December 7, 2007 Mary Lands & Family Video, Atlanta-1998
Mary Lands & Family Video- 1999
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Battle Creek Enquirer News 11/30/2007
Battle Creek Enquirer News 11/29/2007
Battle Creek Enquirer News 11/28/2007
December 6, 2007- A Calhoun County jury returned today after 3 ½ hours of deliberations yesterday in the trial of Christopher Luke Pratt. They asked to review video testimony from the victim and that was completed. Approximately 10 minutes later they announced a verdict.
At 10:15 A.M. Mr. Pratt was brought into court and the jury foreman read guilty to each of the four charges. They were then dismissed from the court with thanks of the judge. Judge Stephen B. Miller then revoked Mr. Pratt’s bond and set January 7, 2008 for sentencing. He has been held in the Calhoun County Correctional Facility since the date of the incident on June 24, 2007.
December 5, 2007- Court recessed at 5:15 P.M after a fifth day of testimony with another 5 witnesses. The last witness for the defense was Mr. Pratt who denied all the charges against him. Closing arguments will be heard from the prosecutor and the defense in the morning and Judge Stephen B. Miller will then issue jury instructions. Jury deliberations are expected to commence before lunch.
December 4, 2007- 2 witnesses testified yesterday while most of day consisted of legal arguments away from the jury. Christopher Pratt is expected to take the witness stand today in the domestic violence case against him. Judge Miller also limited the number of phone calls made by Pratt from his jail cell to family members that could be used by the prosecutor. Mr. Buscher said investigators last week located recordings of nearly 23 hours of calls Mr. Pratt made since he was arrested on June 24, 2007, and it is expected they would find several more to other people. Mr. Buscher told the judge Chris Pratt made incriminating statements in many of the recorded calls.
November 30, 2007- 12 witnesses testified on Thursday including Mr. Pratt’s former wife. She related numerous instances of verbal and physical abuse until their divorce. Clifford & Anita Marshall had tears in their eyes listening to the testimony of both victimes. They had to be comparing the abuse endured by these women involved in a relationship with Chris Pratt to the fate of their daughter, Mary? If you could have placed Mary in the witness chair, each and everything said and the medical documentation would have been accurate in what we now know about their relationship. Broken bones, verbal abuse, bizarre control issues, and all the other characteristics of an unstable and violent batterer of defenseless women.
The Marshall family never knew until a year later after Mary’s disappearance that their own beautiful daughter was a victim of severe physical and mental abuse and domestic violence. She was another victim who attempted to hide the violence in her life at the hands of Chris Pratt. Because of scheduling court conflicts there will be no testimony today and the jury was instructed to return at 9:00 A.M on Monday, December 3, 2007. At that time the trial will resume. An individual in the area of domestic violence with expertise on the victims and their perpetrators is expected to testify next week.
Bruce Springsteen has a new song that is analogous to Chris Pratt and his lifelong self-destructive behavior of domestic violence. It is named “Your Own Worst Enemy, has come to town”. It has, and we’ll soon know the results? If society is successful, Mr. Pratt will never injure another woman for the rest of his life. (Chris Pratt, Court Photo, Shelly Sulser, Marshall Chronicle)
November 29, 2007- After opening arguments by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dan Buscher and Defense Attorney J. Thomas Schaeffer that lasted about 20 minutes each the first witness brought to testify was Mr. Pratt’s former girl-friend, Norrene Parker. Her testimony lasted about 4 hours with questioning by Mr. Buscher and Mr. Schaeffer. After a lunch break the trial resumed at 2:35 P.M. and two children of Ms. Parker testified. The final witness of the day was Michigan State Police Trooper Richard Pazder. Testimony concluded at 5:10 P.M and trial is expected to resume for a 3rd day on November 29, 2007 at 9:00 A.M. According to the court, the trial will continue today into the afternoon, but because of scheduling conflicts jurors might go home earlier and would also be off tomorrow. If that does occur the trial will not continue until Tuesday, December 4th.
(Chris Pratt Photo, Trace Christenson, Battle Creek Enquirer)
November 28, 2007- A 404B motion hearing was first on the agenda yesterday on the first day of Mr. Pratt’s trial. This was conducted to determine if prior acts of domestic violence can be admitted into testimony. No jury members were present. After the one-hour session, and listening to details of verbal and physical abuse, Judge Miller approved that testimony can be heard from Mr. Pratt’s former wife and his former girl-friend. Jury selection started
at about 11:00 A.M. and after lunch it was resumed. A jury panel with 2 alternates finally was seated at about 4:15 P.M. and opening arguments are scheduled for today at 8:30 A.M.
Present in court in support of the victim were Cliff & Anita Marshall and some friends. In the morning session, Louise Pratt was present along with an elderly neighbor. Later in the afternoon, Jeff Pratt, Chris' brother arrived with his girl friend. Also present from Albion was a mutual friend of the Pratt’s known as Mr. T. & T Money. During a break I asked Mrs. Pratt if there was any chance that Mary’s cape might be able to be returned to the family? She and her friend remarked they don’t know anything about any cape or cloak and walked away. The trial is taking place in Judge Miller Court Room, 467, at the Criminal Justice Center. (Court Photo, Shelly Sulser, Marshall Chronicle)
November 27, 2007- Five months after the June 24, 2007 incident jury selection is expected to commence today in a Calhoun County Circuit Court Room in the trial of Christopher Luke Pratt. He is charged with four domestic violence related crimes after being bound over during preliminary examinations in July and August. Mr. Pratt has been held in the Calhoun County Correctional Facility in Battle Creek on $75,000.00 bond on criminal charges filed by his former girl-friend. The crimes allegedly occurred at a home they shared together on 15 1/2 Mile Road in Marshall, Michigan. Judge Stephen B. Miller is presiding at the trial and Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Dan Buscher represents the State of Michigan. Defense Attorney J.Thomas Schaeffer of Marshall is representing Mr. Pratt. The three felony charges include False Imprisonment, Felonious Assault, and Interfering with Electronic Communications Device (Telephone). There is one misdemeanor count of Domestic Violence. Another felony charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct is pending and that trial is now scheduled for December 4th. Clifford & Anita Marshall, the parent's of Mary Denise Lands will be present in court with other friends in support of the victim. Friends and members of the family have attended all court hearings to date and plan to be present for the entire trial.
This particular incident obviously has no direct connection to their daughter's investigation although we have documented that Mary Lands was also a victim of severe physical and emotional domestic violence. Again we reiterate, if anyone has information on the where Mary can be found you are urged to contact the Marshall family- 269.781.4508 or D/Sgt. Michael Salmen at the Battle Creek Post, Michigan State Police, 269.968.6115. If you wish, you may also contact Jim Carlin, JCarlin@JustinianLawcom and/or Justinian Investigative Services in Battle Creek, 269.441.7068. If it is your request you can remain anonymous.