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Jameis Winston lawyer criticizes Florida state attorney

Jameis Winston AP

The lawyer for Jameis Winston released a statement on Sunday criticizing the Florida state attorney’s office for public comments about the probe into the Florida State quarterback and the way they’ve handled the investigation so far.

In a statement sent to the Democrat Sunday evening, Jansen said he was troubled by Meggs’ decision to engage in news interviews that included “extrajudicial statements about his ongoing investigation” and called on him to refrain from such comments. In the article, Meggs also said too much media attention has been focused on Winston and stressed that rights of “the victim” in the case — not just those of the Heisman Trophy hopeful — must be protected.

“Such extrajudicial public statements at this early point in his investigation raise concerns in the minds of Mr. Winston and the public that Mr. Meggs may not be conducting the objective, fair, and unbiased investigation which is the right of every person involved in the criminal justice system,” Jansen wrote.

Jansen’s comments came after State Attorney Willie Meggs told the local paper that:

“There’s nothing like being fresh on a case and walking in and saying, ‘what happened last night,’” Meggs told the AP. “Now they’ve been talking to lawyers, they’ve been talking to each other and getting their stories together. … People had 11 months to decide what they’re going to say.”

Jansen noted noted that the Tallahassee police could’ve made progress on the case much earlier.

“In December 2012 the witnesses were available, and in February law enforcement chose not to interview them,” Jansen said. “Their story has not changed.”

The state attorney’s office expects a decision to be made in the investigation in the next few weeks. Obviously, any kind of charges against Winston would put a serious crimp in FSU’s national title chance and likely cripple Winston’s Heisman hopes.

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29 Responses to “Jameis Winston lawyer criticizes Florida state attorney”
  1. grudenthediva says: Nov 17, 2013 10:30 PM

    Willie Meggs enjoys the spotlight and will drag this out as long as possible.

    Or at least until that check from Columbus clears.

  2. Deb says: Nov 17, 2013 10:52 PM

    Speaking as a native, it’s just peachy to see yet another of Florida’s incompetent police departments and state attorney’s offices make national news. Yeah, it makes perfect sense that the cops would dawdle over an assault complaint for nearly 12 months. Then as soon as people realize a semi-celebrity is involved, the case is handed to a state attorney who’d rather preen for the press than shut his mouth and do his job.

    What a sad situation for everyone involved.

  3. jimmy53 says: Nov 17, 2013 10:57 PM

    Anyone who has had enough dealings with Meggs knows that he is an egotist and closet-racist who will bring charges against someone even if there lacks sufficient evidence (see Travis Johnson).

    A member of the House of Rep. (Bill Proctor) asked Gov. Scott to review Meggs history due to extreme racial bias.

    His comments in the public have shown this bias, and are an embarrassment to the state of Florida, I don’t believe that Winston will receive a fair and balanced investigation into his involvement as long as Meggs is in charge and there are cameras around for him to mugg to.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 17, 2013 11:08 PM

    Agreed, gruden.

  5. noaxetogrind says: Nov 17, 2013 11:19 PM

    @ Deb, normally a fan of your commentary because it is typically rational and fact based. Disappointed to see you engaging in stereotyping and painting with a broad brush, which is typically the province of the less informed. Also speaking as native, I disagree with your perjorative statement “another of Florida’s imcompetent police departments”. I would hope that a person as educated as you would have an understanding of the potential myriad of reasons an investigation can be delayed, closed or re-opened and most of them have nothing to do with incompetence. The vast majority of them deal with the willingness or lack thereof of the accuser. One would wonder why you would take such a dim view of law enforcement in this case without knowing the facts, and then somehow turn that into a commentary on an entire states law enforcement community. Not your typical fair and balanced input.

  6. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Nov 17, 2013 11:28 PM

    I don’t get Meggs angle here. The Liberty County Sheriff situation didn’t do much for his reputation or his relationship with Law Enforcement. Unless he just loves taking a beating, I’m not sure what he has to gain.

    I am a little concerned that photos were taken and evidence collected, but nothing came of the situation. If this woman was assaulted by someone, she deserves justice. Based on the description, it doesn’t sound like Winston. Hopefully the true guilty party is identified.

    Let’s try to focus on that.

  7. jimmy53 says: Nov 17, 2013 11:30 PM

    noaxetogrind:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the police would not turn over a case to the SAO if A) the person who filed the complaint retracted it (which has been stated to occur) or B) there was lack of evidence or reason to file charges (which has been debated).

    I am a little surprised at how quickly people have bashed TPD (which is by no means perfect), but I am not sure I have seen them do anything wrong in this case up to this point.

  8. gquesen says: Nov 17, 2013 11:41 PM

    All you people making jokes about Ohio St. Leaking this are just outrageous. I’m not saying Winston did it, I really have my doubts, in fact. But don’t you realize there is someone out there who was completely victimized? I mean, really, you people make these assertions without even thinking about how insensitive your being to the victim. What will your shortsighted, insensitive comment be if Winston is charged? Your Heisman trophy/national championship mean nothing compared to this victim’s life…sheesh…

  9. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 17, 2013 11:47 PM

    It’s not outrageous. Meyer has a track record of doing this. You wouldn’t care if Meyer weren’t coaching your team and we were saying this, though.

  10. jimmy53 says: Nov 18, 2013 12:02 AM

    angelheartsbuckeyes:

    You’re jumping to conclusions. This is a he said/she said (not even because the girl retracted her complaint) and according to the two eye witnesses who met with the SOA this week their was in fact no victim–rather two willing participants. That would in fact make the victim the 19 year old QB who is having his name dragged through the mud.

    So, step off the soap box until all of the facts are out.

  11. gquesen says: Nov 18, 2013 12:04 AM

    Mr. Wright, you are the the very definition of a troll. Meyer does not coach my team, Mark Helfrich does. Your missing the point. It’s about you making a mockery of one of the most disgusting crimes imaginable. If it turns out Meyer did this, I’ll shut up. There is zero proof Meyer did this you and know it. Funny, too, how you just decided it was so when this story broke. Grow up.

  12. gquesen says: Nov 18, 2013 12:07 AM

    Maybe your right Jimmy. But again, you miss the point. Yes, nothing has been proven. That includes this contrived story about Urban Meyer leaking something that may not have even happened. It makes zero sense.

  13. jimmy53 says: Nov 18, 2013 12:13 AM

    gquesen:

    I missed the point??? I never said anything as stupid as Meyer leaking this story—that’s just dumb.

    From what I’ve been told, it was someone who had a vested interest and close relationship with the girl and had nothing to do with football. The person is in fact a gator grad, but is someone who puts the girl above football.

  14. gquesen says: Nov 18, 2013 12:21 AM

    Sorry jimmy, I misread your comment. I’m glad there are more people like us who shake our heads at this BS. Just getting a little too worked up over here.

  15. jimmy53 says: Nov 18, 2013 12:30 AM

    gquesen:

    No worries. I just hope people can keep level heads until all the facts come out, because from what I’m hearing it should be pretty cut and dry and over with quickly. The victim retracted her complaint, and there are two eye witnesses who saw what was happening and they say there was no crime.

    Although Deb is right, nothing is cut and dry with this State Attorney, Willie Meggs. His reputation for bringing charges with lack of evidence (especially when it concerns African Americans) is unfortunately legendary.

    And before anyone thinks I’m pulling the race card–I’m caucasian.

  16. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Nov 18, 2013 5:33 AM

    Well, pardon me. I had no idea that calling for justice and asking that the real focus should be on the victim was standing on a soapbox.

    I don’t give a rip WHO did it. If someone was victimized then justice is deserved.

    My daughter will attend FSU in the fall. I would certainly like to think that matters such as this would be properly and completely, albeit exhaustively, investigated.

    I don’t know all the facts, quite frankly neither do you. I’m also not making any judgements as to whether or not the allegations are legitimate. My point being, having worked alongside Law Enforcement for the past decade, that if photographs and/or evidence was collected it is concerning if there was limited follow – up.

    Also, even if a complainant decides to no longer pursue charges, the State has the option to file them. Hence the verbiage ‘The State of Florida versus John Smith’ on court paperwork. When complainants no longer wish to cooperate, cases with merit are then sent to the SAO for review.

    This may or may not be a case worthy of review. I don’t know and neither do you. Let’s allow the facts to play out and try to keep in mind there may be a victim out there somewhere that deserves justice.

    P.S. I happen to have a Graduate degree from FSU, so spare me the Buckeye crap. And with that, I’ll step down from the lectern. It’s a little different than a soapbox.

  17. packergator says: Nov 18, 2013 9:14 AM

    Gotta admit, the timing of the revelations about all this is HIGHLY suspect.

  18. jimmy53 says: Nov 18, 2013 10:04 AM

    angelheartsbuckeyes:

    The point is that in this case there is no victim. According to two witnesses there was no crime committed against anyone.—except maybe Jameis.

    I would assume when your daughter goes to FSU she will not be bringing up false charges against boys she sleeps with by choice. And please understand I am definitely not making any assumptions about your daughters purity.

    I am merely saying your coming on here and saying FOCUS ON THE VICTIM–FOCUS ON THE VICTIM–doesn’t work in this instance. You’ll see when more info comes to light–you just don’t seem to have enough facts at this point. Unless of course both of these witnesses are lying….

  19. stoicpaisano says: Nov 18, 2013 10:14 AM

    Everyone lies. Murderers lie because they have to; witnesses and other participants lie because they think they have to; everyone else lies for the sheer joy of it, and to uphold a general principle that under no circumstances do you provide accurate information to a cop.

  20. jimmy53 says: Nov 18, 2013 10:51 AM

    If you have concerns over the investigation, direct them here:

    email: meggs@leoncountyfl.gov

  21. Deb says: Nov 18, 2013 11:29 AM

    @noaxetogrind …

    Fair enough. I shouldn’t have tarred the whole state with that brush. Florida has many fine, competent police officers and state’s attorneys. But reading about Willie Meggs’s unprofessional conduct reminded me of other Florida cases that have been poorly handled, both by investigators and prosecutors. The ultimate goal is justice, and in some of these cases, justice was poorly served. I lashed out in frustration at what seems to be a pattern. However, I shouldn’t stereotype every police department and state attorney in Florida.

    As for your theories about why the investigation has taken so long … no, I disagree on that. It shouldn’t take a year to investigate an assault complaint against a named suspect. If there’s any credible evidence, charges should be filed. If there’s no credible evidence, the case should be closed.

  22. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Nov 18, 2013 11:38 AM

    I certainly hope there isn’t a victim. But until we know for sure, let’s hope that resources and time are not being spent frivolously.

    Good grief. Two witnesses to a consensual sex act? Thats a little creepy. And let me add something which I hope is not the case, sometimes acts begin consensual and don’t end that way. I’m not sure someone would call the police just because she regretted having sex with someone. I’m also not sure what the police would photograph. The whole thing is just weird.

    From what I’ve seen, Winston is a fine young man and a fantastic talent. My prayers are with him regardless of the outcome. I hope the whole thing is over soon. ‘victim’ or not, there is a young lady out there feeling some pain too. My initial point stands: let’s not forget about her.

  23. noaxetogrind says: Nov 18, 2013 2:06 PM

    @ Deb, now that’s the Deb I know, reasonable and balanced. You and I don’t really disagree on anything. My admonition to you was concerning your rush to judgment in the absence of facts. Investigations often take a very long time and it doesn’t mean somebody was incompetent. Sean Taylor was murdered 6 years ago and the case went to trial this month. There is a very good chance this case was originally not passed on the SAO due to the complainant not pressing charges. However that does not preclude her from doing so at a later time. It does impact her credibility, but it does not stop her from doing so. If that happens then the PD is obligated to forward to the SAO regardless of their opinion on the merits of the case. That is exactly what a SA does for a living, decide who and who not to bring charges against. People seem to be confusing the PD’s role with that of a SA. For the record I agree, based on what has been publically presented in this forum, Mr. Meggs comments lack professionalism, but again don’t lay that at the feet of the Tallahasse PD. Two totally seperate entities.

  24. BrownsTown says: Nov 18, 2013 3:31 PM

    I see that it’s Tin Foil Hat Monday here at CFT. I hear Meyer also hacked into the healthcare.gov website and messed around a bit.

    To the SEC fans in the crowd, health insurance is something you have that helps pay for medical expenses. And that Kenyan Moslem invader is trying to help people get it at a reasonable expense. So they set up a website, but…………….oh, nevermind.

  25. Deb says: Nov 18, 2013 3:33 PM

    @noaxetogrind …

    True, but from what’s been posted here–and I admit not reading anything other than CFT’s posts–it seemed the TPD was slow to follow through with the interviews. It often takes a long time for criminal cases to reach trial, but charges were brought against Taylor’s alleged killers years ago. Believe me, I’m aware of the different players. My brother and sis-in-law are criminal defense attorneys and I’ve covered criminal trials.

  26. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 18, 2013 3:50 PM

    Tin foil hat, because it’s not a popular opinion, something the media isn’t reporting, or you flat out don’t like it because he now coaches his team.

    And you really believe all the dirt about Cam Newton just magically appeared, also, huh? That’s indicative of someone who wears a tin foil hat and thinks the government is spying on their every move.

  27. Deb says: Nov 18, 2013 5:32 PM

    @BrownsTown …

    Speaking of stereotyping … you really are an ass.

  28. 8to80texansblog says: Nov 19, 2013 9:29 PM

    Florida may have the worst judicial system in the country.

    The lists of judicial F ups in florida is getting pretty long.

    2000 Election
    Casey Anthony
    Trayvon Martin
    Marissa Alexander
    Jameis Winston

  29. waynefontes says: Nov 21, 2013 5:59 AM

    8to80texansblog says:
    Nov 19, 2013 9:29 PM
    Florida may have the worst judicial system in the country.

    The lists of judicial F ups in florida is getting pretty long.

    2000 Election
    Casey Anthony
    Trayvon Martin
    Marissa Alexander
    Jameis Winston

    ————————————————–

    Florida is very bad, but they still have nothing on California.

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