Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More on Mineola

With the caveat that I do not know the case well, and can't come close to evaluating the guilt or innocence of those involved, here's the story run in the Tyler Morning Telegraph today. The Judge is expressing some degree of skepticism from the tone of this story:
"Justice Hedges also focused on the fact that five children were called to testify in the original trial, when the original two who made the outcries would have sufficed".
Again, the similarity to this case and YFZ is the mystifying failure to go with what would have worked better, and instead running up the number of supposed victims. The Judge seems to think that if the prosecution had just stuck to the first two "outcries," things would have gone better for the prosecution. This makes me wonder about the pathology of Law Enforcement that is involved.

Are they competing to get to a prosecution first?

Are they trying to up their "rep" in the case with more salacious details thereby furthering their careers?

I mention this because a less spectacular approach to YFZ it seemed, would have sufficed, yet in this case the Judge seems to be pointing to, bare minimum, excess. Five kids instead of two which in my mind corresponds to the number of "underage pregnant teenage girls" that were "found" initially at YFZ.

I continue to point out that the cause for going into the ranch seemed silly to me. Why not just go in on a suspicion of Bigamy and list a bunch of places to search and then "Seek until ye shall find?" Instead there is a big splashy raid with horrific allegations (who can forget the "Sex Bed") and now an endangered prosecution.

Does Texas routinely gin up the charges so as to make any potential juror afraid to acquit or give lowered sentences? Is it all about trying the case, before trying the case?

"Wes" Volberding:
"The briefs allege that the Smith County District Attorney’s office concealed vital information pointing to the actual innocence of the six adults involved in the case, and that Judge Skeen has applied different rules in this trial than Texas allows," he said.

"The owners of the club, Russ and Sherry Adams, told the Tyler prosecutors that no children ever set foot in their club," Volberding said.

"The prosecutors believed them and let them go, then kept that information to themselves without telling the defense lawyers," he said.
The original source of the accusation, is questionable:
"Smith County prosecutors also concealed the fact that one of the foster parents of the two children who made the original outcries, John Cantrell, was being investigated in California for molesting other children who had been in his care.

Volberding also alleges that prosecutors held onto recorded statements in which the children say that nothing ever happened to them, and no molestation ever occurred."
Thad Davidson, who was the original attorney of record for the defense said he would be: "surprised if the case was not flipped."
"Jim Huggler, who served as both the original trial attorney, and is now the appellate attorney for Jamie Pittman, another defendant in the case, filed his appeal based on the introduction of other offenses not related to the indictment of his client in the original trial.

Huggler also said, like Volberding, that the state concealed the tapes of the children who said nothing ever happened to them."
There was no mention of the unprecedented "Amicus Brief" filed by the Wood County DA, contradicting the Smith County DA, in the Tyler Morning Telegraph story.

The story has also been covered by "Grits for Breakfast," and by the "Texas Monthly." As mentioned before, Ranger Philip Kemp is in it, up to his neck. Of course Bill Medvecky has been all over it.

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