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When the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation conducted raids on the offices and homes of Shirley Schwab and Brandon Taliaferro on November 7, 2011, the agents were supposedly investigating an accusation of possible witness tampering. In the below audio recording DCI Agent Mark Black tells Schwab upon leaving her home after the raid that his boss the Attorney General told him this is his priority case unless there is a homicide.

Agent Black: “This is my priority case unless there is a homicide”

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During the search of Shirley Schwab’s office on November 7, 2011, DCI Agent Mark Black specifically requests a brief which was submitted to the court by Ms. Schwab  on October 31, 2011 addressing the plea bargain of Wendy Mette and  the contract held by Brown County State’s Attorney Kim Dorsett with the South Dakota Department of Social Services for $75,000.00. This contract showed a conflict of interest with respect to Dorsett’s obligation to effectively prosecute the Richard and Wendy Mette criminal cases along with the abuse and neglect portion of these proceedings regarding the child victims. (Contract conflict of interest language: Attorney agrees not to participate as Counsel, in person or his law firm, in opposition to the interests of the State of South Dakota or any of its departments, bureaus, boards or commissions consistent with the policy attached hereto and labeled Exhibit A.)

Agent Black asking for the brief (court report):

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The above video (SD DCI Interrogation Room – Brown County Aberdeen, SD 11-4-11) is an off camera audio of DCI Agents taking a break between interrogations of four Native American children and apparently the Agents are unaware the video camera continues to run. Taliaferro and Schwab discovered this audio upon receiving the video interrogations of the children as part of their criminal discovery process and contracted with Creative Forensic Services of Lewiston, Maine www.creativeforensic.com to professionally enhance the recording along with providing a complete Transcript of the video enhancement. (CFS will act as the agent to remove any materials, documents, media or work product posted on the internet without the permission of CFS.) Please be advised the video may contain language that may be offensive in nature.

The above video completely implicates the State of South Dakota in their plan to use the children as collateral damage to achieve an end game of eliminating the civil law suit by the children and silencing the child advocates.

Important statements from the 11-4-11 audio:

We need ignorance on the part of Shirley Schwab”  ”Shirley and a number of those girls have been f’g with us.”

One day after the State’s failure to force the children to change their stories, the Brown County State’s Attorney and DCI Agent Black prepared a sworn perjured affidavit and Ex Parte Motion on Saturday November 5, 2011 seeking removal of Shirley Schwab as court appointed special advocate for the Mette children. The Ex Parte motion was denied by the Circuit Court Judge the morning of November 7, 2011. DCI Agent Black then prepared a search warrant to be signed and executed on Schwab and Taliaferro later the afternoon of that same day.

Please refer to Agent Black’s sworn testimony from our January 2013 jury trial (page 225-226) where he is questioned about the sworn affidavit while testifying ”The affidavit was prepared by State’s Attorney Dorsett, I reviewed it and signed it.” When questioned by defense attorney: “You read it, you signed it under oath, and it was notarized?”  Black responded “yep” then admitted under oath the affidavit was not true and accurate and he also testified to the Ex Parte Motion to remove Schwab was denied.

Ms. Dorsett was said to have been out of the SA office and out of town on November 4, 2011 when the children were interrogated by DCI.  It is noteworthy that the next day Ms. Dorsett is working on a Saturday to prepare an affidavit entitled AFFIDAVIT OF MARK BLACK involving an investigation she is no longer to be a part of and yet is able to write of details of the case, most importantly, of the children’s interrogation videos.

Either Ms Dorsett had spent Saturday morning watching the many hours of interrogation videos, or perhaps she was actually watching the videos in real time from Pierre.  Agent Black was receiving text messages from someone while he was performing child interrogations and on occasion he would step outside the interrogation room leaving the child along. Toward the end of his second interrogation of one the children, he did receive a phone call on his cell and the voice of a female could be heard on the audio.  Speculation? Perhaps. However in reading the entire affidavit Ms. Dorsett prepared, it would appear she had been entrenched in the entire process throughout.

(It is significant to note that Brown County State’s Attorney Dorsett had been removed from the Mette cases due to a conflict of interest and Beadle County States Attorney Mike Moore had been appointed as special prosecutor for the Mette cases along with our criminal investigation and she was not to be involved at any level due to the potential conflict.)

“That’s why we push that and we both have to say this” - ” We can still f’g shut it down” “Well, I’m going to regret if they are not going to agree with this”  ”At least we F with Brandon” ”Shirley and Brandon are screwed”

F’ing incredible group home (referencing SD DSS 2011 lawsuit settlement just prior to the November 4, 2011 interrogations of the children stating “officials should have known they were placing a girl in a potentially unsafe Aberdeen foster home has been settled without a trial.  (Aberdeen American News – Nov 10, 2011)

You don’t F with the States Attorney whatever you do  (Schwab’s 10-31-11 Court Report exposing the State’s Attorney’s $75,000 side contract and conflict of interest regarding the SD Department of Social Services.

We got to get out of this shit over there. That’s what we got to do. Referring to the children in the interrogation rooms next door and their desire to frighten them into changing their stories – especially statements that ‘adoptive mom knew’ of the abuse. Please see Wendy Mette’s plea agreement (executed 11-3-11) just one day prior to the interrogations of the children along with SD DCI Agent Black’s sworn testimony confirming this plea agreement at our January 2013 jury trial (page 202-203)

Also of importance from our October 29, 2012 Motion Hearing:  Prosecutor Moore acknowledges Wendy Mette’s signed plea agreement where Kim Dorsett is carbon copied on an email that the State produced to the defense stating that it is a signed stipulation executed by Wendy Mette. Regarding locating a copy of the signed plea agreement Judge Kean states: Well, Mr. Moore, on the plea issue – plea negotiations, I think they are germane. You know, when any witness takes the stand, and there is a potential concession made by the State, whether in this very case we have before us or in related cases, or even in unrelated cases, I think that is potentially relevant and I believe that information has to be disclosed.  (Please note the State failed to follow the court directive and produce a copy Wendy Mette’s signed plea agreement.)

It gets really expensive for the Department of Social Services” DCI Agent Black’s sworn testimony on this statement at our January 2013 Jury Trial: (Please see pages 227-228)

Defense Attorney Butler’s Opening Statement   (January 7, 2013 Jury Trial)

Wendy Mette Plea Affidavit (Nov 2011)

Richard Mette – Change of Plea (3-26-12) State’s Factual Basis

Taliaferro Schwab Motions August 22 2012 (transcript)

Abandoned and Forgotten  (Schwab/Taliaferro – January 7, 2013 Post Trial Report)

Schwab/Taliaferro Jury Trial Transcript (January 7, 2013)