Hi All, I'm Rebecca (James Higbees sister) and I keep the blog updated. Please feel free to find me on Facebook (Rebecca Joens) if you'd like to support Jamie and the matters regarding his innocence. I have events going on my Facebook page. We welcome all to contribute with your time and prayer. We are sad to say that the verdict came down in favor of the prosecution the week prior to Thanksgiving, on November 17th, 2014 to be exact. Needless to say, this was a huge shock to us, as many friends and family attended trial daily and felt that James' innocence went without saying. Unfortunately, as a result, we have lost most of our faith in the judicial system. Many cried, including Jamie's male attorneys, who strongly believe in his innocence and are now working on his behalf, filing for motions to overturn the verdict, notice of motion to file an appeal and the like.
We are unable to reconcile this in many ways, but the following is a brief synopsis of how we think this came to be, particularly for those who are new to James' situation:
We know that from the get-go this was a "witch hunt," so to speak. The detective did a biased investigation, or lack thereof, as we think that she may have personally known the prosecution's side. We know that the prosecution's side , the DA and Devin's mother, her family, etc., lied on the stand, even perjuring themselves. Theatrics were demonstrated to achieve their goal, which was to deflect from the injury that occurred on their watch in Solvang and Disneyland. This came down to politics and a win for the DA, versus the truth. We honestly believed that in order to convict someone you had to have evidence, but that is absolutely not the case as we are a glaring example of. All you need is an injured child and people that are willing to lie for self-preservation. We believe that after four weeks of trial, an exhausted jury only deliberated for one hour and based their decision on raw emotion rather than on evidentiary and medical fact.
Innocent people do go to prison. It happens all the time, and it happened to our family. It is a travesty, but we keep moving forward everyday.
ALL involved who know James, including his legal team and expert witnesses know that his innocence goes without saying. And, in fact, there are mountains of glaring evidence to the contrary. Via esteemed experts from Cedars-Sinai ''It is impossible that this injury was sustained on James watch, in twenty-five minutes, due to the timing and nature of the injury.'' More than likely it was sustained during the four days that he was with the Adams family, i.e., he stood up, fell from his stroller to the ground and landed on concrete in Solvang. This was further complicated with bumping his fragile head on multiple rides at Disneyland. However, here we are four years later and over $200,000 in legal fees, our inability to have our beloved Devin as part of our family. And now our James sits in prison as an innocent man who has lost his freedom and his child, but not his strength of character and/or fortitude.
Although we are all traumatized, we have joined hands as a united force.
We have not given up! We will leave no stone unturned. We have hundreds that believe in James and give energy and prayer for him daily. This includes, friends, family, our respective communities, and our entire church family of Archibald Ranch Community Church. We even have the forces of Harvest praying for us! We feel blessed to have this outpouring of strength and support on behalf of James.
The connections that we have are certainly not a coincidence. We are in touch with Amy Friedman, prominent author along with being the founder of POPS, which stands for Pain of the Prison System. She has put us in touch with the State Inspector General, along with a sincerely kind and helpful man, Franky Carrillo, who was exonerated by the Innocence Project after twenty years in prison. And, we are in talks with the Innocence Project and Innocence Matters. We are working towards establishing a non-profit organization. As well, Deborah is in touch with ACLU. We are advocating for inmate conditions to be improved with the help of the ACLU, who won a settlement against the LA County Sheriffs' Department in November of 2014.
As always, Jamie continues to walk through this with grace and dignity. He is a huge support for other inmates in creating art for them, their children and their families. He's going to school to further his education while an inmate and intends to work to occupy his time. He's also begun channeling his talent of writing and telling his story through that medium. We can never know why bad things happen to good people but as cliche as it sounds, we all truly believe that James is there right now for a reason. God is using him to touch the lives of others with his compassion, wisdom and perseverance. Anyone that knows Jamie knows that he can bring light to the darkest of places.
On March 4th, prior to his sentencing hearing, we will be at Pomona courthouse at 7:30 a.m. in prayer and solidarity for James. This also happens to be his 29th birthday. We are hoping for a large turn out and all support would be appreciated. Let's show all that there is no monopoly on the judicial system and/or God and that we believe in James' innocence.
We, as a family, humbly thank each of you for your ongoing love and support.
Romans 12:19 - Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.