The Campaign For DA


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Yet another thing I didn't remember. The verdict: He was acquitted on three counts of perjury, but found guilty of one count of Obstruction for "misleading" a grand jury. I ranted against the Obstruction verdict at the time. In 2015, a federal appellate court overturned the conviction for insufficient evidence.

  • That Burleson police shooting ended up to be a wild story. As I understand it by deciphering this story from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, this is what we know:
    • It started as a traffic stop at 4:15 a.m. in a residential neighborhood not far from the Burleson High School stadium. 
    • A Burleson officer was shot three times (he will survive.)
    • There were three people in that car: Two men and one woman. The woman was in the front passenger seat.
    • They then drive away and abandon the car about a mile south. It tried to figure out from the news reports where all this happened and here's my best re-creation: The shooting is at the top red x and the car is  abandoned near the bottom "x". It is burned. 

    • Here's where it gets wilder. At 7:15 a.m. the three approach the house of Phillip Waddell and the female, wet and muddy, "bangs" on the door. Waddell "met the suspects with a shotgun and yelled at them to get off his property."
    • The Waddell house (approximately at the circle below) looks to be about a mile from where the car was abandoned (at the "x"): 

    • Waddell's mother, Robin, lived "across from" Phillip, and he was in contact with her. At 8:15 a.m. Robin texted Phillip and told him she was going to sit on the porch and watch the helicopters involved in the search for the people.
    • It now gets really crazy. At 8:45 a.m., Robin Waddell, 61, shows up on foot at the Burleson PD with gun shot wounds. She had been "carjacked." She later died. 
    • Cops, with the license plate number of Robin's vehicle, enter it into a database of license plate readers located around the state. (I've told you for years they exist.) Later that morning, an automated reader in Denton gets a hit showing the vehicle headed north on I-35. Two men are in the vehicle based upon police observations according to the Star-Telegram report. 
    • I'm not sure what exactly happened after that, but Jerry Don Elders, 39, was arrested around 2:00 p.m. in some woods in Gainesville. They think he is the shooter and was driving the car at the time of the initial stop in Burleson. 

    • I don't know about the other guy. The Star-Telegram says they "were still searching for him in Gainesville on Wednesday evening." NBC5, however, says he has been "located" but didn't imply that he was with Elder at all in Gainesville. 
    • The female who has with them has been "interviewed." 
  • A general manager from Allen Samuels Auto Group gave Baylor coach Scott Drew a Jeep at the victory parade two days ago and added he could use it to "recruit, pull some people out of the hood."  Video. Baylor gave the Jeep back and issued a statement

  • Man, there was a wild fight on Fox News last night between Dan Bongino and Geraldo Rivera. Two clips of it are here

  • The Texas Senate voted yesterday to have the government set the policy of what a private hotel can allow on its premises. 

  • I've written another Two Act Play.
    • Act I

    • Act II

  • Hey, Josh, remind me why they are there.

  • Never a question about this one.

  • For clarity, Trump actually raised the troop level to 14,000, but then struck a deal with the Taliban in February 2020 to remove all U.S. Troops. Biden is just honoring that agreement (but actually extending the deadline from May to September.) Still, let's get out there.
    Preach on!

  • Photo of how it all started in Afghanistan on October 5, 2001, below. I remember it was a Sunday and the announcement came shortly after noon. I was in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport and remembered watching a lady cry as a group gathered around a car to listen to the radio broadcast. I wondered then if she was over-reacting. To this day, I'm still not sure.

  • Nerdy Legal Stuff: Government officials get sued all the time, but I'm curious about a case on the Wise County district court docket today filed against the D.A.'s office for the simple reason that, after much Googling, I discovered the Plaintiff's lawyer has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court before. (Local cause no. CV20-10-827.) I'll have to find out what it's about. 
  • Pete Rose turned 80 yesterday. That doesn't seem right. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

The next day . . . 

The shooting wasn't intentional but got a lot notoriety because it was captured on video on Christmas Eve. The conviction was affirmed the next year.    It is possible he has been released because TDC doesn't list him as an inmate. He would have become eligible for parole in 2017.

  • New this morning. I haven't heard an update. 

  • Near Love Field late yesterday:

  • That story doesn't say who the alleged victim was, but here's a flashback from May, 2020: 

  • The Baylor basketball team was honored at the Capitol in Austin yesterday, but there was an awkward moment in the Senate. As various Senators took turns sucking up to the team who stood at the front of the hall, Senator Larry Taylor out of Galveston decided he would briefly reflect on when coach Scott Drew first arrived at Baylor.  He told the crowd: "If you'll remember . . . those were pretty dreadful times in the history of Baylor. We actually had one player kill another player." (Video at 17:30 mark.)

    Cut to Scott Drew's reaction.
  • I caught a little bit of the noon press conference in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, yesterday and it was a disaster. Because they had no scene control, city leaders just stood up there and took a beating from local activists who didn't ask questions but gave speeches. What a mess. (And take that dang cap off.) 

  • Brooklyn Center fired its police chief who said the death of Daunte Wright was due to an "accidental discharge" and replaced him with someone who is ill equipped for the job. "I don't have a plan. I'll work on a plan," new Chief Tony Gruening actually said, adding, "I was just informed less than a half-hour ago [that I'm the new Chief.] There's just a lot of chaos going on right now. We're just trying to wrap our heads around the situation . . . . ."

  • Local city councils are one step closer to losing control over the budget of its police departments.

  • We are also one step closer to open carry without a license in Texas. For the first time ever, it will get a vote on the House floor on Thursday. Meanwhile in Austin yesterday:

  • President Biden at Capitol officer Billy Evans memorial service yesterday. The return to normalcy continues. 

  • I mentioned the unsolved Missy Bevers case out of Midlothian a couple of months ago, and the Dallas Morning News has a story on it today. Have I ever mentioned she grew up in Jacksboro and graduated from high school there in 1988? (A faithful reader pointed that out to me.)

  • The Census Bureau said yesterday that it expects to release the new state population numbers in the next two weeks. I'm not sure why that excites me so much. 
  • Fun sports quick hit:

  • Messenger: Above the fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

This "going back 10 years" bit has pretty much convinced me I don't remember anything at all. I certainly don't remember this.  But $299 for a softball bat still shocks me today.    

  • Breaking: The FDC and CDC are recommending pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine after adverse reactions to it.  Somehow six cases "of a severe type of blood clot" out of more than 6.8 million doses administered is enough to recommend the pause.  
    • I find this pause to be shocking and irresponsible. My Bridgeport math puts the odds of the blood clot at . . . 

    • The narrative on Facebook by noon will be "All the vaccines will kill you! The CDC said that! Didn't you see it! I tried to tell ya the government rushed it!"
    • Somehow the same people who are fine with over a half million people dying of the disease will justify not getting the vaccine because 6 people developed blood clots.
  • Random thoughts on the shooting of Daunte Wright by Officer Kim Potter.

    • The Chief of Police said this: "As I watch the video and listen to the officer's commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet . . . ."
      • We all agree with this, right? The officer actually thought she had the Taser in her hand.  I mean, it might be bizarre to make that kind of mistake (especially as a 26 year veteran officer), but she did actually believe it, right? 

    •  The Chief continued: [T]his was an accidental discharge, that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright."  
      • <Insert loud record scratch.> Say what? There was nothing "accidental" about the discharge of the weapon. It would be an accidental discharge if it went off when she didn't intend for it to go off. 
      • That was incredibly sloppy language for a prepared statement which he knew would be broadcast across the nation (and world.) 
    • Will they charge Officer Potter with murder? She shouldn't be.  She intended to tase him; she didn't intend to kill him. Murder should be off the table. 

    • What about criminal negligence (at least its Texas equivalent)? Ok, I can go with that. 
      • Criminal negligence in Texas means that she "ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist [she is holding a gun instead of a taser] or the result [the death] will occur.  The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint." I think all the elements exist here. Honestly, it fits really, really well. 
      • Should she be incarcerated?  I'm not sure she belongs to put in a cage because of a mistake. I'm not sure anyone belongs there for a mistake -- even a horrible one. 
    • In an attempt to seek comparisons, this case, in my humble opinion, has worse facts that that of the Amber Guyger wrongful shooting case. 
      • I actually understood how Amber could end up on the wrong floor and think she was entering her own apartment. It certainly didn't seem like a "gross deviation" of what would happen to a normal person or that she "ought to be aware" of the circumstances or that a death would occur because of the mistake. 
      • How Amber was convicted of murder -- not even criminally negligent homicide -- is still mind-boggling to me. 
      • Sorry, I digressed. 
    • Back to Brooklyn Center, MN. Sure we hear the same old comments of "he would be alive" if he had "obeyed the police" or "didn't try to run." 

  • Spoiler alert: The microchip is not inserted when you get the vaccine. (This story was actually on 60 Minutes last Sunday.)

  • This headline is a shot at both Trump and Biden, but it's misleading. Can anyone think of anything different between the periods of October 2020 to March 2021 when compared to the period of October 2019 to March 2020? 

  • This is worth watching. You'll remember the Inside Edition interview because of how creepy Copeland acted.  But one thing which I find surprising in his recent explanation of that interview is that how he tells the congregation that it is "his jet" instead of saying it is "our jet" or the "the church's jet." Maybe I shouldn't feel that way. (I always say Wise County gets to claim Copeland because the church and airstrip is closer to Newark than it is to any other town or city.)

  • University of North Texas pitcher was so good she made The Washington Post. (She also struck out 21 in a game in February but somehow managed to give up five hits back then.)  

  • The fire in Big Bend reminds me how I need to make it to Big Bend. I've never been. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

This never did become big news despite the fact that a U.S. service man was killed by our own drone.  He was 26 years old and graduated from Arlington Martin.   

  • The pepper spraying of a soldier has been all over the news this weekend. I just figured out it happened last December. 

  • I got my second Pfizer shot on Thursday and, man, did it hit me. I was relatively fine until exactly 24 hours after shot when I went downhill dramatically. For the next three hours I was shivering in bed and aching. And, since it was the worst I had felt in years, I was on the verge of thinking something had gone horribly wrong.   Then, as suddenly as it had hit me, it was gone. Weird. 
    • I'm now join the ranks of only 1 in 5 Texans who are fully vaccinated.  

    • If I had to guess, I'd say at least a third of the  the population will never get the vaccine. Why? Down deep they think COVID was no big deal and believe the whole thing was overblown. It's now their little protest against The Man to not get the vaccine. 

  • Hail storms didn't impact us on Friday, but they did to the south and east of Dallas. Check out the way some handled it in Rockwall to protect their cars on I-30. 

  • Similar troubling stories out of Houston and Dallas

  • There's really no information on this, but they think it is murder. “The official cause and manner of death will be determined by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office."

  • But they might want to tap the brakes on relying on the opinion of the Medical Examiner's Office. Remember the assistant ME from Tarrant County who is on administrative leave for screwing up 40 autopsies? Well now we have a ruling that the lead ME, Dr. Nizam Peerwani, may have his own problems. "In a 51-page finding, Tarrant County District Court Judge Mollee Westfall said Peerwani made 'false, inaccurate or misleading' statements in at least 10 crucial elements of the prosecution case." Prediction: They are about to clean house at the Tarrant ME's office. 

  • The Poor and Downtrodden White Man, subject of so much discrimination, held a variety of rallies across the country yesterday. One of them was in Fort Worth. It went off with a whimper with more counter-protestors than protestors -- and not many of either.  

  • Trump had an audience this weekend. Some things never change. 

  • Chris Wallace continues to be the last bastion of hope for Fox News. 

  • John Cornyn was tweeting early this morning. He didn't mention that President Biden's approval rating have been higher than Trump's ever got in four years. See how that works? (Side note: Cornyn plagiarized this word for word from a Politico story.)

  • Could use just a little bit of editing here:

  • I had forgotten that the Shelley Luther case wasn't over. Her jail sentence for contempt of court out of Dallas was still on appeal, and the only reason she had not served the sentence was because the Texas Supreme Court gave her a PR bond. Well, on Friday afternoon the court quietly overturned the sentence completely.