The Joe Watson Foundation: WTF?
Watson in better days...
The (alleged) salon bandit strikes again! Minus the hand-in-bag trick this time. Seems Joe Watson's reaching out for help from friends and family from behind the walls of Sheriff Joe's Lower Buckeye housing unit, asking for some help with scrilla 'cause he needs it to pay a mouthpiece. The message below was sent out today via his "Watsonelli" MySpace account. Hopefully, this is a sign he'll have something other than an overworked public defender to protect his ass in court.
I'm a little pissed because I visted Joe on Easter weekend, while they still had him in Durango jail, but he didn't want anything he said to be on the record. I was disappointed. I mean, the guy didn't have to cop to anything, just give me some quotes for the friggin' follow-up he knew I'd be writing. Selfish, I know. Still, he was once a reporter, and here he was clamming up. You can't be the press and not talk to the press, even if you end up in prison stripes.
So now he decides to piss and moan a bit in an attempt to raise some cash. I can't blame him. On the other hand, I'm not going to stop reporting on him. Whether he likes it or not, the guy's made some news. It's not like anyone put a gun to his head. Or even a hand in a paper bag.
Interestingly, when Watson was just booked, the Sheriff's office inmate information number, from which you can obtain details on the accused, had him down for five counts of armed robbery. But when you call the number now and plug in Joe's info., it only has him listed for one count. Don't know how significant that is. I have a call into the C.A.'s office, though, and I'll let you know when I know. Joe's next court date is May 24th in Mesa.
Of the people mentioned below, Josh Deahl is Ashlea Deahl's brother. Ashlea's another member of the Fourth Estate who refuses to chat with me. Currently, she's the managing editor of Phoenix magazine. Joe freelanced for them under the name "Zachary Best," while still working at New Times.
More to come on Joe's priors, his daughter and his exit from New Times in a later installment of the Watson saga. Follow the jump for the Joe charity letter.
Apr 30, 2007 1:02 PM
Subject The Joseph Watson Foundation... We need your Help!
Body: Dear Friends,
I thought I couldn't be humbled much more than I already have. But here I am, sending you this message, via a close friend of mine, from jail! (Please forgive his Shotty spelling, grammar and punctuation. I might have gone a little nuts, but most of you know that I produce very clean copy.)
First, to those of you who have left comments here or on other Internet sites supporting me, thank you, but stop! I appreciate the well wishes, but your time would be better utilized--and even more appreciated--if you would send me letters to the address that will be included at the end of this bulletin. PLEASE be aware that as of May 1, Sheriff Joe Arpaio intends to allow only postcards to be received by inmates in the Maricopa County Jail. However, I believe the ACLU is already prepared to file an injunction against this policy. So keep yourself ipelated if you wish.
Now, I've obviously got a lot of explaining to do! From what I understand, friends have been "Shocked and Saddened" by my incarceration and the alleged actions that got me here. I'm sure you all understand that this is not the forum, nor is this the time, to address these charges or the issues (my issues) surrounding these events.
There will be a time for that, I assure you. I only hope that you are willing to give me that opportunity. For as many of you that have faith that I can rebound from this and prove that I'm worthy of another chance, there are just as many who believe I have exhausted my chances and that I am no longer worth the trouble.
I've often thought the latter, believe me. But there's one thing that keeps me around, for some reason believing that I will accomplish things of great character an determination, and be remembered simply as an honorable man:
I've overcome much adversity in my life, some I created myself, but much that was beyond my control. I've also suffered great weaknesses, displayed extremely poor judgment, and made a general ass out of myself. But I have never lost hope that I will one day become the man that many of you believe I'm capable of becoming. So even now, I cannot give up. Eventually. I will succeed!
I'm finding that while jail has allowed me a seemingly endless amount of time to clear my head--on opportunity I'm sincerely grateful for--there's little that can be accomplished when freedom is no longer a state of being but merely a state of mind. So I'm here asking for your help!
It's been a month since my arrest. And still not only have I not spoken with an attorney but the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office is so over whelmed that no one has even been assigned to represent me. The longer I go without discussing my case with legal representation, the likelier that the outcome will not be favorable (to me).
So I've contacted an accomplished defense attorney who has agreed to represent me virtually pro bono. He is asking that my friends pull together a nominal amount (to cover basic filing expenses and general administrative work) and he will represent me through as swift a judicial process as he can.
I have asked two loyal friends to coordinate donations and get them to my attorney by Friday, May 4. Their contact information is also at the end of this message.
Journalists and most of the rest of you are not a wealthy bunch, I know. Which is why I'm grateful my attorney is asking for a relatively small amount to represent me. I wish I could pay for this myself, but as most of you know, managing finances hasn't been my strongest asset. If family were an option, believe me, I would have already asked.
If I can get several donations of at least $20 to $50 each, my attorney's retainer should be obtained with relative case and quickly. My two friends will stop accepting donations when this amount has been reached. ( I'm choosing not to divulge my attorney's name or his retainer until he's officially been retained.)
So what else can I tell you?
Well, as you might guess, jail sucks! The food is hardly edible, so I've finally lost some weight that needed to be lost. I look horrible in black and white stripes. And while I'm not scared of being shanked or to take a shower, I am quite relieved that most of the men with whom I am incarcerated are here and not on the streets. Besides that, I am realizing that our prison/jail system needs a serious overhaul because I can't imagine that criminals can be rehabilitated while being treated like animals.
Finally, I ask you all to do whatever you can to support Ashlea. She's tough and she is keeping busy, as she should. But you all know that there is no one who means more to me or who I love more on this earth.
If you can't support me financially, then please be there for her!
The list of donors will be saved for me, and I assure you all, I will do whatever I can to pay you all back as quickly in this life as possible.
In the meantime, please be well and take care of yourselves!
One more thing...
GO RED SOX!!!!
With infinite Love.
To write to Joe:
Lower Buckeye Jail
3250 W. Lower Buckeye
Phoenix, Az. 85009