Ty "Georgia" McGrath Found Not Guilty On All Counts!
Lie After Seeming Lie, They Still Couldn't Defeat Ty!
As Yankees, we're proud to say the North beat the South. But this past Thursday in Barnstable District Court, Georgia fought back with a vengeance!
From the moment Sandwich High School senior Ty "Georgia" McGrath was arrested and accused of assaulting his fellow teammate on November 7th, the 18 yr old football player and honor student professed his innocence.
With an unprescedented amount of support from his classmates and teachers, McGrath weathered the past five months under a cloud of suspicion and waited patiently for his day in court.
After refusing to take a plea, Ty McGrath walked into Barnstable District Court Thursday morning with a quiet confidence, surrounded by supportive classmates and family members and with the help of the State's own witnesses - eviscerated the Prosecution's case against him.
It took the six person jury, consisting of three men and three women, less than an hour and a half to find McGrath unanimously not guilty of both assault and battery charges.
McGrath Didn't Waiver And Witnesses Spoke In His Favor.
Never blinking, McGrath stared his accuser in the eye and successfully demonstrated the inconsistencies in the alleged "Victim's" story.
In the end, the jury took what was left of the "Victim" and his indulging family's self-respect and chopped it up into bite-size pieces of innocence and handed it back to them in a Not Guilty verdict.
As witness after witness took the stand, it was obvious that Prosecutor Michelle Groff was in big trouble.
Not only did her "Victim" repeatedly admit that he had engaged in mutual wrestling with McGrath, that the two had never had any previous conflict, and that he was laughing during the exchange - but so did every other witness.
One football player - a witness for the prosecution mind you - went so far as to describe the interaction between McGrath and the other teen as "kinda just like when my cousins get together and they're just playing around with each other - just the kind of stuff boys do".
Much to the prosecution's displeasure, the boy also added, "I knew Georgia wasn't hurting XXX . . . 'cuz it's Georgia.... and I know he would never do that".
Prosecution 101: Never ask a question Ms. Groff, you don't know the answer to!
The witnesses went on to describe the scene in the locker room that day: Kids playing around with each other, throwing stuff at one another, even recalling a football pad being thrown at McGrath as he passed by.
Each witness solidified McGrath's innocence. The "Victim" didn't give Groff much to work with and it showed.
Groff Called McGrath A Bully, But The Jury Dismissed That Fully!
Additionally, Groff didn't help her case any when she referred to McGrath as a bully over and over, causing some jurers to shake their heads.
Ms. Groff - jurors, like the rest of us, are well aware that Mr. McGrath was never charged with bullying.
Had the State thought McGrath was guilty of bullying - you would have charged him with it, dear.
The fact that Groff threw the "bully" label around, not only didn't sit well with jurors, but was a disservice to those who've fought to have bullying taken seriously.
As testimony continued, things only got worse - for the "Victim", that is.
While the "Victim's" testimony under direct examination was filled with conflicting statements and admissions that only helped the defense - his story fell apart even further when Defense Attorney Terrance O'Connell finally got to sink his teeth into the teen's juicy tale.
Once the door was opened, O'Connell drove a steam engine through it - flattening the teen's lies like a mighty lineman.
O'Connell Proved Under Cross-Exam, The Kid's Story Was Just A Sham!
In minutes, O'Connell had the alleged "Victim" admitting that, rather than "beating" and "poking" him with the wooden end of the broomstick as he had testified to moments ago, McGrath had been "brushing" him off with the bristled end of the broom.
Later testimony from every other witness, confirmed the same.
Under persistent cross-examination, the "Victim's" version of the "facts" continued to change.
Note to the Amaral Family: Funny thing about telling the truth - if you do, you never have to worry about the facts changing: Truth is a constant - remember that.
As Terrance O'Connell steadied himself from the whiplashing of victim X's flip-flopping, the jury seemed particularly puzzeled by the "Victim's" admission that he had never made a statement about his alleged beating.
Mr. O'Connell pointed out folders he had for each of the witnesses, containing their statements made to either Sandwich Police or the school's resource officer, but that he had no such folder for "Victim X".
That's because the alleged "Victim" never made a statement.
Telling His Coach Was Too Big Of A Deal. Instead, McGrath's Life He Set Out To Steal!
Then, in a moment that truly spoke to the veracity of his client's accuser, O'Connell asked the "Victim" why he never walked over to his coach on Nov. 7th and told him that McGrath was "bullying" him, poking him with the end of the broom, and smashing a brownie in his face .
The teen shrugged his shoulders and said "I just didn't. I didn't want to make a big deal of it".
He didn't want to make a big deal of it??
The kid is standing in open court, accusing McGrath of charges that could possibly carry a 2 yr jail term, and causing classmates to be subjected to interrogation . . . but on Nov 7th this boy didn't want to "make a big deal of it", tell a coach, or call a parent??
Instead he just left the locker room, walked outside to sit down on the same bench with McGrath for the next 20 minutes, then hugged his assailant goodbye??
Nobody bought that - nobody!.
And that seemed to include the alleged "Victim's" own Coach - who took the stand for the defense.
To The Stand The Coach Did Fly- Saying Nothing That Day Did He Ever Spy!
Freshman Coach Phil Smith testified, without reservation, that he was in his office located in the locker room and "absolutely never heard any disturbance or was told by anyone that anything had happened".
As Defense Attorney Terry O'Connell questioned Smith, the coach went even further to say that about 80% of the players walked by his office that evening to say good night and not one of them, including the "Victim", made any allegations about Ty McGrath.
Let's be clear about this folks:
Phil Smith is a freshman coach - the alleged "Victim's" coach - not Ty McGrath's varsity coach.
Yet, Coach Smith took the witness stand for the defense and hesitated not for one second to say he neither heard, observed, nor was told of anything nefarious occurring that day.
No wonder the prosecution didn't have Coach Smith on their witness list!
To De-fend A Friend, They Went To The End!
As the testimony of the witnesses began to turn the tide against the prosecution's case against McGrath, one question remained: What had motivated the teen to lie?
We were about to find out.
Of all of the witnesses who testified, only one had an obvious chip on his shoulder when he took the stand. He was the brother of senior football player Tom DeCoste - who had been voted off of the football team by fellow seniors at the start of the season.
The brother of the cut senior, best friend of the "victim", and star witness for the prosecution - testified that the seniors were responsible for cutting his brother from his senior year of football.
It was clear that this witness had an attitude and much of his testimony was never corroborated by any other witness.
Now for the ironic part - 'cuz every good story has one.
While it was true that Tom DeCoste was voted off 5-3 by the senior players, Ty McGrath had voted to keep his fellow senior on the team. The cut senior's brother - the gem of the prosecution's case - admitted he had not been aware that McGrath had not voted the senior off.
Apparently not only is McGrath not a bully, but he actually stands up for the underdog!
Until yesterday, the results of the vote to remove the senior from the team had not been revealed - in fact, the seniors were forbidden by varsity Coach Bill Luette to tell anyone how they voted.
But it gets even better!
With JJ on Fire, His Brother Became A Good Liar!
JJ Amaral, the "victim's" older brother and former senior football player is best friends with . . . . yup, you got it - the voted off senior football player!
JJ Amaral left a voicemail for McGrath threatening to end his SHS football career. Two hours later . . . JJ Amaral phoned the police claiming McGrath had assaulted his brother.
The next day, McGrath was suspended for 10 days and removed from the football team - ending his 13 yr football career early and disqualifying McGrath from playing in his last Varsity Thanksgiving game.
It would seem in our opinion, that the "Victim's'" family - and that of their best friend - misdirected their fury over the senior player's removal from the football team and Ty McGrath paid quite a price because of it.
Hell Hath No Fury, Like The Mother Of Ty McGrath!
Mrs. McGrath has been her son's greatest advocate.
She has repeatedly taken both the Sandwich High School Administration and the Sandwich Police Department to task for their mishandling of her son's case.
The McGraths have filed a complaint against Sandwich Police Officer Brian Bondarek for officer misconduct.
While some might be quick to chalk up Mrs. McGrath's support of her son as merely a mother's love, they should note that she's not alone in her criticism of how her son's case has been handled.
In two earlier hearings, Judge W. James O'Neill ruled against the prosecution and came down hard criticizing the Sandwich Police Department's actions in the McGrath case. Then Thursday afternoon, six of Barnstable County's citizens confirmed what Mrs. McGrath has been saying all along - that her son was Not Guilty.
Mrs. McGrath sobbed openly as the verdicts were read.
With Two Families To Blame, They Should Feel Nothing But Shame!
The Sandwich Watchdog agrees with Defense Attorney Terrance O'Connell that this case never should have been a court matter.
Superintendent Canfield and SHS Principal Ellin Booras should have handled it on a school level. Because they didn't, Ty McGrath's life was torn apart by the vicious lies of two apparently vindictive families - so it appears.
There is no justice for that.
Hopefully, Ty McGrath will be able to put the horror of the past five months behind him.
McGrath, who has been accepted to North Georgia College and State University's prestigious Cadet program, aspires to be a history teacher.
But the boy's got options: McGrath's also been accepted to several other colleges . . . . to play football!
The Sandwich Watchdog is certain that whatever Ty McGrath ends up doing, he should do so knowing that he's already taught quite a few people in this town perhaps the greatest lesson of all - that truth indeed, did set this young man free.
Seems the alleged "Victim" and his testifying best buddy may have been absent when they taught the value of telling the truth.
Hmm . . . wonder how they liked getting schooled by a good 'ol boy from the South??
The Sandwich Watchdog