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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Yep, I actually wrote that on February 12, 2013. The list is now only a "Top 12" which, oddly, has 13 cases listed. None are from Wise County.

  • The troubled sheriff to the north was suspended yesterday.

    • Here are the money lines from the story:

  • And in nearby Wichita County, a deputy pled guilty in another sex scandal which may or may not include a bondsman as a co-conspirator. 

  • The cross-examination of Alex Murdaugh continues this morning. (Live feed.) This is good stuff. I think the prosecutor is good. But I think Murdaugh is doing a really good job, too. And I loved how the first question out of the box from Murdaugh's own lawyer was "Did you brutally kill your wife?" 

    • I checked on the video this morning and got to see his lawyer hanging out with the deputies waiting for Murdaugh to arrive from jail in the paddy wagon. 

  • I told you Tarrant County would change with far right wing Tim O'Hare as County Judge. Yesterday he broke the tie as the county did away with mandatory county employee training for harassment and "unconscious bias." You know, that "woke" stuff like treating others with respect.

    • Oddly, they also did away with, of all things, security training across the board. The sheriff addressed the commissioners opposing the training because he didn't want his deputies "running" or "hiding." “We want them charging in with the gust of a hound dog to absolutely neutralize that.” That's great, but I'm not sure how that's going to help, say, the county clerk staff in a different building. 
  • Speaking of the Tarrant County Sheriff, it was a slow start to the year, but he is back to having people die in his care again. There were at least 11 who died last year. This one occurred last week.

  • Whenever you see "task force", you know (1) it will be absolutely ineffective and (2) is being done, first and foremost, for show. 

  • Let's check in on Wise County's crazy and troubled Congressman.

  • The more I think about it, the more I like this legal maneuver. 

  • Nerdy legal stuff: There was a criminal case reversed on appeal out of Collin County yesterday because the judge told the jury panel during jury selection that "beyond a reasonable doubt" is like the prosecutor getting the nose of a football over the 50 yard line. Good lord. The opinion quoted the trial judge:

    • I would have jumped out of my chair saying, "Judge, I'm going to have to respectfully object . . . ." when I really meant, "Are you out of your freaking mind!!!" 
    • The judge was Andrea Thompson out of the 416th Judicial District Court in Collin County.

    • Amazingly, the defense lawyer didn't object to the judge's obviously wrong comments. That normally waives any error. But the appellate court really went out on a limb to help the defendant by saying that the due process error was so bad that he didn't have to.
  • How did they solve it? You guessed it: By using a commercial site like 23andMe and finding relatives of the unmatched DNA profile.

  • 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, 235 days.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

The jury had found the drunk guy 30% responsible and the club 70% responsible. That didn't make any sense then and doesn't make any more sense now. 

  • If you haven't seen the video of this guy running and being chased down seconds after the crash, here you go. He received 15 years in prison. 

  • And before the crash, there's footage of him at the bar. Actually, he wandered behind the bar. 

  • They are still trying to kick the indicted Clay County Sheriff out of office. There's a big hearing today.
  • I've mentioned lately about the trend of having defendants testify in their own defense. If this morning's post below, from the lead investigative reporter of South Carolina's leading newspaper, is correct, we've got a big day ahead. The live feed of the trial is normally on YouTube here

    • I had forgotten he was in jail. Here he is getting out of the jail van this morning. 

  • Man, that foreperson of the Atlanta election-interference grand jury is giving a cringe-worthy performance during her ill-conceived interview tour. She is doing herself no favors. Video. And the grand jury system in general is taking a hit as well.

  • One of my favorite Insurrectionists received 38 months yesterday. It's not enough. 

  • I've got a faithful reader which for years has fed me scoops on Texas counties to the north. He sent a missive yesterday where he predicted a "Not Guilty" verdict in this Wichita Falls case which has been transferred to Tarrant County.  If I've got my facts right, one of the defense lawyers is Terri Moore who has recently agreed to take a job for the new Tarrant County D.A.  Mark Daniel is trying the defense case with her. 

  • The fighter jet photo of the Chinese Spy balloon. 

  • Texas Monthly has a new story about what happens when the extreme far right wing takes over a city council. 

  • Say what?

  • The back of Cowboys wide receiver C.D. Lamb.

  • Legal nerdy stuff. I was always told you can't do this during appellate oral argument. But some guy did it, and pulled it off, in the Supreme Court yesterday.

  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

I didn't remember this guy so I had to Google "Judge Christopher Dupuy." His story got wild

  • As widely expected, the Wise County District Attorney's office will seek the death penalty in the Athena Strand case.
    • Somewhat oddly, the news came from the Sheriff and not the D.A.: "Akin said the district attorney told the sheriff's office he's officially filed paperwork to seek the punishment if Horner is convicted."
    • Historically, I'm pretty sure no one has ever received a death sentence out of Wise County. 

  • Recall that the father of Strand filed a civil lawsuit shortly after the murder.  Now the mother has intervened as a Plaintiff in that same action filed in Wise County.

    • Pleadings sure have changed a lot in my lifetime. Look how the Intervention starts out. And it's full of pictures and screenshots. Full petition here

    • That Petition in Intervention was filed by . . . 

    • The independent contractor which hired Tanner Horner is Big TopSpin, Inc. and represented by the firm Baker Donelson.
    • Fed Ex is represented by Holm | Bambace.
    • Both firms are huge, but I can't say I've ever heard of them. 
    • Full list of all the lawyers listed in the newest pleadings: 

  • The foreman of the grand jury in Atlanta -- the one which investigated Trump and others for election interference -- needs to get off TV and certainly stop doing interviews. This is a prosecutor's nightmare. 

  • Don't forget about this story.  The legislature hasn't decided to fund it yet. 

    • And in a comical moment before a committee yesterday, this occurred. 

  • Politically, I don't know why Kevin McCarthy turned the footage over -- other than he had to in order to appease those who had made a deal with to become Speaker.  But if the Republicans want to keep the January 6th Insurrection front and center in the news, the Democrats certainly won't mind. 

  • Fox News gave the crazy QAnon rep a forum last night, and Sean Hannity thought her divorce/secede idea sounded pretty good. And she actually said, "The last thing I ever want to see in America is a civil war  . . .  but it's going that direction." Incredible.

  • Michael Irvin's lawsuit against the hotel for kicking him out for allegedly saying something offensive was stupid to begin with. Now the hotel has moved the case to federal court where it won't last long at all.

  • The University of Alabama got shook up yesterday when it was just casually dropped in a hearing that the school's freshman star basketball player brought the gun to the guy who is currently charged with capital murder. 

  • The Alex Murdaugh story really is nuts, and the trial has some odd moments, too. Story.
    • And the defense is spending a ton of money in the murder trial. Yesterday they had an expert testify that a short person had to have done the shooting -- complete with 3D animation and graphics. 

  • On The Ticket this morning, they talked about Bridgeport and Runaway Bay as being speed traps. Host George Dunham got a ticket in one of the two a while back (it sounded like Runaway Bay) and complained about the sudden change in speed zones.