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DA Watch: Yolanda Madden Freed by Judge After 4 Yrs – DA Failed to Turn Over Exculpatory Evidence

You may remember the case of Yolanda Madden because of the notorious YouTube video awhile back showing the Odessa cops being caught on video by Kopbusters.  (We wrote about the Kopbusters story last December and you can watch the video on that post). 

Well, after being in jail for four years — yep, 4 YEARS — Yolanda Madden is once again enjoying her freedom after Federal District Judge Rob Junell vacated her sentence. 

The Smoking Gun that was hidden from the defense

While the federal judge wouldn’t go so far as to accuse the prosecution of intentionally hiding the Smoking Gun documentary evidence, no one could argue its existence.  What was it? 

A log sheet.  A simple, routine log sheet of the Odessa Police Department.  The big deal about the log sheet is the absence of a key name on its roster.  Odessa Police Deparment Officer Greg Travland testified at Madden’s trial that she confessed to him — but the Smoking Gun log sheet reveals that Travland was NOT in the police station at the time. 

Of course, this story gets worse.

Yolanda Madden consistently claimed that drugs were planted on her.  She told this to anyone who would listen — loudly.  Her husband spent the family’s life savings in support of his wife, believing that she had been set-up. 

A drug informant ADMITTED that he was the one who planted the drugs (crystal meth) on Yolanda Madden.  Madden took a polygraph and passed.  So did the informant.  Madden took hair follicle and urine drug tests.  No evidence of drugs. 

Law enforcement didn’t care.  Madden was still tried and convicted. 

Madden’s Family Sought the Help of Barry Cooper’s Kopbusters

Frustrated and feeling powerless, Madden’s father asked Kopbusters to come to Odessa and help them fight the injustice.  Kopbusters did — and the result was their now-famous video of the Odessa cops entering a phony drug house set up by the Kopbusters.  For details on how the Odessa cops fell prey to the Kopbusters, check out our December 10, 2008, post where Kopbusters founder (and former cop) Barry Cooper gives all the details.

What Happens Now? Get this — another trial has been set.

Let’s recap:

1. Kopbusters demonstrate that the Odessa cops play fast and loose with the law in drug cases;

2.  an informant gives testimony in court that he planted drugs on Yolanda Madden;

3.  the informant passes a polygraph;

4.  Yolanda passes a polygraph;

5.  Yolanda tests clean in hair follicle testing;

6.  Yolanda tests clean in urine testing; and

7.  the cop who claims Yolanda confessed to him wasn’t even at the police station at the time of the purported “confession,” as revealed by a log sheet NOT PROVIDED TO THE DEFENSE during trial….

and the federal judge schedules a new trial for Yolanda Madden, set for March 1, 2010.  They’re going to try her AGAIN?

What’s Really Going On Here?

It’s already being reported that the real story behind all this is the cops mistook Yolanda Madden for a drug dealer they nicknamed “the Ice Queen,” and used the informant with a bag of meth (which he handed over to Yolanda) as a way to bust this notorious Poison Ivy of Odessa. 

Sure looks like they got the wrong girl and they’re finding it very, very hard to admit they’ve made a mistake. 

Someone — like the Attorney General, the Texas Rangers, or the FBI — should help them.

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