April 13, 2016

This week our recently installed Facebook page received a response from the father of one of Junior Chandler’s bus riders. He believes Junior was appropriately convicted and explains why.

Here is our exchange:

I believe Andrew Chandler Junior is guilty of all charges and should not be grouped along with those that you are requesting exoneration.

I was a resident of Madison County, NC in the 1970s and 80s. Not only did Junior transport young children from the day care he also transported handicapped clients from the Mountains of Madison Workshops Mars Hill, NC. My son William B Morris Jr.  (Billy) was one of these clients. Billy is a victim of Cerebral Palsy. We noticed a short time after Junior started transporting Billy, he started rubbing his penis when setting on the couch in our living room. His sister Kelly reported this to us. We also noticed he was not coming home at the usual time he had been when other drivers were bringing him home. Sometimes he was an hour or more late. On one occasion three hours late. The workshop was only 20 to 30 minutes away. After we complained to the transportation manager Junior said he was not going to transport Billy any longer because it was too far out of his way.

One day a neighbor was coming home from Mars Hill after shopping and found Billy crawling along Gabriel’s Creek Road about a mile from our home. I complained to the managers again and the only action taken was to change drivers. This was almost a year before Junior was accused of his crimes. I told the transportation management and notified Erwin Adams the county commissioner that I thought something was wrong about Junior.

Later after Junior was convicted I took Billy to Redmond’s Dam on the French Broad River below Marshall, NC where the crimes were committed, he freaked out and tried to get out of the car. He was terrified. I don’t know what he witnessed or what was done to him there because he couldn’t tell me but it had to have been bad.

William B Morris

Mr. Morris, thank you very much for your thoughtful response.

I can think of lots of reasons for a bus driver’s tardiness other than his pausing to commit “satanic ritual abuse” on his passengers…. All those times Junior Chandler was late, and no passenger or parents reported a larger problem?

After visiting the supposed crime site in Madison County, I found it even more inconceivable that Junior – as described in appellate attorney Mark Montgomery’s amended petition for writ of certiorari – “would drive off his route to a parking area next to the French Broad River, strip the clothes off the toddlers, troop the naked children down to the river, put them on a rowboat, proceed to insert various objects into their anuses and vaginas, bring them back to the bus, put their clothes back on and deliver them home.”

Although I see unexplained incidents and conflicting details, I don’t see anything approaching justification for a felony conviction – much less consecutive life sentences!…..

I’m reminded of a comment by a UNC Chapel Hill psychologist who testified against Bob Kelly in the Little Rascals Day Care trial…. He said about the fantastical, nonsensical testimony of the child-witnesses that “There’s so much smoke there, it’s hard to imagine there’s no fire”…. In that case, it has become inarguably clear that there was indeed no fire…. But the conclusions the psychologist drew from the smoke helped to send Bob Kelly to prison for six years….

If there is fire in the case against Junior Chandler, I’m just not able to recognize it…..

Even though we disagree about Junior’s innocence, I appreciate and share your interest in seeing that justice is done.