Proof to be probed in Twin Peaks cases on 8/17

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Law … begins when someone takes to doing something someone else does not like. – Karl Llewellyn

Six Shooter Junction – Court observers and members of the community of motorcycle enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating a series of show-downs between prosecutors and defense lawyers over the evidence to be presented in the Twin Peaks shoot-em-up of May 17.

One of the most cited legal scholars of our time, Professor Karl Llewellyn of Columbia and the University of Chicago, wrote in his seminal work, “The Bramble Bush,” that the legal realist takes a view that what judges, lawyers, and law enforcement officers “do about disputes is, to my mind, the law itself.”

The 17 Twin Peaks cases set for an examining trail in Justice Court Precinct 1, Place Two, are a set of doozies, prime for the record books and served up with a sizzle during the heat of Dog Days. What happens could very well be a sign of the times, a precursor to future criminal litigation against unpopular persons with enthusiasms perceived as undesirable by an authoritarian culture bent on rigid control of future conduct as yet uncommitted.

Think of it this way. What could be more controversial than a capital case – a first degree felony that allegedly resulted in capital murder – leveled against an individual, styled “People of the State of Texas v. Little Old You?”

In Texas, the accused offender has a right to a trial by jury, having first been indicted by a Grand Jury in a true bill that specifies each and every element of the offense, in which he has the right to confront the witnesses and cross examine them. To return a verdict of conviction, the jurors must reach a unanimous finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt on each element of the charge, or render a verdict of guilt on varying levels of culpability, as instructed by the judge.

The number of defendants identically charged with a violation of Subsection 71.02, Title 11, Chapter 71 of the Texas Penal Code stands at 177 – all of them arrested on an identical affidavit of warrantless arrest filed in the above named Justice Court. This instrument alleges that the defendants whose names were filled in on blanks of an identical form, were in attendance at a meeting of the Confederation of Clubs on May 17 at the Twin Peaks Restaurant when a melee involving fist fighting and shooting broke out in the parking lot between members of the Cossacks and Bandidos Motorcycle Clubs. Nine persons lost their lives; as many as 17 suffered gunshot wounds.

Conviction carries a possible sentence of from 5 to 99 years in the penitentiary.

Who shot whom – with what – and when, is a matter of great controversy, the kind of question that develops a lot of heat and light because the issues on the table – gun ownership, the right to carry either concealed or openly, and the right to self defense – are hot button issues that linger, and linger, and linger.

There is extensive video surveillance imagery, the subject of a protective order, and still more since leaked that was shot from cameras at an adjacent restaurant. These images depict police officers armed with AR-15-style assault weapons taking up positions behind cars in the parking lot as the melee began.

Word is that the process of discovery has begun in an exchange of reports, statements, photos, videos, and other diagrams and depictions of what happened, where and when and how.

The truth is, the large and diverse crowd of motorcycle club members hailing from throughout the central Texas area had assembled in Waco in defiance of police officers’ openly stated druthers; their mission included a desire to hear an accurate briefing from knowledgeable people following an array of proposed open carry legislation in Austin still pending on that day.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution plainly states they have the right to gather peacefully in free association with persons of their own choosing.

As members of “a criminal street gang,” each defendant allegedly committed the offense of “intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination” by committing or conspiring to commit:

(1)  murder, capital murder, arson, aggravated robbery, robbery, burglary, theft, aggravated kidnapping, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, forgery, deadly conduct, assault punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, burglary of a motor vehicle, or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle;

Legal scholars call this an offense of result, the result of an action or the result of a conspiracy by a “combination” of actors who need not even know one another.

Look what they have to prove: when and where the offense took place; intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination, or in the profits of a combination; membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to commit capital murder, and/or aggravated assault.

The allegation of complaint specifies that in each of the 177 cases, these are the facts. The defendants disagree. Many of their lawyers are demanding an intermediate level of discovery of witnesses and evidence to be used in the prosecution – a procedure so rare, a veteran prosecutor teamed with First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett, Mark Parker, says he has seen only two in his 27 years serving in the Criminal District Attorney’s Office.

It’s called an examining trial, and prosecutors are so reluctant to allow their cases to be so meticulously examined in an open court proceeding carried out under the strictures of the rules of evidence and the rules of court that they routinely find a way to delay the settings of any such until after a Grand Jury has returned an indictment at which point no such examination is then legal. That’s why it’s so rare.

All indictments in the name of the State of Texas must specify that the defendant “knowingly and willingly,” with negligence or malice or premeditation, or some plainly stated mental state commited the offense as a result of some causative conduct. Each element of the indictment must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If not, a judge may instruct the jurors to select another offense from an array of possible offenses, according to their conscience. Upon that verdict, all twelve jurors must agree in unanimity.

A chief area of controversy in pre-trial maneuvering is to be found in the sufficiency of the charge. For instance, in The STATE of Texas, Appellant v. Priscilla Aguilar HERNANDEZ, Appellee.No. 04–11–00796–CR., the Court of Appeals of Texas at San Antonio held that “We review the trial court’s ruling on the motion to quash the indictment de novo because the sufficiency of a charging instrument is a question of law…”

The Justice who wrote the opinion cited two cases, Smith v. State, 309 S.W.3d 10, 13–14 (Tex.Crim.App.2010); State v. Moff, 154 S.W.3d 599, 601 (Tex.Crim.App.2004), in which the holding is that “An indictment must be specific enough to inform the accused of the nature of the charge against her so she may prepare a defense.”

An accused has a constitutional right to sufficient notice.

Production of evidence and testimony in the examining trials will likely include vigorous defense cross examination in pursuit of a determination that the defendants were in a culpable mental state regarding the killings and gunshot wounds suffered in the melee. After all, the vast majority of the people charged were actually in hiding inside the restaurant at the time. They ran there when fists began to fly and shots rang out.

“In sum, to give sufficient notice, the face of an indictment must allege, in plain and intelligible language, all the facts and circumstances required to establish the material elements of the offense charged. Sanchez, 182 S.W.3d at 45 (citing Garcia v. State, 981 S.W.2d 683, 685 (Tex.Crim.App.1998)); Riney v. State, 28 S.W.3d 561, 565.” 

Should retired Visiting Judge James Morgan find insufficient probable cause to send the cases to a Grand Jury, he has two options. He may discharge the defendant immediately following the examining trial, or he can wait 48 hours without issuing a ruling, and the case will be dismissed automatically. In either case, the charges will not be considered by a Grand Jury.

The examining trials are scheduled to begin tomorrow, August 17, and will run by this schedule announced in a local daily periodical, the information having been withheld from this writer by Justice of the Peace “Pete” Peterson. He is the magistrate who charged the defendants on the affidavit of warrantless arrest by Waco Police Detective Manuel Chavez and set every accused offender’s bail at $1 million to “send a message,” he told media outlets. A Visiting Judge granted a motion for his recusal sought by an attorney who is now the subject of a gag order issued by Criminal 54th District Judge Matt Johnson. F. Clinton Broden entered an agreement with his client Matthew Clendennen to waive his right to an examining trial originally scheduled for last Monday, August 10.

JUDGE JAMES MORGAN SET EXAMINING TRIALS FOR TWIN PEAKS DEFENDANTS AS FOLLOWS:
Aug. 17 – 10:30 a.m. Morgan J. English, Brenham;1 p.m. William H. English, Brenham; 3 p.m. Daniel Pesina, San Antonio.
Aug. 19 – 9 a.m. Clayton D. Reed, Burleson; 10:45 a.m. Matthew R. Folse, Dallas; 1:30 p.m. Noe Adame, Dallas; 3:15 p.m. John Robert Wilson, Waco.
Aug. 24 – 10:30 a.m. Drew David King, Dripping Springs; 1:30 p.m. Dalton Davis, Bowie; 3:15 p.m. Lawrence Yager, Buda
Aug. 26 – 1 p.m. Richard R. Donias, San Antonio; 3:15 p.m. John Guerrero, San Antonio
Aug. 27 – Tom M. Mendez, San Antonio; Lawrence Garcia, San Antonio; Juventino H. Montellano, San Antonio
Aug. 28 – Joseph M. Ortiz, San Antonio; Richard Luther, Garland.

Twin Peaks – High court stays writ to lift gag order on attorneys

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Austin – A gag order entered by a local judge enjoining the attorneys prosecuting and defending a Hewitt man charged in the Twin Peaks shooting melee will stay in place.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a stay of the 10th District Court of Appeals writ to lift the gag order imposed by 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson in the case of Matthew Clendennen.

The 10th Court at Waco had given Judge Johnson seven days in which to vacate his order, a period that would have expired today, August 14. When District Attorney Abel Reyna filed a motion to stay the Waco court’s order, the highest appeals court with jurisdiction in criminal cases issued an eleventh hour ruling on Thursday, August 13.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered the parties in the appeal, Matthew Clendennen and his attorney F. Clinton Broden, and prosecutors with the McLennan Counrty Criminal District Attorney’s Office, to file their brief within 30 days examining the question of whether case law on the subject is relevant to the charge of engaging in organized criminal activity, and whether the defendant can get a fair trial if parties to the case are allowed to speak freely in public about it.

Twin Peaks – Judge Peterson releases names of 17 other bikers seeking examining trials

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Waco – A series of testy exchanges with court clerks and Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace W. “Pete” Peterson yielded the names of 17 other defendants in the Twin Peaks shooting case who are clamoring for examining trials prior to their indictment.

Knowledgeable court observers say the true number of defendants seeking the pre-indictment discovery process is at least twice that.

At stake is the possibility of an outright dismissal of the first degree felony charge of engaging in organized criminal acivity, an offense enhanced to a capitol crime by the fact that 9 persons lost their lives due to gunfire and at least 18 others were wounded.

It is unknown when retired visiting Judge James Morgan of Comanche will be available to hear the cases.

Court Clerk Victoria Perez insisted she did not know of any such cases. She further refused to give her name, saying she has no knowledge of whether legal instruments are filed with the clerk’s office when parties to criminal litigation seek to move the Court to act, or that such documents are public record.

When Judge Peterson became available, he insisted that no such information could be obtained because “I have to coordinate with the DA’s office, Judge (James) Morgan, the police and the defense lawyers. All that will take time.”

Upon learning that the request includes only the names of the defendants seeking examining trials once Judge Morgan becomes available, Judge Peterson relented, directing his clerk to release the information.

Several knowledgeable sources ventured the opinion that it’s way too late for local authorities to drop the charges, saying they erred by charging all 177 defendants under an identical blanket fill-in-the-name affidavit of warrantless arrest.

To do so now that $1 million bail bonds have been reduced to more manageable amounts and the defendants released would open the City, Conty and State authorities up to further allegations of abusive practices in arresting and charging the defendants under the blanket charge.

It was further learned by asking those who are not subject to a gag order imposed by 54th Criminal District Court Judge Matt Johnson on attorneys, the defendant, staff and expert witnesses in the case of Matt Clendennen that discovery is underway in the other cases, including video from 16 video surveillance cameras at the Twin Peaks restaurant where the shooting took place, statements taken from defendants and witnesses, and police reports.

A partial list of the defendants seeking examining trials includes:

Morgan J. English – J12F15-169

William H. English – J12F15-167

Daniel Pesina by– J12F15-213

Clayton D. Reed man – J12F15-141

Matthew R. Folse – J12F15-160

Noe Adame – J12F15-275

John Robert Wilson – J12F15-157

Drew David King – J12F15-201

Dalton Davis – J12F15-250

Lawrence Yager – J12F15-221

Richard R. Donias – J12F15-171

John Guerrero – J12F15-132

Tom M. Mendez – J12F15-146

Lawrence Garcia– J12F15-165

Juventino H. Montellano – J12F15-216

Joseph M. Ortiz – J12F15-215

Richard O. Luther – J12F15-109

Twin Peaks lawyer walks away from examining trial for bond changes

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Dallas – The attorney for Matthew Clendennen, a Twin Peaks defendant who was scheduled for an examining trail today, Monday, August 10, agreed to waive his client’s right to the pre-trial procedure in exchange for sweeping changes to his conditions of bond.

F. Clinton Broden filed an agreement in 54th Criminal District Court that would call for:

1) Any curfew restriction on Mr. Clendennen be removed in its entirety.

2) Any travel restriction on Mr. Clendennen be limited to travel outside the State of Texas.

3) The condition placed on Mr. Clendennen to “[t]otally avoid the consumption of any alcoholic beverages” be removed in its entirety.

4) Any restrictions limiting Mr. Clendennen’s right to (be) associated with other “Members or Associates of any motorcycle clubs” be amended to allow him to meet with and converse with John Wilson or employees of Legend Cycles of Waco, Texas for the purpose of selling his motorcycle.

When time for the examining trial came at 2 p.m. today, Monday, August 10, it was learned that Judge James Morgan had reset all examining trials in the Twin Peaks biker shooting melee of May 17. A clerk in the Justice Court of Judge Pete Peterson said Judge Morgan is “unavailable this week.” There is no information when the examining trials will be set. More details as they become available.

Reached for comment, First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarret said, “As far as we’re concerned, that gag order is still in effect.” Judge Matt Johnson has seven days in which to vacate the order. “I can’t get into specifics.” An attorney defending an identical case said it is rumored the Clendennen examining trial will be re-set for a week from today, Monday, August 17. “No one really knows which judge will hear the cases,” he said.

Examining trial: Rare court spectacle set for Monday afternoon

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A rare departure from the proceedings of the Star Chamber

Waco – Court observers will see a rare occurrence on Monday, August 10, at 2 p.m. in Precinct One Justice Court, Place Two – the examining trial of one of the Twin Peaks defendants on the first degree felony offense of engaging in organized criminal activity, a capitol offense that led to the murder and/or aggravated assault of numerous victims.

According to a veteran prosecutor who oversees Grand Jury scheduling and criminal filings, the scheduling of trials and such, only two have been held in his past 27 years of experience serving in the McLennan County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.

Texas prosecutors and judges are reluctant to allow defendants and their lawyers the pre-trial discovery technique of the examining trial.

It is formally known as “The Commitment or Discharge of the Accused,” Section 16 of Title 1, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

As such, it’s a lot like the system of pre-trial hearing employed in many states in which an accused offender is bound over for trial based on an extensive hearing as to the state’s evidence – an examination of probable cause in open court in which an attorney is allowed to cross examine witnesses, rather than an inquisition that takes place withing the confines of a secret proceeding, the Grand Jury.

The chief difference is that in a Grand Jury session, the attorney of an accused must remain outside the room. If an offender is questioned by the prosecutor or members of the Grand Jury, he must leave the room in order to consult with his attorney, then return to answer the question.

In the Examining Trial, as outlined in Article 16.01 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the accused may make a statement prior to the start of presentation of evidence and testimony, but may not make a statement following, either of assertion or rebuttal.

There is no way an accused person may be subjected to the kind of treatment involving embarassing questions such as, “Is it true you have since stopped beating your wife?,” then be required to leave the room to talk to his lawyer if he requires legal advice on how answer such a question, before returning to answer.

In fact, in the examining trial, an accused offender need not say a word, but should any word be uttered, it will be recorded verbatim by the Court Reporter, and may then be entered into evidence in the case in chief. As in a criminal trial, a defendant may not be compelled to testify against himself. Should he offer testimony, he may be cross examined by opposing counsel.

The rules of court and the rules of evidence apply, as in a criminal trial.

Furthermore, under this system, defense attorneys are able to engage in the time-honored practice of venue shopping, since the judge hearing the evidence is sitting as a magistrate. In Texas, a magistrate may be any judge – any judge at all, including anyone so charged by honor of their position, from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas or Associate Justices; and member of the Court of Criminal Appeals; an apellate judge of the intermediate District Courts of Appeals; District Judge, either sitting or visiting; County Court-at-Law Judge; Justice of the Peace; or Municipal Judge.

If the Judge acting as Magistrate in the examining trial should find insufficient probable cause to hold a trial on the charges specified, and thus examined, he may immediately discharge the accused, or, should he enter no order within 48 hours, the charges are automatically dismissed, the defendant thereby discharged, and the evidence related to the offense will go untried.

The reason this almost never happens is that prosecutors and judges usually drag their feet until the Grand Jury docket revolves to the case of the defendant, an indictment is returned, and by that act of prosecution, the possibility of an examining trial is precluded by the Code.

The 177 defendants under prosecution for the identical charge of engaging in organized criminal activity, an offense which could net a defendant a sentence of from five years to life confinement, fall into two broad categories. Either they were involved in the violent melee, the shooting and fighting that took place in the parking lot, or they fled to the interior of the buidling to wait it out.

Matthe Clendennen is in the second category of defendants. His attorney has described his status as that of someone who is a “witness to something he did not see.”

The examining trial of Matthew Clendennen has been hard won by his Dallas attorney, F. Clinton Broden, through extensive pre-trial publicity, vigorous advocacy through motions and an unprecedented level of activity in what is in most cases a sluggish, rather lethargic pace of events. McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna is on record calling it “riding the docket” in press interviews. He says defendants use it to their advantage, opting to do a significant portion of their time in the air conditioned comfort of the McLennan County Jail, rather than insisting on a speedy trial and a quick transfer to the farms operated by the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Broden’s client Matt Clendennen is a family man, the proprietor of a lawn maintenance service and a Baylor University graduate who in his enthusiasm for motorcycle riding, joined an associate motorcycle club of the national organization, the Cossacks Motorcycle Club.

He is on record saying in a press conference held at his mother and father’s residence that he attended a meeting of the Confederation of Clubs at Twin Peaks Restaurant on Sunday, May 17, arrived early and seated himself on the patio where he ordered a bottle of water and waited for the meeting.

He was not armed, had no idea what the exact agenda would be, and was actually just out for a lark with friends who had planned to ride on following the adjournment of the Confederation of Clubs meeting, a function in which the Cossacks and their associates had previously found themselves unwelcome.

One item on the meeting agenda was a discussion of the status of numerous proposed bills regarding open carry of handguns under consideration in the Texas Legislature. Asked if he was interested in that item, Clendennen told newsmen at the press conference that he was unaware that there was an agenda, or that handgun legislation was on it.

When he saw the first sign of trouble, heard the first gunshot ring out, he fled the area for the interior of the building, and remained there until police entered, ordered everyone to lay prone on the floor, and was arrested and transported to the Waco Civic Center, where he remained in zip tie handcuffs until the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday morning when he was transported to the McLennan County Jail, charged by Judge Pete Peterson, his bail set at $1 million dollars, and then transferred to the Jack Harwell Detention Center next door.

He was subsequently released two weeks later after his bail was reduced to $100,000.

His attorney, Broden, won the recusal of Judge Peterson, the magistrate who charged all 177 defendants with the identical capitol offense on fill-in-the-name affidavits of warrantless arrest through vigorous pre-trial litigation.

Those identical, non-specific affidavits allege only that the defendant was a member of a known “motorcycle gang,” was wearing a costume with the colors of a gang’s imprimatur, and were there looking for trouble, as alleged by Detective Manuel Chavez of the Waco Police Department.

So mote it be.

Hanged Owl at Waller Jail

Cornice Owl

The owl symbolizes secret knowledge among sorcerers and seers – and keepers of secrets hidden in plain sight

Hempstead, TX – Inexplicably, the kind of big plastic owl marketed to repel noisy birds hangs on the corner of a chain-link fence festooned with razor wire at the Waller County Jail.

Standing in the 105-degree heat, a man who lives in a neighboring house answered a remark about the owl by saying, “It doesn’t do any good. Those birds come flocking in here at dark, anyway.”

Parking places in the shade were at a premium on Saturday, August 8 at 6 p.m., as a throng of about a dozen social media journalists congregated for the Anonymous Hacktivist group’s announced “Day of Rage” protest here on the Salt Grass prairie outside northwest Houston.

The people who came to display their rage numbered no more than a half-dozen at any one time during the scorching hours before sunset.

Asked if the crowds have been this sparse, the man said that in an earlier gathering that numbered several hundred, his pastor supplied snacks and water to drink, asking each person served where they were from.

“He said there were only 4 from the Waller County area,” he said.

A black couple who had come to voice their outrage passed by, and the woman, who overheard, said, “That’s right, motherfucker. I’m not one of these tobacco-chewing Waller County negroes. I come from far away and I don’t take no shit off nobody.” Hearing this, the man shrugged, retreated back to his front yard.

Asked if he believes Sandra Bland, a Chicago woman arrested for a minor traffic violation in which a state trooper intended to give her a warning ticket wound up in jail, charged with assault of a public servant, and after three days reportedly became a suicide victim who hanged herself with a plastic garbage bag, he said, “Yeah, I believe she did.”

Asked why, he replied, “Well, she had a history of mental problems, and I think the people she called here and the ones she called in Chicago weren’t going to get her out. I don’t think she could handle it.”

The black couple, who had made a circuit of the jail complex and fenced recreation yard in the sweltering afternoon heat, had returned. Chagrined, the woman spoke up again, saying that she was there to memorialize the death of Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, and Sandra Bland, from Chicago.

When a photographer approached her, she help up her iPad to make a video, saying “You may not take my picture. You see this nappy-ass hair on top of my head? I’m not some kind of Waller County negro.”

Her companion, enraged that the photographer accidentally bumped her elbow while looking through the camera’s viewfinder, said, “Sir, do you understand how white supremacy works?”

When the woman said, “You see the look he gave me?”

“Did you give her a look?” he asked. Assured that the answer is no, he said, “I’m gonna flat-line this cracker and his friends.”

They both shouted about following the teachings of Malcolm X, and the photographer spoke up to say, “I very much admire his story, and I have learned a lot about writing by reading the journalism of Alex Haley.”

“Well, I’m gonna flat-line your ass,” the man said.

Ms. Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, filed suit in U.S. District Court at Houston, alleging a deprivation of her daughter’s civil rights, assault and battery, and “willful and wanton” behavior involving her daughter’s survival in naming the State Trooper who arrested her for an illegal lane change after she pulled into the right lane to let him by when he activated his emergency lights.

The suit also names jail classification officers at the Waller County Sheriff’s Office, alleging neglect in their knowledge that they knew of her previous attempt at suicide, which they learned during her intake interview.

Another dog day afternoon.

So mote it be.

By Any Means Necessary

One may see the plastic owl hanging on the fence, top, right (click image for full size) 

Twin Peaks: GAG ORDER TO BE VACATED BY WACO JUDGE

Twin PeaksWaco – The 10th District Court of Appeals ruled that a protective order entered by the 54th Criminal District Court enjoining a Dallas attorney and his client Matthew Clendennen not to discuss the case shall be vacated. 

“Respondent (Judge Matt Johnson) abused its discretion by issuing its…gag order,” wrote Chief Justice Tom Gray. Said F. Clinton Broden, Clendennen’s attorney, “I will have a lot to say soon. I have been saving it up.”

He will appear before Visiting Judge James Morgan on Monday, August 10 to argue in an examining trial that there is inufficient probable cause to send the Clendennen case to the Grand Jury for indictment. Broden successfully argued a motion to have Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson recused due to his alleged bias.

Clendennen is charged in connection with an affidavit of warrantless arrest identical with 177 others with first degree felony crime of engaging in organized criminal activity, enhanced to a capitol offense because of the alleged murder of individuals attending a meeting of motorcycle enthusiasts at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17.

Man shot in his home thinks it hides a tunnel

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Midland – Burglar alarms rang repeatedly on the evening the man was shot in his own home. He had earlier taken the precaution to use tie wire to secure doors in order to block off unused rooms. 

Buddy Wayne Webb believes he trapped an intruder inside a bathroom, and that person alerted others who attacked him in a murderous gunshot raid in order to free their companion.

For fourteen months, Buddy Wayne Webb had been living with the notion that turned to proof at the point of a gun that he was not alone when he was at home.

Blood gushed from the wounded man’s ankle as he crawled in his pickup truck in shock from the gunshot that had sliced through bone and tendon only moments before. He couldn’t find his cell phone; it’s a mystery as to why the telephone land lines weren’t working, but he found a cordless phone in his pocket was useless.

After eight days in a hospital, he returned home to find the phones working. 

Wounded, in desperation he did what Texans and others throughout the Sun Belt do every day, on a routine basis. He drove to the nearest 7-11, where he met a female police officer, who today says she was not there, that the meeting never took place. Someone called an ambulance.

It would be in extremely poor taste – a total defiance of the conventions of polite society, as it were – to just haul off and ask Buddy Wayne Webb if it hurts when he walks. Medical records note that on every visit to doctors, they advised him to have his leg amputated just below the knee, that as the months went by, his wound was slowly improving, but it was still “pretty smelly.”

But that’s just the beginning. Consider this hateful “private message” delivered to his Facebook page last Sunday, August 2 on a smoldering dog day afternoon when temperatures in the Permian Basin bastion of neoconservatism, Midland, a buttoned-down global corporate regional capital of the New World Order’s one-horse show – the oil and gas “bidness,” hovered near 100 degrees.

Someone who is calling himself Lance Eggleston really has a problem with Buddy Wayne living in peace in the privacy of his own home.

LANCE: Remember we know who you are! We know where you sleep! We have access to your residence at all times!! No one will ever believe your story, we will come again…..

The Buddy Wayne Webb residence is located just across the ubiquitous suburban head-high cypress privacy fence from an alley that carries freight truck traffic to a big box building supply store situated on a limited access boulevard in a buttoned – down suburb that could be in any sun belt location, from the mid-cities of the Metromess to an anonymous metropolitan cluster of McMansions, small, medium, or large – Brownsville to Pampa, Beaumont to El Paso.

This one is different. A crippled man lives there all alone, pleading with an indifferent world through an ISP address to believe – to please believe – that he was “hunted like an animal” in his own home.

Get a load of cyber-terrorism, Texas style, in the twenty-first century. It’s not much different from any other poison pen, black hand missive ever scribbled, in blood or thunder, on paper or parchment, in any previous century:

LANCE: We are watching you mr. Webb careful of what you post….

ME: I really don’t understand who you are Lance. Are you a good guy or a bad guy? A cop or a gangster? Are you wanting truth and justice or silence, murder and more crime?

LANCE: You will be silenced! Not if but when!

ME: When are you going to murder me Lance?

This is no time for the vaudevillian, it-only-hurts-when-I-laugh bravado of the matinee melodrama. These are the grim terms of the morbid vendetta.

Buddy Wayne is obviously a man in a heap of trouble, and for all intents and purposes, it appears he came by it honestly. One is reminded of those glossy postcards printed in primary colors depicting Donald Duck in Margaritaville, stretched out on a tropical cabana lounger, glaring with alarm at a bullet hole in the stucco wall, just over his head.

By the time his career in natural gas processing brought him from his native Hobbs, just across the line in New Mexico, to Midland’s computerized, automated operations centers, Buddy Wayne had enough life savings to buy a good home in a decent neighborhood, a far cry from his former digs in a ghost town named Orla, a tiny dot on the map between Pecos and Carlsbad, where he lived in a company camp at a natural gas plant.

Life in the roomy villa with contemporary high-hipped rooflines built around a central great room behind an attached double garage on a sun-baked cul de sac was – well, strange – from the beginning.

Buddy Wayne could tell, he was not alone in the house. There were strange sounds in the attic, where he found the duct work split open to air condition the usually brutally hot conditions under the roof. There were ample signs that someone was hanging out up there. He’s got the pictures to prove it.

What’s more, when he left for work or errands, he often returned to a dwelling place obviously violated by intruders, a place where lights and televisions were turned on, computers pulsed, drawers were open, doors closed – a place where things just weren’t the way he left them.

In desperation, he installed security cameras, and numerous other devices aimed at discouraging intruders.

And then, on January 28, 2012, he got shot.

On a night when motion detectors and burglar alarms were ringing off the wall, he recalls, he was “hunted like an animal” as he carried a shotgun loaded with birdshot to a utility room and intended to exit through a door leading to his garage when a gunshot cut through his right ankle, leaving a through and through wound that has crippled him for life.

He set his shotgun down to open the double-locked door, secured by a bolt.

The path of the blast came from exactly 2 ¾ inches above floor level, slicing through tendon and bone, leaving his foot and ankle grotesquely misshapen.

I wasn’t shot with my own gun!

It’s a recurring theme in his story. It’s the one he is positive about. 

“There is proof…that I wasn’t shot with my own gun such as the size of the pellets from my gun won’t match the size of the pellets from my ammo. No empty shotgun shell was found, as would be expected. There isn’t enough physical room to be shot by a 48-inch long shotgun in this space, and the surgeon stated a large amount of plastic was removed with the pellets, which isn’t consistent with my ammo.” 

Surveillance cameras he had installed outside his house depicted his escape on all fours, dragging his useless, bleeding right leg.

Shortly after the attack, someone disabled them, turned their lenses to a wall to give a nice, ultra-sharp depiction of the brickwork and trim.

During the months of his recovery, he learned that someone had attempted to disable a surveillance camera inside the bedroom, and the hard drives was overwritten by subsequent depiction. 

The intruders in attempting to disable the camera actually started it. They caught themselves on camera – without knowing it. 

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A camera located at floor level in a bedroom depicted a team of men and women wearing police uniforms as they rummaged through dresser drawers and searched closets.

Buddy Wayne noticed at a much later date that the time stamp on the camera depiction shows they were there at a time much earlier than dispatch records show they ever arrived.

They have never been identified, according to Buddy Wayne. He calls them the “secret police.”

When he put a montage of their images on his Facebook page on Sunday afternoon, offering a $100 reward to anyone who can identify them, the mysterious individual who goes by Lance Eggleston contacted him on the private message service with the veiled threats quoted above.

The path of the gunshot emanates from a cabinet that never really fit correctly, its lower shelf threshold exactly 2 ¾ inches above the level of the slab. Grout for the floor tile was missing when Buddy Wayne moved in. He thinks that’s where a tunnel terminated inside his house, a tunnel that was filled in during the three days of his recovery before police officers appeared at the hospital seeking permission to make an extensive search of his home.

Buddy Wayne also believes that tunnel was dug and maintained for purposes of smuggling, human trafficking – something – and his attackers wanted to kill him to regain control of his house.

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A time line of the events at Buddy Wayne’s house (click for full size)

IT MUST HAVE BEEN A RUDE MOVING-OUT

But the fulcrum, the pivot point, of this whodunit centers around his monumentally short and sweet marriage – one that lasted only a little more than a stretch of three months.

The prospects for survival of this seeming conundrum of spiraling violence driven by the maddening pain of a crippling injury by gunshot are greatly complicated by a court order that stripped Buddy Wayne Webb of his right to keep and bear arms. That’s all about his divorce. He married Lori Beth Schlagal, a woman he met on-line, through the auspices of Match.com.

It was a whirlwind courtship that began in late fall of 2011, followed by a wedding and honeymoon that ended in divorce court by late January of 2012 – right around the time when someone tried to blow his foot off with a well-placed gunshot to the ankle of his right leg.

By the time December of 2013 rolled around, he was back in court hearings regarding a protective order regarding his ex-wife and a minor child. When the judge entered his order for protection, he stripped Buddy Wayne of his right to keep and bear firearms for life. 

The transcript of those hearings alone cost him $900, he recalls. The ruling is at present under appeal. and because of that, his attorney advised him not to talk about the lifetime protective order; “I entered into evidence a communication with her ex where he told me that she had a lot to do with the murder attempt and then threatened to have him killed, this was also ignored before ruling a lifetime PO and taking away my rights to own guns…It has to be an incredible read.”

Detective Sergeant Rosie Rodriguez – the female police officer who denied she saw Buddy Wayne at the 7-11 – offered court testimony at the protective order hearing that she believes evidence shows he booby-trapped the utility room area near the door to the garage with his own gun, that the shooting resulted for that reason.

As an old acquaintance once said of her girlfriend’s separation from a Louisiana roughneck in a Ship Channel trailer court, an incident that involved hurled butcher knives, holes in the sheetrock, blood, cops, and the frayed nerves of numerous neighbors, “It must have been a rude moving-out…”

There’s more, much more, and it’s all documented on Buddy Wayne’s YouTube channel in dozens of video presentations, most of them titled by questions regarding prostitution rings, allegations of smuggling, and nefarious collusion by “secret” police, cancer doctors, radiologists, and speculation that the reason the Midland Wal-Mart SuperCenter, located only a hoot and a holler from his front door, is that it could possibly be a marshalling center for a super secret special operations plot involving Jade Helm 15.

What do the cops have to say about it? In a quick phone call to police headquarters, the detective who fielded the inquiry listened for only a moment before saying, “Oh, you mean Buddy Webb?” He assured The Legendary that, “We have detectives who monitor his Facebook page on a daily basis.” Buddy Wayne says – often – that the clinical term “paranoid schizophrenic” is routinely mentioned by persons who are – well, indifferent – in context with the character of his concerns. “I have never been diagnosed with that psychiatric condition,” he insists.

Nevertheless, there is ample evidence of that opinion inscribed on police reports.

He recalls that in a parting shot on the day she was moving out, he told his bride of late fall in the depths of early winter of his call to the Drug Enforcement Administration to report his suspicion there is a tunnel under his house. 

“I know about the tunnels and I’ve already called the DEA.”

So it goes.

So mote it be.

 

 

 

 

Waller County: ‘The best source of information’

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WALLER COUNTY OFFICIALS ALLEGE THEY HAVE BEEN ‘HACKED’

In the Spring of the year, Sandra Bland began to post numerous videos on her Facebook page regarding her ideas about racism, violence and the prospects for political activism on behalf of “Black Lives Matter.”

According to friends, she had long been involved in conflicts regarding an ongoing history of federal litigation over voter intimidation and outright blockage of voter registration by county officials among students of Prairie View A&M, her alma mater. Monday, August 3, would have been her first day of work as a summer intern working at the University, a repeat of earlier spells of employment there in similar job descriptions dating back to her undergrad days during the election of 2008.

She had only recently returned from her hometown, a Chicago suburb, where she had quit her job with a food service equipment vendor prior to her return to Texas on the eve of a general election year.

In a press conference given to quell reports that she was already dead when her mugshot had been snapped at the Waller County Jail, a local official assured the national media that county officials and the FBI will be the “best source of information” to counter what he described as falsehoods circulated on social media.

During the conference, he said that “We are under cyber attack…” by the underground “hactivist” group, Anonymous.

Though the facts of the death of Sandra Bland following her arrest for allegedly kicking a State Trooper after a violent confrontation over an illegal lane change and failure to signal are still under investigation, it is known that a toxicology report shows an intense concentration of the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana in her blood stream – after three days in jail.

Her last video message, posted earlier this in the summer, is typical of the rhetoric she used in her activism.

 

Chronology of ‘voting controversies’ in Waller County, 1971 – 2008

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Waller County, Texas – Amid the controversy surrounding the jailhouse death by self-strangulation reported as the fate of Sandra Bland, certain details jump out in striking contrast to normalcy.

Ms. Bland reportedly attended Prairie View A&M University before relocating to the Chicago area. Upon her recent return, she had planned to take up employment in that city.

Upon her apprehension for making an illegal lane change without signaling – a C misdemeanor infraction of the traffic laws, she became involved in a struggle with the arresting officer, a Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper who objected to her smoking during their conversation over what he later revealed were his intention to send her on her way with a warning ticket.

There has been a history of controversies regarding the reluctance of county officials to allow students attending historically-black Prairie View A&M University to vote in Waller County.

As reported by the US District Court (Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division) in Veasey v Perry, October 2014 (CIVIL ACTION NO. 13-CV-00193), pp 6–7 verbatim:

  • In 1971, after the 26th Amendment extended the vote to those 18 years old and older, Waller County which was home to Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a historically Black university, became troubled with race issues. Waller County’s tax assessor and voter registrar prohibited students from voting unless they or their families owned property in the county. This practice was ended by a three-judge court in 1979.
  • In 1992, a county prosecutor indicted PVAMU students for illegally voting, but dropped the charges after receiving a protest from the DOJ.
  • In 2003, a PVAMU student ran for the commissioner’s court. The local district attorney and county attorney threatened to prosecute students for voter fraud—for not meeting the old domicile test. These threatened prosecutions were enjoined, but Waller County then reduced early voting hours, which was particularly harmful to students because the election day was during their spring break. After the NAACP filed suit, Waller County reversed the changes to early voting and the student narrowly won the election.
  • In 2007-08, during then Senator Barack Obama’s campaign for president, Waller County made a number of voting changes without seeking preclearance. The county rejected “incomplete” voter registrations and required volunteer deputy registrars (VDRs) to personally find and notify the voters of the rejection. The county also limited the number of new registrations any VDR could submit, thus limiting the success of voter registration drives. These practices were eventually prohibited by a consent decree.

A Texas Rangers investigation requested by the Waller County Sheriff’s Office into the causes of Ms. Bland’s death is pending.