More From the Stooges

     The very first LIE out of the mouth of Flying J was the one spoken first by Ruben Cody, who told Gordon County Sheriffs Deputy Brown that I had been drinking or that I was drunk.  On what did he base this judgment, and what gave him the expertise to discern that this was in fact true?

     This was IMMEDIATELY discounted at the scene by Brown who has far more experience and training at making these types of observations than Ruben Cody’s claim of “watching a 20 minute video”; if in fact Flying J provides such training for their employees.

<Insert transcripts from Cody interview with Morrison here>

     The very next LIE was when Carl Goolsby claimed I “hit him first”. This was also discounted by Brown who shown a flashlight into Goolsby’s face and told Goolsby that I DIDN’T hit him and remarked that he saw no marks.

<Insert transcripts from Goolsby interview with Morrison here>



Q: Todays date December 9, 1997. The time is approximately 11:31 PM. This interview is taking place at the Gordon County Sherriff's Office. I'll be interviewing Carl Goolsby of 113 Moss Creek DR. Calhoun Georgia, age 33. Mr Goolsby, before I talk to you I've got to advise you of your Constitutional Rights and what this right here is, is a "waiver form", it says: 'I have the right to remain silent, anything I say can be used against me in a Court of Law, I have the right to talk to a Lawyer and have him present with me while I am being questioned, if I cannot afford to hire a Lawyer, one will be appointed to represent me before any questioning if I wish. I can excersize these rights and not answer any question or make any statements', you understand that?

A: Yes Sir

Q: Are you willing to talk to me?

A: Yes Sir (Goolsby signed the Miranda Waiver form)

(NOTE: as many as 85% of criminals waive their Miranda rights)

Q: Who punched him in the eye?

A: I have no idea

Q: Cause he's got a black eye, his left eye is black....

A: I have no idea

Q: Swollen up, almost shut. Do you know how he got a broke arm?

A: I have no idea. All I know is they were holding him at waist level like this, you know maybe when he was trying to jerk, whatever, you know it popped, I don't know. I just know when I got up, he was already restrained down and they were holding him in place keeping him from trying to fight more cause he was very....

Q: Now when I talked to him he didn't say nothing about punching you.

A: He hit me in the face.

Q: Now, some of the witnesses now we've talked to say that you all was walking across the parking lot and that you had pushed him a couple of times....

A: No Sir.

Q: And ah anyway, I think he turned around and got in your face and then Ruben punched him three times or a couple of times....

A: I don't know, I didn't see that

Q: and then he got a little closer to the truck and you all put him on the ground and somebody well, they didn't say YOU grabbed his arm, they said you all was beating him on the ground

later in the interview

Q: Let me ask you this, would you be willing to take a polygraph test?

A: Sure

     Now we jump forward to January 1998, the letter from Kumen Taylor to Richard Radke.

     Kumen Taylor starts off by saying that he had "substantually completed" his investigation. But who besides his employees did he interview? According to Detective Morrison, Deputy Brown, Dana Dean and Tommy Waldner (the two witnesses) no one from Flying J contacted them prior to the Trial. Mr. Taylor never called nor wrote letters to anyone other than the employees. So what kind of investigation was that? What kind of half-assed job is Flying J paying him to do? If anyone performed on their job as Mr. Taylor did on his "investigation", they would be looking for work the next day.

     Then Kumen Taylor says that the drive way was blocked and my truck was “principally responsible” for the blockage. Testimony from their employees was that it was “unusually busy” that night. Everyone who has ever done business with Flying J knows that their small parking areas often fill up early evening.

     Testimony from Dana Dean and Tommy Waldner, the truck driver witnesses was that I was parked between their truck and another. So, if any truck was causing a “blockage” then the truck parked to my right was the one. Testimony from Deputy Brown was that he noticed no blockage until the ambulance got there. (The “Looky-Loos” will do it every time)

     Then Mr. Taylor claims I approached the fuel cashier (Tammy Smith) in a “loud abusive manner” and called her a “whore, bitch and other terms”, he goes on to claim that I threatened her and the other cashier physically. Mr. Taylor goes on to say that I then approached the fuel desk manager and got abusive and vulgar with him. He then claims that at this point that the General Manager was called, who allegedly confronted me (still inside the C-Store) and that I then turned my attention upon him and “began to shove and push him around, threatening and using foul and abusive language”.

  Yet, Tammy Smith testified that I even though I called her a bitch, I never called her a whore, never spat on her, never leaned across the counter toward her, never touched her in an uninvited way, never approached any other employee, nor was I approached by any other employee while in the “C-Store”, In addition; Goolsby and Cody both testified that they first made contact with me outside the Store, in the area of the fuel pumps.  

     Let’s stop right here for a minute. The claim is that I created such a disturbance inside the C-Store, including “screaming vulgarities” and physical assaults on more than one person. Any moron knows that almost every “gas station”, “C-Store”, or “Travel Plaza” has video surveillance in the area of the cashier. They have had for many years.

     If I had assaulted just one person, or had created such disturbance as they claim, then they would have video and possibly audio records of this right? Yet, at trial, Flying J claimed that no such video/audio recordings existed.

     What is the possibility that they did not exist because things did not happen in the manner that Flying J portrayed? In addition; if the events of Dec 09, 1997 happened like they said, if I had assaulted anyone inside the “C-Store”, why did they not "restrain" me inside instead of waiting till I had walked in between two trailers where the possibility of someone witnessing their employees vicious assault was less?

     I believe that those recordings did exist at time of trial, but because they did not portray the events in the manner that Flying J wanted to present in Court, they denied their existence.

     Back to Mr. Taylor’s letter; Taylor starts describing “some kind of game”, where they claim I would “suddenly stop, causing the General Manager to almost bump” into me. He also describes the “parking lot as quite dark”. It was early evening and the sun had set, however, the area he is describing is directly under the fuel island canopy, and anyone who has been to a modern gas station or truckstop knows that the area under the fuel island canopy is always brightly lit. Flying J knew that there were witnesses and their names. With this lie, they were trying to set the stage to prove the witnesses couldn’t have seen what they told the Deputies and would ultimately say in Court.

     Then Taylor claims I “swung a fist and struck” Goolsby and knocked him down. If I had struck Goolsby in the face, there would have been evidence of that, but Deputy Brown had already called Goolsby a “liar” at the scene when Goolsby told that lie. Taylor goes on to say that I was “taller and bigger than they were and they were afraid of me.”

I have weighed between 165 and 175 lbs since I was 17 years old. Testimony from Goolsby has his weight at about 245 and Cody about 215. The weight of the other two thugs is unknown because they by luck were not sued, nor did they testify at trial. In addition, how would I scare these big “manly-men” if a diminutive fuel cashier name Tammy wasn’t afraid of me at all?

     At Trial, Goolsby went on to describe what could be characterized as a clumsy turn to the right and striking him my fist, but not really hard, but because he was “off balance” he lost his footing and fell to the ground. I am not a big man, but 19 years of working as a tree trimmer has given me an incredible sense of balance as well as strength on a lanky frame. If I had struck Goolsby as they claim, I would have knocked him down and there would have been some mark on his face.

     Taylor goes on to say first; that there were “no other truckdrivers” in the area, then second; that another truck driver came up, was belligerent and tried to incite other truck drivers against the Flying J employees. Which is it? Either there were other truck drivers in the area, or there weren’t. Can’t have it both ways Mr. Taylor.

     Then Taylor says that the employees (plural of the singular employee) were certain that I was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There was only ONE employee testify to that, and we know he was lying. Why did not Flying J produce other witnesses to this fact? Where were any witnesses that spoke for Flying J, except for Tammy Smith, whose testimony did far more to bolster my claims than disprove them.

     Taylor says “some truck driver said I had a gun in my truck”. Goolsby repeated this in testimony and added that he heard that lie again from an unknown voice over the “CB radio”. It could be that Goolsby was bragging about how his gang of thugs had beaten the truck driver, and another driver was angered by their cavalier attitude and said that, if anyone said it at all. But when you compare this with the other Lies from Flying J, it is far more likely that this is just another.

     Taylor says that “His injuries appear to be the result of his fall to the ground with our employee on top of him.” and “Mr. Hankins has already physically assaulted three of our employees and had verbally assaulted or threatened six or eight other employees. Several of them expressed the fact that they were put in fear for their personal safety and were simply trying to get Mr. Hankins to calm down and move his truck”. I am sure that a severely bruised face, black eye and broken right elbow were the result of getting viciously attacked by the asphalt driveway. Again, which employees “feared for their safety” if not Tammy Smith? Why would four BIG men be afraid of one guy? And testimony from Dana Dean was that I repeatedly tried to leave, repeatedly told the four Flying J thugs that “I am, I just want to, just let me” leave.

     According to Deputy Brown, the employees were “unprofessional” and “out of control”. So, why were they trying to calm me down, like Kumen Taylor says?

<Insert excerpts from Cody Deposition Here>

<Insert excerpts from Goolsby Deposition Here>