DIANE DOWNS: MURDERER OR VICTIM

YOU BE THE JURY  

MURDER ON OLD MOHAWK ROAD

Isaiah 41: 10-13

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For deep personal insight into Diane’s case check out www.midnightmeditations.com

I think it is important for everyone to know why I believe Diane Downs didn't shoot her children.  Following is a list of reasons:

1        James Jagger, Attorney for the defense, said 383 leads that might have proved Diane's innocence, were withheld by the prosecution.  Go to: James Jagger affidavit.pdf

10 years later The Federal Public Defenders were told by Detective Doug Welch the records had been destroyed.  On March 4, 1998, The Federal Public Defenders returned to the Lane County Sheriff's Office and spent a full day copying the material from the three boxes, amounting to about 4700 pages of Withheld documents... Read the affidavit of William Teesdale: Teesdale affidavit.pdf

2        Trace metal tests were performed on Diane the night of the shooting.  They were negative:  Go to: ANTIMONY AND BARIUM

3        The shooter (according to the state) was well within the car and would therefore be covered with gun shot residue. Diane was not.    Go to:  ANTIMONY AND BARIUM

4        The shooter was covered with blood spatter and the ceiling of the car was .  Diane was not.  Go to: BLOOD SPATTER

5        The gun, Ruger #14-76187 that Diane was convicted with was subsequently found in a drug raid in Perris, California.  Tests were run to determine if the ballistics matched the casings from the shooting site.  They didn't!!!

6        Why do you think the prosecuting attorney would adopt the children and then have another attorney send a letter to their grandparents instructing them to not to visit them?   Go to: Hugi.letter1.pdf 

7        In 1993 we found people who were willing to swear that someone had confessed that he was the one who shot the Downs children.  Their affidavits are listed below.  Do you think the composite that was drawn on the night of the shooting looks like the confessed murderer?  His friends thought it looked just like him.  Look at him and decide for yourself and then read the affidavits.

A CONFESSED MURDERER

Just two days after Diane and her children were shot, James Claire Haynes began confessing to his friends and family that he was the one who killed Cheryl Downs and critically wounded Christie and Danny Downs.  Sworn affidavits attest to Jim Haynes confessions.  On November 10, 1993 Jim Haynes partner, Clayton Nysten told me on page three of his sworn affidavit:  "Two days after the shooting, Mr. Haynes told me that he was the one who shot the Downs woman and her kids." See: Clayton Nysten. pdf  On February 24, 1998, Mr. Nysten told the Federal Public Defenders on page three of a sworn affidavit:  "The day after that, I saw Haynes again, and then he told me he was the one who had shot the Downs family." Go to:  Clayton Nysten.2.pdf

The wife of James Haynes had this to say about him:  "During our marriage, Haynes physically assaulted me many times. Haynes has held a loaded 9 mm pistol in my mouth and a .357 magnum to my temple, threatening to shoot me. Haynes attacked me and broke my nose. On one occasion, during another argument, Haynes threw my newborn baby down the stairs. Haynes attacked me so many times it is difficult to remember them all, but I can/will never forget the violence and horrible crimes he has committed, nor the confessions he has made to me of brutal murders in the Willamette Valley area.  Mr. Haynes has told me he is the stranger who shot the Downs family...."  To read her affidavit, go to:  Phyllis Haynes.pdf or listen to what  Phyllis had to say in a recorded conversation: ..."He has beat me bloody many times...." Listen to it by going toPhyllis Haynes(128Kbs).mp3

Do you still have doubts?  Listen to what Dan Newby had to sayDan Newby(128Kbps).mp3 Or just read his affidavit: Dan Newby.pdf   Now compare the photograph of Jim Haynes taken in early 1983 with the composite given to Detective Dick Tracy on the night of the shooting.

Look at the eyes, the nose and the shag haircut.  Do you see the cheekbones?  The similarities are there for you to see.

Teresa Nyjordet said:  I was riding with Haynes in his red Corvette. We were on our way to Creswell when he suddenly told me he was the stranger who shot the Downs family.    Go to:   Teresa Nyjordet.pdf if you want the whole story.

Janet Rexroad said:  When I asked him if he had shot the Downs family, he admitted it said it was a hired hit. I told him the picture looked just like him, and he replied, "Yea, but they'll never catch me."  Read the affidavit   Janet Rexroad.pdf 

 Cecilia Nysten, Clayton Nysten's ex-wife, makes a few very interesting comments in her affidavit about both Jim Haynes and Clayton Nysten:  

Clayton and I then went to Jim Haynes' house.  Haynes was sitting on the bed reading the paper about the case. Clayton asked Haynes whether he was the one who had done it. Haynes confessed that he had committed the crime.  Go to:  Cecilia Nysten.pdf 

Quote by Wesley Frederickson:   "I've seen the place Cecilia Nysten spoke about.  It's a pond on Clayton Nysten's property and I was told they disposed of weapons in that pond if they didn't want anyone to find them.  I was told they covered the weapons with cosmoline and placed them in plastic bags to prevent rust."

When I interviewed Sandy Capps in 1993, her name was Sandy Stichler.  She was baby sitting Jim Haynes' children when I met with her.  She shared a lot of very pertinent information, but was afraid to make an affidavit so I never included it in any of my writings.  When the Federal Public Defenders interviewed Sandy Stichler in 1998, her name was  Sandy Capps she agreed to sign an affidavit then changed her mind because she was afraid.  In the affidavit the Federal Public Defenders made of their conversation with Sandy Capps, she said:  "Haynes then asked me what I would think if he had shot kids. When he said that I got really nervous. Jim Haynes then told me he had shot Diane Downs' kids and that it really changed his life" To read more, go to:  Sandy Capps.pdf

  On August 28, 1993, the first person to share with me about James Haynes' confessions of guilt, was Fran Wirta.   Listen to what Fran had to say:   Fran Wirta (128Kbs).mp3   Now read what she had to say:  Fran Wirta.pdf Roxie Haynes was afraid to give an affidavit:  Roxie Ann Haynes.pdf 

If you are going to shoot someone, it's very important to hold a gun.  Sounds silly doesn't it?  The night of the shooting, they did a trace metal test to see if Diane had held a gun.  Diane remarked that the police sprayed her hands with a substance on the night of the shooting.  She said she had a small cut on her hand and the spray burned a little bit.  She said they sprayed her hands until the substance dripped onto the floor.  This is called a Trace Metal Test and the purpose is to determine whether or not you have held a gun. The Trace Metal Tests came back negativeDiane did not hold the murder weapon.  She did not shoot her children.   Go to:  ANTIMONY AND BARIUM

There's more, but by now you must be wondering what about the evidence?  Isn't the evidence weighted heavily against Diane?  A few years after she was convicted, the Federal Public Defenders decided to get the evidence files and were shocked at the lies of Detective Douglas Welch.  He insisted that all records had been destroyed when they weren't.  The Sheriff's Office said they were following leads during the trial, when they weren't.  In court, they told the attorney for the defense there were no more leads.  Roy Pond testified there were only 30 to 35 leads.  Judge Gregory Foote said he had a problem with that detective's testimony.  In 1998, the Federal Public Defenders requested all the records that were held regarding  this investigation and any possible leads that might still be available.  They were told by Detective Doug Welch the records had been destroyed.  The Federal Public Defenders pursued this issue even further and found, according to William Teesdale of the Federal Public Defenders Office:   "On March 4, 1998, Ms. Willis and I returned to the Lane County Sheriff's Office and spent a full day copying the material from the three boxes, amounting to about 4700 pages of documents..."  Read the affidavit of William Teesdale: Teesdale affidavit.pdf 

When Diane filed an appeal, Judge Malcolm Marsh made many decisions that could have easily have been decided in Diane's favor.  

Judge Marsh writes:

The "miscarriage of justice" exception to procedural default is limited to habeas petitioners who can show that "a constitutional violation has probably resulted in the conviction of one who is actually innocent." Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 327 (1995) (citing Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478, 496 (1986)).

To demonstrate actual innocence petitioner must show "that it is more likely than not that no 'reasonable juror' would have convicted [her]" of the offense she was found guilty of had they been appraised of the new evidence. Schlup, 513 U.S. at 329; Van Buskirk v. Baldwin, 265 F.3d 1080, 1084 (9th Cir.2001), cert. denied, 535 U.S. 950 (2002).

Petitioner argues that she is "actually innocent of any 'dangerous offender' determination," as evidenced by the above referenced attachments to her original petition. However, neither the Ninth Circuit nor this court has expanded the actual innocence exception to permit a petitioner to attack a noncapital sentence. See Gandarela v. Johnson, 286 F.3d 1080, 1085 (9^th Cir. 2001); Dockery v. Thompson, No. CV-00-1022-GMK (D.Or., Sep.9, 2002), aff'd, 82 Fed. Appx. 552, 2003 WL 22783243 (9th Cir.2003); Jenkins v. Johnson, 2006 WL 1185666 at 5 (D. Or., Jan. 13, 2006). In any event, petitioner's evidence does not rise to the level necessary under Schlup. Accordingly, her procedural default is not excused.

Now you must wonder what 'reasonable juror' wouldn't have wondered at the reason the sheriff's office withheld 4700 pages of documents and then lied by saying there were only 30 to 35 leads.  That same 'reasonable juror' might also wonder about the "constitutional violation" that was overlooked by the courts to gain a conviction.   I know, it must just be her father talking, or is it?

 Read Dr. Debra Frisch's comments about Judge Malcolm Marsh's decision:  Judge Malcolm Marsh

The Murder Weapon.

Diane moved from Arizona to Oregon in early April 1983 and the shooting was on May 19, 1983.  The State said Diane used Steve Downs' gun to shoot her children.  Diane said the gun was in Arizona with her ex-husband.  She said she didn't have the gun, so I ran an ad in the Arizona Republic newspaper for a week in 1984, offering a reward for Ruger #14-76187.  This ad resulted in a letter from Prescott, Arizona from a man saying he had the gun:  Gun Response.pdf  It was learned later that the man who sent the letter worked as a security guard at Fort Whipple, just outside of Prescott.  The Sheriff's Office in Oregon eventually gave a press release that the report was a hoax.  The newspaper article said that Detective Diffendaffer of the Prescott, Arizona police department had conducted the investigation. 

A few years later I contacted Detective Diffendaffer to discuss his investigation.  According to Detective Diffendaffer,  Detective Dick Tracy, from Oregon conducted the investigation alone.  He did not go with Detective Tracy on the investigation.  A few months later the gun was found in a drug raid in Perris, California.  This is the area where Detective Tracy had been employed before moving to Oregon.  Lane County, Oregon recovered the weapon and ran tests to determine if it was the gun used in the shooting.  The ballistics from the shooting site didn't match Ruger #14-76187.  The gun Diane had been convicted of using to shoot her children was not the murder weapon.   The State's theory that Diane had used that pistol in the shooting of her children was in jeopardy, so the State then decided she must have used another gun.

 

Go to:   DEVIANT SOCIOPATH      ANTIMONY AND BARIUM       BALLISTICS    BLOOD SPATTER  MURDER WEAPON