June 2, 2009- People of the State of Michigan v. Christopher Luke Pratt was the first case called this morning at 10:00 A.M. in the Hall of Justice, Michigan Court of Appeals. The 3 judge panel included Judge Karen M Fort Hood, PJ, Judge Mark J Cavanagh and Judge Kirsten Frank Kelly, JJ. Presiding Judge Fort made an opening statement that all the judges were very familiar with each of the cases being called and she asked that the attorneys be brief and to the point. Present in the room were approximately 12 other attorneys for various cases, and several spectators. About 10 minutes before court commenced Jeff Pratt and his mother, Louise Pratt showed up. Jeff was dressed more for a night of drinking at his Moose Lodge than for what would be appropriate attire for such an esteemed judicial proceeding.
A representative from the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office was present however the actual oral argument was conducted by a special prosecutor from Kent County, Timothy K. McMorrow. He is chief appellate attorney for the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office. No attorney was present on behalf of Chris Pratt and presumably written arguments had already been submitted to the court. Inmate Pratt also was not present for the hearing.
The Pratt matter took exactly 2 minutes and the presiding judge then called the next case.
After the hearing was closed Jeff Pratt appeared visibly upset, dismayed and perplexed and started a conversation with Mr. McMorrow. He did not realize he was speaking to the prosecutor and not his brother’s attorney. He asked, What happens now? Jeff did not appear to be in a very happy mood when he left the building.
In my opinion, it will be approximately a month before Inmate Christopher Luke Pratt will be sitting in his Level IV cell at St. Louis Correctional Facility and learn that all his convictions were affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals. You may follow the appellate process online- http://coa.courts.mi.gov/resources/asp/viewdocket.asp?casenumber=284299&fparties=&inqtype=public&yr=0
At the entrance of the massive Michigan Hall of Justice there are four words etched in marble; Freedom, Truth, Equality and Justice. These concepts, the foundations of our constitution, invite reflection by all who enter. Let it be known that each member of the Pratt kin should also reflect. They should reflect on the fact that Christopher Luke Pratt, now Inmate Pratt #673261 was properly and appropriately convicted for violent felony crimes in Calhoun County against a former girl friend. He is a criminal perpetrator of domestic violence who enjoys battering women. He battered his first wife, he battered Mary Denise Lands, and he battered a more recent girl-friend. He is not going to batter anyone else for 15 years. http://www.state.mi.us/mdoc/asp/otis2profile.asp?mdocNumber=673261
The Pratt family should now be thinking about the crimes committed against Mary Denise Lands. Their family can help bring Mary home and contribute to some type of closure for all involved in this horrific tragedy. Sooner or later it is going to happen. Jeff Pratt and others would be wise to convince their family member to do the right thing. The Marshall family is not going to go away until they can bring their daughter home to her final resting place. You'll see us at vigils, events, court hearings and every single parole hearing for Inmate Pratt until 2022. We will vehemently oppose any parole for your family member. Instead of all your denials that Inmate Pratt had anything to do with Mary's disappearance and murder you should put more effort into having someone step up to the plate and admits their responsibility. The Marshall family have suffered enough and you can make this come to an end. Do the right thing and do it now.