We are writing to you now on behalf of our son, Rusty and our grandson Austin who‘s constitutional and parents rights have been violated. During the course of events Rusty made some mistakes and strayed from his Christian up bringing; but has since realized his errors. Regardless of his error, neither he nor Austin deserved the treatment they have received from the corrupt court systems. Their plight is directly related to parent rights and the need for protection from intrusive government. Rusty & none of our family have seen Austin since May 26, 2008. We have reason to believe Austin may be deceased. Rusty has been incarcerated since Nov. 11, 2008 for sending emails asking to see his son. Rusty is very ill and could die or have brain damage from seizure/mini strokes in jail due to lack of medical treatment. We need help. He wants his story shared to help get the system changed.
Rusty had a motorcycle wreck in May 2005. He began having mental symptoms two months later. He has been misdiagnosed several times. It was finally discovered in 2008, he suffers not only from head injury & partial complex seizures; but has polycythemia, sleep apnea and COPD. A neurologist felt he was also having mini strokes from the polycythemia as well as seizure activity. He had neuropsychological testing in Oct. 08, which confirmed right hemisphere brain damage from the wreck. All of these medical problems can affect one’s mental state.
He needs to be seen by an epileptoligist familiar with these specific seizures. He needs support for emotional problems from having his son kidnapped in May 08 by his ex and being kept in 23 hour lock down at SCDC for sending emails asking to see his son.
His hematologist, said he needs to go to a large university hospital who is more familiar with polycythemia to determine treatment for the seizure vs mini stroke issue. Polycythemia is a blood disorder in which the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells trying to get enough oxygen to the blood. As it makes more red blood cells the blood becomes thicker and causes less oxygen to get to the brain, causing seizure or strokes from the thick blood, or even heart attacks. It is deadly without proper treatment. Sleep apnea and Copd add to the lack of oxygen.
We were still in the process of getting all these problems addressed and planning to take him to a large medical university hospital to get him on the proper anti seizure medication when he was incarcerated.. Now we are fighting for his life.
We believe Rusty has been jailed to prevent him from fighting to see his son. The mother never broke up with our son. She just cut off all contact after Rusty came home to live with us due to his neurological problems in April 08. We noticed Austin’s speech and development regressing during the two months we were allowed to have him visit us. He was terrified of his maternal grandparents on May 26,08 when we took him back to the mother’s house and we have not seen him since. He was almost 22 months old.
Rusty filed for emergency custody in June 08. A secret hearing was held. Custody was given to Rusty one day, taken the next and supposed to be under a parent plan. None was ever set. Only a judge and Rusty’s lawyer were there.
Rusty hired a new lawyer to request a parenting plan. The lawyer had to withdraw and case stalls.
May 07case ties into custody:
Rusty had a court case pending from May 07 due to family calling police for help when he had a partial complex seizure. No one wanted to press charges, family just wanted help in dealing with the immediate situation. He was never convicted of charges; but tricked into taking an Alford plea because of his neurological problems. Had it gone to trial the mother would have likely been brought up on child endangerment charges.
The mother never made a statement in the case until the custody case stalled and she demands a NCO. She does not enter the court room nor is any evidence given in court. Rusty is threatened by his lawyer in the hall way with jail time if he doesn’t sign NCO.
Rusty was denied probation and bond revoked on Nov. 17 due to him emailing the mother asking to see Austin in violation of the NCO.
Another hearing was set in Dec. Rusty asked for it to be postponed until he was released. They denied request and supposedly had hearing & case was closed. Rusty never got his day in court to fight for his son.
In Jan. 09 Mother sought to get an order of protection & child support while Rusty is in jail. No evidence was produced and a mutual restraining order was set. Support was not addressed. Twice she had chance to get support; but both times cases were closed without addressing it. She or the state now get social security from Rusty’s disability for Austin while his is suspended. She did not have to produce a child; neither did the state.
We have asked to have officers escort us to the house to check on him. They say go to court. We have asked lawyers if we could get visitation. They say grandparents have no rights especially with Rusty in jail. The sole purpose he was railroaded into jail was to keep him and us from being able to seek our grandson. We asked various agencies to check on him but continually get the runaround with no one actually going to see him.
May 07 issue
Rusty files for an appeal on probation. Judge says bond good. Lets him out on Dec. 11 for 8 hours of court. Judge denies bond because Rusty might do something. What, send more emails? The mother states he is obsessed with her. Good grief, she stole his son, of course he wants to talk to her. Judge was also asked if Rusty would get his medical care. Judge said sure. Then next time says no inmate gets treatment unless jail is forced. Judge agrees that appeal is useless if he denies bond. as appeal will last until Rusty is out. In essence, judge gives Rusty a death sentence.
Rusty is very ill and not receiving proper medical treatment while in jail. Fifty percent of people with untreated polycythemia die within two years. Rusty has more than a year to serve. Reoccurring partial complex seizures can cause brain damage. He now has a federal lawsuit against the jail seeking treatment.
Jail finally gave Rusty his blood treatment 5 months after the last one. He had been having them every 2 weeks before incarcerated. They still have not addressed his seizures. They won’t be able to as the treatment was still being worked out before incarceration. He is kept in 23 hour isolation due to his unstable condition. It took us 2 weeks of asking to get him hand soap. He often forgets to order food from the commissary. He’s really not able to take care of himself there. We have been contacting everyone trying to get him help and out of jail for proper treatment. We still have medical insurance until mid July if we could get him out and to a large hospital.
He has had 5 lawsuits and 7 lawyers in less than 2 years. We are at our wits end. We need help. We need to get Rusty out for treatment. He is not a criminal, he is sick. We need someone who can investigate, find our grandson, show him to us or explain why he’s gone. There’s been too much “home cooking” to quote one lawyer. All our efforts are blocked. Family court should not be secret! NCOs should not be handed out like candy, particularly when a child is involved. Our family has suffered much duress with the court cases and unanswered questions. Austin was our pride and joy and we’ve all suffered severely wondering why he was so afraid to go home and what has happened to him since.
We have asked the Governor of TN to exonerate Rusty. You can help Rusty. Please take a few minutes to send letters to the Governor, Lt. Governor & Representative here: http://2millionplus.com/alertlinks2.php?id=117.
If anyone can help us with finding out about Austin, please contact us. Thank you so much.
Ronnie & Charlotte Rhoton
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month