The Campaign For DA


Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Wise County active cases: 26 (+1) And it was announced yesterday that the county will only get numbers every Tuesday from now on. I guess I'll kill this daily bullet point and make it a weekly one.
  • Texas hospitalizations: 3,246 (-3) The flattening might be happening. But I've been wrong about that before.

  • Texas school numbers: This will be good stuff over the coming weeks. It's brand new and is only updated weekly for now. But on 9/23 they'll start releasing district level numbers in spreadsheet formatting. (I've got The Liberally Lean Number and Statistics Department on standby.)

  • So yesterday the governor opened up businesses from 50% to 75%? Did anyone truly think there was a limit of 50% or that it was being honored? 
  • If you want to see real Texas courts in action, go here and look at a ton of live feeds from Houston's county and justice courts.  Most of the judges are just conducting quick hearings and regular docket calls but they leave the feed open in between them. They are incredibly loose and relaxed. I watched for only about 30 minutes the other day and heard a judge say, "I need to make everyone dress up for holidays. On Columbus Day I could make everyone come dressed as a racist." It is truly like they sometimes forgot the cameras are rolling. It's incredible. (But as far as dockets are concerned, it is very, very efficient.)
  • The Aric Maxwell/Lauren Whitener Murder Case Fiasco -- Yep, I'm Still Ranting. 
    • So I've now been asked, "Why was he arrested in the first place?"  That's a great question. Sure, we now have the DNA evidence which completely exonerates him, but why was he arrested even before the results were known? I outlined yesterday what they didn't have and all the evidence that showed Aric didn't do it. So let's talk about what they did have and what was the tipping point. 
    • Here is a quote from Sheriff Lane Akin about the case in the Wise County Messenger which was published six days before Aric's arrest. At that point the case is unsolved. Akin, after saying he thinks about the case every day, tells us his investigators wake up at night trying to figure it out. 

    • So what happened to get Aric arrested six days later? What's the big break in the case? Here's what: A lab report from Pure Gold Forensics in California came in. That's the only development, and the development Akin said he was waiting for. That report said that Lauren's DNA had been found on a single blade of grass. Ok, that seems kind of important. Where was it found, you ask? I'll show you.
    • Here's the location described in the arrest warrant affidavit: It's at a "halfway point from the victim's back yard gate to the defendant's back yard gate."

    • Here's a map showing where Aric and his family lived and where Lauren Whitener lived. (There's an unlabeled duplex unit adjacent to Whitener's, too.) The back yards are fenced with gates. The white X is the half way point where the blade of grass was found.

    • That will qualify as at least "interesting", right? But the smoking gun? And what if I told you (1) the killer had to leave through Lauren's back gate (her front door was deadbolted and her back door was wide open when first responders arrived) and so he had to flee somewhere -- either left, right or straight,  (2) that crime scene investigators walked inside and through the gruesome crime scene without protective booties on the morning of murder/fire and then went outside and walked on that very spot (I've got a photo they took proving it), and (3) the "blade of grass" was found two weeks after the murder -- something that should cause all sorts of alarms to go off. There was an absolute gully washer of rain storm one day after the murder. 
    • So that single blade of grass somehow magically caused the case to go from "we can't solve it" to "let's arrest a man for capital murder." Incredible. 
    • Did I yell about all of this when I figured it out? You bet. You probably don't remember it but I got the Star-Telegram's attention about this very thing in February. (See below). Heck, even before the sperm cell DNA exonerated Aric, I was screaming about how this case was a big bag of nothing. I wasn't doing some lawyer shtick. I was trying to alert people to a travesty of justice that was unfolding right in front of my eyes. And I was right. The DNA from the sperm cells proved me right.:

    • But let's not lose sight of that DNA report on the sperm cells which exonerated Aric which directly led to the dismissal of the indictments. And no matter how the Sheriff tries to spin it -- and he still is -- this is not "new evidence." The WCSO was in possession of that lab report last September which told them there was a killer out there who was not Aric. And don't forget that their own private expert (that Pure Gold outfit who also analysed the blade of grass) told them in an email on December 20, 2019 exactly the same thing. Nor lose sight of my March 10, 2020 court pleading begging everyone to look at the DNA report and the email which was telling them they had the wrong guy.  
    • And I want to give the Messenger credit for a pseudo-editorial from their crime scene reporter about the case in today's paper. My only complaint is that this isn't on the front page and above the fold. It ended as follows. (Go buy a paper. Be a subscriber. Give them your money.) 

    • I'll end on a much lighter note.  Some wise guy posted on the Internet a screenshot from my CBS11 interview and did the following to it. In the words of the great lawyer, Jackie Chiles, "This is outrageous and preposterous!!"
  • The Johnny Armstrong murder case out of Wise County was affirmed yesterday on appeal. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold
  • Anyone else notice the sign language guy behind Abbott? He seemed pretty wheels off. And I've got some serious questions about those guys . . . .