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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Update: He received 90 months in prison and was released in July of 2019. But the man could kick.

  • The video of the beating which led to the man's death will be released this evening on YouTube. The way everyone is asking for calm makes you think it must be very, very bad. 

  • Remember those high gas prices? Chevron suddenly just has billions for a stock buy-back. We're all suckers.

  • More Russian bombs dropped on Ukraine . . . 

    • . . . Correction: 

  • Government gigs are the best gigs. Especially when they run you off.  

  • A suspended police officer was found not guilty in Wichita Falls yesterday. You don't have to get too far into the story before you realize why: What a convoluted mess. Defense lawyers were Reagan Wynn of Fort Worth and David Guinn of Lubbock -- pretty big hitters. The special prosecutor was Ted Steinke. (I knew I had heard Steinke's name -- most recently because of his connection to a case involving a wheels off Dallas judge.)

  • Passing courtroom observation. I haven't watched a great deal of the sensational murder trial going on in South Carolina right now against attorney Alex Murdaugh but, from what I've seen, the prosecutor (Creighton Waters) is really, really good.  And everyone's southern accents are fantastic. 

  • Legal nerdy stuff (which is important to criminal practitioners): The other day I received a general Brady notice from the prosecutors office - a notice that something is very wrong with a witness -  concerning a chemist from DPS. He had ended up being sanctioned by DPS for the mishandling of evidence. But get this: I learned yesterday that the the chemist's name does not necessarily appear on the lab report for the case even though the chemist was exclusively in charge of the blood tubes during the process of analysis. There's absolutely no way to know the chemist was involved unless the prosecutor's office tells you. Fortunately, in Wise County, our prosecutors will do this. I bet that's not the case elsewhere. 
  • Legal nerdy stuff: The Fort Worth Court of Appeals yesterday enforced an arbitration clause in a complicated legal malpractice case filed in Wise County. I mention it only because some local lawyers are involved in the litigation (but not the subject of the malpractice claim).
  • This is right on point. Dak had his chance for "the" moment. Instead it was a miserable three and out. 

  • 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: 3 years, 206 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Kelly Clarkson sang at President Obama's second inauguration.

  • Murder trial in Dallas abruptly put on hold yesterday. Jurors were waiting in the hallway. The victim's family flew in from Seattle. The defense lawyers were there and ready. The defendant was there (and has been in jail for a year). And then the case was then continued. The hiding of evidence will continue to happen until judges start flat out dismissing cases on the spot for discovery abuse.

  • The big "sex trafficking" arrest in the the metroplex of 46 men, which included a youth pastor and a coach, was nothing more than just the typical adult prostitution sting with cops tricking poor saps online. Buried in an updated story yesterday was this: "There was no evidence of local underage sex trafficking, contrary to rumors." 
  • On then there are other types.

  • This seems to be a delicate dance to avoid an escalation. Tanks OK. Long range missiles not.  Javelin anti-tank missiles OK. Troops not. 

  • I must be getting old because this part of the story caught my attention more than the racism: "Waymond Wesley II, a TikTok star chef who worked in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, has resigned after a laundry list of his own 'racist' and 'colorist' tweets surfaced, showing him trolling and targeting Black women online."  So an ADA is a "star" on "Tiktok" as "chef"?

  • The starting salary for jailers in Williamson County is now $55,000. Let me tell you something. That ain't enough for one of the most thankless and difficult jobs there is. 

  • I wonder how that's working out at Chico ISD which was one of the first schools to adopt a 4 day week?

  • No way this happens. Even Trump knows she would hurt and not help.

  • Wild high rise fire in Chicago yesterday. One dead. 

  • Could the new ChatGPT actually handle traffic ticket court? I bet it could. And do it well.  But the big problem would be the earpiece the guy wanted to stick in the defendant's ear.  The unauthorized practice of law is a trickier issue. (Side note: There are no "State Bar prosecutors" but what he meant was that the State Bar threatened to refer him to the local DA/CA.)

    • But that got me thinking. Every lawyer has Internet access at the counsel table. A pro se Defendant should be entitled to it, too. If you had a laptop(s)/iPad(s)/phone(s) set up, getting outside help right now is really easy. I mean, every lawyer has probably had a colleague text him, message him, or email a message that says, "Think about asking him . . . ." Couldn't a lawyer go one step further and rely upon AI if he trusted it? Shouldn't a pro se defendant have that right? 
    • A weird world is coming for all of us. 
  • Is Parsons throwing Dak under the bus? Probably. 

  • I'm excited about the new Wise County Courthouse restoration, but I don't see a whole lot going on over there as the building now sits empty.


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

Here is what eventually happened to him

  • Brandt Hawkins of Bridgeport, and of Hawkins Funeral Home, died suddenly yesterday. I'm sick about this. He was a really, really good guy.

  • This is "Cruz" from Decatur per this post. Fox 4 retweeted it.

  • The Messenger is going from twice a week publication to just once a week. The print edition will be a Thursday edition. Currently they are on a Wednesday and Friday schedule. 

  • I give up.

  • I don't understand the this photo, or at least the cropping of it, on the front page of the Star-Telegram.

  • I had no idea that there anti-vaxxers think that Buffalo Bills player not only is dead because of a vaccine (not because he was involved in the car wreck type of collision on the field), but that there is now a body double being paraded around in his place. I'll say it again: These people are all around us. Example . . .  

  • Speaking of. Wise County's scandalous representative, who believes COVID is a hoax, is very excited about his new role. What a nut case.


  • It was a bad day for drivers yesterday.
  • Good lord.

  • While Gov. Abbott is supporting school vouchers and the gutting of public schools, a Democratic lawmaker has a different idea.

    • Related: From the front page of the Dallas Morning News today.

  • NewsMax has been dropped by DirecTV after a carriage fees fight.

  • Messenger:  Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

Tensions were on edge after Sandy Hook. Carson Elementary in Decatur actually went into lockdown mode as a precaution. 

  • My Liberally Lean Weather Team is very skeptical of it snowing while it is above freezing and the roads remaining fine.  When I asked them for scientific support for their dismissiveness, they just told me, "Just don't sound right."   

    • Meanwhile out west . . . 

  • There was another mass shooting in California. This time the shooter was a 67 year old Asian man. What's going on?

  • We found out what was behind the Whataburger shooting in Fort Worth on Friday.  Social media will kill us all. 

  • Insurrection news:
    • More convictions for trying to overthrow the government, including a guy from Proper.

    • This guy got convicted as well (but they weren't sedition charges). I would have been worried when my lawyer showed up in that hat.  

  • This was a news tidbit out of Granbury ISD last night. I think the lede should be that people were actually brave enough to get into a plane that was purchased for just $42,000.

  • Gov. Abbott is leaning more and more into school vouchers. But make no mistake, vouchers are nothing more than just an attempt to move your tax dollars from public schools to private, unregulated Christian schools. It's anti-teacher and anti-public education. 

  • A Look-At-Me Sound Bite Warning has been issued for today in Washington. 

  • Best Picture nominees were announced moments ago. I've seen Top Gun (overrated) and All Quiet on the Western Front (very good.)

  • This is from the official Dallas Cowboys twitter account. That's pretty harsh coming from the team. 

  • Jacksboro's David Spiller wants to protect monuments.  Sheesh. Under the bill, for example, a statue honoring and praising those who took up arms against the United States in the Civil War will remain on state property unless two-thirds of the Texas legislature agrees to remove it. Otherwise, the Confederacy may in fact never die.  (That's at least better than a previous bill that said a statue over 40 years old could never be removed.)

    • Legal question: Say in the future there was a 51% Democratic majority in the legislature which didn't like this 2/3rds law. Couldn't they just vote to repeal the law since they are then in the majority? Then the 2/3rds requirement would be gone without ever having a 2/3rds majority. 
  • Legal nerdy entertaining stuff: Here's the beginning of a random federal court opinion released yesterday.

  • I keep telling you about ChatGPT

  • The Star-Telegram might be a little too excited about the weather today . . .