By Wyatt Goolsby
ODESSA - An Odessa woman will soon head back to federal court on drug charges that kept her behind bars for over three years. This time, as Yolanda Madden told NewsWest 9 on Tuesday, she knows the truth is out.
Odessa Police arrested Madden for having illegal drugs near an Odessa park back in 2005. On Tuesday, Madden said she's not overly worried about heading back to federal court in the next few months. She said she's confident she'll be out of prison long term.
"I've been asked, 'are you bitter?' 'Are you angry?' I can't say I wasn't the first couple years I was locked up, but I will say right now absolutely not, I'm okay," Yolanda Madden explained.
Madden said she plans to enjoy her months of freedom. On Tuesday, however, she interviewed with NewsWest 9 at the spot where all the problems first started. In 2005, at Memorial Garden Park (Buffalo Wallow), she said it was in the parking lot where police pulled her over.
"About that time, other trucks show up, and all these guys come from everywhere, and he asked me if they can search a vehicle and I told them no," Madden said. "And they went and searched the vehicle anyway. The bag I had picked up was supposed to be my son's Game Boy bag was supposedly the bag that had drugs."
Madden said she was set up, and spent over three years in prison for possession of methamphetamine. That is, until Judge Robert Junell ordered a new trial, over a piece of evidence: A log-in sheet that could call into question the testimony of a former OPD officer.
"He had gone after the fact and whited out his name on the delivery sheet and put another officer's name over the delivery sheet over the white out," Raymond Madden, Yolanda's father, explained.
Raymond Madden has spent time and money to help his daughter. He said the document proves that an informant gave Yolanda the drugs, without her knowing it. Madden said he's not pointing the finger at all Odessa Police, but said there are some, as he puts it, "bad guys."
"These officers have gotten away with lie after lie after lie after lie, and it isn't anything that we're saying, this is their own documentation," Raymond Madden said.
"We're not asking anybody to believe one side or the other, I'm just asking for somebody to objectively look at the facts that we have," Yolanda Madden added. "Just look at them. I think that if they look at it, honestly from everything from A to Z, then they will see what we are saying is true."
U.S. District Judge Junell has set a new trial date for March 1st, 2010. The Odessa Police Department said in a statement that the City remains confident that justice will be served in this case, but would not comment any further. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Klassen said the federal prosecution is not commenting right now.