INNOCENT BEHIND BARS (Corrected Copy) sign now

RICKEYS STORY


Let me introduce my self. My name is SGT Johanna Hargrove; I am active duty Army and the proud wife of Rickey L Hargrove. This is a long story, so bare with me. I have to start from the beginning so you will have the chance to understand the whole circumstances and surroundings concerning my Husbands incarceration.

Follow me back to the year 1991, Germany where the whole story and the Nightmare begins.
My Husband was stationed in Germany thru out this time. Deployed to the war in Kuwait Desert Storm and upon his return we met. I am a German national, and we met thru mutual friends at this time. We were best friends before we started seeing each other in a romantic way. Thru our Friendship Rickey has told me back then that he was married, had 2 little Girls and that his wife had left him while he was in the War, took all the furniture, money and his children and that he was going thru a divorce. He also started to confide in me, telling me that he walked in on his wife numerous times while she carried on with her extramarital affairs. Rickey is a very gentle hearted person, very family oriented and where other Men would have gave their wife her walking papers he would try to make it work for the sake of his Daughters. Rickey grew up without having this Father figure, he grew up in very poor surroundings, and these are just some of the reasons why it was so important for him to be that kind of Father that is there, involved, and will stop at nothing to give HIS Family and HIS children everything they had ever dreamed of. Needless to say our friendship evolved into love and Rickeys tour to Germany came to an end, thats when he told me that he dont want our relationship to end and asked me if I would like to accompany him to the States. I said yes. Rickeys next duty station was Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas. We had an apartment because we did not qualify for on post Housing back then due to the fact that we were not married. Rickey was an Armored Scout, so he was in the field and in training maneuvers constantly. I got pregnant with our first Son, Rickey jr. Somehow during this time the harassing phone calls from his wife started. Sharon, which is her name, would find us anywhere. Let me remind you that Rickey had filed for divorce and was supporting his two young daughters financially; he was not able to support them emotionally because she would never allow him to be around. When those phone calls became threatening and violent towards me, in a nature that she would come up to El Paso and kick my behind, I did the one thing that anyone would do, I was 8 months pregnant, Rickey was on maneuver, and I jumped on a Grey Hound Bus and made the trip to Houston to stay with his Family until Rickey would return from Maneuver.
Sharon (his ex wife) would utilize all the Army channels to find any reasons to get Rickey in trouble with his chain of command, her motto was, By any means necessary. Let me remind you again to the fact that Rickey had not left his wife, she had left him. Anything that Rickey would draw up in the divorce papers, Sharon would deny, so needless to say this whole divorce between Rickey and Sharon lasted nearly 8 years. In 1995
Rickeys commitment with the Army came to an end, and we decided to move back to Houston. We found a house in the Neighborhood that Rickey grew up, and he was not happy about that fact. We now had 2 Sons, Rickey and Thomas. I applied for my green card with the INS, and during this time was not able to work. But Rickey never complained he was holding two 40hr jobs. It did not matter to him; all that mattered was that he wanted to take care of his 2 Sons and his 2 Daughters. Rickey tried repeatedly to be given the chance by his ex Wife to be involved in their Daughters life, never once ceasing to support them financially. His ex wife came around a couple of times, where she would drop the Girls of with us and let them spent the weekend, I had talked to his ex wife and tried to explain to her, that I will treat them just like my own children and that they deserve to be around their Father, tried to explain to her that she tries to hurt Rickey, but by not letting him see and spend time with his Daughters, failing to realize that those 2 little girls are paying the ultimate prize. The animosity that came from her was enormous, and the hate overwhelming. Sharon was driven by jealousy, realizing that she left a great Man, which stops at nothing to take care of his Family. When she would pick up the girls from a weekend, she would be upset when she realized that the Kids had a good time. Sharon started to tell her Daughters how their Father was no good, that he only cares about the boys, that he never wanted to have Daughters, How the Boys have everything and they have nothing. Telling them the same story over and over again. Now, as a mother or a parent you have the power in shaping youre childrens minds and beliefs and she harmed the Girls by drawing a picture of their father that is horrible. Sharon would call Rickey when the Girls needed anything extra, and Rickey would always comply. Buy clothes for the girls. Rickey had to give her the receipts with the clothes, she would take those clothes back to the store and trade them back and keep the money to herself, and Rickey knows, because his daughters told him so.
Needless to say the phone calls started again, and wherever Rickey would work Sharon would find him anywhere and would try her hardest to make up some story to get him in trouble with Supervisors or even fired. You say: Well why did he not get a restraining order against her? Why did he not put an end to this? Rickey wore tired of the constant abuse of his ex wife, he grew tired of all the arguments, Rickey gave up because he had his 2 little Daughters in mind, that by any means necessary he wanted to be a part of. So he took the beatings that came from her.
So her harassment continued, and every now and then she would cave in and let him see his Daughters. Those visits became rarer and rarer but Rickey never gave up hope. He would never stop supporting his Daughters, and he would also be there to still help her if she would have something going on and no one else to turn too. Confusing? I know, but thats the kind of Man my Husband is, he will never turn his back, he would give his last shirt to help another, he receives hate but would not return it. Rickey would never ask for help, he is very proud and a very strong Man, very driven and determined to follow his dream of the big house and the family, Rickey will work him self to death to make this dream a reality. I loved that about my Husband, his strength and determination but Sharon seen it too, too late, realizing that she now had to destroy it again By any means necessary.
I got my INS papers and decided that I wanted to join the Army. My Husband was not very happy but supported me because he knew that that is something that I wanted to do. I went to Basic Training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training). During basic Training I broke my ankle, and it took me a total of a whole year to complete all my initial training. During this time our sons were staying with Rickey, and I knew that there was nothing that I had to worry about; he is an excellent Father, strict, fair, loving and just so much fun to be around. My first duty station was Fort Hood, Texas. Rickey and I decided that the Boys would stay with him for now until I get everything straight and situated on Fort Hood. During this time Rickey found a very good job, and with that money he could finally have his dream of this big house in a nice suburban neighborhood and with good schools for the Boys. Well, Rickey let me have my dream so in return I let Rickey have his dream and his Sons for this time. Needless to say that Sharon never stopped harassing him, and that I got even worse during this time that he had the new House in the perfect Neighborhood. She decided to let the girls visit once again, they visited and had to report in detail what Rickey had in his house as far as furnishings. Well my sons had Big screen TVs and everything else a child could dream of; My Husband would go without before he would let his children go without. The Girls would have had the same if Sharon would ever let him do and support the way he wanted too. Hatred arose in Sharon again, and again she told her Daughters how their Father was a no good S.. o. a B.! That he dont care about the girls. And Sharon now was determined to get the ultimate revenge; Sharon was determined to destroy my Rickeys life as soon as these divorce papers were filed. Again let me tell you that Rickey could have been the poster boy for a campaign named on How to be the perfect Father!
Lets get to when the accusations started to what my Husband was charged and incarcerated for 15 yrs of his life.
On 18 March of 2003, 3 days after the war had started in Iraq, I was deployed to Iraq. I returned on March 2004 and that is when I was told that my sons fell under the care of CPS. I went to Houston and I talked to my Husband that is when he told me that Sharon had charged him with sexual assault on their oldest daughter Raquel which was at this time 15 yrs of age. I did not know what to think. My whole world collapsed. The incident was said to have happened on or about 25 December 2002. Sharon had called my Husband repeatedly on the evening of the 21st of December 2002 telling Rickey that the girls have to stay with you, that they want to stay with you and that he needs to get them or she would drop them of at his House. It was urgent for Sharon. Rickey told her that he would not get of work until late that night; Sharon said it does not matter; they have to stay with you. So at 0130 early morning hours of the 22nd of December 2002 she dropped of the girls at Rickeys house. When the girls would spend the Night at Rickeys house they would always sleep with our sons, Rickey and Thomas. Mainly they would build a big bed in the Living room, so they could watch movies and play video games. My Husband always locked the door to the bedroom, and he never changed that about him. He always wanted to teach his children that they have to sleep in their own rooms, and I know I was always the push over and let them sleep in the middle between me and him if they kept whining long enough. Well on the 25th of December 2002 his Daughter Raquel accused her father of sexual assault. Raquels first story was that her father entered the room that night, forced her down, restrained her and then raped her. She claimed that she was screaming as loud as she could, yet none off the other kids were awakened. The second story that Raquel told was to my oldest Son, on the morning of the 25th December 2002, Raquel was in the Bathroom taking a Shower, my husbands Toilet in his Bedroom was clogged, so he came out of his Bedroom to use the one that Raquel was taking a shower in. He knocked at the door, and Raquel told her father that she was still getting ready, so my Husband went back into his Bedroom. My oldest son Rickey was awake also that morning, after a while he knocked at the same Bathroom door were Raquel was taking her Shower, she told my son that she was done, So my Son went to use the restroom after Raquel came out. It took my Son less then 30 sec to use the restroom, as he came out, thats when Raquel told my Son that their father had abused her. My son said nothing else was said by Raquel, my Son was not really sure of what she was talking about at that time. Every one preceded in getting dressed and then go to my Husbands sisters house were they would unwrap presents and celebrate Christmas day. Raquel and her Sister had a great time, Raquel is in nearly every picture taken of that day, enjoying her self and not at all acting like a child that was just sexually molested. Later on on the Day of the 25th of December 2002 Sharon appeared at the doorstep of Rickey sisters house, demanding that the girls need to come with her right now. Sharon said nothing to Rickey and the girls were very upset because they did not have had a chance to unwrap all of their presents. Rickey called the girls; at first he was trying to talk Sharon out of picking up the children. The girls came and they left with their mother. That same day, Sharon after leaving called the constable office and reported a disturbance in progress at my husbands sisters house. The Constable arrived and asked my Husbands sister what the disturbance was about, and everyone shrugged their shoulders and really had no clue. The Constable Officer stayed and surveyed my Husbands sisters house for a long time. On the evening of the 25th December 2002 my Husbands house was broken into. Mirrors were broken; TVs were kicked and scratched screens. My Husbands bedroom was broken into, it was all destroyed and also the mirror was broken and wine bottles that my Husband received from work were stolen. My Husband arrived to his House late that night on the 25th of December 2002 and they seen a vehicle that they did not know pull out of their driveway. A Police report was filed. The next day Sharon admitted on braking into Rickeys house to my Husbands sister. One week after the incident happened and the Break in my Husband was then formally charged by his ex wife with sexual assault. On 7 January 2003 his daughter Raquel claimed that she was impregnated by her Father. Investigators filed charges on my Husband 16 May 2003; on 21 May 2003 my Husband posted Bail, my Husbands court date was on 30 March 2005. My Husband had a Public Defender; the Accusers side claimed that there was DNA. The Public defender then told my Husband to plead guilty and he would get probation because of the DNA. The DNA was never presented into the case. On all the court proceedings there is no result on any DNA. My Husband was tested for DNA, he was given a swab, but we dont know what the DNA was for unless just to establish that he was the Biological father of his Daughter. There was never any DNA or witnesses subpoenaed in behalf of my Husband, when my Husband realized what the Public defender was trying to talk him in to, he tried to withdraw his pleas what was denied by the Judge. My Husbands trial was on the 30th of March 2005, but his lawyer did not tell him that he would be going to his Pre Sentence Hearing. His Mother was taking my Husband to the Court House that day. They were waiting in the hallway. My Husbands lawyer came up to my Husband and said: Ok Mr. Hargrove lets go. My Husband replied where are we going, and his lawyer replied: To court! There was no one notified in behalf of my Husband, no Family notified on behalf of my Husband, again, no expert witnesses, and no Character witnesses. They hung my Husband out to dry.
Rickeys daughter was sexually active from a very early age. During the time that she spend on Christmas with her father she had numerous boyfriends. The girls as we found out later have never really stayed with their mother, but rather stayed with their Grandmother. Sharon his ex wife works in the same Medical Office were all the prosecutions witnesses are from. We dont know of any police officer that investigated the crime my Husband was accused of. My Husband was never questioned or any of that thing. The Public Defender that represented my Husband has had many cases with the DA that prosecuted my Husband. All Lawyers in this case including the judge are well known for working with each other. After my Husbands sentencing to 15 yrs, flat time, in a correctional institution the family hired a new lawyer. We tried to get Rickey a new trial. The new lawyer filed a motion for a new hearing to receive a new trial, and the Judge called our Lawyer and told him no way. Red Flags should have went up in my Head when the new Lawyer that we had hired told me on how well he is standing with that Judge in particular, realizing that he will not stick his neck out and fight for my Husband, rather stay where he is and be a member of the Club that exists in the Harris County Judicial System. One thing that even this new lawyer that we had hired agreed on that there must have been deals made between the DA and the Public defender way before my husband went to his PSI. That the Public defender made fatal errors in advising and representing my Husband. So, ok even he agrees that there are so many scenarios surrounding my Husbands case and the DNA that just wont add up. The time that went by from 2002 all the way to 2005? Does this help me or my Husband? Is this helping my Sons that have to go and see their Father behind a glass and scream thru a hole? Does it help me or my Husband who is behind Bars? Who will take a look at this case? Who will raise a doubt in this whole story? Will anyone here me? My Husband does not have a voice anymore; it was taken away from him. So now I have to be his voice, and I need to be heard. Do you think that he is the only Man sitting behind Bars due to the false accusation of a woman? When are we going to start to concentrate on the Truth and not on hear says? When are we going to start to speak up when there is injustice? This Man, Father, Husband, Brother, Son is behind bars with no prior convictions, no prior run ins with the law, hard working, providing, but he was forced to be another statistic, another stereo type. And everyone will turn their Head. His fault that he did not have the money to have a Lawyer that would represent him to the fullest extend. His fault that he listened to that Lawyer. They are supposed to be the authority! They are supposed to be the experts! Where are the Lawyers that take the Law and their oath serious? But again, Money is the key to it all, if you dont have it, you wont get represented, you will only get representation according to the Dollar amount that you are able to spend. So again, My Husband is in Prison, working on 15 years of his life behind bars. I need voices that will help me to get his story heard. I need Hands that will guide me into the right directions. I need eyes that will help me see the truth that is at hand. I need minds that will help me think and come to a solution. I am not asking for a hand out, but I am asking for a chance to prove to a judge that is one of the most academic in Harris County to admit that there were errors and grant my Husband a new trial so he can speak, we can speak, and witnesses can speak, we have all this evidence and proof, we are asking for a chance to present it and set my Husband free and unite him with his Family and Sons.

I appreciate and thank you, even if you were just taking the time to read some of what I had to tell you. Maybe I made you think a little, and maybe it did not do anything. You have to decide for yourself. All I am asking you is for your consideration in helping me get my Husbands truth and nothing but the truth to be heard. May God bless you!

If you find it in youre Heart that you believe in my Husbands innocence then please lend me youre signature in the fight for his freedom and justice.


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Kellie LambertBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
United States Courts, United States Criminal Lawyers, United States Public Defenders, United States Public, United States Press,

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