A Life Hangs in the Balance



                                                                                               Geoffrey Holdermiller

                                                                                  Ruskin Florida










I am writing to you for help to save what little time is left. I beg of you to take the time to read this entire letter. This is the true story of Mechael. Happening as I write this letter to you. Mechael took a job with a Conveyor corp. back in late 2003. Within a matter of days the owner began to sexually harass her to the point of causing extreme fear in Mechael. During her employment she began to see the owner because she was too scared to stop it... This turned out to be the biggest mistake of Mechael’s life. Some time later in the spring of 2004 his behavior became unbearable, sometimes violent and way past the point of sexual harassment. She decided she had to break it off. He would not stand for it and began to harass her. It became so bad that he was stalking her where ever she went. He threatened to slice her, threatened her children, and killed her guide dog. Mechael called the police to file a stalking report but they never responded.


Mechael has a disability called Lupus Eryhematousus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune systems turns against the body and harms healthy cells and tissues. Lupus can affect many parts of the body including the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain. Lupus is characterized by periods of increased or intensified disease activity, called flares. It commonly causes a nervous system disorder which results in seizures. These seizures are greatly intensified by stress and infections. Lupus is treated by physical and emotional rest, healthy diet, and prompt treatment of infections, avoidance of known allergens and aggravating factors and a multitude of different drugs. You might think of it as a “self allergy” where the body attacks its own cells and tissue causing inflammation, pain, and organ damage.


 Mechael finally told him that she was going to file sexual harassment charges against him. He then called the police and accused her of embezzling funds from the company and began to destroy her life. He succeeded in convincing the police. He told the police that she had forged over 60 checks including her own payroll checks. Some with his signature, some with his wives own signature, some with computer signatures, and some with other office personnel signatures. She was charged with forgery, organized crime, extortion, and a slew of other charges. He told her that he had connections everywhere including inside the jail so don’t try anything.


Mechael was held for 26 days in jail. During her stay her seizures were at their worse. The staff at Orient Road Jail did nothing to help her, they just let her convulse on the concrete until she was black and blue from head to toe. Later she was finally taken in for treatment but they incorrectly drugged her causing her to have 2 strokes and she was paralyzed from the waste down. When she was finally released they wheeled her out to a bench and just left her. Besides all of the physical and emotional damage she had undergone she had lost her home, most of her belongings, and almost lost her children.


You need to understand that Mechael is a wonderful person with a heart of gold. She is absolutely the sweetest young woman you could ever meet. She would take the shirt off her back to help you if you were in need of it. She was a strong woman and very intelligent. In her short 35 years Mechael spent time in the Navy, went to school to become a teacher, taught school, and moved on to other fields such as a mortgage broker, construction estimator, construction supervisor, paralegal, and office manager. To this day she still amazes me on how intelligent she really is and how strong she is. Throughout most of these years she was the sole provider for her family. I know it must have been difficult for her but she was always a survivor. But now she was living in a trailer, unable to work, and to make matters worse she had been abducted from a convenience store and raped. She does not know positively but believes that the owner was behind the rape also. This was her final devastation. This is when our paths crossed.


At this time her case had been going for over a year with an incompetent public defender. The public defender never in that entire year subpoenaed a single record from the owner to help Mechael prove her innocence. That is when I stepped in and hired an attorney and a private investigator. He was immediately sent subpoenas for records and then tucked tail and ran. He knew that he was about to be uncovered. He then sent a letter that he no longer wanted to testify and never supplied any of the records which would have cleared her of these allegations and he never showed up for any of his depositions. The State then offered a plea bargain because they knew that they had screwed up. What a waste of the taxpayer’s money. What a disaster for Mechael, an injustice that should have never occurred. The owner was still at this time stalking her and threatened to hurt her children if she didn’t take the plea. Mechael’s attorneys advised her to take the plea bargain because the state was still going to try to prosecute her. They told her that it was going to cost her a lot of money to fight it. I and our private investigator advised her not to but she was so petrified of what He would do to her and her children that she did so to just get it over with. That later also turned out to be a mistake. The plea was for 18 months probation with early release in 9 months.


Now it gets even worse. The probation officer Irma was the same officer that Mechael had it out with in the past when working as an office manager and the officer was harassing some of the employees at her office. They had a mutual dislike for each other and this officer now took advantage of her position. This Officer soon caused a violation by withholding information from her new officer after she had moved and she was once again arrested. This was in the early afternoon on the fifth of January. They took her to booking where the stress once again caused her to have multiple seizures and again they did nothing to help her. When she was finally able to call to let us know we called the jail to complain. They said that they would help her but instead they proceeded to yell at her and put her into another panic only to worsen her problems. They left her in booking to suffer in agony until the next morning’s court hearing. She was then sent back to booking to suffer more until that next evening when she was finally able to see a nurse, although she received no medical treatment. By the time she got to the nurse she had so many seizures that her memory was gone. She could not even remember what prescriptions she needed. When I talked to her that evening she was in excruciating pain and she said that she could not even remember what I looked like. You would think that Mechael has suffered enough by now but that is not so. She was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had to undergo surgery for a ruptured cyst. So now she is being held without bond and not receiving any medical care.


On Thursday of last week she had a hearing and told her attorney to accept the 180 day offer because she knew that she would qualify for house arrest and there was no way that she would ever make it through probation with that officer and once again just wanted to get this behind her. The judge agreed and for some reason put off the sentencing for Tuesday the 17th.


In all of Mechael’s past years I think her only problems with the law were a couple of NSF checks spent at the grocery store to feed her children whom she would die for to take of. Her biggest mistake in life was having an affair with her previous employer who brought these charges against her. I still don’t understand how the states attorneys’ office ever filed charges against her. When I first reviewed the case I saw plain as day the sixty checks that he signed to each under oath that Mechael had forged them. Yet it was clear that these signatures were not only hers but his, his wives, the computers, and other office personnel. Know one even questioned the checks that were actually her payroll checks. Was she working for free? Sometimes I just don’t understand the legal system. Doesn’t the States Attorney pay any attention? What amazes me more is that Mechael asked me not to be vengeful and goes on to elaborate that everything happens for a reason and that she knows now why this happened to her. You see Mechael came up with a wonderful idea a couple of months ago and her being in jail just instilled in her that much more of what our purpose in life truly is. Her plan was to start a non profit organization called the Starfish House and the Starfish Foundation. She told me this story that she used to tell to her Sunday school class. It went something like this:


There once was a woman who walked slowly along the sea shore. She stopped every so often to pick up a starfish and return it to the sea. A passerby asked her why she was doing that because there were thousands of starfish on the beach and she could never save them all. Her response was that she knew she could not save them all but if she could save just one than it was worth all of the effort. I know that this translation is not per say but I did my best so I hope you get the point.


Tonight Misha called me and told me her mission statement for the Starship Foundation. I feel compelled to tell it to you because it brought tears to my eyes.




To help those that others can not or will not help. Mainly people who for whatever reason can’t qualify for help elsewhere. To provide short term and eventually low income housing to people but only in conjunction with life changing educational programs, drug treatment programs, counseling, and life skills programs. For people who are coming out of jail, providing job recourses, clothing, temporary transportation basically a network of 100% support available for those who truly want to change but don’t have the support or the ability to do so. Eventually we will have property donated in the Ruskin/Wimauma area to develop into a townhome community with a market, daycare, community hall, schools, and its own transportation. The residents will have to donate their own time at these places as part of the community dues. They will also have to attend continuing education classes, parenting classes, AA classes, and vocational classes. Basically all residents have to continue to grow and prosper as adults. All the services will allow these people to function without public assistance or funding. They will also receive budgeting and credit classes and learn how to make healthcare and financial decisions. I envision an ever-growing network of people who had a helping hand from the Starfish Foundation each bringing their own unique talents, ideas, and experience to the table. All anyone ever needs is to be built up and to have the power to change. So many people that are in jail loose everything and they need to change the people they are around and the environment they have. Some people are not ready to change and it is expected that there are going to be those individuals that just don’t work out. But if just one life is saved it is all worth the effort. Can you put a price on just one life? What about the exponentiallity of that life, for example; the people that I helped as a result of being helped once before? One time someone helped me and gave me and my children a place to stay and showered us with acceptance and love and I know without that help I would not be the mom or the person that I am know. I want to simply give others the chance that I had.


So along comes Tuesday’s hearing and we expect to go to a quick and painless hearing and she would be home in a couple of days. Well things didn’t go as expected and I feel that it is my entire fault. During the entire time that Mechael was in jail I had been sending out pleas for help and trying to get the story public and expose this man. I even e-mailed him hoping to get him to screw up but I feel that might have tipped him off and caused all of this to occur. What occurred is the Judge paraphrased conversations Mechael had while in jail. The conversations that he referred to were during a day when she was under much duress and was going off about doing whatever it took to get her out of their. He was so upset that he sentenced her to 2 years in a Florida state penitentiary. Now remember this was a first violation ever, only a technical violation, and she did not score barely a third of the points it would require to go to prison. The States Attorney was not even aware of what was going on. Now she is going to jail for two years for a crime she didn’t commit but pleaded to because of her fear of this man himself. I beg of you to please help her. I feel that her life may now be in danger as she waits in Jail. What really gets to me is that I have spoke to many attorneys, private investigators, and court personnel and none have ever seen anything like this occur in their careers.


I have a witness that will testify that this man told her that he was going to destroy Mechael and was also written checks as Mechael to pay for cash payrolls to the employees he was using to construct his new facilities at that time. Also I have a witness that knows Karpy must have an insider because he knew things that no one could have or would have known also witness to the fact that he was trying to get her into trouble. We also have witnesses that talked to Mechael and were told about the situation and how bad Dan Karpy was at that time before any charges were ever brought against Mechael. The proof is in the signatures on file in the courthouse. Shouldn’t the States Attorney also be held liable? Do they not have time to look at the evidence they were supplied with? Please help or at least point me in the right direction of who can! Justice must prevail. Mechael is scheduled to be taken to State Prison after twelve midnight on 1-30-2006. I pray we can keep her here until the story is out and she can finally come home to the ones she loves so much.                                                                   




Geoffrey Holdermiller



Following is the witness statement to be turned over to the States Attorney with other evidence. Will justice be served?