SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Both WSBT and NPR published stories last week covering for the St. Joseph County Democrat Party’s partnership with a convicted violent felon who has been arrested for child molestation twice. The stories were regarding a protest organized and held in partnership with the Democrat Party and the convicted felon outside of County Councilwoman Amy Drake’s home. The demonstration, in which the alleged child molester attended, occurred at 6:30 in the morning as Drake’s children were preparing to go to school. Drake is a mother of 7. Both news outlets ignored the alleged child molester’s involvement and instead lambasted Drake for calling out the intimidation at her house.
REAL News Michiana has learned Drake called WSBT News Director John Hafferkamp to speak about the coverage following their disgusting story. Hafferkamp had the station run an updated story, but they still left all of the information regarding the violent felon, which was the entire reason for the call. Instead, the new story continued to gaslight Drake without providing the public with any context regarding the concerns.
Local NPR affiliate WVPE’s coverage was surprisingly worse. The entire story defended the alleged child molester/convicted felon without naming him or describing his felonious past. At the same time, the story essentially calls Drake crazy for being concerned about the intimidation tactics.
Drake spoke directly with WVPE’s reporter, Jeff Parrott. Parrott also ignored Drake’s concerns regarding their coverage.
It’s important to note, Parrott is a registered Democrat who actually ran on the Party’s ticket in 2022 for the Harris Township Board.
St. Joseph County Democrat Party Vice Chair Don Westerhausen and his wife partnered up with the convicted felon to intimidate Drake. Westerhausen’s wife even hugged the career criminal during the demonstration.
The event, which was organized by the St. Joseph County Democrat Party in partnership with the South Bend NAACP and Justice for Michiana, occurred at 6:30 in the morning as Drake would be preparing to get her children ready for school. The small crowd, which included the violent felon/child molester even temporarily blocked access of a school bus that was in the neighborhood to pick up children.
Justice for Michiana is founded, owned and operated by career criminal Vernado Malone. Malone stood in front of the crowd with NAACP President Trina Robinson to address the media regarding their intentions for their intimidating and threatening demonstration. While WSBT and ABC57 were both there to cover the demonstration, REAL News Michiana was the only news outlet to ask a single question regarding the intimidation tactics using a career felon.
Malone posted an illiterate press release on his personal Facebook page regarding the event.
“The New Justice for Michiana Team and Media Page is asking the residents South Bend of st.Joseph county, to come out to the peaceful press conference/protest at Amy Drake home on Thursday text ‘Address’ to 5747031173 for the address.” The post reads. “Amy must understand that not only her high class family lives matter but the poor class lives and portage manor resident lives matter. Call a family member, call a neighbor, hell share this now on your social media platforms”
Malone has been in and out of prison for his entire adult life. In St. Joseph County alone, he’s been arrested for Child Molestation twice, Domestic Battery 7 times, Criminal Trespassing 3 times, Battery twice, Illegal Use of a Police Radio, Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, Criminal Mischief twice, Forgery and Theft. He’s currently attempting to have that criminal history expunged.
Malone also has a lengthy federal criminal history, which includes stealing approximately $100,000 from the American Red Cross.
In 1999, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for credit card fraud. He was ordered to pay more than $17,000 in restitution.
In 2005, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Aiding and Abetting Forfeiture Allegation. He was ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution.
In 2015, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for Mail Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. He was ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution.
Malone currently has multiple protection orders against him as well. In fact, he was arrested earlier this year for violating one of those protection orders held by a woman who works in the County City Building.
While there are currently two active protection orders against him, there have been a total of 7 protection orders held by women to protect themselves and their families from Malone dating back to 2013.
Malone is also currently under investigation by the Indiana Attorney General regarding a scheme in which he took and shared hundreds of pictures of nude bodies of the recently deceased. His non-profit, Justice for Michiana, was originally founded to allegedly help the families of homicide victims with funeral costs. Multiple families filed lawsuits against Malone, Justice for Michiana and his partner funeral home, Alford’s Mortuary. Alford’s Mortuary settled the case. It is still open and active against Malone.
Malone has also used his non-profit to attempt to coerce women into having sex with him. On two different occasions, he has pressured single mothers in need for sexual favors in return for assistance from Justice for Michiana.
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