By Donna Westfall – June 15, 2017 – Mercy Ranger took the witness stand. The prosecuting attorney, Joyce Blair, led the witness like someone leading a horse to water, literally nodding her head to indicate the desired answer she wanted from Mercy. Try to remember, Mercy, the oldest of the Ranger children is now 21 years old. Devoid of make-up the young lady looked like and acted like a wet dog coming in from the rain with her body shaking, with a sad, worried expression on her face and whispering while referring to her “girl parts,” like a 5 year old. Seeing her appearance on the witness stand was shocking because it was in direct contrast to the beautifully made up, confident person portrayed on her Facebook page. She would rock back and forth on the chair, which I understand is something her younger sister did routinely. She would not refer to Bryan Ranger as her father, only as her biological father. She referred to Sasha and Earl Upton as her mother and father. The Upton’s were the Ranger’s landlords and well off.
Let’s go over some of her testimony vs her brother’s testimony. Since her brother is 17 years old and a minor, I will not use his name at this time even though his testimony was in open court.
Mercy Ranger: Her Brother:
The children were beaten. We were spanked when we did something wrong, not beaten
There was a lock on the refrigerator Yes, there was a lock on the fridge because the little ones would get in and spill things
We were denied food, and ate mainly We ate mostly organic food, healthy food. We were not denied food.
oatmeal and vegetables.
My father sexually abused me Our father never sexually abused any of us
I’m afraid of Bryan I’m not afraid of my father
Bryan yelled a lot and told us we would My father did not yell or threaten us about burning in hell
burn in hell
I imagine a lot of the above can be proven or disproven through medical records; and as a matter of fact, Defense Attorney, William Cater brought up questions to Mercy as to why she did not report any instance of sexual abuse by her biological father on the many occasions there were mandated reporters… including teachers, doctors, social workers and more. Mercy claimed it was because her biological father told her not to speak out. Mercy stated that she didn’t start disclosing sexual abuse by her father until her stay with Erica Moore, a foster family in Crescent City. Then and only then everything surfaced, including journal/diary entries that look coached.
The biggest shocker of the day was her brother’s admission that he lied repeatedly from December, 2011 on to back up Mercy’s allegations, at the urging of Mercy with promises that he could go live with her. He was being enticed by Mercy with a richer lifestyle. During testimony Mercy repeatedly emphasized how poor they were, at one time all living in a one bedroom house with no beds (motivation to escape that household at any cost). She was made fun of for her “Amish” way of dressing. Her brother admitted how guilty he feels now about lying about his father. He said that he was threatened to lie by a cop he thinks may have been Ed Fleshman (clarified to be with the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office). While he was attending Unchartered Shores Academy and about 11 or 12 years old, he stated that the threat happened when Fleshman took out a little knife. He was told by Fleshman that if he didn’t lie about his dad, the cop would stab himself and blame him. Then they would send him to juvenile hall. It scared him enough at the time to continue lying. He realized later as he grew up, that the cop lied to him.
Of course the biggest pivot point of this case came when the prosecuting attorney asked if Mercy had sexual relations with Marcus “Marc” Nash, the son of Sasha and Earl Upton from the time she was 14 years old. It seemed that several minutes went by before she finally answered, “Yes.” Now, Attorney Joyce Blair knew about this affair since at least November 11, 2014 although the defense did not read about it until 2016. Puzzling still is why no charges have been brought against Marc Nash. Politics? Corruption?
Getting back to Mercy was her repeated insistence that not only did she want to get out of the Ranger household, she was also concerned about her siblings safety. But here’s the thing. Mercy was mostly concerned with herself and staying with the Uptons. Every time she thought she might be sent back home, she would up the ante on more and more charges of sexual abuse leveled against her father. Her concerns about her siblings safety contributed to Judge Follett terminating Bryan and Judy Ranger’s parental rights in 2013 without benefit of a trial. Mercy didn’t admit the affair with Marc Nash until late 2014, well after the time her siblings had been adopted out.
Also, hand drawn pictures supposedly drawn by Mercy and admitted into evidence by the prosecution looked like something actually taken from “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the erotic romance novel by E.L. James.
Let’s look back over the timeline:
The Ranger’s moved into the Crescent City, “Creekside” home located on six acres with a horse in 2009. Mercy writes in her diary she is very happy.
Mercy has an affair with Marc Nash who lived in the apartment above the garage around 2010 when she’s 14 years old and he was over 40 years old which lasted a couple of years.
She kept the affair secret from her parents and she states she also kept it secret from Sasha Upton.
As this story unfolds, there appears more and more indicators that personal agendas have had a great influence on bringing this matter to trial. In particular, a huge monetary intake by adopting out the kids, discrimination against the Ranger’s religious beliefs and lifestyle, and selectively prosecuting Bryan Ranger and not Marc Nash.
THIS ONION HAS MANY LAYERS TO GO.