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I am appealing to you to review the case of Timothy Anderson, who has been incarcerated since April 1995 for premeditated first degree murder. Tim Anderson never denied shooting and killing Rick Parker, but the crime was not premeditated. He received a shoddy defense by his public defenders, as witnesses who could have proved the crime was not premeditated were not called to testify, and evidence was not introduced which should have been. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that “shoddy legal defense representation would not be tolerated in state courts,” and threw out the sentence of a death row inmate on June 27, 2005. This type of defense is precisely what Timothy Anderson received. He should be freed.
I am a friend of Tim Anderson’s and always knew him to be a well respected, honest person, with excellent character. He had never been in trouble previously. He was emotionally and physically abused by Rick Parker, over a long period of time, and many threats were made to him and his family. Much of this information should have been introduced to the court but was not. Tim Anderson was a professional boxer, who was promoted, for a time, by Rick Parker. Parker also promoted Mark Gastineau, a former football star turned boxer. A huge money fight was being arranged between Gastineau and George Foreman. This fight was derailed by Anderson who soundly defeated Gastineau on the Tuesday night fights, on the USA television network. Anderson’s character prohibited him from taking a dive against Gastineau, despite being offered a large amount of money to do so. This same character would have prohibited Anderson from committing premeditated murder. Other fighters had taken dives along the way to build up Gastineau.
Parker exacted his revenge on Anderson by arranging a rematch between Anderson and Gastineau, six month later, off television, in a state without a boxing commission (Oklahoma). Anderson was poisoned during this fight and was knocked out by Gastineau in the sixth round. He complained to his corner that the water tasted “sweet,” but was told sugar had been added for energy. During the fight Anderson had poor balance, was dizzy and hallucinatory, and was sick. The referee, Houston Perkins, testified to this effect. Anderson was basically “left for dead” after the fight. He was found by a janitor around 3:30 A.M., still on the floor, burning up with a fever, and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. If Anderson had not been found by the janitor, he probably would have been dead by Monday morning. Attempted murder by Parker?
When Parker was called and told that Anderson was in the hospital, he was livid and sent his limousine driver to pick him up. He told the hospital that he had to be on a plane back to Florida and would seek medical help there. After arriving back home, Anderson spent much of the next two years suffering from the effects of the drugging. He could not get out of bed without tripping, or bouncing off walls, or vomiting. He could not care for himself; he could not work. His friend, Jim Murphy, and Murphy’s girlfriend Kristen Nielsen, cared for Anderson during this time. They took him from doctor to doctor trying to get him better. His only hope, he was told, was to find out exactly what he was poisoned with. Anderson was jumped by Parker’s thugs and severely beaten with baseball bats. To go along with the disastrous effects of the drugging he now had herniated discs in his neck and back. The thugs showed Anderson a picture of his sister, sitting in front of her house in her wheel chair, her children playing nearby. They told Anderson they would be killed if he persisted with the fight fixing and poisoning allegations. Anderson was very close to his sister, who has been a quadriplegic since the age of sixteen from a diving accident.
Tim Anderson called me shortly before the shooting. He said he was going to meet Parker at a hotel near Orlando. He said he needed to find out what he was poisoned with. He said he never wanted to see Parker again after this. He told me he was going to bring a gun, and when I asked him why, he said, because Parker always carried a gun, and he was afraid to confront him without one. He took Parker’s sister and son, and a tape recorder along with him to the meeting. Parker told his sister and son to take a walk, so they could talk, and proceeded to smash the tape recorder. After the shooting Anderson told the clerk at the front desk to call the police and waited for them to arrive. All of these actions are not of premeditation. Premeditation does not support bringing witnesses, or a tape recorder, or not having an escape route. Parker was killed in the spur of the moment. It might have been self defense, or second degree murder, or manslaughter. If it had been any of these, he most likely would have already served sufficient time. It was not premeditated first degree murder.
Anderson was not examined by a psychiatrist or given a mental evaluation at this time. This was incompetence by his public defender. The effects the drugs may have had on his mind could have been pertinent to his actions. This was never introduced to the court. The arresting officer was never called to testify by the public defender. He would have said that Anderson was so messed up he said wanted the death penalty. He was suffering so badly he just wanted to die. The officer would have verified Anderson’s false statements which would have negated the prosecution’s case of premeditated murder.
The support that Anderson receives within the boxing community is overwhelming. Numerous articles have been written, over the years, and the recurring theme is that Anderson should be freed. At the recent International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, in Canastota, New York, a petition was circulated and signed by many “high powered” people, who were very familiar with the case. Even to this day Diane McVay, Parker’s sister, visits Anderson on a regular basis. Though she lost a brother, she believes Anderson should not be in jail and is joining the fight for his release.
I implore you to look at the facts. Everyone who is familiar with the case feels Tim Anderson received a poor trial and should be free. They only reason not to release him is to ignore the facts and brush his case aside. If everything were examined and verified, they would show that it definitely was not premeditated murder, and if it was not, Tim Anderson should be set free.
If I can be of any assistance, either by providing facts, or answers to questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Steven J. Canton