Random Friday Morning Thoughts

It was never even close to being a slam-dunk case for the State. 

  • In what is probably already the most famous criminal case in Wise County history, a small speedbump has been hit.   Tanner Horner's attorneys have been removed because of an existing  agreement that Wise County had entered into with some entity called the Regional Public Defender Office which, according to that agreement, is solely responsible for defending any death penalty case in the county. It will now take over the case for Horner. 

    • As a consequence, Fort Worth lawyer Bill Ray, who had been appointed to represent Horner,  is out. 

    • The organization has now been listed as attorney of record in the Wise County records..
    • As I understand this, the agreement was signed as a type of "capital murder insurance" to protect small counties, which rarely have death penalty cases, from having to foot the defense bill which can be exorbitant. The following counties in blue have signed similar agreements:

    • Of course, the big question is how no one realized that the agreement would apply to this case from the start. In everyone's defense, I had no idea about it either. The agreement was signed on January 10, 2022.  The murder of Athena Strand occurred in December of 2022. Bill Ray was appointed within two weeks. The State announced it was seeking the death penalty in late February, 2023.

  • We have another Trump Insurrection defendant sentenced. Not enough.

  • While the angst-of-the-day is the elimination of DEI (Diversity/Equity/Inclusion) training everywhere, yesterday afternoon a House Republican referred to African-Americans as "colored people" on the House floor. Once again, this happened in the year of our Lord, 2023. Video.

  • Oh, my.

  • Old timers like me will remember him fondly: Long-time WFAA anchor John Criswell has died. 

  • The silly floating balls on the Rio Grande were being installed yesterday.

  • Former NFL great and future Hall of Famer Phillip Rivers must really love kids.

  • One of the Fort Worth road rage incidents made it into The Washington Post this morning. 

  • Let's check in on Fox News.  I had been wondering what "Scotty Potty" and "Princess Lili's gender fluid bike" had been thinking. 

  • Very, very nerdy legal stuff: On Wednesday, we had a court of appeals affirm a trial court's decision to throw out a breath test in a DWI case. After the defendant had agreed to provide a sample, he began to reconsider a bit and start asking questions/advice from the officer. The following responses of the officer resulted in the judge finding that the consent was voluntary. 

  • Business note: I saw this headline so I took a quick look to try and figure out who was going to get rich off this deal.  Basically I learned that Denbury is primarily owned by well known mutual funds. But I really got sidetracked when I learned that Denbury was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy three years ago where they "shedded" $2.1 billion in debt under a court-supervised reorganization. So people got shafted out of $2.1 billion and now it gets sold for $5 billion? We are all suckers.

  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office, despite having a full male DNA profile, has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 4 years and 10 days.