Safford, Arizona – Jacob Reznor and Anthony Steward, two members of the BLUFF community, have been cleared of all charges in the disappearance and alleged murder of Sarah Josephine Richards. This controversial decision was passed down today in the Graham County Superior Court, dismissing all evidence against the two men as “purely circumstantial and grossly exaggerated.” Judge Lyndale Robertson further concluded that the embarrassment and
shame placed upon the community has been extraordinarily difficult for all involved, and that legal procedures may be taken further to ensure that the emotional grief and turmoil caused by allegations will not go unpaid.
Miss Richards was reported missing in August of 2012, after her absence in the kitchens at the Campound incited a county wide search. Although her body was never found, Miss Richards was presumed to be deceased the next day based upon video footage of Reznor and Steward dragging her across the highway, her body leaving a wide path of blood across all four lanes. Several eye-witnesses were able to capture the event on film with handheld devices and cameras, and all electronic evidence was turned into officials as evidence.
Additionally, the courts were also in possession of a diary belonging to Miss Richards, which stated on several occasions her fear of being attacked and murdered by Reznor and Steward. One diary entry supposedly stated “I’m not sure if tomorrow will ever come. Jacob and Anthony have warned me that tomorrow will be the day that they will murder me and drag me across the highway.” Family members of Miss Richards turned the diary over to officials after they saw their daughter’s picture and story on America’s Most Wanted.
In a surprising move last February, Judge Lyndale Robertson threw out the video and diary as evidence, stating that it was inadmissible in this particular case. The reason why was never clear, although since that time both have disappeared from the county’s evidence room. Without this evidence, the case against Reznor and Steward seemed thin at best, and the team for the defendants raised a shout of victory as the decision was announced.
“This is a great victory for the men of BLUFF. We and our clients have been manipulated and scrutinized by the members of the community, and these innocent young men have not deserved this type of treatment. As the records show, there is absolutely no evidence that these two wonderful, God fearing members of the community have done anything outside the law, and it is a true victory for all Americans as we stand behind this righteous decision for the men of our great nation,” stated Reznor’s attorney Jason Batters.
Miss Richards had previously been warned several times for appearing on the Campound without her traditional headwear, and allegedly wearing makeup to the fields. According to several women on the Campound who prefer to remain anonymous, Miss Richards was a bit of a “promiscuous tramp,” and likely got what was inevitably coming to her. Such actions had angered the Male residents of the Campound, and there had been some speculation that members of the BLUFF community had taken the law into their own hands. Today’s verdict proves that discrimination against the BLUFF community still exists, and that their innocence in this case was overshadowed by the hostility in the surrounding community for their good and righteous christian values.
The defendants were immediately cleared of all charges, and left the courthouse after a brief Q&A session with the press. They are expected to be back in the fields working by next week. Judge Robertson has announced his retirement from the Graham County Superior Court, and is expected to return to his previous position at the BLUFF compound to serve as legal representative for the community.