There was more to this night than the Police chose to report.
Publishing my personal letters to my husband is not easy. If I wasn't fighting such a devastating fight, I wouldn't even have to consider it. But my goal is for you, the reader to know who we are. To know that we are very real, caring and loving individuals.
So, here you go - my heart on my sleeve.
The Police had this video before the charges were filed against my husband.
Yet - NOT ONE WORD of the violence you will see here is in their reports! The man you see attacking my son in this video was not even questioned this night because the Ephrata Police Department and the Lancaster County District Attorney felt that these 6 did NOTHING wrong. The video speaks for itself. This father of six and grandfather of 9 demanded they leave the moment he got to the edge of our yard. THE HOMEOWNER MADE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR THAT THEY WERE NOT WELCOME! But they didn't care! They wouldn't leave until each and every one of them had their piece of the action! THANK GOD my husband was there! This is what they were capable of with a gun pointed in their face! Can you imagine what they would have done if they weren't held back?
This site is here because I WANT JUSTICE! I want to know why the 6 were not charged? I want to know why it is lawful for the police to only mention 1 side of the altercation so they could have the upper hand in court and create a false impression to the local community? I want someone from outside this community to tell me that there was an investigation and that it was conducted lawfully. I want someone outside this community to tell me that there was probable cause against my husband because I believe THERE WAS NOT! This site is here because I want...I need the public's help to get this story out and to help us fight.
On July 5, 2020, 6 violent men showed up at my home at around 1:30 in the morning. They surrounded my son and beat him violently over a 4 minute period. Within minutes, 1 of the 6 threw the first punch at my son and as my son fought back, my son ended up on the ground immediately. As he initially tried to get up, 1 of the other 5 who surrounded him moved forward and kicked him back to the ground so his buddy could continue to beat him from a standing position, over my son as he threw over 20 full fisted punches to the head, neck and ribs. My son’s head was against the asphalt as the majority of these blows took place. He can be seen in the video in a complete fetal position, not fighting back with his arms and knees tucked in trying to protect himself from the blows and at one point, his body goes completely limp as he is knocked unconscious and yet, the initial attacker savagely continued to beat his defenseless posture with vicious intent. Video
Once my son got up from the ground, he barely had enough balance to stand and another took his turn with two more full fisted punches to the head. My son can then be seen holding his arm out and stated “I’m done!” But these men were not and he can be seen on video being hit again. With this hit, my husband saw his knees buckle and my husband was terrified. Once the first attack seemed to be complete, my husband is pleading with my son to get behind him but the group will not allow him to move to safety. Although my husband demanded that these men leave the second they walked up to our property and demanded they leave numerous times throughout the 4 minute video, they refused. They circled like a pack of wolves and they had every intention of making sure that each and every one had their turn with my son. In the final moments of the video, the next attacker can be seen moving in, standing directly in front of my son. There is no sound on the video, but my husband was pleading with the group to leave as my son was telling the next man, “I told you, I’m done!”. The next man stated violently, “You’re not done, I am going to kill you!”
These words seemed to have snapped my husband’s position of holding back the pack to moving straight in between my son and the final attacker as he knew he could not take another beating and this man was much bigger than my son. My son didn’t have a chance. My husband did move in to finally stop the attack the only way he believed would finally get them to leave and he did beat this man with a force that I have never seen my husband use before.
It is important to note that none of these 6 were charged for what they did that night and not one word of their violence is in the police reports. In court, we found that the police didn’t even interrogate 4 of the 6 for nearly 13 months and this wasn’t even an interrogation but more of a trial prep for all 6. The man that my husband went after was easily found through a simple google search from a New York area township for being arrested for a similar group terrorizing situation but this victim was given a Protective Order. See the Shelter Island Police Blotter here.
My husband was told by my son on this night, “Hurry Dad, there are a bunch of people coming to beat me up and they have guns.”
We live in an upper/middle income beautiful neighborhood where events like this do not happen. My husband was shocked to even hear such a thing but we do believe in our right to protect our home, our property and the ones we love at all cost. My husband did make a split second decision when he heard that people were coming with guns and that was to unlock his gun safe and grab the first gun that was available.
Once he got outside, as my son had already gone out the front door, there was no-one waiting for my son. At this time, my husband states that his initial adrenaline rush seemed to slow and he was confused over how terrified and unstable my son was acting. My son does not do drugs and there were no drugs in his system that night. As my husband was trying to calmly talk my son back into the house, his recollection was that about 2 minutes of this went by, a neighbors security camera records the 6 men walking in a single file line up our sidewalk after they had parked on a different street. My husband can be seen walking down our lawn to the edge of our property as he is holding his gun. He immediately demands that they leave and not only were they not concerned from a homeowner holding a weapon, it completely enraged them. My husband, although caught off guard by their violent intentions found himself in a position that he was not expecting. It is not breaking the law to defend your home and family with a gun and it is not against the law to believe you are in charge or to believe that you can handle any violent situation on your own without thinking to call the police. My husband and I support our men and women in blue as my husband’s father is a retired service man. He has never needed the police before and he thought these men were similar to our son and could be controlled.
He tried to analyze the situation as the violence grew to determine if any of these men had weapons and although he could not be certain, he knew he did not see any visible signs that they were armed so he never turned the safety off and was only in the ready with the gun throughout the initial altercation. He did use the gun to force the group back the moment one from the group kicked my son back to the ground and he can be seen doing this as similar pack mentality situations arose.
When he can be seen literally changing his tone from somewhat collected to sheer animalistic protection mode, he again had a split second decision to make and that was how to protect his son from the next attacker while he was still holding the gun. He had already made up his mind that the fear factor effect of the gun did not work and he believed that his son could be seriously injured or even killed if he had to take one more beating. Our son, in his usual mindset would have been perfectly safe to hold this gun. He has had years of hunting safety training and had packed guns through miles of trails. He worked at the clay pigeons range at our gun club and had spent hours on that range. Handing him the gun as my husband said, “Here, hold this.” In order to stop the next attack was not a careless choice.
As further proof that establishes my husband’s thought process of knowing he could not put the gun down, during my son’s trial, one of the 6 made a statement which comes directly from the transcripts (sorry it's broken - this is how it is typed in the transcript) when asked what he was thinking when he saw the homeowner meet them at the property with a gun and what he was thinking of doing- "So, like, I was walking....in the video....in the video that they have I end up walking away from them cause I wanted to try to get around them and see if we could, like, just get him down so we could get the gun out of his hands. - I imagined I was gonna walk down the block and they weren't gonna see me and I was gonna walk up behind him --- like, go around the building and come up behind him and just tackle him, just tackle him just se we can get the gun out of his hand." He didn’t have one thing to say about possibly rethinking their violent intentions but rather admitted that the only thought at that point that crossed his mind was “I knew I had to get the gun away from the father any way I could.” He was also questioned why he wouldn't have thought to leave once he saw a gun and again, taken directly from the transcripts from trial: "But, I mean, it did cross my mind that we probably shouldn't be there, but you go --- you got six guys, like---"
Their intentions that night were clear from the onset. An expert witness to testify at my husband’s trial made an observation in his opening statement, “As the group approaches, it should be apparent that one of the men, (Mark Ivie Sr.) is holding a firearm as he comes down the yard. This means the group of men approaching the house intended to attack and knew the risks of their actions. It also means the group of 6 thought they had the tactical advantage in a fight.”
This expert witness also clearly states that my husband always held a defensive position and only moved toward the crowd when the crowd showed clear signs that they intended to move to attack as a group as one instance is detailed when the group moves in towards the initial one on one fight and that my husband’s forward movement clearly prevented this from happening at the 2:00 minute mark of the video. The expert witness also clearly stated that it is visible that the crowd intentionally stopped Ivie JR from moving towards safety towards his father by blocking any available retreat.
I want to make it clear that my son’s public defender never used the video in my sons defense, never brought up the kick back to the ground, never showed the blown up footage where my son can be seen holding his arm out stating "Stop, I'm Done!". Never showed the slowed down footage showing the two getting ready to lunge forward seconds before any shots were fired. The public defender fought the family against even trying to say that any of the night's circumstances had anything to do with self defense until 3 weeks before trial stating that the Judge would not allow a self defense plea in his courtroom.
Our family also took it upon ourselves to present character witnesses to the public defender who refused to use them since “None of our character witnesses had any first hand knowledge of how my son was not a danger to society.” He required any and all character witnesses to be public officials, teachers, persons who were known? We are transplants from Utah and moved twice while in the state of Pennsylvania. He had graduated 2 years previously and although Jr was never, ever in trouble as a student in any Utah school or PA school, he also was a very quiet individual. I tried to get numerous teachers to come forward but the teachers either didn’t remember him or simply didn’t respond to my requests. The public defender did accept 1 of our character witnesses and although this witness was a previous teen counselor who held a Social Work degree and told us that he had much to say about JR in relation to his personality on this subject, the public defender had him on the stand for less than 90 seconds and simply asked if Mark Jr. had ever worked for him and was he a good employee. He answered yes to both questions and was never given the opportunity to embellish. Even he left the courtroom confused over the process.
The fact that we live in Pennsylvania seems to be a significant reason for the charges that were brought against my husband which were 6 counts of Conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, 6 counts aggravated assault and 1 count simple assault. Recently in a Texas Grand Jury hearing, a man was found to not have to go to trial for the murder of his girlfriend’s ex-husband who was shot and killed during a verbal altercation after the boyfriend went in to his home to retrieve a gun and when he came back out to use that gun as a deterrence, the ex-husband told the boyfriend that he’d better use the gun or he was going to take it from him and use it to kill him. The jury in this case found that the threat of taking the gun and using it constituted self-defense. I reiterate that one of the 6 bluntly stated at trial that this was his complete intention the moment he saw the gun and my husband knew this.
My husband’s choices after the 4 + minute violence that was instigated by the 6 were very limited once he made a decision to use his physical strength when the gun was not working to make these men leave our property. He had clearly made a choice not to use the gun. This fact alone shows that the detectives who chose to charge my husband with conspiracy to commit murder is baseless and is an absolute assumption on their part. Even Pennsylvania Law requires that charges cannot be brought without probable cause and this probable cause must not rely on an officers “gut” or “assumptions” and that is exactly what happened here.
During the pre-trial, the detectives had discovered through evidence or lack there of that my husband could not be tied to any pre-existing circumstances that brought these men to my home. They instead relied on the case and evidence against my son as they brought both cases in as one. This was later decided to be unconstitutional, and the cases were separated but this was after a magistrate decided through what was brought to court that the cases would go to trial. One of many unconstitutional events that took place that left me unequivocally scarred against the justice system in general if this is nationwide and not just a local “holier than thou attitude”.
Another blatant display of criminal activity organized by the City/County Detectives and the District Attorney’s Office was the planting of evidence (or the mental plant) that took place as the Lead Detective placed himself on the witness stand and stated, (taken directly from the court transcripts) “Mr. Ivie Jr. shot until the gun was empty and this was the only reason he stopped firing!” This statement was made more than 3 weeks after the evidence was handed to both the detective and the assistant district attorney showing that the gun that was used had a bullet left in the chamber and the magazine that was in this gun had 15 rounds left in it. This gun was not empty. Numerous other statements in the same hearing that are all recorded in the transcripts will prove that both the assistant DA and the detective were not only well aware of this lie, but they planted it intentionally to ensure the case moved forward. Everyone in the courtroom that day was lead to believe that my son fired the weapon until it was empty and even the Judge at my son’s trial commented about this “fact” during his closing statement. Our entire family was given the explanation that this is normal and happens all of the time and that there was nothing illegal or “wrong” with the DA using tactics like this in pre-trial because it would be easy to prove false during the actual trial.
I find it hard to believe that this explanation is accurate although I now believe that this local judicial system seems to believe it is, which means it happens all of the time. The unconstitutional side in our case is that due to so many other misleading implants, my husband would never see a trial date. The DA was able to establish community perception by feeding the arrest minutes after the charges were filed which was only hours after the event took place. “Father and Son charged with attempted murder after son open fired into the crowd after a fight over a snap chat video.”
There is absolutely no evidence in this case pertaining to any type of conspiracy by my husband. The charges were filed initially as the officer and the DA believed the father, my husband was involved with the 6 men prior to them arriving at my home. Within minutes of my son’s questioning, he was completely forthcoming as his interrogation transcripts show when he stated that he took the gun off safety. He chambered the weapon and he fired because two of the 6 were lunging toward he, his father and the final attacker who were now entangled on the ground in a fist to fist altercation. When the evidence did not show what they needed it to show, they quickly changed their conspiracy theory to the split second decision of my husband handing the gun to our son so it would not be picked up or taken by the 6 violent intruders. They claim that those few seconds prove “an agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal act, along with an intent to achieve the agreement’s goal.”
What was the agreement? What was the “group” intent? The intent was to save my son’s life as it was very clear that these 6 violent men had no intention of leaving until each and every one of them had their turn. The local police department never questioned why 1 of the 5 surrounding the initial attack kicked my son back to the ground. The local police never questioned why 3 of the 6 actually took punches and they never questioned the 4th attacker’s intent, they only stated numerous times that my son deserved to “get his ass kicked by each and every one of them because you don’t bring a gun to a fist fight.” And they absolutely, positively did not believe that my husband had any right to protect his son or his property. Not only did the county and city condone the actions of the 6 and their initial onset of violence claiming it was not violent at all, they approved each one into their victims advocate programs for financial assistance. These 6 came to my home with the clear intent of violence against my family. Neither myself or my husband had ever met or heard about any of them as they were complete strangers to us. Not one of them would be welcome in our home, ever. Especially in these circumstances.
I have come to understand that I am looking for a miracle since the Justice System seems to be so one sided in this area. There is nothing they will not do and there is nothing that they will not say to ensure their end game. They have no proof against my husband and they had no probable cause. Yet, they were allowed to do what they did.
The scenario that came into play where my husband was coerced to take a No Low plea deal was based on complete community opinion. He allowed himself to be convinced that a jury would not adhere to the law and would only hold to their personal belief that guns should be outlawed. His lawyers did not believe they could persuade any jury that the prosecution's definition of conspiracy in the seconds it took to hand our son the gun was wrong and unjust. It doesn’t and would never meet the criteria for what the law actually says but this would never matter. Again, in this broken system, an innocent man is forced to take a plea of less time in comparison to the life in prison that the DA was asking for. Our son was given 50 years which was actually more than the DA was asking but the Judge in our case had his own personal beliefs.
Our family understands that my son would have consequences for his actions that night. When my husband handed him the gun stating “here, hold this!”, he immediately took the gun off safety, chambered the weapon and began shooting indiscriminately towards the crowd. The shots took place in less than 3 seconds. My sons claims that two from the crowd were lunging forward in what he perceived as another attack believing that their intent was to either jump his father or jump him to get the gun. These claims are seen as true as you watch the video. Although the two accused are behind a truck obstructing full view of their bodies, their feet can be seen underneath the truck and they are motioning on their toes to move forward. At this moment, 14 shots are fired, again, within seconds. Consequence of this magnitude is unfathomable. 4 of the six were hit by 5 bullets. By the grace of God, no-one was killed. During my sons trial, his Public Defender did not even try to object to the absurd notion that my son continued to shoot as the men ran. The Judge even made a statement in his closing remarks that my son “continued to shoot as the victims tried to run away.” I can only allow the video to speak for itself. It took less than 3 seconds for all shots to be fired and my husband and the final attacker remain on the ground for an additional 12 seconds as if they didn't even realize shots were fired. The expert witness goes into detail as he describes the symptoms of adrenaline overload that was most certainly taking place due to all of the violent scenarios that lead to this moment. When officers arrived in the scene, my son very respectfully yet very mournfully made sure the officers knew he was the shooter and I was so proud of the respect he showed the officers as he knew they needed to be certain he was no longer a threat. He was in shock and remained this way for more than a week. In exchange for the Judge allowing the option of the jury being able to find him Not Guilty due to self defense, he required that they be allowed to have an option of a lesser charge of Voluntary Manslaughter. We went into court thinking he would either be found Guilty of the charges of Attempted Murder or Not Guilty due to self defense but although when the verdict was read NOT GUILTY on all counts of Attempted Murder, it was also read Guilty of 5 counts Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter and Not Guilty of 1. Pennsylvania law allows the lesser charge to run concurrent which would have been a possible reason for the jury's choice but the Judge ruled consecutive on all counts giving him the same sentence as the higher charge. JR will be 72 years old if his sentence stays.
NOT ONE OF THE 6 VIOLENT MEN WERE CHARGED FOR THEIR ACTIONS IN THIS VIDEO. POLICE SAY THEY WERE ALLOWED TO ALL BE THERE AND DID NOT BREAK ANY LAWS.
As JR lies in a fetal position while the attacker violently continues to throw over 20 Full Fisted blows, most to the head while his head is against the ground.
Video shows JR after the 2nd Attack with two more blows to the head after he is allowed to get up - He holds his arm out begging "Stop, I'm Done!" and tells them numerous times. THEY HAD NO INTENTION OF LEAVING!