Melinda Coleman on Thursday provided excerpts from what she said was a secret recording of a conversation with Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert L. Rice near the end of May 2012.
Here is a partial transcript.
Coleman: “I also wanted to talk to you because I’m hearing things that are totally different than what you’re saying, so I don’t know what’s going on but somebody’s not telling her the truth.
“… We were always willing to testify. In fact, I didn’t even know about the first deposition. I found out about that like a week ago — the one before you dropped the initial charges? You know, the attorney that was … the attorney that was in Omaha just simply wrote that one letter because someone said to him that, said that he was a prosecuting attorney ... and he’d heard that (unintelligible) was going to call and get everything dropped as a favor to Barnett. And that I should have a letter sent.
“So I called Mr. Sheraton and said can you write a letter, just, you know, I said, I don’t know if this is all rumor, what it is, but can you just write a letter so we know…”
Rice: “You haven’t missed a deposition at all. The only deposition was this one, and that was where it was explained to you that you were claiming the Fifth.”
(Coleman says the rape advocate called her to tell her about her conversation with Rice.)
Coleman: “What Carrie said when the psychiatrist … said it wasn’t good for my daughter to testify because she’d already been suicidal, she said she told you that and that you said, verbatim, ‘I don’t give a s***, those mothers are going to pay.’
“I never said anything about you. … I never wrote that stupid petition on Facebook. … I wasn’t going to do that.”
Rice: “Well, Daisy did.”
Coleman: “Daisy said some things? Well, she shouldn’t have, and she doesn’t have Facebook anymore. And I know she got pretty bitter at times. … I saw a couple of things, I didn’t see anything derogatory toward you.”
Rice: “We’ve reached out toward you and said hey, this is the next stage, and we attempted to have contact with you before any sort of thing happened on any part of the case. We’ve attempted to call you by telephone.
“I was accused of a lot of things ... in the St. Joe paper … a lot of what you’re telling me is where people in the newspaper say you’ve done this, done this and what are you talking about?
“I work this case like I work every case. We were aggressive when we filed it based on information we had at the time. Felt comfortable filing the charge. I knew that more information was coming out, but at the time, I got to make a judgment call.”
Coleman: “I guess the best way to get me is to call me. I’m not using the guy from Omaha. He wrote the one letter. ... I’m a little confused as to what (name) felt ... needed to terrify me into not testifying. So if it’s all right with you, I’ll just talk to you directly. I don’t think … Somehow I’m not always getting the truth. I’m tired of the rumors and not getting the truth.
“At least I feel if I’m talking with you I’m getting the truth.”
Rice: “(Unintelligible) I’ll tell you if it’s bad, I’ll tell you what is. I’ll tell you for sure what it is ... frankly it would be great. ... I’ve never, never had a criminal case before where I had to go through, with my own victim, had to go through counsel to able to talk to them. ... Anyway, we’ll get this thing going again if you’ll sign this, it would be great, if not, that’s OK, but we’ll get another deposition set up, but it’ll probably be July. ... I’d like to get it done sooner, but we’ll just see. ... If you can get Daisy up here to talk that would be great. Well, thanks for talking to me.”
Coleman: “Thank you. I appreciate it.”