She hung up expecting pumpkins, not that the call would be the last time she would talk to him.
Shortly after returning home that night from her daughter's choir concert, Raymond was startled by a sharp knock on the door of her
They told her Johnson had died about three hours earlier in a crash in front of his home on
The news sparked a memory of an earlier, ominous conversation Raymond had with her father about that stretch of highway. "My dad was complaining that the cops were hauling a-- on that road, and he was tired of it," she said.
Raymond said her father was not drunk.
Raymond thought she was on the way to getting answers, and justice.
Today, five years later, Raymond said she has no answers and no justice. She said she carries the added burden of what Linville called a bungled
MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE FILED, THEN DROPPED
Johnson, 65, owned Renegade Restoration, an automobile restoration business. He had moved to
"We were very, very close. My dad was my world, and my dad did everything for me," said Raymond, an only child.
Johnson was alone in his car, as was Sloan, who suffered arm and head injuries and was treated and released from the hospital that night.
A year after charging Sloan, less than two months before the trial, Linville dropped the vehicular manslaughter charge. He said conflicting crash-investigation reports and the untrustworthy conduct of the
Raymond said Linville told her he had no choice. "I was furious," said Raymond, 46, who co-owns
She sued in
Raymond's lawsuit alleges wrongful death and "tortious interference" by the
At the heart of her case are three
All three claimed that after the Sloan case, they were retaliated against in myriad ways -- reassignment from crash reconstruction to night and weekend patrol duty, rejected pay increases, denied promotions and poor evaluation.
Two of the investigators,
Rice's case was dismissed. He no longer works for the
Eller's case goes to trial
All three investigators "were trying to get the truth out there," Raymond said.
Eller and Carmack still work for the
WAS THERE A COVER-UP?
Linville, the county prosecutor, said
Linville told the
He asked that Klitch no longer patrol in
Klitch, 34, and Sloan, 36, both went to
"I think Klitch was covering up for his friend and trying to protect him, and ISP was trying to protect Klitch," she said.
Klitch did not interview Sloan until more than a month after the crash, when a supervisor told him to.
Klitch was promoted to detective in
"ISP still has pending litigation on this issue, and as such we are being advised not to speak in reference to this case,"
"We are also constantly seeking out ways we can improve in order to meet the needs of those we serve. We try to do this because we can only be as successful in providing public safety as we have the public's trust. We also have a long history of doing this simply because it is the right thing to do."
Sloan resigned from the
WAS ALCOHOL A FACTOR?
One issue with the crash reports is whether Johnson was intoxicated. Witnesses who were with him before the crash said he had one or two drinks at a local bar before heading home, but he was not impaired.
Less than six hours after the crash, Klitch issued a press release that said "alcohol is believed to be a factor in this crash."
The next morning, Raymond went to the coroner's office to get her father's things.
Raymond told the coroner there was no way his BAC was that high: "My dad was a moderate drinker. One or two drinks. He did not drink and drive."
The coroner told her there was not enough blood left in her father's body for a standard blood test, so he tested blood he collected from the body bag. That is "a grossly inaccurate method," said Raymond's attorney,
Raymond later learned Schuller was able to perform additional tests using blood from Johnson's eye and femoral artery. Those BAC results were 0.053 and 0.08. But by then, Schuller's initial result of a 0.127 had been released.
"This completely unreliable BAC was immediately and improperly passed on to the investigators as conclusive ... with the improper intent of creating a false and biased narrative that
Her father's insurance company, based on the early report of intoxication, paid Sloan
"[My dad's] name has been tarnished since
Because of the widely varying BAC levels and the inability to conduct a field sobriety test, Carmack, the
At his bosses' request, Carmack removed references to unsafe driving by Sloan. He wrote that Sloan was driving at 115 mph with his emergency lights and siren on, and that while trying to pass Johnson's vehicle, Johnson turned left. He said Johnson had a femoral artery blood alcohol level of 0.08.
Johnson did not pull over to let the patrol car pass. It is unclear whether he signaled to turn left: Sloan's dashboard camera does not show that, and his vehicle was too damaged to determine whether his left turn blinker was operable.
When Linville, the prosecutor, asked for the crash investigation report, Rice, the now-retired investigator whose whistleblower lawsuit was dismissed, gave him both versions.
Shortly after her father's death, Raymond put custom decals on the back window of her white Dodge Charger depicting two cartoon characters of a boy urinating on the words "Ex-Deputy
Raymond added a third decal this year. This one depicts a boy urinating on the letters "ISP" --
"Everyone honks and gives me high-fives," she said.
She thought the decals might irk law enforcement officers. Recently, she said, she had an encounter with a
"I was speeding. An officer pulled me over," Raymond said. "He told me that he wanted to give his condolences about my dad. He said, 'Because of you, I train my officers so that nobody has to die.'"
"I shook his hand and told him thank you," Raymond said. She got a warning from the officer not to speed. Raymond wishes she had asked the officer his name.
Raymond teared up as she described the encounter. She said that if law enforcement agencies learn from this crash and improve their training or change their policies, both officers' and citizens' lives could be saved.
Her case is scheduled for trial in nine months in
"My dad is not here to tell his side, so I need to protect his name. ... I want everyone to hear my story."
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