In 2005, Barry’s ex-partners illegally arrested Yolanda Madden after using an informant to plant drugs on her.
The lead investigator, Officer Greg Traveland, claimed he took a verbal confession from Yolanda at the police station when he was actually miles away booking informant, Keith Phillips, into jail.
According to Texas state law, all confessions must be audio or video recorded and if not recorded, the confession must be written and signed by the defendant. During today’s hearing, Traveland testified Yolanda gave him a verbal account of her crime and he neither recorded nor took a written confession from her. We know this is a lie because at the time Traveland claimed to be interviewing Yolanda, he was actually booking informant, Keith Phillips, into jail. To cover his lie, Traveland whited out his name as the booking officer on two documents and replaced it with “A. Jones” on one document and “Jones” on the other.
Traveland’s bogus confession was allowed as evidence during her 2005 trial because Yolanda was tried in Federal court where verbal confessions are allowed.
In 2008, Yolanda’s father, Raymond Madden, hired KopBusters to bring attention to Yolanda’s case. Because of KopBuster’s successful sting on the Odessa drug squad, Judge Junell granted Yolanda an evidentiary hearing.
During the hearing today in Midland Federal Court, Traveland testified he “believes” he made the white outs and “believes” he wrote Jone’s name because he “believes” Jones booked Keith Phillips into jail. We know Jones never booked Keith into jail because the computer jail sheet which was filled out by the jailers, indicated Traveland was in fact the booking officer. This discovery is significant and helps prove Yolanda’s innocence because it would have been impossible for Traveland to secure a confession from her when he was miles away at the jail. Jones was unable to testify because he is deceased.
Federal Judge Junell will make his ruling no later then December 18, 2009. If he rules the suspicious jail sheets should have been made available by the government and would have made a difference in the outcome of Yolanda’s trial, then Yolanda will be released from prison and granted a new trial.
Take a look at the evidence and comment your thoughts.
(Upon opening the evidence, you may click on the red circles to enlarge the whiteout.)