Appeals in the Sharon Nugent case

Back in 2008, Sharon Nugent‘s boyfriend, James Guilford, was found guilty of murdering her and throwing her body in a dumpster in Syracuse, New York; it was never found. I just found this six-month-old article about him appealing his conviction, based on the fact that the police interrogated him for 49 and a half hours straight.

During this time he got no sleep at all, and wasn’t permitted to leave the ten-by-ten room except to go to the bathroom. For food he got one sandwich 20 hours in. He made incriminating statements but didn’t actually confess to murder. Then after 49 and a half hours he finally asked for a lawyer, and he got an eight-hour break from interrogation, after which time he confessed. Apparently there’s no evidence that he got any sleep during the break, though I can’t imagine what else he would have done.

The appeals court has upheld the confession and his conviction, but by a narrow margin: three to two. All of them thought the 49 and a half hour marathon of questioning was unconstitutional and threw out all the statements he made during that time. Only three of the five judges thought the eight-hour break afterwards was sufficient for him to get his brain back in gear enough that his confession was free and voluntary. The article notes that Mr. Guilford will probably take his case to a higher court of appeals and he just might win.

Now, I don’t have any sympathy for the man, because he was clearly guilty. He went running off to Georgia the same day he reported Sharon missing (thereby attracting law enforcement’s suspicion), taking a hammer with him. They found her blood spattered all over the walls and ceiling of Sharon’s apartment, as well as a blood-soaked mattress, and when they found Guilford’s hammer it had Sharon’s blood on it too. Guilford probably would have been convicted of killing Sharon Nugent even if he hadn’t confessed.

But 49 1/2 hours seems quite excessive. I think in a situation like that, under so much stress and with practically nothing to eat (and I’m hypoglycemic) and no sleep at all, you might be able to get me to confess to being the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

Stumbling and other stuff I’m doing

I’ve decided to get rid of Charley’s links section. It’s ludicrously out of date; I haven’t updated it in like three years. Frankly, I don’t have the energy or the inclination to overhaul it and then keep it up-to-date henceforth. I figure people who want to see other missing persons sites can get links from the source info at the bottom of all my casefiles.

And speaking of casefiles, I have decided to add mine to StumbleUpon. For the uninitiated, StumbleUpon is this really cool thingy where you tell it what your interests are, and add their toolbar to your browser, and if you click on the button that says “stumble” it will send you to some random site that matches your interests. If you like the site, you press the thumbs-up button; if not, you press the thumbs-down button. That way the program gets to know your tastes better and can refer you to more sites you like. I’ve found some awesome places this way.

To add a new URL to StumbleUpon’s database, you just go to that site, press the thumbs-up button, and then it will show you a page where you can pick out from a list of topics what the site is about, and you select something and presto, other Stumblers interested in that topic might get sent to that site if they press the stumble button. (To “like” a page you’ve just added, you have to press the thumbs-up button a second time.)

I added the Charley Project frontpage to StumbleUpon ages ago, back when I first joined, but it didn’t occur to me till now to start adding individual casefile. I’m picking them pretty much off the top of my head, listing the topic as “crime” of course. I’m focusing on the casefiles that have a lot of information, not the “few details are available” ones, because I think other stumblers will be more likely to press the thumbs-up button on those. So far I’ve added:

Pegye Bechler
Cindy Fawcett
Adam Herrman
Peter Kema
Sky Metalwala
Beverly Potts
Benjamin Roseland
Jean Spangler
Marjorie West
Brittany Williams
Rilya Wilson

But one member can only add so many URLs from the same site at a time, because after so many additions (not sure how many; I got away with eleven as you can see but that seems like an strange limit) StumbleUpon won’t accept any more by you from that site for another day or so. Once you reached the limit, when you try to add another case it’ll say “failure to add URL” even though the URL is plainly there. Shrug. I suppose it’s to prevent spam. I’ll have to wait awhile before I can add any more.

So, if you want to help me out, dear readers, anyone who’s a member of StumbleUpon can help me by adding Charley cases of their own choosing.