Former Charlottesville Police Officer, Jeffrey Jaeger, is a step closer to complete vindication.
Jaeger, convicted last December on trumped-up charges of misdemeanor battery, immediately appealed the court’s dubious finding. At yesterday’s follow-up hearing, the Commonwealth’s key and only witness, Andre Henderson, was a no-show.
And without Henderson’s testimony, the Commonwealth has no case.
Clearly a coached and reluctant witness at the original trial, Henderson decided to skip the encore. As a jury pool of nearly forty awaited the trial’s commencement, Judge Richard Moore was increasingly agitated at the Commonwealth’s failure to produce the witness.
Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney, Joe Platania, began calling Henderson at approximately 8:00 AM. When reached, witness Henderson claimed that he could not attend because he didn’t have a ride. Platania offered to dispatch a Sheriff’s Deputy for transportation, but Henderson demurred, citing a new excuse: he wasn’t feeling well. At this point, the witness stopped responding to Platania’s texts and calls (which ultimately numbered more than thirty).
Subsequently, Judge Moore issued a capias to have Henderson arrested and brought before the court to substantiate the claim of ill health—with the caveat that if the witness willfully disregarded his subpoena, the Commonwealth’s case against Jaeger will be dismissed with prejudice.
In the meantime, Jaeger and his family continue to suffer emotionally, financially, and reputationally from a mindless and baseless prosecution, wrongfully initiated to satiate a ravenous mob—and now nothing more than tortured folly.