Friday, May 15, 2009

San Angelo Proceedings Reviewed

The Salt Lake Tribune has published an article reviewing a number of the developments in today's court room activity in San Angelo.
I'll just go item by item, and comment.
"Shelter workers who spoke to the caller were 'adamant that this girl needed help; they were adamant that this girl needed to leave the ranch,' testified Texas Ranger Brooks Long."
This is meaningless. The "convinced" or "sincere" or "heartfelt" nature of the shelter's employees means nothing. The facts only mean things. Their feelings might exert a powerful tug on the heartstrings but as facts they amount to zero. Thus the adamant declarations of the shelter workers has the effect of multiplying zero by any large number. The result? Zero.
"The state entered into evidence..., under seal, about 10 photos taken inside the sect's temple and described as showing beds and pedestals. Testimony continued late into (the) night and the judge did not make immediate rulings."
Meaningless again. None of these things are seen or known about prior to entry into YFZ, so they are not a factor in justifying the warrant, again this is a purely emotional appeal to whomever. It's sheer grandstanding. It also signals that the state is still trying to push some aspect of the discredited "sex bed" story. There is nothing of substance here. Nothing in these exhibits pertains to any search warrant's justification. Don't be surprised if these photos now get "leaked" and show up (shock) on certain blogs. It's probably the only real reason for entering them into evidence.
"(Texas Ranger Brooks) Long said the caller who sparked the raid was credible, citing as an example her frequent use of the word 'prophet,' a title used for the sect's leader. Her vagueness in naming her husband -- her alleged attacker -- or a hospital where she was treated was typical of domestic violence victims, he said."
Brooks Long is a domestic violence expert? I would like some evidence of that status. Vagueness can only be attributed to domestic violence? Doesn't it have other causes, such as the vague person is lying? No one knows that the FLDS has a "Prophet?" I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that the larger "mainstream" LDS refer to their leader as a "Prophet." It's fairly normal in fact in this region of the country, to know that the LDS have a "Prophet." If it's a hoax call, all that is necessary is for the caller to be LDS.

Additionally, the caller displayed other telltales that dispute the genuine nature of the call. If Brooks asks us to believe that "vagueness" and the use of the word "Prophet" mean the call is genuine, laughable in the extreme, why is he not cautioned by the use of language naming parents "Mom and Dad" instead of "Mother and Father?" What about references to the holiday "Easter" which is not part of FLDS doctrine or custom? Brooks is holding out that he is an FLDS expert, and if he is, these telltales say that the caller is far from genuine.
"Once the caller identified her husband as Dale Evans Barlow -- selected from a list of men associated with the FLDS Church, read to her by hotline worker -- Long decided against contacting the man's Arizona probation officer.

Long said he had two reasons: in his experience, probation officers call offenders and alert them to such calls, and he had heard there were people sympathetic to the FLDS in the area's criminal justice system. Barlow, along with other sect members, had been prosecuted in Arizona on charges related to underage marriages."
First, the troubling "selection" of a name. Is the "abused" "Sarah" so unsure of the name of her own husband? Does she even KNOW where she is in the country? There are too many problems with this to address. If she can't identify her husband without help, why does this not erode her credibility as a caller from YFZ? I could call Newbridge right now from a phone with any area code from any part of the country. If I was chained in the basement and unsure of who my "husband" is, why do I even know I'm in Eldorado? I could go on and on.

Turning to Long's first reason for not calling the probation officer, Long cites an unsubstantiated belief that Arizona Probation Officers tip off their charges. What is his basis for this statement? What follows makes it even sillier:
"(Lt. Long) also did not ask the unnamed source he often used to gather information about the FLDS, he said, explaining his charge from the Rangers did not include locating Barlow."
First the Sex Beds brought into the discussion for no reason other than sensationalism, they cannot have been relevant to the proceeding, now Brooks Long's "Deep Throat" reappears. Isn't it time we had some name for this source, even if it is redacted? Shouldn't Judge Walther be able to say she knows who this source is at this point? Otherwise, the source has no credibility and shouldn't be mentioned in the proceeding.

Also Brooks first says he is concerned about "tipping off" "Dale Evans Barlow" but then he's not interested in locating him? What was all that noise then before about "tipping off?" He has a deep source in an evil empire that has tentacles everywhere, is this what he is trying to say? It's mumbo jumbo.
"They have identified at least 12 witnesses they plan to call, including Barlow, law officers, a Baptist pastor and a crisis hot line employee."
The pastor may be back by Monday. Assuming that the proceeding is still, proceeding, it may not be important that he skipped his summons. He'll be there in time anyway. We'll see Monday. He certainly should get a stern "talking to."

Sphere: Related Content


cheese said...

"Her vagueness in naming her husband -- her alleged attacker -- or a hospital where she was treated was typical of domestic violence victims, he said."

So here Long is admitting that it was just a "domestic violence call" , right? So if Sheriff Doran and maybe a deputy or two showed up to check out a "domestic violence call" do you suppose they would have been treated cordially as they always had in the past, instead of showing up with APC, Snipers, Rangers, CPS, Buses, etc?

Riki said...

Apparently, Long wants us to believe that his interview with the victim went something like this:
"Were you abused by your husband?" "Yes." "What's his name?" "I don't know."

P.L.E.A.S.E. While it's true that victims most times don't know certain things about their abusers, it's usually something benign like their social security or driver's license number, or their current address, not their name! The very term "Domestic Violence" in Texas requires that there be some sort of relationship between the 2 people. I have YET to come across a victim who didn't know her husband's/boy friend's/abuser's name. Since all LE in Texas are REQUIRED to have training in the various aspects of Domestic Violence, I call "bs" on Long for this.