What is a pre-trial conference?


A pre-trial conference in real life is a way for defense counsel to delay proceedings.  Actually the purpose is to update the court as to state of discovery, plea deals or important information. Most states allow three or four prior to the real deal; a formal hearing.

There has been an endless trail of pre-trial conferences, delay the proceedings by another name, in the case of the forged will of Raymond Zachry that was filed in the office of Montgomery County Pennsylvania Register of Wills by his widow, Darlene Miller Zachry following his death.

The document was found to be a forgery.  The widow Zachry and three other people who participated in the conspiracy were also found guilty of participating in fraud, forgery and perjury when the group repeatedly swore under oath that they had “seen Mr. Zachry take a pen in hand” and sign his will in their presence.

August 8, 2012 was the last in the 15 months of scheduled then re-scheduled pre-trial conferences.  This time the attorney, Jonathan Sobel, who represents the widow/offender, Darlene Miller Zachry was able to show up.  (Two of the re-schedule of proceedings were due to Mr. Sobel failing to show up or sending a last-minute letter to the court explaining that after a 60 day delay (re-schedule) he realized he had another jury trial to attend that same day.

Annetta Frackman, sister of Darlene Miller Zachry was again given an extension, along with Lisa Miller Werneke and her husband William “Bill” Werneke, all signed the forged will as witnesses.

Judge Joseph A. Smyth asked defendant Darlene Zachry a/k/a/ Zachery to  take the witness stand, she was sworn and Judge Smyth began his comments to Zachry/Zachery with routine questions, name, age, education.  This preceeded more important questions.

Do you understand English, understand what I am saying to you?  Zachery/Zachry answered in the affirmative to all the questions.

Were you married to Raymond Zachry, began the next set of questions, and he died, correct?

The widow Zachry a/k/a/ Zachery replied in the affirmative.

Darlene Zachry a/k/a Zachery, widow of Raymond Zachry when arrested in Montgomery County, PA on charges of forgery, perjury, conspiracy, insurance fraud; a total of 51 charges for crimes she committed while attempting to forge a will, change a beneficiary on a life insurance policy and more

Judge Smyth:  Mr. Zachry did not have a will, is that correct?

The widow Zachry/Zachery:  “I found his will in his computer, it was electronically signed”, she replied.

Judge Smyth recognized that Zachery/Zachry had once again committed perjury and warned her that she was under oath.

One of the several assistant district attorney‘s who were seated at the counsel table interjected, “you have already testified to that”.

Judge Smyth then shifted his commentary to serious court information, telling Zachery/Zachry that she had pleaded guilty to perjury, a felony of the third degree.

“It has a 3.5 to 7 year sentence with a $15,000 fine.  But I can alter the sentencing either up or down.  You are presumed innocent, you have the right to a jury trial”, Judge Smyth went on.

The widow Zachry was allowed to leave after Judge Smyth reminded her she would remain under the $1,000 unsecured bond, she was not to leave the area, and there would be a period of pre-sentence investigation before an actual hearing on her sentence would be scheduled.

Darlene escaped 50 of the 51 assorted charges; 33 felony F2, F3 and 18 misdemeanor M1, M2, M3.  Judge Smyth charged her with only one charge.

Kitchen sink, full with dirty dishes and pans, under sink had an open pipe, rotted floor in cabinet and filled with unused cleaning supplies

5 responses to this post.

  1. […] What is a pre-trial conference? (justiceforraymond.wordpress.com) […]

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  2. Posted by beton on August 15, 2012 at 3:36 am

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  3. Posted by arkansastruthseeker on August 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Upside Down.

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