals, such as myself, fully expected that this bill was always meant to fail with the government coming to the rescue with a single payer plan. The only trouble is, such a plan will dictate large tax increases for most working class individuals. So, no matter what your situation, unless you are jobless and broke, you will pay more one way or the other in 2017.

But wait! There’s more! Back in 2014, Medicare covered approximately 54 million people at an estimated cost of about $600 billion (it’s a lot more currently). And, that money comes from two trust funds that are running dry. How dry? According to the Obama administration Medicare’s main trust fund will run out by 2028 — two years earlier than had been previously estimated — and the Social Security trust fund will follow suit by 2034. So, for the medium term, we seem to be OK… but is that truly the case?

A quick look at the National Debt clock would make one wonder. See all that red? That’s not good. Nor are numbers that read in the tens of trillions of dollars. Our total unfunded liabilities are over a hundred trillion and that’s even worst as there is no way to pay!that figure off without bankrupting every man and woman in the US! So, what bodes for the future…

In a very short time, I am predicting the complete demise of the Republican Party with an ensuing death grip by the Democrats and other Far Left cronies right up until the collapse. In that time their mantra of policy will be twofold; 1) that your all powerful government will fully take over your life from cradle to grave, and 2) that it will tax the living bejesus out of everything possible, (so long as such action doesn’t hurt the elite’s personal pocketbooks). The Democrats concept of spending other people’s money will become state of the art right up until that moment when there is no money left to spend. At that very instant, those same individuals will evaporate like the fog on a warm summer morning, never to be seen again. You, Mr. and Mrs. America will be left holding a rather large bag that contains nothing…

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The tragic death of a teen!

eric-and-carrForsyth MO. – As of this post, little in the way of actual facts are known surround the death of one Eric Summerfield (above left) at a home in Forsyth Missouri on the evening of October 15, 2016.

Here’s what is factually known:

  1. Mr. Summerfield died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

  2. The police arrested one Tristan Carr at his home where the shooting took place.

  3. Mr. Carr was later charged with armed criminal action and murder in the first degree.

  4. Mr. Carr is being held on half a million dollars bond in the Taney County jail.

  5. Mr. Carr has pleaded not guilty.

  6. Mr. Carr’s next hearing is scheduled for Oct 25 at 9AM before Judge Williams.

That’s the facts as best I knew them as of October 21st.

Here’s what is not known:

  1. What was the official cause of death as determined by the coroner’s exam?

  2. What kind of firearm was used and was Mr. Carr legally in possession of it?

  3. What witnesses were present at the time of the shooting?

  4. Were words exchanged just before the shooting? If so, what was said.

  5. What was the motive behind the shooting? A woman, money, something else, or was it just a terrible accident?

These questions should come to light in the days to come, but no matter what, this was a tragic event that impacted not only Mr. Summerfield and Mr. Carr, but many others as well. Hopefully, justice will be correctly served and the circle of friends both these kids had will make such a disaster never happens to themselves or those they love.


Update: As Mr. Carr has already been arraigned and given a probable cause statement, the next order of business would be the Preliminary Hearing:

In criminal law, a hearing to determine if a person charged with a felony (a serious crime punishable by a term in the state prison) should be tried for the crime charged, based on whether there is some substantial evidence that he/she committed the crime. A preliminary hearing is held in the lowest local court (municipal or police court), but only if the prosecutor has filed the charge without asking the Grand Jury for an indictment for the alleged crime. Such a hearing must be held within a few days after arraignment (presentation in court of the charges and the defendant’s right to plead guilty or not guilty).

Since neither side wants to reveal its trial strategy, the prosecution normally presents only enough evidence and testimony to show the probability of guilt, and defendants often put on no evidence at all, unless there is a strong chance of getting the charges dismissed. If the judge finds sufficient evidence to try the defendant, the case is sent to the appropriate court (variously called superior, county, district, common pleas) for trial. If there is no such convincing evidence, the judge will dismiss the charges.

Put another way, A preliminary hearing is best described as a “trial before the trial” at which the judge decides, not whether the defendant is “guilty” or “not guilty,” but whether there is enough evidence to force the defendant to stand trial.

I may have more late breaking info on Monday, October 24…

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Gathering my post debate thoughts, I still look to Jesus!

OK, I get it. The US of A is in trouble. I won’t bother your minds with the claptrap of two political parties foci here. Instead, I want to share a video capture of years ago that features a singer in a virtual reality who made me pause. Lehman Shinn is a fictional character who streams or streamed real life in Second Life. A kind of back channel for people like me. The message is all about Jesus and what He means to me and to many of my friends. At a time when so many souls have seemingly lost themselves – perhaps they can still relate to this… Christ is and will always be the center of my Universe!

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Psychology 401! Lifehouse and Learn You Inside Out!


Please follow this rabbit hole, for it grows ever deeper….

OK, and sure. Why not – installment #2 – after all, God has my six, for now…

And so God appeared to me as in in a dream and He asked me, ‘Son, why do you suffer, pontificate and act like you are more than the sum of parts? Are you so vain?’ I answered, looking up to Him as an ant would a man. ‘Most kind Creator. I suffer the burden of all life that came before and who died to allow me this very brief moment with You’….

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