Monday, August 16, 2010

There's Two Sides to Every Case - Restoring the Balance of Justice to the Victim

On May 9, 2010 45 yr. old realtor, Angel Downs, was found shot in the head in her front yard in Gulf Shores, AL. Neighbors heard shots fired and saw former boyfriend and elected Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine leaving the scene in his county provided red pickup truck.

After hours of deliberation the grand jury - classified it as a murder, not a suicide as implied by Steve Nodine, the lone suspect. Initial reports of forensics and autopsy reports have said suicide was unlikely. The Defense regularly leaks erroneous information to the media. Angel was taken to the hospital in 2006 – it was determined that it was not an attempted suicide but a possible problem with her medication. The Defense has also stated publicly that the autopsy found drugs in Angel’s system. Angel had to take medication just to stay alive everyday. The sad fact is this is NOT a search for the truth.

Our justice system does more to uphold criminal rights than it does victim’s rights. It means criminals should be prosecuted in a just way. It doesn’t mean letting the criminal lie, cheat or manipulate his way out of the truth, or God forbid coddling him at the expense of the victim!

How many of us remember the names of the Ted Bundy’s victim’s? You don’t - but you remember Ted Bundy’s name. It's high time that we remember the names and the lives of the VICTIMS and not the accused murderers like Drew Peterson and Steve Nodine!

If we speak about what a kind and loving person Angel was the Defense may say they can’t get a fair trail for the accused murderer, because Angel is spoken of too nicely. However Steve Nodine can tell other's he's writing a book and develop a PowerPoint Presentation of his good deeds to show the world his softer side.

In Wendy Murphy’s book “AND JUSTICE FOR SOME: An Expose of the Lawyers and Judges Who Let Dangerous Criminals Go Free” she tells how defendants (criminals, the accused) are taken care of by the legal system more than their victims. In fact, defense attorneys investigate victims and try to put the blame for the crime on them instead of where it belongs.

There should be someone who will argue for the rights of the victim. The Prosecutor doesn’t do it they represent the State, and the Defense represents the Accused. So who’s looking out for the victim? In reality victim’s rights are rarely enforced. Therefore, we need to restore the balance of justice to the victims.

Crime victims have a right to be heard in criminal proceedings and may directly address the court, with their own private attorney, to advance their rights under victims' "Bill of Rights" laws.

We’ve all heard many complaints about the (let’s not forget then-married) Steve Nodine's womanizing, his drug, alcohol abuse and impeachment. It seems many people in Mobile bore witness to his regular pattern of bad behavior, but few are willing to come forward with what they know. One anonymous person said, they honestly believe Nodine is a dangerous person but is afraid of losing their job or putting their family through this mess. So they choose to remain silent. This is why he’s gotten away with so much. Now Angel is dead.

Keep in mind that guilty people can often persuade themselves and others, that they’re innocent and they can be very convincing.

For the record the presumption of innocence is a courtroom rule – not a real world mandate. We can make our own judgments on the people we meet and the information we receive. We’d be fools not to. We all have to care about being fair in the courtroom. But erring on the side of caution in public is the better option.

To reduce Nodine’s bond made no sense. Was it because he served on the Alabama Sentencing Commission? The four guys charged with killing Kyser Miree are being held without bail in Mobile jail. I guess when you're a county commissioner; you follow a different set of rules.

And don’t let anyone lie to you about the definition of reasonable doubt. To quote Wendy Murphy, “Jurors can and should find a defendant guilty even if they have doubt as long as the doubt is not “unreasonable”.

Nodine like Drew Peterson had a public FriendsofSteveNodine site collecting funds for his defense. But it’s now been made private. And just like Drew Peterson defense fund - they also have yet to divulge how much money they raised.

We’ve all seen who Nodine’s friends are – a sketchy bunch of characters – with a weak bond. Tony Moore who owns Spot of Tea (who in the past served Federal time for his role in a gambling ring) and Mickey Dearmon another friend with a criminal past. Nodines choice of friends in his adult life supports the belief he suffers from an anti-social personality disorder.

Nodine doesn’t just have an addiction to booze, women and drugs. He has an addiction to power and attention. He feels power even now because he feels he is manipulating all of Mobile and Baldwin County.

When Nodine was asked in court if he understood the terms of his house arrest, he responded, “I have not let the United States down in 28 years and I won’t now.” (This is typical of Stephen, insolence and self-confident.)

In my opinion, Nodine most certainly has let us all down - numerous times! Not only in the impeachment but also in the Federal gun/drug case and, of course, the murder of Angel Downs'. He also violated his duty to support the U.S. and Alabama Constitutions? And why shouldn’t he be charged for that?

Both Steve Nodine and Drew Peterson “... lady killer’s” have had more than the usual 5 minutes of fame. And they love the limelight and can be heard asking “Don’t you know who I am?” They are not the kind of men who make history, but are the kind who make others suffer through it. The spotlight has always found them – the same way trouble does. Nodine, just like Peterson, knows how the system works and both have a history of slipping out of trouble.

Steve is online looking for love much the same way Drew did. Both used and abused their positions of authority and were charged with official misconduct (both quit before charges were taken to trial) Both have shown a pattern of deception in relationships and then further deception to cover up deception, making them less credible individuals. Makes one wonder why they have to lie about so many important things? Both are incapable of having any kind of honest relationship because all others are objects to be manipulated.

Just as Drew2 - Steve also meets several criteria for the anti-social personality disorder – sociopath (also called a psychopath.) Anti-social personality disorder3 is three times as prevalent in men as in women. The disorder4 begins in early childhood and family dynamics play an influential part.

  • Lack of remorse, indicated by being indifferent or rationalizing being hurt, mistreated or stolen from another.
  • He shows a lack of feeling or concern for his losses. He does though show a feeling of loss for himself. He sees himself as the victim.
  • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior by repeatedly performing acts which are grounds for arrest.
  • Steve’s alleged alcohol and drug abuse, misuse of funds and county vehicle makes it clear he sees himself above the law.
  • His arrogance and cockiness about any of the charges he is facing is feeding his ego. He thinks he’s not ever going to get caught or punished. He can get away with it all.
  • Deceitfulness, indicated by repeatedly lying, conning others for personal profit or pleasure
  • Refuses to take responsibility or accountability for any of his criminal actions. Also uses God, good works, and his own son and celebrity status to his advantage.
  • He admits to cheating, even taking his own son to spend time with his mistress. Nodine owning up to adulterous affairs sounds more like bragging.
  • Now that Angel is dead he can continue to play his egocentric games, as there is no one left to call him on it.
  • Nodine is trying to sell Mobile a softer side of himself. Hence, his writing a book and wanting to create a vehicle showing off all his so called good works. (Even when trying to display himself as a good church attendee he criticizes the rest of the congregation and calls them Dems who hate that he’s walking among them with his head held high.)
  • Watching him in the media videos he seems to have a hard time keeping eye contact, his eyes keep looking down and shifting. You’re trying to avoid something when you’re looking down.
  • Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead.
  • Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.
  • Angel, her friends and family say he was controlling, threatening and outright abusive even at public events and used his position of authority to escape and intimidate others.
  • Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others.
  • This is evident in the emails where Angel states she fears for her life. And calls him on his abuse of power and lack of good parenting.
  • Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeat failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations.

OnJuly 27 BTR, hosts of Initiate Partner Homicide Investigations dedicated the show to Angel Downs. The family and friends of Angel Downs were to be the guests. The show was to be about Angel. How Angel was a loving daughter, sister, aunt and wife. How Angel was always special. Angel had spent most of her life severely ill with heart and kidney disease. She was on a transplant waiting list for years. And finally her doctors found the proper medication to keep her alive without the transplant.

Though Angel’s life had many medical ups and downs, she had been sheltered and cared for by a loving family and Dr’s and Nurses for most of her life. She was a fighter and she loved life, her family and all God’s creatures.

Angel was the optimist; she respected others and looked for peace. She was a realist who did the impossible by beating the odds. And just as she never worried about being born, she didn’t worry about dying, until she came to know Steve Nodine.

Mr. Nodine has shown everyone in Mobile how he’ll use anything to get what he wants. He uses his son, God, supposed good works and his celebrity status to his advantage. Many have seen his temper, his addictions and felt his intimidation.

Angel saw the light and made the decision to stop seeing him. She was moving on with her life. Angel wanted to be happy and to have a family, a good life with someone she loved. She knew she wasn’t defined by her mistakes but by God’s forgiveness. She also knew true love is sacrifice and God doesn’t want women to be abused or killed. Someone murdered her and they have to be brought to justice. If only pure, pristine souls could have justice for their murder we'd not even need a judicial system.

Nodine had shared too many of his secrets with Angel and worked hard to control her. If she got away she might be what brought him down. He had been in many bad spots before and always escaped accountability. Why should this be any different?

It was Mother’s Day; why wasn’t he spending it with the mother of his son? Could it be he wanted to see Angel, and he knew how to get her to say yes. I can imagine him saying Christopher has something to give you for Mother’s Day. It’s been rumored he often used his son to try to keep their rocky relationship going.

You see if you don’t confront a liar and a cheat and hold them accountable they are empowered to do it again and they get better at it.

Will there be Justice for Angel Downs? Yes, because God is a Just God. No matter what the court finds. God knows who murdered Angel and He will punish the wicked. To take a page from Nodine’s book - Pray for Nodine (the alleged perpetrator) to repent and come forth and stop putting others in danger.

Intimate Partner Homicide Investigation with Hosts Sheryl McCollum, Susan Murphy-Milano and Attorney Holly Hughes did an excellent job looking at this case and brought up many good and vital points. If you didn’t get a chance to listen please do. (Sponsored by

Best of all the show was dedicated to the memory of Angel Downs. She will not be forgotten; her life still holds great purpose.

*My comments are only my opinion, not fact. It is my commentary on the topic, and I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Comments are NOT made with any malicious intent.


  1. Murphy, Wendy “And Justice for Some: An Expose of the Lawyers and Judges Who Let Dangerous Criminals Go Free”
  2. Hosey, Joseph “Fatal Vows The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson”
  3. Robert D. Hare PhD, “Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
  4. Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare PhD, “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work”
  5. Psychopath vs. Antisocial Personality Disorder and Sociopathy Discussion Excerpts: Robert Hare

  6. UPDATE: The latest in this case Nodine’s Attorney wants to federal firearms case on hold until after the former Mobile County commissioner goes to trial on a murder charge. Thankfully U.S. Magistrate Judge Sonja Bivins set it for trial in September, but would not wait for the murder case to be resolved. Nodine’s attorneys are asking that this be overturned. Atty. Armstrong states; "Further, a trial and conviction on the federal gun charge prior to the trial of his murder case will generate additional publicity, as has been clearly demonstrated by the inordinate and prejudicial coverage of defendant's arrest" and other proceedings.
  7. Kevin Lee: If Partin upholds the motion for expediency on Aug. 25, they would have to set the trial date to start within 120 days. Federal in Sept and we could have a murder trial before Thanksgiving.
  8. Brendan Kirby, Press-Register Judge denies request to delay ex-Mobile County Commissioner Nodine's federal gun trial


  1. Why hasn't the national media picked up on this? There's little even in the local media.

  2. The least that can be done is for the media to run stories giving equal time to the victim. Remember the victim's name! Justice for Angel Downs.


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