2008-01-10 / Letters to the Editor

Swain's attorneys dispute story

We are writing to set the record straight on David Swain. While we would prefer to keep the facts of the matter in court, as counsel, we are compelled to write in defense of Mr. Swain to preserve his right to a fair trial and an unbiased jury pool. As the plaintiff's lawyer involved in the case well knows, the British Virgin Islands' press follows every detail of the case, including press conferences, closely. We view the recent publication of the personal character attacks against Mr. Swain made at the plaintiff's lawyer's press conference as nothing more than a poorly orchestrated attempt by him to prejudice the jury pool in the BVI. As his counsel, we offer the people of Jamestown the following recitation of facts, as opposed to rumor, invective and innuendo repeated as news by your paper on Dec. 13.

David Swain has no history of violence whatsoever. His marriage to Shelley Tyre was completely free of domestic issues. Their trip to the BVI was a celebration of her getting a new, less time-consuming job so they could spend more time together. Mr. Swain has a devoted family who fully supports him, and knows he is innocent. David is a grandfather, and a father of Jamestown resident Jeremy Swain and Jennifer Swain of California. David's family members have always conducted themselves with the utmost class and dignity, and have always respected the memory of Ms. Tyre. They deserve to be treated accordingly.

After Ms. Tyre's death, David paid half the cost of financing the mural in her memory at the library. He personally placed the headstone at her gravesite. He guards her memory closely and does not wear his grief on his sleeve. He doesn't need to hold a press conference to reveal his emotions about the tragedy. Ms. Tyre's family clearly never liked David, and has channeled their understandable grief into the office of a plaintiff's lawyer who has tried at every step to transform Mr. Swain into a killer, which he is not.

The civil trial in this case was a demand brought by the estate and the plaintiff's lawyer for money damages. David Swain went unrepresented at the trial of that case. His attorney developed throat cancer prior to trial and David was unable to obtain substitute counsel. In another tragic turn of fate, his daughter was diagnosed with cancer just prior to the trial as well. These developments, in David's words, "completely derailed" him and he was, quite simply, completely incapable of devoting the time and effort defending himself in court demanded. The plaintiff's lawyer had his way with the system, and the verdict, which remains under aptween peal, resulted.

In the aftermath of the civil trial, the BVI government seized upon the deeply flawed civil case evidence and sought extradition. We have assured David: there will be no rush to judgment in the criminal case. If this case ever goes to trial, David will have experienced, competent counsel to guide him through the BVI legal system. He will have the opportunity to clear his name and return the focus to properly honoring the memory of his late wife. Until then, I know the people of Jamestown (and those of the British Virgin Islands) will keep an open mind, focus on facts rather than vicious commentary, and let the justice system take its course.

Timothy Bradl, Esq. Jeffrey Denner, Esq.

Neil Tassel, Esq.

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