Yolanda Madden Goes Back to Federal Court for Evidentiary Hearing

Yolanda Madden was arrested and convicted of federal drug charges in 2005, but her family says the drugs were planted and they've got the evidence to prove it.Yolanda Madden was arrested and convicted of federal drug charges in 2005, but her family says the drugs were planted and they’ve got the evidence to prove it.It’s been nearly a year since former Odessa police officer Barry Cooper set up a fake drug house to sting the Odessa Police Department on his reality show “Kop Busters.”

Today, the family that hired Cooper and his crew to set up the sting are getting what they want – another hearing for their daughter, Yolanda Madden.

Yolanda Madden was arrested and convicted of federal drug charges in 2005, but their family says the drugs were planted and they’ve got the evidence to prove it.

Today, they got the chance to present some of that at an evidentiary hearing at the Federal Court in Midland.

Last year, Kop Busters’ Barry Cooper set out to show that the Odessa Police Department obtains search warrants illegally, but he also wanted to raise publicity for what Yolanda Madden’s family says is a wrongful conviction.

“I’m excited that we had a hand in getting Yolanda to this point, but I’m bitter of the pain that this has caused Yolanda and her kids, and her family. So it’s bitter-sweet to me,” Cooper said.

Many in attendance hoped today’s hearing would change things for the Madden family… but a decision has yet to be reached.

“I’m not happy with the hearing today, because I fully expected Yolanda to be released today, to go back to her kids and family for Thanksgiving,” Cooper said.

For some family members, it was their first time to see Yolanda in quite a while.

“Her family’s in there, her grandmother’s in there, her kids are in there, and she comes in there shackled like a dog. That’s absolutely uncalled for,” Cooper said.

She testified today, along with two of the police officers, whom the family says intentionally framed Yolanda for her possession charges. But the judge made it clear that the purpose of today’s hearing was only to take a second look at evidence that could have changed the outcome of the original trial.

“I think it went as well as we could expect. The judge limited us to a very small part of a 2255 hearing,” Madden’s father Raymond Madden said.

They presented some of the forms from the booking phase of Yolanda’s arrest, which they say were tampered with, and shouldn’t hold up in the court of law.

“If we would have had some information that we didn’t have at that time, and there was a lot of information that we did not get from the prosecution. If we would have had that information, would that trial have been different? The answer today is that it would have absolutely been different,” Madden said.

There was no ruling made in the hearing today.

The judge asked the defense attorneys to submit a closing brief by next Friday, and the government representation to present theirs a week later.

From there, the judge will decide whether or not the evidence is strong enough to warrant a re-trial for Yolanda Madden.

– Article from CBS 7 News on November 25, 2009.



  1. Anonymous on

    Stoeies like this are outrageous! That poor woman has already spent 4 years of her life in a ell! The cop(s) involved should serve time equal to hers. As for the wrongful execution mentioned in a previous post… holy shit! We killed a guy who was innocent!!!! Makes ya think twice about the death penalty doesn’t it? I mean if that innocent guy was killed, what’s to keep it from happening to you?

  2. Mr.Duckets on

    I did overreact a bit on the “every last dime!” comment. My bad, I got a little emotional(and that’s the last thing this effort needs). I just think cops get away with far too much, and just firing them and handing over their yearly salaries to victims doesn’t seem like a large enough punishment to police departments and individual police. The system needs work, that’s for sure.

  3. Adam on

    she actually doesn’t deserve every last cent the police department has, because bankrupting them without changing anything else wrong with Odessa will have the police force replaced with something worse. Odessa would probably become a testing ground for martial law, either under the National Guard or worse, that battle-hardened battalion brought back from Iraq to violate Posse Comitatus on the streets of America, armed and dangerous…

    She should instead be given a) a cash sum equal to the total net salaries of all the police directly involved in the raid (the ones following bad orders, not giving them) and b) written assurances and proof that the same officers have been dismissed and not replaced. They obviously weren’t needed.
    Give what we were paying them to hurt people to the people they hurt, and move on to the next case. The higher-up officers dictating this crap don’t need to be dealt with if officers are backed up when they say “no,” this is the first natural step. The ones who gave the orders aren’t actually breaking the law yet, people will have to wait until they break more important rules after trying to get the police who remain unpunished to do bad things.

  4. Mr.Duckets on

    I’m sure you’re referring to Cameron Todd Willingham, who was put to death in 2004 for allegedly setting fire to his home and killing his own children. If that’s the case then, yes, I did hear about that guy, but he didn’t sue anyone…he was already dead by the time you heard about this story. You only know about it now because it was recently pointed out in the New Yorker that Governor Perry not only supported the capital punishment verdict of Mr.Willingham, but also called him a “monster”, after a few arson investigators pointed out many flaws in the arson verdict for Mr.Willingham’s case.

    Here is some food for thought:

    “Forensic scientists have called into question arson evidence used to convict Willingham, who maintained his innocence until his death. John Jackson, the Navarro County prosecutor who argued the case, still believes Willingham is guilty, but acknowledges it would have been hard to win a death sentence without the arson finding.

    The governor has been criticized for replacing members of the Texas Forensic Science Commission just before they were to review a new report critical of the arson science used to convict Willingham. If the evidence ultimately proves Willingham did not kill his children, it would be the first known wrongful execution in Texas. ”

    and here is the link to the full article:


    However, as much as your “Guy in Texas who sued the police after he was found innocent” comments have next to nothing to do with Yolanda’s case (other than the fact that they both happen to be in Texas) I do hope that Yolanda sues the police department for every last dime they have. I hope she gets the states largest settlement, and that Texas takes a long hard look at it’s so called “justice system”.

  5. greg williams on

    Just not too long ago Texas executed a man for killing his family. We now know he didn’t do it.


    support them if you can

  6. Anonymous on

    Hope she reaches a $$$ settlement too! Did you hear about that guy in Texas on death row who was found innocent? He sued for several millions!