Archive for Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Judge dismisses indictment against former Yellow House owner, cites unconstitutional delay

May 21, 2014


Guy Neighbors, pictured here with his wife, Carrie Neighbors, in a Journal-World file photo, had an indictment dismissed by a federal judge this week.

Guy Neighbors, pictured here with his wife, Carrie Neighbors, in a Journal-World file photo, had an indictment dismissed by a federal judge this week.

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Guy Neighbors indictment dismissed ( .PDF )

A federal judge has dismissed a 19-count indictment against Guy Neighbors, the former Yellow House store owner whose case has spanned nearly seven years with multiple lengthy delays.

Originally indicted with his wife, Carrie Neighbors, in a 2007 federal complaint, Guy Neighbors’ indictment was dismissed this week by U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia, who said the multiple delays in proceeding to trial violated Neighbors’ constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Prosecutors charged Neighbors and his wife in 2007 with multiple counts of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering and accused the couple of selling stolen goods from their former second-hand store at 1904 Massachusetts St. and on eBay. Carrie Neighbors was convicted by a federal jury in 2010 and is serving an eight-year prison sentence in West Virginia.

But when Guy Neighbors was found incompetent to stand trial and ordered hospitalized in 2009, his case was put on hold for almost three years. Murguia wrote that at least some of Neighbors’ time in custody could have been prevented had he been transported more quickly to undergo voluntary medication. Murguia also wrote that Neighbors should have been taken to Leavenworth instead of North Carolina to be closer to his wife, who stood trial in Kansas City, Kan.

Neighbors was released on bond in September 2011, but his case was again delayed for nearly two more years when his lawyer suffered health issues. Murguia said that delay was outside all parties’ control. But in calling all of the delays in the case "excessive and oppressive," Murguia found enough factors to weigh in favor of a constitutional violation. He said Neighbors’ ability to present his defense was impaired and that he still had no closure more than six years after the indictment.

Neighbors said that, while fighting the charges, it was difficult applying for jobs. But he eventually found work at a local Kia dealership. “Without that opportunity I don’t know where I’d be,” he said. Neighbors said he is now asking for the return of evidence seized during the investigation, including two laptop computers. He is also asking for an investigation into the Lawrence Police Department’s handling of the investigation before federal prosecutors took over the case.

“I have no hard feelings,” he said. “If you have hatred in your heart it takes up the space for love.”


Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 1 month ago

Interesting, I am glad that he is doing so well, but it is not so good that his wife is in prison. They didn't waste any time putting her behind bars, did they? It has been so long I have forgotten the details of the case and don't have the will to research it.

Que sera, sera.

Amy Heeter 4 years, 1 month ago

Congrats Guy. hopefully Carrie can be released on appeal.

Julius Nolan 4 years, 1 month ago

Guilty as hell, technicality lets him walk.

Kevin Elliott 4 years ago

while I agree that I feel they are guilty, I also thought OJ was guilty as well. However, I do not consider Constitutional rights to be a technicality. I consider them essential to a democracy. Our justice system is far from perfect, and I do hate it when the guilty go free, but I do not want to give up the rules that make our system better than most in the world. while those same rules at times benefit the guilty, they also keep the government from over reaching and they are there to protect the innocent as well The justice system should follow rules that help keep it void of corruption. Again, It is filled with problems, but rules are not one of them.

Angel Adams 4 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Angel Adams 4 years, 1 month ago

I would agree that you're beat down... from guilt.

Angel Adams 4 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Sarah Lockwood 4 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations, Guy. You were nothing but helpful, generous, and kind when I had the pleasure to work with you in purchasing my car last year. You went above and beyond and I am so happy you are able to move forward from this situation!

Julius Nolan 4 years, 1 month ago

The racism claim, surprised it took so long to be raised.

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

I didn't make the racist claim, you did. Prove it! So you have a brain dead friend who's a racist cop, therefore all law enforcement people people are.

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

Born and raised in South. Know what klan is. Know what racism is. Obvious you don't. Voted both times for Obama. Have served as deputy sheriff in south. Won't deny some law enforcement people are racist. Guy got off on technicality, not because he was proven innocent in court of law. Mixed marriage had nothing to do with multiple charges from multiple agencies.

Larry Miller 4 years ago

Congratulations Guy. Looking forward to seeing Carrie come home.

Scott Morgan 4 years ago

God speed to Carrie, my wife and I enjoyed dealing with you. Can't believe how a city turned on them, other areas cheer the Yellow House concept.

Oh, and to folks who do not know, Guy and staff sold and serviced cheap appliances. Sounds horrible, but think.

A company unlike (insert name of big company here) who scoff at the idea of fixing something for a low price just to keep a family going.  "Oh my God lady, this thing is old, cost you more to fix it, now let me show you the new fancy dancy xxxxx."

Not much profit in hauling a 90 dollar refrigerator cross town and then installing. Right Guy? How many of us can even do it? Take out an old zillion lb stove, and put in a newer one?

Guy and staff did it. How many times Guy? How many elderly did you fix an old junker washing machine for? How many folks did you just do a favor for, find a part, and even better, you listened?

Wish Guy could tell us how many washing machines or beat up old stoves he replaced on the cheap or fixed. How many bucks he carried folks for. In another area of the country, a person like Guy was admired.

Not everybody can pull out a Sears card and bada bing, put in new appliances. Especially in these times.

Scott Morgan 4 years ago

I am not the Scott Morgan running for office. In fact I may need to not post anymore until the election is over just to be fair. Again, I am another Scott not a Lawrence native.

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