Nodine Files Criminal Civil Rights Complaint

Nodine Files Criminal Civil Rights Complaint

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BAY MINETTE, Alabama -

Former Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine says top law enforcement denied him of his civil rights by pursuing murder charges against him when they know the death of his girlfriend Angel Downs was a suicide. Nodine says he has filed a criminal civil right compliant with the F.B.I. and the U.S. Justice Department.

In May 2010, Downs was found dead in her driveway in Gulf Shores, shot in the head.

Nodine was arrested and tried for murder. After a hung jury, the state took over the prosecution and Nodine eventually pleaded to harassment and perjury charges and was sentenced to two years in the Baldwin County Jail work release program.

The criminal civil rights complaint is based on series of documents, memos, reports, and communications that only recently have become available.

Among those named in the complaint, one-time Baldwin County D-A Judy Newcomb.

Nodine claims Newcomb:

·         Ignored evidence and her own investigators

·         Intimidated the medical examiner to change cause of death from suicide to undetermined

·         Withheld key photographs evidence from defense in Nodine’s trial.

Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack is named in the complaint. Nodine alleges Mack:

·         Purposely altered the weapon by ordering it cleaned

·         Knowingly misled the media about surveillance cameras at the scene and blood and casings in Nodine’s truck to taint the potential jury pool

·         Orchestrated the superintending of case by Special Prosecutor David Whetstone and Attorney General Luther Strange

Nodine says Strange superintended case in October 2011 without having seen the criminal file which his office first requested in November of that year. Nodine claims Strange also ignored letter from D.A. Hallie Dixon that recommended he only pursue indictments from a 2nd Grand Jury on lesser charges.

Dixon told Strange in a letter dated October 29, 2011…. “All experts… who have been consulted by the state since the incident have indicated findings of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Nodine also accuses Whetstone of ignoring the  2nd Grand Jury indictments on lesser charges. Whetstone cited “compelling new evidence” in pursuing murder charges but Nodine claims documents show that evidence had already been discredited by investigators.

Nodine says Whetstone too ignored warnings from D.A. Dixon outlining the lack of a murder case.

Dixon wrote Strange on November 9, 2011, “…my office fully supports the decision of its citizens to proceed with Criminally Negligent Homicide. I do not believe that the previous (murder) indictment can be pursued at this time.”

“ It was predicated on petty politics between Judy Newcomb, Sheriff Mack, David Whetstone, and unfortunately Luther Strange did not take the responsibility to look at what the internal documents showed that it was a suicide and instead superintended the case,” said Nodine.

Nodine has already served a year in federal prison on an unrelated gun charge and still has half of his 2-year sentence to serve in Baldwin County.

News 5 was unable to contact Whetstone. A spokesperson for Sheriff Mack said he hadn’t seen the complaint and so could not comment on it. Newcomb pointed out that a complaint Nodine filed against her with the Alabama Bar Association was recently thrown out.

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