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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Billie Sol Estes - King of the Texas conmen

Flamboyant Texas swindler Billie Sol Estes dies
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Billie Sol Estes, a flamboyant Texas huckster who became one of the most notorious men in America in 1962 when he was accused of looting a federal crop subsidy program, has died. He was 88. Estes reigned in the state as the king of con men for nearly 50 years. He was best known for the scandal that broke out during President John F. Kennedy's administration involving phony financial statements and non-existent fertilizer tanks. Several lower-level agriculture officials resigned, and he wound up spending several years in prison.
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/texas/article/Flamboyant-Texas-swindler-Billie-Sol-Estes-dies-4515130.php#ixzz2TIIB6U9I

If JFK hadn't been assassinated, LBJ probably would have gone down with Billie Sol. Numerous congressional committees were looking into the mess. An agriculture department employee who wouldn't off was found was found dead, a "suicide," with multiple gunshot wounds from a bolt action .22 rifle.

Bexar County Sheriff Antics

First, a Bexar County detention officer had part of his ear bitten off Sunday by a co-worker after the two fought while on duty at Bexar County Jail.
Earlier, another Bexar County detention officer — already under investigation for a felony theft charge — was arrested, officials said, after he assaulted his wife.
And on Thursday, a Bexar County deputy was arrested on a charge of obstructing the arrest of a wanted felon.
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Counseling-chaplaincy-to-follow-misbehavior-4512417.php#ixzz2TGbirab8

Travis County DA Lehmberg released from jail
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was released from the Travis County Jail early Thursday after serving time on a drunken driving charge.
Lehmberg, who was sentenced April 19 to 45 days in jail, served half of her jail term under a law that gives two days credit for every day served for good behavior.
“In the coming days, Rosemary will be making arrangements to seek professional treatment and better understand her behavior,” Lehmberg’s legal team said in a formal statement. _________
What's to understand - if you drink don't drive. And, the voters have the right to reject someone who would sit in judgment on others then commit the same crimes

DPS official charged with DWI will resign
A high-ranking Texas Department of Public Safety official charged with driving while intoxicated last week will resign from his post Friday, according to the agency.
Richard Lee Hooks, the 57-year-old state coordinator for the Capital area, was stopped early May 2 after police said he was driving on Texas 71 East with his headlights off, according to the arrest affidavit.

FBI Agent Charged In Shooting Death Of Wife
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- An FBI agent who told police in Virginia that he fatally shot his estranged wife last month has been charged in her death.

Media outlets say 43-year-old Arthur Gonzales was charged Friday with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the April 19 shooting death of Julie Serna Gonzales.

Lord he's a stabbin', ramblin' man! Allman Brothers tour manager spends only 18 months in jail after argument with club owner turns deadly
Twiggs Lyndon claimed temporary insanity in the 1970 fatal slashing of Angelo Aliotta. He convinced a judge that the rock 'n roll touring lifestyle led him to kill

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/justice-story/allman-brothers-tour-manager-dodges-hard-time-1970-fatal-stabbing-article-1.1341527#ixzz2T55UMJdv

Fight between jailers sends one to hospital
A fight between two jailers Sunday morning left one hospitalized and both under investigation by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, a spokesman said in an emailed statement.
The names of the detention officers weren't released.
“What began as a disagreement between the two officers escalated into a physical altercation,” Sheriff's Office spokesman Paul Berry's email said about the 10 a.m. fight.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Fight-between-jailers-sends-one-to-hospital-4509921.php#ixzz2TAo7P12u

More Kerrville Daily Times Headlines - Real or Fake?

Beauties from Ingram and Center Point Tie for Texas Possum Queen

The Price of Justice: a True Story of Greed and Corruption

I have just finished reading the new nonfiction book by Laurence Leamer, The Price of Justice: a True Story of Greed and Corruption. The cover has a quote from John Grisham, "Superb, this is a book I wish I had written."
It's a riveting account of how a thuggish coal baron named Don Blankenship has raped and pillaged the people and countryside of West Virgina, and how two lawyers have spent more than a decade trying to bring him to justice. The lawyers are David Fawcett and Bruce Stanley from Pittsburg. They represented a businessman named Hugh Caperton, who owned a coal mine and his biggest customer was one of Blankenship's companies. Blankenship not only breached a long term contract, he set out to deliberately destroy Caperton's company. When he lost the jury trial, he spent millions to get his handpicked flunkies elected to the W. Va. Supreme Court. He vacationed with one judge and their far younger girlfriends in France. Meanwhile, they all cut a deal with Robin Jean Davis, the chief justice, whose husband is the biggest plaintiff's lawyer in the state. The other judges ruled in his favor, and she sold her soul to sell justice down the river.

The case ended up at the Supreme Court, who ruled 5/4 that one judge, a flunkie named Brent Benjamin, should have recused himself after he got over $2MM from Blankenship.

Blankenship continued to run over the people of W. Va., and his flagrant disregard of safety caused a mine disaster that killed almost 30 men. Meanwhile, his illegal dumping of toxic wastes poisoned the water tables, causing untold misery and grief.

This really is a great book.

Coke Stealing Judge, Marine Goes Wacko, Man Gets Away With Murder

Ex-Judge Charged With Stealing Cocaine From Cases
PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – The Pennsylvania State Police have charged a western Pennsylvania judge with stealing cocaine from evidence in cases he presided over before he abruptly resigned last year.

According to police, the charges against former Washington County Judge Paul Pozonsky will be prosecuted in Washington County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael Ahwesh.

Former DA convicted in corruption trial
BROWNSVILLE — A jury on Friday night found former Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos guilty on all but two corruption charges after two weeks of testimony that he took bribes to influence cases before him.
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Former-DA-convicted-in-corruption-trial-4547062.php#ixzz2UJIiem4l

The Houston Chronicle has a great blog on the legal scene there:
Houston Chronicle Narco Confidential blog

Man avoids murder charge due to double jeopardy
DALLAS (AP) — Six days after Sharone Sylvester Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend, authorities learned she had died. They arrested Brown and wanted to try him for murder.
But police ended up letting Brown go due to "double jeopardy."
Police and prosecutors lament the oversight that allowed Brown's case to fall into a legal loophole: Since he had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault after the death of Sherry Whitacre, he couldn't be tried on a more serious charge for the same crime, The Dallas Morning News (http://dallasne.ws/11l2Ts9) reported.
Had the 61-year-ol
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/texas/article/Man-avoids-murder-charge-due-to-double-jeopardy-4551143.php#ixzz2UaV0bUWc

Officials: Gunman in Texas rampage was Marine
EDEN, Texas (AP) — A man suspected in a West Texas shooting rampage that left one woman dead and five others wounded was a Marine who was wanted for questioning in a slaying in North Carolina, officials said Monday.
The rampage Sunday morning ended when Esteban J. Smith, 23, of the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, N.C., died in a gunfight with an agency trooper and a state game warden, said Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Six others were shot, one fatally, in the pre-dawn rampage across West Texas' rolling plains, Vinger said in a statement issued Monday.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/texas/article/Officials-Gunman-in-Texas-rampage-was-Marine-4551439.php#ixzz2UaVZR9xP

Friday, May 24, 2013

Abusive Galveston Judge Indicted

The following stories are excerpted from Mary Flood's great blog on the Houston Chronicle, Houston Legal

Indicted Galveston judge suspended
GALVESTON - A state commission Thursday suspended a Galveston judge without pay, a day after he was arrested on eight criminal charges related to his conduct in office.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued an order suspending County Court-at Law Judge Christopher Dupuy at 4:24 p.m., citing the indictments against Dupuy.
Dupuy's appearance back on the job was troubling for Greg Enos, one of the three attorneys cited in the indictments as the victims of official oppression, obstruction or retaliation, and abuse of official capacity in Dupuy's court.

"He is clearly innocent until proven guilty," Enos said, "But he's not a plumber, he's a judge, and if he cares about how people perceive our system, he should step aside.

Dupuy is accused of ordering Enos to stop representing a client and of fining Enos $25,000 in response to Enos' efforts to have a case transferred.

More than 1,200 DWI cases may be compromised
Defense lawyers said Thursday that problems with a DPS supervisor in Conroe tasked with regulating alcohol testing machines and the police officers who operate them could affect more than 1,200 DWI cases.

Glenn Merkord was suspended for 30 days this month for renewing certifications for machine operators who had not fulfilled all of the requirements for certification, according to a letter the Department of Public Safety sent Merkord notifying him of his punishment.
In April, a former forensic examiner in Houston's DPS crime lab was criticized by the state's Forensic Science Commission for years of problems and a dubious understanding of chemistry. Nearly 5,000 drug cases analyzed by Jonathan Salvador statewide remain in question because of his shoddy work, the commission found.

Salvador resigned last year after a Texas Rangers investigation found he had falsely claimed to have tested a drug sample but actually used results from another case.

In 2009, another technician, Deetrice Wallace, was convicted of faking inspections of the machines, invalidating hundreds of DWI convictions. Wallace was sentenced to a year behind bars for three counts of tampering with a governmental record.

From the S.A. Express -

Boerne cop arrested after cat shot with crossbow

A Boerne police officer is on administrative leave and facing a criminal charge in the shooting of a neighbor's cat with an arrow Wednesday while he was off-duty.
Lance Deleon, a 41/2-year member of the force, was charged with animal cruelty, a state jail felony, and held at Kendall County Jail before being released on $2,000 bond late Wednesday, Police Chief Jim Kohler said.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Boerne-cop-arrested-after-cat-shot-with-crossbow-4544433.php#ixzz2UDD6iIAG

Monday, May 20, 2013

Texas Slave Ranch Book On Amazon Kindle

My ebook about the Texas Slave Ranch case is available for purchase on Amazon Kindle. Go to Amazon.com and enter my name and/or The Texas Slave Ranch. I revised it and this edition includes about 20 pictures that I got from the District Clerk's file or licensed from the San Antonio Express News.

I tried not to focus on the brutality, although there's no way not to talk about it. My focus is more on why it happened, and also on the trial and why a jury of supposedly God-loving, patriotic law n' order Texans essentially let a bunch of degenerates that could have stepped out of the movie Deliverance, or the three monsters in Cleaveland who held those poor girls captive as sex slaves, get away with kidnapping, torture and murder.

Having the money to hire Racehorse Haynes didn't hurt the defense. Dan Cogdell was a young lawyer, and he did a great job too. The funniest line in the whole trial was when he said that a witness was the kind of person you see in the supermarket tabloids, "I was Bigfoot's love slave."

Saturday, May 11, 2013

West Virginia - Most Corrupt State Supreme Court?

There's a state that may be even more corrupt that Texas - West Virginia. I recommend this new book:

The Price of Justice: Death, Corruption, and an Epic Fight Against America's Most Powerful Coal Baron
by Laurence Leamer

It's the true story of how a thug robber baron named Don Blankenship bought the Supreme Court of West Virginia and used it, mafia style, to crush anyone who dared protest when he raped them. He ordered his managers to fake safety data and drills, and cut corners. A mine explosion killed 29 men as a result. He broke contracts and destroyed companies. He dumped toxic wastes in people's drinking water. And the W.Va. Supreme Court was a willing accomplice.
Two Pittsburgh lawyers, Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley, had the courage to take him on. "The West Virginia justices did not hear Caperton until October 2007. As Fawcett got up to make his case, Blankenship’s closest friend on the court, judge Elliott Maynard, got up and left, not returning until the Pittsburgh attorney was finished. The following day, according to judge Larry Starcher who was present, his colleagues spent less than a minute deciding to overturn the lower court’s verdict. They did so without even determining what reason they would choose to do so. That could come later.
Photos surfaced showing Blankenship and his longtime friend and Supreme Court of West Virginia justice Elliott Maynard on vacation together in the South of France in July 2006.
Fawcett and Stanley put it all on the line. Something unheard of may happen - Blankenship may get indicted by the feds.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Some Recent Headlines from the Kerrville Daily Times

See if you can spot the real headlines and the ones I made up:

Bluebonnets, Barbed Wire and Quails: a Retrospective at the Museum of Western Art

Home Town Hero: Fifty Years of Perfect Attendance at Rotary and Sunday School

San Angelo Resident Accused of Drunk Driving

Ingram Students, Teacher, Write Original Play

First Jew in 50 Years Moves to Kerrville

County Pays for Slave Ranch Memorial Marker

I'll tell the answers tomorrow.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New York Pervert/Molester Lawyer Gets Slap on Wrist

Here's a good one to teach the kiddies. For months, women in New York were terrorized by a pervert who groped them, stuck a camera up their dress to photograph their nether regions, etc. When the degenerate was caught he was - a lawyer!! Apparently one highly regarded by the judges in the Big Apple - they gave him probation, and let him keep his law license!

And get this - he teaches Sunday School. Maybe he should move to Kerrville.

Is it any wonder that the public hates our guts?
You can read it online at the New York Daily News.
A Brooklyn lawyer who turned out to be Manhattan's notorious serial "Gentleman Groper" got a wrist-slap, no-jail sentence today that may let him even keep his law license.

Paul Kraft, 31, had pleaded guilty in March to a string of five between-the-leg gropings of random pedestrian women, disturbing attacks committed throughout the Upper East Side and lower Manhattan in February and March last year.

The creepy crime wave earned headlines last year, when sidewalk surveillance footage showed the same dapper-dressed suspect doing all the grabbing.