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In 2017, Double Springs Middle School teacher, Chase Cantrell, was arrested on school grounds for engaging in sexual acts with a 15-year-old student. At some time before Chase’s arrest, he had entered through a window of the student while their family was home. A parent noticed his truck on the property and called the police. He faced charges of committing sex acts with a student under 16, statutory rape, and third-degree burglary.
His case was evidently ongoing up until February 21st, 2019, where the judge granted a mistrial motion due to two violations of a court order. The court order excluded utterances of the word “rape” “except in wording used to describe actual filed charges and during opening statements and closing arguments. This also meant the word ‘rape’ was not to be used in witness statements.” Additionally, the court order suppressed all confessions, statements, and admissions from Chase during and immediately after his arrest in 2017, due to his Miranda rights allegedly not being explained.
The two violations of the court order are as follows: A police officer, Tim Hale, was called to the witness stand, and his testimony consisted of the word “rape” which violated the court order. During a cross-examination, the State had asked Chase about a prior statement he made, which was suppressed by the court order.
The mistrial resulted from these statements being uttered and due to potential prejudice on the part of the jury as a consequence of them. The court document states,
The State’s actions greatly prejudiced the Defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Due to the totality of the circumstances, the Defendant’s motion for mistrial was due to be granted…The possibility of a guilty person, charged with serious offenses, potentially escaping punishment weighs heavy on the conscience of the Court. But the possibility of an innocent person being convicted because the trial was not fair, is far worse.
A statement from the Winston County District Attorney’s Office reads,
The Office of the District Attorney will evaluate this ruling, moving forward as appropriate. In doing so, we will continue to protect the rights of Alabama crime victims.
A comment made by Chase’s lawyer, Stella J. Wennberg, says,
My client was looking forward to having his name cleared regarding these allegations and moving on with his life. However, there is nothing more important to a criminal defendant than the right to a fair trial, and I will continue to do everything in my power to protect that right for Chase.
So, let’s unpack what just took place. There was a court order instituted which prohibited any use of the word “rape” and which suppressed any statement or confession from Chase during and immediately after his arrest in 2017 due to his Miranda rights not being explained. Both points of the court order were violated which resulted in a mistrial because of concern that the jury would then be prejudiced against Chase. Read this part again: the defense issued a court order against the word “rape” (and Chase’s 2017 statements during arrest) because they didn’t want the jury to be biased against a rapist who snuck through a window of a 15-year-old student and committed statutory rape.
This is corroborated by an issue of newspaper Northwest Alabamian.
This is patently, unequivocally, systematic protection of a rapist by the State. The court document states concern about “fairness” in this legal system and negating prejudice–as if it were unfair to call a literal rapist a rapist, one who sneaks into 15-year-olds’ bedrooms. The Winston County District Attorney’s Office feigns concern about protecting victims while being complicit in the protection of a rapist. The defense lawyer, Stella J. Wennberg, is utterly and wholly guilty of aiding a rapist escaping punishment and having his name cleared, all while pontificating about so-called fairness–that it’s just so unfair for a rapist to be called a rapist and to face responsibility for his actions. Above all, this is repugnant, morally bankrupt, and oppressive to actual victims. This is the systematic practice by the State of rape culture.
Well, we don’t accept the ruling of a mistrial. There was clear evidence of sexual abuse by Chase starting when he decided to climb through the window of a 15-year-old. We can’t count on the State to punish abusers or protect victims, especially when it’s a corrupt project that actively protects abusers. The defense and protection of our communities are up to us; we protect us. Therefore, we’re releasing Chase’s doxx.
Contact Info Updated 6/21/2019
Address: Chase is married to Kelsy R. Cantrell (maiden name is Alexander). Chase’s last known address as of his arrest date is 16062 County Road 41
Addison, AL 35540-2214. However, this may be inaccurate as his current residence. His wife lives at 502 7th NE St Carbon Hill, AL 35549-412. Because they are married it is presumed that they live with each other in Carbon Hill.
Phone number: (205) 412-3297.