Connie Reguli has been exonerated in the alleged Felony Aggravated Perjury case, Docket#W-CR-220457, that was originally filed August 12, 2022, by Kim Helper, (Deceased) District Attorney General 19th Judicial District, State of Tennessee.
Stephens, Assistant District Attorney (Prosecutor) on June 14, 2023, did the right thing and has determined lack of evidence on the state’s part. The State of Tennessee moved for what is called: “Order of Nolle Prosequi” to mean – “the prosecutor will drop the criminal indictment,” against Reguli.
According to Reguli, the second arrest, as well as the first arrest has been an assault on my First Amendment Constitutional Protections … The second arrest criminal charge, “Aggravated Perjury,” was without providing a copy of the Grand Jury Indictment filed against me, says Reguli.
After the Motion for a New Trial was denied, Judge Woodruff was ready for his next offensive tactical move.
Judge Woodruff turned himself into an investigator after a public records hearing in April 2022, and secretly wrote a letter to an executive director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) at the time. Judge Woodruff said in the letter that Reguli had testified that she had paid an attorney fee sanction from a decade past, and he wanted to know if she was telling the truth.
Findings reveal the secret letter was not sent to Reguli nor was it filed with the Court Clerk. A few weeks later, CASA director Layton would sign an affidavit that she had reviewed the “regularly maintained business records” of CASA and there was no record of payment by Reguli. This affidavit, although written with the caption of the public records case, was not sent to Reguli, nor was it filed with the clerk.
August 8, 2022, just five days after the newly assigned judge in the criminal court case failed to incarcerate Reguli after a motion hearing, Judge Woodruff and District Attorney Kim Helper presented a brand new felony to the Williamson County Grand Jury. This time Reguli was charged with Aggravated Perjury, a new felony charge claiming that she falsely stated she had satisfied the prior sanction. The Grand Jury indicted Reguli on the affidavit of CASA director Layton.
Another new judge was appointed to hear this case. Reguli had the District Attorney Kim Helper disqualified and the Montgomery County (Clarksville) District Attorney’s office took the case.
This time Reguli issued a subpoena for CASA to produce all the regularly maintained business records reviewed by E. Layton along with records showing a request for payment, accounts receivable ledgers showing an outstanding balance, and policies on receiving mail. CASA hired an attorney to oppose the motion claiming that if there was record of that payment, Reguli would be in a better place to produce the record.
However, criminal defendants, such as Reguli, don’t have to prove anything. The burden of proof is always on the State prosecutor to make their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The element that the State of Tennessee must prove is not, did Reguli make the payment, but did Reguli lie about making a payment. The State must prove a negative and cannot require Reguli to do anything.
Judge Morgan agreed with Reguli and explained that as he saw it, the affidavit of E. Layton made all of the business records that she reviewed relevant and met all of the other criteria of a discovery subpoena in a criminal case. The CASA attorney, Mike Stephens, said that he would have to locate Layton, who no longer works for CASA to find out what she reviewed. The State’s attorney, John Stephens, said that he was not limited to the witnesses listed on the indictment and may try to obtain other witnesses.
District Attorney John Stephens has struggled to make sense of his trial strategy being left with this impractical and impossible prosecution. In January of this year, he told Judge Morgan that he was going to subpoena ten years of Reguli’s bank records. That didn’t happen. In February, he then told Judge Morgan he was going to subpoena ten years of CASA’s bank records. His deadline for discovery disclosure is May 31, 2023. Reguli had not received any notice of a subpoena for bank records, nor has the district attorney produced them for review. His insurmountable task is to prove a negative.
The judge’s order directing CASA to produce the regularly maintained business records of CASA is a big win for Reguli as a criminal defendant and may shine a light on the ridiculousness of this indictment.
Now Reguli’s final big win on June 14, 2023, was to have the State fold due to lack of evidence and Stephens, Assistant District Attorney who did the right thing by dismissing the Indictment against Reguli, for lack of evidence.
Maybe it’s time for “Moffatt Media” to create a “Prosecutor Wall of Fame,” for those prosecutors who do the right thing!