From the June 1999 Idaho Observer:

Boundary County prosecutor lies to mother in Tyler case

Todd Reed promises not worth the paper he would never write them on

BONNERS FERRY -- Boundary County Deputy Prosecutor Todd Reed struck a deal with the mother of Mark Tyler of Moyie Springs that would have released the man from jail pending a scheduled June 28 sentencing for aggravated assault. According to Mrs. Tyler, Reed said that he would drop charges of kidnapping and rape if Tyler would agree to sentencing for aggravated assault.

Mrs. Tyler thought that, under the circumstances, she would be able to convince her son to accept the plea if he could be released from Boundary County Jail where he had already served 126 days for crimes that a preponderance of evidence indicates never occurred.

“Todd (Reed) told me that if Mark (Tyler) agreed to plead an Alford defense on the lesser charge that he would not oppose Mark's release from jail into my custody,” said a visibly upset Mrs. Tyler.

Over 100 potential jurors were dismissed by First District Judge James Michaud prior to the jury selection process due to Tyler's decision to avoid a trial. In keeping with the agreement between his mother and Reed, Tyler entered a plea of “not guilty” to aggravated assault, but agreed to accept the court's sentencing. Tyler's attorney Roger Williams asked that Tyler be released into the custody of his mother until sentencing. Reed then opposed the release, recommended that Tyler be kept incarcerated until sentencing. Reed also recommended that the original bond of $600,000 that had been set when Tyler had been charged with the heinous crimes of rape and kidnapping be kept.

The judge agreed to everything that Reed asked.

Tyler, 30, has been in jail since January for allegedly kidnapping and raping Joyce Woodward. Witnesses have stated that Tyler and Woodward had been seen together after the alleged incident had occurred kissing one another. Woodward, who is known by her neighbors and the local authorities to be involved in the distribution of crystal methamphetamine and has recently been arrested twice for DUI, is currently serving 45 days in Boundary County Jail for her transgressions.

“It is really sad when you feel that you must plead guilty to something that you didn't do because you are afraid that the system is so corrupt that to stand trial in a court of law is the biggest risk of all,” commented Mrs. Tyler. Mrs. Tyler also said that “Todd Reed is a liar” and that she never would have advised her son to plead the Alford defense if she had known Reed, in his capacity as a public servant, would pretend that their meeting just outside of the courtroom doors minutes before had never happened.

Tyler faces a maximum five years in prison for aggravated assault rather than up to life in prison if he had been convicted of all of the charges that had been stacked against him originally. Idaho Department of Corrections Presentencing Investigator D. Terry Polk of Sandpoint will conduct a presentencing investigation of the matter and will submit his findings to Judge Michaud prior to the scheduled June 28 sentencing.

Tyler's story (The Idaho Observer, May, 1999) is one of a man being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being involved with the wrong people. It would appear that Woodward, his accuser, is one of the little soldiers in an extremely powerful and well-entrenched drug trafficking ring that has tentacles into government offices and local police departments.

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