Sunday, July 21, 2013

Charlotte G. Durante sentenced to 7 years in Prison for Wrongful Conviction / Appeal process of Wrongful Conviction / Treatment not prescribed in Prison for Brain Tumor / Charlotte G. Durante starts Bible Study Class at Prison

July 21, 2013

Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues:

Re:    Update about Sentencing of Charlotte G. Durante/Wrongful Conviction

7 year prison sentence

Health Update – Brain Tumor, Glaucoma, Degenerative Disease

Appeal Process

Bible Study Classes that Charlotte G.  Durante is conducting in Prison

How you can send Letters to Charlotte G. Durante

Your prayers have been really amazing regarding the wrongful conviction of my mother Charlotte G. Durante and her state of being imprisoned for a maximum 7 year sentence.  Thank you so much.  My mother, dad, my brother Tony and I are sincerely appreciative.  “I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!” (Psalm 91:2, AMP)
Charlotte G. Durante's sentencing was held on June 13, 2013.  49 letters of support had been sent on my mother’s behalf and nearly 20 people attended her sentencing and spoke in support of her and her community service contributions.  The original date for the sentencing was June 21st but it was suddenly changed by the presiding Circuit Judge Charles E. Burton (without explanation) and moved up to June 13th which prohibited some additional supporters from attending the sentencing who had previously planned to be there yet there was still a proud showing of supporters for my mother who were Haitian, black American and white American. The multicultural representation of letters of support for mother and supporters of my mother in attendance at the sentencing are a strong reflection of my mother’s community outreach.  The letters of support and the testimony from her supporters at the sentencing were very comforting for my mother.

Charlotte G. Durante was wrongfully convicted on April 15, 2013 (click here for trial overview).  Prior to the trial and while my mother was still confined at the Palm Beach County Jail, Judge Charles E. Burton of the Palm Beach County, Florida Circuit Court 15th District, begrudgingly lowered my mother’s bond to $100,000 and made statements against her during the bond hearing that was held.  He required house arrest.  She was released on house arrest in March 2013. During the 3-week time-frame of my mother being on house arrest I took her to several doctor’s appointments for examinations as prescribed by her primary physician for her medical treatment.  While confined in jail my mother developed severe health ailments (including Glaucoma, Brain Tumor). She had been confined in jail since May 26, 2010 due to a deliberate excessively high bail (originally $503,000) with rare and strict requirements including house arrest.  After the guilty verdict was read on April 15, 2013, Judge Charles Burton remanded my mother Charlotte G. Durante and revoked her bond and she was immediately sent back to the jail.  Judge Burton denied the request to allow my mother to remain on house arrest to continue her medical treatment until the sentencing date on June 13, 2013. 

The following are some facts about the June 13, 2013 sentencing & Appeal Process:

1.   Presiding Judge Charles Burton denied the Motion for a New Trial at the June 13, 2013 sentencing. As you know from my previous updates that Charlotte G. Durante’s attorney submitted a Motion for a New Trial (click here). Some of the points argued were that the case consisted of more than 5,000 pages of evidence yet the jury rendered a guilty verdict in 12 minutes which was clear evidence that the jury did not follow court instructions to deliberate over all the evidence.  Another crucial point in that Motion is that at the request of the Prosecution Team, Judge Charles E. Burton allowed into trial that my mother allegedly grabbed the gun of Delray Beach Detective Casey Thume during my mother’s arrest at the Delray Beach Police Department in Delray Beach, Florida.  The attorney for my mother did object to the false gun-grabbing issue being introduced into the trial because my mother was never charged with it. Judge Burton also denied the objection of my mother's attorney and allowed the false gun matter to be entered as evidence in the trial. My mother was falsely accused of grabbing Detective Thume’s gun while my mother was handcuffed from behind and Detective Thume was walking in front of my mother and another detective was holding my mother’s right arm to help my mother with her balance.  My mother was never arrested for this alleged crime and she was never charged with it because it didn’t happened.  Allegedly grabbing a police officer’s gun is one of the most heinous crimes a person can commit.  The false gun grabbing accusation was the sole focus of the Prosecution Team’s closing argument regarding an alleged white collar crime.  The false gun-grabbing act was never presented at any prior court hearing including not being presented at my mother’s bail hearings.

2.  At the sentencing on June 13, 2013, presiding Circuit Judge Charles E. Burton denied the request for a bond for Charlotte G. Durante to be released on house arrest to continue her medical treatment while the wrongful conviction is being appealed.  Medical records had been submitted to Judge Charles E. Burton confirming that while she was in jail in Palm Beach County she developed glaucoma and a brain tumor that can cause sudden blindness.  Plus, prior to the start of the trial in April 2013, a letter from Charlotte G. Durante’s primary physician was sent to the court regarding her ailments, needed medical treatment and a recommendation that the trial be delayed because my mother was not fit to stand trial because of her severe health ailments.  But, Judge Burton denied a request to delay the trial so that my mother could receive medical treatment and he had stated at the previous bail hearing that the trial would “not be delayed with the exception of Charlotte Durante being dead.”

3.  Although Judge Charles E. Burton acknowledged reading all the letters of support for my mother and he listened to the testimony from my mother’s supporters at the sentencing hearing on June 13th, he refused to allow Charlotte G. Durante time served and he sentenced my mother to the maximum number of years within the sentencing guidelines which is 7 years in prison.  The white collar crime for which my mother was wrongfully convicted mandates up to at least 30 years in prison. But, because my mother is a community servant with no prior criminal record the sentencing guidelines suggested 5 to 7 years.  At the sentencing, the Prosecution Team requested a life sentence.  My mother’s attorney petitioned the court for time served which was denied by Judge Charles E. Burton.   Judge Charles E. Burton stated at the sentencing that he was a “victim of Charlotte Durante’s outspokenness…” The 3 years which she has already served in the Palm Beach County jail will be deducted from the 7 year sentence. Judge Burton has been extremely hostile towards my mother.  My mother Charlotte G. Durante is a 69 year old senior citizen with a brain tumor  and other severe health ailments therefore a 7 year sentence is very much like a life sentence.  This 7 year prison sentence was also designed to hinder my mother's access to medical treatment and her ability to work on her Appeal.

Timeline of some of the Motions and requests denied by Judge Charles E. Burton pertaining to Charlotte G. Durante’s request for medical treatment

A.  At the February 29, 2012 court hearing regarding Charlotte G. Durante’s bond and request to be released to allow medical treatment, Judge Charles E. Burton denied the request because Durante’s attorney stated in court that to release my mother on bond to allow her to obtain medical treatment by her own primary physician will delay the start of the trial.  My mother's attorney made that statement as a response to Judge Burton's question if the release would delay the trial plus the Prosecution Team strongly opposed the bail reduction and release.  This was the first time Judge Burton had presided over this case because it had just been transferred to him. He stated at the court hearing that he "...did not know anything about this case...this case has been around for a long time...59 counts - that's a lot of charges...".  And, the statement from my mother’s attorney completely blindsided her because her own attorney made a statement to help block her release.  As a result Judge Charles E. Burton denied the request to lower the bond and to release my mother from jail.  At this court hearing my mother did not speak in court.  Judge Charles E. Burton never addressed my mother and did not acknowledge her during this court hearing.  Curiously, at this court hearing Judge Charles E. Burton gave a grand introduction to then-prosecutor Angela Miller by stating "...and its 'Miller' time."

B.  On June 15, 2012, Charlotte G. Durante, who was now pro se (which means to represent oneself), prepared (by hand while in jail) a Bond Motion that requested release to allow her to obtain medical treatment from her own primary physician and so that she can help prepare her defense. Judge Charles Burton denied the Bond Motion and stated it was “legally insufficient.”  Click here to read Durante’s Bond Motion.

C.  On January 23, 2013, a new Bond Motion request was submitted to Judge Charles E. Burton to lower the bond so that Charlotte G. Durante can be released to seek medical treatment.  By this time, Judge Burton had revoked Charlotte Durante’s pro se status and a new private attorney was appointed by the court. Judge Burton made statements against my mother, accused her of causing the trial to be delayed and begrudgingly lowered the bail to $100,000 with a house arrest requirement. Judge Burton stated at this hearing that the “trial will not be delayed with the exception of Charlotte Durante being dead.”

D.  On April 8, 2013, Charlotte G. Durante’s attorney petitioned the court to delay the trial to allow my mother an opportunity to complete her medical treatment but Judge Charles E. Burton denied the request.  By this time, Charlotte G. Durante had only been on house arrest for 3-weeks.  Her primary physician examined her during this time and developed a treatment plan and submitted a recommendation to the court that the trial be delayed because Charlotte Durante was not fit to stand trial.

E.   On April 9, 2013, Charlotte G. Durante was taken the emergency room at the local hospital because she became very ill from the all-day jury selection on April 8th which Judge Burton refused to postpone allowing my mother time to complete her medical treatment.  Judge Charles E. Burton made repeated phone calls to the Emergency Room and spoke with the Emergency Room Medical Team to prevent them from admitting my mother to the hospital.

F.   On April 15, 2013, when the guilty verdict was rendered for the wrongful conviction of Charlotte G. Durante, Judge Charles E. Burton immediately revoked Durante’s bond and remanded her. Durante’s attorney requested that the court allow house arrest to continue until the sentencing date in June 2013 so that she could continue with her medical treatment but Judge Burton denied that request.

G.  On June 13, 2013 at the sentencing, Judge Charles E. Burton denied a request from Charlotte G. Durante’s attorney to allow house arrest pending the appeal of the wrongful conviction so that Durante could continue with her medical treatment by her primary physician. ( Click here for Charlotte Durante's Letters to Judge Burton)

4.   Immediately following the sentencing, a Notice of Appeal of the Wrongful Conviction was filed in the court. Per the attorney the appeal process can take 18 months.  

5.Charlotte G. Durante’s Appeal Case is now handled by the Appellate Division of the Public Defender’s Office.  I’ve heard positive information about the legal skills of the appellate attorneys in that division.

6.   Although I’ve made numerous pleas for help to the attorneys in the Appellate Division regarding my mother’s medical condition of having the brain tumor that can cause sudden blindness (among other ailments), it does not appear that the Appellate Division will be allowing any resources to be used to prepare an Appellate Bond Motion for my mother so she can be released from prison pending the appeal which will allow her to obtain medical treatment.  In fact, the Public Defender’s Office instructed me to be the person to contact the prison about my mother’s urgent medical needs. I was also informed that it will be at least 6-months before the Appellate Division is able to start work on my mother’s Appeal because they are overloaded with other cases.

7.  On June 19, 2013, Charlotte G. Durante was transferred to the Lowell Prison in Ocala, Florida.  Some of you have inquired about writing to my mother. The mail rules at the prison are more liberal and you can write to my mother letters (no more than 15 pages per envelope), send greeting cards, news articles, brochures, pamphlets, photos, etc.  But, the mail cannot contain any metal and no paper clips and no staples.  Click here for the prison website with rules on writing an inmate.

To write Charlotte G. Durante here is the address: 

Durante, Charlotte Gilmore
DOC# W46304
Lowell Correctional Institution/Annex
11120 NW Gainesville Road
Ocala, FL  34482

8.  After arriving at the Lowell Prison in Ocala, Florida on June 19th, Charlotte G. Durante was seen by the doctor for the first time on July 1st (after I made several pleas to the prison).  Since her arrival to the Lowell Prison she has not received any treatments for the Glaucoma which causes vision loss and no treatment neither surgery for the brain tumor which can cause sudden blindness.  Essentially, my mother will be going blind because she is not receiving available treatment.  The MRI that was done by the medical team at the Palm Beach County Jail shows the presence of the brain tumor that is pressing on her optic nerve.  This MRI was sent to the Lowell Prison on the day my mother was transferred to the prison.  The tumor developed while she was confined at the Palm Beach County Jail.

9.  Because of additional arthritis and degenerative disease that developed while my mother was in jail she is still in constant excruciating pain at the prison.  Thus far, the only medicines that she has received at the Lowell Prison are iron pills, a muscle relaxer and another medicine that acts like a sleeping pill but no corrective treatment.

My mother’s transfer to the Lowell Prison in Ocala was one of the hardest days in my life, emotionally, but my mother told me that I was going to have to have courage. 
Moreover, the false accusations, wrongful conviction and imprisonment have been extremely hurtful to my mother and my family because my mother gave more to the Delray Beach, Florida community than she gave to herself  (click here for Durante's bio).  For the City of Delray Beach, Florida to issue a press release (which they had distributed globally) falsely accusing my mother of an alleged crime has caused us immense pain.  When I read the press release prepared and sent by City of Delray Beach Police it felt like I had been punched in my stomach because it described an alleged crime my mother never committed and described her that was not reflective of her character. My mother dedicated more than 40 years of volunteer work and advocacy for the residents of the City of Delray Beach, Florida.  The Delray Beach Police Department’s investigation, the false accusations and the wrongful conviction have been a  deliberate violent rape of my mother’s character and Christian faith.  A Delray Beach Attorney named Annie Adkins and Delray Beach Detective Casey Thume engineered a false case against my mother where Attorney Adkins and Detective Thume primarily targeted alleged investors who were black and Haitian to get them to make a complaint against my mother.  However, it was Attorney Annie Adkins who filed the complaint against my mother with the Delray Beach Police. (Click here for more about Attorney Adkins).   Adkins and Thume corrupted the minds of alleged investors. They used their position of authority to manipulate people. As I’ve stated many times before, we don’t know Attorney Adkins, have never met her, never spoken with her and had not previously heard of her. We first heard about Attorney Adkins when she orchestrated an ambush-style slanderous news story about my mother that appeared on WPBF Ch. 25 reported by Terri Parker that aired on December 6, 2008.  This story aired exactly 48 hours after I had hosted a sold-out fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida for the non-profit Museum that I had established.  That news story created a "panic" about my mother's historic real estate company Durante Realty and hindered donations to the Museum which was the undermining purpose of that news story. My  mother and I learned about that news story after it aired on TV. The deceitful actions of Attorney Annie Adkins and Detective Thume have been protected by the court, Judge Charles E. Burton, the City of Delray Beach and by the local news media. These actions against my mother were politically motivated.  Until you walk in another man’s shoes you will never know the depth of pain these acts by the City of Delray Beach and their Police agency has caused my mother, my dad, my brother Tony, my Aunt Ola and me.  We are human.  We bleed. Nonetheless, our Christian faith remains strong.  “...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11, NIV)
Charlotte G. Durante’s Bible Study Class at the Lowell Prison:
Shortly after my mother Charlotte G. Durante arrived to the Lowell Prison she began a Bible Study class.  The class started with 2 people and has grown to 11 people, to date.  She has started with the book of Genesis and will take the class to Exodus.  As you may remember, while my mother was confined at the Palm Beach County Jail she routinely conducted Bible Study Classes and one of the inmates testified that she became Saved and found God from my mother’s Bible Study Class.  The inmate population at the prison is very young with inmates in their 20s and 30s.  They affectionately refer to my mother as “grandma.”
Legal assistance needed for Charlotte Durante's need for medical treatment:
After much prayer and legal research, it has been determined that a private attorney is needed to help advocate for my mother’s Constitutional right to medical treatment under the 8th Amendment.   The Charlotte Durante’s Legal Defense Fund has now evolved into the Durante Legal Defense & Advocacy.  The Legal Defense has been registered with the IRS and State of Florida.  Funds need to be raised for the services of a private attorney especially to help advocate for my mother's constitutional right to medical treatment.  An initial $8,000 needs to be raised.
Donations are appreciated in any amount $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, etc. 
Furthermore donations will also help support my mother’s canteen at the Prison and her ability to purchase sundries at the Prison.  Prisoners are required to buy their own soap, deodorant, etc. And, my mother also needs to purchase lotion for her cracked skin.
Check donations can still be made to Charlotte Durante’s Legal Defense.
Mail donations to:
Charlotte Durante’s Legal Defense
PO Box, 7265
Delray Beach, FL  33482
Or, you can make donations on-line via PayPal.  Click here

Thank you so much for your time and prayers.  I can be reached at 561-499-1386.  You can also reach my dad Kenneth Durante at 561-271-4312 or e-mail:  For more information visit the website

May God Bless,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Durante Legal Defense & Advocacy inspired by Wrongful Conviction of Charlotte G. Durante

Charlotte Gilmore Durante of Delray Beach, Florida has inspired the Durante Legal Defense & Advocacy to help the Wrongfully Convicted.  In 1978, Charlotte G. Durante was elected the first African American woman Commissioner of the City of Delray Beach, Florida. She also established the first black-owned realty and insurance agency in Southern Palm Beach County, Florida

Durante Legal Defense & Advocacy
Inspired by the wrongful conviction
of Charlotte Gilmore Durante

In 2010 Charlotte G. Durante was arrested and falsely accused of an alleged white collar crime. On April 15, 2013 Charlotte G. Durante was wrongfully convicted in Palm Beach County, Florida. She was levied a deliberately excessive bail of $503,000 with rare and strict requirements thus she has remained in jail for more than 3 years although she is a community servant with no prior criminal record.  In 1978 she was elected City Commissioner in Delray Beach, Florida and became the first African American woman elected in Delray Beach. During the trial and closing arguments, the Prosecution Team focused on a false allegation that during Charlotte G. Durante’s arrest on May 26, 2010 and while her hands were handcuff from behind, she allegedly grabbed the gun of the arresting Delray Beach Police Detective who was walking directly in front of Charlotte G. Durante while another police officer was holding Durante’s right arm because Durante has balance problems.  This was the Prosecution Teams sole focus during the closing arguments for the trial although Charlotte G. Durante was never arrested for neither charged with grabbing the arresting police officer’s gun. The trial consisted of 5,000 pages of evidence but the jury only deliberated for 12 minutes and rendered a guilty verdict.  An injustice has been served against Charlotte G. Durante who is now suffering from a brain tumor that can cause sudden blindness along with pain from other health ailments. She is facing 30 years in prison because of the wrongful conviction. Pleas are being made to the court for Time Served and the current presiding attorney for Durante submitted a Motion for a New Trial. Click here for Motion for New Trial.  For more information, Visit 

Mission & Purpose of the Durante Legal Defense & Advocacy:

·         Durante Legal Defense & Advocacy is not a law firm but a volunteer advocacy group that consults with lawyers and other legal professionals.

·         This organization will review, consider and discerningly select cases of the falsely accused and wrongfully convicted where evidence clearly supports innocence.

·         Help to advocate for innocent people who are falsely accused and wrongfully convicted thus denied the justice that is afforded to them as human beings and by the US Constitution

·         Help to increase awareness about cases where innocent people are falsely accused and wrongfully convicted thus denied the justice that is afforded to them as human beings and by the US Constitution.

·        Help to provide resource information for innocent people who are falsely accused and wrongfully convicted thus denied the justice that is afforded to them as human beings and by the US Constitution.

·         Help to advocate for reasonable bails where innocent people have been falsely accused and arrested and levied with deliberately excessive bails.

·         Will also coordinate prayer circles for innocent people who have been falsely accused and wrongfully convicted.

·         Encourage minorities to apply for Judge Appointments in Palm Beach County, Florida.

·         Encourage minority representation and representation of people on different income levels to serve on the local committee that nominates Judges for Palm Beach County.

·         Encourage the Governor of Florida to consider more minorities for Judge appointments in Palm Beach County, Florida

·         Encourage more judicial elections in Palm Beach County because most Judges serve unopposed.

·         Encourage minorities to run for the elected position of State Attorney-Palm Beach County

According to the National Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University Law School, some of the causes of wrongful convictions include False & Misleading Evidence; Perjury from Witnesses against the Defendant; Inadequate Legal Representation for the Defense (the accused) and Official Misconduct of the Prosecutors, Police Detectives and Other Governmental Officials. Click here for the Center on Wrongful Convuctions

Durante Legal Defense & Advocacy is registered with the IRS and the State of Florida.
Click here for Charlotte G. Durante's Bio

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Charlotte G. Durante has been diagnosed with a brain tumor that can cause blindness

Charlotte G. Durante has a brain tumor.
Back in November 2012 the eye doctor contracted by the Palm Beach County Jail ordered an MRI because he observed a mass behind Charlotte G. Durante's optic nerve. Another MRI was done on May 7, 2013. The tumor is behind the optic nerve in the Pituitary gland and can cause sudden blindness. The trial began on April 8, 2013. Presiding Judge Charles Burton  of the Palm Beach County Circuit Court denied a request to delay the trial to allow Charlotte G. Durante time for medical treatment and exams by her own primary physician. Charlotte G. Durante was railroad into trial. After Charlotte G. Durante was wrongfully convicted on April 15th, presiding Judge Charles Burton refused to allow Durante to remain on house arrest until sentencing so that she could continue her medical treatment and exams from her own primary physician.   Judge Charles Burton has been very hostile towards and bias against Charlotte G. Durante. 
Some of Charlotte G. Durante’s medical conditions that developed while confined in jail now include (but not limited to):
  • Brain tumor that can cause sudden blindness
  • Glaucoma
  • Vision Loss
  • Bleeding hemorrhoids
  • Degenerative disease
Charlotte G. Durante is facing up to 30 years in prison because of the wrongful conviction.

Charlotte G. Durante's new sentencing date for the wrongful conviction is Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 1pm.
For more information regarding Charlotte G. Durante of Delray Beach, Florida, the false accusations and wrongful conviction, visit

Friday, May 3, 2013

Charlotte G. Durante was Wrongfully Convicted of an alleged crime that she did not commit. Motion for New Trial submitted to Court

April 15, 2013 (rev4-30-13)

Dear Family, Friends and Community:

RE:  Wrongful Conviction of Charlotte G. Durante

Thank you so much for your amazing and comforting prayers. My mother Charlotte G. Durante is extremely grateful for the prayers and she also continues to pray for others in need. My mother says she does not believe in selfish prayers and is aware that other people may be facing trials and tribulations so each day she prayers for many people.

As a re-cap, on Monday, April 8th when my mother and I walked into the court room for jury selection the court-appointed attorney Thomas Montgomery blindsided us by handing to my mother a Motion to withdraw from the case. It stated in the Motion that my mother had requested that he use a "strategy" that he cannot use because it would be unethical. We did not know what Attorney Montgomery was talking about because he never discussed any "strategy" with us. But, Attorney Montgomery threw my mother under the bus by divulging that alleged "strategy" to Judge Burton and the Prosecution Team. Montgomery's Motion was denied by Judge Burton thus my mother submitted a Motion to the Court to fire/dismiss Attorney Montgomery which Judge Burton also denied. Then, Attorney Montgomery twice renewed his motion to withdraw which Judge Burton denied. This is all a matter of public record. The sequential order of this situation is important.

On March 21st, my mother Charlotte G. Durante was released on House Arrest after her bond had been lowered last month too. The following week on March 25th Attorney Montgomery came to my parent’s home and met with my mother. Both my Dad (Kenneth Durante) and I were there for the meeting. At that meeting, Attorney Montgomery said he "looked at the evidence" and the Prosecution Team "doesn't have anything" against my mother because this case is about allegedly owing money, she did not recruit the alleged investors, etc. We then inquired about why a trial is necessary and could Attorney Montgomery submit a request to the State Attorney that the Charges need to dropped. Attorney Montgomery replied to us by saying "I cannot do that because I have conflict of interest because I worked on Attorney Dave Aronberg's (election) campaign for State Attorney." We thought that reply was curious but did not challenge it, at that time, because Montgomery reassured us about the trial. Many news outlets have mentioned that the reason my mother wanted to dismiss Montgomery because he has a conflict of interest with Dave Aronberg but that conflict of interest is what Montgomery told us.

Attorney Montgomery did not have to take this case back in December 2012. He agreed to accept the court appointment.

Regarding some of the witnesses and their testimony at the trial that started last week, Attorney Montgomery never called any witnesses to speak on my mother's behalf other than me and my mother. However, we kept insisting but he would reply "it's not needed" or he just did not have an answer to us. He was given names of other people who could've testified on my mother's behalf. We consistently kept asking him about it. He said he only needed me and my mother to testify on the witness stand. And, my mother and I had concerns that Attorney Montgomery never scheduled other expert witnesses.

Furthermore, Attorney Montgomery only met with my mother twice at her home for about 30 minutes each time before the start of the trial on April 8th. The longest time that he has met with us about preparation for the case was on Friday, April 12th during the 1-hour lunch break to talk with us about taking the witness stand. And, again, we inquired about why no other witnesses were called to speak on my mother's behalf. Since my mother's release, Attorney Montgomery was always in a hurry when he met with my mother twice at her home. He always had to quickly leave for another appointment, court hearing, etc. And, after each court hearing last week or during the lunch break, he always had to quickly rush out and leave the court with no time to talk with us about the case as we kept trying to inquiry about other witnesses for the Defense, other documents that he should present, etc. It was difficult to talk with him in person or on the phone about my mother's case. Some of the documents that my mother provided included were letters to some of the investors where the Museum's real estate transactions were mentioned which was written confirmation that alleged investors knew about the Museum's real estate transactions. My mother gave that document to Attorney Montgomery and requested that it be presented as evidence but he never did and again when we ask him questions sometimes he just does not answer or give an explanation or he has to urgently leave the court room for another appointment, court hearing, etc. Or, he would respond by saying “…look…I know what I am doing…”

Literally, Attorney Montgomery reviewed, for the first time, documents in the evidence file with my mother in the court room while the trial was in session.  During Attorney Montgomery's representation of my mother Charlotte G. Durante his actions against my mother and her case were deceptive, misleading, lacked transparency and he was always pulling-a-fast-one with us and he appeared to be cahoots with Judge Charles Burton and the Prosecution Team.

Also, the Attorney Montgomery received a letter from my mother's primary doctor recommending that due to health ailments that developed during the nearly 3-year jail confinement and need for treatment that he does not recommend trial until after the 6-week treatment program for my mother. That letter was sent to Attorney Montgomery directly from my mother's doctor to be included with the Motion to delay the trial for 6 weeks so that my mother can get medical treatment. However, that Motion appears to be a mystery because Judge Burton kept saying he never got it and he said repeatedly that he needs a physician's letter. We kept asking Attorney Montgomery about that Motion he said he prepared but he just replies "I can't talk about that right now" or he just did not answer the question or he has to quickly leave, etc. Attorney Montgomery never re-presented that Motion or doctor's letter when Judge Burton said he never got it. In fact, Judge Burton said that he was willing to allow a special hearing for my mother's doctor to testify and Attorney Montgomery never said anything in response to that offer and he never explained to us why he did not take advantage of that opportunity for the benefit of my mother's health and her ability to stand trial. Because of the lack of action from Attorney Montgomery, my mother then prepared her own Motion to include with the letter from the doctor which was presented to Judge Charles Burton but the judge  refused to consider anything directly from my mother. We have asked for a copy of the medical Motion that Attorney Montgomery said he submitted to the court but Attorney Montgomery has yet to provide it to us.

On Tuesday, April 9th, when my mother was taken to the Emergency Room at the Delray Beach Medical Hospital, Judge Charles Burton made repeated phone calls to the medical staff inquiring about when they plan to release mother Charlotte G. Durante because a trial is supposed to start.  The staff commented that “the Judge just keeps calling us about your mom.  Judge Burton just kept calling and calling and calling the hospital expressing concerns that if my mother is admitted to the hospital it will delay the trial. My mother was examined at the hospital, given IV and prescriptions but she was never admitted to the hospital.   At court on April 9th, Judge Burton then gave the order that the Sheriff’s department was to transport my mother to court on April 10th so that there will be “no more hospital visits.”  This was stated in open court.

 Attorney Montgomery was assigned to the case back in December and since that time he had consistently stated that he was going to depose Detective Casey Thume prior to the trial. About 3 weeks prior to the trial when he met with my mother at my parent's home he announced that he was not going to depose Thume prior to the trial but will just do it on the witness stand. We expressed grave concerns about that decision to not depose Detective Thume prior to the trial. Attorney Montgomery did not depose any witnesses prior to the trial although he stated that he was going to depose other witnesses that were on the State's list. This matter created extreme concern for us and we felt misled.

 At the court hearing on Friday, the Prosecution aired a video of my mother's arrest on May 26, 2010 where they claim it shows my mother grabbing the gun of the police detective who was arresting her. The video does NOT show my mother reaching for Detective Thume's gun. However, the video does show Detective Casey Thume walking in front of my mother and another detective adjacent to my mother and holding my mother’s arm to help with her balance while my mother is handcuffed with her hands behind her back. Then my mother falls forward and another detective then shoves my mother into a seat all while my mother is handcuffed with her hands behind her back. My mother was never charged with resisting arrest, grabbing the detective's gun, etc because it never happened. However, the false gun-grabbing accusation was to further assassinate my mother's character with the jury and with the public via the news. The Prosecution Team spent about 45 minutes on this subject of my mother allegedly grabbing Detective Thume's gun for which my mother was never charged because it never happened. Surely, the Delray Beach Police would’ve included that in their arrest affidavit and it would’ve have been another charge against her if it had happened.

 On Monday, April 15, 2013, prior to closing arguments, Attorney Montgomery requested a mistrial because the police arrest video created a prejudice with the jury. The Prosecution responded by saying it’s important to include the video because it proves (Charlotte Durante’s) “guilt.” In response, as usual, Judge Burton accepted the objection from the Prosecution Team and denied Montgomery’s motion.

Sadly, the jury rendered a guilty verdict against my mother Charlotte G. Durante regarding an alleged crime that she did not commit. The jury foreman stated the following after the court hearing on April 15th “Montgomery and Durante insisted they had evidence that would prove investors knew what they were getting into. But, it was never presented to the jury. “It was mainly lack of contrary information from the defense side,” “(Montgomery) didn’t demonstrate anything concrete.”

The lacking of “concrete” evidence is not because we did not make efforts to provide the “concrete” evidence to Attorney Montgomery. He also never gave a directive to us about what evidence he needed however we did bring various documents to court that we knew proved my mother’s innocence but it was not presented by Attorney Montgomery.

Delray Beach Detective Casey Thume and the Prosecution Team told investors prior to the trial that because the Museum is a non-profit, it’s a crime to loan monies to a non-profit. And, as I have stated before, many of the investors gave the same robotic statements on the witness stand and also claimed they met my mother at her office, at their homes, at their works, etc. However, many of those investors are people whom my mother never met. Plus, many of those alleged witnesses who took the stand were previously deposed by my mother’s previous attorneys and they stated that they had never met my mother and/or they gave their monies to someone else who then told them that the monies were invested with Durante Realty. But, during cross-examination at the trial, Attorney Montgomery did not present that evidence.

My mother Charlotte G. Durante never lied or misled anybody about her real estate transactions. She never lied about monies being used for the real estate purchases for the Museum. The Museum was not a secret – there was no reason to lie about it. Attorney Montgomery also failed to provide as evidence that I’ve always been a non-paid volunteer for the Museum. I do not receive a salary, no hourly wages, no monies from the Museum. Also, monies raised are used to support programming, permanent facility, etc. And, my mother never received a commission for the real estate purchases for the Museum. She donated her services. There was no financial gain.
As I previously conveyed, the alleged investors with Durante Realty began with Calypso Louis who brought in Massillon Dorolian who were all duly informed about the non-profit Museum. They had their own investment club and reached out to Durante Realty about partnering with them to help them with the investment club. Again, the Prosecution Team's emphasis was whether or not the alleged investors knew about the Museum. And, some of what the other investors knew or not is based on what they were told by the people who invested their monies with Durante Realty but my mother never lied and never asked anybody to lie.

Regarding the alleged monies owed, on December 6, 2008, news reporter Terri Parker of WPBF CH. 25 aired an ambush-style slanderous news story about alleged monies that Durante Realty owed to alleged investors. The news story included an interview with Massillon Dorolian at the office of Attorney Annie Adkins who has been identified as the private attorney for the alleged investors. The timing of the news story is suspicious because on December 4, 2008, I hosted a sold-out luncheon in the Town of Palm Beach for the fundraising campaign for the MLFH’s proposed permanent buildings. It took 12 months to plan that luncheon because it was a major event with local philanthropists and also philanthropists who traveled from Connecticut and New York to attend the luncheon. But, all of that was sabotaged by the WPBF news story, and undermining actions by the Attorney Annie Adkins, the Prosecution Team and Delray Beach Police Detective Casey Thume. That slanderous news story was engineered by the Attorney Annie Adkins, the Prosecution Team and Delray Beach Detective Casey Thume. My mother and I did not know about that news story until after it aired. And, my mother did not know she was being investigated until that news story aired. Terri Parker sent my mother an e-mail after the news story aired (as evidence, we still have a copy of that e-mail). We have no other evidence that Ms. Parker tried to reach me or my mother about that news story prior to the news story being aired across the globe. And, we had never heard of Attorney Adkins prior to that news story. Attorney Adkins never sent a demand letter to Durante Realty or Durante Realty’s attorney regarding alleged monies owed. Per the letter from Attorney Adkins she made the conclusion that mother committed an alleged crime. We don’t know how she made that conclusion. Furthermore, we learned from the letter that Attorney Adkins is NOT and was NEVER the attorney for the alleged investors. Attached is the letter which Attorney Adkins mailed to alleged investors in November 2008 (which pre-dates the December 6, 2008 news story) that states she is not the attorney for the alleged investors. The Adkins letter was mass-mailed to alleged investors. And, although Attorney Adkins was not and has never been the attorney for the alleged investors, she had a leading role in corrupting their minds against Durante Realty and encouraging them to make complaints about Charlotte G. Durante and Durante Realty. Attorney Adkins collected data from the alleged investors to give to the Delray Beach Police Department. Based on independent research: 1. Attorney Adkins was never the attorney for the alleged investors. 2. Although not an attorney for the alleged investors, she recruited, collected data from the alleged investors and directed them to file a complaint with the Delray Beach Police Department. 3. Attorney Adkins never contacted Durante Realty about alleged monies owed – no demand letter was ever sent to Durante Realty from Attorney Adkins. 4. Attorney Annie Adkins  was the person who filed the initial complaint with the Delray Beach Police Department and not the alleged investors.

And, what we also recently learned about Attorney Annie Adkins is that during the time frame (2008 to present?) she was presented as the private attorney for the alleged investors, Attorney Adkins was also appointed as an Assistant to the State Attorney from January 2010 to April 2010. Her appointment ended April 2010. My mother was arrested on May 26, 2010. That appointment explains why Attorney Adkins appeared as the spokesperson for the case in the news media. Her job position with the State Attorney’s office was never publicly identified but while she continued to recruit alleged investors to encourage them to file false complaints with the Delray Beach Police Department and she also made public statements against my mother in the news where she was presented as a “private Delray Beach attorney,” Adkins was employed as an attorney for the Office of State Attorney during the same time she was publicly identified as the private attorney for the alleged investors. In other words, while she was a private attorney representing the alleged investors she was also an Assistant State Attorney working on the same case which is what the evidence seems to suggest. Attached is a copy of that appointment. Attorney Thomas Montgomery did submit this evidence during the trial but it was objected by the Prosecution Team and as usual, Judge Burton supported the Prosecution Team’s objection.

The WPBF news story by Terri Parker shot a torpedo thru my mother’s real estate company that was founded nearly 40 years ago. The news story was deliberately engineered to destroy Durante Realty, ruin my mother and hurt the Museum.

The above evidence regarding Attorney Annie Adkins suggests that she was retained by the State Attorney's Office and the Delray Beach Police Department for the sole purpose of initiating the false complaint, charges and wrongful conviction of Charlotte G. Durante.

My mother Charlotte G. Durante has been railroaded regarding an alleged crime that she did not commit.

After the verdict was rendered, Attorney Montgomery, made a motion to the court for my mother to remain on house arrest until the sentencing on June 21, 2013 so that she can continue her medical treatment.  Her medical issues have included external bleeding. The Prosecution Team objected stating that my mother  has made things "difficult" for the court and the “gravity of the charges.” As usual, Judge Burton supported the Prosecution Team and denied Attorney Montgomery’s request.

Judge Charles Burton has consistently complained in open court that “Charlotte G. Durante is to blame for the delay in the trial starting.”  Judge Burton also chastised me and my dad in open court for trying to get my mother a reasonable bail. Judge Burton has also pressured every attorney assigned to my mother to go trial when every attorney stated that they needed more time to prepare thus leading attorneys to withdraw from the case.  In fact, back in October 2012, Judge Burton appointed another attorney (pre-dating Thomas Montgomery) on the same day the trial was supposed to start with jury selection.  That attorney had not done any research about the case, did not depose any witnesses and never reviewed the evidence file but Judge Burton wanted that attorney to start the same day as the trial was supposed to start. My mother objected then that attorney just withdrew from the case a few days later.

 I have since spoken with other legal counsel about what needs to be done to get my mother home because she will have another medical set back confined in jail. And, per the recommendation of other legal counsel they believe that my mother should get a new trial. My mother has been served an injustice.  Charlotte G. Durante was railroaded.

$40,000 is the amount that needs to be raised for an appellate attorney to prepare an appeal and to also arrange for a new bond for my mother to be released for medical treatment and pending the appeal.  Charlotte G. Durante could face a maximum of 60 years in prison for an alleged crime that she did not commit.  The Prosecution Team is NOT petitioning the court for time served but they are requesting the court to consider a significant number of years in prison. Plus, the presiding judge Charles Burton is pro-prosecution.
Click here to download Motion for New Trial document
Click here for Sun-Sentinel news story about Motion for New Trial
Donations in any amount are appreciated.  Checks can be made payable to Charlotte’s Defense Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 7265, Delray Beach, FL  33482.  Thank you so much for your time and prayers. For more information about my mother's case visit


May God Bless,


P.O. Box 7265

Delray Beach, FL 33482

Click here to download Motion for New Trial document
Click here for documents regarding Attorney Annie Adkins