Shout out to Michael A. Warner of Amarillo for his recent not guilty verdict in the 47th District Court in Potter County. D, charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, was the stepfather of the 8-year-old alleged victim—who testified that D had taken “sticks” and put them in her bottom “twice a year for various years.” English was the 3rd-grade victim’s second language. Counsel asked the little girl to spell “various,” and she was not able (“various” appearing in the counselor’s notes numerous times). Michael’s defense was that victim’s mother and D were both here illegally, and mother was attempting to get a visa by being the parent of a sexual crime victim. Mother got a free immigration attorney, divorce attorney, $3,000 in crime victim’s compensation from the State, money to move to Washington state to be near girl’s daddy, utilities paid for in Amarillo, and a housing subsidy in Washington. Mother also got most of the property in the divorce. Jury, out just 2½ hours, believed it was a made-up story for financial gain by mother and an attempt to stay in the country instead of being deported. Congratulations on a big win, Michael.
Kudos to Waxahachie warrior Mark Griffith for his win in an 8-day trial—where the State put on evidence for 7½ days. Mark says, “Our defense took three witnesses and about 2 hours.” The charge was indecency with a child. On cross the child admitted to lying to the jury on 21 occasions under oath. Further, during questioning of the child witnesses, Mark asked her why she changed her testimony from one day to the next, and she pointed at the prosecutor and said, “She told me I needed to change my story.”
Mark adds, “At the end of all evidence the Judge would not let me do a full offer of proof on witness tampering on the part of the prosecutor.” But he’s ordered a transcript and a grievance against both prosecutor and the Judge—for not filing a grievance against the prosecutor for tampering with a witness. After the charge was read to the jury and they left the courtroom, the Judge told Mark he’d let him know when they wanted to go to lunch, but Mark said wait, they wouldn’t go to lunch: A not-guilty verdict would come within 25 minutes. It took 21 minutes. Mark credits co-counsel Sarah Duncan and Makenzie Keene, in intern going into her third year at Tech Law, as invaluable in instant research and for showing the wisdom and compassion of true warriors. And he adds: “Always trust a jury. They see straight through the BS if you point it out to them.“
A tip of the hat to Denton’s Bruce Isaacks and Camila Francino for their recent wins. D was charged with a second-degree felony possession of a controlled substance, enhanced to a first-degree felony punishment. Arresting officer found a ziplock bag inside a bag in the backseat of D’s car and a smaller ziplock bag inside a camouflage bag in the front seat. The DPS lab didn’t test substance in the small bag, only what was in the big one in the back. The bag contained no identifying information, and testimony showed there were other people in the back seat earlier that day. The jury returned the big NG.
The next week the pair went to trial on an assault family violence case, arguing defense of property. Once again, the jury returned a quick not guilty verdict. Congratulations, Bruce and Camila, on a nice week’s worth of work.
Shout out to TCDLA Past President Sam Bassett and TCDLA Associate Board Member Rick Flores for their recent win in a criminally negligent homicide trial in Travis County. D confronted another man on the street who had inappropriately touched his wife and another woman inside a bar. D pushed the man, who tripped and fell, fractured his skull, and died. The State focused its case on causation—while Sam and Rick argued that D could not have been aware that there was a substantial and unjustifiable risk that death would result from the shove. The jury agreed and ruled not guilty. Good work, guys, for a big win.
Kudos to E. X. Martin of Dallas for his recent win in a Breach Of Computer Security jury trial. He notes that the state offered a misdemeanor plea deal, which they turned down. The jury took only 15 minutes to agree, so apparently it was the right move.
Past president Gerry Goldstein sent along this shout out: “We all know of the countless spectacular and incredible courtroom victories of our able Brothers, Dick DeGuerin and Mark Stevens. What I’d like to recognize and we too often do not adequately praise are those cases that require remarkable sacrifice, courage, and stamina of our Brothers and Sisters who spend literally months in federal court standing up against impossible odds. Mark and Dick deserve our respect and kudos for their remarkable efforts in the Bandidos’ trial that ended here in San Antonio yesterday. At every moment and every turn they embodied the best tradition of our profession!”