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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Bizarre Hearing Leads to Freiner's Release

 (Evita Tolu, representing Freiner, and Judge James Sullivan at a virtual bond hearing March 23, 2021)

 Angela Freiner is home, but not before the St. Louis City Courtroom of Judge James Sullivan turned into a circus. 

Freiner was recently arrested and held on $75,000 all cash bond for what amounts to sending a mean email to a judge. That email is below

The court does not have the right to hold my daughter against her will or traffic her across the country! If she is not returned to me today there will be consequences for your conduct. You have stepped over the line for any time of immunity as a judge!

It was the "there will be consequences" which especially caught the ire of its target, Judge Nicole Zellweger.

(Judge Nicole Zellweger)

Zellweger had recently trafficked, if you ask Freiner of course, Freiner's 14 year old daughter; Freiner's daughter had first been moved to a psych ward and then to Arizona it appears even though the girl is on audio telling Judge Zellweger that her father is molesting her. Judge Zellweger saw fit to force to girl to live with him anyway. 

 Shortly after that recording was made public, Zellweger first tried to have it removed and then when that turned into a much bigger story, she quickly recused herself.

After Freiner then sent her the above email, Zellweger had her arrested and she is now charged with Tampering with a Judicial Officer, a Class D Felony, which is a low level felony.

Freiner was picked up more than two weeks ago. She was scheduled to have hear bail hearing on Monday March 16, 2021, but on the eve of that the entire St. Louis County Judge slate recused itself from her case. 

Judge Recusal Order by mikekvolpe

St. Louis County is the 21st Judicial District and Sullivan is in the 22nd. He was quickly chosen by the Missouri Supreme Court and promptly postponed the hearing until March 23, 2021. 

The hearing was scheduled to start at 9AM Central Time. Instead, everyone was available but Angie, who was in jail. 

For approximately forty-five minutes, the judge's staff were contacting the jail while the hearing conducted virtually stalled. 

During this time, Judge Sullivan warned repeatedly that unauthorized recording of this virtual conference was not allowed. He said it twice and possibly a third time. 

After about fifty minutes, Freiner's attorney, Evita Tolu, waived her appearance and the hearing began without Freiner. 

The hearing began but shortly after formalities were read, the judge and both lawyers disappeared into what is called a "breakout room." 

The breakout session lasted only fifteen minutes, however the Judge used the breakout room to hide the hearing from the general public. 

There were nearly twenty observers on the video conference and all but the lawyers and judge were left out of this breakout room. 

I asked Judge Sullivan for an explanation along with calling the court, but they have provided none. 

Despite Judge Sullivan's attempts to keep this hearing as non-transparent as possible, I have learned that most of the hearing, including some if not all of the breakout sessions, were recorded. Judge Sullivan referred to the breakout room as akin to his chambers. 

During one the prosecutor, Jessica Nagy, asked the judge to remind the audience again that no one was to record them. 

"I just want to make it clear that it if these people are going to be on here and present, that it is made clear that they are not allowed to record," Nagy said in what should soon be an ironic statement. 

Tolu argued that Freiner had ties to the community, is not a flight risk, and doesn't present a threat. 

She was bolstered in her argument by the admission of the prosecutor that Angie has no prior convictions for misdemeanors or felonies. 

When Tolu attempted to introduce part of the narrative from Freiner's custody trial, the prosecutor objected, arguing that it was not relevant to the argument made- that she's not a flight risk, is not a danger, and has ties to the community. 

Judge Sullivan sustained the objection noting, "The underlying case is not really germane to the court as far as the bond."

But later, the prosecutor noted that her daughter lives out of state and argued that this could make Angie more of a flight risk with her daughter in another state, but Angie's daughter is in another state, Arizona, due to the custody case, the "underlying case" which Judge Sullivan said was not "germane to the court as far as the bond."

            Jessica Nagy from LinkedIn 

Prosecutor Nagy argued that the victim, Judge Zellweger, remained fearful for her and her family's life. 

"I have spoken to the victim who is fearful for her life and the life of her family," Nagy said, "Ever since she has been charged with this victim has also gotten multiple threats from others that have been involved with the case."

The second part of Nagy's statement is interesting and curious; if someone else is threatening the judge, they should be arrested, at least if Nagy also thinks that sending a judge an email and stating "there will be consequences" constitutes harassment. 

Nagy continued, "So, now, the victim is being threatened by many others in the community."

I think Ms. Nagy maybe including me in this statement. I have sent Judge Zellweger some emails and while not threatening, I can see how Judge Zellweger may not find them as funny as me. 

They did not start out sarcastic. My first one was direct and it was sent to her and the Guardian ad Litem, Venus Jackson, on the case. It included a link to audio of Jackson telling Judge Zellweger of numerous incidents of abuse. 


 Email below.

It's Mike Volpe. I recently spoke with Ms. Jackson. I'm working on a story about widespread corruption in St. Louis County courts and the case of Angela Freiner was brought to my attention. This is the two of you discussing how Angela Freiner's daughter disclosed abuse by her father and people living in his home. Yet, Ms. Jackson recommended and Judge Zellweger obliged forcing the daughter to live with her father and recently her mother, Angela Freiner, spent two days in jail for refusing to force her. Is that right? Ms. Jackson even accused Ms. Freiner of parental alienation, which is a discredited and bogus label. This looks like a Kids for Kash type scheme in which Ms. Jackson ignores abuse so that abuser gets custody and Ms. Jackson is rewarded with more cases. Am I wrong?

They continued to be direct and then shortly after the audio of Zellweger and the 14 year old was released I sent her this email on Monday March 1, 2021. 

So, if I understood you correctly on the audio recording,

you thought this decision would end the family's conflicts,

You thought that switching custody to an alleged abuser would calm the family. How exactly did you make such an unconventional decision? I am familiar with judges like you. Are you familiar with Judge David Knutson of Dakota County? Check out this order, somewhat like yours, only you had a hearing before it. 

The two oldest daughters ran and were hidden about nine months after this order. The mother was blamed, jailed, smeared in the media. Parental alienation there too. Very similar, no. This seems to be a pattern. What do you think? I don't understand why judges like you constantly presume abuse is parental alienation. Who is telling you this? 

Do you know Rena Hughes, again, parental alienation. It's amazing how many of you judges behave the same way while screaming parental alienation. Can you imagine if you're wrong? If it is abuse. You'd have a lot to answer for. Is that why you are desperate to hide the audio recording? 

Judge Zellweger, I don't think you should be trying the Freiner case. I don't think you can be objective. I think you should recuse yourself. What do you think?  

On Thursday March 4, 2021, Judge Zellweger did indeed recuse herself from the case I suggested she was too biased to continue on. 

As I see it, the judge and I had developed a dialogue- even if it is a dysfunctional one. I asked her questions and she responded with some sort of tyrannical judicial act; after I sent her a link to the audio of her ignoring sexual molestation, she quickly called an emergency hearing to have that audio destroyed. 

Most recently, someone- presumably at her behest- has asked that YouTube take down two videos recorded of her courtroom, including the one of her forcing a fourteen year old to go to the dad the girl says is molesting her; this complaint was filed on March 22, 2021, and the videos remain up as the article is published. 

I felt it only proper to continue the dialogue. 

By this time, Judge Zellweger had trafficked Angie's daughter to Arizona, recused herself from the case, and then had her arrested. 

If I told her how I really felt, I might say something I'll regret; so, I resorted to humor. 

For instance, Nick Reed of KSGF in nearby Jefferson City picked up Zellweger's story in his radio show. Find the link here. 

I thought Judge Zellweger would enjoy this podcast; I sent it with this note, "This can't be good for your career."

Then, an independent YouTube channel, Just Conspiracy, developed an interest in the story. I thought Judge Zellweger would enjoy his videos; I sent her the one below, with the caption, "I don't think he likes you."

 Then I saw, Just Conspiracy did another video Judge Zellweger should be interested in. Even though Judge Zellweger would definitely enjoy this video, he did put devil horns on her. 

 So, I added this, "Yep, that Just Conspiracy guy definitely doesn't like you. You know what it is. He put devil horns on your head. If he's putting devil horns on your head, I'd bet he doesn't like you. Sad."

I can see where she wouldn't find it as funny, but it's not harassing, threatening, or any other made up crime they'd like to claim. 

Angie joined the virtual hearing about ten minutes prior to it ending. The judge informed her that she'd be released on her own recognizance- meaning with no bond- with certain limited conditions. 

"I don't want you to contact directly or indirectly any of the state's endorsed witness or their family members. What I mean by that is I don't want you to even put their names into a computer Google search," Judge Sullivan said. "That means through a third party, through a family member, you are not to contact them."

I hope Judge Sullivan isn't talking to me, because Judge Zellweger and I have a good dialogue going.

Post Script:

Please check out my previous articles on St. Louis County: Article 1Article 2Article 3, Article 4, Article 5, Article 6, and Article 7.

Also check out the crowdfunding campaign which supports this series.  



Anonymous said...

Great work as usual. I literally laughed out loud when I read the messages you sent the judge.

Anonymous said...

These bogus charges and bond hearings are done with one purpose only to teach Freiner a lesson not to speak up about safety of her child and to intimidate and threaten other litigants. This is a threatening message to all those parents who fight corruption in St. Louis County Family Court - you speak up, you will be charged, arrested and tried! There is no law and order in St. Louis Family Courts. The establishment uses threats, intimidation, and jail to silence people instead of investigating lawlessness that is taking place in their courts.