Star-Telegram Fires First Shot At The New Tarrant County DA


Let's be honest about the elephant in the room: That lady is a nutcase.  She's like an angry and unhappy Ted Cruz or Dan Patrick on meth yet with ultimate power. You should all be scared. Make no mistake about it, she holds the most powerful position in Tarrant County with the capability to destroy lives. Ironically, the article (which only scratches the surface) concerns how she is treating her staff with an iron glove.  If the article accurately represents her attitude towards those who she should care about, I fear for those who she is prosecuting.

The stories are legendary about how, as a judge, she harshly treated prosecutors, defense lawyers, and even spectators in her court. Until recently I thought it was limited to that. Then I learned she treated her court staff just as harshly. That's mind blowing. Those who work for you protect you. I'd love to see how she treats a waiter.

Side note: Many years ago I was talking to a former Tarrant County assistant DA who told me she had an upcoming probation revocation hearing in Wilson's court. "It's a true-but" she said. I replied with a confused, "What?" "It's a true-but. You know, the allegations in the motion to revoke the probation are true but there are some reasons why he shouldn't be revoked," came the response.  I asked, "Does that ever work in that court?" Her response: "Not really. Unless the defendant is young, white and female." I turned to her in amazement but she was distracted. She had uttered those words casually and with no axe to grind.

I can't tell you how badly I feel for every prosecutor in her office. I suspect that most would leave but because of the ridiculous glut of lawyers out there, they simply have nowhere to go. But for those who have already walked out, you will never regret the decision. You can always look in the mirror and say, "I refused to be bullied  by her."

Wilson's campaigns as a judge always amused me. Her signs would say, "A tough Republican!" Politics aside, shouldn't that read, "A tough and fair Republican"?

Being a bad person and horrible boss is one thing, prosecuting people is another. We live in an age where we are finally discovering how wrongful convictions can occur because of prosecutors who care more about themselves than doing the right thing and seeking justice.  I said last year that Sharen Wilson  has the potential to be the re-incarnation of the now disgraced former Dallas DA Henry Wade. I just pray that every media outlet monitors her every move. Kudos to the Star-Telegram for at least firing the first shot.


Bridgeport 68, Madison 60 (Final)

And that webcast on FoxSports was of pretty good quality.

The Morning News previewed the team today:

And there are those grumbling:

Trophy Club Youth Sports: Bring Your Lawyer

At least if stuff like this goes on.

This is a new court opinion. It's long. Kinda complicated. But the facts are insane.

A guy sues two other guys for defamation arising out of everyone's participation in "Trophy Club Roanoke Baseball Association." (You know, a baseball league for kids.) In fact, Ryan Williams was a coach and he sued his assistant coach and the commissioner of the association. If you ever been involved in those summer sports of youth baseball and softball, you learn that its some of the parents and coaches who make you fear for our future instead of the kids.

I tried, the best I could, to wade through the facts and I kept waiting for the Big Reveal. What could possibly have been said that prompted a lawsuit?  It's bizarre. It basically centered on Williams believing that he was called "abusive" as a coach which he did not appreciate. But there's also part of the opinion regarding the treatment of Williams son by others during the all-start team selection process. However, I was left with the impression of, "You sued two people over that?"

The opinion documents meetings, telephone calls, emails, and text messages among parents and coaches. So much time and energy wasted.

The court actually kicked out the lawsuit. Legally, they considered it to be a "SLAPP" lawsuit under Texas law -- filed in retaliation for the defendants exercise of free speech and without enough evidence existing to ever support the plaintiff's claims of defamation.

I only wish the court would have ended with the opinion with, "We conclude there is no crying in baseball." Instead, they remanded the case back to the trial court to determine if the defendants are entitled to an "award of costs, attorney's fees, and sanctions."

Love the guy in the background: "Woah!"

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • I said yesterday that the prosecutor in that horrible double child murder in Graham had caused the jury to question her credibility by telling them the defendant loved his children whom he had killed. Yesterday, that jury decided against the death penalty.
  • The failure to get the death penalty in that case is telling. That would have been a no-brainer for a jury 30 years ago and just shows how the public has now turned against it. If the Texas legislature never has the courage to abolish the death penalty, a civilized society might do it for them by never imposing it.
  • Historic day for Bridgeport basketball as it plays in the state tournament at 1:30 p.m today. 
  • Jeopardy fans: Watch only one contestant make it to Final Jeopardy as the two others end in the negative number. 
  • Had a kid kind of circle me on a bike yesterday while I was jogging and at one point pulled out a cellphone. I could only think about the scene in Breaking Bad where a kid on bike turned out to be a hitman. 
  • For America to be a Christian nation, we sure have a lot of experts on Islam.
  • I haven't mentioned it, but I was really disturbed of the footage of ISIS from a couple of weeks ago destroying rare works of art in an Iraq museum.  Then I heard someone say that its crazy how that video can cause in some people a more emotional response than the numerous executions. (Side note: I learned from an On The Media podcast that most of the works of art which were destroyed were simply duplicates with the originals having been moved for safe keeping before the arrival of ISIS. A quick search found a similar report from Newsweek.)
  • Got behind an extended cab white truck this morning on College and then Hale streets and it was going 10 mph. Not 20 or 15. 10 mph. That's sloooooow. But it was staying in between the lines and came to a complete stop at a stop sign and signaled. It was just barely moving. It was too dark for me to see the driver. 
  • I can't find a news article on it, but an Austin reporter covering the legislature noted yesterday that the heads of agency after agency lined up a hearing asking for millions of dollars to repair and upgrade government buildings. 
  • Grapevine cop involed shooting update: I'm not sure what I think about the lady who claims she came upon the victim laying by his car with no cops around. In essence, she is saying after the cop shot him, that cop left. The videos in the case would give us the truth but they are not being released. If she's right, this is going to be bad. 
  • "Innocent Driver Injured In Carrollton Police Chase." 
  • From all of the mercenaries on the Mavericks to the crazy number of players changing teams during NFL free agency, Jerry Seinfeld had it dead right: "When it is all said and done, we're just cheering for laundry." 


NFL Free Agency Today Gives Me An Excuse To Post This

This is from Hard Knocks a few years back. (Cromartie is going back to the Jets -- I don't care about that. I just have always thought the clip was funny.)

Edit: But in more local news, one fan is not happy that DeMarco Murray is going to Philadelphia. And proves he's not that smart.

Police Officers Shot In Ferguson: Does This Sound Right?

CNN excerpt: One of them is from nearby Webster Groves. The officer -- a 32-year-old with seven years experience -- was shot at the high point of his cheek, just under his right eye, Belmar said. The bullet that hit him was still lodged behind his ear as of late Thursday morning.

The other wounded officer was hit in the shoulder and the bullet came out the middle of his back, Belmar said. He is a 41-year-old from St. Louis County Police who has been in law enforcement for the past 14 years.

Both men were treated and released from St. Louis' Barnes Jewish Hospital, according to a Thursday morning post on the St. Louis County Police's Facebook page.

We Have A Verdict

A federal court was occupied for almost two weeks for this? The NFL has always said it tried to settle this thing and there's no question they were willing to pay that a long time ago.

Question: Is the Plaintiff's lawyer entitled to recover attorney's fees over and above this because it is a breach of contract case?

"Today we received justice for my clients who were dumb enough to spend outrageous amounts of money on tickets for an NFL game in the first place.  And make no mistake about it, this $76,000 verdict sends a message to the NFL, which made $9.5 billion this year, that they can't abuse its fans, cover up domestic abuse, or ignore the impact of brain injuries. Oh, and camera guy, could you move a bit. My right side is my good side."*

*Since this guy will sue over anything, let's be clear that this was not his actual statement. It probably should have been, but it wasn't.

Edit: Based upon a very informed commenter, the NFL will not have to pay his attorney's fees which can happen in breach of contract cases. So was this a financial win for that lawyer? I can't possibly see how. There's no way his seven clients agreed to pay him by the hour. No way. So I would suspect he took a contingency fee. 40%? 33%?  But think about his expenses. First, he's from California. I bet his travel and hotel bills alone for the prep and actual trial of this case are astronomical. Throw in the cost for depositions (court reporters, videographers, transcripts) and other typical litigation costs, and the figure has to be real, real high.  And all that doesn't even factor in the amount of time he dedicated to this thing.  When all is said and done, it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up working for below minimum wage. Did he do it for publicity? Possibly. But can any of you name him? 

Naked Man Is Just Like The Terminator: He Can't Be Stopped

He had a stick to it quality you just had to admire.

Random Thursday Morning THoughts

  • "Travis County commissioners approve $42 million district attorney’s building."  That's a lot of money for a building to be filled with lots of government employees.
  • The Star-Telegram has a short editorial today saying that Tarrant County DA Sharen Wilson's office should be watched to make sure chaos does not ensue.
  • Two officers were shot in Ferguson last night during protests. Both will survive.(Grainy video.)
  • I'm not sure I had ever heard Tim O'Hare on the radio before, but he is filling in for Mark Davis this week. In light of the Ferguson shootings last night, he started his show off questioning whether the Justice Department should have released the report chronicling racism by the Ferguson PD and actually asked whether the should government at some point should be able to limit protests. Amazing. And he's a Right Winger. Here's his Twitter bio: "Christian, Husband, Dad; Lawyer/Real Estate Investor; Guest Talk Show Host, 660 AM The Answer; Past: Mayor-Farmers Branch, TX; President-Christian Legal Society."
  • Ok, can we back off crucifying the two OU students involved in the SAE/Racism scandal? They have been punished and will continue to be punished.
  • I completely missed the suicide of the inmate of the Wise County Jail -- It looks like he spent a few days in the hospital before passing away. (And the oddest thing is that his last criminal case in Wise County per its website is one for Public Intoxication which was filed on 3/6/15 but was dismissed on 3/9/15.) 
  • The jury is deliberating life or death for the man from Graham who shockingly killed two of his children. But check out this description of the closing argument by prosecutor Lisa Tanner: "There is no doubt in her mind that Armandariz loved his children, Tanner said." Regardless of the context, that's bizarre. If I'm a juror I'm thinking, "This is the representative of the government who is responsible for trying to convince me to kill someone? I'm supposed to trust her judgment?"  The jury couldn't reach a verdict yesterday and we're sent home late last night.
  • Watching everyone freaking out whether DeMarco Murray will sign with the Eagles confirms how disinterested I am. 
  • The Bridgeport page out of the program for this week's state basketball tourney. (I'm not saying I know everything that's in the Star-Telegram, but I'm sure they've even mentioned the team this week.)
  • I continue to be amazed at the length of the federal trial for the Super Bowl ticket screwup. That judge needed to get control of her scene. 



Machinery Of Death

Just feels so goulish.

Let's Check In On The Legislature


Let's shut it down. Let's go home.

What Am I Looking At?

A guy with Wise County ties posted these pictures taken near Odessa on Facebook with the caption of "nauseating".

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • The other day I said I thought there was a real free speech issue with the University of Oklahoma kicking kids out of school for the words they utter. I was pleased to see yesterday that a smart legal expert believes the same thing
  • But it was shocking to listen to The Ticket yesterday discussing that issue. Corby Davidson said, "Government has nothing to do with this."  Mind blowing. OU is the government. Craig Miller said this morning, "It's similiar to whether an employer fire an employee if he learns that employee has ties to the Klan."  Double mind blowing. Private employers are not the government. And I heard several times that this free speech issue was a moot point because none of the kids would challenge their expulsion. Ummkay. Let's just accept it. 
  • Someone pointed out that freshman five star OU running back Joe Mixon was kicked off the team for one year for slugging a woman in a bar but will be given a second chance and allowed back on the team this year. 
  • That Superbowl ticket fiasco trial is driving me crazy. Jerry Jones testifies for two and half hours yesterday? And the Cowboys aren't even a defendant. I'm stunned that a federal judge in a federal court has allowed this to drag on. Heck, it wouldn't happen in the district court in Wise County. 
  • There's an item in the Update about an Aurora City Councilman who has filed for re-election despite entering a plea to a sexual offense in Wise County. What jumped out at me: He received three years deferred adjudication probation via a plea bargain for Indecency With A Child. Historically, an agreement like that normally means the State had extreme concerns about whether they could win their case, and the defendant was willing to accept the deal because of the risk of getting hammered if things go south in front of a jury. But that's just a guess in regards to this particular case. 
  • Sports: (1) I forgot who said it yesterday, but the line that the "first five hours of NFL free agency is more entertaining than the first five months of baseball" is spot on, (2) I've said it for two years, the Mavericks are about to hit a ten years of horrible basketball once Dirk is done. And he's done. (3) I always brag about Baylor sports, but their baseball team is horrible. 
  • Some Dallas lawyer filed a class action lawsuit against Toyota, Ford and Gerneral Motors because the new cars they manufacture can be "hacked". Two things: (1) The lawsuit was 342 pages long, and (2)  Whenever you see "class action" there will only be one group of people who will benefit: The lawyers. Whether it be those for the plaintiffs, defendants, or both. It's really amazing those things are allowed.
  • After the Sixth Grader In The House said "What?" three straight times to the same question by Mrs. LL, I got to softly utter to myself the Pulp Fiction lines of, "Say 'what' again. I dare you. Do they speak English in What?"
  • It's half price day at the Fort Worth Zoo. Ask yourself: Is saving $4.50 per child worth that chaos? 
  • Tarrant County DA's Office watch: A prosecutor talks to a judge during a capital murder trial about upcoming evidence when the defense lawyer isn't present and then later blindsides the defense with the evidence? (Star-Telegram story so there may or may not be a paywall. And the story almost buries the lead.)   Edit: My bad. Case is being tried in Tarrant County but the Tarrant County DA is not involved. 
  • Eleven service members were killed in helicopter crash in the Florida panhandle last night. How does that happen?
  • I'm no home builder, but I'm guessing that putting a new house on a truck doesn't help much with its structural integrity . . . 


The No Texting While Driving In Texas Bill Just Got Voted Out Of Committee

The relevant part of House Bill 80 (emphasis added):

(b)  An operator commits an offense if the operator uses a  portable wireless communication device to read, write, or send a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle unless the  vehicle is stopped and is outside a lane of travel.
 (c)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (b) that  the operator used a portable wireless communication device:
              (1)  to read, select, or enter a telephone number or
  name for the purpose of making a telephone call;
              (2)  in conjunction with voice-operated technology, a
  push-to-talk function, or a hands-free device, as defined by
  Section 545.425;
              (3)  to navigate using a global positioning system or
  navigation service;
              (4)  to report illegal activity or summon emergency
              (5)  to read a text-based communication that the person
  reasonably believed concerned an emergency; or
              (6)  that was affixed to the vehicle to relay
  information between the operator and a dispatcher in the course of
  the operator's occupational duties.

How unenforceable is that? Hey, be a cop right now. Is this guy breaking the proposed new law?

The scary part is that police can stop and detain you if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that you are breaking the law. Do you suspect he is breaking the above law? Is it reasonable to do so?

Edit: It never ceases to amaze me. I write a post about the text of the law and the difficulties in enforcing it and there are immediately a couple of goofballs who interpret the post to mean I must be in favor of whatever it is the law is trying to prevent. How is it possible to come to that conclusion?

Edit for extreme legal nerds: Got called out by a legal genius who pointed out that the noted exceptions in subsection "(c)" are "defense[s]". Great point and incredibly complicated. At a trial, the defense just has to put on some evidence of one of those defenses and then the prosecutor has to refute it with evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. How that factors into whether the cops can completely discount them in determining a reasonable suspicious is a great legal issue that I've never seen resolved in any other context. Love stuff like this. Could get lost in it every day.

OU Racism News

They aren't messing around. The speed of this is a little disturbing and comes pretty close to sacrificing students in order to do university damage control:

And the kid, who has now been publicly identified. who was leading the chant graduated from a private Dallas school. They've issued a statement. Uh, that last sentence? How did the "unborn" get inserted into this?

And In Other Parts Of The World

France is in mourning after three national sports personalities were among 10 people killed in a double helicopter crash during the filming of a reality TV show in northwestern Argentina. Two Olympic medal winners — the 28-year-old boxer Alexis Vastine and 25-year-old swimmer Camille Muffat — and yachtswoman Florence Arthaud, 57, lost their lives in La Rioja province on Monday. Five other French nationals and two Argentinian pilots also died.

Our Lives And Dogs' Lives Are Very Similar Sometime

Just the perception is different.

(I have no idea how old this is, but it made me smile this morning.)

So Where Did It Come From?

Four officers say they heard a voice asking for help. But the mother was dead and an 18 month old could not talk.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Tarrant County trial: A guy turned down a 30 year plea bargain in a murder case and was found not guilty.
  • "An off-duty police officer working as a security guard at a Fort Worth night club shot and injured a man early Sunday." And to think I was worried about the increase in cops shooting people while on duty. (There sure are a lot of police shootings that are based upon a vehicle being driven "at" them. Is there some weird mentality of "I'll stand in front of the vehicle and if  he drives towards me I get to kill him"? It happens way too often.)
  • I had to drive down I-35 into Fort Worth yesterday. Pothole city. They were causing traffic jams. 
  • I mentioned the other day how silly I thought it was that the NFL was being sued for the Super Bowl ticket mess in Dallas. Not because the claim wasn't valid but because it couldn't be settled. There has now been a jury of regular folks who have been held hostage in that trial for two weeks and who have been inconvenienced far more than the Plaintiffs ever were. I think they will factor that in to their verdict.
  • The OU fraternity racist rant situation has my head spinning. A kid(s) ruining his life within 20 seconds. A school crushing an organization in record time without even pausing to consider all facts and all options. Racism. Free Speech. Social media. Parents. 
  • I really haven't paid attention to the story about the Republican letter to Iran because I can't get past the title, "Republicans Send Letter To Iran." 
  • The Junior In The House will silently frustrate me because she doesn't seem to be interested in things I find interesting. Then I think back to when I was a Junior In The House and realize things aren't particularly different. 
  • Sports: The Ticket's Hardline the other day said that the best thing troubled Josh Hamilton could do would be to walk away from baseball.  He is owed a mind-blowing $90 million over the next three years. How many of us would say, "I'm not worth it and you can keep the money"? 
  • During every weather related TV shot of traffic, there always seems to be a Fed Ex truck in the picture. 
  • Someone questioned the accuracy of the Fit Bit the other day. When Mrs. LL and I went sledding the other day we woke up early and walked forever to get to the hill. Later in the morning, our 10,000 step notification went off within ten minutes of one another. I think that's proof. Or a coincidence. 
  • It was a big The Bachelor night in house last night as I casually glanced at the screen from time to time. I finally figured out why women love guys like him: He just looks at whoever is talking to him in a deep and longing fashion and keeps his mouth shut.  Genius. A beating for him, but genius. 
  • Not sure what I think about this: Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey went on a rant against the UT coach for not, in essence, giving up and pulling her starters during Baylor's win in last night's Big 12 Championship game. "When [we are] up 20-plus and you clear your bench, basically you’re trying to tell the opponent ‘OK, the game’s over.’"  I guess it depends on how much time is left.  (Video.)
  • Saw a lawyer in the Wise County Courthouse the other day process a credit card payment from a client in the hallway over his phone.  It think Atticus Finch did that in To Kill A Mockingbird.


Nothing Like A Little ISIS Wedding Prank

Ahmed Shehata pranked his bride, Shaimaa Deif, at their wedding reception by having his friends dress up as Islamic State militants and capturing his new wife.

The video begins with Ahmed and Shaimaa sitting on a stage overlooking their wedding when the Islamic State anthem begins to play. His friends then rush the stage with masks on and fake swords drawn and the newly wedded couple hostage.

Shaimaa wasn’t in on the stunt and her father was on the verge of attacking the masked men to save her.

But the anthem son cut out after the couple was placed in a cage and dance music was played.

I tell Mrs. LL all the time: "The world's gone crazy."

More On The OU Fraternity's Video

Things are moving fast. They fraternity was promptly suspended  and this morning there was a rally at OU. Coach Bob Stoops was there as well as the university president.

But a question was posed on the radio this morning: Should those kids be kicked out of school? I'm really conflicted by that. Edit: You know, there would be a huge Freedom of Speech issue if kicked out (and I'm stunned I didn't see that.). A public university expelling someone for what they said? Don't think that can happen.

However, that guy in the tux is about to have his name exposed and this will not be pretty.

Edit: Different angle video surfaces.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • There was a WBAP reporter who was injured in a car accident in Wise County in December. He will be released from the hospital, finally, this week. (Facebook link.)
  • I got curious about the origin of the bathroom sign that says "Employees must wash hands". I might have spent 10 minutes on Google looking for the source but couldn't find it (which I think is amazing.) I saw some reference to an OSHA regulation but nothing definitive. 
  • My mind is blown about the video of the Oklahoma fraternity caught engaging in a racist chant.  This is 2015 and those guys were smart enough to get admitted to OU.  The fraternity has been suspended in record time. 
  • Never have thought much of the frat boy. 
  • An early edition of the Dallas Morning News over the weekend might cost someone their job. 
  • Sports: (1) Yu Darvish is done and so are the Rangers, (2) It's looking more and more like Dirk is done. His last three productive years were wasted, (3) The Miami Dolphins will rue the day they signed Ndamukong Suh to a $114 million contract with $60 million guaranteed. Just ask the Redskins about Albert Haynesworth who they paid $41 million in guaranteed money and got squat in return, (4) I've never been to the state basketball tournament but Bridgeport's appearance makes me want to go. I started thinking about a trip to Austin and then discovered they've moved the tournament to San Antonio.
  • I think Mrs. LL may have bought into the conspiracy theory about the Malaysian jet that disappeared one year ago. I just didn't have the energy last night to explore it. 
  • There's a 22 year old from Alvord in the obits in the Update. Anyone?
  • The death of Terry Dorsey was particularly sad because he only retired two months ago.  To work that long and not get to enjoy the benefits. But that is the concept of mindfulness: Don't get caught up in the past and don't dream excessively about the future -- concentrate on the now
  • I threw the softball with the Sixth Grader In The House this weekend. One of life's great joys. 
  • I'm confused. John Wiley Price gets a court appointed lawyer in his federal court case but has to contribute $80,000 for part of the fees? Maybe I'm focusing on the wrong thing, but a court appointed defense lawyer in one federal case will get paid in excess of $80,000? You kidding me? 
  • The site that I get the screen shot of newspapers is down this morning.