When most folks think of the Dillon case, they are immediately attracted to John Preston and his Magic Dog, Harrass II. Yes Preston testified in Dedge; he testified in Ramos; and he testified in Dillon. All three are clearly innocent. Of course Preston’s dog couldn’t have actually tracked an eight year old scent (shout out to IPF intern Kevin for making the astute point that a painted trail would not have survived 8 years in Florida, making it an absurd notion for a scent trail to do so). And yes, the only way for Preston to do these miraculous thngs with such astonishing accuracy was to have been fed the information by law enforcement folks at the Brevard Sheriff’s office who knew the case.
But let’s put that all aside for now since the State Attorney has unfortunately decided not to embarass themselves and use this testimony against Dillon retrial. The crux of their case is testimony by Donna “the Perjurer” Parrish. I don’t ascribe that nickname to her in a figurative sense. Her actions meet the legal definition of perjury and yet the State insists on making her the centerpiece of it’s efforts to save their sinking ship of a case against this innocent man.
Donna the Perjurer was Dillon’s casual partner in 1981 at the time of the murder in this case. She gave testimony under oath against Dillon at trial indcating, not that he murdered anyone, but rather that she saw him standing over the victim’s body after the victim wAs already dead. It just so happens that on her first interview with law enforcement The Perjurer, she was coerced into doing it with the lead investigator and was theeatene with a quarter century of incarceration if she did not implicate Dillon. It’s no wonder she was the State’s star witness as trial.
Soon after-a mere few weeks-The Perjurer got a conscience and recanted her trial testimony in full and under oath admitting her words at trial were a complete fabrication.
Now the State, trying to preserve a false conviction at all coats. wants to put her up anew and have her essentially recant her recantation. Look we know that she is a liar. But the big deal here is that whichever version of events you believe, both can’t be true. This means that Donna knowingly gave false testimony, under oath, at some point. More troubling, however, is the fact that the State would rather put a known perjurer on the stand to revictimize and innocent man than just prosecute Donna the Perjurer and the individuals who knowingly let her perjurer herself. Even more disconcerting is that the Syate appears to be offering her some juice in exchange for her (we think false) testimony still this day.
It’s time for the State to give up this charade and drop the charge against Dillon. It is the minimum justice demands.