[July 15th, 2008] 12:05pm
I’ve heard from my City Councilman Jim Kraft!! I emailed Kraft (as well as the rest of City Council and the Mayor) last night and asked if he supported the firing of Burns after reading Dr. Mirski’s letter which refutes all of Margaret Burns’ statements in "Exhibit A." Here is his reply:

Good Morning,

The comments of the Office of the States Attorney about this issue have been, and continue to be, outrageous. The failure of the States Attorney to have addressed Ms Burns' irresponsibility here is no less an outrage.

It is without hesitation that I join in this chorus of voices and demand the immediate dismissal of Ms Burns.

In addition, the States Attorney must speak on this issue herself and not through a spokesperson. This situation cries out for the leader of this office to take control, apologize not just to the Sowers family but to all of the citizens of Baltimore and pledge that such irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated by her office.

The States Attorney has consistently pointed out failures and improper behavior in the performance of other agencies and individuals and the resultant effect that such failures have had on her office and the credibility of her prosecutors. Her standards for performance for those who work for her should be no less so.

Ms. Burns must go now.

Jim Kraft

Thank you Jim Kraft for your support!

Also, the reporter of the initial Exhibit A article followed up with a story in today’s Daily Record.

And I’m working on a press conference that I’m hoping you can join me in. Please support me in holding the State's Attorney's Office accountable for their actions. Info about the press conference will up VERY soon so stay tuned.

Thanks again for your support.
[July 14th, 2008] 2:40pm
To further discredit Burns' comments in Exhibit A, Zach's attending physician who is also the director of the Neuro Critical Care Unit at Johns Hopkins has mailed a letter to Burns explicitly detailing Zach's near-death condition. The letter is being mailed out today.

Zach's attending and I worked together to start the Zach Sowers Brain Trauma Research Fund at Johns Hopkins (click "How can I help?" to find out more). Burns' erroneous comments about Zach's condition (as if he ended up in the hospital due to a benign fall), saying that he may have had a "pre-existing condition," or that "neurologists told prosecutors that overall, the injuries were inconsistent with those of a beating victim" completely undermine our fundraising efforts for this very important, newly established fund. Not to mention that she has attacked my character and weakened the foundation of my ability to advocate for Zach's Law.

I politely requested that Burns both publicly retract and apologize because her "apology" would not be accepted until she do so. But she has refused and now the SAO is refusing to ever comment on the Sowers case. Just great. You make inaccurate statements about Zach's condition, attack my character, provide the most unapologetic letter of apology and now don't ever want to comment on Zach's case again?! Wow, thanks for looking out for victims of Baltimore City!

Jessamy: Fire Burns!

And where are the other politicians on this? What do members of our City Council think of Burns' comments? After reading Zach's physician's letter, do they support my request for a public retraction and Burns' letter of resignation? As a supporter, I ask you to also contact your city councilperson and see where he/she stands on this. Will he/she support the firing of Margaret Burns? And contact the mayor. She's got her own problems (this city is a circus, isn't it?) but ask her the same question. The mayor certainly isn't my biggest fan but I wonder what she thinks. Hey, Sheila, do you support Burns' and her libelous statements or are you going to support an innocent victim in your city?

And finally, I'm entertaining the idea of taking legal action against the State's Attorney's Office. I'm not sure what rights I have so if you're a lawyer and have any advice, contact me via the "Email Us" icon in the upper right hand corner. All advice will be greatly appreciated.

I don’t want this post to be forever long so you can read the letter on the Examiner’s website.
[June 27th, 2008] 5:10pm
I finally got word from Marty Burns' office. Her assistant, Valerie, called to tell me that Burns has no further comments on this issue beyond the letter she emailed to me last week. So Burns says she’s done with this issue. She never apologized publicly and, more importantly, she never EVER retracted any of her statements. The message I take from this is that she and Pat Jessamy think those twisted “facts” in Exhibit A should be the last official word on the realities behind Zach’s murder.

Burns may have no further comments but this is FAR from over for me. Does Marty Burns really think I spend my free time meeting with city and state officials to work on Zach's Law and with Hopkins to create a Brain Trauma Research Fund because Zach "fell" and "looked like a sleeping baby" when he arrived at the hospital? Does she really think the four defendants were put away on phony charges? Seriously, why is she working for the prosecutors’ office?

If this is the last word from Burns, a public official, then my beef with the system is bigger than I’d imagined. As a public official that represent the citizens of Maryland, she needs to be held accountable to us but it appears that she just doesn’t care. I am SO totally pissed off. Burns’ refusal to offer a retraction of any sort makes her office look like even more of a joke. Since Burns and her office won’t set the record straight, I will. I’ll also being finding ways to remove them from office.

Marty Burns’ statements, in order, from Exhibit A:

1) “He looked like a sleeping baby when he arrived at the hospital.”

Marty Burns was not at the hospital that night. Why these words even came out of her mouth is what’s really scary. The nurses who treated Zach have publicly stated how catastrophically injured he was. An account in the Baltimore Sun listed some 19 injuries. I don’t know of any “sleeping baby” who would be sent to a neuro critical care unit.

2) “The injuries were not consistent with this horrible pummeling—it appeared that when he fell down, he had collapsed after being hit."

What aspect of his injuries were “inconsistent?" The brain swelling, the bruises, the lacerations, the coma?? I'm no physician but I'm pretty sure all of these things happen when you've been attacked and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The doctors who looked after Zach for 10 months told me his injuries were utterly consistent with a brutal pummeling.

3) "We know he was kicked, he fell and hit his head, he fell between two cars."

Zach fell between a parked car and a curb. The police said he was “curb-stomped,” not just kicked. He didn't "hit his head" in some accidental way.

4) "He probably injured something in the fall or he had a pre-existing condition."

What the hell does this even mean?! Yes, something was injured — his BRAIN!! And it wasn't a benign “fall.” Zach was curb-stomped by a ruthless, heartless, piece of shit monster! Pre-existing condition?!! Where did she even get this from?!! Zach was a financial analyst at Johns Hopkins University. He managed thousands upon millions of dollars. He had no pre-existing brain condition of any sort—unless Marty Burns knows of one that Zach was never diagnosed with and that he never told me about.

5) "There was no evidence of the vicious beating, no evidence of stomping.”

Ok, I seriously want to vomit all over her! A near-death patient with a head the size of a basketball, covered in bloody bandages with eyes the size of purple golf balls, with tubes coming out of his mouth and a catheter coming out of his skull to drain out excessive brain fluid seems like evidence to me. What more “evidence” does she need?

6) “We had not wanted to go against this poor woman. Everything she says to you is not 100 accurate.”

I think I have been very honest regarding the knowable facts in Zach’s case. If anything, there are details that I haven’t shared b/c they're too gruesome and painful to think about. Marty Burns has offered no proof whatsoever that any of the facts I’ve told about Zach’s case were untrue. She has pointed to NOTHING in the court filings that can back up her claims. Yes, I heavily criticized the plea agreements but I’m entitled to my opinions. Burns has attacked my integrity and undermined my reputation.

7) “[Zach] is gone and the opportunity to have questions answered was ruined by not having an autopsy.”

The case was long over when Zach died. It ended with four plea deals and no possibility of a murder charge. There were no “facts” in dispute. When Zach passed, the thought of an autopsy was the furthest thing from any of our minds. The only person who was confused over the cause of Zach’s death appears to be the State’s Attorney’s Office of Baltimore City, represented by Burns’ reckless and hurtful statements.

I can only hope that Karma is real, and just like I hope the four attackers get their payback one day, I hope Marty Burns and Pat Jessamy gets theirs as well.

Burns and Jessamy, this is only the beginning. You have refused to honor my reasonable request for a complete retraction. You have essentially told me to go away. I will do nothing of the sort.
[June 27th, 2008] 12:00pm
I'm back from Ireland. Had an amazing time! Watched a close friend who is near and dear to both myself and Zach walk down the aisle to marry the love of her life. I was so glad that I was able to attend the wedding. Zach was watching from heaven.

Ok, a few things before I update on M. Burns. I'd like to thank Wes Warnick, who was one of two North Point Precinct police officers honored earlier this month at a dinner-awards ceremony as the 2007 Police Officers of the Year. Warnick played a major role in arresting the four guys who were involved in the attack against Zach. Thank you Wes and thank you to all police officers everywhere.

Also, Zach's mom, father, and sisters are doing well. Everyone is coping in their own way. Just trying to live each day for Zach. Thank you for your thoughts and concerns.

And lastly, as for Marty Burns, I have not forgiven or forgotten. I called her on Wednesday morning and left a message. I also called and emailed her earlier today and am still waiting for a response. I am still requesting that she publicly apologize and retract her statements. I am not letting her off the hook. She had a week to consider my request. We ended our last conversation (early last week) saying that we'd be in touch this week to discuss her decision. I've been waiting for 2 days now.
[June 18th, 2008] 12:25pm
You can decide for yourself whether you consider Burns' letter an apology. Her letter is included as a PDF in today's Baltimore Sun article.

She did call me yesterday after I called her for the third time. She said she was sorry but she did not take responsibility for her statements in the Exhibit A article. She only said she was misrepresented. Melody Simmons, who wrote the Exhibit A article, still stands behind her article 100%. Hmmm...someone isn't telling the truth...

I thanked her for calling me back and for apologizing but her apology is not accepted until she makes it public. Apologize to me, Zach's family, friends and supporters. AND she must publicly retract her statements. She said that she wasn't sure what I meant by public retraction when we spoke yesterday so I told her to call The Sun or any other news outlet and tell them what she was telling me over the phone. It's pretty simple - hold a news conference. I'm a bit confused as to how a spokeswoman for the State's Attorney's office, who talks to the media for a living, doesn't understand what a public retraction means.

I don't know how many times I can say that we want a public apology and retraction. But it's up to her to decide. Her phone call and letter are only a start. And I'm sure we won't hear from Patricia Jessamy. Burns' is speaking on behalf of Jessamy's office but we have total silence from Ms. Jessamy. What a surprise! And speaking of Jessamy, I met with her privately a few months ago, after Zach's case ended, and extended my hand in working with her office to help crime victims and to help raise awareness. I never heard from Jessamy's office since. And now, 3 months after Zach passed away, Burns's has the audacity to tell me in her letter that she encourages me to "invest in making sure that the voice of our crime victims continues." Isn't that what I've been doing?! And then she states in Exhibit A that what I'm saying isn't 100% accurate!! Anyway, I could go on but I won't.

I am actually leaving for Ireland for a wedding today, returning Monday, so please continue helping me put pressure on Burns and Jessamy while I'm away. The Ed Norris Show producer called me and wants me to come on the air at 3 pm today b/c Burns may also come on and finally publicly apologize. She better retract her statemetns too!! We'll see what happens. I may be checking luggage at the airport then so I'm not 100% sure if I can definitely come on air at that time. Stay tuned I guess.

Thank you all so much for your encouraging emails and posts to me and your letters and emails to the SAO. If nothing happens today on Ed Norris' show, keep the pressure on Burns and Jessamy in my absence. Zach and I are so lucky to have so many supporters out there. You have all, once again, been there for us when we needed it most.
[June 16th, 2008] 11:35am
I will accept nothing less than a public apology from Margaret Burns and Patricia Jessamy. In addition to the public apology, Mrs. Burns must publicly retract the statements she made to Exhibit A.

A reporter who spoke to Ms. Burns last week said that she will be sending me a letter of apology. I don't want a stupid letter. I want a PUBLIC apology and retraction. Burns said in the Baltimore Sun article that she was misrepresented. Well then, explain why. I'm not going to let this be something that just blows over.

Zach Supporters, you all have to continue to help me keep pressure on Jessamy's office. Thank you all so much for your help thus far! Burns cannot get away with stating these things. She has undermined me (especially in my quest for Zach's Law) and hurt Zach's family, friends and supporters everywhere. Like I said before, she can very candidly come out and explain why she thought Zach looked like "a sleeping baby," why she stated that he "probably injured something in the fall or he had a pre-existing condition. There was no evidence of the vicious beating, no evidence of stomping" Explain it all Ms. Burns!! The whole city is waiting for you!

I called Ms. Burns's office and cell number on Thursday morning. I emailed her on Thursday night. It is now Monday morning and I have heard nothing. A close family member actually got through to Ms. Burns on Thursday and when asked if she saw Zach, her answer was obviously NO, and when asked why she said what she said, her answer was mostly "I don't know." And then she claimed that she made those comments based on the information she received from Mrs. Jessamy. She seemed quick to point the finger at Mrs. Jessamy. Well then, Margaret Burns and Patricia Jessamy can both publicly apologize and retract the statements.

We're all waiting.

[June 12th, 2008] 11:59am
I recently read the most disturbing article in a new publication called Exhibit A. It's a publication that provides news stories related to the world of law. They called me a few months ago and asked if they could do a story on me and my quest for Zach's Law. I agreed to speak to them. The article came out recently and Margaret Burns, spokesperson for State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy made some really troubling statements.

According to the article, "Burns expressed doubts about Zach Sowers’ brain injuries, saying neurologists told prosecutors that overall, the injuries were inconsistent with those of a beating victim."

She continued to say that Zach looked like a sleeping baby when he arrived at the hospital. And "'the injuries were not consistent with this horrible pummeling—it appeared that when he fell down, he had collapsed after being hit. We know he was kicked, he fell and hit his head, he fell between two cars. He probably injured something in the fall or he had a pre-existing condition. There was no evidence of the vicious beating, no evidence of stomping.'"

Well, Ms. Burns, in my world, sleeping babies don't have bruises, cuts and blood all over their head. I saw the photos of Zach when he was in the ER. They were far from looking like those of a sleeping baby. I spoke to an officer that arrived at the scene, who told me that they thought Zach was just some drunk guy until they flipped him over and realized they might have a potential homicide. How dare you compare Zach's injury to a sleeping baby.

And Zach didn't have any pre-existing condition. Are you crazy?! He was a normal, healthy guy that went out with some friends and was attacked by four ruthless piece of shit human beings. THAT's what happened!! Four piece of shit human beings that your office is supposed to prosecute, not defend, which is what it sounds like you're doing.

And yes, Zach did injure something in the fall - HIS BRAIN!!! He fell b/c he was beaten. He was beaten to the point that there was nothing left of him except a heartbeat. His brain never worked again because he was attacked. One of the four defendants even stated that he watched Zach get pummeled into a zombie-like state that our family and friends had to deal with for 10 months. That's why I agreed to the three savages testifying against the most culpable guy for a lesser sentence because they either knew or saw what happened.

And she also said that she feels badly for me but what I'm saying isn't 100% true!! Seriously, is she on crack. OK, fine then, we'll set up a meeting and she can tell me EVERYTHING she knows. I'll sit there all day and look at the evidence, testimonies and reports with her. I never did get to know everything since the case didn't go to trial so Ms. Burns can be the one that informs me of the stuff I'm saying that isn't 100% true. She seriously better meet with me and explain everything.

Maybe instead of being spokesperson for the State's Attorney office, she should work for the public defenders office. Sure, I'm no lawyer and I don't know the ins and outs of law, but seriously, comparing Zach to a sleeping baby, saying that he might have had a pre-existing condition and saying there was no evidence of beating and stomping makes me want to vomit all over her.