December 16, 1992: Federal grand jury issued a five-count indictment against Thomas A. Shay Jr and Alfred W. Trenkler charging that they conspired to make the bomb to try to kill Thomas L. Shay Sr, the father of Thomas A. Shay Jr.. See June 24, 1993 Superseding Indictment.
December 16, 1992: Arrest warrants issued for Shay Jr. and Alfred for "Conspiracy: Receipt of Explosives In Interstate Commerce Resulting in Death and Injury; Attempted Malicious Destruction of Property Used In And Affecting Interstate Commerce, By Means of Fire And Explosive, Resulting In Death And Injury."
December 16, 1992: Alfred arrested by gun-wielding Federal agents who pulled his car over while he was driving on Morrissey Boulevard in Boston.
December 18, 1992:Alfred arraigned and Prosecutor Paul Kelly sought to have him held without bail, calling him a "domestic terrorist." A hearing was held before Magistrate Marianne Bowler on whether to detain or jail Alfred pending trial.
December 17-20 1992: While being held in Plymouth County House of Correction, Federal inmate William David Lindholm approaches Alfred on multiple occasions to question him about his case.
March 17, 1993: Defense counsel Terry Segal writes letter to Shay Jr.'s counsel Nancy Gertner informing her that defense bomb expert Denny Kline observed remains of a toggle switch from the bomb that do not match a Radio Shack toggle switch suppopsedly bought by Shay Jr. (Alfred was never informed of this before trial).
August, 1993: The media publishes a release from the government that it has a "reliable source" prepared to testify that Alfred confessed to building the bomb. Alfred and his defense team struggle to determine who this could be since Alfred has always maintained his innocence.
September 15, 1993: Alfred's attorney motions to call AUSA Paul Kelly as a defense witness to testify that he wrote multiple memorandums that none of Shay Jr.'s statements could be corroborated even after offering Shay Jr. a 3 year sentence. This motion was denied.
October 16, 1993: 10 days before trial is it published that the government's reliable source testifying against Alfred is Lindholm, a total surprise to Alfred since he had never spoken to Lindholom (or any other prisoner) about his case.
November 3, 1993: 8th day of trial Shay Jr. refuses to testify against Alfred because he is fearful of perjury charges.
November 10, 1993: 13th day of trial, Federal inmate Lindholm testifies that on December 17, 1992 he missed the bus from the federal courthouse to Essex County prison and was "accidentally" sent to Plymouth County, where Alfred allegedly admitted to building the bomb. Lindholm swore that he was asking for no reduction in his sentence or any favors from the government now or anytime in the future for his testimony.
November 22, 1993: 17th day of trial AUSA Paul Kelly in his closing arguments to the jury specifically mentions the testimony of Lindholm and his claim of Lindholm receiving no personal benefit from his testimony.
November 29, 1993: On the 4th day of deliberations, jurors sent a note to Judge Zobel asking 2 questions to the court. The first was how do they weigh the difference between direct and indirect evidence in regards to the law. The second asking how tight the web of circumstantial evidence has to be in order to find a person guilty. Judge Zobel after discussing it with both prosecution and defense counsel, stated that "there is no difference in the weight that may be given to direct or circumstantial evidence" and chose to answer the jurors questions indirectly with examples rather than providing the jurors specific answers based on the law.
November 29, 1993: A few hours later that same day the jury found Alfred Trenkler guilty of:
2. Receipt of explosive materials
3. Attempted malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive.
November 29, 1993: Immediately after the jury's verdict, Judge Zobel met with the jurors in private where they specifically told the Judge that they did not want Alfred to receive a sentence greater than Shay Jr.'s 15 year 8 months.
November 29, 1993: Following Alfred's conviction his attorney, Terry Segel visits Alfred with news that a US Marshall had told him that the US Attorney's office had actually called their office on December 17, 1992 specifically requesting that Lindholm be diverted from Essex County (where Lindholm was designated) to Plymouth County (where Alfred had been sent the day before).
March 8, 1994: Alfred was sentenced to two concurrent life terms in prison. He was sent to a Federal prison in Otisville, New York, and then to Allenwood Federal Penitentiary in White Deer, Pennsylvania. Prior to his sentencing, he made a STATEMENT to the Court.
April 1, 1994: Lindholm's attorney Roger Cox, writes a letter to AUSA Paul Kelly asking Kelly to file a motion to Lindholm's sentencing Judge for a reduction in Lindholm's sentence.
July 19, 1994: AUSA Paul Kelly submits a Government's Motion for Reduction Of Sentence to Lindholm's sentencing, Judge Douglas Woodlock.
August 1, 1994: Alfred files his direct appeal.
September 3, 1994: On a Saturday, Judge Woodlock ordered a reduction of 55 months (4 1/2 years) to Lindholm's sentence from 97 months to 42 months. There was no public announcement of this court decision. Alfred's attorneys, the trial court nor the Court of Appeals were told of Lindholm's early release.
December 6, 1994: On Alfred's direct appeal his attorney Morris Goldings argued the validity of EXIS database information being permitted at trial while the AUSA's Paul Kelly and Frank Libby argued that Alfred had confessed to Lindholm. The Court made the observation that Lindholm's testimony was good enough to sustain the conviction alone observing that he had testified that he was not doing this for any type of deal. AUSA's Paul Kelly and Frank Kelly did not inform the defense nor the court that Lindholm had actually been released 2 months prior to this hearing even after the court noted that Lindholm testified he was not asking for any deal and was assumed still incarcerated.
July 18, 1995:The First Circuit Court of Appeals denied by a 2-1 vote Alfred's appeal. The Court ruled that the District Court had erred by admitting evidence from a computer database about bombings (EXIS), but that the error was harmless because "a government witness and convicted felon, William David Lindholm, had testified that defendant (Trenkler) had built the pipe bomb at issue, but also on the basis that the government had provided ample evidence, including out of court statements by defendant's alleged co-conspirator, Thomas Shay, Jr., to establish a relationship between defendant and Shay Jr". The court's opinions showed apparent lack of knowledge that Lindholm's sentence had, indeed, been reduced as an apparent reward for his testimony in Alfred's case; and that he was freed from prison on September 30, 1994.
July 18, 1995: Chief Judge Juan Torruella of the 1st Circuit Court of AppealsDissenting Opinion
August 1, 1995: The Boston Globe publishes article. "Lindholm was reportedly released from federal prison 37 months into a 8 year sentence and testified against convicted bomb builder Alfred Trenkler..."
August 8, 1995: Alfred files a Motion for Remand with the First Circuit court of Appeals concerning the discovery of Lindholm's early release from prison. "The recent evidence of Lindholm's early release indicates... that indeed an agreement existed between (Lindholm) and the government."
August 25, 1995: The First Circuit Court of Appeals Denied Trenkler's Motion to Remand "ORDER: : by Chief Judge Juan R. Torruella, Judge Frank M. Coffin, Judge Norman H. Stahl. "Defendant's motion raises issues of concern, which could merit a hearing. However, the proper forum for such a hearing is before the district court upon motion for a new trial. The motion is therefore denied."
December 22, 1995: Alfred files a "Rule 33 newly discovered evidence" motion for a new trial with the District Court based on the discovery of Lindholm'srelease and the recent Appeals Court decision allowing Dr. Phillip's testimony (that Shay Jr. suffered from a psychological disorder that caused him to be a chronic liar) in a new trial for co-defendant Shay Jr.
April 24, 1996: Congress enacts the Anti-terrorist Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), a retroactive constitutional law used as a rights stripping tool, which limits ineffective assistance of counsel claims to within 1 year of direct appellate review and limits second and successive claims to within 1 year of newly discovered evidence that could not have been discovered at a previous date.
February 4, 1997: Judge Zobel denies "Rule 33 newly discovered evidence" motion for a new trial citing Alfred's trial attorney for failing to attempt to offer the Dr. Phillip's evidence at trial and also accuses Alfred of going on a fishing expedition concerning the Lindholm early release.
February 4, 1997: The U.S. District Court, in "Memorandum of Decision" denied Alfred's Motion for inquiry into possible juror misconduct and for a new trial based on Donna Shea's allegations regarding Ramona Walsh. (From the 1st Circuit opinion 6 Jan 1998) There was a claim that an alternate juror Ramona Walsh failed to disclose that she knew Alfred through Donna Shea (a potential witness) and therefore she could have tainted the jury pool with her impressions of Alfred.
January 6, 1998: The First Circuit Court of Appeals, in "unpublished opinion written by Circuit Judge Stahl" denied Alfred's appeal, which had been made on the basis of possible juror misconduct and for an inquiry on newly acquired Lindholnm and Dr. Phillips's evidence.
April 22, 1998: John J. Bowden, an inmate at Allenwood Federal Prison, writes an affidavit about his conversation in November of 1993, just prior to Alfred's trial with Lindholm at the Essex County Jail. Bowden swore that Lindholm stated that he was going to lie at Alfred's trial by stating that Alfred had admitted a role in the "Roslindale Bomb" case and that if the government did not come through with an early release Lindholm would admit his lies to Alfred's attorneys.
September 28, 1998: Robert Blair, general litigation counsel for Radio Shack, writes Alfred's step father, Jack with the discovery that none of the information on the receipt held by the government matches any information in the Radio Shack general journal for the store on the date of the alleged Shay Jr. purchase of a toggle switch purported to be in the bomb. (Prosecution presented this receipt as well as a witness stating that not only had he seen Alfred in the store before but that he sold a toggle switch listed on the receipt to Shay Jr. which created a link between Alfred and Shay Jr. and "supposed" bomb components).
January 7, 1999: Morris Goldings files a habeas corpus motion (a writ or legal action through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention which lacks sufficient cause or evidence) for new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel, Terry Segel (not attempting to offer the Dr. Phillip's testimony at Alfred's trial). This motion was denied April 18, 2000. Judge Zobel denies the motion stating it is too late but admits that it shows issues of concern.
September 8, 1999: Associate general counsel for Tandy Corporation (owner of Radio Shack), submits an affidavit stating that "other than the store address and store number none of the information on sales receipt No. 098973 matches any information contained in Radio Shack's general journal for store No. 01-1021 on October 18, 1991."
August 10, 2000: Attorney Morris Goldings files another "Rule 33 motion for new trial" based on the discovery of Bowden's affidavit stating government witness Lindholm lied at Alfred's trial, Jr.'s recantations and the affidavit from the Radio Shack counsel, Richard Blair that the receipt attached to Jr. was bogus.
December 28, 2000: Judge Zobel denies the "Rule 33" motion for a new trial for being too late and cites Morris Goldings for not submitting the Bowden affidavit or offering any evidence of Shay Jr.'s recantations.
December 29, 2000: Attorney James Cox, managing partner of MahoneyHawkes & Goldings sends a letter to Alfred informing him that "Morris Goldings has very recently become disabled. His condition prevents him from practicing law and he has retired from the firm."
February 20, 2001: Attorneys Rankin and Sultan file a substitute brief explaining the unique circumstances for which Alfred is now in since his Appellate Attorney Goldings recent admission to a mental hospital and erroneous instruction from the clerk of the filing schedule.
October 16, 2001:First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Alfred Trenkler's appeal of the Judge Zobel's April 18, 2000 denial of his Motion for a New Trial, which had claimed ineffective assistance of counsel because of the failure to call for Dr. Phillips to testify at his trial. The court ruled that such a motion was filed outside the time limits of the applicable statute.
October 3, 2002: Attorney's Rankin and Sultan file a petition for writ of habeas corpus claiming a recent Supreme court decision removed the conduct for which Alfred was convicted.
December 18, 2003:Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied Alfred Trenkler's appeal by affirming a Pennsylvania U.S. District's court denial (See 7 March, above) of his petition for relief of his sentence of two concurrent life sentences on the grounds that a statutory change has changed the definition of crimes for which he was convicted. The denial was for lack of jurisdiction.
February 13, 2004: The Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued Judgment denying Alfred's petition for a rehearing of his appeal, and the court's December 18 decision. (See above.) Appellate judges Michael Chertoff and Samuel Alito participated in the 14 judge panel.
May 13, 2004: Attorney's Rankin and Sultan file writ of certiorari (an order by a higher court directing a lower court, tribunal, or public authority to send the record in a given case for review) with the US Supreme Court on the definition of crimes issue argued in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. June 21, 2004. Certiorari is denied.
August 24, 2004: Fellow Thayer Academy alumnus, attorney Dana Curhan, files a writ of mandamus (a writ issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly) with the First Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that Alfred's two life sentences are illegal.
February 16, 2005: The mandamus argument is denied by the First Circuit since it would negate the stringent gate keeping function of the Anti-terrorist Effective Death Penalty Act ( AEDPA).
May 14, 2005: Attorney Dana Curhan files a writ of certiorari with the US Supreme Court on the mandamus sentencing issue. This was denied June 22, 2005.
December 1, 2005: Alfred writes a letter to trial Judge Zobel pointing out that his two life sentences are illegal.
December 2005: With no notice to Alfred, his attorney's or the District Court, the US Attorney, Michael Sullivan, orders all evidence in Alfred's case destroyed. Evidence was destroyed by incineration in December, 2005 and February, 2006.
June 28, 2006: Alfred's step-father, Jack submits a motion to review forensic evidence held by the government.
November 6, 2006: Attorney Joan Griffin files defendant's petition and motion for a writ of coramnobis ( a writ issued by the court to correct a previous error where no other remedy is available) and/or auditaquerela (a writ that attacks a judgement that becomes incorrect later because of circumstances that arose after the judgement was issued) and request for appointment of counsel and further briefing to reopen sentencing on Alfred's case.
November 15, 2006: Judge Zobel allows the motion for appointment of Joan Griffin.
April 4, 2007: Alfred is re-sentenced to serve 37 years.
October 7, 2007: Morrison Bonpasse, (Alfred's advocate) and Alfred write a manuscript called "Perfectly Innocent" which is sent to the people affected by or involved in the Roslindale bombing case including the trials of Shay Jr. and Alfred, the Hurley and Foley families, judges, prosecutors, witnesses and investigators in order to publicize the truth about the crime and show Shay Jr. and Alfred's innocence.
November 4, 2007: Alfred, pro se (on his own) files a successive motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence withheld by the government.
December 14, 2007: The government in its opposition to Alfred's motion for a new trial reveals for the first time that in 2005 it had ordered the destruction of the very evidence that would prove Alfred's innocence and the guilt of the real bomb maker.
July 3, 2008: Jury foreperson Sheridan Kassirer writes Judge Zobel disavowing her verdict.
August 1, 2008: Following appeals and cross appeals the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated the amended judgement and Alfred's 37 year sentence and ordered Judge Zobel to reinstate the original two life sentences with the quip "hard cases have a tendency to make bad law."
October 2, 2008: Juror Theresa Spinelli writes Judge Zobel asking for a new trial, writing in part, "After the verdict was given we met with you (Judge Zobel) and specified that though found guilty we did not believe Mr. Trenkler was the main perpetrator and he should not receive a heavier sentence than Mr. Shay. The jury's recommendation was obviously not taken into consideration. Had I been aware of the intended sentence I would not have voted as I did."
October 30, 2008: Judge Zobel reinstates Alfred's two life sentences.
November 12, 2008: Juror Marcia Lapson writes Judge Zobel asking for a new trial for Alfred.
December 22, 2008: Attorney Joan Griffin files a petition for certiorari with the US Supreme Court concerning Alfred's right to be present at the re-sentencing. It was denied January 11, 2009.
March 8, 2009: Juror Marie O'Hare writes Judge Zobel asking for Alfred's release.
March 2009: Juror Robert Woods writes Judge Zobel asking for a re-examination of the case and citing the rush to reach a verdict before the holidays. He also stated he believes "Mr. Trenkler was convicted of being homosexual".
June 8, 2010: The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district courts March 18, 2009 denial for a motion for a new trial.
June 10, 2010: Alfred files an application for leave to file a second or successive habeas corpus with the First Circuit Court of Appeals citing the July 2009 newly discovered evidence withheld by the government. This was denied February 7, 2011.
December 15, 2010: Alfred files a motion to vacate his newly reinstated two life sentences with the District Court. The Court returns the pleading claiming it is a second and successive motion and has to be approved by the Court of Appeals.
March 23, 2011: Alfred files a motion for rehearing or hearing en banc (where all judges will hear the case rather than just a panel of judges) with the First Circuit Court of Appeals for another look at the June 10, 2010 application. The First Circuit denied this motion October 21, 2011.