A dialogue between Ranger Matt Cawthon and Randall Scott Gates, a former dog handler at the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office…
Like the darkness on the edge of town, the diametric opposition between the viewpoints in this dispute are as indelible as the dawn.
This is a tournament of the powers that be, played for keeps, with consequences nearly as dire as those faced by Thomas More, the Undersheriff of the City of London, whom Henry VIII ordered beheaded when he refused to give his allegiance to the Anglican Church and attend the coronation of Ann Boleyn. The utopian ideal gives way to a dystopian ordeal of cognitive dissonance; the players are outfitted in raiment devised long before the renaissance occurred, prior to any mention of the concepts of the enlightenment.
A Texas Ranger serving as Chief Deputy, in upholding the traditions of a frontier republic, orders an investigation; two captains and two lieutenants conduct an investigation which concludes in strong allegations of malfeasance and misconduct against a former Lieutenant and a dog handler.
As the only truly elected representative of the people in the arena of law and order, the Sheriff makes certain adjustments, moves the players to other positions on the board, continues an aggressive and successful campaign against thieves and hustlers, dope dealers and addicts, burglars and robbers.
Thus, the investigation is incomplete. Nevertheless, there are strong feelings; opinions count, and in this intrigue, they actually are deemed quality of life issues.
In disagreement, the Ranger resigns his position. He is the only one to suffer any ill consequences of the allegations, which are serious because, based upon the training of a magnificent beast with a nose that is thousands upon thousands of percent more accurate than that of a human, people lose assets, cash, property, their children, as the result of a search and seizure based upon the probable cause of the canine’s “alert.”
The Sheriff is steadfast. He is resolute in his promises to the voters that he will conduct an all-out war on the bad folks who insert the dystopian elements of an undesirable world into their lives. The men previously investigated are working a deep night patrol shift. They routinely jail and charge significant numbers of career criminals. In private conversation, he mentions the number of an even dozen placed in custody during one twelve-hour period.
They have come forward, and wish to tell their side of the story. We eagerly await the permission of Sheriff Parnell McNamara to bring that story to our readers. And what of the dog, “Ace”? He recently worked hard to try to find a vicious individual who shot a television meteorologist as he left work, severely wounding him in a hail of gunfire that left his body and his car riddled with lead. Ace tracked him to a spot in the woods nearby, where he must have stashed his car in order to make his getaway, according to the Sheriff. – The Legendary
McLENNAN Commissoners’ Court authorized a $30,000 payment to the ex-wife of a K9 Officer whose son’s face was disfigured by his dog, Ace. This story tells how a former training Lieutenant and the K9 handler abused the dog with a cap pistol and by constant harassment that led to his being refused re-certification by a Louisiana firm. – The Legendary
SHERIFF PARNELL MCNAMARA SAID, “THIS REPORT IS NOT FINAL. IT IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.” WATCH THESE COLUMNS FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH THE TWO OFFICERS, WITH THE APPROVAL OF SHERIFF MCNAMARA. – The Legendary
Waco – Police Officers entrusted with the care and training of a tame wolf named Ace whose job is to detect illegal, dangerous drugs, acted with negligence, then lied about it, the official record shows.
A records release made on Monday, December 22, by County Attorney Dustin Chapman of 147 pages of findings in the investigation of a narcotics detection dog abused by a K9 handler and a training supervisor at the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office during the months of March through August 2014 establish three sets of facts – and come to a decisive conclusion.
Corporal Joseph Ballew “was not conducting a training exercise with Ace during the time (August 19) Deputy Wolfe was bitten.” The Latest training record is dated August 18. “Both verbal and written statements by Ballew to the contrary are less than forthright.”
Two Lieutenants assigned to conduct an investigation declared Ballew “was negligent and reckless in his handling of Ace.” They concluded his conduct resulted in making the dog overly aggressive, an animal who attempted to bite and attack both officers and bystanders alike. Certification experts at US K9 in Kaplan, Louisiana, refused to go further with training a new handler until Ace could go through extensive retraining.
Investigators concluded that training supervisor Chris Eubank, at the time a Lieutenant, sent an e-mail claiming “that a training exercise was being conducted appears to greatly and purposefully minimize the incident.”
Both men have approached Randall Scott Gates, a former detective who once was certified as a K9 handler, to say that their side of the story has gone untold. Sgt. Eubank was demoted from his former position as a Lieutenant; Corporal Ballew “took advantage of an opportunity to make a lateral transfer” to the Patrol Division, where he now works as a patrol officer. Their statements made during the course of the investigation are adequately covered by these columns. The official records show the investigators disagreed; their supervisors acted accordingly.
In any case, neither of them have communicated otherwise, either verbally, or in writing.
To date, no other answers have been made by Sheriff Parnell McNamara or members of his administration, other than the release by a county official of the public records requested.
According to the report, a meticulous collection of documents chronicling the training, expenses, health records, and equipment purchased to handle Ace, the end result is that thousands of dollars have been spent to re-train the dog, rather than destroy it.
Allegations that sensitive documents obtained from a confidential informant who sent them anonymously through the U.S. Postal Service in an unmarked envelope to R.S. Gates were stolen by a former supervisor, or were somehow falsified, are not true. The 147 pages of records released by the attorney Chapman are supportive of those documents; in the case of the 38 pages previously received, the pages that come from the official investigation are identical.
They are a part of the public record as a result of that release.
Want to get a look at the new fascism? Get a load of the spin doctor they have at the Waco Independent School District. This is how Dale Caffey, “director of communications,” handled a simple request seeking information about a substitute teacher who was busted for possession of heroin and forgery at a school campus where she was working – a drug free zone…The offense took place on October 2; the first request for information went to the authorities on November 24; the arrest took place on December 19; and we received notification at 8 p.m. on the day that most people left town for the Christmas holiday.
Now, what if you were trying to contact a relative or a close friend who happened to “disappear” one afternoon at 4 p.m., quitting time, and you ran into all this hassle? Just suppose. Remember, we don’t know how much heroin was involved. We don’t know where or what the defendant did between October 2, the date of the intitial police complaint, and December 19, the date of the arrest and magistration, when bail was set. HIPPA.
Dig: Information control is mind control. Click for original size:
To learn how to request a booking report and mug shot, follow this link:
Waco – The war on drugs claimed another casualty when “the system” swallowed a youthful woman whole, the end result of a somewhat lengthy, very exacting legal process.
On a gray and rainy Friday morning before Christmas, two months after she was first questioned, a Waco Independent School District police officer arrested Alayne Caroline Ballantine, who resides in the 1900 block of Howard, Waco, for forgery and possession of heroin at the Lake Air Montessori Magnet School.
At the time of the offense, October 20, she worked there as a substitute teacher.
Officers arrived promptly to arrest her at half-past 9 a.m. on Friday, December 19, at a location in the 2000 block of Alexander in this city. Their arrest report lists her as unemployed.
A “light/fair” complected woman of 21, five feet, nine inches in height and weighing 120 pounds, she was working in the position on a temporary basis between courses of studies at a university professional school, where she sat for a licensing exam. The arresting officer described her speech as “polite,” her teeth “normal,” her hair “medium,” her body tattooed with a “floral pattern” on her right shoulder, a poem inscribed in indelible ink on her left shoulder blade.
An on-line entry on the “All Poetry” website attributes a verse to her pen, inscribed “four years ago” :
According to informed sources, the tall, slender young woman became emotionally distraught when confronted about purloined checks taken from a fellow teacher’s purse; she reportedly surprised police officers when she suddenly blurted out the details of her problem – addiction to hard drugs – as they questioned her on October 20. A search of her purse yielded an unspecified quantity of the drug, which is classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance.
The fact that she was apprehended with the drug on elementary school property located in a drug free zone is an aggravation to the offense, which in any case is classified in “punishment group 1.” The penalty range under the Texas Health and Safety Code varies from a State Jail Felony for possession of less than one gram of the substance to life imprisonment, or for a term of not more than 99 years, if of an aggregate weight including adulterants and dilutants of 400 grams (14.1 ounces) or more.
A magistrate set her bail at $3,000 on the forgery charge and $5,000 for possession of heroin at an elementary school.
Dale Caffey, Waco Independent School District director of communications, made the arrest information available following a request for public information under the provisions of the Texas Open Records Act that was e-mailed on December 1 and received on Dec. 2.
He responded to that request on December 4, writing that “a forgery investigation by the Waco ISD Police Department that is currently underway is expected to result in an arrest. At this time, an arrest report with regard to this incident does not exist…Paperwork has been filed and appropriate documents are being secured by the Waco ISD Police Department in order to properly execute an arrest. We expect the arrest to occur this month.”
Mr. Caffey supplied no arrest identification photograph of the accused offender. The Legendary obtained the photograph depicted above from a Facebook page. It lists her occupation as “substitute teacher.”
To read of the services Mr. Caffey performs for Waco Independent School District, follow this link:
Ex-Texas Ranger Matt Cawthon said he is seeking legal counsel to file a civil suit against his former boss and a local police chief for what in a criminal matter would be called “official oppression.”
He alleges that McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara and Public Safety Director/City Manager Yost Zachary approached executives at KWTX Channel 10, the CBS affiliate at Waco, to request they not hire him as a part-time on-air crime consultant.
Cawthon entered the ranks of the unemployed when he resigned his position as Chief Deputy of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, effective October 31.
In the parlance of civil law, such an act is considered “tortious interference” with a contract. “It is located in the same part of the law as slander and libel,” he said. “I want you to read that. You know how to look it up.”
In their desire to control his actions, he alleges, “They interfered with my ability to enter into a contract.” He added that he feels he has no choice but to seek redress through a civil action.
“That’s all these people understand…They understand bad publicity; they understand costing somebody a job…” Official oppression is defined as the misuse of the authority of a public office to restrict the freedom or liberty of a person without legal authority to do so.
The matter has attracted much publicity in broadcasting circles, due to the fact that Cawthon consulted with the news organization in a single on-air appearance about the murderous gun attack on KCEN-TV Channel 6 (NBC) meteorologist Patrick Crawford, who also serves as the weatherman for several local radio outlets, including KWTX News 1230, an iHeart Broadcasting station, which features a popular morning talk show hosted by on-air personality Shane Warner.
Warner, who called the implications of Cawthon’s allegations “huge” in terms of news media’s access to public information, and the ability of a person to seek employment, gave the development special attention on his Friday morning broadcast.
Reached for comment, KWTX News Mike Lauber said, “I’d rather not comment on things we’re doing internally. We are in a very competitive business, and we have to be mindful of that.” He would neither confirm, nor deny the allegation that Sheriff McNamara and Director Zachary approached his organization over hiring Cawthon. He acknowledged the fact that Cawthon made an on-camera appearance at the scene of the attack on KCEN’s weatherman, but Cawthon “wasn’t appearing in any capacity as a consultant.”
“One thing I’d like to help you with is that Parnell never told us anything about Cawthon being a racist. I’d like to clear that up.”
At the end of Friday broadcast of the News 1230 “Talk of the Town,” Warner called for a “public forum” from “anyone who wants to call in” between the hour of 8:05 a.m. and the time he signed off at 9. He had in a previous segment devoted most of the hour to reporting about the manhunt that is underway to locate the attacker who shot the weatherman and ex-Chief Deputy Cawthon’s allegations.
The hour passed, and he received no call from Sheriff McNamara or Director Zachary.
One may hear an audio of Warner’s wrap-up on the situation by clicking here:
Retired Texas Ranger Matt Cawthon says two of the area’s top cops are opposing his proposed job as a crime consultant for KWTX – 10, the local CBS outlet.
When the manhunt began for the murderous gunman who attacked a KCEN (NBC) Channel 6 meteorologist at the station’s rural I-35 location early Wednesday morning, station executives approached the ex-Chief Deputy of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office about the position with the proviso that he could work on a non-exclusive basis and remain in contact with other media representatives.
He is fresh from a two-year stint as Chief Deputy for the Sheriff’s Office following a sudden resignation over non-disclosed “differences” in law enforcement policy at the end of October.
He made only one on-camera appearance before he learned that Sheriff Parnell McNamara and Public Safety Director /City Manager Yost Zachary had visited Gray Broadcasting’s executive suite to oppose the move.
“He’s calling me a racist,” Cawthon sputtered, saying that McNamara “dredged up” an incident that occurred two decades in the past when he and another Texas Ranger were overheard by an eavesdropper with a scanner discussing the appointment of the state’s first black female Ranger as they chatted, off duty, on their cordless phones.
Following a brief suspension by DPS, he was reinstated and finished his career. “The bottom line is, it was never proven. It was 21 years ago. Why should I have to answer for that today?”
Cawthon became a favorite of if it bleeds, it leads media reporters during his brief tenure as Chief Deputy, made popular by his media-savvy poise and the ability to give concise interviews in fast-breaking spot news situations.
“They’re threatening to cut off information,” for the media outlet, Cawthon accused. “Why would Zachary be joining up with Parnell to block me from getting a little old part time job? I do not understand why these individuals feel it is necessary to do this.”
Six Shooter Junction – He had a spirit bag masquerading as one of those filmy little white plastic numbers they give you at Wal-Mart to carry small purchases.
As the days of the trial wore on, he put his hand inside it and rubbed certain objects – a feather from a raptor’s wing, a piece of jade or agate picked up on a mountain slope, a claw of some woodland creature – and if you looked closely, you could see that his eyes were neither open, nor closed. He was in a rapture, a near-trance, deep in meditation.
One afternoon, while a witness droned on and the attorneys leapt like overheated hounds at points of procedural and evidentiary arcana passing in the breeze of the still and rank dragon’s breath of the courtroom, I joined him there for a few moments and saw a steep gorge and a narrow, precarious path that skirted the chasm in which I was definitely following in someone’s footsteps – and then the moment passed, and when I looked up, Billy Joe Shaver, seated at his place inside the bar, at the defense table, was staring me in the eye.
He was there to answer for his part in the kind of hassle from which only an outlaw troubadour, a wordsmith capable of writing about how a cowboy “filled up his boots with his feet,” or that when Hank sang, he sang every word, “looking right straight at me,” could emerge with any degree of aplomb, much less maintain the cool and calm demeanor of a honky tonk hero.
He was indicted for assault with a deadly weapon against a man who brandished a switchblade, stirred people’s drinks with its keenly whetted blade, and insulted his wife’s honor by suggesting in loud tones and a rude manner that on a day long before, she was the cause of a former husband’s suicide by shooting himself in the head while she was in the next room. This scene had become a routine irritation, whenever the couple appeared together in public in and around Waco or its southern suburbs. The old boy who shot himself had a large family.
The truth emerged, little by little, that the defendant, who was of an age that if convicted and sentenced to serve a lengthy prison term, would probably spend his last days behind bars, was actually acting in self defense, as his attorney Dick DeGuerin had told the jurors in his opening statement. There was no dispute that while he and his wife Wanda had been out drinking a beer at a neighborhood bar on open mike night, Billy Joe shot their interlocutor in the mouth with a tiny .22 revolver, a derringer you could conceal in the palm of your hand.
It was the source of the difficulty, not the little revolver, but what was coming out of the man’s mouth; that was not its only ramification, as it turned out.
Quite simply, once the deed was done, Shaver collected his wife, got in his car, and split, headed for Austin. He didn’t see any need to stick around, and he had his reasons. Jurors acquitted him of the charge. He later plead guilty to possession of a firearm in a place where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed, a minor crime that is hardly of the magnitude of a first class felony.
After a considerable length of time – way more than a year – I got one of those once-in-a-lifetime interviews scribblers rarely see, the one where the person the scribbler intended to interview actually interviews the scribbler. It was as if on an ordinary journey, bearing the wood, bearing the water, I crossed paths with the Bodhisattva, who awaited me at an obscure turn on that precipitous path I had started down so many moons in the past. Howdy, there.
In the hardware section of a local lumber yard, I shopped for a work light to use in shooting video, and, absorbed with the task, looked up once again to confront Billy Joe Shaver lamping me down the length of a considerable beak, the kind that labels a man as a breed. His father was a Black Foot.
This time, he was smiling, where before on that day in the court, he was frankly staring at an intruder in his world.
On the time line of the legendary, there are infrequent and obscure deadlines, syncopating punctuations that are hard to discern – abbreviated moments in time, for which one waits.
“I just now remember who you are,” he said, as if resuming a conversation interrupted only a few moments before. “You’re that old boy from down at Houston, always doing things with words, aren’t you?”
Yes, that’s me. I reminded him we met during an obscure year at an old and long-forgotten bar downtown in the Bayou City, not far from the courthouse square, where songwriters showcased their wares several decades in the past. We talked about how Elvis during a performance made everyone feel like he was looking at them, and so did Hank Williams. Many people who caught their act have said so.
“I have something I want you to know about what happened,” Shaver said. “That night I shot that old boy, I didn’t say, ‘Where do you want it?’”
He paused, let that sink in. His antagonist had invited him to see him out back, and Shaver made a bee line for the door after first going to his car to leave, then changing his mind. He wanted to let his eyes adjust to the darkened porch and picnic area after the neon and stage lights of the bar. It was a show down, and not one he necessarily provoked. Watch this.
In a verse of a song he inscribed, “Wacko From Waco,” he said, “I don’t start fights; I finish fights, and that’s the way it’s always been.” Had I heard it? I pronounced the new song smoking.
And, then, out of the blue, apropos nothing, he said it was not until his challenger drew a pistol and aimed it that he defended himself with his firearm. Blow me down.
“And yet, that was nowhere mentioned in the officers’ testimony or any of the witnesses’,” I replied. “Why didn’t you tell them?”
“They didn’t ask,” Shaver replied. The statement hung in the air like Spanish moss in a mighty oak, the kind germinated prior to the coronation of Elizabeth I. He looked as deadly serious as any serious man to whom I have ever spoken about any serious matter. I never asked him. At least, not with words. He told me.
I’ve kept that rock in my hand – until now – because I knew there would be a better time to play it, a time when it would count. There is a reason for that. It’s a lesson taught by one old boy who does things with words to another old boy – one who does things with words. I am truly grateful. Somebody tell those folks in Austin. Remind them, too. They seem to be in a mood to call the question, the one about “wearing” firearms openly, so stipulated in the Texas Constitution.
That’s what I thought about while I napped and Billy Joe Shaver and Willie Nelson sang and played new songs on the David Letterman Show. When it comes to carrying a gun, there are things you don’t tell the courthouse clique – unless they ask. So mote it be.
Waco – Employees moving to a lean, mean, more streamlined “consumer-driven” health plan with a $3,000 annual deductible made nearly a million dollars difference in claims costs for McLennan County during the previous budget year, according to health consultant Randy McGraw, vice president of HUB International.
Why? They know they won’t be able to afford the “Cadillac Tax” to be imposed on platinum and gold health plans by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, “Obamacare.”
In other areas, the Commissioners Court bestowed a raise on the Purchasing Director from $78.5K per year to $80.8K, to bring his salary “in parity” with other department heads, and considered hiring a private firm to serve legal process in cases not requiring a Deputy Sheriff or Constable’s services.
In a finale to the career of the last Democratic Party member to serve as a Constitutional Officer in the courthouse, the Court approved the purchase of a $7,000 paper shredder for outgoing District Clerk Karen Matkin.
One may hear an audio of discussion of the health care plan by clicking here:
Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon left, arms crossed, Sheriff Parnell McNamara, right, white shirt, white hat
FIRST IN A SERIES…
Waco – Details are beginning to emerge of the schism that split what began as a stellar partnership between two lawmen of near legendary status, and ended in a squabble, shrouded in mystery.
Former Deputy U.S. Marshal Parnell McNamara and retired Texas Ranger Matt Cawthon took on the establishment, beat an opponent with many years on the job in the hotly contested Republican primary election of 2012, and as a team got themselves elected to the number one and two spots in the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office by a margin so wide – roughly 7 out of 10 votes cast – it was nearly out of sight.
In less than two years, the partnership unraveled, leaving both men silent and unwilling to talk about the fundamental disagreement in police administration that led to their sudden disaffection when Chief Deputy Cawthon abruptly resigned his post, effective Oct. 31. Six weeks later, Sheriff McNamara has announced no plans to replace him.
We at The Legendary received a copy of an internal investigation into the brutal abuse of a valuable K-9 unit, a drug detection dog named “Ace,” who became so confused and maddened by his treatment that he became unreasonably aggressive and injured at least one officer and attempted to bite others involved in his training.
Two ranking department heads of the rank of captain signed off on the investigation alleging “unacceptable conduct” and “dereliction of duty,” only after the company that originally sold Ace to the Sheriff’s Office for $15,000 recommended either his complete retraining at a cost of an additional $1,200, or that he be put down due to his ill behavior, the clear result of abuse by his handler, according to their investigation.
Prior to this, the dog handler had been allowed to make a lateral transfer, along with the promotion to the rank of Corporal, to another division that did not include working with K9s, according to a confidential informant, who mailed the material anonymously.
“The Sheriff will attempt to make one believe that he took steps against the deputy by removing him from the canine program as some sort of punishment. Quite to the contrary, it was the deputy leaving the canine program that brought to light the problems within the canine program…”
Sheriff McNamara received an official request for public information regarding the matter on Monday, December 8, and when he had not responded by Friday, December 12, we determined to publish this first article in a series devoted to similar conflicts that led to the resignation of Matt Cawthon. He declined a request to be interviewed for attribution for the material developed for this series.
After Corporal Joseph Ballew left the K9 unit, Deputy Esteban Bustillos reported with Ace to USK9, a Kaplan, Louisiana, training school for police dogs, where Ace became so aggressive and agitated that he tried to bite both he and members of the training staff. They sent him packing, back to Waco, and wrote Lt. Mike Gates an e-mail saying, “The training staff believes that these issues were developed by allowing people to pick on or constant teasing of the dog.” Bustillos informed Captain Shawn Lippe and Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon, who ordered a complete internal investigation into why Ace had become so aggressive.
At the time, Sheriff McNamara was on a three-week sabbatical to Switzerland. When he returned, the results of that investigation awaited his attention. So far, according to anonymous sources, he has taken no action.
Here is what was learned.
On August 8, 2014, Deputy James Wolfe was seated at a computer, typing a report, when Ballew and Bustillos brought Ace into the office. Ballew began to command Ace to jump on top of a filing cabinet, a perch so lofty and ungainly that, according to Wolfe, the dog opted instead to jump on the desk where he was at work. In reaction, he pushed his chair backward when Ace put his forepaws on him, which caused the dog’s rear paws to fall off the desk. “When I did so, Ace bit my forearm causing a small wound…While pulling him away from me, Ace nipped the backside of my left elbow leaving a small bruise.” Officers gave Wolfe first aid for the puncture wound he received; he declined hospital emergency care.
Sergeant Kevin Ferguson stated he once saw Ballew fire a child’s cap pistol at Ace while he was in a cage in his patrol unit, an action which caused the dog to bark loudly while he tried to escape from the cage. Ballew related he discovered Ace’s extreme reaction when his little girl shot her cap pistol at him while playing in the yard. Ferguson also told other deputies he saw Ballew kick Ace in the rear end. At times he fired the cap pistol at him to the extent that the began to shake the SUV patrol unit with his aggressive jumping and lunging inside his cage. Ferguson said he expressed his disapproval to Ballew.
Sergeant James Bradam of the Killeen P.D., who sometimes trained with Ballew, recalled similar inconsistencies and confusion caused by Ballew’s handling of another dog named Impulse. He concluded in a statement, “My observations of training tactics and inconsistent training have frustrated and confused Ace. Couple this with his traits and any other social factors Ballew threw at Ace, he is now aggressive.
Deputy Bustillos stated that Sergeant Chris Eubank and Ballew often agitated Ace by tapping on the glass of the patrol unit, making him bark, and had him jump up on the car, then on its roof before attempting to make him jump from one vehicle to the other. “I have no professional opinion or experience on the behavior of a dog or the required training, but I do not agree when a professional tool is treated like a toy. I do acknowledge that in this incidents I have stood by and did not attempt to stop the behavior.”
Lt. Michael Gates and Lt. Ben Toombs concluded that “There is no clear learning objective for randomly firing a toy cap gun near the canine…It was reported that Cpl. Ballew randomly fired the cap gun inside and outside of his patrol unit, while other deputies are present. The deputies reported that Ace would bark and get extremely agitated to the point that Cpl. Ballew’s patrol vehicle would shake. This is not appropriate and is consistent with the allegation from USK9 Unlimited.”
In a sad, final note, Matt Cawthon wrote that on a feral hog hunt attended by Department of Public Safety SWAT an SRT Team members, Ballew disapproved of the performance of a dog who either refused to attack or hunt a hog and “grabbed the dog by the hind legs and slammed the dog onto the ground as some form of punishment or correction.” Members of the hunting party expressed their disapproval at the time. He wrote that he and others are still looking for a report written to former Sheriff Larry Lynch, who promised them he would correct Ballew’s behavior.
Why did the confidential informant approach The Legendary? Here’s a clue.
“Local Waco media seems too weak to follow through with this type of revelation of truth. It is hoped that you will be able to expose this in a manner that it will garner attention from other media well outside the Waco market.”
In a preceding statement, the informant alleges a felony in the shredding of part of a personnel file of an employee who was allowed to resign rather than be terminated for misconduct.
“The ranking deputy ordered the documents to be shredded so that no other law enforcement agency attempting due diligence in a pre-employment background investigation would discover the documents and automatically disqualify the former jailer from the hiring process.”
“…This investigation will also be made available to you but only after it is determined what will become of the canine investigation…”
Waco – Sheriff Parnell McNamara thought hard about open constitutional carry of firearms; he answered a remark about people shooting cops and cops shooting people.
“I had to be certified by the U.S. Marshal’s Service in 1987. I was hired in 1970, and later I had to be certified; that was in 1987.”
He recalled the opening day of class, how the Justice Department instructor started things off with a bang, how they flashed a macbre picture of the U.S. Marshal for the jurisdiction of South Dakota – dead – laid on the medical examiner’s slab, his body riddled with bullets, his soul departed, long gone and far away, to a better place.
Was he one of the federal officers who got it at Pine Ridge, the Rosebud Reservation – Wounded Knee?
“No. He was shot to death by an illegal tax protester,” he said. “He was in the act of talking to the man, giving him a chance to give up, when the old boy shot him to death.”
That wasn’t all there was to the story.
On the slab next to the dead Marshal, lay the body of another individual, also shot, this one once, between the eyes.
As he began to explain whose body it was, his voice was carried away by the sound of the crowd of excited kids who were rushing from exhibit to exhibit, their adrenaline pumping, high strung from the fearsome presence of giant replicas of dinosaurs that have appeared in movies. The moment passed, the mind’s eye wandered on.
His visage was turned away, roaming the crowd, his stance bladed, left shoulder leading, right hand by his side, ready to defend with deadly force, at the drop of a hat.
You don’t see it, but if you know what you’re looking for, you know it’s there.
More important, you know he will use it. There’s nothing to say about it. That’s just the way it is. It’s a skill, no less than roping, cutting steers out of a herd, bringing a cow pony to a rapid halt, neck reining. The hat is crimped in a special way. You can order one with the Parnell McNamara…He was for many years a prize-winning team roper. Times change, people don’t.
This man answers question with accurate stories that come straight out of his personal experience, stories with a beginning, middle, and an end. That’s the way this is, an archetype, with the quality of a parable.