YORK — Ever since his twin brother was convicted of burglary, Micky Passmore has been without his rifle, rope, crowbar, pocket knife and drywall trowel.
He wants them all back.
Outside York’s Moss Justice Center Monday morning, Micky Passmore, 46, railed against prosecutors who he claims purposefully ignored evidence that would have exonerated his brother, who was initially accused of kidnapping, criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. A jury acquitted Ricky Passmore of those charges but convicted him of burglary “for knocking on a door and walking in once he was welcomed in,” Micky Passmore said.
Micky Passmore also complained Monday that prosecutors won’t relinquish property he says belongs to him. More, he says he knows without a doubt that his brother is not a racist. Ricky Passmore, his brother said, testified that he has no problems “with a black man ... but a crack dealer, it’s a problem.”
Prosecutors had argued that Ricky Passmore was a sword-wielding racist who was upset that his ex-wife dated a black man.
“It’s all because he used the N-word is why he got convicted,” Micky Passmore told The Herald. “He got purely convicted because of his statement.”
Last June, police said Ricky and Micky Passmore went to Julia Coleman’s Clover home at about 5 a.m., hours after Ricky Passmore and his 16-year-old daughter discussed the man’s disdain for “Chip,” Coleman’s black boyfriend. In a racially charged 911 call played for jurors, Ricky Passmore said his oldest son felt emasculated by Chip; he would not mind if Coleman dated a white man; and he would not show Coleman or Chip any mercy.
Prosecutors argued that when the Passmores arrived at the home, Micky Passmore remained outside while his brother, wielding a samurai-style sword, threatened Coleman and searched the house for Chip.
After the brothers left, York Police stopped them on U.S. 321 eight miles outside of Clover. Inside Micky Passmore’s car, authorities found the sword, a bayonet attached to a loaded shotgun, a bladed paint scraper, a baseball bat, a rope and a homemade mace-like weapon fashioned from a pool ball tied to a pool stick. They also found a pair of brass knuckles in Ricky Passmore’s pocket.
Micky Passmore questions the jury’s April 1 verdicts. On the charges of which his brother was acquitted, prosecutors had to prove criminal intent, he said. He doesn’t understand why the jury found Ricky Passmore guilty of burglary, which also requires criminal intent.
“He got 30 years and found not guilty of criminal intent,” Micky Passmore said. “He didn’t threaten nobody ... . The boyfriend was not there; he knew the boyfriend was not there.”
Six days after his conviction, Ricky Passmore and his lawyer, York County Public Defender Dan Hall, filed a notice to appeal his sentence.
All charges against Micky Passmore in connection with the incident were dismissed. He says lawyers “deliberately” did not put Ricky Passmore’s 14-year-old son on the stand. The boy, he said, would have testified that his father knocked on the door last summer and he let him in.
Christopher Epting, one of two York County assistant solicitors who prosecuted Ricky Passmore, said Micky Passmore’s gun and rope were admitted as evidence in the trial. While the only weapon Ricky Passmore carried into the house was the sword, prosecutors said the other items’ presence in the car proved that Ricky Passmore intended to seriously harm Chip. Because all the items were entered as evidence, neither prosecutors nor police have custody of them, Epting said.
If prosecutors did have to try Ricky Passmore a second time, they would need the items as evidence in a subsequent trial, Epting said.
“It’s debatable whether the prosecution needed those exhibits; it’s obvious they needed the sword,” said Thomas Jeter, Micky Passmore’s court-appointed attorney. But “whether they needed to enter those or not, they felt that they did need to enter them and they did ... that helped strengthen their case.”
Hall did not object to those items being introduced as exhibits, Jeter said, and “since we had a separate trial, we weren't able to object at that point.” Jeter said though his office is going “above and beyond” its court-appointed mandate to represent Micky Passmore, he plans to file a motion for the release of his property this week. Once the judge hears the motion and makes a decision, Jeter said he will no longer represent Micky Passmore.
York County Clerk of Court David Hamilton said evidence in a criminal trial is not returned until after the convicted defendant has served his entire sentence. A court order, he said, is required to release the property. Hall could not be reached on Monday.
Jonathan McFadden • 803-329-4082