Written by John:
"About the end of December, 1994 two detectives from the Beaumont Police Department came to my great grandmother's house and asked me if I would mind answering a few questions. I went with them to the police station where they asked me if I knew a man named Elmer Rode or knew anything about his murder. I informed them I did not. They proceeded to ask me a lot of questions about a Mr. Fisette, then they brought me back to my great grandmother's house and dropped me off."
THE DAY OF THE ARREST :
On January 3, 1995 I was at my great grandmother's house. On the morning of the 3rd I woke up around 11:00am and my great grandmother, sister, grandfather and girlfriend (at the time) were there. After being up about an hour I proceeded to take my prescription medication, which I had been taking for a few months and had grown dependent upon. I had been in a car accident in or around October of 94' and had been prescribed numerous pain pills and sleeping pills.
At some point I went into the backyard. I had also been visiting my grandfather, on his side of the house all morning and was drinking wine with him. By 1:30pm that afternoon I was in a very intoxicated state. About 1:30 my great grandmother told me to feed my dog in the backyard. I proceeded to walk through the house and out the backdoor over to my dog and sat his food down. Then I went and got him some water out of a bucket. As I walked up to my dog I look up and all I see are a bunch of police, mostly in plain clothes, with their guns pointed at me. They are all running through a field on the side of our house screaming different commands, so I just freeze where I am. They all (about 10) come right up to the 6 foot high fence surrounding our house and tell me to come up to the fence, which I do with my hands raised. They tell me to put my hand on the fence, which I do and they handcuff me and literally drag me over the fence. We all walked all the way around the house and up the driveway to where I got my dog's water. They started dumping out buckets of water telling me, "where is the gun, we seen you throw it" when there was no gun.
At this time I'm freaking out asking what's going on, what am I under arrest for. The only response I get is, "you know what for".
My great grandmother and grandfather came out of the backdoor about the time they were bringing me across the backyard to go down the driveway. When my grandfather opened the door to come out our family dog came out the door and was trotting across the yard to me. I saw a policeman cock his gun, and I told him no, squatting down so the dog would stop at me. But as I squatted down the officer pushed me down on my side and shot our family dog right there in front of everybody. I see all this and everybody starts screaming and hollering and I look over to my family and I see my great grandmother fall down. They grabbed (officers) me up and rushed me to the street and put me in a car.
By this time I am very intoxicated and freaking out on all the confusion. I am at this time, it being about an hour of so after I took the extra medication, starting to feel the full effects of the drugs I had taken. I am starting to see doubles and slur words. My girlfrined (at the time) runs up to the cop car and is talking to me and she testified she couldn't understand any of my response cause I was "wasted". We were together the whole day since I got up and she saw everything I took and drank. Also the pharmacist testified about the medication I was taking and the effects it would have on me if I took too much. He said if a person abused those drugs and took them in the state I had taken them, "the person would definitely be incoherent and probably walking into walls if not fall asleep or pass out". He then said that if the person was not allowed to go to sleep he would definitely not be in his right mind.
AT THE POLICE STATION :
The last thing I really remember clearly is seeing our family dog getting shot and my great grandmother collapsing. I remember bits and pieces of being at the police station. I remember I was continuously asking to speak to my father cause I was confused and didn't know what to do. I remember being in a small room for I don't know how long.
I remember I was crying and leaning forward putting my head on my knees a lot, seeing different people's faces, seeing doubles of everything. They said all I was saying over and over is, "I want to call my dad". I was only a 17 year old kid at the time.
I remember that Detective T. telling me that as soon as we finished in there I could see my dad, "so sign right here and I'll send your dad in". I don't remember signing nothing but I do remember my dad and step-mom coming in and my step-mom was crying and hugging me asking me if I realized what I had signed. And that was the last I remember until I woke up the next day in the county jail. I didn't find out till later who this Detective T. was. He said he came in the room with me by himself and he closed the door and I just started talking and he just wrote everything down. And I was cool, calm, collective the whole time. Which is a lie! See I found out that he is the father of a girl I used to mess with in high school. We went to middle school together and were in the same 5th grade class. We talked at school one day and she wanted a relationship and I didn't being a kid in high school. Well I believe she was hurt by this and somehow her dad found out. I was harassed by the law a lot after our "split up". I didn't find out who he was till I was in the county jail. And he is the one who supposedly took the "confession" in the room our selves! But I know I did not say the things that are in that statement.
THE VICTIM :
While I am in the jail I try to find out as much as possible about the Elmer Rode man. We find out that he was an in the closet gay man and several videotapes had been found at his residence when searched by detectives of him and children (juveniles) engaging in homosexual activities. Which had been recorded from a hidden camera in his house and on one of the tapes was the brother of a man tat is now a congressman and Elmer Rode engaging in homosexual activities, which at the time I went to trial in November of 96' the congressman was campaining and running for the congressional seat. On November 6th my trial lawyer had talked to a detective and he confirmed he was the one with the tape. We had a hearing on the 7th of November and he mysteriously just happened to have gone on vacation on the 6th after he talked to my lawyer. The tape was never recovered and after that hearing any and all means necessary was taken to send me to Death Row and quick too!
Mr. Elmer Rode was a very popular man in Beaumont, Texas. He was Dean of admissions and Dean of register at Lamar University College for years. And was active in the Organization Young Men's Business League (YMBL), which is a very well known organization in Beaumont, Texas so we filed for a 'change of venue" several times and was denied every time by the judge."