The New Castle County Courthouse lobby in Delaware on February 11, 2013
“This was the place … that people come to peacefully resolve their disputes,” Weiss said. “The Matusiewiczes used this place, as Judge McHugh noted, as a bait, as a lure. They chose this as the place they would carry out the execution.” USA Today.com 2/18/2016 “2 Sentenced to life in Matusiewicz cyberstalking murders”
On January 5, 2020, Rudy and Erin Davis of the LoneStar 1776 YouTube channel published a 26.52 minute video, Our first phone call with innocent prisoner Amy Gonzalez, serving LIFE for INTERSTATE CYBERSTALKING.
Erin Davis commented in the introduction, “…a lot of things change quickly. This could be YOU next. Her name’s Amy Gonzalez, and, uh, I think one of the – I know there’s many, but one of the most relevant things to me in this case is that it is setting a precedent. It’s trying to set a precedent across our country for this crazy law and you know they call it case law, which to me is the same thing as evolution. It’s lies built upon lies, built upon lies for generations and I think that it’s what this case is all about, setting a precedent in case law about what’s the stupid charge, cyberstalking..”.
Rudy: Interstate cyberstalking.
Erin: Yeah. So there you go. Here, tune in for yourself and see what you think. Do your own research and let us know if you think she’s innocent. And if you do, write her a post card and tell her you’re praying for her. And please pray for her. Thank you. Bye.
Rudy: And here’s our first phone call with Amy Gonzalez, sentenced to life in prison as the first person in America convicted of interstate cyberstalking. She’s being held accountable for the crime of her dad.
Amy Gonzalez calls Rudy and Erin Davis from a prison phone.
Rudy: (2.50) …the more I learn about your case, I just think it’s absolutely egregious and shocking. A matter of fact, I, I just got feedback. It’s almost incredible the timing, but somebody sent some of the documents that you’ve been sending me to a lawyer and keep in mind I’m the last guy in the world to ever quote a lawyer because I don’t have any lawyer friends, but here’s what they said and I’m not, I’m not, I’m not at liberty to even say his name or anything, but I just, I just want to read to you his response if I could…he said this, he said this is guilt by association, who defended this woman? It is an open-and-shut case of innocence or if the statute is so overbroad, why didn’t the lawyer bring a constitutional challenge motion at trial? Is there a movement of outraged people who are willing to step up to save this woman? How about a presidential pardon? What do you think can be done? This makes my blood boil…(3.51)
It comes as no surprise that this attorney quoted by Rudy Davis is not identified
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (District of Delaware) in Case No. 16-1540 United States of America v. Amy Gonzalez, Appellant and Case No. 16-1559 United States of America v. David Matusiewicz, Appellant filed their opinion on September 7, 2018. [see Amy Gonzalez Appeals Court Decision]
That Appeals Decision was made public almost two years ago, so I am wondering what credentials the “lawyer” quoted by Rudy Davis has, which prompts him to ask if a constitutional challenge motion had been filed on behalf of Amy Gonzalez. All that is water under the bridge. Is this “lawyer” which Rudy Davis’ friend consulted, someone who is legally licensed to practice law, or just another self-credentialed sovereign citizen styled legal hot air balloon? Why did this “expert” render an opinion without at least looking at the facts of the case, as summarized in the Appeals Decision?
Also, in a United States v. Matusiewicz Memorandum Opinion dated March 26, 2015, these Constitutional matters such as the “overbroad” argument against the federal statute on cyberstalking, are discussed. [United States v. Matusiewicz].
Rudy Davis gives no place for another point of view to be expressed
The Amy Gonzalez case was brought to my attention when Robert Baty, a retired IRS Appeals Officer, provided a link in his Kent Hovind’s Worst Nightmare Facebook group to the Appeals Court Decision. Here is what happened when Baty took up Erin Davis’ challenge to do your own research and let us know if you think Amy Gonzalez is innocent.
Robert Baty commented in his Facebook group, “I told you Rudy doesn’t really want to engage in an open, honest discussion of the Gonzalez case with me, or anyone else. He just proved that by posting the following in response to my post on his page…and then blocking me again. It’s Rudy’s typical ‘go to hell’ message…”.
The Court of Appeals Decision that is precedential on Cyberstalking
As Erin Davis had commented in the LoneStar 1776 video, this case is indeed precedential.
The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Delaware, issued a statement on September 7, 2018, which included this quote: “United States Attorney Weiss stated the following: ‘As the Court of Appeals observed, this is a watershed case of national importance. Cyberstalking is a form of psychological terror that deeply impacts its victims. Individuals who engage in such conduct are on notice that the Department of Justice will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law’.”
The same press release noted that “Following a five week jury trial in the summer of 2015, Defendants were convicted of all charges, including cyberstalking resulting in death. This was the first such case in the history of the nation.”
Two Women Ambushed and Murdered Without Pity or Compassion
The incident which caused the FBI to conduct an investigation involving Amy Gonzalez occurred on February 11, 2013, when her father Thomas Matusiewicz shot and killed two women and exchanged fire with police officers, injuring two, at the New Castle County Courthouse in Delaware. Thomas Matusiewicz was accompanied by his wife Lorene, and son David.
According to the Appeals Decision, “On February 4, 2013, David Matusiewicz, and his parents, Thomas and Lenore Matusiewicz, drove to Delaware in two vehicles, which were loaded with an assault rifle, handguns, military-style knives, thousands of rounds of ammunition, restraints, body armor, binoculars, an electric shock device, gas cans, a shovel, photographs of Belford’s children and residence, and handwritten notes about Belford’s neighbors. Thomas left a note for (his daughter Amy) Gonzalez in a hutch in the family’s residence, instructing her to keep his guns for protection and that stated ‘hopefully we can end this BS now-up to Dave’.”
About 6 months later, on August 6, 2013, three persons were indicted; the actual shooter Thomas Matusiewicz, was unindicted due to the fact that he committed suicide at the scene of his crimes.
David Matusiewicz, Lenore Matusiewicz, and Amy Gonzalez were indicted as follows:
(1) conspiracy to commit interstate stalking and cyberstalking, in violation of 18 U. S. C. Sections 2261 A (1) and (2), all in violation of 18. U. S. C. Section 371
(2) interstate stalking in violation of 18 U. S. C. Sections 2261 A(1), 2261 (b) and 2
(3) interstate stalking resulting in the death of Belford, in violation of 18 U. S. C. Sections 2261 A (1), 2261 (b) and 2
(4) cyberstalking resulting in the death of Belford, in violation of 18 U. S. C. sections 2261 A (2), 2261 (b) and 2
Counts One and Four were against all defendants. Count two was only against Lenore. Count three was against David and Lenore. All three defendants pleaded not guilty, and the case proceeded to trial.
The Zero Evidence Theory of Rudy Davis has no basis in reality
Because Rudy Davis claims that Amy Gonzalez is innocent and that there was zero evidence that she knew or was in on the planning of what her dad did, I would like to note that the above indictments did not include the murder of Belford’s friend, or the shooting of two police officers by her father, Thomas Matusiewicz. The cyberstalking resulting in death concerned the targeting of David Matusiewicz’s ex-wife, Christine Belford by the family members who conspired to harass and defame not only Belford, but also her children, as well.
The Appeals Opinion linked at the beginning of this post, on page 5, states, “David Matusiewicz and Christine Belford were married from 2001 to 2006, during which time they had three children…The couple and their children also lived with Belford’s one child from a previous marriage. After their divorce, Belford and David engaged in a bitter custody dispute, during which David accused Belford of being an unfit mother and suffering from mental health disorders. On February 13, 2007, following an evaluation by a psychologist who determined that David’s allegations were unfounded, the Delaware Family Court awarded joint custody of the children.”
The Kidnapping Criminal Case which preceded the cyberstalking
“On August 26, 2007, rather than let the children return from staying with David to live with Belford, David, along with his mother Lenore, kidnapped (the three children) and absconded to Central America. During the kidnapping, David told (one child) that Belford had committed suicide.”
According to an article posted on nj.com February 14, 2013, and updated on January 17, 2019,Gunman in Delaware courthouse shooting was a former Vineland cop, “David Matusiewicz pleaded guilty in 2009 to federal fraud and kidnapping charges after fleeing to Nicaragua in a motor home with his mother and the three girls.”
“David Matusiewicz, who was released from prison last year, kidnapped the girls after telling Belford they were going to Disney World for two weeks. The two were divorced and sharing custody at the time. Prosecutors say he forged his wife’s signature to obtain nearly $250,000 from a Delaware bank, then sent the money to his parents’ bank account and had his father transfer the money to a Bank of New Zealand account.”
“Belford sued her former husband, his parents and Gonzalez in 2009, claiming they worked together to carry out the kidnapping. She sought compensation for “medical, therapeutic, counseling, travel and other expenses.”
“Belford dropped the lawsuit in December 2011 after Thomas and Lenore Matusiewicz filed for bankruptcy protection in Texas.”
“It became obvious that it was not going to be collectable,” said Belford’s attorney, James Woods. “I had no doubt she would win, and probably a very significant amount of money, for that torture they put her through.”
“Woods said the lawsuit was an attempt by Belford ‘just to try to get some justice’.”
“They had put her through hell, and it wasn’t just David, it was certainly Lenore… and I found it incredibly hard to believe that Tom didn’t know anything about it and participated in it, and Amy the sister as well.”
“Woods said that after Belford dropped the lawsuit, Thomas Matusiewicz sent him two thick packages of documents containing “all kinds of scandalous and ridiculous allegations” that Christine was abusing the children and was an unfit mother. The allegations were never substantiated, Belford was never charged and she was given full custody of the girls.”
“A federal judge who sentenced David Matusiewicz to prison noted that he never expressed any concern that his ex-wife was abusing their children until after he had been arrested.”
A Heavy.com article posted in February of 2013 on Thomas Matusiewiecz: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know, adds this information on the kidnapping, saying, “In 2007, David Matusiewicz forged his wife’s signature to obtain a $249,000 loan. David used the loan to take his three daughters with him to Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. David lied to the mother of his children and told her that he taking his kids to Disneyworld. He and his children were eventually discovered in Nicaragua in 2009, where they were found living in a tiny, filthy trailer. The girls — one of whom is autistic — were ages 4, 6 and 7. Police officials transported them back to the U.S. David’s three children were soon returned to their mother. Lenore Matusiewicz, David’s mother and Thomas’ wife, reportedly aided David in his kidnapping scheme.”
The beginning of the Cyberstalking Campaign against Christine Belford
According to the Appeals Opinion, “The children returned to live with Belford, who had been awarded sole custody during the kidnapping. David (Matusiewicz) pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping charges and was sentenced to 48 months of imprisonment on December 10, 2009.”
“While incarcerated, David wrote his sister, Amy Gonzalez, urging her to make anonymous complaints against his ex-wife. Beginning in December 2009, a webpage had been published identifying Belford and her children by name, detailing sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect of the children allegations.”
The Appeals Court also noted that in March and April 2011, Gonzalez published three YouTube videos, which included secret recordings of Belford and the children taken by a private investigator which also included abuse allegations. Numerous other actions were engaged in by the family of David Matusiewicz.
On November 5, 2012, David filed a petition to reduce his back payments of child support, and he chose to attend in person in Delaware, although he was offered the option of participating by phone. He received permission from his probation officers after he failed to disclose to them that could have opted to participate via the phone. Thus David Matusiewicz and his parents drove from Texas to the Delaware courthouse where the shootings took place on February 11, 2013.
The federal criminal trial took 5 weeks with more than 760 exhibits and 65 witnesses presented by the prosecution to support their case. At the February 18, 2016, sentencing hearing, there were three sentencing enhancements presented: the first-degree murder cross-reference, the vulnerable victim enhancement and the official victim enhancement. The District Court sentenced each of the defendants to a term of five years of imprisonment on Count One, and a term of life imprisonment for Count Four.
The Co-conspirators had escalated their harassment of Belford over a 3 year period
On page 18 of the Appeals Decision, the Court comments that the Government case showed that the “defendants conspired to engage in an escalating campaign of harassment, intimidation, and surveillance against Belford, all with the goal of regaining custody of the children. This three year stalking campaign culminated in the murder of Belford in the New Castle County Courthouse lobby by Thomas (Matusiewicz), a member of the conspiracy.”
The Court adds, “Both David (Matusiewicz and his sister Amy) Gonzalez were intimately involved in this stalking campaign and conspiracy. The evidence demonstrating David’s involvement included: directing his family to send letters to Belford’s acquaintances accusing Belford of sexual abuse; setting up the in-person court hearing that brought Belford to the courthouse where Thomas shot her; lying to probation officers about the need to attend the hearing in person; and traveling from Texas to Delaware in two vehicles that were filled with numerous weapons.”
Amy Gonzalez’s Involvement
“The evidence demonstrating Gonzalez’s involvement included: spreading the false accusations of child abuse by creating online postings and YouTube videos, and sending defamatory emails and letters to Belford’s acquaintances; preparing false polygraph reports about these accusations; recruiting third parties to surveil and report on Belford and the children; providing Thomas with her temporary cell phone number and cleaning out his safe when he traveled to Delaware in 2011 and showed up at Belford’s house; and filing numerous petitions for custody of the children beginning two days after Belford was killed.”
On page 19, the Court discusses the evidence that both David Matusiewicz and his sister, Amy Gonzalez “committed cyberstalking that resulted in Belford’s death.” A footnote on page 21 adds, “Even if this evidence of the defendant’s direct involvement in Belford’s death were not sufficient, the jury’s finding that their actions resulted in Belford’s death is proper under co-conspirator liability. The doctrine of co-conspirator liability ‘permits the government to prove the guilt of one defendant through the acts of another committed within the scope of and in furtherance of a conspiracy of which the defendant was a member, provided the acts are reasonably foreseeable as a necessary or natural consequence of the conspiracy.”
The footnote concludes that “there was sufficient evidence supporting finding David and Gonzalez responsible for Belford’s death pursuant to co-conspirator liability. Thomas (Matusiewicz), who shot Belford, was a co-conspirator. As discussed above, the Government submitted sufficient evidence that the goal of the conspiracy was to obtain custody of the children by driving Belford out of the picture. Killing Belford would clearly be in furtherance of this goal. And the evidence before the jury, including the communications between Thomas and the other defendant’s detailed surveillance of Belford, and the amount of weapons brought with the Matusiewicz family to Delaware, in addition to the other evidence that has been discussed above, demonstrates that Thomas’s murder of Belford was reasonably foreseeable to both David and Gonzalez. Thus, the requirements of co-conspirator liability are satisfied.”
Legal Issues Explained in the Court Appeals Decision regarding Amy Gonzalez
The Appeals Decision reviews the various complex legal issues involving the cyberstalking law, which are best understood by the layman if the entire 77 page Opinion [Amy Gonzalez Appeals Court Decision] and the 10 page Memorandum Opinion [United States v. Matusiewicz] are read in their entirety.
On pages 39-40 of the Appeals Decision, under the First Amendment challenge to the Prosecution of the Case, the Court notes that, “Gonzalez argues that she cannot be convicted for violating Section 2261 A (2) because her conduct constituted protected speech under the First Amendment…She contends that her speech about Belford constituted an opinion, and as such receives complete protection under the First Amendment.”
On page 42, we read, “As to the first class of speech, the Supreme Court has held that defamatory statements are not protected by the First Amendment, reasoning that ‘[r]esort to epithets or personal abuse is not in any proper sense communication of information or opinion safeguarded by the Constitution, and its punishment as a criminal act would raise no question under that instrument’…’there is no constitutional value in false statements of fact’…As to the second class of speech, the Supreme Court has long maintained that speech integral to engaging in criminal conduct does not warrant First Amendment protection.”
On page 43, the Court concludes, “We hold that 18 U. S. C. Section 2261A does not violate the First Amendment as applied to Gonzalez, because she did not engage in protected speech. Her conduct was both defamatory and speech integral to criminal conduct. The defendants published false information about Belford on the internet and to third parties.”
“Gonzalez, acting along with other members of her family as a member of the conspiracy, defamed Belford by false labeling her as a mentally unfit abuser who sexually molested her own children. In addition, the members of the conspiracy defamed the children by falsely labeling them as victims of their mother’s sexual abuse. There is overwhelming, uncontradicted evidence that the accusations that Belford sexually molested and abused her children were false.”
“That Gonzalez claims to have sincerely held this belief, in light of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, does not transform such a statement of fact into an opinion. Id. As ‘there is no constitutional value in false statements of fact,’ Gonzalez’s speech on this ground does not warrant First Amendment protection. Gertz, 418 U. S. at 340.”
We are witnessing an increase in internet stalking and defamation campaigns against innocent parties, by both anonymous and named persons. Those involved in this behavior should understand that they might be liable for not only civil defamation lawsuits, but criminal prosecution of cyberstalking as well.