From the February 2006 Idaho Observer:
New evidence in 1983 Kahl case: Recently discovered medical records prove officer lied; was shot by another officer—not defendant
A Motion was filed January 17, 2006, in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Yorie Von Kahl with regard to U.S. v Scott Faul, Yorie Von Kahl, David Ronald Broer and Joan Kahl. The motion acknowledges that counsel for defendant Yori Von Kahl has discovered new evidence suggesting their client, who was sentenced to life in prison for injuries and deaths sustained by police officers, is innocent of those crimes.
In one of the most dramatic court cases in U.S. history, Kahl was convicted in the shooting deaths of two U.S. Marshals and the wounding of other law enforcement officers in an incident that occurred on February 13, 1983, north of Medina., North Dakota. (See: "It’s All About Power" by Former Medina Police Officers Darrell Graf and Steve Schnabel at www.mpdpower.com.) Seeking a new trial, the Motion asks that a habeas corpus petition be reviewed by the U.S. District Court in Fargo.
"Newly discovered evidence shows that key prosecution witness Bradley Kapp lied on the stand," said Barry Bachrach, Kahl’s attorney. "Medical records withheld by government prosecutor Lynn Crooks unequivocally establish that Mr. Kahl did not shoot Kapp. Kapp was not shot by ‘bullets,’ but by a ‘shot gun from 25 feet’ as evidenced by ‘small pellets.’ Mr. Kahl—none of the defendants in this case—had shotguns. Kapp was shot by a fellow law enforcement officer."
The brief submitted today alleges that prosecutor Crooks knew or should have known that Kapp’s testimony was untrue. "Crooks presented the testimony anyway, even vouched for the credibility of the witness. The prosecutor also withheld exculpatory evidence that would have shown that the witness wasn’t telling the truth."
Bachrach points to an interview conducted in 1992 with Steve Kroft on the television program, "West 57th Street" as proof of Crooks’ predisposition to achieve a conviction even if based on false or fraudulent evidence: "…Doesn’t bother my conscience one whit. I don’t agree that there’s anything wrong with that, and I can tell you, it don’t bother my conscience if we did," Crooks said.
"The government also introduced a fabricated All Points Bulletin (APB) to support its false contention that the ‘shoot-out’ wasn’t premeditated and withheld the original APB from both the defense and the jury. Why? Expressly because it supported the defendants’ claim of premeditation. The jury was deceived into believing only one APB existed," Bachrach said.
Other issues were raised in the court brief including juror misconduct. When juror Clara Voight was interviewed after the trial, she adamantly stated her belief that the defendants started shooting first. Her comments indicated, however, that this belief wasn’t based on the evidence presented at trial but, as she made clear, because it "…came out in the papers, I mean right on T.V. right away. And I seen it."
Voight also stated her belief that Kahl and the other defendants were members of the Posse Comitatus. "Of course no testimony or evidence of any kind was presented at trial regarding involvement with the Posse Comitatus on the part of any of the defendants. Sensationalistic pre-trial publicity, fueled by the government, made that claim, a claim that was completely unsupported by the facts," Bachrach said.
"There should be a full hearing on these matters to determine the actual facts and their effects on the jury verdicts." Bachrach said. "Mr. Kahl did not receive a fair trial and I think it’s time he got one."
Kahl is serving a life sentence (plus 15 years) in the U.S. Penitentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana. A previous petition, filed in September 2002 and also alleging misconduct that included an invalid arrest warrant, was administratively rejected and never heard by the Court. (See: "A Writ of Habeas Corpus: Documenting the Cause of the Federal Assault on Gordon Kahl at Medina, ND" by Yorie Von Kahl, ISBN 1-4120-0921-9, at www.yorievonkahl.com.)
In 1995, some 71 state supreme and superior court justices, state senators, attorneys and other criminal justice experts and professionals signed an affidavit on their independent findings on the "shoot-out" at Medina and their belief that Kahl was wrongfully convicted: "We were, of course, not entirely unbiased in our investigation… as present and past members of the criminal justice system ourselves… [we] truly wanted… to find no fault and in favor of our slain fellow officers. It is unfortunate that this was not the case."
Note: It is accurate to describe what happened to the Kahl family in 1983 as an opening gambit from the government to see how far it can go with regard to punishing well-intended patriots for their dissenting beliefs and refusal to abide lawless authority. We failed to respond appropriately then and look at what is happening now: Hundreds of our noble American freedom fighters have been wrongfully imprisoned after receiving kangaroo trials like Yorie—or gunned down without just cause like Yorie’s father Gordon Kahl.
At this time we have an opportunity to turn the clock back to 1983, reopen the Kahl case and prove that the federal government, with state government accomplices, has been conducting a campaign to seek out and destroy lawful dissenters. In order to insure that this case will be reopened, we will all have to do our part to elevate public awareness of the Kahl case and what it portends for America.
If you have access to the Internet, go to www.yorievonkahl.com. There you will find the latest information on the status of the case. You will also have the chance to support the effort by obtaining the book form of Yorie’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus—the most comprehensive analysis of the incident in Medina ever compiled. You will also have the opportunity to take a look at some of Yorie’s artwork (see above) and support the effort by purchasing prints.
If you do not have access to the Internet, contact The IO and we will help you help the Kahl’s obtain Yorie’s long-awaited release.
Editor’s note: In retrospect, I vaguely recall the incident in Medina—I was 20 years old and it took place about 12 years before I was to realize that we live in a nation under siege. Yorie was 23 years of age in 1983, at 23 years of age, he was not so naive as me. Because of that, Yorie and his family was set up, he was shot almost fatally and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison—while I was "free" to live out my young adulthood in blissful ignorance of what was happening to my country. (DWH)