The Star-Telegram has posted an update. Odd: It said that Rebecca Simpson began testifying moments after the guilty verdict. Since the State always goes forward first in the punishment phase, did they not put on any punishment evidence? And it's good to know that she was once married to, yes, you guessed it, "a prominent Wise County attorney." The Star Telegram must remind us of that in every freakin' story. Edit & Commentary: She better start taking some responsibility or this could get ugly.
at 2:35 PM
The Messenger reports that Rebecca Simpson was found guilty by a jury at 9:45 a.m. this morning. Here is what happens next: The case will begin with a punishment phase (the jury doesn't get to go home, they have more work to do). The State is allowed to present evidence of any past convictions or probations, "extraneous offenses" (that is, crimes that could have led to convictions but have not), and any "bad acts" that Simpson has committed in the past. (The "bad acts" law went into effect around 1993, but it normally isn't a very big player.) Sometimes the State has a lot of evidence. Sometimes the State has none. The defense can put on any witness that will persuade the jury that a lesser punishment is appropriate. The defense, in order to have the probation option available to the jury, must put on a witness to prove Simpson has never before been convicted of a felony. The jury will get a verdict form that tells them to pick a sentence between 5 and 99 years/life. The jury (if it picks a number of 10 years or less), will have the option to recommend to the judge that they wish for the sentence to be probated. The judge is bound by the jury's recommendation of probation (if there is one). If there is a prison sentence without probation, is the Defendant immediately taken to jail to begin the sentence? That's a good question. A person can normally post bond pending an appeal if the sentence is 10 years or less. But this case is different. I am of the opinion that the solicitation of capital murder is a type of crime that is excluded from that rule. Thus, any prison sentence will prevent an appeal bond. (I could be wrong, but I feel pretty good about this.) If there is a probated sentence, does that prevent the defendant from serving any jail time? Nope. The judge can impose a 180 day sentence in the local jail as a condition of probation.
at 10:05 AM
I was watching the Today Show this morning about the news of seven Black Muslims being arrested in Miami for pretty much thinking about blowing up the Sears Tower in Chicago. Matt Lauer said, "It's a group that calls themselves the Moars." My mind suddenly thought of George Costanza telling the Bubble Boy, "Oh nooooo. That would be the Moops."
at 7:21 AM
Star-Telegram story, posted at 6:30 p.m. [S]he’s a woman who always gets exactly what she wants, who tried to have another woman killed because of something as simple as a negative article in the local newspaper, prosecutor Kim D’Avignon said. “It’s a crazy motive,” D’Avignon said. “A normal person doesn’t think your name in the paper equals trying to have someone killed, but to Rebecca Simpson that made perfect sense. Think about what kind of person that makes sense to.” I'm trying to make sense of that that sentence.
at 6:55 PM
I kind have thought of Kay Granger as the Fort Worth Congresswoman whose district just happens to include Wise County. The map looks more like she's a representative of Wise County and Parker County and a portion of Fort Worth. Unfortunately for us, that's the big money side of Fort Worth. That's why I never run into her at Casa Torres.
at 5:37 PM
[Edit: Moved this to the top of The Blog for this afternoon. I expect a raid by Sheriff's deputies any moment because of it] It is Sheriff David Walker's birthday today. Not sure how old he is. 25? And if some kind person would only send me a photo. (Ex-girlfriends are encouraged).
at 1:18 PM
Ghana just eliminated the United States in the World Cup. I blame the refs. Impress your friends by pointing out Ghana on a map.
at 11:24 AM
The Arcadia Theater burned to the ground yesterday afternoon, and I regret never having gone in there. But Greenville Avenue is a beating these days. I hung out one night last year and it had a crazy feel to it (once I found a place to park - I think I threw some money at that problem to make it go away). Then again, you're talking to a guy who used to go to "Confetti" on Greenville Avenue. Good times with a polo shirt coller turned up. Edit: One of the bars that burned wasy SynBar. Now that is a tragedy.
at 8:42 AM
The Star Telegram slightly added to its story it posted mid-day yesterday. The Messenger says both sides have rested with closing arguments today. That means a verdict will probably come in the afternoon. If there is a guilty verdict, the trial will begin again with a punishment phase.
at 7:20 AM
Other people are funny so I don't have to be. Jon Stewart tonight had a bit on Congress discussing that violent video games might effect poor kids but not rich kids.
at 10:28 PM
Maybe that explains the loss. (Source).
at 4:57 PM
- I see that the Ritz Carlton will build a second condo project in Uptown with condos priced from $700,000 to $8 million. (DMN p. 1D) - The Republican controlled Senate today rejected an attempt by Democrats to raise the minimum wage. It will remain fixed at $5.15 an hour as it has been since 1997. So now people can clean $8 million condos for $5.15 an hour. Incredible.
at 1:07 PM
1. Incredible. 2. I hate basketball for this reason: Every time down the court a foul can be called. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. There is no rhyme or reason to it. That makes the sport unpredictable and hardly a sport at all. 3. If you want to watch the final shot via youtube.com, you can do so here. 4. Was there a foul on the final shot? Youtube.com clip is here. 5. In football, 98% of the time only the most obvious fouls are called. Let's bring on September. 6. All that being said, the Heat were simply better. 7. Oh, yeah, I am a basketball genius.
at 11:07 PM
One of the greatest movie sites on the web is www.filmsite.org. Trust me, you can spend hours there if you like or love movies. A second ago I got hooked on the 100 Most Scary Moments in alphabetical order. Warning: If you don't have a Pop Up Blocker, you'll be beaten down upon entry.
at 9:30 PM
500 pair will be given away. Info here. (Not surprisingly, there are some server problems.) And if you want to see a youtube.com video of the infamous "time out" the other night, you can check it out here. The neat thing about it is that it was taken by a fan from the upper deck with a regular video camera. It makes it very "real".
I finally finished it over the weekend. Thoughts: - I'm not sure Scarlett had any redeeming qualities. I mean, she ends up alone on the stairs. Happy life to her. - I haven't heard the name "Tara" so much since .... well.....a while back. - Clark Gable was pretty good although I can't name another movie he was in. - It was too long, but I guess epics are required to be too long. - The movie went nuts in the last hour. In a 15 minute period there was a miscarriage, a death of a child from a horse riding incident, and the death of another character from exhaustion. And I thought the Civil War was brutal. - I finally understand the "wear a curtain" Carol Burnett joke.
at 10:36 AM
From the Update: "THREATS TO CAMPAIGN — Bridgeport Police Department reported Monday that terroristic threats have been made to Jennifer Walker, who is involved with a campaign to call an election for the legalized sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption in Bridgeport. Walker has received two letters and vandalism to her home. Police said they plan to interview a couple of people in the case. " (Actually, "terroristic threat" is so widely defined under the Texas Penal Code that it is hard for some people to get in an argument without committing an offense.)
at 8:46 AM
Ok, let me explain. For the three of you that follow The Blog closely, you know that I normally let comments go uncensored. 98% of the time, you guys are funny, crazy, odd, insightful, or suffer from various mental disorders. I love 'em all. So.... (1) Why don't I allow comments about prosecutions at the courthouse? Hey, I generally like everyone up there, but I'll be honest: I have to work with those guys. If somebody on here bashes DA Jana Jones, CA Greg Lowery, Judge Cude or Judge Fostel, do you think I look forward to trying to negotiate a plea deal or arguing a motion? No!!!!! I've been there. I know how hard those jobs are. They don't need any more stress than what the system puts upon them on a daily basis. But do I have financial motivations by keeping people from bashing them at will? You bet. I won't deny that. (2) Why don't I allow comments on the Simpson trial? This is a tougher call for me. Basically, Ross Simpson and Mike Simpson have been my friends for over twenty years. It's the first time I've let friendship interfere with The Blog, but when I saw the comments rolling in, it just didn't feel right. (Quite frankly, I've come to appreciate the Messenger and the Index that sometimes have to write unflattering stories about folks that pay money to advertise in their papers.) (3) Why don't I delete comments about me? Because after years of having a thin skin, it's become somewhat thick of late. On this Blog I've been called short, lazy, gay, obsessed with women under thirty, perverted, stupid and a "dumb ass". All of which, with the exception of one, are true. :) Is this policy hypocritical? Probably. But I have my faults. I do this for fun. Ten years ago I thought I would get rich off "Wise County on the Web". Maybe one day I might actually make a buck. But for now, bear with me as I struggle to make this fun on a forum that sometimes makes me shake my head in amazement.
at 9:55 PM
Mark Cuban defends his use of the F bomb last night here. Here's a sample which is perfect for the day after Father's day: Now anyone in America can get a rise out of people by using most of Carlin’s 7 Dirty Words. I know I get a rise out of my wife. I cant think of anything funnier than a 3 year old cursing. I mean come on, does it really matter if we say Poo Poo or shit ? Of course not. Unless of course your married and your wife tells you it matters. She doesnt want to be the one who gets phone calls from teachers and other parents getting blamed for all the 3 year olds in the little gym class screaming “Kiss My Ass you Mo Fo”... Me, i couldnt think of anything i would rather see and hear. but thats me. Nice. (And that's Cuban's home according to this site.)
at 4:16 PM
It was 1981 (and I was still a teenager - barely) when the news came out that three young black men (ages 19, 19 and 18) had died in Lake Mexia after they had been arrested. For some crazy reason they were put in a boat to be transported across the lake, but the boat overturned and the three men (but none of the cops) drowned. I had always believed the three black men were handcuffed. The Morning News tells me today that a "hearing officer" (whatever the heck that is) determined they were not. But I didn't know this: The three men had been taken into custody because the police believed they were "smoking marijuana." Sheesh.
at 12:58 PM
As of this morning (according to a divided Supreme Court), if you are on parole you can be searched by the police for no reason at all.
Nor surprisingly, recent appointees Alito and Roberts were in the majority.
I'm trying to find out when the Fourth Amendment was repealed.
at 11:13 AM
The great Richie Witt of the Dallas Observer, wrote this early last week: With the way Nowitzki has turned into Larry Bird, Shaquille O'Neal has turned into Greg Kite and the Mavs have turned the Finals against the Miami Heat into a ridiculous rout, there's nothing left but to start planning the parade. After Sunday's laugher in front of Governor Rick Perry, Dr. Phil and a heartbroken TV viewer named Michael Finley, only a couple questions remain: How can a Heat team that's lost six in a row and 12 of 14 to the Mavs possibly beat Dallas four out of five? When did Shaq become Shakira? And where do you buy ticker tape anyway? Queen Latifah hasn't officially begun crooning, but this one's over. Not since 1977 has a team won the Finals after trailing 0-2. The Mavericks are deeper, quicker and better, seemingly playing Harlem Globetrotters to Miami's Washington Generals. By the time the Mavs owner returns from his stint as the most famous Cuban running around Miami since Elian Gonzalez, he'll be hugging the NBA's Larry O'Brien championship trophy.
at 10:57 AM
The news was a buzz over the weekend about North Korea planning to test a missile that could reach the U.S. CNN just reported: "Bush administration official says North Korea has finished fueling a long-range ballistic missile that could reach the U.S., a sign the country could soon test the weapon, The Associated Press reports." I don't like it, but I sure understand it. In his 2002 State of the Union speech, Bush referred to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as an "axis of evil." Since then, we have invaded Iraq and threatened Iran if it goes forward with nuclear weapons. If I'm in charge of North Korea, a sovereign nation, I think I would build up my defense systems as well.
at 9:31 AM
I'm so mad I couldn't upload the video clip of Mark Cuban responding to the question of "Is this your worse loss ever". Answer: "No, when I lost a game when I was three years old playing in the pee wee league, it was worse. Now ask a f*&^%& real question." That's paraphrased a bit, but the F bomb is a quote.
at 8:48 AM