Mother of Prisoner is a Double Crime Victim, Impact Statement is Courageous
Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

Dr. B. Cayenne Bird is an ordained minister and a 37-year veteran op-ed journalist and publisher. She volunteers her time as founder and director of United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect UNION. The UNION is active in prison reform and criminal justice issues. She is a mother and grandmother and focuses on human rights and restorative justice. She is also the host of television series "Cayenne Common Sense" and publishes a daily online newsletter to subscribers.

December 24, 2005

This is an excerpt from my daily newsletter that goes to the media, legislators, families of prisoners, inmates, doctors, teachers, nurses, social workers, members of the clergy from every religion and others who believe that untreated mental illness and substance abuse are problems which should be treated in a more healing manner.

I share this very courageous Victim Impact Statement with everyone here now because this is the season to recognize the teachings of Christ in honor of his birthday this Sunday. You will cry but you will smile too.

Begin excerpt

UNION readers get the kleenex box!

There is a very special person amongst us who has deeply touched my life this year and the life of my family, and especially the lives of our UNION members as her lawsuit to benefit all prisoners progresses through the courts.

I affectionately call her "Atom Ant" because even though she is so tiny in stature, her works, her courage, even her voice and cussed determination makes her at least 100 feet tall to me.

As you know, we are supporting the lawsuit that Nora Weber an insurance agent from Bakerfield hired Attorney Cindy Cannon to do against CDCR for the long term torture and medical neglect of Mark Grangetto. Grangetto was a whistleblower who suffered so much retaliation that he is not likely to live through it.

The new people can read about this case at our website under Mark Grangetto 

After the lawsuit was filed, Mark was reportedly beaten in the shower by the Corcoran prison guards while in his wheelchair. He is brain damaged from birth and very ill weighing less than 100 lbs after continuously being starved which continues today. 

Then, Nora and her companion Butch were attacked in her office in a seemingly unrelated event and in order to live, she had no choice but to shoot her attacker four times. Luckily he didn't die but both Nora and Butch have been completely traumatized by it.

Now she is a crime victim two ways, first as the mother of a young man who had a motorcycle wreck and went to prison for life, a young man who is so ill that he should be in a nursing home, not in a prison. And she is the victim of a vicious attack from a former mentally ill prisoner who was released much sicker than before he was put back into the community of Bakersfield.

Twice a victim, from both perspectives. She has been fighting for her life, her son Mark Grangetto's life, to keep Butch alive and meet all her daily responsibilities in running her business. At 66 years old, this hardworking mom should be enjoying her life in Acapulco, not enduring a war that no American should have to go through ever in their lives.

You know, it is not unusual for me to get 200 emails a day and in the past year, I have been advised in great detail of 25 deaths amongst us, cried with everyone who has lost or is losing a prisoner to medical neglect or murder by prison guards, bent over backwards to help, to comfort in every way possible but I have to tell you folks.

When I read this victim impact statement, I went to my easy chair and bawled out loud for half an hour. I just cannot remember the last time I did that.

I was weeping for what Nora has suffered and continues to suffer as she may not visit Mark in the prison hospital to comfort him or to know his condition. I just cannot imagine anything more inhumane than not allowing mothers and other family members to communicate with their ailing or dying loved ones in prison hospitals, but this is the cruelty that is taking place and has been going on for several years now. IMAGINE!

I wept for Butch, who was also beaten up, an sweet elderly man near 70 years old, and the problems he has with his heart now. Imagine the fear they must feel every waking hour in their business and home.

A torrent of tears I shed for the nobility of Nora Weber in this impact statement whose compassion and selflessness, ability to see the higher picture is that of a very evolved soul.

The Judge is going to "flip his wig" as our forefathers would have said when he read this statement. They are probably expecting a vengeful response from Nora asking for all kinds of victim restitution and harsh sentencing for her attacker.

Had Darren Hailey not been abused in prison the first time he was there had his mental illness and addiction been dealt with, he would not have been roaming around much sicker and acted out on Nora and Butch, two upstanding seniors and business leaders.

If you can read this with a dry eye, you might be a tinged calloused or maybe don't see all the circumstances involved here.

God Bless Nora Weber for all that she has done and is doing with this statement on behalf of us all. She is a shining example of mercy and goodness, truly a remarkable person. WHAT A ROAR SHE HAS - inspiring isn't it!

B. Cayenne Bird

Dear Cayenne:

On December 29, 2005 I go to Court for the sentencing of Darren Delmond Hailey, the guy I shot to save our lives. 

Attached is the letter I have sent to the Probation Department prior to sentencing on my views. I have notified the Bakersfield Californian and faxed them a copy of my letter. The reporter will be there the day of the sentencing when I get to make a statement to the Judge. My letter is attached in a word program for easy printing. You may print it if you want to or use it however you choose. 


To: Marcos Sifuentes

Prob: #10-74-40

B/Ct: #BF112359A



(1) Briefly describe what effect the crime has had upon yourself and/or other family members. 

ANSWER: As for myself, Nora Weber I will soon be sixty six (66) years of age. I am now extremely suspicious of any stranger coming to the door of my business. My gun was taken by the Bakersfield Police Department and I still don?t have it back. I was required to fill out a form and had to pay $20.00 to the Department of Justice to apply to get my gun back that was registered in my name. That gun was used ?only? for self defense to prevent us from being killed. I was handcuffed and put in the back of a Police Car. A Policeman then pulled that car across the middle of the road to block traffic while I was left sitting in the back seat for approximately thirty (30) minutes. Then I was handcuffed to the wall in the Police Station for approximately one (1) hour while waiting to be questioned. 

Ernest E. Lamson, the other victim, recently had to under go a heart procedure to correct an irregular heart beat after he was stomped in the chest by the intruder. Mr. Lamson is afraid of every vehicle that drives around the property, he thinks someone is going to drive by and shoot him or physically attack him. 

That gun saved our lives. Most people don?t survive these kinds of physical attacks. 911 failed to respond to earlier calls which would have prevented this entire matter. My security system alarm company waited four (4) minutes to call the police after I had pushed my alarm button numerous times. My sleep pattern has been completely changed. I find myself not sleeping more than two (2) or three (3) hours during the course of a night and some times I wake up dripping wet in a pool of sweat for no apparent reason. Every unusual sound around my property causes me to have an unusually fast heart beat due to total fear of having been beaten within an inch of my life. It was only by our quick responses that we were able to save our lives and I was treated like the criminal with handcuffs put on so tight that they cut into my arthritic wrist and I was left handcuffed in the back seat of a police car, parked in the middle of the street, blocking the street traffic, while Delmond Hailey was being treated by paramedics. Ernest Lamson and myself, Nora Weber were taken to the police station while Delmond Hailey was being taken to the hospital. I stand 4?11? and weight about 95 pounds. 

(2) Briefly describe how you feel about the plea bargain;

ANSWER: I am not in favor of plea bargains. I think everyone should have to stand for his crime. 

I don?t believe the Court system is, as it claims, Justice For All.

When a person chooses to go to trial in an attempt to prove his innocence or at least to prove some measure of innocence he gets a longer sentence than the person who took a plea bargain. I believe that is the reverse of how the Courts should handle criminal cases. 

Plea bargains are nothing more than a convenience for the Courts, they prove nothing, and shorten the sentence of a possible guilty individual, allowing that person back on the streets in a shorter period of time. 

(3) Briefly describe what you think would be an appropriate sentence in this case. 

ANSWER: I have been told that this particular individual has a ?mental problem?. However, I have never heard a word he has said. If in fact Delmond Hailey does have a mental problem of any kind then he should not be put into the prison system. 

He should be sentenced to a facility where there will be full time Psychiatric care and counseling. That may possibly assist him in learning how to handle his mental deficiencies so he can fit more appropriately into society at the time he is released. 

Prison guards are ill equipped to deal with prisoners who have mental deficiencies. Punishment, brutality, torture by prison guards and medical neglect at the hands of the California State Prison System will not help this person. If he is lucky enough to live through that kind of abuse he will return to society more sick than he was when he went into the system. 

Last but not least, I cannot imagine this individual being double celled with another human being. The other prisoner in that cell will probably end up having to kill Delmond Hailey in order to save his own life or not fight to save his life and be killed by Delmond Hailey. 

I would like to see Delmond Hailey sentenced to Atascadero State Mental Hospital to serve his full sentence. He should never be released until he has proven to a panel of Psychiatrists that he is capable of walking back into society free of his propensity for violence against another human being. 

(4) feel free to include anything else you feel the Court may want to know about the case. REMEMBER, this is your opportunity to express your feelings and the Court wants to know how you feel. 

ANSWER; I question the mental capacity of Delmond Hailey for the following reason. The prosecuting attorney in the District Attorneys Office has lead me to believe this on more than one occasion by making a verbal reference to Delmond Hailey?s name as ?crazy Hailey?. I questioned this verbal reference and asked, if he was really crazy, and if so how could he plea guilty or plea to anything? He explained that he wasn?t that kind of crazy, whatever that is suppose to mean! 

I am completely perplexed as to exactly how and why the Courts think that a mentally deficient individual is going to gain any ?rehabilitation? from an over-crowded and medically neglectful prison system that is run by guards who are uneducated and untrained to handle prisoners who act out their mental illnesses. Furthermore, guards are there to guard ?real? prisoners who had the mental ability to understand the scope of their crime and who were capable of knowing the difference when they committed the crime. When the Court sentences an individual why can?t they put mentally ill individuals in a mental facility and not in the general population of a prison? To do anything less is nothing short of a deliberate indifference and a short cut to failure after failure by the Courts and the State of California to build and maintain adequate facilities to deal with the mentally ill. 

Governor Ronald Reagan closed down the mental institutions in California and turned those helpless sick individuals out on the streets to live as homeless, breaking the laws and getting thrown into prison as a substitute for a lack of adequate care. The Courts have done nothing to fix the problem except to make the problem worse by knowingly warehousing these mentally ill human beings in a manner that is equal to any third world Country. 

It is one thing to claim Justice is being served by locking away, out of the view of the general public, a mentally ill individual. It is quite another to see to it that Justice is being served by appropriate sentencing of the mentally ill where they will get the medical care that obviously has never been provided them. With every generation of a human birth comes more profound and more complex mental conditions, and if an effort is not made to curb this type of criminal sentencing then the next victim of a violent physical crime may not have the opportunity to write a letter such as I have written because, he will be dead if he fails to defend his life.

Just look at what I have had to go through to defend my life????.is it any wonder that law abiding citizens have a ?real? fear of the Justice system and are falling more and more every day into not trusting their Government leaders to do the right thing? I am appalled at our failed prison system that presently stands on the brink of total collapse, and is in fact a total failure by medical neglect and abuse. 


Nora M. Weber

"Ignorance and apathy of the people rule governments.

Knowledge is power. Knowledge comes from reading newspapers,

not from getting your news from television alone"

B. Cayenne Bird 

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