From the April 2000 Idaho Observer:

Father investigating son's suspicious death (temporarily) silenced by “assault” conviction

GRANGEVILLE -- A jury was directed by Judge George Reinhardt to find Scott Wimberley, 53, of Kamiah, guilty of assault with a deadly weapon though the gun was never fired and never even brandished. The kangaroo conviction was apparently an attempt to thwart Wimberley's investigation of the suspect circumstances surrounding the death of his son John.

The Idaho Observer frontpaged the circumstances surrounding the suspicious death of 19-year-old John Wimberley in August, 1999. John was being chased by ISP Corporal Scott Swearingen when his car somehow went over an embankment and into the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River near Kooskia.

Wimberley, an ex-Green Beret, left his job in Seattle to investigate his son's premature death. Local authorities were not cooperative and his investigation resulted in Wimberley's conviction for assault.

Witnesses report that the trial in Reinhardt's court was a sham. “I thought the whole trial was something like one would see out of Alice in Wonderland, utterly ridiculous and obviously staged for Scott's guilty verdict,” commented Susan Campbell who witnessed the four-day trial.

The court record shows that Reinhardt continually overruled defense objections to Idaho County Prosecutor Jeff Payne's questioning. The record will also show that all but two of Prosecutor Payne's objections were sustained.

The three witnesses against Wimberley were the Bieseckers who run Miles Towing in Kooskia. The Bieseckers were called to fish John's car out of the river and Wimberley was accused of “assaulting” the Bieseckers when he appeared to retrieve his son's belongings.

Wimberley reported that the Bieseckers were hostile and appeared to be hiding something. Lee Biesecker reportedly attempted to assault the Special Operations veteran and then Troy Biesecker came at Wimberley with a hammer.

“I just reached into my jeep for a rifle, pointed it at the ground and and told them they ought not do that,” Wimberley said.

Lee Biesecker, whose testimony is not consistent with the testimony of his son or his wife but is at least consistent with Wimberley, admitted that the gun was only pointed at his feet.

“The weapon was never fired, only pointed at the ground, yet he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. This was clearly a case of self defense. For the sake of all the people in this state and the nation, this decision cannot be left to stand the way it is,” commented Clay Campbell who also witnessed the trial.

There is one thing for certain. There seems to be an increasing number of cases where people are being killed and injured by police whose explanations among themselves, under oath, contain discrepencies and are not consistent with physical evidence or witness testimony. The Wimberley case is one such case.

Further evidence that Wimberley's cover up theory has merit is how the system manufactured what appears to be a bogus assault charge and threw the mourning father into jail.

What follows is a letter to the editor from Wimberley's mother. It describes pretty well what has happened since Wimberley began investigating the suspicious death of his son late last June.

Please note that Reinhardt was also the judge who took over the Leas case from Judge Stegner (See story at right).


To the people of Idaho County:

My son Scott Wimberley had a dream. His dream was to buy land on a mountain, build a home on it and retire. Retire from the rat race of city life, but not sit idle. Expecting perilous times to come upon this earth in the near future, he planned to grow his own food and invite his loved ones to join him there.

He recently bought the land on a mountain in Kamiah. He had gotten as far as building the foundation and floor of his home when tragedy struck. My grandson John, who was only 19 years old, was killed in a car accident after he went over an embankment and into the North Fork of the Clearwater River near Kooskia. Suspiciously, John's body was found 1/2 mile downstream on the other side of the river in clothes different than those he was last reported wearing.

Scott came over from Seattle immediately and began to investigate his son's death and began uncovering evidence that the police were covering up for ISP Corporal Scott Swearingen who may have run John off the road or otherwise contributed to my grandson's death.

Soon after he began investigating John's death, Scott went to look at John's car where it was being held at Miles Towing in Kooskia. Scott claims that Troy Biesecker, after being openly hostile toward Scott for looking through his dead son's things, came at him with a hammer as Scott was about to leave. Scott, who has been armed at almost all times since serving in Viet Nam, indicated, though did not brandish it, that he had a weapon and told Biesecker something to the effect of, “You ought not do that.”

And then Scott left and reported the incident to the sheriff's office.

Scott served in the armed forces during the Viet Nam war. In the early '90s he went to Viet Nam to search for American prisoners of war. He barely escaped from that venture with his life. Now he has been rail-roaded into jail for trying to find the truth about his son's death.

The law officials there are corrupt. My son was informing the voters in Idaho county of this fact in an effort to get them voted out of office. They knew this and wanted to shut him up. It is my hypothetical contention they planned this whole thing (the assault charge and conviction).

Similar circumstances could happen to you and your loved ones. When you go to the polls next election for goodness sake, vote in new people.

Dorothy Pringle

Kansas City, Missouri

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