For many years the case of former police officer Ronald Mortensen has been the talk of the town; even many members of the police department have expressed their doubts that Mortensen is guilty of the crime for which he was charged and sentenced.
Since 1996, when he was railroaded and sent to prison to pay for the crime someone else obviously committed if he is innocent, Ronald Mortensen has been trying to prove his innocence; but the powers that be and higher-ups in Metro have been interfering with justice being served.
Back on December 30, 1996, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer Ronald Mortensen was arrested for the drive-by shooting murder of an alleged gang member that took place the evening of December 27, while Officer Mortensen was on his way home after celebrating his birthday with some friends, most likely all police officers.
Another fellow officer, Chris Brady, offered Mortensen a ride home. On his way there, he took a detour by a drug-plagued area of the city, and confronted some of the alleged Mexican gang members and drug dealers, an act which culminated in that shooting death.
Brady, the son of then-Detective Mike Brady with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department – who had a terrible reputation for knowing “where all the bodies are buried” and had something on many of the higher-ups at Metro — took advantage of his father’s position and so the cover-up began, and Ronald Mortensen was the only one charged with the murder of the drive-by shooting victim.
From then on the department was divided into two sides, with half believing that Mortensen was not the shooter and the other side refusing to comment for fear of retaliation due to the clout that the elder Brady supposedly had.
The conviction of Ronald Mortensen for the drive-by shooting of Daniel Mendoza may be old news for some, but for others it is still a very fresh issue in their memories, and after more than 18 years they keep hoping that justice will be served.
In summary, shots were fired out of the passenger window of a truck driven by Christopher Brady; Ron Mortensen was the passenger.
With other people helping to bring more evidence of corruption, bringing that additional evidence only proves that due process was completely ignored during the investigation that convicted Ronald Mortensen of a crime that he maintains he did not commit.
The Las Vegas Tribune continues to expose any additional details into the investigation of the shooting of Daniel Mendoza.
Does the sequence of events that followed the shooting describe due process under the U.S. Constitution, or show that persons, acting under color of law, conspired to protect the already-protected-by-his-
You be the judge of that after reading the following sequence of events.
1. Christopher Brady’s statement about the drive-by shooting was taken by Brent Becker and another Metro police officer, Paul Bigham. Brent Becker was a close friend and former partner of Christopher Brady’s father, Michael Brady, who was a long time Metro detective. Michael Brady sat in on the interview. Michael Brady and Paul Bigham were never asked to testify about the statement under oath. Although Christopher Brady acknowledged he had reached across Mortensen’s chest and pointed his gun out the passenger window, Brent Becker attempted to discount that fact. The officers took no statement from Mortensen.
2. Without further investigation, Sheriff Keller reported to the local media that Mortensen was guilty of the drive-by shooting.
3. Christopher Brady was not asked to participate in a line-up. Although witness testimony would be suspect given the lighting conditions at the time of night when the shooting occurred, that Brady was not asked to participate is significant.
4. Brady’s truck and clothing were not preserved as evidence to check for gun powder residue. He was allowed to wash his clothing and modify and paint his truck.
5. A scheduled preliminary hearing, for which subpoenas had been issued by Mortensen’s defense counsel, Frank Cremen, to show Christopher Brady’s bad performance record, was preempted by the District Attorney in favor of a secret grand jury proceeding.
6. Before convening the grand jury, which indicted Mortensen, a published report in a local newspaper said the bullet recovered from Mendoza’s body came from Mortensen’s gun. According to Glenn Puit, the reporter, the false story was leaked by Gary Guymon who went on to
7. Christopher Brady’s attorney, Stephen Stein, a friend of Michael Brady, was the first witness before the grand jury. He vouched for the veracity of Christopher Brady, who was the chief witness against Mortensen. Why Mr. Stein was allowed to vouch for Christopher Brady during the secret grand jury proceeding is suspect, especially given the fact that Nevada case law prevents this type of grand jury vouching.
8. Although Cremen, before the grand jury met, notified Chief Deputy District Attorney John P. Lukens, in some detail, that the theory of Mortensen’s defense was that Christopher Brady was the shooter, no indication of this was given to the jury, even though on two occasions a juror specifically asked about Mortensen’s possible defense.
9. After Mortensen was indicted, Lukens wrote to Cremen, “As your client, Mr. Mortensen, has been indicted, there is no need for Metro to produce records pursuant to your subpoena for the preliminary hearing previously scheduled for January 24, 1997.” Brady’s bad acts were to be undisclosed. This became significant after the trial when the brutish behavior of Brady was revealed. Among other bad acts of threatening, striking, abusing, and pulling guns on Hispanic males, it was revealed that he had forced a woman, whom he had stopped for a traffic violation, to perform fellatio on him.
10. One primary, alleged witness, Ruben Ramirez, had criminal cases pending in the district court at the time of his trial testimony. The defense was not notified by the prosecution of that fact during the trial.
11. Although Metro Officer Mark Barry knew that Brady had on several occasions said that he, Brady, would like to do a drive-by shooting, the trial jury was not informed of that fact.
12. To validate the prosecutor’s opening statement at the trial, that Christopher Brady looked like a Hispanic, Brady was allowed to change his appearance by cutting his hair and darkening his skin.
Mortensen filed a writ of Habeas Corpus in federal court and 28 monthslater the federal court sent his case back to state court where it’s been since May 2013, and he has been waiting for a response ever since.
During this time, since May 2, 2013 (10 months and counting), Ronald Mortensen had petitioned twice for appointment of counsel and no one can make a decision and the case is still going nowhere.
We are wondering how long it will take to issue an order to give this former police officer with an impeccable record his real “day in court,” showing that he was much more clean than his trigger-happy driver who had some previous contact with the alleged drug-dealing victim.