Free Justin Honeycutt
Let me introduce myself. My name is Janet and I have a son, age 34, who is currently in the system. When Justin was 12 years old, he was sent to a "Youth Development Center" aka juvenile prison for communicating threats to a Government Official. (He threatened to whip his teacher's a**). (During that time, he had been diagnosed with bi-polar and dislexia and had been placed on some medications that didn't work well with him. Instead of helping him, it threw him into hypo-mania.) I wasn't aware that being sent there meant until his 18th birthday!! Thats 6 years! 6 years to a child is like an eternity!!
While Justin was at the Swannanoa Youth Development Center in Swannanoa, NC. It was documented that he was handcuffed and shackled for more than 48 hours straight numerous times. He was also "hogtied" for days...yes..DAYS! He wasn't allowed food or water and if he did get it, they would just pour it on him. He was forced to sit in his own waste. His received broken bones, was drugged, didnt receive medical treatment for the broken bones or for anything for that matter. When he would be visibly hurt, they wouldn't allow me to visit him. Then one night at 9:21 p.m. I received a call telling me my son had been handcuffed and shackled and repeatedly raped by staff member. Of course I left to go to where he was which was 8 hrs away!! I was nearly out of my mind!! I just wanted to see my son and make sure he got medical treatment because they had not provided any!! I raised big cane until they transported my son and 3 other boys (whos parents had not yet even been notified that it happened to their kids too) to the hospital and then to the Ruth & Billy Graham center for abused kids. Fast forward to the next day, we're all in a meeting room with the outside police force (that was on campus), several of the "social workers", the director of Swannanoa as well as several of the officials from Raleigh who were over the Juvenile Justice system. during that meeting, the CHIEF of the outside police force who had been there for 26 years stated it was one of the most "heinous' crime scenes he had ever witnessed there at that facility and he stood up, leaned across the table and handed me his card and said "Janet, I promise you, I will get to the bottom of this and the perpetrators will be prosecuted to the highest extent of the law". Well, the next day....he gets fired! They are trying to sweep it under the rug. He and I did a couple of tv & radio interviews. You can probably google his name, Bob Milner and something will probably come up about SVYDC may come up. The list goes on, but I contacted the SBI &. My son's cell is sealed, evidence is collected, etc. The perp is arrested (after he was finally found in MD) and went to prison. I got my son transferred to another facility and then released a couple years before his 18th bday.
.He suffers badly from PTSD and he went through so much more than I can even imagine and I know how it affected me!!, I can never imagine how bad it weighed on him. But, he's always tried to put on that happy face!
Well, he's spent most of his teenage years behind bars, he's institutionalized to a certain degree. He is in and out of trouble/jail/prison for petty crimes, driving no license, evading police, writing bad checks, stuff like that. NEVER anything violent.
Then Hurricane Katrina hit the deep south really hard. So, he and a friend decide they're gonna go down to MS and work with the clean up crews. They get a job with a roofing company and work 2 weeks. At the end of the 2nd week, the roofing company up and leaves and doesn't pay anybody for the past 2 weeks. So, he and his friend decide to go in abandoned homes or buildings and get stuff to sell to make $. Of course, they got caught. They had stole less than $500 worth of stuff. Granted, they shouldn't be stealing, I agree 100% with that. But they go before this Judge, who is super old school and says boys I'm gonna make an exampled out of y'all and sentenced them to 75 YEARS!! (Baby killers and rapists dont get that much time!!) Naturally, I was trying to fight that! I was talking to the clerk or court there and she informed me that the judge has alzheimers and several of his cases had been overturned due to excessive sentencing. So, we got a reduction to 25 years but it was still a large amount of time for the crime. But, some ran concurrent, some suspended, etc. He served 5 yrs and they said he was to be released. So, I drive 16 hours to pick him up, and take him 3 more hours away to probation to finish up the interstate compact/transfer of probation papers. Probation office slams him and says they weren't supposed to have released you, you gotta go back to prison!! Hard story to believe I know, but its all documented truth!! Again, I'm fighting tooth and nail but the only thing I can get worked out temporarily is for him to go to a halfway house/restitution center. I am in contact with the Governor, the news, etc. He is going to get released by the Governor But I have no way to let him know that because they dont allow family contact for the 1st 24 days I think it was. Anyway, he gets a chance to run and he takes it, thinking he's going back to prison. Well, he gets caught 6 months later in Alabama. He is sentenced to serve another 5 years. In those 5 years, he's beaten, in solitary confinement for a year and 1/2 straight, stabbed numerous times/separate incidents and then he tells me stuff thats going on within the prisons there. So I contacted Christopher Epps, the director of MDOC because I was worried for my son's life. Well, things got worse! I got pictures texted to me of my son in a cell being held hostage by 6-8 inmates with a knife to his throat threatening to kill him if I dont send $1500 via green dot. So I did...what else could I do??? I begged and borrowed the $, I had no choice! That happened 3 days in a row...Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights. Come to find out, Christopher Epps was one of the key players in the entire thing. During that time, my son was stabbed 17 times on 1 occasion and had to get staples in his head, neck, sides and back!! He could have died!! And many other bad things happened to him that I just can't go into and still get this typed because it puts my mind in a really bad place........
Fast forward to now.... Hes still on probation from MS but VA is overseeing it for MS. He violates probation by failing drug test, MS said we're not going to extradite him back here for that. His in Probation Officer in VA is NOT happy about that!! He catches a charge for assault he plead guilty to it but no sentence was given at the time because the judge agreed it wasnt intentional but more of a knee jerk reaction to being choked by the necklace I had given him for Christmas and it was highly provoked. Again, the probation officer is not happy about that. He said he thinks Justin will get the impression he can do whatever he wants and nothing will happen! He's pushing hard to get Justin back to MS where he'll surely be killed!! Remember, the ex Director is now in prison and he is affiliated with the gangs!!
He ends up in jail on a failure to register charge when the convicting state said he wouldn't have to register after 10 years, which has long passed. He serves 7 months. He gets clean, does great, trustee status the entire time. He's released on excellent behavior!! We pick him up on Friday, he thinks he's finally free, he's clean, him and his gf are looking to get a house, have a family, etc. For the first time I really thought he had a chance! We get home, he calls the probation officer to report in, etc. The probation officer says "What the fuck are you doing out". Then informs Justin that MS is going to extradite him back and he was going back to prison because he violated MS probation by going to jail!! So, I called MS to find out and had it on speaker so Justin could hear what was said. MS says yes, he will be going back to prison in MS for violations. Justin, understandably flips out and runs!! He's in fear for his life!! Who wouldn't be!! At this point, I didn't know he had ran so I'm still talking to MS to see why and if we could do anything to prevent it and MS tells me that Justin violated by getting the assault charge and being sentenced to 2 years on that charge!!! Well, that was a lie....there was no sentence, the judge dismissed it at sentencing hearing!! I asked MS where they got that info and he said from the VA Probation!!! The officer evidently LIED to get Justin sent back since the other attempts had failed!
So, Justin is caught in TX and is awaiting extradition back to VA where he will have to go to trial for running and whatever other charges they're slapping on him.....and then there's still MS waiting in background to extradite him too. He has said and literally swore by it that he will kill himself before he goes back to MS. He said he'll die either way, at least he wouldn't be tortured if he did it himself. God, that hurts so bad to hear....but honestly, I don't think I could blame him if he did. Lord knows I'd give anything to see him be able to live a happy, normal life. I just dont know that the system will ever allow that. It's the sad truth. But, its also true that I will fight it every step of the way!! He cannot go back to MS, he just can't.
This is a really shortened version leaving out many important key notes, but basically there it is in a nutshell.
What we are petitioning for:
1. Unconditional and complete clemency or commutation of sentence from MS on the grounds that the state allowed excessive sentencing from a judge who is allegedly suffering from Alzhiemers. Also on the grounds of the state failing to provide protection as well as the fact that the MDOC Director at the time essentially had a play in the abuses by turning a blind eye and allowing inmates entrance to the cell Justin was in.
But above all else....Justin has changed, he has matured and grown up, He has proven, he CAN be a productive citizen in society. He is not now nor has ever been a danger to society. He is clean and sober, he just wants the chance to live the American dream....A wife, a home, a steady job and a family of his own. He is a Godly person, attends church and lives a clean and crime free life.
We also are petitioning for the unconditional and complete pardon by the state of Virginia on the grounds that VA DOC worker falsified information to Mississippi so that Mississippi would have reasons to extradite Justin. We also attest to the fact that VA DOC treated Justin in an unprofessional and disrespectful manner. If the probation officer had not falsified information to the MDOC, none of this would have taken place. Justin wouldn't have felt so led to run for his very life. When he did go to jail in VA, he didn't run. He turned himself in. He worked on the outside work crew and never ran. So, it's not a matter of him just "being a runner", no he stayed and paid his dues like a man. He didn't run until his life was in SERIOUS DANGER. Who can find fault in that? I surely can't.
In addition to the facts listed above, we request Justin's mental health be taken into consideration as he was acting out of fear for his life/fearing going back to MS. Not only was he fearful of extradition, as stated before, he does suffer from PTSD and bi-polar. It has been documented since Justin was a child that he suffers the bi-polar cycles from Nov- March. He also suffers from seasonal depression, brought on during winter months due to the lack of sunlight.