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Sunday, January 31, 2016

More Dumbass Criminals

A Bastrop County Sheriff's Department deputy was arrested and charged with DWI Friday morning after an open bottle of vodka and an empty prescription bottle was found in his patrol vehicle, according to media reports.
Fred Ensinger, 43, who is running for county commissioner as a Republican, was taken into custody around 9 a.m. after he "was heard transmitting over his police radio with slurred speech and not making any sense,"

Kerrville Mayor Jack "Rambo" Pratt and the Cailloux Foundation Pull a Fast One on Sports Complex; City of Ingram rats jumping ship

What is going on with the City of Kerrville/Cailloux Foundation sports complex boondoggle?  City Council, led by Mayor Jack “Rambo” Pratt, voted a multimillion dollar bond to pay for athletic fields that no one needs or wants, and will suck up water that we don’t have. The Foundation was supposed to deed land on Holdsworth Drive to the city, but hasn’t. Someone is doing major construction out there, clearing land, hauling off dirt, and paving.
Here’s the best part – the land is the site of a major archeological site, and the construction workers are finding artifacts, including arrowheads and other weapons. It sounds like they are digging up major burial grounds. Where is the federal agency that protects Indian burial grounds from desecration?
For that matter, Mayor Rambo and his cronies at city hall and Cailloux know that legally they cannot disturb the ground until they have a permit from the Texas Historical Commission. Ben Modisett, the executive director of Cailloux Foundation, applied for a permit this past summer. In it he and his consultant from SWCA Environmental Consultants, promised no work would be done until the THC issued a permit. To my knowledge, no such permit has been issued, but the City and Cailloux are destroying the site. Is it so they can get away with it and then it will be a fait accompli ? I have the application and the SWCA report if anyone would like to see for themselves.

Jack Pratt got his nickname Rambo because of his false claims that he was a Green Beret who did five or six tours in Vietnam, when in fact, he was a personnel NCO who may have spent a month or so in air conditioned offices in Saigon.  What is it about Kerrville that these frauds come to town claiming to be former Navy Seals, combat pilots, and Special Forces/Delta and people believe them and never think to ask for a little verification? 

Meanwhile, the City of Ingram may even be as corrupt as Kerrville. They hired an apparently honest woman named Betty Brown to work in accounting, she took her job seriously, and Mayor James Salter fired her. What is he hiding?  Ms. Brown showed up at a council meeting with her lawyer, David Earl out of San Antonio, who I'm told is a bulldog who loves to sue politicians. Within a week of that council meeting, Salter resigned, as did the city administrator, and the city marshal. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cops in Trouble

A former Rio Grande City police investigator was sentenced Friday to seven years in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to provide a fake police report to a drug trafficker in exchange for $10,000, authorities said.
Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa sentenced Noel Peña, 29, a former police investigator assigned to the Starr County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, following his conviction of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

San Antonio man indicted on murder charge - Buy my burglar alarm or I'll kill you!
A grand jury here has issued a murder indictment against the door-to-door salesman of home security systems accused in the shooting death of a homeowner last November, according to a Bexar County District Attorney’s Office press release.

One woman said he choked her. Another said he threw a table at her when she refused sex. A third said he physically assaulted her and ​said,​ "kill yourself."

MU professor Melissa Click, who called for ‘muscle’ to remove reporter, charged with assault

Former University of Texas quarterback Vince Young arrested on DWI charge

South Texas police chief gets 5-year probation sentence, still running for sheriff
A South Texas police chief vying for the Republican nomination for sheriff got slapped with a five-year probation sentence for tampering with county records on Thursday.
John Chambers, chief of the Indian Lake Police Department, was convicted on 14 felony counts of tampering with governmental records on Jan. 8, KGBT reported.

Bond approved for UTSA student caught with pot at Fort Sam

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Kerrville Police kill fugitive; Bandera Co. ex-deputy off to Big House

Ex-deputy in Bandera County headed to prison
A former Bandera County sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 40 months in prison and fined $4,000 for misusing his government computer access as part of a narcotics trafficking conspiracy, court records show.
Thomas Cuellar, who’d worked as a bailiff/warrant officer at the Sheriff’s Department for three years until his arrest in 2011, was given until Jan 26 to surrender under the sentencing agreement approved last month by U.S. District Court Judge Alia Moses in Del Rio.
Cuellar, a resident of Hondo, was among 15 defendants allegedly linked to the Texas Syndicate, a prison gang, arrested in September 2011 in Medina and Uvalde Counties in a sweep led by the FBI and the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.

Kerrville officer kills fugitive during chase
Michael Clyde Lynch reportedly said “he’s not going back to jail, no matter what,” the Kerr sheriff said.

What not to do when first appear before a judge who can send you to prison:
UTSA student caught in pot bust at Fort Sam Houston gate not impressing judge

Prison Chaplain Won Employee Of The Year While Allegedly Sexually Assaulting Inmates

Friday, January 1, 2016

Most Disgraceful Judge of the Year - Jean Boyd, 'Affluenza Judge'; Update on Perry Cortese Criminal Case


My vote for worst judge of the year goes to Lucy Jean H. Boyd, the Tarrant County judge who gave 'affluenza teen' Ethan Couch probation for killing four people and maiming several others in a drunk driving incident.  You can read about it here: No jail for Ethan Couch, no justice for his many victims

From that article: Couch was 16 on June 15, when he lost control of a Ford F-350 pickup registered to his dad’s company and started a deadly chain of collisions on Burleson-Retta Road in southern Tarrant County. He would admit drunkenness after his blood alcohol tested at 0.24 percent. That’s three times the legal limit for an adult and infinity times what the law allows for a minor. He also had Valium in his system.

He managed to achieve his blissful state of wastedness by stealing beer from a Walmart before driving into two parked vehicles, killing a stranded driver, a youth minister who had stopped to assist and two other Good Samaritans who were trying to help.

Of the seven other teens jammed into Couch’s truck, four were tossed, and two remain seriously injured.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson called the crash “probably the most difficult accident scene we’ve ever had to work.”

While we're at it, let's give Couch's mom Tonya Couch the worst mother of the year award. Here are their mug shots from Mexico:

Intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony with a penalty range of 2-20 yrs, and the judge can stack the sentences, so the judge could have sentenced him to 80 yrs. on the death cases. Intoxication assault is third degree, 2-10 yrs. range, and those can be stacked. Couch was a minor at the time, but he could have been certified as an adult.

News reports stated that Couch and his friends reportedly stole two cases of beer from a store, and his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit when he killed the pedestrians. The judge sentenced him to probation with therapy, which he got at a cushy resort in California where the treatment included yoga, massage therapy, and equine therapy. Even that was too tough for the boy, who absconded with his mother to Mexico, after throwing a going away party. They got busted by U.S. Marshals this week in Puerto Vallarta. She also treated him to strip club outings.

The judge who gave him this slap on the wrist is one Lucy Jean H. Boyd. Before this fiasco she was a highly respected judge, judging from an online biography:

Boyd chairs the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, and was a member of the Board of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. She chaired the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar of Texas from 1993 to 1994. Boyd served as President of the Fort Worth-Tarrant Count Young Lawyers Association in 1985, and as President of the Tarrant County Women Lawyer's Association from 1982–1983.
The Silver Gavel Award (also known as the ABA Silver Gavel Awards for Media and The Arts) is an annual award the American Bar Association gives to honor outstanding work by those who help improve comprehension of jurisprudence in the United States.

She apparently doesn't understand the 6th Amendment right to a public trial, and that this means what it says - a judge cannot close the courtroom to the public and press. She was chastised in a “right-to-know” decision when Texas’ 2nd District Court of Appeals in Fort Worth unanimously ruled that State District Judge Jean Boyd abused her discretion by closing her juvenile courtroom twice early this year during a murder trial.

In another case, Boyd she reluctantly sentenced a 14-year-old black boy to juvenile detention for killing someone with one, powerful punch. Anita Lauterbach, the victim’s mother, remembers Boyd pushing for rehabilitation. Much to her relief, no facility would take the offender.

Over thirty thousand persons signed an online petition to remove Boyd from the bench after the Boyd's ruling in the Couch case. She did have enough sense to read the writing on the wall and decided not to run for reelection.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/jim-witt/article3869872.html#storylink=cpy

Update on Perry Cortese Mail Fraud/Money Laundering Case

Perry Cortese, familiar to lawyers in the Kerrville area, got indicted last year in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, in a multi-defendant international wire fraud/money laundering case. The federal judge required Cortese to post a $500,000 bond. He has asked the court to modify his bond conditions, and the Government has responded in part:

"Cortese was, in many respects, Ellis’ trusted partner and consigliere in this
international criminal enterprise. Cortese used his position as an attorney to
make sure that frauds were carried out successfully and that the swindled
proceeds moved uninterrupted through a network of funnel accounts overseas,
taking his cut of the money as it passed through. Not only did Cortese establish
and use his IOLTA accounts for these purposes, he was actively involved in
obtaining money from victims and coordinating with money mules throughout the
course of the conspiracy."

The Government continues, "That Cortese is an attorney is another strike against him in this regard.
The gross abuse of his position of trust here suggests that Cortese cannot be
relied on to appear in this matter of his own accord. Rather, it is appropriate that
he face a substantial encumbrance of personal property and restrictions on his
liberty if released. Cortese was not merely a lawyer who crossed a gray line while
earnestly trying to help a client, but someone who abandoned his professional
responsibilities altogether and chose to become a dyed-in-the-wool criminal. In
this respect, his prior bona fides as an attorney cut against him. Put simply, if he
was so willing to betray his obligations as an officer of the court and a member of
the bar, then there is no reason to believe him when he says that he will appear in
this case because of his vocation. The likely loss of his license was never a
concern to him before and certainly will not be now."

"Moreover, based on specific wire transfers discussed in email
communications between members of this conspiracy, agents have conservatively
estimated that Cortese and his co-conspirators have attempted to defraud victims
out of more than $5 billion."

Here's the kicker - the Government's response says "the potential criminal exposure to Cortese
based on these loss figures, alone, amounts to a period of incarceration in the decades. If convicted and held accountable for that loss, he will likely spend the
rest of his natural life in prison. Taken together, Cortese has an impressive incentive to flee."

The Government can say just about anything it wants to in a court pleading, and
Cortese has the same right to due process as any citizen charged with a crime, including the presumption of innocence.