Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Texas Now Has DNA from Teresa Steed's Child (UPDATED)

This is the deal, apparently, that we have been afraid that Teresa Steed made. Texas has the DNA now of her child. I'm also going to guess that at least she is not going to protest, nor her parents, how that DNA was obtained. The door is wide open to prosecute her husband. IMHO of course.

The Salt Lake Tribune (AP) (Michelle Roberts) -"Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office, confirmed Monday that investigators had a search warrant and gathered a DNA swab.

Child welfare authorities have said in court filings that investigators believe the girl, now 17, was married to a man in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when she was 14. In Texas, someone younger than 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult.

Authorities previously tried to examine and collect a sample from the baby, born June 14, but the mother refused to disclose the child's whereabouts. A standoff in court in November led to an undisclosed agreement between the two sides, but the search warrant forced the issue.

The attorney general's office is handling the prosecution of some FLDS members accused of charges including bigamy and sexual assault of a child. The Associated Press generally does not name possible victims of a sex crime.

FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop said authorities went to an FLDS home in the San Antonio area, where some of the families have moved since the April raid on their West Texas ranch, and collected DNA from the baby girl."

I would say the only defenses now open to the father of the child are that sexual relations did not occur in Texas (a real possibility) or Jury Nullification. I'm sick of this at the moment. I get the feeling at times that the FLDS is just lying there and taking it, and waiting until their enemies tire of hitting them. This does little to protect future generations of their people, it does little to build the civil rights of the population at large.

: Never one to mince words, Bill implies strongly that it was a raid, not a consensual harvesting of DNA. Keep in mind that Mr. Medvecky engages in hyperbole from time to time. He has connections at YFZ I do not. If his story is taken at face value, they broke down the door and forced the collection of DNA from the child.

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ztgstmv said...

Remember, the fruits of a poisenous tree doctrine, and how it might apply to these cases, as it might with the Veda Keate case according to her lawyer:

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.

Of course, the Supreme Court has been moving in recent decisions, such as several vehicle search decision (example), and another one now in Florida, that probable cause is still valid, even though it's the fruit of an illegal search. Scary times we're living in.

The Pharisee said...

What worries me Z, is that the defendant was not searched, nor was his property. What was in the "sealed agreement" beyond the details of the excruciating pressure they applied to a "child" to get her to cough up it's DNA?

If all relevant parties (legally) consented to the DNA swab and signed a document saying it was given voluntarily, then the DNA is in the open, free from the YFZ raid.

That would be like a photo of the defendant picked up on the sidewalk, engaged in an illegal act or an act that would be illegal in Texas. I don't think the defendant (not being legally married to Teresa Steed) has rights in this matter. He was not searched. The evidence was potentially turned over voluntarily or it was agreed that it would not be contested in some way, that's what worries me. Once that agreement is in place, unlike with Veda Keate, the door is wide open.

ztgstmv said...

Yep. And we know now for a fact, unless the high court takes a different posture, that coersion by LE to sign an agreement is not, well coersion, it's still a choice. Even if it's a choice between losing your kids and signing.

Again, scary times.

Orion said...

There was NO public outrage over the invasion of the FLDS ranch.

I recall a news poll taken after the debacle, the holocaust at Waco.

The poll showed that over 90% of the American people agreed with the government's action.

Did the public at large, not talking about the wonderful and decent Christians who stood tall, care one whit about Randy Weaver?

No. If it wasn't for Gerry Spence, and Paul Harvey footing the bill, that would have gone down without any sanctions. The payment of some money to Mr Weaver surely wasn't any inhibition to the government.
They promoted and gave medals to those involved.

To this day there has been no justice for Waco nor Ruby Ridge.

Now, looking ahead, does anyone really feel that the populace will make a huge turnaround and become like the Founding Fathers?

"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office" - Aesop

The Pharisee said...

Randy? Is that you?

I actually knew Randy Weaver, though not really well. Not having seen him in 12 years and not being what you would call a close acquaintance I'd have to say "knew" as opposed to "know."

I do know enough to know he got something out of the situation, though the cost was way too high and the price paid by his attackers, too small. Suffice it to say that Randy is not who most people think he is. I hear he's been in my neck of the woods recently. You might check the SWAT team attack of a private organic CO-OP in Ohio that I wrote about last night.

TxBlogger said...

Mankin: Wouldn’t that also indicate that there had been sexual abuse of her as a child?

Doran: I can’t argue with that.

Mankin: So, that was enough probable cause?

Doran: The request from CPS was our probable cause, but we combined that with information that myself and others have gathered over the past four years. All of that went on the affidavit requesting a warrant.

Mankin: You mentioned information you and others have gathered. Would some of that information have come from the confidential informant that was mentioned in the affidavit.

Doran: That is correct.

Mankin: Okay, on the subject of the informant. There was a bit of controversy this week when ABC News and others reported that your informant was a person inside the YFZ Ranch. Was that actually the case.

Doran: Absolutely not! You saw the affidavit. You know it said the informant was a former member of the FLDS. You and I both know that they don’t allow former members at the YFZ.

Mankin: Let me get this straight then...when the warrant was issued, the informant had never been at the YFZ Ranch?

Doran: That’s correct! To get a warrant, it takes a complaint from a victim or first hand knowledge of a crime. The informant provided an abundance of good information, but none of it was based on first hand knowledge and therefore it wasn’t enough to go to a judge with and seek a warrant.
[Baby graves, incinerator, sex in temple, mass suicide in Apr 05? Did the informant provide ANY accurate information? I can't remember.]

Mankin: So the call from the 16- year-old girl was essential?

Doran: The request from CPS was essential. I suppose her call was essential to them.

Mankin: So, how long from the time you got word that CPS was asking for help until the time you surrounded the YFZ Ranch.

Doran: About three days.

Mankin: That’s a big operation to put together in three days, surely law enforcement must have had a preliminary plan in place ready to deal with this kind of eventuality?

Doran: Let’s just say that law enforcement was and is prepared to answer a cry for help at the YFZ Ranch.

kbp said...

Hate to jump in late. I still feel that the Order For Investigation, of April 3, will be a tool available to help justify that "probable cause" in SW's issued after April 3, as all that is observed by CPS workers can be reported to the LE. Long had the April 6 warrant affidavit full of information provided by the CPS, so it at least clouds the issue.

My uneducated theory is that if the April 3 SW and all of its fruits are suppressed, any evidence that resulted from the actual investigation conducted by the CPS or any that resulted from probable cause attributed to information the CPS uncovered will be hard to suppress UNLESS they can muddy that Order CPS used to barge in the gates April 3rd.

We know that the Transfer Order for M-08-001-S and the Transfer Order for M-08-002-S provides a list and dates for most of what & when as it applies to which SW relates to evidence uncovered.

I've wondered at times if the delays in discovery were a result of Texas trying to sort the mess of seized property out, along with information observed or obtained by investigators, to find a way to keep it from being suppressed.

Jerrilynn said...

"I've wondered at times if the delays in discovery were a result of Texas trying to sort the mess of seized property out, along with information observed or obtained by investigators, to find a way to keep it from being suppressed."

I wonder that too. However, it also occurs to me that they are neither competent nor organized enough to do this intentionally. The DFPS (the umbrella over CPS) is a mess. I've got an ancient administrative APS case that they haven't set because of FLDS. Also, I haven't met one lawyer with their agency that I thought was capable of such a strategy. Maybe the AG was calling the shots in the CPS cases.

Also, I got my discovery requests for documents answered before the Judge signed that Order. Because they had no evidence against my family, there was nothing of any significance or difficulty of production there. I venture that that would have been true in the case of every family other than those involving "underage" girls.

I think that they just couldn't handle the volume.

The Pharisee said...

I can't believe that Government is incompetent and over confident Jerri Lynn.

kbp said...

"I wonder that too. However, it also occurs to me that they are neither competent nor organized enough to do this intentionally."

I'd say it's possible they could plan such and the final product will reflect "that they are neither competent nor organized".

Lots of moves were made in which the cover up for them may come to the surface in the upcoming depositions. At the minimum, it will lock in answers that will restrict what they do for cover up later.

The Pharisee said...

By the way, this is why conspiracies always out. Government in particular is too bumbling and ham handed to engage in the subtleties necessary to pull of some grand scheme.

Usually what these conspiracies turn out to be are right minded people with good intentions getting in deeper and deeper, then doing something wrong, and not having the sense to admit it.

Personally, I think Flora thinks she's doing a "great good." Those that listened to her think she is too. Now that it turns out they've been chasing ghosts, they're trying to cover up what they thought was a basic good thing, with wrong deeds. If that's the case, and it involves criminality, I think it will come out.