Edit: A commenter reminded me of my post below where the lady wrote on Facebook that the first guy that was arrested should have been executed immediately. Wonder if she is rethinking that.
I've been telling you there something weird about this case. This is the one we've been following all week where this kid was killed when he went home at lunch with his sister. Cops make and arrest and then today -- you never see this happen -- say they were wrong. To call him a "person of interest" means nothing. That's a made up term, and they are just using it here to cover there arses from too much bad press.
at 7:00 PM
Sen. Jane Nelson has always been clueless about the practical aspects of law enforcement.
In light of the tragedies of late which involved repeat DWI offenders, she now wants to propose a law which would cause a person convicted of DWI-Second to lose their drivers license forever.
Ok, so a guy who is inclined to drive drunk after having two DWIs (and thus be subject to 10 years in prison for a third DWI) is going to be discouraged because he doesn't want to drive without a license (a misdemeanor)? Sheesh.
at 3:34 PM
A court of appeals case released last evening demonstrates how you need to always think ahead.
Robert John Gallemore was charged with Felony DWI in Wise County. Facing a range of 2 to 10 years in prison, he pled guilty before Judge Fostel and asked the judge to assess punishment. While Judge Fostel was considering the sentence, the defendant's lawyer pointed out a flaw in the indictment which actually made the case a misdemeanor (with a maximum sentence of one year in jail.) He was right. The indictment only alleged a misdemeanor. So the lawyer says, and I'm paraphrasing, "hey judge, go ahead and sentence my client for the misdemeanor offense."
The judge says that his court only has original jurisdiction over felonies, not misdemeanors. If a misdemeanor offense is committed, it has to be filed in the Wise County Court at Law. That's true, too. So the judge declares a mistrial and sets aside the defendant's guilty plea.
The DA's office then re-indicts the guy to fix the error in the original indictment and does something which probably should have been done in the first place. They discovered the defendant had twice before been to the pen, so they added two enhancement paragraphs making the defendant a Habitual Offender. This means the new punishment range was 25 years to life in prison! That's right, the case went from 2 to 10 years to 25 years to life.
The defendant objected on double jeopardy grounds (he had already been charged and pled guilty, he said) but the judge denied that motion. The defendant once again pled guilty and the judge gave him 25 years.
The defendant appealed and the appellate court, yesterday, said the district court in Wise County does indeed only have felony jurisdiction so the first indictment that alleged only a misdemeanor was void. It had no effect whatsoever so the defendant couldn't enter a guilty plea to a non-existent case. So the new indictment stands. As does a 25 year sentence.
at 9:31 AM
- Channel 5 News fail last night. Pretty funny.
- Local Republican Chairman Allen Williamson has a lot of clout when it comes to filling vacant judgeships -- even at the court of appeals level.
- You guys sure seem grumpy lately.
- More baseball trouble: On Wednesday, both Baltimore and Cleveland had their lowest attendance in their current stadium's history.
- Obama's tax bill was $1,792,414. If you aren't sympathetic because he made so much money, you are advocating "taxing the rich" aren't you?
- And everyone does realize, don't you, that the current income tax rate has nothing to do with Obama or the Democrat controlled Congress?
- I like Mark Davis as a radio host but he is so over the top on TV. Buddy, you don't have to yell into the mic. (Evidence: Fox 4 last night where he was interviewed after hosting the Tea Party in Grand Prairie.)
- There was a bad crash last night in Dallas where a car went off a bridge (possibly due to street racing.) Channel 5's kinda hawt Kim Fischer posted this cell phone pic of the car as it was hoisted from a creek bed. Oh, my.
- I dated a gal named Kim Fischer once.
- I'm into week six of Nutrisystem and have lost 7 to 8 pounds. I've been keeping track of it in a spreadsheet, and I may post it in the future. It's amazing how your body gets used to smaller portions.
- Months and months ago, I referenced in Random Thoughts that if you're a basketball fan you'd have to suffer through a krillion boring Mavs games only to see them get bounced in the first or second round of the playoffs. I'm sticking with that.
- I may go see Date Night this weekend. Looks funny.
- If you haven't seen all the campers out at the Speedway on race weekend, you should. It's quite the sight.
- Above the fold (not bad):
at 8:17 AM
I hear that "he does not need a trial" line all the time. That's insane. What Sandra is really saying is that we should allow the police to determine who is guilty and carry out the punishment with no questions asked.
Uh, and who are "people like them"?
at 11:10 AM
When Larry married this gal (hey, now), she became his seventh wife. (And part of his eighth marriage since he remarried one of wives along the way.)
But this time he stayed married for 13 years! A record for him!
(And I think her son played quarterback for BYU.)
at 9:23 AM
- Ted Nugent was on WBAP this morning. That guy is so full of it.
- Sarah Palin spoke at a Tea Party rally in Boston yesterday, and she's almost turned into a caricature of herself. She actually said, ""Yeah, let's drill baby drill, not stall baby stall – you betcha!"
- Of all the news stations, I think Fox 4 pimped the drunk Jerry Jones video the most.
- They made an arrest in the murder of the 17 year old Fort Worth boy in the Wedgewood area of Fort Worth. Maybe I'm losing my mind, but I could have sworn Fox 4 put up a book in photo of a white guy last night. (The alleged killer just happened to be black.)
- New York Times this morning: "Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public." Is that any surprise? That older white guys have more money than the young who struggle to get by?
- I've been using Chrome browser more that Firefox lately. And I haven't used Microsoft's Internet Explorer in at least seven years. But I bet most people just use Internet Explorer by default.
- Losing half your prosecutors in one week in the Wise County DA's office would cause quite the headache. (But for those that asked, there's no big scandal or controversy. Just people moving on.)
- The Right has been dogging Obama about wanting to reduce nuclear weapons. Over at bagofnothing.com, he's got a Jon Stewart video showing Ronald Reagan saying he wanted to reduce America's arsenal by "one third" and some day "eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the earth."
- Motorcycle death in Dallas this morning. (But it's been a pretty quiet Spring.)
- Busy airports in Europe are shut down this morning due to volcanic ash from Iceland. And this includes Heathrow Airport in London. That's a travel nightmare.
- Decatur has a new strip mall up on 287 near Allsups. That sure looks like a ton of empty spaces they'll be trying to rent out. And not one is leased so far.
- The NASCAR race in Texas used to get a lot more publicity than it does now.
- Above the fold: (I may start posting the Star-Telegram instead.)
at 8:31 AM
- I've always wondered how handicapped parking laws could be enforced in a private parking lot.
- You've probably seen the Jerry Jones at a bar video (link - language warning), and I think whoever/whomever secretly recorded that is a sorry individual. And Dale Hansen went off on Channel 8 News last night for airing it.
- Speaking of Jerry, here's a still shot of his upcoming appearance on Entourage.
- Bridgeport and Decatur argue about artificial turf for a football field.? Look what Allen ISD is building.
- The top of my ears are sunburned and peeling. That's not a good look.
- There was wreck yesterday near Bridgeport between a delivery truck and a SUV (whose driver walked away before cops arrived.) It's amazing they couldn't find her.
- There was a jewelry party in my office last evening. We're losing control.
- WBAP's Hal Jay told the story this morning of the girl who pulled out a beer in the deputy's car. Yep, the same news story that is over a week old.
- Interesting case to be argued before the Supreme Court next week: Does the Constitution allow a state school to adopt a non-discrimination policy (on the basis of religion or sexual orientation) which would allow the school to then deny recognition to a religious student organization because the group requires its officers and voting members to agree with its core religious viewpoints. Makes my head hurt.
- Some jailers in Harris County, because of overtime, make $150,000 a year. That's tax money, of course.
- Above the fold:
at 8:19 AM
But over the last month, they have fallen in love with Twitter. And, in general, I think that's a good thing. But then they'll hit you with eight tweets in a row that are nothing more than this week's Obituary column. That, my friends, is a beating. And tonight they are giving results of the political run-off races. And that's a great idea -- for us. We don't have to buy the paper, we don't have to see any ads, and we get up to the minute results. Good times. But before the local races come in, do we really need to know (1) the partial results, (2) in Wise County alone, of (3) a Supreme Court race? Sheesh. With those precincts reporting, I'll go ahead and project that Wise County prefers a male judge over a female judge when we have no idea about either candidate. Or maybe someone named Green could win an election. Hmmmmmm. But you can see their more relevant results, hopefully, here.
at 7:44 PM
Shortly before noon, we had a two car wreck about 1 mile east of Bridgeport. One car upside down and another on fire.
At 12:21, another major wreck took place about a mile and half "west of the Allison church." (Wherever in the heck that is.)
Edit @12:29: Both of these things are getting cleared up really quickly.
at 12:20 PM
"Just got a report of a man on horseback in front of Prairie View waiving* a gun. In route." (@11:32 a.m.)
I presume that's Prairie View elementary school in Rhome.
Edit @ 11:34 a.m. "Everything's OK. You can cancel those units." But it sounds like the school was briefly locked down.
(I wonder if this kind of thing happens all the time?)
*Edit: Make that "waving" instead of "waiving". Sorry. Legal spellings in my brain.
at 11:32 AM
- I'll plug it again: Tosh.0 is really, really funny.
- The Boyd school board voted 4-3 to buy out Superintendent Greg Stone's contract last night. Seems like a waste of money.
- Showgirls, starring Jessie from Saved By The Bell. is on cable all the time lately. That is one crazy movie as well as a career killer.
- The NFL Draft begins on Thursday night this week -- a change from its normal Saturday morning start. I like that. Except it means I'll still have the life force sucked out of me by ESPN's Chris Berman. Edit: Oops. I'm a sports idiot. It's next Thursday.
- I ate Lunchables on my hiking trip last weekend. That was a first for me. Maybe a last, too.
- Came across an April, 1997 edition of the Messenger yesterday which corresponded to the first race weekend ever at Texas Motor Speedway. I giggled when I read that car decals were available for the residents of Rhome and Boyd "to show police they are home folks so they can get up and down the streets in their own hometown."
- Almost no one watched the Masters last weekend in the metroplex. On Saturday, we ranked 56 of the 56 largest media markets in the country.
- Why wouldn't I be surprised if Phil Mickelson now finds himself in some kind of scandal.
- I've seen absolutely no bluebonnets along 287 from Decatur to Fort Worth.
- The story about the Fort Worth teen who was shot in his home after going home for lunch with his sister seems odd. Cops are saying he walked in on a burglary in progress, but it just seems there's more to it.
- Show my a press conference by a DA announcing he won't press charges (i.e. Ben Roethlisberger case yesterday), and I'll show you a DA who is grandstanding and a publicity hog.
- Even though the laws against DWI are the strictest on the books, I can see them getting tougher based upon the recent number of deaths making the news. It's been crazy lately.
- For limited audience: If you like college football, look at this run by a freshman from USC in their spring game. Oh, my.
- Sean Hannity always rants and raves that the Tea Party is not made up of only disgruntled white men, but then he throws his own "Freedom Concerts" (cue eagle noise) and has Lynyrd Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels serve as the headliners.
- Still nothing compelling above the fold today:
Language warning. And lots of idiots warning. Happened last weekend. Edit: Deadspin has some pictures of the event with some pretty funny comments. Edit: And while James Madison is ruled by punks, sorority girls at Ole Miss this weekend had a dancefest on a lawn. Advantage: Ole Miss.
I just had a hand-delivered envelope from the Wise County Messenger delivered to my office. No letter. No note. No explanation. It was just one page torn from Woman's Day magazine with one side explaining how to fold a fitted sheet and the other side setting forth the warnings associated with a medication for Alzheimer's.
What am I missing?
at 9:36 AM
- The implosion of Texas Stadium was pretty moving. Whether it be for a Cowboys, college, or high school football game or whether it be for a concert, I think everyone has a memory about that place.
- I'm pretty sure Bridgeport and Decatur played a football game in there, but I don't know about any other Wise County team.
- I think the only concert I saw in there was Paul McCartney.
- I wonder if anybody will drive by the Texas Stadium site today and say, "Oh my gosh. What happened?"
- But Channel 11 may have mistaken someone for Roger Staubach on Sunday morning.
- One of the golfers at the Masters yesterday had enough sponsor logos on his shirt to be mistaken for a NASCAR drover.
- I almost ran over an old lady in the Walmart parking lot in Amarillo.
- Possibly overrated author Dan Jenkins tweeted this weekend: "Y.E. Yang is only three shots off the lead. I think we got takeout from him last night." At first I thought it was just an old man racist joke, but he later clarified and said it was a "P.F. Chang" joke. I'll give him that.
- The new body of Heidi Montag was at a Las Vegas pool this weekend.
- David Cassidy turns 60 today.
- There's a suicide every other day in Tarrant County?
- I was a fan of the SLR digital cameras but I'm tending to go back old school with those that will slip in my pocket. And the quality really doesn't seem that different.
- Today above the fold:
at 8:28 AM
Ok, so this weekend I decided to write one off of my Bucket List and visit Palo Duro Canyon. Since I can only write in bullet points, here goes:
- It's right by Amarillo so I decided to go with Southwest Airlines. Let me say this: Southwest Airlines knows how to run a business like no other.
- My post to Twitter from the airport read: "The government just conviscated my sun screen. Thanks a lot Bin Laden."
- My companion-who-is-a-girl decided to take a large pocket knife in her carry on since we were going hiking. Really? It made it through.
- We got to the canyon a little after 8:00 a.m. after a very short drive from Amarillo. My first thought: I can't believe this thing is in Texas.
- I mean jaw dropping gorgeous.
- Did you know it is the largest canyon in the United States after the Grand Canyon?
- We had picked out two hikes. One was a "secret" trail about a mile and a half to a "table top" which overlooked the famous amphitheater. The second one was a three mile hike to The Lighthouse. (More below.)
- About a 1/4 mile into the first hike, seeing no one, we came across a fanny-pack-looking-thing right off the trail which looked new, was full of water, and full of snack bars. Right next to it was a cliff of about 70 yards from the bottom. Hope the guy is OK.
- Finally made it to the the Table Top. Here's a view of the amphitheater from up there. Here's a few of the canyon.
- Sitting up there for 30 minutes was probably one of the Top Ten Adventure Moments of my life.
- From there we made it back to the car and drove down the road to the trailhead for The Lighthouse.
- That hike seemed more than three miles. A lot more.
- I bought some hiking shoes about a year ago manufactured by Merrell. Absolutely outstanding.
- Here's a random pic along the way of the beauty.
- I saw my first horned toad in the wild since I was a child. I tried to catch the little fellow to hold him but I'm not as fast as I was when I was a child.
- Here's what it looks like from about a half mile away from the destination.
- Here it is once we climbed up to the shelf of The Lighthouse. Wow.
- The craziest sight was a couple with five young kids (how they made that hike is a mystery). But dad, who was incredibly in control of the little hellions ("if you make a mistake and run, you die!!"), decided to take them to the peak of the cliff right next to The Lighthouse. (In the above picture, that peak is to the left.)
- Here's a pic of the kids beginning the climb up there. That doesn't do it justice.
- We climbed up to see if you could actually get to the top of that peak and found that you could. Problem: There's about an eight foot vertical climb to get to it. And, trust me, if you fall, you are going to die. Die hard. (The Dad of those kids wasn't kidding.)
- Here's a pic of a gal boosting herself up to the top. I promise that down and to the right is a cliff that is steeper than anything Wylie E. Coyote ever fell off of.
- That's the same climb that five little kids did and I HAVE NO IDEA how they pulled that off. Dad had to boost them up there, I guess. I'm so mad at myself for not running up there to snap a picture of it.
- My companion decided to go to the top as I developed a small case of vertigo. (Yep, I wussed out.)
- Here she is at the top. Insane. (Remember the pic of the little kids climbing to the top of it? That path can be seen in the lower right of the pic.)
- On the way back, as it got hotter, I thought about my Bataan Death March book and realized how easy life is.
- I've got a new appreciation for Texas weekend trips.
at 6:23 PM
I actually got up to watch this happen (at least watch it on my TV). I attended the first event there ever: A Billy Graham crusade. But it was funny today to see a replay of Graham at the service mentioning that we were all in the "new home of the Texas Cowboys."