The False Arrest Report
The post below is based on the documents filed in Mr. Zeigler case as per the previous post. The documents were sent to me by Mr. Zeigler’s lawyers and I thank them for that.
On Dec 29, 1975, Detective Frye from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office wrote in his arrest report:
“I have also interviewed one Robert Foster who states that the said W.T. Zeigler, Jr. caused him and the now deceased Charles Mays, Jr. to go to the furniture store where the said W.T. Zeigler, Jr. asked Mr. Robert Foster to turn off the master electrical switch which he did and induced Mays to enter the store and also tried to induce the said Robert Foster to enter the darkened store, but Foster became suspicious and left the said Mays and Zeigler, Jr. inside the said store. The said Robert Foster also contacted the Sheriff’s Department of his own free will.”
If a trial attorney asks for all documents to be handed over concerning the police investigation and especially during discovery, you would expect the state and the police to be truthful. The fact that they were not in this case has been shown here on DCC before. I refer to the posts about the Jellison Tape and the complete Thompson report.
On April 23, 1976, a deposition was taken from Detective Frye. This deposition is scanned in here below.
I quote for convenience:
“Q: Who is Robert Foster?
A: That name doesn’t register with me for some reason.
Q: Were you the affiant on the arrest of Tommy Zeigler on December 29th, 1975?
A: Yes. What date?
Q: December 29th, 1975. You filled in the oath, the arrest report; is that correct?
Q: I want to read this. I have interviewed one Edward Williams who states under oath that W.T. Zeigler, Jr., et cetera. It goes on down. Then we go to the second paragraph: I have also interviewed one Robert Foster who states that the said W.T. Zeigler, Jr. caused him and the now deceased Charles Mays, Jr. to go to the furniture store where the said W.T. Zeigler, Jr. asked Mr. Robert Foster to turn off the master electrical switch which he did and induced Mays to enter the store, et cetera.
Now, Mr. Frye, my question is: We seem to have this fellow who is Buddy Felton, or Felton Thomas. Under oath in your arrest report, he is Robert Foster. I am a little confused.
A: Should have been Felton. That was written up while we were on the way to the Sheriff’s Office. The secretary, Heidi Lee, typed that portion for me. When I got back to the jail, it was waiting for me at the turnkey.
Q: Is that your signature on that?
Q: And you signed that as being true?
A: Robert Felton.
Q: I thought his name was Felton Thomas or Buddy Felton. I’m sure you can appreciate my confusion. So, my client was placed under arrest; and the arrest report, that’s a mistake?
A: It was a typographical error.”
Was it really an error? Frye signed a new arrest report dated March 26, 1976 leaving out any information about a man called Robert Foster. Image here on the left.
As you know, Mr. Zeigler’s lawyers went to court on December 1, 2011 for the DNA hearing. In April 2011, a press conference took place in another part of Florida. Mrs. Jean Gonzalez reported about that press conference for the Florida Catholic. Lynn Marie Carty, an independent investigator, had found Robert Foster.
“Vernon Davids, one of Zeigler’s original trial attorneys, told the Florida Catholic that the defense believed Frye’s testimony about the confusion with the names. “In view of the fact that Don Frye testified under oath that a Robert Foster did not exist — it was just an error on the part of the state — we took his word. At that point we had no reason to believe that they would lie to us,” Davids said.”
But now that we know that Robert Foster did and still does exist, it changes the game!
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