Lawyers add Top Waco Cop’s Name to Fed Lawsuit

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CHIEF STROMAN SHOWED ‘NO REMORSE’ IN MASS ARRESTS, ‘CONTINUES TO JUSTIFY LACK OF PROBABLE CAUSE’ AT FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE, ACCORDING TO LEAD ATTORNEY 

Hewitt – Standing under the camera lights placed by major network broadcasting outlets in the living room of his parents’ home, Matthew Clendennen finally succumbed to prolonged tears.

He faced particularly brutal questioning from WBAP reporter Marna Davis, who continually hammered at questions of whether he was aware of the violent nature of the coming confrontation  between the Bandidos and Cossacks Motorcycle Clubs members at the May 17 Confederation of Clubs meeting that turned so suddenly deadly when a fight between Cossacks members broke out with members of the Bandidos. .

His answer was no, that as a member of the Scimitars Motorcycle Club, he had attended many such meetings, that they included club members from clubs throughout the state, and in his previous experience, all were completely peaceful.

But when he attempted to explain the effect upon his business, a franchised lawn care service with six employees, he lost his composure for several minutes.

“I have worked hard to build a reputation…” he said, and his words trailed off as he bit back his tears. When he regained his composure, he followed up by saying that, “I was arrested for being a witness – and I didn’t even really see anything.”

He followed up by assuring his questioners that he has lost no customers as a result of his arrest. “But, when someone takes a look at my services, the first thing they do is Google the name.” He explained that what awaits those who seek references are “nothing but mugshots.”

When he arrived at Twin Peaks, he was standing on the patio of the restaurant a few minutes after noon when he head a gunshot. He was unable to identify from what type of firearm, but he took shelter inside the building where he waited in fear for the shooting to subside. He had no weapons, had anticipated no violence, and did not engage in any violent activity, he emphasized.

Earlier, he listened while his attorney, F. Clinton Broden of Dallas, announced that the lawyers have made a decision to name Waco Chief of Police Brent Stroman in a civil rights lawsuit based on allegations of his having been deprived of his civil rights as to First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and a subsection of U.S. Code that offers an approach to civil redress if it is proven on trial by a preponderance of evidence that a plaintiff has been so deprived.

Mr. Broden said that because the Chief has shown no remorse for having locked up 177 persons on probable cause affidavits that show no individual cause, and also because he continues to claim that the police had very little or nothing to do with the shooting that left 9 dead and 18 wounded while such a large number of persons were arrested for unspecified cause, he is as culpable as The City of Waco, The County of McLennan, The Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna, and Sheriff Parnell McNamara.

One of the most brutal revelations Clendennen mentioned was that while detained between the hours following the shootout on Sunday afternoon and the time of their arraignment in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the entire group of 177 were kept in “flex-cuffs,” their wrists bound behind their backs – for more than 24 hours.

When they visited the toilet, they were freed, but then guards reapplied the cuffs immediately. When allowed to eat – “They just gave us little snacks, nuts and crackers and stuff” – they were forced to feed each other.

One may only imagine bending from the waist to eat snacks from the cuffed hands of a neighbor whose hands are restrained behind his back.

No intake interview or personal history was taken by jailers or Sheriff’s Officers to determine work history, home ownership, or ties to the community in an assessment of flight risk, Clendennen said. Court personnel made no effort to gather information that would guide a Magistrate in reconsideration of bond originally set at $1 million.

Former State District Judge Mike Snipes, a member of the Broden firm, told the media that the acting U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice have been invited into the case to assist with pre-trial work of bond reduction.

As soon as the defendants were charged, they were transferred to a privately-operated lockup, the Jack Harwell Detention Center, said Clendennen. This was explained to defendants as an “overflow” problem with jail capacity of the County Jail. Inmates are housed in the lockup, which is operated by Lasalle Corrections, at the rate of $45,50 per day.

 

Law and Order message garbled, made hateful by paucity of reliable crime information available

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Death’s head cap device of the Schutzstaffel – SS – who made life and death decisions for persons of certain religious faiths, social status, mental deficiencies, fraternal relations, or criminal records

Six Shooter Junction – There are signs that American society is turning into that big, angry animal called mob, the one that doesn’t think or react or behave with the principled precision of the individual.

The mob – that big, angry animal.

It’s the little things that tip the trained observer that something funny is happening, here.

For instance, the brick through the window zulu flash on Sunday morning, June 14, that a suspect shot and killed by Dallas police following a rifle fire team raid on their headquarters and the explosion of two bombs wasn’t “confirmed” dead – as yet. Tut tut.

The headline on the Associated Press report screamed – “Police Pull Story On Suspect’s Death.” It was not the bright young men and women at AP who had taken that action, but the forces of LAW – and ORDER. The news blasted from Internet Service Providers’ home pages ran under a picture of the Dallas Chief of Police, a slender black man in horn-rimmed glasses whose collar devices are a rank of stars that would put a bull moose General to shame. He caused the information to be pulled from the tablets of the scribes, acting from the confines of the beleaguered temple of – well, you know, in San Francisco, they still, to this day, call it the “Hall of Justice,” while the street people in LA call it “the glass house,” as in “people who throw stones, etc.

The people of the pavement everywhere call it the cop shop, Martian Station, crossbar hotel.

The semanticist and former U.S. Senator Dr. S.I. Hayakawa, a noted conservative and a champion of law and order whom then Governor Ronald Reagan lauded for his insistence on respect for the police and highway patrolmen who battled student radicals at San Francisco State University on a daily basis in the late sixties, wrote “Language In Thought and Action,” a perennially referenced text on semantics in which, according to one expert, he provided “good examples (of) how levels of abstraction or generalizations are used by bigots, some political candidates in the US, and the media, to mislead voters.”

Along with such treasures of what the curmudgeon H.L. Mencken of the Baltimore “Sun” called “the American language” – items such as Twain’s zippy little zinger, “We stole it fair and square” – Hayakawa provided insight into just how the mind works when confronted with various levels of abstraction and vagary, for instance, the difference between the open and closed mind, in which there is a description of the four options available for a listener to react to a speaker.

One may accept the speaker and accept the statement; accept the speaker and reject the statement; reject the speaker and accept the statement; or reject the speaker and reject the statement.

An open minded person has the ability to do all of the above; a closed minded person has only the ability to react with either the first option, or the last.

The person who is easiest to manipulate is the individual who, when informed that what is for sale here is “new” and “improved,” automatically jumps to the conclusion that what he has is “old” and “inferior.” One is reminded of Twain’s column about the drummer who was run out of town for selling empty containers of “Eversomuchmoreso,” the wonder compound which, when sprinkled on the “prosaic apple” makes it “eversomuchmoreso crisp, tangy – almost effervescent!”

Twain composed his tall tale under the subheading of a piece of doggerel he said he found on a scrap of note paper clinging to his shoe, something he picked up in the gutter. Conductor, when you collect a fare, punch in the presence of the passen-jare. A blue trip slip for a 10-cent fare, a buff trip slip for a 5-cent fare, and a pink trip slip for a 1-cent fare. Now, punch, brothers, punch with care. Punch in the presence of the passen-jare.

Twain’s lead: “I fear it’s loose in the land again.” The drummer, while standing on the platform waiting for the next milk train, had begun his foot-stomping, knee-slapping performance, and it got stuck in the heads of the crowd who witnessed his humiliation at the hands of the constabulary. Soon, the entire town was infected with the annoying little nonsense mantra, just couldn’t get it out of their heads, and it presented a hazard to the public health and safety. The town’s librarian came up with the antidote: A fit fat fiddle with a get gat giddle, a round rolly doughnut with a hole in the middle… It was only after proper attention to the new recitation that the afflicted could regain any semblance of normalcy.

Nice work – if you can get it.

It was during this same period that Twain was banished from the Bay Area by the San Francisco police, told to make himself scarce or he would simply disappear. They didn’t much like his material, the things he published about them. He fled to the cooler climate of the valley of Yosemite, where he languished in safety for some months in exile, until, happily, the conflict subsided. All this took place long before the publishing date of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the first truly modern novel of the American fictive art. Just think, Dirty Harry nearly eliminated one of the great treasures of literature by threatening to kill Twain, the scribbler, an extreme form of the highly unconstitutional practice of prior restraint, so designated in the parlance of First Amendment practitioners everywhere, both high and low.

In all its picaresque complexity, Huckleberry is really and truly a story about child abuse, the neglect and mistreatment of a son by a brutal and shiftless alcoholic, a little boy who is running away with his friend Jim, a slave who is headed to New Orleans where he can truly be free. New Orleans. Yes. That’s the place where most folks get “sold down the river.”

The truth is hard to comprehend – terrifying in ways impossible to describe – but it has come to the Legendary’s ears in repeated and rude repetition that the entire story of the Holocaust is just a made-up product of Tinseltown, that it’s something that never happened – ever.

Certain police officers wearing cowboy hats have made it a point to get all up in the Legendary face and recite the hateful rhetoric of the Third Reich – that the “International Jew” wanders through history manipulating public opinion, telling the lie that there is a plot against he and the entire fam damily – the whole tribe – and that it’s as false as the notion that the Earth is flat, something to be feared, loathed – rejected. It’s a prelude to the kind of threat session you really don’t want to hear. It’s the kind of racket that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck and hurt – in stereo.

Ugly, the kind of talk people make when there are money, marbles and chalk on the table, and they stand to lose everything unless…unless…well, whatever.

What would Jerry Lewis do? He’d say, “Gee, Mistah Tough Guy, please, don’t hurt me,” and then he’d kick his ass – but good. But it’s not a movie. It’s not Huckleberry Finn, either.

That’s why it came as no surprise recently when a young Deputy Sheriff named Matthew Cunningham placed this message on my Facebook Timeline:

“Your last 3 posts have 4 total likes……but that’s none of my business. You are a filth spewing cull and wouldn’t know the truth even if you lived it in a life worth mentioning. You need to find something you are good at, love your family and friends. Please….stop trying so hard to ruin the image of the Law Enforcement Officers that protect your community by poisoning the minds of those they protect. I’m sick of hearing of good Officers being ridiculed by your forked tongue. Live a life worth living. I will support it.” – Matthew Cunningham

There you have it! It’s all for me own protection. Where have we heard that one before? I put it to you.

The Facebook frappus said that, even if I tried to hide it from the timeline, it would appear in any case, so I authorized its insertion, and added this: “NICE GUY! Says he knows whose life is worth living…” That’s when the folks at Facebook contacted me and said it looked like something I did was violent – or words to that effect. I didn’t do anything violent, but it doesn’t matter. The G in all its full weight, furious majesty and screaming eagle bombast is clamoring for Google and Facebook and Twitter and other on-line services to assist in the chore of identifying, classifying and weeding out “potential” terrorists. C’est la guerre. The proverbial electronic lynching, as it were, with apologies to Mr. Justice Clarence Thomas, the famous author of the incident of Long Dong Silver pissing in the Alphabet Soup.

What all of these formidable forces of order and decency fail to realize is that – for The Legendary – it’s just something to do. No big deal. What’s more, it’s legal, according all writs concerning what the well-appointed Victorian Gent living through any evolution of the Enlightenment will inscribe upon the diurnal tablature, paper, parchment, silicon – or gold.

And now comes a seasoned member of the law enforcement community who gave me the intelligence that young Cunningham is a member of a trio of youthful deputies of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office to be designated by Sheriff Parnell McNamara as F.A.S.T (Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team).

Kind of sounds like Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum…etc.

They will be led by Officer Cody Blossman, whose father was at one time during the Administration of President George W. Bush the Agent-In-Charge of the local office of the Secret Service, assisted by Officer Chris Evans, to balance the force of tres hombres.

I immediately contacted Sheriff McNamara in an attempt to confirm this, but got his answering service. He has not responded. That’s not surprising because The Legendary is at present poodle negrito and placed on extreme information embargo by all gatekeeper officials regulating the fonts of law and order. Shame of it all. I get nothing but the answering services of public officials who neglect to return my calls. Like McNamara, they simply choose to ignore all inquiries.

Had I been allowed to interview him, I would have asked as my first question, will the lads be wearing any regalia or insignia of special distinction, a little something such as a patch, a badge, pin, embroidered, embossed, intaglio, or somehow inscribed – to set off their elite status in the great scheme of matters of public safety?

Secondly, will their activities be confined to that of rounding up fugitives so designated by the strike team to be somehow – smitten?

One is reminded of Brother Dave Gardner’s bit in “The Motorcycle Story” where the “little urchin,” an eyewitness to the fatal wreck of Mistah Charles and Miss Baby on their Harley, an individual who is being questioned by an Alabama State Trooper wielding a 5-cell flashlight, who says, “Yessir, boss man, don’t whup me no more. I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you what happened. We supports all law enf’ocement, federal, state – and local – and any man who wear the badge, tote the stick, and carry the gun, and…” (blap blap blap).

Finally, will they, the men from F.A.S.T, answer the common, ordinary police calls of the community at large?

The dramatists and musical show tunesmiths Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht asked similar questions in the burlesque setting of the cabarets of Berlin during the waning days of the Weimar Republic, before the Reichstag burned, the radio station on the Polish border fell to false flag terrorists, and the brutal quest for liebensraum had begun.

They created out of whole cloth a new character in the medieval English folk drama, Mackie Messer – Macheath – Mack The Knife, the ultraviolent antihero of a world gone mad from the deprivation of economic depression, the brutal reactions of a once vibrant industrial nation coming to terms with the realization that – as a mass of people – they had been perilously misguided in their perceptions by those in whom they placed their trust.

Sons of Liberty continue Waco pressure over Twin Peaks shootout arrests

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Waco – Organizers of the All For 1 Rally and Protest of Sunday, June 7 announced on the heels of a Waco Police press conference that they again will ride on Waco on Sunday, July 19 at 6 p.m.

The continued grievance is alleged pre-trial mistreatment of 177 persons arrested by Waco Police, the McLennan County Criminal District Attorney, and the Criminal District Judges of the 19th and 54th Judicial Districts, Ralph T. Strother and Matt Johnson.

Mel Robbins announced, “This time we will get a parade permit.” The announced venue is at the McLennan County Courthouse, 501 Washington, in Waco.

He issued a brief statement on the All For 1 Rally and Protest Facebook page:

The die is cut. We ride again to Waco. The cry is “Let Our People Go”. There are a lot of innocent people being abused by the Waco PD and District Attorney. Their lives are being destroyed by a corrupt system. Our first rally had a lot of naysayers and people who were just plain afraid to go for fear of being gunned down or harassed and arrested by the Waco PD. There were also those that said we would cause trouble for those in jail trying to get released. If anything I believe we have helped by bringing national attention to this tragic situation. We had a successful peaceful protest, and the Second Amendment folks in attendance conducted themselves with honor. We say let’s all go to this next wave and show them we are not done by a long shot. We want to have another peaceful assembly and again seek redress for the wrong done on May 17th. This rally needs to be bigger than the last. So everyone who wanted to go and didn’t this is your chance. There are several things being planned and we will be releasing additional information soon. Stay tuned.

Bonds lowered so far have been in the range of $100,000 – down from $1 million, but still excessively high for persons charged with a vague conspiratorial offense of engaging in organized criminal activity, merely being present when killing took place, and wearing a particular costume replete with patch indicating membership in a motorcycle club.

Several defendants have said in published reports that they consider their arrests directed at the patch they were wearing, in particular their affiliation with either Bandidos, or Cossacks Motorcycyle Clubs or their support clubs, while others were released at the scene.

Numerous entries on social media sites indicate a disbelief of Waco Chief of Police Strohman’s statement – which was withheld from social media outlets – that only 12 shots were fired by police riflemen, and that they did not “fire indiscriminately into the crowd.”

Lawyer for Twin Peaks defendant asked help of U.S. Attorney, Justice Dept

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Dallas – The 177 identical affidavits of warrantless arrest approved by Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson are so defective, most Waco police officers asked to sign them refused, according to an attorney.

An independent business operator, Matthew Clendennen has shut his lawn service down and sold it because of bad publicity and faces losing custody of two of his children following two weeks in jail for an offense he didn’t commit.

A judge released Clendennen on $100,000 bond – reduced from an original $1 million set by Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson to “send a message.”

The attorney representing Clendennen, one of the Twin Peaks defendants charged with engaging in organized criminal activity during a shootout between police, and members of the Cossacks and Bandidos Motorcycle Clubs, wrote to the U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice saying that the allegations in the affidavit of warrantless arrest are defective because they specify no individual probable cause that he committed the offense.

“As you well know, it is black letter law in this country, pursuant to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, that there must be individual probable cause to detain a person,”  F.  Clinton Broden wrote Richard L. Durbin, Jr., acting United States Attorney of the Western District of Texas.

Clendennen has sued McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, the complaining officer, Manuel Chavez of the Waco Police Department, the city of Waco, and County of McLennan for depriving him of his civil rights.

According to Broden, other police officers refused to sign the identical affidavits of warrantless arrest the District Attorney boiler-plated and Manuel Chavez swore against 177 defendants so charged following the mass shooting.

“I have also been provided credible information that Reyna and members of his staff were told by Waco Police Sgt. J.R. Price that the criminal complaints did not support most of the arrests and that other police officers refused to sign the complaints.”

He alleges violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242 involving Conspiracy Against Rights and Deprivation of Rights Under color of Law, and further, violation of Clendennen’s First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights. Those elements of the Bill of Rights allow freedom of association, the protection against unreasonable search and seizure without specific allegations of complaint, and the right against self incrimination. .

Broden revealed that Clendennen took a polygraph examination earlier this week in which he showed no sign of deception answering questions directed at the exact allegations contained in the affidavit of warrantless arrest:

Q 1: Did you go to Twin Peaks on May 17th for the purpose of engaging in violence? Answer: No Relevant

Q2: Did you engage in any violence yourself at Twin Peaks on May 17th? Answer: No Relevant

Q3: Did you encourage anyone to take part in violence at Twin Peaks that day? Answer: No

“My polygrapher has informed me that based on polygraph scoring guidelines there is less than a one percent chance that these answers were not truthful,” Broden concluded.

 

‘Someone always shows up with a gun…’

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Playing “Poe” opposite Charles Bronson and James Coburn in “Hard Times,” a picture about a bare knuckle brawler in New Orleans

Anywhere, American South, Southwest – It is a matter of some historical interest in what Miss Flanner O’Connor called the “Christ-haunted south,” that the Children of Israel held off the best-equipped, wealthiest, most highly-paid and trained Army in the world, The Roman Legions, for 80 years after the crucifixion of Jesus.

One typical weapon used by shepherd boys to repel enemies from the time of the invading Philistines to the advent of the Roman Tribunes was the sling, a simply constructed weapon typically woven from wool, used to protect flocks by hurling smooth river rocks with great accuracy.

Archaeologists and paleontologists speculate that the advent of the weapon came at some point during the neolithic age. Ammunition varied from culture to culture, and the lead projectiles poured by Greek and Roman soldiers in sand are perhaps the most accurate of all. Many were etched or embossed with the legend, “Catch.”

There are numerous ways to make a sling – merely as a novelty in a hands-on, real time study of historical significance. Here is one:

There are many variations of designs and styles, materials and techniques. One may like to try these, if only for an exploration of primitive survival techniques:

There is no need to mention that there are as many ways to actually launch a smooth river rock or a piece of concrete waste construction debris as there are slingers. Basically, the two choices are side-arm and overhand:

So mote it be.

– The Legendary, reporting from Jerusalem-on-the-Brazos 

Power and eternity in small town Texas

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Jacquelyn Smelley, daughter of Officer Bill Smelley

Quinlan, Texas – Human chess in power relations is played for blood, the scores kept in souls, captures made in the blink of an eye – and the consequences last through eternity.

Patrolman Bill Smelley, a balding, slightly overweight man of 45, had been in town only 10 months when he took on the job of covering another officer’s shift on Sunday, September 18, 1983. His daughter Jacquelyn was six years of age, and she remembers, “I was mad at him. He was supposed to be there…I told him I wanted a new Daddy.” As she talks, she struggles to maintain her composure.

Later in the day, she attended a church function right across the road from the Police Department and City Hall, where the kids played in a grassy vacant lot and the grown-ups served watermelon in the gathering twilight. “I hated watermelon,” she recalls.

And then, at about 6:45 p.m., during the waning minutes of an early autumn afternoon, shots rang out across the road where her father was working an overtime shift at City Hall.

Jacquelyn knew – though she was only a small child, she somehow knew – that it meant her father’s life was over, and that somehow, her life would never be the same.

She ran toward the sound of the gunshots, and as she neared the shoulder of the road, one of the men of the church scooped her up and carried her running to his car. He took her home, and at that moment, a life without Bill Smelley began for her mother and her children.

Today, Jacquelyn is not entirely sure what she saw. “I’ve blocked it out,” she insists. She only knows it was brutal, its effects lasting, the most traumatic experience of her life.

DANIEL EDWARD MITCHELL, 17, had worked hard to get the family car running, a continual struggle in the daily drama of life on the sandy rural dirt road where his family lived, about a mile and a half outside the Quinlan city limits. It’s a small town midway between the Dallas bedroom community of Rockwall and the popular resort and fishing town of West Tawakoni, located on an expansive flood control lake only a few miles to the east.

He made a trip to town to get groceries for his mom, and while he was there, he attracted the attention of Larry Dean Boyd, 22, the assistant Chief of Police.

Boyd followed him to the rutted, potholed private road where he lived and turned on his flashing lights just before he reached the Mitchell home.

Therman Mooneyham, who was washing dishes in the kitchen of his parents’ trailer just across the road, says he watched while Boyd cuffed young Mitchell’s hands behind his back. He heard Boyd tell Mitchell it was “just for safety,” that he was just being detained, and then, suddenly, Boyd grabbed the back of Mitchell’s head and slammed it into the trunk of the police car – three times.

Crying, stunned, Mitchell asked him why he did that, and Mooneyham swears that Boyd said, “Because you didn’t get in the car.” His hands were cuffed behind his back.

Another witness recalled that when they arrived at city hall, Mitchell’s hands were free as Boyd ushered him inside, where he and Smelley booked him for DWI and Justice of the Peace Carlene Dooley charged him with the offense of DWI. No one knows – or at least has made any statements about – what happened on the short drive back to town. Mooneyham says the individual later died while trying to hitchhike from Qunlan to a W. Tawakoni liquor store on a dark night. A motorist hit him where he stood on the shoulder of the road.

A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT, Mitchell was on deferred probation for possession of marijuana.

Following Mitchell’s arraignment for DWI, they had started out the door for the twelve mile drive to the Hunt County Jail in Greenville, when Mitchell seized Boyd’s .357 magnum revolver out of his holster.

According to Mrs. Dooley’s statement, and the official report of Texas Ranger Don Anderson of Company B, Mitchell shot Boyd in the shoulder, firing through the glass door, and continued to hold the revolver trained on the officer. Her husband Garth agreed that’s what he saw from where he sat in their vehicle, which was parked just outside the building.

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According to a statement Boyd gave, Smelley had “drawed down” with his revolver, had it pointed at Mitchell. Boyd told investigators that he urged the patrolman to shoot and kill Mitchell.

Smelley refused. He pleaded with Mitchell to put the gun down, to give up. Mitchell demurred; he insisted hysterically that he did not want to go the pen, that he knew they would violate his probation on the suspended marijuana sentence, a misdemeanor crime, if he surrendered.

Boyd seized Smelley’s weapon; Smelley and the Justice of the Peace retreated inside the courtroom and city council chambers. Then Chief Boyd crawled, bleeding, following them into the refuge of the courtroom.

During the confrontation, young Mitchell placed the gun to his head twice as he protested being transported to jail as a consquence of his arrest. From outside the building, he fired four random shots through the wall.

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According to witnesses, the third time he placed the gun to his head, then he fired the sixth and final shot, ending his life.

Boyd told investigators that when he arrived crawling into the courtroom, he found Smelley on the floor, holding his side where had been wounded by a shot from the .357 magnum revolver Mitchell had taken away from him. The round was found to have penetrated the outer wall of the building, and then passed through the interior wall of the booking department before it pierced Smelley’s torso.

He was dead on arrival at a Greenville hospital.

Mitchell’s crimes of murder of one police officer and the aggravated assault of another were “cleared” by his suicide, according to the Ranger’s report. Officials of the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Quinlan are extremely reluctant to turn over any information to the public. The City Secretary said that, if pressed, she would charge a large cash price in “staff time” to find the records. Sheriff’s Office representatives insist on an opinion from the Attorney General – for a matter settled murderously, 32 years ago, in cold blood.

The people of a city mourning a policeman who in ten short months had made an impact on juvenile crime clearance recalled the contrast between the styles of the two officers. Smelley had a reputation for gentle and reasonable dealings with troubled youths under the influence of street drugs. He and Mitchell, people recall, were especially close friends.

Boyd, on the other hand, had a reputation for brutal treatment of youthful “offenders.” He chased them through their yards with a drawn revolver, harassed them on their dates, searched their vehicles, repeatedly requested and inspected their identification.

In 1965, Boyd resigned his position at the Quinlan Police Department and took a job with the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office. Records at the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement show that was the last time he was employed as a law man.

Thirty-two years later, Jacquelyn Smelley is finally finding closure after she and her mother were repeatedly rebuffed over the years when they sought official records and reports regarding the murder – suicide that ended the family patriarch’s life. Her final word is that the official information she has received actually raises more questions than the answers thereby provided.

 

Jail census, Inmate reduction program rejected years ago

Waco – The Honorable Brad Cates, Judge of McLennan County Court at Law No. 2 approached the senior staff of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office to learn if he could get an idea of which inmates on his docket have prior convictions, those who have a blemish free record, are employed, and have excellent references such as work and home ownership that would qualify them for a personal recognizance bond.

No dice, according to former Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon, a retired Texas Ranger.

I don’t know what ever happened to all that. I never really heard,” he recalled in a brief conversation. “He was interested in whether the Sheriff could do something to actually lower bonds.” In looking at the law, it was discovered that where a sitting Judge has little resources to make such determinations, the Sheriff’s Office has all the resources to determine criminal history and serve as a sort of identification bureau for the Court. Cawthon resigned on October 1, citing fundamental differences of law enforcement philosophy with Sheriff Parnell McNamara.

Little progress is being made following a Tuesday morning meeting with Third Judicial District Chief Administrative Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield of Georgetown. He was in town Tuesday monring, June 9, to try to work out a way to reduce the bonds of about 100 defendants who remain in the county lockup.

In 54th District Court, Judge Matt Johnson conducted two bond reduction hearings today, Wednesday, June 10, for defendants in the Twin Peaks shooting.

Assistant Court Coordinators could not identify their names. “We weren’t in there,” said Dianne Redding. She added that there is no way of knowing what time and in what court the bond reduction hearings scheduled for Friday will be held. “We don’t want to be quoted. We’re not here to be quoted.”

A lady named Page came on the line to say “That changes by the minute. The state is working with the lawyers. As quickly as we reach a bond reduction, the case comes off the docket.”

A Court Coordinator in the 19th District Court said there is a trial in progress at present, but that there is a bond reduction hering scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday to hear the pleadings of John Robert Wilson, who was arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity on May 17 following a mass shooting that left 9 dead and 18 wounded, 177 arrested and charged.

A receptionist at the McLennan County Criminal District Attorney’s Office said First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett is coordinating bond reduction efforts with the defense bar. She said he is unavailable and did not identify herself.

There is no information available at this time,” she told Legendary Reporter R.S. Gates.

Got the million dollar bail bond blues? Don’t drink the Kool-Aid; first, read the law on bail:

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By R.S. Gates, McLennan County Minister of Irritance

Waco – It takes a judge’s signature to put you in jail; it takes a judge’s signature to get you out. That judge, whether he’s a Justice of the Texas Supreme Court or Court of Criminal Appeals, a Justice of a District Court of Appeals, District Judge, County Judge, Justice of the Peace, Jail Magistrate, or Municipal Judge is acting as a Magistrate when he does.

When a magistrate issues a warrant there is still an arraignment which is the process actually addressed by the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution. The accused is brought before a magistrate, advised of their rights and the charges pending against them. The magistrate can ignore any bond on the face of the warrant because he has a constitutional duty to set a bond that is not excessive. He should ask if the person has roots (owns a home or has maintained the same residence for a few years) has gainful employment (how long employed) and ask what resources he has to flee the jurisdiction. Then and only then can a bond be determined that is not excessive. The reality is, had the system worked, 90% of the 177 persons charged and awaiting probable cause hearings would be out of jail in 48 hours. If 90% were out of jail in 48 hours, would there still be discussion? Probably. Would there be vitriolic ire of epic proportions? Probably not.

The truth is, the McLennan County Jail Magistrate Virgil Bain could still reconsider the amount of bond specified in the orders of commitment he signed based on the affidavits of warrantless arrest used as charging instruments by Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson.

Here is why:

Tex. Cr. Code Ann § 17.033 (b) RELEASE ON BOND OF CERTAIN PERSONS ARRESTED WITHOUT A WARRANT

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a person who is arrested without a warrant and who is detained in jail must be released on bond, in an amount not to exceed $10,000, not later than the 48th hour after the person’s arrest if the person was arrested for a felony and a magistrate has not determined whether probable cause exists to believe that the person committed the offense. If the person is unable to obtain a surety for the bond or unable to deposit money in the amount of the bond, the person must be released on personal bond… http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/txstatutes/CR/1/17/17.033

A County Sheriff acting as keeper of the jail under the authority of one of his five constitutionally defined ministerial duties may intervene by determining which detainees have an affirmative link to the alleged crime – engaging in organized criminal activity, a felony of the first degree which carries a penalty of anywhere from 5 years to 99 in prison. If there is evidence presented in the affidavit of warrantless arrest that the accused acted in collusion or conspiracy with another person to break the law, that the person is a convicted criminal, and presents a definite flight risk, the Sheriff can and should point that out to the Jail Magistrate before he signs an order of commitment and allows bond of $1 million, as set by the Justice of the Peace who charged the defendant.

Some folks call that a hearing of Information and Arraignment.

What’s the judge going to do? Do you really think a Jail Magistrate or a Justice of the Peace will hold a Sheriff in contempt? Not!

On the other hand, if the Jail Magistrate can see no probable cause that any such offense actually occurred, he is obliged under the statute to set bond not to exceed $10,000, or if the defendant has no funds to arrange bail, to order a release on personal bond.

Think about it. You the man. Looks like everybody in the country knows that by now. Yeah! 

 

Judge Hanen orders KC Massey III to stand trial

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Brownsville – With the remark that “the facts as they unfolded on August 29, 2014, represent a true miracle in that no one was badlly hurt or killed,” U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen recounted how a Border Patrol Agent fired five shots at one of Rusty’s Rangers and missed.  In a memorandum opinion handed down on Tuesday, June 9, Hanen ruled that the evidence presented against KC Massey III should not be suppressed, and that his trial for being a felon in possession of a firearm should proceed.

A former Sergeant-At-Arms for the national organization of Cossacks Motorcycle Club, Massey led patrols of the border from the 21-acre family farm of Rusty Monsees, located on a horseshoe bend of the Rio Grande. He and his associates were able to prove that they could “discourage” illegal immigration, drug smuggling and human trafficking through their armed presence over a period of months during the height of the “surge” of illegal immigration encouraged by President Barack Obama’s Executive Order granting amnesty to the oppressed youth of Central America. Judge Hanen issued an order in response to a Writ of Mandamus from attorneys representing 28 states. The injunction stays all provisions of the Executive Order pending a legal judgment. The action of a single District Judge, it has withstood government appeal at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans.

Hanen is an appointee of President George W. Bush. He was the valedictorian of his class at Baylor Law School. President George Herbert Walker Bush appointed him to the bench during his administration, but was unable to shepherd the appointment through the Senate.

Massey was leading a patrol of unorganized militiamen on a patrol of the Sabal Palm Sanctuary, an old plantation south of this city, when an armed member of the unit surprised a Border Patrolman who was pursuing an undocumented alien through a brushy area of the bird sanctuary, now owned by the Audobon Society. Massey and his men were there with the permission of the land owner.

Judge Hanen found no merit in the argument that federal agents seized the patrol’s firearms.

The fact that the federal agents confiscated the firearms involved after determining that Massey and a co-defendant are convicted felons was entirely proper, the judge ruled, rejecting the argument that the fact that the guns were never transported by Massey in interstate or international commerce. The judge’s holding is that has no bearing on the indictment and the propriety of the charges. He also ruled that because the interrogation that took place in the brushy area on the bank of the Rio Grande was not a custodial interview, there was no need for a Miranda warning. He further noted that there was no evidence that the agent was even aware when Massey and his companions left the scene of their detention after he returned their identification.

In denying Massey’s motion for dismissal of the indictment, Hanen remanded remanded him to to the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service until the conclusion of his trial, which is slated to begin July 30. A co-defendant named John Foerster has opted to enter a guilty plea.

Honcho judge in town with offer you can’t refuse – or else…

Waco – A log jam of defendants held on $1 million bond for the offense of engaging in organized criminal activity that led to capital murder and aggravated assault is causing judicial concern at higher levels of the hierarchy of State District Judges.

Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield is in town to discuss ways to hold probable cause hearings and hear bond reduction pleadings for the remaining 100 bikers jailed on $1 million bonds following the biker shootout at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17.

Acting as the chief administrative judge of the Third Judicial region, Stubblefield is traveling out of Georgetown to relieve “…a nightmarish situation for everyone involved…a very complicated process and unprecedented, as far as my experience is concerned…”

The judge likened the status quo – in which defendants, many of whom are without legal counsel, are waiting for an August 10 setting to be heard on the matter of probable cause and to set dates for examining trials – to that of a sudden arrival at a fast food restaurant of a tour bus loaded with young people on a trip. Everyone expects to get their burger and fries in the amount of time to which they are accustomed, but that’s not happening.

Stubblefield explained to a reporter for the local daily that he offered immediately following the events of May 17 to send visiting judges to assist in pre-trial matters. So far, this jurisdiction’s two State Criminal District Judges, Ralph T. Strother and Matt Johnson, seem have demurred on the offer.