Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maybe not so strong? "Sealed agreement reached" with Teresa Steed

Perhaps I expected too much. It is of course, way too soon to tell as we don't know what the "sealed agreement" is. This is nauseating. Precisely who does this "sealing" protect? Ms. Steed? She's already gone out on a limb. From the San Angelo Standard-Times;

"(Teresa Steed) showed up; her infant did not.

'The baby is not here, so they have defied the court's order,' CPS attorney John Dolezal told the judge, asking to put the 17-year-old (Ms. Steed) on the stand to testify about where the infant was.

(Teresa) initially pleaded the Fifth Amendment when asked whether the baby stayed with her at her given address in San Antonio, but after consultation with Ellis, she answered that the child at one time did stay with her at that location but was not there anymore.

(Teresa) told Dolezal the baby is out of state.

'I don't know right now' the exact whereabouts of the child, she said. 'She is traveling.'

When Dolezal asked where the infant was being taken, (Teresa) shut down.

'I refuse to answer that question,' (Ms. Steed) said, and when pressed on why she refused, she said: 'I just don't want anyone to know where she is.'

Ellis then consulted with (Teresa Steed) again, and the attorney quietly told Walther (Teresa) knew the potential repercussions of refusing to answer a question when instructed to by the court.

'Ma'am, the court instructs you to answer the question,' Walther said.

'I refuse to answer,' (Teresa) replied."

Again I openly wonder how a girl can be deemed to understand the "repercussions of refusing to answer" and not be capable of forming responsible opinions about sex, reproduction, motherhood and who her sex partner will be. It may be the law, but the law is a farce. Teresa can on the one hand incriminate herself, or make herself liable or be held in contempt, and in the next moment cannot be trusted to make lucid informed decisions about motherhood? The only answer is that logically, this makes no sense unless you make it logic about the law. Namely the law can make any ridiculously contrary set of rules, and well, it's the law. It would seem to me if you could hold her responsible for her actions, you are likewise emancipating her. Then how do you gain control of her child?

"Walther recessed the court and called the attorneys into her chambers, where - as she has been known to do, especially during this case - she tersely ordered both sides to reach an agreement. Soon after, she left the courthouse."

This "take my ball and go home" behavior has been displayed by Walther before, and what has always stunned me is, that it works. The behavior of those in her courtroom suggests strong armed blackmail. How for instance, can you order people to reach an agreement. Answer? You threaten at least one of them. Do any of you suppose that Walther threatened the state? In all likelyhood she threatened to take custody of the child once it was found, and never return it to Teresa Steed. Then she gets up, says "make an agreement" and walks out.

Not knowing what "family service plan" that Teresa's parents signed, I can only theorize that if they hadn't signed one, they'd be better off right now. I still think Walther would have threatened what she threatened, whatever that was. The advantage for Teresa Steed would be that if CPS had no stake now, they'd have to gain one first, and that could take considerable time. Time during which Teresa might turn 18.

I also cannot figure how Teresa is in any way criminal in this case. There is as of yet, no evidence of a crime. There is the theory out there that Teresa's partner is an older man. Without examining the child though, how could they know that? It's a catch 22.

Now to the "sealed agreement."

"After the sides reached the agreement, Texas Ranger Sgt. Nick Hanna and an investigator from the Texas Attorney General's Office told the girl they needed to serve a search warrant, immediately after which courthouse security cleared the building, telling reporters and observers it was closed.

The warrant was for a DNA sample, said sect spokesman Willie Jessop - a move Jessop criticized, noting that samples were taken of all children by court order in April."

Ok, maybe that's all the agreement was, to get a DNA sample from Ms. Steed. Now we have disturbing parallels to Veda Keate, who had her child sampled three separate times. It would seem that Texas is trying to establish as pure DNA trail that has nothing to do with evidence collected at YFZ.

There's no way of knowing until later, but it looks as if part of the agreement was that Teresa Steed give a DNA sample. It may be that Ms. Steed also had access to something that would give a DNA sample for her child. I would love to have been there in Walther's courtroom, to verify what must have been brutal blackmail.

The only heartening evidence we have here, is that Texas continues to make moves that show it is preparing for cases that it cannot used DNA collected earlier in the year, which means they believe they could lose and evidence challenge.

My personal hope is that the child is not only out of state, but out of the country.

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ztgstmv said...

Good point on proving lack of confidence in the originally gotten (tainted) evidence (LE could have sought a court order for the CPS samples). Keate's lawyer says no-can-do LE:

"Switzer said that rather than seek a court order requiring CPS to share its DNA results, the AG’s office appears to want new evidence not attained by the “debacle” surrounding the initial investigation at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in April.

Switzer said any evidence problems surrounding the search warrant used to enter the ranch also taints the new search warrants.

“How would they even know that [about Keate's child] if it weren’t for the illegal raid on the ranch to begin with?” he said.

The Pharisee said...

Texas CPS and LE are trying to get so many shots on the basket from long distance, that maybe one hits.

These are "Hail Marys" that they're throwing up. Multiple cases, separate evidence trails, you name it. Never mind they couldn't have seen the trail for the trees until they stole a map.

Yes it's silly but Texas is counting on overwhelming and exhausting it's opponent. They are also desperately seeking at least one or two convictions that end up standing, through plea bargains or actual convictions so that they can say the did the right thing.

In the end if the FLDS leave Texas, ultimately they will have what they came for. If the strike the shepherd, and the flock scatters, so will all the Western States lined up against Warren Jeffs' flock.