The full 20 minute press conference with DA John Champion is available HERE. After some initial review, here is some takeaway.
Champion outlines not only the timeline for Jessica’s activity on December 6th, but he also inadvertently timelines the investigative authority. Confirmed within the press conference is a confirmation the Panola County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Denis Darby, was the first law enforcement agency to respond to the murder (Saturday 12/6/14).
The next agency to assist on the case was the US Marshals Service (USMS), who became involved the next evening (Sunday 12/7/14), which is the same day DA Champion responded to the crime by arriving in Courtland Sunday afternoon.
The third agency was the Federal and/or State Alcohol Tobbacco and Firearms (ATF) team who engaged by the end of the first week due to the arson aspect of the case. Those agencies were soon followed by the FBI who, according to Champion and Darby, they asked for forensic and technical assistance.
This agency aspect affirms all of our prior research and becomes important because it affirms the USMS was active in the area in some capacity prior to the event that led to Jessica’s death.
Some people have speculated that Jessica might have been subject to the Federal Witness Protection program (WitSec) due to the speed of USMS involvement. While that is wildly speculative, given the nature of the inconsistencies within the known details, it actually cannot be ruled out.
Why would a District Attorney be lead investigator? Why would the USMS be so rapidly involved? Why would a crime scene be so disengenuously handled? Why would the most critical evidence, the burned vehicle, be removed from the scene within an hour?
These brutally odd factual realities, along with a few more less conspicuous outcomes, support those who theorize the WitSec aspect – and keep the consideration from being dismissed completely.
Back to the Champion Press Conference. Just like every time Sheriff Darby or DA Champion speaks to the public there are some wildly non-understandable outcomes as a result of the content they deliver.
Champion gives a timeline for Jessica’s activity on the day in question. The activity is based on CCTV capturing her movements, interviews with people who talked to or saw her on the day in question, and USMS technological forensics in tracking her cell phone; this is called geo-location.
The “geo-location” capability of the USMS is the most technologically advanced in the entire Federal arsenal of law enforcement. The USMS also have “stingray” technology, which are devices that capture EXTENSIVE transmitted data; because they are known to have been conducting some kind of activity in the area it is quite possible ‘stingray’ units were already in place.
Regardless of Stingray deployment the traditional cell tower ping logs and geo-location from GPS would still be highly accurate in locating the signal from Jessica’s cell phone.
The cell phone tracking is what was used (mostly) by Champion to frame and focus the media during press conference.
However, it should be noted -early and often- that phone tracking is only that, tracking a phone. The assumption is the phone is with the owner; regardless of probability this is an assumption and not a verifiable fact.
It is assumed that Jessica’s phone was on her person during the timeline presented.
Additionally, it must also be noted that just because the phone is operable, this does not evidence the health or well-being of Jessica while the phone was “on” or “trackable”. Again, the assumption is that Jessica was alive and well during the timeline as described.
According to DA Chambers Jessica was home, or near home, for most of the day up to a point at approximately 5:00pm when she left home to run errands as described by her mother Lisa Daugherty:
♦ Sometime shortly after 5:00pm Jessica received a phone call and she left home. The caller is identified and as a friend, and Champion said “no bearing on the case”.
♦ Her immediate travel took her to the M&M First Stop gas station where she was identified on CCTV at 5:24pm
♦ She then travels to a “residence” (confirmed “house”) shortly before 6:00pm where she stayed for 5-7 minutes.
♦ She leaves the residence (headed North) and at 6:10 pm is identified at SR #51 and Highway #6 in Batesville where she is identified in the area (via private CCTV) for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
♦ The timeline then puts Jessica back in Courtland area at 6:30pm (location not given) where a timeline void begins for almost an hour.
♦ At 7:31 pm her phone is identified in the area where she was later found. It is assumed she is with the phone.
♦ From approximately 6:30pm to 7:31pm her activity and location, according to DA Champion, *is not known. This is the period he is requesting the public to provide assistance with.
♦ At 8:09pm a call to the fire department is made.
♦ At 8:13pm the Panola Volunteer fire department arrive. Within minutes, according to responding Fire Chief Cole Haley, he calls for a paramedic, an air ambulance, and a direct call for P1 (Sheriff Darby)
♦ At 9:30pm Jessica’s burned vehicle is photographed on a tow truck at M&M gas station.
Thank You Diane for the graphic.
In addition, in direct relationship to the missing hour (6:30pm to 7:31pm) Lisa Daugherty has claimed to have had a phone conversation with Jessica for “twenty minutes”. According to Daugherty the call was from 6:48pm to 7:08pm (she also said 7:13pm). Daugherty discussion/interview HERE.
Which begs the obvious question, if Daugherty was talking to Jessica at that time, why is the USMS unable to detect the phone use with the data forensics employed for the rest of the timeline. [Yet another, odd and unanswered question skipped by the media.]
In my humble opinion, this missing hour aspect is intentionally created by Champion.
If you try to reconcile the “claimed” absence of phone tracking, against their obvious ability to track the phone, you might also note something about the presser and subsequent Q&A interview – if you watch the video.
DA John Champion has ‘no reference notes’, yet he is explaining a timeline. Meaning, and/or implying, he is delivering information with an intent to use the media for more than just delivery of critical detail.
He is using the media for a purpose; the purpose, in my opinion, is not just to deliver a timeline.
What that purpose is remains unknown, but this press conference is not just to ask for the public’s assistance – he is creating something. Again, assuming Daugherty is accurate and not lying about talking to Jessica, it could be Champion is protecting something (a witness?) by trying to say they don’t have any information around a time which they should easily have.
In essence, the “void” may have a purpose.