Monday, June 02, 2003

Half Moon Steve Gets Mugged

Steve Dunleavy gets mugged while passed out drunk at 3:15. Well, at least he wasn't raped and murdered. You may remember, old Steve was one of the primary transmitters of what he claimed was "Clinton's Biggest Crime." What was that, you may, ask? I mean, there were so many. The all powerful evil Clenis ™ was guilty of so many things. In Steve's world, Clinton's greatest crime was keeping in "innocent" rapist in jail because the "alleged" victim of said "alleged" rapist was distantly related to him.

The man's name was Wayne Dumond. I feel a little for Mr. Dumond - he was the victim of some unpleasant vigilante violence - the Village Voice sheds a few tears about him here.

Long after Clinton left office, at the urging of people like Dunleavy, Mike Huckabee paroled Dumond in 1999. As Murray Waas tells us:

Jay Cole, like Huckabee, is a Baptist minister, pastor for the Mission Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville and a close friend of the governor and his wife. On the ultra-conservative radio program he hosts, Cole has championed the cause of Wayne Dumond for more than a decade.

Cole has repeatedly claimed that Dumond's various travails are the result of Ashley Stevens' distant relationship to Bill Clinton.

The governor was also apparently relying on information he got from Steve Dunleavy, first as a correspondent for the tabloid television show "A Current Affair" and later as a columnist for the New York Post.

Much of what Dunleavy has written about the Dumond saga has been either unverified or is demonstrably untrue. Dunleavy has all but accused Ashley Stevens of having fabricated her rape, derisively referring to her in one column as a "so-called victim," and brusquely asserting in another, "That rape never happened."

The columnist wrote that Dumond was a "Vietnam veteran with no record" when in fact he did have a criminal record. He claimed there existed DNA evidence by "one of the most respected DNA experts in the country" to exonerate Dumond, even though there was no such evidence. He wrote that Bill Clinton had personally intervened to keep Dumond in prison, even though Clinton had recused himself in 1990 from any involvement in the case because of his distant relationship with Stevens.

"The problem with the governor is that he listens to Jay Cole and reads Steve Dunleavy and believes them ... without doing other substantative work," the state official said.

Had Huckabee examined in detail the parole board's files regarding Dumond, he would have known Dumond had compiled a lengthy criminal resume.

In 1972, Dumond was arrested in the beating death of a man in Oklahoma. Dumond was not charged in that case after agreeing to testify for the prosecution against two others. But he admitted on the witness stand that he was among those who struck the murder victim with a claw hammer.

In 1973, Dumond was arrested and placed on probation for five years for admitting in Oregon to molesting a teen-age girl in the parking lot of a shopping center.

Three years later, according to Arkansas State Police records, Dumond admitted to raping an Arkansas woman. (Dumond later repudiated the confession, saying he was coerced by police.) Dumond was never formally charged in that case; the woman, saying she feared for her life, did not press charges. (See sidebar.)

The meeting Huckabee had with Ashley Stevens and her family only made matters worse for the governor, energizing Stevens and her family to tell their story to anybody who would listen.

Huckabee " let us know that he was set on his course, which was to set Dumond free," Long said.

Ashley Stevens says she told the governor: "This is how close I was to Wayne Dumond. I will never forget his face. And now I don't want you ever to forget my face."

After being released, Wayne Dumond was arrested for the rape/murder of one girl and was suspected in a second similar case. I don't believe the case has gone to trial yet. Perhaps there is a very good reason why Mr. Dunleavy seems to drink himself into oblivion fairly regularly.
(thanks to Moose-n-squirrel for the reminder)