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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Travis Co DA in Jail for DWI, etc.

Travis County DA in Jail for DWI
The district attorney of Travis County, Rosemary Lehmberg, whose April 12 arrest for driving under the influence raised questions about her possible resignation, apologized Saturday in an open letter to her constituents — and insisted she hopes to complete her term in office.

Lehmberg, who is serving a 45-day sentence in Travis County Jail. Read more at the Texas Tribune.

For a lighter read, I recommend this from the San Antonio Express. When I was starting out over 30 years ago, there was a justice on the Fifth Circuit, John Brown, I believe, who wrote with a keen sense of humor. Judge Fred Biery writes like that.

Judge says strippers must wear bikini tops

"In the case of the “itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini top vs. the (more) itsy bitsy teeny weeny pastie,” the larger covering has won.
In a court opinion laced with double entendres, Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery on Monday denied a request by strip clubs to prohibit the city of San Antonio from enforcing a new ordinance requiring entertainers to cover more of their breasts."

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Judge-says-strippers-must-wear-bikini-tops-4472354.php#ixzz2RuLI8ksA

EDTX Takes Over Fed Inquiry into Dallas DA Watkins

March 11) – The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas and the FBI have officially opened an active federal criminal investigation into Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins.

Lawyers with knowledge of the federal inquiry told The Texas Lawbook that the investigation focuses on Watkins’ decision to seek criminal mortgage fraud charges against oil heir Al Hill III in 2010.

Those lawyers, who describe the federal investigation as "extremely serious" and "very active," say the probe concerns whether Watkins brought the charges against Hill III because one of his political contributors asked him to do so or if he sought the charges because he thought it would please his supporters.

Last w

Border Patrol agent arrested after Carrie Underwood concert
SA Express News
A Border Patrol agent was arrested after he was reported hurling traffic cones at vehicles following Thursday night's Carrie Underwood concert at the Freeman Coliseum.
A motorist passing by the coliseum about 11 p.m. notified deputies that someone was throwing the cones on Houston Street at passing vehicles.
The motorist's windshield had been damaged by one of the cones.
Patrick Jochum, 26, was charged with criminal mischief causing between $500 and $1,500 worth of damage, a Class A misdemeanor. Bail was set at $1,600.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Border-Patrol-agent-arrested-after-Carrie-4466675.php#ixzz2RchUWPXd

Ex-cop takes plea for bizarre pantsless wreck

A former San Antonio police sergeant has pleaded no contest and requested deferred adjudication probation for a bizarre incident last year in which he was found roaming the streets in his underwear near his wrecked city-issued pickup.
Joseph Earl Myers, 53, reached a plea agreement last week for misapplication of fiduciary property involving the $7,165 in damage to the vehicle.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Ex-cop-takes-plea-for-bizarre-pantsless-wreck-4477440.php#ixzz2RzxUBXxw

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Amarillo the Hellhole and Stanley Marsh the Pervert, Kerrville Slave Ranch

When I got out of law school in 1980, something possessed me to drag my wife from Austin to the hell hole called Amarillo. Now, Kerrville is a weird place, but Amarillo is in a league of its own. It's so bad and ugly it inspired Billy Joe Shaver to write a song about it:
Sometimes I want to hug her, sometimes I want to wring her neck
She wants to be a big star but she can't even sing a lick
Shes got an ass about thirteen axe handles wide
And to stay here would be suicide
Som I'm leavin' Amariller, I ain't coming back again

A year or so before I went there, an Amarillo jury acquitted T. Cullen Davis, a Ft. Worth billionaire, charged with shooting his 12 year old step daughter point blank, then shooting his wife, and two young men. One died, one was maimed and will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. While he was in jail, Amarillo ladies baked cookies and cakes for him. Stanley Marsh III strutted around in bizarre outfits and the press ate it up.

Which brings us to the story that prompted this little walk down memory lane. Texas Monthly has an excellent article this month, Darkness on the Plains, by Skip Hollandsworth.It starts:
"For decades Stanley Marsh 3 was Amarillo's most famous citizen, a widely creative eccentric who charmed everyone he met (including Hollandsworth). Now his world is crumbling amidst sordid allegations of sexual abuse of teenage boys. How could we have all been so wrong?"

Well, Skip, you were all so wrong because you were awed by the little pervert's wealth and celebrity. Burying a few Cadillacs is not exactly in the league of Picasso, but you, the rest of the "isn't Texas precious" crowd, the lawyers and politicians who sucked on the teat of Marsh's money didn't want to see the truth. The firm that I worked for in Amarillo, Underwood Wilson, otherwise a very reputable, respected firm, represented Marsh then and my old friend Kelly Utsinger represents him in the multiple civil lawsuits brought by Marsh's young victims. Without his money and political connections, Marsh would have gone to prison 30 years ago.

One Amarillo lawyer, George Whittenburg, sued Marsh for locking his teenage son in a chicken coop and ordering him to "flap your wings like a goddamn chicken." This sounds an awful lot like what the Ellebracht family did for years in Kerr County at their "slave ranch." Whittenburg comes from an established wealthy Panhandle family. If he had been just your run of the mill lawyer, they would have run him out of town and probably framed him for something and gotten him disbarred. After he filed the suit, young men began coming to Whittenburg with stories of being plied with drugs, viagra, and sexually abused by Marsh. But who would believe teenagers from poor, broken homes, with records for drug and alcohol offenses. You have to hand it to Marsh, he knew how to pick victims who were powerless.

As for Whittenburg, Hollandsworth blew him off as "a proper, rock-ribbed conservative Amarillo lawyer." So, no matter who has the audacity to criticize the "rich eccentric," they aren't credible. Marsh's criminal lawyers in the latest scandal call the boys' lawyer an "aggressive personal injury lawyer from Houston."

It took a lawyer with the guts and financial resources to go after an untouchable like Marsh. Tony Buzbee, an uber-successful Houston plaintiff's lawyer, took him on, suing him for ten young men that the old perv molested. Let's just say it - he raped and sodomized these boys. Buzbee's investigation led to the Amarillo police finally getting off their asses and charging Marsh, who now claims to be disabled and mentally incompetent, appearing for court in a wheel chair and blank look on his face.

Wealth buys a lot of latitude to break the law and do unspeakable things to other humans. John Smithee, an Amarillo lawyer and state representative since 1985, told Hollandsworth, "It was difficult for people to believe those kids' stories about someone who had brought such wonderful attention to Amarillo."

It's like the Kerrville Slave Ranch. People, including law enforcement, knew the Ellebrachts were pickup up hitchhikers, and sometimes one of them would escape and tell the sheriff's department or DPS what was going on. But they were just drifters, and the Ellebrachts were an old ranching family, and good Christians to boot. And they were right - when it finally unraveled, the old man got probation - for organized crime and murder!, his son got 15 years and was out in less than three, and the wife, Joyce, never even stood trial. Money talks.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Michael Morton Court of Inquiry, Judge Ken Anderson charged with criminal contempt; The High Cost of Being Right Before Your Time

Louis Sturns: A Judge With Courage to do the Right Thing
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I read the Probable Cause Order that Judge Sturns signed last week in the Michael Morton court of inquiry. Thanks to the always cutting edge gritsforbreakfast.com for covering this story and posting the link to the judge's order.
Judge Sterns, sitting in Williamson County found that former DA Ken Anderson - now a serving district judge - intentionally hid evidence and lied to the trial judge in Michael Morton's case, causing an innocent man, Michael Morton to spend 25 years in prison for murdering his wife. I'm still studying the order, but so far I'm impressed with the reasoning and force. The State Bar should make sure that every CLE seminar covers this opinion. It is a blueprint for lawyers who face unscrupulous prosecutors and opponents in civil cases, some who will do whatever it takes to win - cheat, lie and steal, the end justifies the means, and so on.
For example, Judge Sturns found that Anderson lied to the trial judge when he claimed his office had no Brady material, i.e., evidence that could possibly help Morton defend himself. In fact, Anderson had a statement from a witness that placed an intruder in the home, beating Morton's wife to death. He also had witness statements of a green van parked behind the home. Anderson was not under oath (that would have made what he did perjury) but he was an officer of the court.

It can be dangerous to be wrong, but, to be right, when society regards the majority’s falsehood as truth, could be fatal. This principle is especially true with respect to false truths that form an important part of an entire society’s belief system. In the past, such basic false truths were religious in nature. In the modern world, they are medical and political in nature. Dr. Thomas Szasz.

I found this jewel at ALDaily.com, an article by Holly Chase.
Mad, or bad?

Even in the decade of dissent, Thomas Szasz stood alone when he attacked the idea of madness from the political right
Near Szasz’s school in Budapest there stood a statue of Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian obstetrician who found posthumous fame as a 19th-century martyr of science. To Szasz, the sickly and discontented young son of a Jewish businessman, Semmelweis became something of a hero. The late doctor’s claim to fame had been the discovery that it was possible to practically eliminate the often-fatal ‘childbed fever’ common among new mothers in hospitals if doctors simply washed their hands before assisting with childbirth — especially if they had just been performing autopsies. When his findings became more widely known in the 1840s, he expected a revolution in hospital hygiene. It didn’t come, and Semmelweis grew increasingly outspoken and hostile towards doctors who refused to acknowledge his discovery. Vitriolic academic exchanges ensued, and he was eventually lured to a mental hospital where his opponents had arranged for his incarceration. He was beaten severely and put in a straitjacket. He died within two weeks.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

FBI - intentionally dishonest or just incompetent - same question for the vaunted rangers

FBI. Texas Rangers. The mere mention of these agencies inspires awe, not to mention about a thousand fawning films, books and t.v. series. Wednesday's Wall St. Journal opinion page has a different take (The FBI's Boston File, 04/24/13). The FBI was warned by its Russian counterpart that the Tsarnaev Brothers were Chechen terrorists, let one of them leave on a false passport for six months to Chechnya, let him return, didn't question, follow or wiretap him.

A few years ago in Boston, the FBI not only failed to arrest James Whitey Bulger, it actively conspired with him to murder witnesses and informants. The top two agents in the Boston office took bribes, and padded their resumes with arrests of Italian mafiosa that Bulger ratted out. The higher ups at headquarters knew and condoned it, all for the higher good of going after the Italian mafia. Of course, only a few years earlier, under Ms. Hoover, they denied there was such a thing as the mafia, while Hoover gambled on the ponies with the godfathers.

San Antonio Attorney accused of drunken driving
Add “drunken driving” to the criminal charges lodged against high-profile attorney Hilda Quesada Valadez, who faces 46 felony counts of courthouse fraud, on allegations that she forged judges' signatures and double-billed Bexar County.

Report: Federal agency charged with oversight of fertilizer plant security in disarray
A devastating Homeland Security inspector general report released in March lays bare an alarming pattern of poor planning and ineffective execution that beset nearly every aspect of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, as well as the subsequent misleading of congressional overseers, who were told the program was making progress.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

RICO Civil Actions for Treble Damages

I've been researching the federal RICO statute, Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961 et seq. It was enacted years ago to go after the mafia, who would invest its money in "legitimate" enterprises - restaurants, car dealerships, construction companies, and so on. Congress wanted a way to get at the "legitimate" enterprises to deny the hoodlums of their ill gotten gains.

To convict someone under RICO, the Government only has to show the commission of two "predicate acts" within the last 10 years. Predicate acts include, of course, murder and extortion, obstruction of justice, but also mail and wire fraud. Surprisingly, perjury and tax evasion or fraud are not on the list; however, if the tax returns are mailed are transmitted over the internet or faxed, that is a predicate act - wire or mail fraud.

The Act provides for civil actions for victims, and carries an automatic trebling of damages.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

YO Ranch Owner Alleged Goat Rustler; Judge Arrested for Concealing Evidence; Ex-JP and Wife Arrested for Murders

Thoughts on Boston Terror Attack and West, TX Explosion

This has been a hellish week, with the horror in Boston and the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. So many innocent people killed and maimed, it's heartbreaking. I can't find any words to write about these tragedies that wouldn't be trite. My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

The continuing saga of accused goat thief Walter R. Schreiner, Jr.

The Kerrville Daily Times is much improved since publisher Greg Schrader left and Max Graxiola came in, but it could still do better. The typical front page story is a cut and past from an arrest report with the mug shot of some poor person, usually Mexican or black, charged with possession of a piddling amount of cocaine.

When a member of the establishment gets busted - nothing. KDT didn't even report the arrest of Walter R. Schreiner, Jr. until I reported it in this blog. Schreiner is an owner of the Y.O. Ranch and scion of one of the biggest names in the Hill Country. When KDT did report it, it was basically a rehash of the charges (theft of livestock by check) and Schreiner's denial.

Zeke MacCormack at the S.A. Express actually did some work and talked to the victim, an elderly widow who sold Schreiner some goats, only to have his check bounce. Civil disputes dogged Schreiner before arrest.

Beverly Hans, the complainant's daughter, said the check bounced twice, saddling her 70-year-old disabled mother with additional bank fees.

“I tried from June until August to get him to make it right, and he never did,” she said of Schreiner. “He said he was surprised to learn the check bounced and that he would send another. Of course, it never came.”

Zeke researched court records and found other victims of Schreiner's alleged practice of bouncing checks. One said “I'd gone hunting on his ranch and knew he was in the exotics business and thought, 'He's with the famous YO Ranch,'” Searcey said. “I thought he was a good guy.... I learned not to do business with Walter Schreiner.”

Judge finds that Anderson hid evidence in Morton murder trial
Georgetown — Former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson - now a sitting district court judge -was arrested and booked into jail and then released on bail Friday after a specially convened court found that he intentionally hid evidence to secure Michael Morton’s 1987 conviction for murder.
In a blunt and scathing ruling, District Judge Louis Sturns said Anderson acted to defraud the trial court and Morton’s defense lawyers, resulting in an innocent man serving almost 25 years in prison.
“This court cannot think of a more intentionally harmful act than a prosecutor’s conscious choice to hide mitigating evidence so as to create an uneven playing field for a defendant facing a murder charge and a life sentence,” Sturns said.

Ex-Official's Ailing Wife Charged in Kaufman DA Deaths
Kim Williams, 46, was arrested and charged Wednesday after allegedly confessing to playing a role in the slayings of Kaufman County assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse in January and District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, last month.

An arrest affidavit alleges she told investigators that her husband - ex JP Eric Williams - shot and killed the victims, but the document doesn't specify what role she played.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Murder in Kaufman - JP Gets Pass for Stealing, Then Murders His Prosecutors

Eric Williams Arrested After Shooting Deaths of Texas Prosecutors

Apr 15, 2013 4:45 AM EDT
He was a justice of the peace known for zipping around Kaufman on a Segway. Then he was prosecuted by District Attorney Mike McLelland and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse. Now Eric Williams is under arrest after the prosecutors’ slayings. Michael Daly reports.
"The prime suspect in the killings of the Kaufman County district attorney, his wife, and a deputy prosecutor was until 11 months ago a respected justice of the peace known to ride to work with his briefcase on a Segway.

On weekends, 46-year-old Eric Williams would zip around the North Texas town of Kaufman in the Segway clad in fatigues from his other life as an officer in the Texas Guard."

I encourage you to read the whole story at thedailybeast.com. Williams - a sitting judge - was known for threatening people with guns. He stalked a woman who spurned his advances and threatened to kill her. He threatened to kill a lawyer and his family and burn down their house. His downfall was stealing three computer monitors from the courthouse, caught on video. That was the only case that went to trial. It was a state jail felony, maximum sentence two years. The closing arguments say a lot about what is wrong with the criminal justice system. The DA, Mike McLelland, soon to be murdered by Williams said:
“I think what’s at stake here to a great deal is the credibility of the courthouse to the people in Kaufman County,” he said. “Every night they see corrupt public officials and corrupt businessmen and things like that arrested on the TV… And in the end they get something like some slap on the wrist, like probation.”

The defense attorney, David Sergi, argued that Williams had already been punished enough.

“I cannot stand here before this court and imagine what Mr. Williams is going through right now...

“To see everything that you have worked hard for come crumbling down,” Sergi said. "He’s lost his law license. He has lost a bench. He will lose his military commission. All of those things that mean something to him he will lose.”

Judge Michael Chitty agreed, and gave Williams probation. We know what happened next. First, Mark Hasse was gunned down in the courthouse parking lot. A couple of months later DA McLelland and his wife were executed in their home, over Easter weekend.

This sad story reminds me of a great novel by Pete Dexter, Paris Trout, about a case in Georgia where a man everyone thought was just a colorful character went on a killing rampage. The signs were all there, but the powers that be looked the other way.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Does Kerrville Daily Times Really Cover the News? Modern Debtor Prisons.

It's a sad day in the Hill Country when a descendant of one of the founders of Kerrville and the YO Ranch, Capt. Gus Scheiner, gets busted for hog and goat rustling. Walter Richard Schreiner, Jr.'s mug shot is posted on Lookwhogotbusted.com. Mugshot details:
Schreiner, Walter Richard, Jr.
Booking Date:
April 5, 2013
Where booked:
Kerr County, TX
Charges: BURNET CO/THEFT >=10 SHEEP/SWINE/GOAT <$100K If our local paper reported it, I missed it. I guaranty that if a poor Mexican or black or even poor white got busted for stealing livestock, it would be on the front page. Modern Debtors' Prisons?
AP reports in an article titled ACLU: Ohio Illegally Jailing Debtors that hundreds of people are being jailed for failing to pay fines and costs:
"COLUMBUS, Ohio — Several courts in Ohio are illegally jailing people because they are too poor to pay their debts and often deny defendants a hearing to determine if they’re financially capable of paying what they owe, according to an investigation released Thursday by the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU likens the problem to modern-day debtors’ prisons. Jailing people for debt pushes poor defendants farther into poverty and costs counties more than the actual debt because of the cost of arresting and incarcerating individuals, the report said."
This happens right here in Kerr County. A defendant who is convicted, by plea bargain or trial, for minor crimes gets stuck with court costs (average $400), fines, and if he had a court appointed lawyer, lawyer fees, then has to pay $65 a month to the probation department, and pay for drug testing. It adds up to hundreds of dollars a month. If they don't pay, the prosecutors file a motion to revoke. I've currently got a client who has been on probation for 10 years, was within a month of finishing, and the DA filed to revoke for missing payments seven years ago (and other alleged violations). This is all on top of the requirement to do unpaid community service, sometimes over 100 hrs over the term of the probation.
If you want to see the system in action, go down to the courthouse on motion day when one of the three criminal courts is in session and see how many people are caught in the net. Some are true thugs, some are average people who made a mistake, some are innocent, but they all sit down there all morning, away from work or school, waiting for their case to be called. The system grinds them down. A defendant from out of town, say Brownsville, who gets arrested for DWI or possession of marijuana, may have to come to court four or five times before his case is resolved. A lot of people give up and plead guilty because they can't keep missing work.

Friday, April 5, 2013

You Get What You Pay For - Ruskin's Common Law of Business Balance; Whitey Bulger and His FBI Cronies

The following quote has been attributed to John Ruskin (1819-1900) and is referred to as The Common Law of Business Balance:

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."

I am thankfully at a stage in my career where I don't have to "take whatever walks in the door," and I can be picky about what clients and cases I take on, and I can charge a fee that is fair and reasonable. The one change I am in the process of making is to renew old contacts in Houston so I can get involved in the oil and gas action in South Texas.

That said, if I were in my 20's I don't know if I'd go into law. There are way, way too many lawyers, the profession is held in such contempt by so many, and sometimes it gets old dealing with other people's messes day after day. A lot of good people get enmeshed in the criminal system. Then there are a lot of people who are true criminals, or losers who have gone through life blaming someone else - any one else - their daddy, mommy, teacher, boss, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, the army, etc. - for their misery. So, it's natural they'll blame their lawyer too.

I am reading a fascinating book by Kevin Cullen and Shelly Murphy, Whitey Bulger, America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice. Bulger was a stone cold killer - he'd kill anyone - women, children, innocent bystanders. For years he was protected by the Boston office of the FBI. They leaked information about people who were informing on Bulger, and got people killed. They covered up the murder of a Tulsa businessman and many others. It's pretty common knowledge that J. Edgar Hoover loved to go to the racetrack with his boyfriend and their mafia pals.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How much would you pay for a bad haircut? Or a bad lawyer?

I’ve recently encountered several people with serious legal problems who wanted to negotiate (lowball) my fees. Now, I will work with worthy clients on payment terms, and in civil cases will consider flexible, creative billing plans - a mix of hourly rate and contingent fee, for example. I’m not talking about those situations.

No, I’m talking about people who think they are going to beat me down to what would amount to an hourly rate of about 25 cents. Earlier this week, a man called me about a personal injury claim. He had been in a car wreck, and had soft tissue injuries - commonly known as whiplash. He wanted a board certified lawyer, which I am, and asked what my fee would be, and I told him the industry standard - 25% if the case settled before suit, 1/3 after suit was filed, and 40% if it went to trial. He told me that lawyers in San Antonio were working for 18%. I said good, go hire one and see what kind of recovery you get.

Then today, a young man with two misdemeanor criminal charges in San Antonio got snotty when I told him I would represent him for a reasonable fee, competitive for lawyers with my skills, experience and reputation. He said the last time he was in trouble in a much more serious case it had cost a lot less. I told him he should go back to that lawyer. He then wanted to negotiate, and I told him okay - the price just went up $2,000 because I can see you're going to be high maintenance and a pain in the ass.

I won’t compete on price. New law grads can’t find jobs. There will always be some lawyer out there who will take your case for rock bottom fees. I saw a sign in a hair salon one time that asked, how much would you pay for a bad haircut? It’s your freedom, or your children, or your property that’s at stake. How much would you pay for an inexperienced or crappy lawyer?

I've decided that I am going to be more consistent in what I charge clients on fixed fee cases. I respect my loyal clients, and would not feel right offering new clients a lower price. I don’t compete on price. I compete with a better product that continues to grow, as well as better service to keep my clients happy.

Remember, as some sage said:

"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten."

Rape of the Hill Country Skyline - CREZ Transmission Lines

I'd like to know why our elected officials allowed some sleazy corporate fat cats to deface the landscape through Kerr County, including the town of Kerrville itself. I remember the first time I drove on I-10 through Kerr County, with my recently widowed mother, remarking that this didn't look like Texas at all. It was bad enough when some religious fool put up a big, ugly metal gibbet on the hill behind the used car dealership north of the interstate because Jesus came to him in a hallucination with instructions - similar to Oral Roberts' delusion about a 700' Jesus appearing and telling him to raise millions more from the gullible - and the cheesy sculptures, the one closest to the road being Jesus in his kick ass mode sitting on a stallion with ram horns (I'm not making this up) and waving a sword like Darth Vader.

Now we have the CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) transmission lines blotting the landscape. The only good thing about them is they make the Coming King freak show insignificant.

I think T. Boone Pickens, who singlehandedly destroyed more jobs in the energy industry than Genghis Khan killed people, is one of the big players in the windmill scam. How many birds will the windmills kill ever year? Did our idiot governmental representatives do a cost-benefit analysis, comparing traditional energy sources - like the Eagle Ford and all the other shale plays - before they used our tax dollars to make a few crooks even richer?

Where the hell were the City of Kerrville (whose city attorney is paid about $175g a year when you add in all the benefits) and our county government (who also has a highly paid county attorney) and our state rep Harvey Hildebrand when this rape of our home went down?

Here's what's coming next - Pickens and his cronies want to lock up all the water in Texas, so they can sell it to the highest bidder. Under the "rule of capture," they can pump as much groundwater as they want as fast as they can - even if they deplete the Edwards and Ogalalla and all the other aquifers, and they'll find a way to take the water in the rivers too.

BEND OVER, TEXANS! We'll soon look like Houston's North Freeway.

Aryan Brotherhood/Mexican Cartels Alliance, Brazoria Co Pervert Judge

U.S. prosecutor quits Aryan case, citing security

A federal prosecutor in a major case in Houston against the notorious Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison gang has withdrawn over security concerns in the wake of the weekend killings of a Dallas-area district attorney and his wife, said a source familiar with the case.

Jay Hileman, an assistant U.S. Attorney, had been assigned to the case.

Houston defense attorney Gus Saper, who represents alleged Aryan gang leader Terry Ross Blake, confirmed prosecutor Hileman notified him he was no longer on the case.

Colorado suspect slipped ankle monitoring bracelet

The purpose of the AB is now power and is not a racial organization as it has been deemed in the past. The AB’s continue to be aligned with members of the Mexican Mafia (EME) and certain motorcycle type inmates. The publicly available documents illustrate that the Aryan Brotherhood has aggressively pursued alliances with larger and more powerful crime organizations throughout its history. They have smuggled, trafficked, and killed on behalf of groups of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities in order to turn a profit. They are hired guns (or fists, or knives, or prison shanks, depending on the situation).
It would be convenient for the media if the brutality in Texas turns out to be at the hands of a "white supremacist" group acting alone and on racial grounds. What would be less convenient is if a "white supremacist" group turned out to be working in conjunction with Mexican drug cartels in the middle of a politically charged debate on U.S. immigration policy.

God forgives. The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas does not

Eugene Crum Dead: Mingo County Sheriff Fatally Shot Near West Virginia Courthouse
Crum was eating lunch when a suspect drove by and fired at him, a county commissioner said, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. West Virginia House Delegate Justin Marcum said Crum enjoyed having his lunch in a place where he could see a former "pill mill" that was raided in 2010, the paper reported.

Crum was reportedly in his car when another vehicle pulled up alongside him. When Crum rolled down the window, he was shot twice, Marcum said, according to Charleston Daily Mail reporter Dave Boucher.

Brazoria County Pays $850K To Settle Judge Sex-Harassment Suit; Some NSFW Highlights Of The Many, Many Porn Sites He Visited On County Computers

Among the behavior Blackstock was accused of over the years, according to Armstrong and court records:

Investigation identified 19 victims between 1983 and 2008. Twelve of the women Blackstock sexually assaulted provided sworn statements and testified to conduct that included vice-like hugs, grabbing and fondling breasts, patting and squeezing buttocks, locking the door or blocking exit from his office and forcefully pushing women up against the wall, forcing a woman to give him oral sex, forceful kisses against their will, and frequent comments of a sexual and suggestive nature. Blackstock admitted to sending obscene video and pictures to women via County emails on County time and County computers. Read more at the houstonpress.com
Cypress youth minister gets 5 years for sex assault of child
A jury this week sentenced a youth minister to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child and online solicitation of a minor in 2011, according to the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors said that Chad Foster, 34, of Cypress, showed sexually explicit images of himself on Skype, a computer video communication system, to a 14-year-old girl. The girl told authorities she met Foster when he was a youth pastor at Second Baptist Church in northwest Houston, records state.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Real Killer of Chrsitina Morton convicted; Rattlesnake burns down house

Norwood given life in prison for Morton slaying
Twenty-six years after being wrongly convicted of his wife’s murder, Michael Morton reacted to a jury’s finding Wednesday afternoon that another man is guilty of the crime by briefly putting his hand over his heart.
The San Angelo jury took about three and a half hours to convict 58-year-old Mark Norwood, who received a life sentence for the 1986 killing of Christine Morton in Williamson County.

Nigerian Scams
What lawyer hasn't received a couple of thousand variants of this email:
"I need a lawyer that can help me with the property settlement and family support agreement I had with my ex-spouse. Am presently in Singapore and my ex spouse lives in your Jurisdiction, in your country."
I have to give these fraudsters credit for the creative names they dream up. This one is from Zarifar Zuckerberg.

If a lawyer is foolish enough to take the bait, the recalcitrant ex will be so intimidated by the threat of a lawsuit that he will immediately fed-x a cashier's check for the full amount due, a couple of hundred grand. The check looks real, the bank deposits it, and the funds are available the next day. The "client" is desperate for money, and emails the lawyer to pay himself a big fee and wire the balance to the client. Our lawyer is gleeful to have made such easy money, until the cashier's check bounces, and the bank demands he cover it, which he's required to do, since he endorsed the check.
A variation is that the "client" is an electronics company in China or Asia that needs a lawyer to collect unpaid accounts.

Leggett: Snake burns down house — only in Texas
A woman near Texarkana burned down her house with a snake.
I kid you not.
Here’s how it happened. She says she saw the snake in her yard and poured gasoline on it in an attempt to kill it. Then her son threw a lighted match and, according to news reports, that set the snake on fire.
Now as snakes tend to do when set on fire in the yard, this reptile streaked off in an attempt to get away from the flames.
Right into some nearby brush. That would be some drought dried brush, which immediately caught fire. This is what tends to happen to dry brush when exposed to a gasoline soaked, 3-foot long match in a snake suit.
The brush fire was out of control in no time, spreading quickly to the woman’s house and burning it down. The flames were intense enough that a neighbor’s house was damaged as well.

DA Murders, Stolen Heritage, South Texas Police Corruption

Texas DA's killing puts other prosecutors on alert

"KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) — After one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down in January, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland carried a gun everywhere, even when walking the dog.
On Saturday, McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found shot to death in their house. Authorities haven't said much about their investigation, including whether they have any leads or a theory about why the couple was killed. But law enforcement throughout Texas is on high alert, and steps are being taken to better protect other DAs and their staffs."

Stolen Heritage
I met a couple over the Easter weekend from Goliad who told me some of the history of that area I hadn't heard, involving, naturally, rich, powerful men (Anglos) who stole thousands of acres of land from Mexican families who had lived there for hundreds of years. They told me about a book, Stolen Heritage, by Abel Rubio. The book is out of print, so I was going to contact the author. Alas, when I googled his name, I found his obituary in the Victoria Advocate. Mr. Rubio was an admirable man. Orphaned at a young age, he volunteered for the Marines and served in the Korean War. He became a reporter, and spent years researching how his ancestors were cheated and extorted:
VICTORIA - Abel G. Rubio, Author, Historian and Speaker, passed away Monday, December 10, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Abel was born on August 13, 1930 in Goliad, Texas to Estefanita Garcia Rubio and Guillermo Rubio.

He was a direct descendant of some of the more prominent early old time Tejano ranching families who established and settled Refugio and Goliad Counties, the De La Garza, Cabrera and Becerra families. These ancestors explored and settled in the Texas wilderness over 300 years ago. He was a direct descendant of Juan Pedro Cabrera and Maria Rodriguez de Bega, from the Canary Islands, Spain, one of 15 families who helped establish a civil government in San Antonio de Bexar in 1731.
Perhaps some of his greatest contributions to Spanish/Mexican/Tejano History in Texas were some of his lectures, manuscripts and the writing of the book, "Stolen Heritage," a book on his families lost land grant. As Thomas Kreneck, historian and editor said, "He went about his task of writing and researching with the determination of a Marine and with the meticulousness of an Accountant." He searched county records, maps, standard histories and had many oral interviews with elder family members before putting information on paper. "Stolen Heritage" was written in memory of two of his most cherished ancestors: Great-Grandfather, Antonio de la Garza, a cattleman of the 1860's and 1870's, and his beloved wife, Abel's Great-Grandmother, Pomposa Bontan of Refugio County.

The villain of this story is Tom O'Connor, who could be the model for a Clint Eastwood western where the ruthless cattleman drivers out the original inhabitants. Sadly, there was no Clint Eastwood character to ride in and take up for the little people and evil prevailed.

Texas Observer online has a great article about law enforcement corruption in Hidalgo County, on the border, by Melissa del Bosque, titled Shadow of the Son. It starts:
"On a sweltering July afternoon in South Texas, Jose Perez found himself handcuffed in the front seat of a white Chevy Tahoe making his amends with God. His wife, also handcuffed, sat in the back seat, stricken with fear.

"Six armed men had just ransacked their home, turning over furniture and busting open cabinets, while another man pointed an assault rifle at their faces. The men wanted drugs. After finding nothing, they forced the 62-year-old Perez and his 59-year-old wife into the SUV. A man in a black Kevlar vest got behind the wheel, shouting obscenities and orders at the other men. He seemed like a man possessed, pulling at his hair and sweating profusely. He said they were cops from the Hidalgo County Police Department. But Perez knew no such agency existed, and he was terrified. These couldn’t be cops."

But they were cops, a gang straight out of the t.v. show "The Shield," led by none other than the son of the politically powerful sheriff.
Perez and his wife recounted the bizarre, frightening robbery and kidnapping to a sympathetic female officer at the police station. A security camera in Perez’s home had recorded the entire incident, he told her. Two internal affairs officers from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department arrived and asked to see the video. As the video rolled and the armed men came into the camera’s view, the color drained from the officers’ faces. “I know who that is,” one of them said. “That’s Jonathan Treviño. The sheriff’s son.”

The sheriff of Hidalgo County was Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño. The only things more important to the 64-year-old sheriff than his legacy as one of the most powerful law enforcement figures in South Texas were his three sons, especially his youngest, Jonathan, whom he was grooming to follow in his footsteps. The sheriff had engineered Jonathan’s quick rise in law enforcement. He made sure that Jonathan was appointed head of his own narcotics task force in late 2006—an unheard of assignment for a 22-year-old rookie fresh out of the academy. The six officers associated with the task force were Jonathan’s close friends, including Alexis Espinoza, who had his own family legacy to fulfill as the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rudy Espinoza. They called themselves the Panama Unit.

Robert Caples, a former sheriff’s deputy, since 2005 has been fighting the corruption in the sheriff’s department. Check out his Facebook page he’d formed for a group he called American Protection Specialists, which, according to its mission statement, was a “movement to protect our Texas-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley from drug cartels and corruption through reconnaissance and well-trained armed defenders.”American Protection Specialists.

Jury convicts ex-cop with child molestation past
An officer who spent five years with the China Grove Police Department despite a criminal history of child molestation was convicted Thursday of failure to register as a sex offender.

Daniel Casas Jr., who turns 50 Friday, now faces up to 20 years in prison.