10.09.2008

This Man . . .

. . . just received four life sentences. Stacked. That makes him eligible for parole in 120 years. (I'll update later.) Edit: I've been doing this a long time, and I can't recall anyone who got hammered as badly as this guy. Not that he didn't deserve it, it's just an observation. I watched most of the trial but, admittedly, not all of it. The basics facts aren't (sadly) all that shocking in Wise County: The defendant was accused of molesting a family member in a poor section of Newark. Yeah, I've seen a life sentence for that before, but typically you'll see something in 30 to 60 year range. But what made this case different was the child porn. Yesterday was a bizarre day in the 271st Judicial District Courtroom. About mid-morning, I saw the ladies in the DA's office blocking off the windows which allows the public to peer into the courtroom. By looking at the big screen set up in the courtroom, it didn't take me long to figure out what was going on: Something bad was about to be shown. (The doors remained open for anyone who wanted to walk in, so it remained a "public trial.") The images were soon shown and (although I don't agree with showing them on a huge screen instead of a more reserved method) they were, and I'm being kind here, shocking. All seven of them. Being a prosecutor and a defense lawyer over the last 20 years has allowed me to see a lot of things that most people never will. but this stuff was bad. I can only imagine what the very conservative looking Wise County jury was thinking -- especially since most of those ladies seemed like the type to have never even seen legal, adult porn much less the shocking illegal stuff. (Sidenote: I'm 99% sure that this is the first child porn case to have ever been tried in Wise County. And how odd it was. I couldn't help but think about the fact that this guy was charged with possessing images that the public finds so shocking that we have agreed to make it illegal. Yet there were those images being broadcast on the big screen for any member of the public to come in and watch.) But back to the trial. The jury found the guy guilty of possession seven images of child porn (that's seven different convictions) as well as four counts of aggravated sexual assault (same victim being assaulted four different ways giving rise to four additional convictions.) The guilty verdict really wasn't surprising, but then it was time for the punishment phase. During that phase, another relative testified that she, too, had been molested by the Defendant. There was other evidence introduced that he had pornographic tapes in his room as well as some magazines that had some bizarre incestuous titles. (Giving more credence to my oft spoken saying of "People are crazy.") Then it was time to deliberate on punishment. It didn't take long, and that was true even though the deliberations were interrupted when they sent out a note - a note that is the equivalent of a knife in the heart to any defense lawyer: "What is the difference between 'life' and '99 years'." Not a good sign for the defendant. Because of the 11 convictions, the jury had to assess punishment for each conviction. The child porn, despite all the hoopla, is only a third degree felony with a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The jury gave him the maximum on every single count. As for the charges of Aggravated Sexual Assault, the maximum is up to life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Once again, because of the four convictions, punishment had to be assessed on each one. Once again, he got the maximum of Life in prison and a $10,000 fine. Based upon the parole laws, a person sentenced to life in prison for that type of offense must serve at least 30 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. Now here's a quirk in the law: Normally, multiple sentences assessed in the same trial must run concurrently (at the same time.) However, the law, being no friend of sex offenders, provides an exception for multiple sentences for crimes like Aggravated Sexual Assault. But it's not the jury that makes the decision - it's the judge. (Quite frankly, the jury is placed in the very awkward position of handing down multiple sentences without knowing whether the those sentences will run concurrently or consecutively.) But "consecutively" is what the ruling was in this case as Judge Fostel ordered the four Life sentences to be stacked on top of one another. I'm not sure why Judge Fostel made that decision, but you'd be hard pressed to find any impartial observer who disagreed with him. From the verdict, it was clear that the jury wanted to assess more than what they were confined to. Perhaps he was following their implicit wishes. But, in the end, I think it was the child porn that put a flame under the jury. It was, in a way, a perfect criminal justice storm. *************** The picture, above, was taken as almost an afterthought. Truly, the sentences had been handed down less than 15 minutes before it was taken. He is simply walking out of the basement of the courthouse to a deputy's car. It's ironic that he is walking into sunlight. Edit:
  • I didn't hear the judge stack the porn sentences (although that's a moot point)
  • In answer to a question, the vast majority of the fine goes to the State. None of it goes to the victim. In this case, he'll never have to pay it. I think, for folks that parole out, that the parole division tries to collect any fine.

36 comments:

gern blansten said...

too bad he's not walking the Green Mile...

Anonymous said...

Child molesters aren't popular in prison. He may get a taste of his own medicine:)

Jarhead said...

Somebody best put 'cuffs on that fool! He gots nuthin' to lose!

Buckwheat said...

They will know how to handle him in the big house.

Hey, molest this, Strahan!

Anonymous said...

Did you hear Obama has his own cable news network?

It's called MSNBC!

Haw haw- see it's funny because it's true, get it ? Oh, I don't know why I bother with you people.

Hat's off to Steven Colbert. That's the least you ingrates could do.

Anonymous said...

As a parent I want to say Thank you to all those involved with this case. Law Enforcement, the DA's Office, Judge, Jury and all others who had a part. I appreciate you making sure no other child has to fear this loser.
Again, job well done and as parents we can't thank you enough!

Anonymous said...

Incurrable, yet shame there isn't an island we could let him serve out the rest of his life and us not have to feed and cloth him.

Anonymous said...

I would gladly shoot him and be done with it. What the hell do I want to maintain this POS for?

Oh, and if I had turned out to be such a defective unit I would gladly shoot myself.

Anonymous said...

Was there ANY proof?

Or do you simpletons need proof?

Truth is ALL you know about this case is what Barry just offered and he didn't even hint at ANY proof of anything- except cops and prosecutors say the guy had child porn- meaningless.

Anonymous said...

I would make a run for it if I was that dude. Why not?

Double Fake Steve McQueen. RIP said...

Hey, 4:15PM, if you think Steven Colbert is a sympathetic Republican supporter, your are stoopider than shiate. You probably don't even know what sarcasm means.

And I agree, 4:41PM - ever watched the movie "Papillion"? The prison was set in French Guiana, South America, much too beautiful for this evil person just convicted. Too bad Australia went and got all metropolitan on us.....this Wise Guy deserves to be dropped in the searing Outback heat, with no food or water.........

Anonymous said...

4:41,

"....us have to feed and cloth him."

As a mother of a victim (not his victim to clarify)

...the peace involved with a monster being locked up is priceless.


5:05,

...."if I had turned out to be such a defective unit I would gladly shoot myself."

Sadly, this POS probably found sick pleasure in what he was doing and may not have felt to be a defective unit.

I don't even want to begin to understand what goes through the mind of a person like that.

Anonymous said...

5:20,

"Or do you simpletons need proof?"


Since you are such a complex individual, I imagine that you yourself was there gathering all the facts.

Missed it?

Unable to attend the trial?

Well, then I suspect you have plans of looking at the trial's public records yourself and reporting back with the lack of proof.

Go ahead....we, "simpletons" will wait here patiently.

Anonymous said...

Was there ANY proof?

Or do you simpletons need proof?

Truth is ALL you know about this case is what Barry just offered and he didn't even hint at ANY proof of anything- except cops and prosecutors say the guy had child porn- meaningless.

5:20 PM

5:20 must be a family member or friend of this child molesting bastard which makes them one in the same they should all be shot!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Who needs proof? We have proof of Obama's background and it doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, EACH MEMBER OF THE JURY who had to endure looking at sick pics and listening to heart wrenching testimony.

A child is so innocent, so trusting and anyone who would molest one of these precious ones should be cast into the depths of the sea, as the Bible says.

THANK YOU AGAIN, JURY.

DO NOT COME INTO THIS COUNTY AND MOLEST OUR CHILDREN.

We can continue sending this message to these perverts as these cases come before our citizens, though we know it will not stop the sick behavior.

RPM said...

For once I have no problems with a Wise County verdict.

Anonymous said...

I wish that we could go back to public hangings, right out front on the court house lawn.

Anonymous said...

Come into this county? Probably born and bred here! If not, we have our share.

Wonder what we should do about those around him who knew this was going on?

How can we teach our kids to "tell" without warping their little minds in the process.

Anonymous said...

Newark at its finest!!!! What do we need with a Library. This is what that mind set gets you.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that 5:20 is a little worried he doesn't have his bases covered.

Hey 5:20.....stick to women over 18 and you'll be fine, you sicko.

House of R and R said...

At least his butt will be big enough.

Anonymous said...

6:58 -very good points - but as we know the "law" says, "stick to the charge" - and juries must "forget" the other things that likely led up to it.

You bet, "somebody" knows what is happening. They are either in some kind of sick denial, drunk, stoned or so dead asleep they don't know what is going on.

Anonymous said...

My wife was on the Grand Jury that indicted this scum bag ..

We had an ex~child molester "hanging" around the public boat ramp/lake access in Newark between my home and the neighbors home a couple of years back on Eagle Mountain Lake. Also drug users and late night alcoholics looking for a place to bring their dates would hang out. They were havens for these type for over 50 years with the problems passed on from home owner to home owner. The home owners adjacent to these three public boat ramps in Newark had been to everyone to close them and build one large public ramp that sheriff could keep an eye on. ...

Everyone wanted it closed including the Sheriff and Tom Goode also the Tarrant County Water District even donated land for the Newark boat ramp. When it came time to close these ramps and protect the tax payers and our children from sex offenders, drug users ...etc it was the County Commissioner Richardson who said they could not be closed because they were deeded to the residents of Wise County. When we researched it we discovered in the 1950's they were deeded for "Whites Only" residents in Newark !

So I guess the moral to the story is even after 50 years sex offenders, drug addicts, criminals and bigots still have more rights than the home owners. How many more children will be victimized in the future?

Anonymous said...

Put all violent offenders,child sex offenders,all corrupt coporate america,corrupt politicians,on an island and let them eat each other.Take the money we save and help the working poor!

Partnership for a moral America!

remember to vote for uncle fester in 2012!

Anonymous said...

Uncle Fester, do you think you could run this year maybe? I might not be old enough to vote any more in 2012.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Newark was near a lake.

Oh, wait, that's Newport I'm thinking about.

Newport, what an arm pit it used to be. Is it still?

lovelit said...

5:20...surely you're trying to incite an argument and don't truly believe there was no proof. Testimony and pictures; the man deserves what he got and more...and the "moral" code in prison doesn't tilt in his favor; too bad.

James said...

Barry,

Just ran across your blog (believe it or not, by Googling "4 Country Reporter") and really enjoy your perspectives on things.

Anonymous said...

Yes, everyone who was volutarily in that courtroom solely to see those pictures is also guilty of the same offense. In the end, they accomplished the same as the defendant...looking at CP pictures.

Anonymous said...

7:57 - what a horrible thing to say. What gives you the right to pronounce guilt on those who were in the courtroom? Maybe some of these folks simply wanted to see justice done.

Morgan said...

i was surprised by the punishment phase in that the judge stacked the sentences, meaning he will be approximately 166 years old when he has a shot of getting out on parole. Much deserved, however.
But, I say in a Fort Worth or Dallas courtroom he is free in 20 years.
Gotta love the country life.

Anonymous said...

so, what are they going to do to the mother that let this go on?
May they both die and burn in hell for what they did and allowed to happen to their own daughters. These girls lives are ruined because of these parents.

Anonymous said...

A really good mother that KNEW that kind of sick act had happened to her child and knew who did it, would probably take care of the problem through castration (the guy's gotta sleep sometime) - then just take her chances on what some lawyer and judge would do to her.

Anonymous said...

8:16, you need to read it again. You will see that I indicated those that were there VOLUNTARILY and SOLELY to see those images are as guilty. "Solely" means for that reason only. Wanting to see justice down would be a different reason. Having to be there as a juror or clerk or judge or family or whatever is not the same thing, either, is it?

Anonymous said...

Well if you know who those folks are that were in the courtroom for the specific purpose of seeing those sick images, (according to you),I'd sure keep a watchful eye out for these people.

That is a pretty strong judgement you passed on these folks.