The life left unexamined

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Mrs. Leslie Cavanaugh Bird – and husband


Rockwall, TX – A FASHIONABLE MATRON is at risk of serving jail time if found in contempt of court due to her ongoing defiance of court orders in family litigation extending through 12 years.

In the Matter of the Marriage of Stephen Warren and Leslie Cavanaugh Warren (Bird), the narrative came to grinding halt – one of many – during a hearing before the Court on April 15 – to determine if the father of two minor female children will be allowed a standard custody arrangement after seven years without seeing his kids.

As testimony drew down to the final arguments, the respondent, a mother of three who earlier lost one child to a rare disease, exposed her disingenuous behavior in letting a visiting judge sitting as a finder of fact think that her husband could not be found during the proceeding in which he was stripped of any right to see his two daughters without close, professional supervision.

She failed to disclose to the judge and court officers that the unfounded allegations of aggravated sexual assault on his own daughter in an indictment had been dismissed due to a Special Prosecutor’s decision that the case could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, in the interest of justice. Furthermore, she and her legal representation failed to acknowledge that at the time of the hearing in which Mr. Warren was shackled by the charges and deprived of the company of his daughters, they claimed he could not be found to be served with process, he was actually flat on his broken back in an intensive care unit after an airplane crash.

So when the hearing slated for 9 a.m. September 11 in 382nd District Court in this city begins, there will be a potential for either explosive dialogue regarding the natural rights of man, or a desultory and inconclusive continuation of a monumental lawsuit that stretches from the year 2003 to the present with no discernible resolution as to just how or when Leslie Bird’s ex-husband and father of her children will be allowed to see his two daughters.

Stephen Warren has labored for many years under the impression that he will some day be allowed a reunion with them, but there have been innumerable delays caused by such accusations as the complaint of aggravated sexual assault of his daughter for which he was indicted on July 30, 2008. An outright dismissal of the charge came on December 30, 2010.

During that time Warren lived under the crippling curfew conditions of a $250,000 bond, ran a business, and was forced money intended for child support and other orders of the Court in deference to his obligation to pay the fees of “Racehorse” Haynes for the defense…

He no sooner gained his freedom from the allegation than his ex-wife filed a motion to modify his parental rights to require supervised visits of the type required when there has been a violent injury to a child, the behavior of the supervised parent monitored, the conversations regulated – no promises to be made, no mention of the future tolerated, no gifts given, unless previously approved – and all under the watchful eye of an unblinking video monitor.

In an April 15 hearing, his attorney argued that “…I think my client…is before a Court to be able to explain that the Special Prosecutor that was appointed for that very charge dismissed it in the interest of justice.”

The interest of justice required that he first satisfy his obligations in arrearage in excess of $70,000 in order to take his seat in the Courtroom.

When he got there, he was treated to constant objections to his lawyer’s questions in eliciting his ex-wife’s testimony, most of which the judge sustained.

A sampling:

Q: Would you state your name for the record, ma’am?

A: Leslie Cavanaugh Bird.

Q: Where do you live?

A: In Rockwall.

Q: Ma’am, do you know that your divorce decree requires that you give your residential address? What is your residential address?

A: ### E#### C#, Rockwall, Texas, 75032

Q: Do you work, ma’am?

A: Yes, ma’am.

Q: Where do you work?

A: Here in Rockwall.

Q: Where do you work, ma’am?

A: I don’t — I wish to not disclose that.

Q: Well, ma’am —

A: — for privacy,

Q: — the Court Order requires that you state where you work.

THE COURT: All right. This is a question you must answer.

THE WITNESS: I see, sir…

Q: …Now, do your children know anything about that their daddy has requested to begin a Standard Possession Order? Do they — do they have any concept of us being in court today?

A: Yes, they do.

Q: Okay. What do your children — based upon what you’ve told them, what do your children understand to be happening right now, today?

A: I don’t know that they really understand anything. I just call them to discuss, at the end — you know, at the end of the day, they don’t really know — 

Q: What have you told them?

A: What it means. Protect them, so I don’t really tell them anything…

Q: Do they know there’s a possibility that they will begin seeing their daddy as early as today if the Court decides?

A: No. No, ma’am…

Q: Okay. So do your children know their daddy was in a — have you told them that their daddy was in a plane crash four years ago?

A: I think we read — I think we read it, but it was — it said that he was — he walked away from it or something like that. I was very — if you Google it or whatever, it says it was a very minimal accident or something like that. It says some person that flew up into the wind going the wrong direction and that he walked away from it. 

And he was with another woman in the airplane and went the wrong direction or something like that, was admitted into the hospital and released with mild something. If you Google it, that what it says on the AA, whatever — something. I have those papers at home, so…

The reality is that Stephen Warren broke his back when the light single-engine Cessna he was piloting mysteriously lost cylinder pressure at 500 feet on climb-out.

He was alone, according to courtroom testimony elicited in another hearing. There was no other woman in the airplane.

After an 18-day stay in the hospital, he struggled through the pains of an extensive period of physical therapy in order to learn to walk all over again.

He wants to see his children. The judge ruled in the time of the Spring Equinox, 2015, by remarking that “…I have testimony the father never gives up. So I’ll try to clarify instead of granting his modification request.”

Warren’s attorney responded by saying, “…we’re asking for some end result here, not some forever supervised visitation…we’re asking the Court to consider a plan to where he will be able to take the children under some sort of visitation outside of FLP (the supervised visitation center).”

The Court’s final word: “Well, that sounds like a modification to me. I want a clarification.”

He directed counsel for both sides to prepare an “intake packet” for the social workers at the visitation center, something they claimed they had never received. This dispute came to a head when an official of the visitation center revealed that there was a copy of Warren’s intake packet on file, prompting a perjury suit against the management of the licensed Dallas facility.

A telling bit of testimony:

Q: So, ma’am, you now know — whether you knew on March 1st, 2011, you now know that the District Attorney, Special Prosecutor, had already dismissed the criminal allegations against my client; is that correct?

A: Correct. You’ve made your point, yes, ma’am.

Q: And so, when you came before the Court and you testified or it was presented to Judge Coker that my client had — was under indictment and terms of the bond were admitted as evidence, you and your attorney did not present to Judge Coker a copy of the dismissal of those charges, did you?

A: I do — I have no idea. I mean, I do not recall. But Mr. Coker, Judge Coker, is aware of the history as of all the attorneys and the history, itself.

As yet, Stephen Warren has not seen his children, a morbid fact he hopes will change on the auspicious date, 9/11.

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