Hello all, We feel blessed to be able to say that while James was in fact sentenced on March 4th, we had a very successful day! I'm going to include an email from one of James' supporters to give you the feel of how the day played out:
Thank you for your prayers.
As briefly as I can tell you, the judge denied our attorney's request to allow him to contact and ask the jurors what made them believe Jamie was guilty. Therefore, he went ahead with the sentencing. Being convicted of those two charges, I believe, carried a mandatory "Life" sentence. However, the judge did say, he could be eligible for parole in 7 years. (That sure beats "Life without parole," which was also an option) The attorney explained to us later that, realistically, parole boards always deny the first couple of requests a prisoner submits. If that happens, he could possibly be released in 9 years or so.
The hearing was set for 8:30 am so we had invited as many of us as could come, to show up outside (and across the large courtyard from) the Pomona courthouse at 7:30 am, wearing white shirts to signify our belief in his innocence, for the purpose of singing some worship songs, praying for Jamie, and to take a group photo on an phone so it could be shown to Jamie by his attorney, to encourage Jamie that he's not standing alone in this fight. His sister had gotten buttons made with our motto, "I Stand With James". We all put one on. I had been praying beforehand that God would cover the gathering with His calm and He did. And when they opened the doors to allow his supporters into the courtroom, Jamie was sitting up ahead of us, with his back to us. When he heard us begin filing in, he turned his head around to see who all was there. It was such a blessing to me to see the sheer expression of blessing on his face as he kept watching, and watching, and watching, and watching, as this group of his supporters filed in and filled up the entire section. After the hearing, the attorney was able to show Jamie the Phone photo of the larger group that had assembled earlier outside. He said Jamie cried when he saw it.
Given all the horrible realities that have come down on Jamie, and knowing that sentencing was hanging out there to land another heavy blow on him (and us), I couldn't see any way that Jamie could experience any happiness or positive feelings on this, his day of sentencing--on this, his 29th birthday. But, I am so grateful to share with you I do believe God did it! He planted the idea two weeks ago, we moved on it, and He brought us all together to physically and spiritually stand with Jamie. And in doing so, God gave all of us the priceless gift of being a part of His blessing to Jamie; a very special, very huge blessing on this, his 29th birthday. Thanks to each of you for your prayers. Please keep praying. This will be a long battle. Thank you God for all you did today to encourage Jamie, and to encourage all of us as well.
OK, there you have my "brief" version of today's events.
Thank you to the lovely person that wrote this note of support for James. As you can see, he was not alone that day. We all gathered around him in prayer and solidarity to show him our love and devotion. Wearing white, the buttons and our 'I STAND WITH JAMES HIGBEE' positive signs made an impact even without words. I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone that showed up that day and continues to show up! Thank you to those that pray for him, that send him letters and packages/books. As his sister, I know the person he is and his innocence is clear, however even when I begin to tell strangers about the circumstances, they don't question me. It makes my heart swell with gratitude to know that James is so deeply believed in. Thank you to Chloe for bringing your angelic presence and voice to lead us in prayer and song for James.
When we gathered into the court room Katy was able to give her 'victim impact speech,' which was rather brutal to hear as none of it was truth. We kept calm and maintained composure through the outright lies but it was certainly not easy. I can only imagine how James must have felt. He has lost significant weight on his already lean frame due to stress and the lack of healthy food at county so please pray for him.
The judge sentenced James to life with the possibility of parole in 7 years, but also recommended that our attorneys file the appeal immediately and the bailiff was appalled by the outcome of the entire trial, which speaks volumes, in my opinion. We believe that these lies were perpetuated by fear to take the focus off of Devin's fall in Solvang and being bumped around on rides at Disneyland while in the care of the Adams family. When CPS and the detectives got involved Devin's mothers tune instantly changed to ''James is a loving father that would never ever hurt his child,'' to him ''being a monster and deliberately hurting Devin.'' Quite possibly because she was a suspect herself. It is likely that the entire family knows of James' innocence but had to make up some story so that they didn't risk all of this turning on them. They continue to perpetuate hate and negativity through blogs, social media and other sources. And I truly feel sorry for those that blindly believe them as they likely have not heard the whole truth or even half of it. With that said we are still fighting and will continue until this is rectified. James' innocence goes without saying and we are right there with him every step of the way.
As my Uncle Senior Pastor Scott Brewer recently said, "I cannot wait for the day that James walks through my congregation doors a free man! And he will!''