November 18, 2015, was a red-letter day for the Herrmann & Weaver law firm of Amarillo. TCDLA member Walt Weaver notched an NG in Carson County on a bust of 52 pounds of meth. Seems his Kentucky client bought a car at an online auction, and during transportation from California to Kentucky, he was stopped for a trailer violation. Client consented to a search, and a lengthy search revealed nothing. The right rear tire, however, contained 52 pounds of meth and 3.62 pounds of heroin. D reported that he never touched the vehicle, and that the car was loaded onto the trailer by a frontloader at the auction lot. The police did not fingerprint the car, the tire, the wheel, or the drug packaging because . . . they just don’t do that. Jury kicked it after four hours of deliberation.
Meanwhile, partner Paul Herrmann heard the two-word verdict on a Sexual Assault of a Child case in Amarillo. D had a problem with a 15-year-old child who kept running away and had a sexual relationship with her 18-year-old boyfriend. D called the cop assigned the runaway issue and self-reported that child was now accusing him of sexual assault in retaliation for keeping her away from boyfriend. D is nevertheless arrested without any additional investigation. Forty days after outcry, Forensic Interview and SANE completed on child. Jury took an hour to end it.
Kudos, guys, for a job well done. All in a day’s work, eh?
Danny Easterling sent along congrats on the listserve to Stan Schneider and Casie Gotro for a big win in district court. District Judge Stacey Bond ruled that D should not have to suffer through double jeopardy because of a pattern of misdeeds by prosecutors and ruled that charges against him be dismissed. The judge said prosecutors with Harris County District Attorney’s Office intentionally forced a mistrial because the doctor was going to be found not guilty. Double jeopardy habeas relief followed the mistrial of a two-week sex assault of a child case where the defendant was a physician. Judge Bond hammered the prosecutor for her conduct in her findings and found the prosecutor deliberately goaded Stan into moving for a mistrial during final argument in the face of an impending acquittal. As Danny remarked, “Stan and Casie did a great job, and kudos to Judge Bond on her brave and independent ruling.”
Pat McLain got the best of all possible kudos, this from a client: “Mr. McLain guided me through the hardest part of my life. I had spent almost five years in the Marine Corps when I received false allegations of illegal drug use (positive urinalysis). . . . Got retained in the USMC and will be discharged honorably next week; I very highly doubt I would have achieved this outcome if not for the expertise and experience of Mr. McLain. . . Hiring Mr. Mclain was the smartest decision I ever made because my career is priceless to me. He saved my GI bill (which is worth $100,000 alone), my security clearance, and the prestige of having served honorably.” Sounds like a ringing endorsement, Pat. Congratulations.
Kudos to Richard Gladden of Denton for his work taking on all small Texas communities (5,000 and under) who have passed sex offender residence restrictions that are even more limiting than the state law, restricting where sex offenders can live. As Bill Habern noted in his praise of Richard: “These cities failed to notice that there is an AG opinion indicating these communities have no authority to pass such limitations. Richard Gladden with the assistance of Texas Voices gave notice to 46 small communities they needed to revoke their ordinances or face a lawsuit. Slowly these communities seem to be realizing Richard meant business, and are changing their ordinances.”
Bill also notes that Mary Sue Molnare, the force behind the Texas Voices sex offender family support group, has been instrumental, seeing to the funding of expenses of Richard’s pro bono efforts statewide. Bill and Richard have in the past taken on a couple federal civil rights cases, and Mary Sue attended every one.
All three are deserving of the respect of the association for their continued efforts in behalf of a group often beat up in society. Keep up the fight, Richard.