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Imagine: Your 62-yr-old Mom sentenced to 20 years
$8,116 raised
23% of $35k goal
78 contributors
63 Weeks running

INNOCENT GRANDMOTHER SERVING 20 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE!


Mommy

81

81, would be her age before she could ever hold, be with, and feel the closeness of her family again; all due to a treacherous business decision that once seemed like an opportunity of a lifetime. Ann Spell was pulled into a ring of deceit through a representative of Troup Bell in LaGrange, GA/United Way. But for the sake of this story let’s call her mom.

Mom was born in Wilson, NC; in a town where Nigger was her first name, and girl was her last. Raised in a home absent of her biological father and mother; Mom was left to learn the survivals of life through a grandmother whose definition of love meant whippings, and scornful words. Mom promised herself to grow up and run far away from the place she once called home.

From a physically abusive marriage, to homelessness all while raising four children on her own. Mom fought passed the seemingly invisible barriers that held her back from a life she could be proud of. She went on to begin a new life by way of Atlanta, GA, then ultimately Miami, FL where she climbed the corporate ladder and became one of the first African-American female Procurement officers for the Department of Transportation in the 1990’s. Mom had a dream of one day owning her own corporation that serviced the transportation industry, and a non-profit organization that served the community in life and computer skills, business networking, and graduate programs for higher learning.

She went on to pursue her ultimate dreams through establishing her former non-profit organization The Harvest Center Group and through her transportation compliance/Grant writing company DocQments LLC. She worked hard securing grant contracts for small businesses, and major corporations; and through the Harvest center she touched inner city youth through skill building, and the aging adult population through computer based practices. One day, mom was approached by a representative of a company called Troup Bell in LaGrange, GA. Mom was asked to enter into a work contract with Troup Bell to provide services for one of the most affluent organizations known as; THE UNITED WAY! “ Wow, I can’t believe I’ve gained such a huge opportunity” mom said to herself. She quickly rushed home to tell her family the good news and drops to her knees to thank God for such a chance. A chance to gain higher corporate levels with being attached to such a name as The United way! Through her efforts; she was able to fight for those who were considered voiceless due to the color of their skin, economic status and educational background; however, this and her hard-earned dreams have since come to an end on March 22, 2017.

Mom, whose a friend, wife, daughter, confidant, a former 1970s Black Panther affiliate, Georgia State University Alumni, and leader is now facing years 20 years in prison and 30 years’ probation on the premises of “guilt by association”. Mom was approached by a staff member of the united way to perform contractual duties…But what came next; no one was prepared for. Turns out that her contracted services were a plight on behalf of an individual/s within Troup Bell to extort money and use moms name, reputation, and image as “The Fall Person”. Individuals within the Troup Bell organization received funds from The United Way using Mom's name and company as their blanket; thus,  making Mom a victim on 13 counts of identity theft, fraud, theft by deception, conversion and forgery. Although mom intuitively felt something was off with the way monies were handeled to pay her for the work she provided; she didn't think to question it due to fear that she'd lose such a big opporunity; and due to the fact that she didn't want to seem misinformed with the processes of such a known brand.


So what really makes mom appear guilty?

  1. Her inexperience with and to the red flags that presented itself in the form of which monies were handled on part of the Troup Bell organization.
  2. Her fear of losing a great opportunity to work alongside The United Way. She did what she was asked to do in order to continue working withTroup bell and The United Way never questioning their methods.

The other African-American woman convicted who also happened to be the one to contract moms services; intially stated that mom was innocent and had no knowledge of her (or other individuals within Troup Bell) schemes. However, prior to that womans sentencing; the woman changed her testimony in order to get a lighter sentence...Better known as the plea deal. A plea deal that ensnared mom, tarnished her name, broke her heart, destroyed her livilihood, and destryoed her business/reputation.


Just a few points

• Mom and one other black woman were sentenced, but there were four other Caucasian women who were actually involved and none of the four Caucasian women were charged AT ALL! ( It's unfortunate that this action reflects racial motivation further victimizing mom)

• Mom was an outside contractor who had no access to funds within Troup bell nor The United Way. Moms services were secured via Troup bell in Lagrange, GA (Due to the process of which this issue has played out), it appears that Mom was railroaded as “THE FALL PERSON”. Because she was unaware of such heinous acts; she was taken advantage of.

• When the case first presented itself over a year ago, Mom did not secure legal counsel. Why? She never fathomed the idea of such horrendous activity in such a large organization; therefore, there was no need to secure legal counsel if you’re innocent…SO WE THOUGHT!

• Mom showed proof of work she completed and checks balances. Which reflected that all monies paid to her were accounted for!

• Moms testimony? The same as the other 4 white women who were not charged; but Mom STILL SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS with 30 years’ probation!!!

• Judge sentenced mom due to his personal bias about her level of remorse

• In a jury of 12 only 4 blacks were chosen

• Moms information was made public in the same town her trial was held in (fostered community bias)

• There was no change in venue; nor did the acting attorney at the time request for a change in venue

• Trial held in the town mom was the former president of the NAACP and the WIN organization (Women in NAACP), and Lobbyist

• Mom has NEVER had any prior arrests or charges of ANY KIND, and does not have so much as a parking ticket to her name.

• Mom pushed a lot of buttons due to her active work with empowering blacks in LaGrange, GA and surrounding cities.

• Now considered a Felon; fighting for her life, good name, decent human rights and Human dignitiy!

During trial Judge stated to mom " Even now you don’t show any remorse and because of that I’m gonna grant what the DA said I’m sentencing you to 20 years"; He turned to the guards " take her away!”. So the statement stands, that not only is Mom a victim, but her livelihood was taken away because he didn't like her level of remorse. Now the questions remain; How does one show remorse when they're the victim? Is mom sentenced due to the emotional measuring stick of the Judge?

Through several phone calls, emails, petitions for help, and several 3rd party affiliations’ we have secured attorney Robert Patillo whom we believe can best represent mom throughout the appeals process. We have already been in communications with Attorney Patillo, and since have been made aware that the cost for his services: $35,000 simply to represent my mother through the appeals process. Currently, my mother is being held at the Troup county jail in Lagrange, GA until she is transferred to a state prison (name of prison unknown at this time).


Steps taken so far

• Emailed to inquire supports from the innocence project

• Emailed to inquire supports from The Joe Beasley Foundation

• Emailed to inquire supports from the Southern Poverty Law center (SPLC)

• Attorney Lawanda Hodges to be secured, whom has already agreed to take our case

• Met with Mr. Andrew Young to discuss my mother’s case. American politician, diplomat, and activist. Beginning his career as a pastor, Young was an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement, and a close confidant to Martin Luther King Jr. Young later began serving first as a U.S. Congressman from Georgia, then United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and finally Mayor of Atlanta.Young has founded or served in a large number of organizations working on issues of public policy and political lobbying.

Amazingly, Mr. Young, agreed to work with our family and Attorney Hodges, to assist in mom’s case. (Video attached)

• In contact with state senator Vincent Ford for general guidance and supports

• Beginning motions for appeals process


How you can help

1) Help us fight with your donations… NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL (imagine if 35,000 individuals donated a $1,000. We ONLY have 20 days to raise the funds for attorney costs.

2) Get the word out by sharing this campaign to your pages, with friends and family. Statistics show that campaigns are 3X more likely to get funding supports when shared.

3) Imagine for a moment; the weight of your own emotions in fighting against a system that is built for the powerful and the rich; and it has your mother in its grasps; what would you do?

Please help us fight wrongful and racially motivated sentencing.

Sincerely,

Moms Family

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