blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: 2/24/08 - 3/2/08

3.01.2008

Alvord ISD

Got a couple of emails today calling my attention to this. Edit: I've not posted a few comments because they make conclusions that may not be true. And all those comments were anonymously submitted.

A Loyal Reader



. . . sends in this pic of a new ride spotted in the parking lot of the Sheriff's Office today.

Allow Me To Retort

Hey, this is huge news. But I'm not sure if something that happened on Wednesday and reported on Friday constitutes "Breaking News." I'm just saying.

Random Ann Curry Irritation

I don't know why this lady gets to me so much. This week I was getting ready for work and not really paying attention to The Today Show. Suddenly, there was this voice that just pierced my brain. I had to grab the TIVO to replay what had happened.

2.29.2008

Friday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Decatur Rumor

Decatur Police had a report of "shots fired" on Main Street in Decatur shortly before noon. They had trouble locating the source but a guy showed up at the Decatur Hospital (or whatever its name is) with some kind of injury a short time later. They think the two are connected . . .

Developing.

(Thanks, uh, "good looking emailer")

Edit: Crime Scene Van? Decatur has a Crime Scene Van?



From a comment:

Trial Update



Success. A "not guilty" verdict came in within 15 minutes.

As you can tell, the breath test was .085 and .083 and it was taken an hour after the stop. The rest of the facts really favored my 21 year old client with no criminal history. He was followed by the trooper for throwing out a lit set of firecrackers in downtown Boyd (yep, while driving) but for the next 2 and 1/2 miles he only "touched" the yellow line with his driver's side tires one time and "barely crossed" the white fog line one time. Other than that, the driving was fine.

The field sobriety tests, in my opinion, were great. And, quite frankly, I think that's what won it. Even using the trooper's interpretation, (1) on the thirty second One Leg Stand test he put his foot down one time, and "swayed" and "raised arm for balance" one time at Count 29; (2) on the Walk and Turn test, he stepped off the line one time (I couldn't see it) did not touch heal to toe four times, and made an "improper turn." According to the Manual that all the troopers and cops use, that is failing. To your average person, that's pretty darn good. I promise you, if you saw the tape you would not have thought the guy was intoxicated.

But these things can go either way. I felt good about it, but I've been surprised before. Thankfully, this time there were no surprises.

Edit: One new wrinkle was to utilize Google's Powerpoint equivalent during the cross-examination of the trooper and technical supervisor. It won't make much sense, but they are both here and here. Me loves me some Google. (And the first presentation contains one heck of an algebra problem that I asked my secretary to calculate for me. And she did.)

Fox 4's Good Day . . .


. . . is funny. (And I'd watch it even if I wasn't obsessed with Megan Henderson.)

Case in point: This morning they run a video of Victoria Secret models on a runway in connection with some story about the head of the company claiming they had become "too sexy." Tim Ryan says, "Oh, come on. This is just a cheap grab for ratings, isn't it?" Two seconds later you hear a Homer Simpson drop of, "Yooo Hooo!" Then, moments later, we get another drop of: "How you doooiiiinnnnn'?"

Good times.

People In Cages


For the first time ever, more than one in every 100 Americans is either in jail or prison - thats 2.3 million people. We lead the world. Texas leads America.

Right wingers begin the Slow Clap.

2.28.2008

You Mess With The Bull And . . . .


PETA protests the "Running Of The Bulls."

Ladies, I find your argument very persuasive.

Oh, My

Fort Worth Star Telegram story.

The death had already been reported by the Messenger and other sources a couple of weeks ago. The big news is that the death has been determined to have occurred in Decatur. That means that the Wise County Courthouse now has jurisdiction over the case.

Because the child is under six, it qualifies as capital murder. I'm not sure we've had one of those in quite some time.

Edit: Fox 4 video here.

Hey, Now


Hey, I'm tired.

Hey, Now


So I'm in trial all day only to find out people would think I would be interested in the Star Telegram's pictures of Brazilian girls in their underwear.

I'll incorporate it into closing argument tomorrow. Maybe. Or not.

Slow Again

Yep, another DWI trial in the same week. As I write this, I'm sitting in the courtroom with two potential jurors in the gallery (and it's before 8:00 a.m.). I try to get here earlier to at least give the jurors the impression I'm prepared and ready to go. This case will be a little trickier because it involves a breath test. But it's both a comfortable and stressful life practicing in Wise County. On the way up to the courthouse, I was able to look over to see if the prosecutor's car was in its normal spot behind Sweetie Pie Ribeye's (it was.) Then the judge honked at me as he drove by. And I entered the courthouse to see the same friendly faces as I always do. I'll try to keep you updated. Edit: Jury picked. Three men. Three women. Trooper has finished direct examination. Break for lunch. We'll show the video when we get back. Followed by officer cross. Then the "technical supervisor" of DPS who is allegedly in charge of the Intoxliyzer 5000. Had two clients on the jury panel. They didn't make it on the jury. Edit: Officer done. Video played. Edit: Ok, both sides rested and closed. It went much quicker than I thought it would. Technical Supervisor testified (she drives me nuts, but was fairly cooperative today.) And then my guy testified. Closing arguments tomorrow morning followed by jury deliberations. I'll let you know more tomorrow. I seriously doubt any of the jurors read The Blog but, just in case, I'll let you know more about the facts once this thing is over. Edit: Friday morning. Closing arguments begin at 9:00 a.m. Feel like I'm catching a cold.

2.27.2008

Mugshot Is Gold


Story behind the mugshot is golder-er-er.

I'm Talking Denton?


I don't know anything about the Denton County race for a particular county commissioner position, but when one candidate runs this pic of his opponent, it makes me sad that Wise County is so civil.

Hugh Coleman v. Cynthia White. In the octagon. Now.

An Open Letter To U.S. Senate Hopeful Rick Noriega


Dear Rick:

LBJ called. He wants his hat back.

Love,

Barry

Meet Eric Gahagen

I saw this story of Fox 4 last night and now the Star Telegram has picked it up. This 27 year old guy from Pennsylvania had a buddy drive him to the home of a 14 year old girl in Bedford that he had met on The Internets. He stays with her on Sunday night (she kept him in the closet) but the jig was up when the girl's mother found him sleeping in the teen's bed while she was at school.

I keep picturing Mom walking by her daughter's room and having a huge question mark form over her head when she saw this fine fellow asleep on her sweet daughter's bed.

Four? Count 'em, Four?


The Messenger's paper edition today has four letters supporting Phil King. (I'll save you time: Vote for him because he supports "family" and "traditional" values and he doesn't like gambling. Yep, Phil King hates blackjack.)

Edit: Tison's latest shot across the bow.

Love and Marriage


While waiting to enter a plea this morning in district court, I had to wait until some "temporary orders" were entered in a divorce case. It's not that unusual. A couple, normally with lawyers, dictate their agreement into the record regarding property and children until a divorce can be finalized.

This one was unusual because the young soon-to-be-ex-wife was crying pretty hard. It was sad. I looked out in the gallery and saw a couple of people wiping their eyes.

Upon reflection, I surprised I don't see that more often.

Randomly Interesting


A spare talk show hosts introduces John McCain by trying to rev up the crowd. He refers to Obama's middle name. McCain backtracks.

CINCINNATI, Ohio—A conservative radio talk show host who helped introduce Senator John McCain before a rally here Tuesday used Senator Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, three times, while disparaging him, prompting Mr. McCain to apologize and repudiate the comments afterward . . . .

“It’s my understanding that before I came in here a person who was on the program before I spoke made some disparaging remarks about my two colleagues in the Senate, Senator Obama and Senator Clinton,” he said. “I have repeatedly stated my respect for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, that I will treat them with respect. I will call them ‘Senator.’ We will have a respectful debate, as I have said on hundreds of occasions. I regret any comments that may have been made about these two individuals who are honorable Americans.”

That should bring out the nut cases.

Greatest Publicity Stunt Ever?


I could not care less about Starbucks closing across the nation for three hours yesterday for "training" (I haven't bought a Starbucks coffee in three years). But that bit was nothing more than a publicity stunt. You don't need to close all the stores at the same time to school your employees. It was done to get attention.

And, man, did it work. That story is everywhere. (I saw it on the local news, on ABC's World News Tonight, and now The Today Show). The amount of free advertising dollars had to be astronomical. (And I guess I'm part of it.)

2.26.2008

Anyone? Anyone?


Link.

Constructive Criticism For Star Telegram Home Page

And Another


Well, kinda.

Facts: This former stripper and (up until last week) special-ed teacher's aid is accused of renting a hotel room where minors partied with her. "New Kensington police said they found suspected crack cocaine, empty beer cans and used condoms in a room that Abbiejane Swogger, 34, of Harrison, shared with minors Thursday night at New Kensington's Clarion Hotel. The room contained drug paraphernalia and a marijuana odor when officers arrived just before noon on Friday to follow up on reports of missing teens, said Detective Dennis Marsili."

Verdict: Do you think I'm going to convict someone named Abbiejane Swogger who used to be an exotic dancer? No way! Especially when she had dedicated her life to helping special-ed kids? Double no way! This is obviously a set up by kids who are jealous of her presumably hot body and love for the disadvantaged. Abbiejane, you ask for a dismissal and an apology. Godspeed.

Next case.

Hey, I Got A Letter To The Editior

The stealing of Yard Signs happens every election cycle, but that is not an excuse. It is still illegal and shameful to do so. The signs, which supporters of the candidates put in their yards, cost approximately $5 a piece. The campaign money that buys those signs is donated money from some hard working Americans and taxpayers. The “Tradition” of stealing Yard signs is almost as old as Voting itself. Politicians, both Democrat and Republican, would more than likely like this “tradition” to stop. For me personally, theirs something about stealing campaign signs, whether they be Democrat or Republican that is truly UNAMERICAN and not patriotic in the least and somehow the spirit of Democracy is broken when it is done. Being a Democrat, I feel that the reason that our Democratic Political signs are being stolen is because we have very strong candidates this year. I will assume that the person(s) responsible for taking down the signs are supporters of the Democrats and would like a sign for their yard to show their neighbors how they feel this election cycle. If I am wrong than I will think that you feel threatened by their popularity. Either way, this Democrat of Wise County will continue to support our Democrats and be proud to do so. If you need Political Yard signs for any Democrats, you may visit www.wisedems.org and contact us through our contact information page and we will be happy to bring you some.

Just in case anyone was wondering, the signs were placed legally and I have already checked with city inspectors, the police and the locations they were placed just in case they were mistakenly taken down, and they were not.

Little Slow Today

The County Attorney's office is trying to pull off a trifecta this week: Three jury trials in one week. Whenever that happens, I'm involved. Heavily. Yesterday they got a guilty verdict in a DWI trial with a defense lawyer I had never hear of. Today, I've got a case scheduled to go to trial (also a DWI) and on Thursday I'm up again. Today's case would be a great defense case but the video in the trooper's car didn't work. You would think that would help the defense, but it normally doesn't. The jury is much more inclined to take the word of the trooper when they don't have the actual video evidence to compare it against. I'll try to keep you updated during breaks and down time. Edit: 11:12 am. Jury selected. Four men. Two women. Not perfect but I think I have a fighting chance. Edit: Break for lunch. Trooper has testified. Cross-examination coming up. All this waiting makes me crazy as Ted Kennedy in Laredo. Edit: Well, it's over. Case dismissed by the prosecutor. And I'll give credit to both him and the trooper. Here's what the law is: An officer is allowed to use his police report to "refresh his memory" about what transpired during the DWI investigation. He may not simply rely upon the report if he has no memory of the incident. I noticed during the trooper's direct examination that he would rely heavily on the report - almost using it for all his answers. So, before the jury was brought in after lunch, I was allowed to ask him questions about what he actually remembered and what he was testifying about simply because his report said it was so. I'll give the trooper the utmost respect for honesty: he could not recall the details of how the defendant performed on the field sobriety tests. And it's not all his fault - the prosecutor had lost the DVD of the stop somewhere along the way so he couldn't use it to refresh his memory. (In their defense, I think this is the first time I can remember the CA's office ever misplacing a DVD.) And, in the end, the right result probably occurred. The officer followed my guy from Frilly's all the way to 380 (and other than "following too closely" to another vehicle briefly, committed no other traffic violations and didn't even swerve within his lane. (I even recreated his course of travel here but never got to use it.) And according to the police report, he was able to keep one foot in the air for thirty seconds during the One Leg Stand.

2.25.2008

Monday Afternoon PIck Me Up


Brooke Hogan loves Chico.

The 19th Anniversary Of



I may be one of the few people that thinks Jerry Jones is a great owner. And I think most of the arguments to the contrary don't really hold water.

- Hated the way he "treated" Tom Landry? Sheesh, he flew down to Austin in his jet and told Landry face to face that he would no longer be the Cowboys' coach. What more do you want?
- He "meddles"? Sheesh, again. He hired Bill Parcells and gave him full control. And do we really know what goes on behind the scenes?
- He should hire a general manager who knows football? Heck, Jerry has done it for 19 years. If you spent 19 years in your current job don't you think you'd call yourself "experienced"?
- Jimmy Johnson is the only reason the Cowboys won three Super Bowls under Jones? Well, Jimmy went on to be a failure in Miami, tried to draft Baylor's James Francis instead of Emmitt Smith, and wasted a #1 pick on QB Steve Walsh when we already had Aikman.

Jerry spends money. Jerry wants to win. What more do you want in an owner? Look no further than Tom Hicks and the Texas Rangers if you want to see an owner who would be crucified if he owned the Cowboys.

Gotta Run To Fort Worth


But I think I'll take the scenic route through Saginaw because of this. Sounds nasty.

My Online Dating Video

[Some have suggested that this is fake. If this kid is acting, then we need to rip that Oscar out of the hands of Daniel Day Lewis and give it to him instead.] Edit: Maybe that wasn't that funny. I'm having comedy regrets. An alternative would be watching a bunch of senior citizens do a dance at the 45 second mark which might mean that the song said seniors are dancing to is officially dead.

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard accepts the Oscar for best actress for "La Vie en Rose."

I remember when the lines at the Decatur movie theater rapped wrapped around the block to see that movie. (Edit: I just have trouble with all W's]

2.24.2008

NASCAR Is Not Fast


I really haven't paid much attention to NASCAR today but I knew they were in a rain delay earlier. So I flipped over a second ago (at 8:05 p.m.) to notice that the race was on lap 84 of 250. And I think this race started at 2:30 p.m! And I thought college football had some long games.

Before I Fall Asleep Watching The Oscars


Jon Stewart said in his monologue that you can determine your "stripper name" by combining your first pet's name with the name of the street you grew up on. That makes me "Prince Robin Hood." I'll take that.

And yours?

Rusty


The lawyer over Roger Clemen's right shoulder is Rusty Hardin - a former prosecutor in Houston. The first time I ever heard of him was when I to go to a Saturday morning seminar while I was with the Tarrant County DA's office. (Yeah, Saturday morning. I chose a government salary so I could go to seminars on Saturday?) Anyway, the guy was the guest speaker - he was funny, smart, and with it. (I still remember that he spoke of what was and what wasn't admissible during the punishment phase during a criminal trial - and that's been almost 20 years ago.)

He's also famous for cross-examining Anna Nicole Smith during one of her many court appearances over her desired inheritance from her very dead husband. After asking her if she had taken acting lessons, she famously replied, "Screw you, Rusty."

That's all I got. (Other than Roger might be in a little trouble.)

Weight Loss


The Messenger had an update this weekend on Robert Morgan who has now lost 207 pounds after undergoing lap-band surgery. Amazing.

And in a minor coincidence, I might have been thumbing through People magazine today and came across an article on the guy pictured above who has had gastric bypass surgery. He's lost 315 pounds. You might remember him looking like this in Varsity Blues.