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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Highland Park High School was in the middle of a series of mysterious bomb threats that had the high-tone community in a tizzy.  Eventually, a single 16 year old student would be charged. I'm not sure whatever happened to him.

  • I'm not sure I've ever seen winds like that yesterday. I told you to keep your head on a swivel.
    • There are lots of photos of the storm out there, but this one in Weatherford was pretty good. The courthouse is to the right. Edit: A faithful reader at for the Wise County courthouse annex has informed me this photo is fake. Upon review, my source (the link) was the Star-Telegram and they attributed the photo as being from Facebook and originally posted by the Parker County Judge Pat Deen. The paper has now issued a correction and pretty much blamed the county judge. 

    • Here's the other good pic from the Messenger's office.

  • That was quick. 

    • The jury barely had time to read the verdict form and elect a foreperson. 
    • My own personal standard for what is "beyond a reasonable doubt" is very high.  But even I could have been talked into a guilty verdict. Maybe.  But I'm probably the worst State's juror you could possibly have. 
    • That being said, the speed of the guilty verdict is a little unsettling.
    • In this age of everyone-is-a-celebrity, a juror has already given an interview to Good Morning America.

    • The judge did a good job but he did a little grandstanding when he overruled a Defendant's motion to override the verdict: "The evidence of guilt is overwhelming. I deny the motion." Hey, just deny it. 
    • One thing that bugs me after any big trial is that suddenly every TV and radio commentator believes everything the losing side lawyers did was wrong and everything the winning side did was right.
    • Side note: Man, Murdaugh is a big guy.

  • Anyone check on her insanity or competency? Unlike the press release from the Tarrant County DA's office below, the Star-Telegram says there was evidence that she suffers from mental illness and "hears voices."  Andrea Yates anyone?

  • That was the maximum sentence for a 27 year old, and I wondered why in this Intoxication Manslaughter case out of Collin County. I got my answer: He had a blood-alcohol content of 0.377 and he had a prior DWI conviction out of Tarrant County.

  • In other DWI news:

  • Florida proposes as many weird laws as the Texas far right-wing.  The party of "small government"? Story.

  • Most "normal" Republicans are avoiding CPAC this week which has turned into an Ultra-MAGA convention as of the last few years. But Ted Cruz still goes and plays to the crazy Turmp hardliners,
  • That was a very weird experiment.

  • 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, 242 days.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Just an excerpt from the Supreme Court when it refused to hear a criminal case, now already lost to history, out of Texas. 

  • Weather alert warning: Keep your head on a swivel today. The cool front will hit straight up at noon, with the weather turning bad around 2:00 p.m.  It should start with one big downpour but, regardless, it'll be very dicey for the next 12 hours after that.  And this is also a tricky forecast. 
  • If you haven't seen it, here's the video of the fire and the explosion (a few seconds after this still shot) in Buffalo yesterday.

  • So the former police chief of the City of Dallas and the current police chief of the City of Chicago quits to become the "chief operating officer" of a personal injury law firm in Dallas? Weird.

    • And the law firm he is joining has a named partner who just happens to be Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins?

    • And the rabbit trail continues: The "Loncar" in the name, I think, is Brian Loncar who used to do a ton of commercials until he was found dead of a cocaine overdose in his Rolls-Royce.

    • And now I see that one of the lawyers in the firm is Boyd Ritchie who is, of all things, the former District Attorney over in Graham.
  • This news story out of Wichita Falls is not near as interesting as the reminder that the people up their actually elected a guy named David Duke as their Sheriff. 

  • Let me tell ya, the video is, uh, something.

    • This is the same guy who is promoting the Ultra-MAGA takeover of the Northwest ISD school board. 

  • This was out of Lake Worth. What a weird thing to steal. I wouldn't think that wouldn't turn much of a profit on the street, but maybe I'm wrong. Lake Worth PD Chief (and Bridgeport's own) Chief J.T. Manoushagian is expected to make an announcement about it today or tomorrow. He does a good job in front of the camera, and he sure does get a lot of camera time. 

  • This kind of put the Baptists in a tough spot. Once the price was fair, how could they not accept it? They couldn't very well say they didn't want a bunch of former homeless people living by the campus. 

  • I don't want to watch that, and I'm not going to watch that. 

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland, who might be the most mild mannered guy in Washington, was grilled by Republicans yesterday in a dog and pony show hearing. And, yes, one of the Senators posted the following. We are fully entering the Idiocracy stage of America. 

    • And yes, Josh Hawley was one of the lead Insurrectionists. 

  • There is an "interesting" case going on in Waco where a day care worker is alleged to have killed the 4 month old granddaughter of the McLennan County [Administrative] Judge by giving the child Benadryl.  The worker is being defended by the same firm which represents the mother of Athena Strand as plaintiff in the civil lawsuit in Wise County against Federal Express.

  • Fun fact I'm not sure I knew:  “Biannual” means occurring twice in one year, and “biennial” means happening once every two years. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

After a South Texas lawyer was convicted of bribing a judge in 2012 and receiving a 3 year federal sentence which was scheduled to begin, he took a taxi cab at 4:00 in the morning from Brownsville  "to the highest point" of the Port Isabelle bridge, "at which point he reportedly told the driver that he was feeling ill and asked the driver to pull the car over towards the bridge’s median. It was at that point that Marchan allegedly exited the vehicle, and jumped into the Laguna Madre." He was 57.

  • Pete Delkus is having a rough morning:
    • Last night's prediction:

    • This morning major thunderstorms rumbled through Johnson and Tarrant Counties and then headed to Dallas, which is now under a severe thunderstorm warning until 9:00:

  • The actual Attorney General of South Carolina stepped into the criminal case against Alex Murdaugh yesterday and actually questioned a witness.   That's a bad look and smells of grand-standing and desperation.

    • And what's up with the camera guy? While the defense was doing the cross of the same witness, he just casually walked over and knelt in front of the AG who was standing to get a better view. 

  • Not sure if this is worthy of a big story or not. As far as the seediness goes, the allegations are Jerry, in 2018 at the stadium, “kissed [the Plaintiff] on the mouth and forcibly grabbed her without her consent.” As far as the legal stuff goes, it was just a boring civil procedure decision about how specific your pleadings must be and your right to fix it. The Plaintiff's lawyer survived, but I'm not 100% convinced he knows what he is doing. Court opinion here.

  • Is this the best way to rectify this? Law enforcement does something distasteful so the optimal remedy is to have taxpayers write a check to one of the wealthiest women in America for $29 million for her trouble? 

  • The Star-Telegram has a story on the potential sale of the Decatur hospital to HCA. I don't see any new info other than it is still on track. 

  • This is right out of the Handmaids Tales. A Texas legislator who is a self-described conservative Christian has filed a bill supporting "Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply." Here's how it works: (1) Don't get divorced, (2) have kids and (3) be a homeowner. From there, the more kids you have, the more off your property tax bill you will get. In fact, if you have 10 kids your property tax bill goes to zero.  I'm not making this up. 

    • Not to mention that limiting the benefit to homeowners is more likely to benefit whites. 
  • I can't confirm that this road rage incident was in fact in Richardson yesterday, but the 45 second video is really something. Language warning.  

  • Linda Kasabian, a member of the Charles Manson's "family" who was actually present at the scene at both the Tate and LaBianca murders, has died. Back in the day, she was granted immunity and was a witness for the prosecution. 

  • Watch the QAnon Rep try to read "1,524,481" yesterday and finally give up.

  • Very random thought: I don't think I've ever heard a conspiracy theory that the government is secretly injecting deadly amounts of fentanyl into the market as a clandestine War on Drugs tactic.  You know, a "we can't persuade people to stop" so we'll just scare them instead. 


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

The hospital in Bridgeport didn't survive the CPR attempts.

  • The accused killer of Athena Strand is scheduled for an in-person court appearance. I think it will go off as planned.

  • Like a lot of folks on Sunday, I saw this report, originally in the Wall Street Journal, about the COVID lab leak. But I completely ignored it because it made my head hurt.  For the life of me, I don't know how you can say something "probably" happened but then say you have a "low confidence" in your finding. It wouldn't be much different than a jury saying they found a defendant guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" but adding that they had some "serious questions" about the verdict. (Disclosure: I have no idea if it was an accidental lab leak or not.)

  • Oral arguments are today. Easy prediction: The Supreme Court will kill the order with their decision in May or June.

  • With a big data breach, the $300,000 Man continues to do a heck of a job running DPS.

  • Wichita Falls legal news, and here's the judgment of suspension:

  • I think I've got a new favorite Trump Seditionist who was just arrested.  Lock him up, too. Even if he does like bits. 

  • This is going to be such a train-wreck. (But what's Abbott even doing in that list at 2%?) 

  • MTG just won't give up her desire for a "national divorce." But she says she doesn't mean a civil war because there will still be travel between, you know, the Union and the Confederacy. Video.

  • Has the Dilbert guy always been a nut?

  • Hadn't considered the going rate for the Tooth Fairy in a while:

  • I've mentioned before the case which is featured on the front page of the Star-Telegram (paywall), but the trial is going to be wild. A well known veterinarian was allegedly killed by being head butted several times by his son-in-law in Woody's Tavern after they argued about a pending divorce. And there's a video of it all which has not yet been released.