It's Friday -- Let's Get Out of Here

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Ten years ago this week we had the tornados strike across the South with Alabama taking the biggest impact. The tornados actually occurred over a three day period with April 28, 2011 being the worse with 316 people killed that day.  

  •  Here's what will probably end up being an award winning photo of the drug raid of a home this week in Decatur on Washburn Street. 

    • I've been handling drug cases for 30 years, and I've never heard of the drug "DMT." I've also never heard of the law enforcement agency named "Big Sandy SRT."
  • At least 45 dead in Israel were killed when crushed at a religious festival attended by thousands. "The stampede began when large numbers of people thronged a narrow tunnel-like passage during the event, according to witnesses and video footage. People began falling on top of each other near the end of the walkway, as they descended slippery metal stairs, witnesses said." Video.

    • I bet you anything that most of the deaths were caused from not being trampled but because of “compression asphyxia” -- being packed in so tightly that you simply can't breath. That's what happened at The Who concert in Cincinnati in 1979. People died even if they were in the upright position because they couldn't expand and contract their diaphragm.
    • The Wikipedia list of events where people have died because of stampedes or being crushed at huge events is mind-boggling. 
  • There might actually be a chance that possession of a small amount of weed becomes a fine-only offense in Texas. (It still has to pass the Senate.) 

  • Dan Patrick announced yesterday that the Texas Senate will actually vote on HB1927 which would legalize open carry/concealed carry without a license. There's no way he let's that get a floor vote if it won't pass, right? 

  • Remember earlier this week when the Empower Texans backed media outlet Texas Scorecard (run by Michael Quinn Sullivan) decided to "out" a lobbyist in Austin who they accused of assaulting a "legislative staffer" with a date rape drug? Remember I said they were the only media outlet to name a suspect? Remember that I said, "They better be right"?  Well, they might want to get out their checkbook.  DPS announced yesterday that "we have concluded that there is not enough evidence to support these allegations and that criminal charges are not appropriate." That is, there is not enough evidence to support charges against anyone, named or unnamed. Texas Scorecard began to do damage control immediately about their error saying the guy they outed might have been "framed."  

  • A local Decatur attorney announced he will run for the governor. Here's the podcast by the Messenger this week where Paul Belew made the announcement.  

  • Weirdest part from this story: "Police said two witnesses reported seeing someone who matched Massey’s description get out of the water Tuesday morning . . . . She was reported to have stood on a bench and then gotten off, police said."

  • So he's saying this was done by Trump appointee and buddy AG Bill Barr?

  • Johnny Crawford, who played Mark McCain in The Rifleman, has died. I loved that show as a kid, and still get sucked into it whenever it's on.  Never has a man killed so many people in justified self-defense than Mark's pa, Lucas McCain. (I once did a quick post about a Decatur resident having had his picture taken with Johnny Crawford.)

  • The Bidens visited Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter yesterday. 

  • I was over at the courthouse the other day and talked to a friend who is going on vacation this summer. She mentioned that they would probably go by "The Noah's Ark in Kentucky." That stopped me down in a moment of confusion but, I'll be dang, there is one. I had no idea.

  • Random college sports: Someone explain this play that occurred during the UT Spring Game. Video. It's the craziest throw I've ever seen. 

  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 665 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Charlie Sheen, in the midst of his craziness, actually held a show at the AAC.  That's a photo taken "seconds" before he took the stage. The now deceased Kidd Kraddick hosted.   

  • Some of the images I found of the hail in Keller last night are reminiscent of Fort Worth's Mayfest 1995.

  • Images from President Biden address to the joint session of Congress last night.
    • Two women behind him. That's never happened before. 

    • Cruz was dreaming of Cancun as he dosed off. Video

    • Compare and contrast.

    • Fox and Friends found some grumpy Trumpers having breakfast in Pilot Point before 6:00 a.m. this morning to criticize the President:

  • The story below gives me another reason to yell about Medical Examiner's: They should never rule a death a "homicide." First, that declaration from an ME only means that he believes the death was caused at the hands of another human being. That could be because of murder, negligence, or a complete accident. It has nothing to do with intent. Secondly, ruling something a "homicide" also has nothing to do with the medical cause of death which is the only expertise an ME has. That is, he can tell me a body ceased to function because of a bullet pieced someone's heart, but he has no idea from examining a body as to whether someone else caused that bullet to enter the body. 

  • That sentencing hearing in the district court in Decatur yesterday actually took place. The guy got 40 years. (CR21856)
  • I'm not a fan of federal prosecutions for what should be state crimes -- especially when a state prosecution has already begun.

  • I finally watched the oral arguments in the Amber Guyger appeal and have some hot opinions:
    • There is almost a 100% chance the conviction will be affirmed.
    • The problem on appeal, and I mentioned this at the time of the trial, is that the trial judge gave her almost everything she wanted which leaves almost nothing for appeal.
    • The only real argument that Guyger's lawyer has made is that she was mistaken about which apartment she was in so this "mistake of fact" should cause the evidence to be considered insufficient to convict for murder. But I could tell from the court's questions that their position was: This isn't a "mistake of fact" case but a "self-defense" case. That is, in considering self-defense, the jury could take into consideration the evidence that she believed she was in the the wrong apartment and felt she was in apparent danger, but the jury rejected self-defense.
    • Here's the problem for Guyger: Maybe the jury believed her claim she was in the wrong apartment yet didn't believe she needed to use lethal deadly force in her believe of self-defense. Bottom line: That's a rational finding by the jury and the appellate court isn't going to touch it. 
    • Any defendant's best shot is in the trial court with the jury. If convicted, it's all uphill after that and that hill might was well be Mount Everest. 
    • The only thing that Guyger didn't get at trial was that the judge excluded the testimony of the Texas Ranger who said he did not believe the case even met the the "probable cause to arrest" standard. But her lawyer did not make this a Point of Error on appeal so the court won't even consider it. 
    • Her appellate lawyer seems to be well respected but some things he did were weird. For example, when it came for his chance to rebut the State's argument (Guyger's lawyer has the right to go first and last), he completely declined! That's unheard of. He got 20 total minutes to save Amber Guyger from 10 years in prison and he didn't use his remaining five minutes.
    • A very nit picky thing he did was to start off the argument by reciting the cause number of the indictment. Uh, who cares, the Court already knows it, and that's not an attention grabbing opening line.   
    • The lawyer for the DA's office, Doug Gladden, was very, very good. 
    • You know Guyger is in trouble when one judge complimented Gladden on his brief and the font he used. Really. 
    • The Court took the video of the hearing down yesterday (which seems wrong), but have kept the audio up here.
  • Rudy Giuliani's apartment in Manhattan was searched by the Feds yesterday. I would hope that a "detached and neutral" federal judge found "probable cause" to believe "evidence of a crime" was there, but I have no faith in the system to believe those legal requirements were met. On a lighter note, the most famous landscaping company in America weighed in with a little comedy:

  • Funny weather graphic out of Houston to explain the difference between a watch and an warning. 

  • I was trying to figure out who new reporter Peyton Yager on Fox 4 replaced, and I'm guessing it it is Allison Harris who has become a D.C. reporter for the new (and struggling) NewsNation.

  • These two photos of Uptown in Dallas around the AAC taken 20 years apart are really amazing. Click here to see the enlarged photos and easily flip back and forth. 

  • The Musers on The Ticket named Rod Hill, drafted by the Cowboys in the first round in 1982, as the worst draft pick of all metroplex teams in history. I brought his name up to Gil Brandt, the man responsible for the pick, on Twitter 10 years ago and got blocked. It may have been my first block ever. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

Exactly 10 years ago yesterday, we were dealing with this silliness. The White House link is still active.

  • The media trying to cover the oral arguments in Amber Guyger's appeal yesterday found out just how unexciting oral arguments are. (You can watch a recording of it here.)
  • DPS needs to come clean with what happened in Haslet on Friday. An plain-clothes DPS "special agent" was shot as he was approaching a house by a guy who didn't know who he was. In fact, the shooter had actually called 911 about being followed and by a "man with a gun."  The officer survived, but the shooter hasn't been charged. But on Friday DPS spokesperson Lt. Lonny Haschel kept referring to the shooter as "a suspect" and said he was "in custody."  I wonder if the DPS agent followed the wrong guy and almost scared him to death. There's more to this story than they are telling. 

  • I know absolutely nothing about the case below, but it has been set for a relatively unusual "sentencing hearing" in the Decatur district court yesterday and today. Look at how old the offense dates are. 

  • I'm telling you, everyone in the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office is going to be fired after all is said and done. The local defense bar is now rightly demanding an independent investigation into the office's recent screw-ups. 

  • Not getting the vaccine is a political statement. It's an attitude of (1) COVID was overblown, (2) big government used it as an excuse to take away my rights, (3) the liberal media used it to help defeat Trump, so (4) I'm not doing anything that "they" tell me to now.  Either that, or you believe the government wants to secretly implant you with a computer tracking device. 

  • I still haven't rehired my Liberally Lean Weather Staff after their failed snow predictions over the past year, so I had to steal this graphic for today. This is updated as of 8:00 a.m. Edit: Frankie has issued a warning for today

  • Crazy Randy Quaid has announced he may run for governor in California. Yet he, just like Caitlyn Jenner, incorrectly thinks that the governor appoints district attorneys. 

  • The family of Marvin Scott wants the names of the jailers in Collin County who were involved in his death after those jailers "tried to strap him to a restraint bed, pepper-sprayed him and covered his face with a spit hood until he became unresponsive." But the Sheriff won't give up the names. As every law enforcement officer does when they try to hide something, the Sheriff has requested an Attorney General's opinion on whether they had to release the information. There is a slight Wise County connection, however: The Sheriff submitted "a written statement to the attorney general’s office from Texas Ranger Jeremy Wallace that said release of the names 'would interfere with the Custodial Death investigation and potential future prosecution of crime/crimes related.'" Ranger Wallace used to be assigned to Wise County and assisted the Wise County Sheriff's Office in the Aric Maxwell/Lauren Whitener case.  

  • Random old photo that appeared on Twitter last night: WFAA's Dale Hansen with some extremely short shorts. 

  • The Musers on The Ticket were talking about this "revenge porn" case this morning and, infuriatingly so, they were in favor of the lady being sent to prison.  (Long time readers know I think there is a huge First Amendment issue with revenge porn statues, and I have predicted that the Texas Court of Appeals is about to strike down the Texas revenge porn statute in this case.)  Anyway, host Gordon Keith agreed with the sentence saying "you can't be doing that" because "the pictures were sent with an expectation of privacy."  Host Craig Miller agreed, but added how he thinks it's nuts to send nude photos to someone because "it will come back to haunt you."   So which is it? If you send nude photos to someone, do you have an expectation of privacy or do you know it can come back to haunt you? 

    • For those that think it is wrong for the woman to share the photos: Do you think it should be a crime if she had simply described the photos to her friend in excruciating detail? Should the government be able to put you in a cage for that? 
  • Remember the couple attacked by the bobcat in the viral video? Well, I always heard that rabies shots were painful, and the couple now attests to the fact in a recent article in USA Today. As to the number they had to take, they "had to get single shots in the arm five times after the initial shots, which totaled 35 shots in 14 days." (That's a confusing way to describe it.)

  • A crazy Georgia Sheriff was indicted for civil rights violations with emphasis on a special "restraint chair" that he used. One of the allegations involve arresting a guy for "harassment" who had called one of the sheriff's deputies to collect on a lawn care debt. After his arrest, he was then strapped in the chair. It's all insane.

  • Messenger: Above the Fold