The Campaign For DA


Double Rainbow In Bridgeport Tonight

If it were not for the high line wires, I would be thinking, "It's so beautiful! (sobbing with amazement) (laughing with joy) ...Its a double complete rainbow in my front yard. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
Oh, ... what does it mean? Tell me. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Too much. Tell me what it means?"



Don't Get Me This Gorilla!!!!


That was full out Planet of The Apes action right there! And the glass broke?  I would have gone full out George Costanza in a fire and knocked those kids out of the way as I ran out of there.

Take Us Down To DEFCON 5

David Goins (@dgoins)
BREAKING: sex offender Charles Sprague in custody in Oklahoma. @wfaachannel8

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Since Texas has screwed up the label of "sex offender" in our system to include folks who are no danger at all, that label hardly moves the needle with me. But that guy on the run in Fort Worth should cause us concern. He was one of those guys who was "civilly committed" after he finished his prison term. You can learn about his background here in a court opinion affirming the civil commitment. 
  • I've had a conversation with two different people in the last week on the subject of what the economic effect would be if everyone had a driverless car (which will happen some day).  We've come up with the following which would take a huge or even fatal economic impact or would at least have no need to employ the number of people they currently do: DWI lawyers (that job is eliminated), body shops (basically no more car wrecks), car insurance companies, city governments (which use traffic tickets as a big part of their revenue), police departments (no speeding tickets to write and almost no wrecks to respond to), ignition interlock companies (no DWI so no need for them to be mandated).  
  • I've see a flaw in Fit Bit.  When I jog, I get credit for one step for every step. Makes sense. But those are hard steps.  If I go and use my pitchback net, I get a step with every pitch and every time I casually walk to get an errantly thrown ball (very rare, by the way -- I'm very Yu Darvish like).  But those steps should not count the same.  (I only rant because the Family Unit is in a weekly competition and they pick up casual steps all the time.) 
  • It took less than a week for a lawsuit to be filed in connection with that wreck in Fort Worth last weekend that killed five. But I've got a question for for you civil lawyers. I don't understand this sentence: "Relatives of a woman injured early Sunday in a fiery crash on Interstate 30 filed suit Thursday against a trucking company and the driver of a truck involved in the collision." You'll see family members sue for wrongful death but is it common for a lawsuit to be filed by  relatives of someone injured? (The only thing I can think of is the old "bystander" claim which allows for a relative to recover when he witnesses another relative get injured. It appears those suing were at the scene.) But does the lawyer not even represent the injured person?
  • Yesterday I learned some DA offices in Texas keep  a list of officers that they consider to be so untrustworthy because of the officers' past that the prosecutors feel constitutionally obligated to reveal that information to defense lawyers if one of those officers is involved in a pending case. I had no idea.  
  • The Dallas County DA's office has such a list. And, get this, the Austin-American Statesman had asked for the list in the past and former DA Craig Watkins handed it over despite the document not being subject to any open records law. When the Dallas Observer asked the new DA Susan Hawk for an updated list, she wouldn't do it. So, at the request of the Dallas Observer, the Statesman went ahead and published the old list yesterday (it hadn't done so before.)
  • Oh, great. Here's a quote from a juror in the Aaron Hernandez trial: "If he had something else to say, he should have testified in that trial." He obviously didn't understood the judge's instruction that if the defendant doesn't testify, a juror cannot hold that against him or consider it as evidence of guilt. 
  • Melody McDonald (now Lanier) was a great Star-Telegram reporter and then the PR person for the Tarrant County DA's office. Like so many others, she quit shortly after the new DA took office. But now she is joining the "marketing team" of a Fort Worth (seven person?) law firm.  That reminds me, I haven't checked on my marketing team in a while. Where you guys at?
  • The President of UNT was on The Ticket this morning. What the heck was he wearing? (By the way, he was pretty funny. He was probably just dressed up to do a bit.)


Watch An ESPN Reporter's Career Go Up In Flames

Hey, Blondie, that girl behind the counter (probably a bulletproof one because of nutcases like you) has the worst job in the world. And you know what else? She isn't the one who parked in a no parking zone. She didn't even drive the tow truck.

This is incredible. You're mad? Fine.  You want to be a little rude at that moment because you're bent out of shape? I'll give you a pass. But those comments were viscous personal attacks which are a window to her true character.

ESPN has suspended this gal for a week. How bold!!!! Here's a prediction: I bet ESPN will end up firing her. You know who watches ESPN? Spare guys like me who have seen women like this all their lives and rolled our eyes at them.  Is it too harsh to say we despise them? Nope.  And you know who these spare guys are married to? Women who have put up with uppity chicks just like her all of their lives. But here's the kicker: The reporter, after calling the attendant stupid, insulted her further by mentioning her weight and about her looks. Yeah, that will endear you to females. So she basically alienated 100% of that network's audience. Girl, you have no idea the wrath that the public is about to give you.  Nor does ESPN.

And I think the best part is that she was warned she was on camera. As far as TV goes, it may be the last time ever.

"DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Large Cash Seizure"

WESLACO, TEXAS – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) seized more than $743,000 in cash on Wednesday after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 77 in Kleberg County.

At approximately 11:20 a.m., a DPS trooper stopped a Ford Explorer traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 77 for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered 67 bundles of U.S. currency hidden in the rear quarter panels of the vehicle. 

The driver, Miguel Guadalupe Medrano, 23, of Brownsville, was arrested for money laundering and booked into the Kleberg County Jail.

DPS is bragging about this today by posting this on Facebook. Other than the facts listed above, I know nothing else about it. No drugs? No paraphernalia? Let's assume that's all the relevant facts.

I suppose most will say, "That has to be drug money." But to do so means you are guessing and assuming. And by doing so, you allow the government to confiscate money based upon a guess or an assumption. It can legally be forfeited to the State if the State can prove it is "probably" drug money. You prepared to do that? Why? The driver had a Hispanic surname? That it was in Brownsville? That's all you need?

But the plot gets thicker. The driver was arrested for "money laundering". That means they are accusing him of a the crime of transporting proceeds of a criminal activity. That's really ramping it up from trying to take someone's money. Now they are after a person's freedom. You know what the range of punishment is for that crime is in this situation? The same as murder. But do you think the State can prove his guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt"? Will you go that far? You don't have any doubt that you consider to be reasonable?

And now the dirty little secret. Hypothetically, what if a prosecutor in this type of situation says to the driver's lawyer, "We can cut you a pretty sweet deal on that criminal case and give the driver probation on this first degree felony if he will agree to let us and DPS keep the money." What's the driver going to do? The criminal case is beyond flimsy and he probably wouldn't be convicted at trial, but he can guarantee he'll stay out of prison if he gives the State the money.

Let me quote current Texas Supreme Court Justice (and Twitter happy)  Don Willett: “A generation ago in America, asset forfeiture was limited to wresting ill-gotten gains from violent criminals. Today, it has a distinctive ‘Alice in Wonderland’ flavor, victimizing innocent citizens who’ve done nothing wrong.”

And let me trick up the words of Tom Petty as I think about a case where the forfeiture laws were blatantly abused by police and prosecutors: "[Shake down.] Go ahead and give it to me."

Hey, Fire Department, They "Need You Now"

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • More bad public servant news: (1) A Fort Worth firefighter allegedly punched a 78 year old man at TCU football scrimmage, (2) An ex-Dallas officer got 18 months for trying to hide his relationship with a prostitute while employed, (3) An ex- Dallas County probation officer pled guilty to being involved in a "drug trafficking ring" while employed. 
  • Look out: Local CBS 11 has picked up the arrest of the lady by Rhome PD for challenging them. 
  • That lady, Amy Hedtke, has quite the history of challenging "authority" if you look her up on The Google. You know, she may be brash and sometimes crude but we absolutely need people like her. "Respect authority" does not mean a mindset of total submission and surrender regardless of what that person in authority wishes to do.
  • An example of the above: If an officer illegally stops and searches someone's car and finds dope, I can call it out and have a judge throw the case out. If an officer illegally searches someone's car and finds nothing, there is no ramification and you never hear about it.  Unless it happens to someone who knows the rules and refuses to put up with it. 
  • And I will never forget Southpark's Eric Cartman becoming a "policeman" and uttering the phrase, "You will respect my authoritah!"
  • I was throwing at my pitchback net in the back yard last evening when Mrs. LL peeked out and said, "I'm home!" She then turned around and went back in which is unusual because she'll normally come out and chat a bit.  I went in about 10 minutes later. My CSI skills revealed why she went back in: Survivor was on.
  • The NBA playoffs are set. I'll watch . . . none of it. What do you think? Rockets over Mavericks in 4? 5? 6? 
  • I rant way too much about radio host Mark Davis (who I really enjoy listening to despite my rants) but he continues to drive me crazy. Via podcast yesterday, I heard him go off against the minimum wage in the first part of an hour and casually reference a musical album he likes at the end of the hour and say, "I'll download an album for iTunes when I get the urge and may not listen to it for six months."  I then thought about the price of an iTunes album when compared to the minimum hourly wage.
  • The other day All The Females In The House were yelling because of a result on some reality show on TV which caused me to say: "Uh, you guys realize you are yelling at the TV, right?" Mrs. LL: "Yeah. It's kind of like when you watch Fox News." Both girls then immediately supported her with, "Baaaauuuum!"
  • Yesterday on WBAP, some female newscaster said, "Did you know that you can buy people to 'like' your Facebook page?" WBAP's Brian Estridge then told her "Thanks, for ruining the next segment." In that segment, Estridge said that the government had spent $600,000 to buy "likes" for Hillary's Facebook page.  Even gullible Hal Jay questioned that. I certainly questioned that. The only thing a can find is an old Fox News story that says, "The State Department spent more than $630,000 on advertising campaigns to boost the number of Facebook 'likes' for the agency's pages" over a two year period. I don't approve of that but that's a far cry from Estridge's misinformation. 
  • I've been wondering (as well as one commenter) about whatever would result in the cop shooting cop during an alleged domestic disturbance call in Montague County a couple of months back. Result: No billed (as seen below). But I loved the DA using the "speaks volumes" phrase. 
  • That same grand jury also didn't even indict the officers who shot the guy who killed the police dog of the Wise County Sheriff's Office. I didn't even know that was going to be considered. Hey, someone do an open records request for all videos about that incident since the case is now closed. He was shot 12 times.


Holy Cow!!!: That Earlier Video Was Actually From Wise County!!!

In a convoluted post earlier, I had a video showing a woman verbally challenging the cops. It was in Wise County! She was arrested!

Here's a Facebook page for the group "copblocker" (funny) and they are not happy.  There's a video which appears to be a calm, yet tense, confrontation with law enforcement at the Wise County SO. They are saying the arrest is by Rhome PD but I haven't confirmed this. Edit: Confirmed. The jail's website says that Rhome PD is the arresting agency.

Here are the charges from the jail's website. "Obedience Required To Police Officer"? That exists? I'll admit it: I've never heard of that. I had to look it up. It's a Class C ticket offense that reads: "Sec. 542.501.  OBEDIENCE REQUIRED TO POLICE OFFICERS AND TO SCHOOL CROSSING GUARDS.  A person may not wilfully fail or refuse to comply with a lawful order or direction of: (1)  a police officer . . . ."  A "lawful order"? What about "you need to stop talking?"

Rhome PD better hope the metroplex stations have something else to cover over the next couple of days. This wasn't the best time for police to be in the news.

Here is the lady's Facebook page.

Credit: Bud Kennedy for the tip.

Breaking News: It's Tax Day, Capitol On Lock Down, And We May Have A New Hero

A mailman from Florida landed his gyrocopter in front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a surprise stunt that saw guards pull out automatic weapons before he was arrested. "I'm demanding reform and declaring a voter's rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson's description of rights in the Declaration of Independence," Doug Hughes, 61, wrote in letters addressed to each member of Congress. "As a member of Congress, you have three options. 1. You may pretend corruption does not exist. 2. You may pretend to oppose corruption while you sabotage reform. 3. You may actively participate in real reform."

One thing odd about this from a media standpoint: It seems every single news organizations is scrambling to put up news flashes at this at this moment with no details. CNN called it "breaking news" on Twitter without a link to a story. I follow all sorts of news feeds and they've got nothing.  But the had this story (via the Tampa Bay Times)already up five minutes ago.  Something seems amiss. Is that a picture of him? Was someone tipped off?

I Referenced The Aaron Hernandez Jury Deliberation This Morning And They Immediately Gave Us A Verdict

I'm guessing it was an automatic sentence without a punishment phase.

And to think this was the news less than three years ago:

After the verdict some of his past ironic tweets began to be reposted:

As well as some old poorly worded ones from former teammates:

And this one today from a former Baylor player, which was certainly written with good intentions, struck me as odd. Happy that you haven't killed someone and convicted? Happy you haven't been killed?

I'm Not Sure I've Ever Been So Confused

This gets posted under the "Anonymous" post below:

I'm not sure what "leo" stands for. Law enforcement office? But that doesn't make sense with the "dept." tacked on at the end of it. No biggee. I watched the video . . .

Now I'm even more confused. Not only do I not know what this video has to do with that comment, but the video confuses me.  It's like I'm being sucked into a black hole before 9:00 a.m. I don't know if the video is an attempt at comedy or a real life lesson. The youtube description is: "Don't try to fix it. I just need you to listen." Every man has heard these words. And they are the law of the land. No matter what.  I'm leaning towards a lesson. "Just shut up and listen" is pretty good advice.

Edit: The original commenter has admitted to an "oops" and posted a link to the wrong video.  This is what he/she meant to send.  Mom is the driver on a traffic stop. Cops wants her son to exit the vehicle. Mom identifies herself as an activist from Texas and is none too pleased with the situation. She makes some great legal points: (1) Can the cops ask a passenger to exit the vehicle after a traffic stop? (2) Can the cops ask the passenger to present ID? (3) Does a passenger simply have the right to walk away?

Off the top of my head, the answers are (1) Ask the driver to get out? Absolutely. The passenger? Probably, but I'd have to research it. (2) Yes, they can ask. I don't think they can demand. (3) I think the answer is yes. The driver is the one lawfully detained because of a traffic violation. The passenger just happens to be there.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • I was out of pocket on Monday, but did the Messenger incorrectly report that Bridgeport ISD had been locked down due to the missing kid who has a gun? If they did, I don't blame them. I had a client tell me the same thing at the courthouse. 
  • Ranger problem (or a baseball problem): "Tuesday’s game had a turnout of 21,805. On Monday, the gate was 18,401, the lowest for the club since July 2010." Yeah it is April, yeah it's a school night, and yeah the weather is a little cool. But those numbers are a problem for the first homestand of the season. (And the announced paid attendance is always grossly greater than the actual attendance.) 
  • I had a faithful courthouse employee yesterday show me how recently installed security cameras were clear enough that she could read my open iPad if I stood in a certain place in the hallway.
  • The Texas Senate passed a budget yesterday which includes $811 million for "border security".  Sen. Jane Nelson said, “I wish the federal government was assuming its responsibility so we could take that money and spend it on education, health and human service and other needs.” If the federal government gave Texas $811 million for border security today, there isn't any way that lady would spend that much on education and social programs. 
  • And talk about waste, I'd bet anything that the number of Texas law enforcement officers assigned to the border are driving and sitting around in SUVs every day bored to death. (And we are about to get 300 to 500 new ones.) 
  • And speaking of potential waste and corruption, DPS has contracted with some outfit called "Abrams Learning and Information Systems" which has been described as "helping to design the state's border program."  That contract and private company, which has cost you almost $20 million in five years, was under criminal investigation by the Travis County DA's office until Rick Perry killed the Public Integrity Unit of that DA's office. Perry said that he killed that Unit because of the DA's arrest for DWI and she couldn't be trusted. Is there more going on here? Do we have a smoking gun? But wait, there's more. The head of DPS, Steve McCraw, swore before a legislative committee last month that he ended the contract in July of 2009.  Turns out he signed an extension in 2010. That committee will call him back to explain himself. 
  • McCraw, a public servant, makes $183,498 with benefits. 
  • That jury in former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez's murder trial has been deliberating for almost a week.  What will drive me crazy is if they now come out with a guilty verdict. Not because he's not guilty, but because those 12 people have to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. If you argue for a week, someone has a reasonable doubt. 
  • I agree with the concept that you should try not to get a tax refund because "that means you've given the government an interest free loan." Then again, it's not that big of a deal. A one year CD (remember them?) will pay you around 1% -- if you're lucky. 
  • Rick Perry says that if he runs for president he will do a better job because this time he is healthier and more prepared. I guess that means he won't be doped up on pain pills due to a back surgery. 
  • The New York Post is sometimes nothing more than a high school bully . . . 


Uh Oh

If you don't know who the group Anonymous is, you should. They don't mess around when they get serious  That creepy voice names various law enforcement agencies and Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson in a demand to release the video.  When the group doesn't get what it wants, it has been known to take down entire computer networks.


Video Of The Crane Collapse In Dallas A Week Or So Ago

After the initial panic and then realizing no one was hurt, I bet there were a whole lot of supervisors and workers that had a case of Slumped Shoulders.

Fat Guy Stuck In Seatbelt

(Facebook video so who knows if this link will work for you.)

I had no interest in watching this until I did.  I love this guy! He's stuck in an embarrassing situation with at least two women just yukking it up at his expense. And you know what reaction he has? Just kind of smirks and rolls with it. Doesn't get angry. He even laughs a little bit.

There are courses and books on Anger Management. I'm guessing he's heard of them and thought, "What the heck is that?"

I Report. You Decide.

A faithful reader saw this car yesterday in Fort Worth and convinced me to ask other readers this: What the heck are those things?

Edit: Getting lots of comments that these are license plate readers. Really?

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • From time to time I get a comment telling me is down.  That is almost never true.  If it ever happens, you can check to find out. (It just dawned on me I've owned that domain for almost 20 years.)
  • The Ticket's morning show is doing a tour of local college campuses this week and broadcasting from five of them. They ran into a roadblock with TCU which would only let them broadcast from the press box of an empty football stadium. No where else on campus was offered. They won't be going to TCU.
  • The Tulsa cop who killed the guy when he allegedly thought he was using a taser instead of a pistol was actually a "volunteer" who had donated thousands of dollars of vehicles and equipment to the local Sheriff's office. 
  • "15 things to know about the Dallas County DA’s new top assistant." Hey, Dallas Morning News, I'm in the criminal justice business and even I don't want to know 15 things about her. 
  • "If you are a Christian or a white man man in the USA it is open season on you. Therefore Hillary Clinton has an advantage." - Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. (Screenshot.)
  • I listened to a little bit of Marco Rubio's presidential announcement last night and was struck by a thought that applies to every person running for president whether Republican or Democrat. They all have a theme of how they want to make America a place where you, the voter, should be able to make more money. Couch it in terms of "opportunity" or "success" or "dreams" or "economic opportunity", the dominant theme is money. It's very Joel Olsteen like. It's all a version of, "In the end, if you listen to me and support me, your life will be better because you will have more money." 
  • The North Central Council Of Governments will do a transportation and "thoroughfare study" which will include Wise County and will cost $500,000.  Give me a second . . . Ok . . .In the future, 114 will need to be expanded, I-35 will need to be expanded and 380 will need to be expanded.  (In the spirit of fairness, I'll settle for 1/2 of the price of the study.)
  • Notice how I didn't make a Ranger prediction or Maverick prediction? It would be too easy. 
  • If you use the term "low information voter" I immediately know who you've been listening to.
  • We've got a Roku streaming TV device at home which I don't use nearly enough. But I noticed today that Amazon's streaming device now has a function where you can push a button during a show and it will identify every actor on the screen and tell you what other movies/shows they've been in (using IMDb's database.)  Pretty cool.  
  • A couple of years ago I was taken to task when I asked if college kids still took a TV to college for their dorm room.  With a laptop, why would they? Heck, every now and then I think that we should "cut the cable".
  • At around 9:30 at night, The Family Pup will silently walk upstairs and stand by the closed bedroom door waiting for us to go up. 
  • I hadn't thought about for Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips for a long time. Back in the day when college running backs were king, he was the king of kings. The sixth overall pick in the 1996 draft, he soon flamed out and got into criminal trouble.  He was ultimately sentenced to 31 years in prison. Now he is accused of murdering his cellmate. (I seem to remember Dale Hansen, a huge Nebraska fan, going off on a rant about Phillips even when he was in college. He was signing the screen even back then.)


Lightning Strike In Decatur This Morning

It hit a tree. A tree that seconds earlier had bark on it.

And Another 2.0

I saw this over the weekend, but I had no idea the guy died.

The party line is that the deputy mistook his handgun as a taser. Question: Is it possible to make a mistake like that?)  I guess it is possible (I'm on record as saying anything is possible), but how likely is that?

And how about the rest of the cops just ignoring the gunshot wound and the soon to be dead guy's cry for air?

(The deputy has been charged with manslaughter -- a crime which can be be understood as killing someone by a stupid, yet unintentional, act.)

Update to post below

From Bridgeport ISD's Facebook Page

"There is considerable misinformation regarding a potential threat to one or more of our campuses. We are aware a high school student has been reported missing and we have been in contact with the parents and police department. There have been no threats made against the school or campuses. The safety and security of our students is a priority for the district. We have instructed all staff to make sure we are following normal procedures keeping outside doors locked, making sure students are in class and out of the hallways, and having any visitors come in through the office."

I Said "Heads Up" Last Weekend During A Softball Game Because Of A Foul Ball

I guess I'd say the same thing when a manhole cover launches into the air due to an explosion.

Source. (Which is a Buffalo news station that isn't promoting the video at all.)

And I Thought The Rain Was Bad Here

Two Things I Ran Across This Morning

Random Resemblance

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • I was barely able to get this post up because the bottom dropped out of the sky this morning in Decatur, and I was stuck in my car without and umbrella. "Opulence, I has it."
  • The Obama Administration officially came out against the theory of "we can cure your gayness with therapy. 
  • What a horrific wreck in Fort Worth on Saturday night that left five dead. An 18-wheeler involved in the crash was carrying the Sunday edition of the Star-Telegram. 
  • Hillary Clinton announced yesterday that she would run for President. Online. And on a Sunday so all the media would lead with it on Monday.  It's not exactly announcing in front  of a group of bored kids at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, but it might be pretty smart. 
  • ESPN has parted ways with Lou Holtz. Never forget
  • I was watching Jordan Speith win the Masters and was struck by not how great his accomplishment was but how weird humans are. I'm talking about the crowd and the TV audience. We are interested in a guy who can hit a ball with a metal stick? I'm equally guilty.
  • On Friday night I got to watch a softball game with the Sixth Grader in the House pitching (filling in) to the Junior in the House.  Now that interest is understandable. 
  • I've mentioned before that we have neighbors from Russia. The oldest guy in that house appears to be in his 70s and speaks absolutely no English, and he's always out in the yard doing lawn maintenance.  He planted a great bunch of rose bushes which are now blooming. From a distance yesterday, I saw he was outside sitting in chair and I pointed to the bushes and, in an accidental Russian accent, said, "Beautiful!"  His smile was golden. 
  • I heard Bill Kristol on the radio this morning who said Bill Clinton ran his second presidential campaign as a centrist because he took positions such as abortion "should be safe, rare and legal."  I don't disagree that Clinton went to the middle, but what does Kristol think someone on the left believes about abortion?
  • I caught the last 30 minutes of the NASCAR race Fort Worth on TV on Saturday night.  For the life of me, I don't understand the attraction.