A Mighty Cold Blue Wind

EXEUNT – Casie Gotro, trial lawyer of Houston, her client out of bullets

Waco – The appointed hour of 1 pm came, the lawyers, the court reporter and the defendant Jake Carrizal assembled in the chambers of 54th District Criminal Judge Matt Johnson, and they called the question.

Will the trials of the Dallas Bandidos President continue?

In a word, no – not at the present.

When they emerged and went back on the record, defense counsel Casie Gotro addressed the Court, saying, in part, “Jake is indigent.”

He’s out of bullets.

Neither she nor he can afford to continue.

Whatever comes next, a court appointment of an attorney, pro bono representation by another trial lawyer – whatever – “I will stay on until the other attorney is up to speed,” she promised.

Discovery of two million documents, the statements of hundreds of witnesses – all was turned back over to the prosecution following the November mistrial when a jury hung, unable to return a verdict.

The judge granted her motion to withdraw from the case, and it was all over, and at that moment, a mighty northwest wind fetching the chilling temperature of a blue norther, the kind of blow that makes two-ton vehicles wander from centerline to the shoulder in gusts of irresistible force, suddenly scoured the valley of the Brazos.

Scooter Bergman, a man guilty of nothing more than being at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17, 2015, wearing the colors of Los Desgraciados – the disgraced ones – looking to attend a political meeting, accepted the motion for continuance of his attorney F. Clinton Broden, as it was granted.

He had earlier refused to lie and say he is guilty of any offense whatsoever and accept the terms and conditions of probation.

“That would be my first lie,” he told the gallery, the media, and world. Red and Gold Nation rose to its feet as one and shouted, “Ai, cojones…”

He will not see a trial for 180 days, in the dead heat of summer.

The Twin Peaks saga, a massacre in which am ambush party laid in wait for the Bandidos wearing the black and gold colors of the Cossacks, a battle that then turned into a police ambush of those malefactors, slipped out of gear, into mothballs, for the political primary season.

When it’s over, voters will have a choice between either a man who allowed the federal prosecutors, a murky intelligence bureaucracy, and the Army to manipulate the case of the People of the State of Texas, or a new interlocutor native son lawyer from the GOP. The winner of that race will face a Democrat who practices criminal law in the courts of McLennan County.

The unexplained, the answer to the question that remains is this: On the day of jury selection, a number of persons indicated to the judge that they could not speak the truth – voir dire – aloud in open court, due to their fear for their lives.

This nameless, unspoken, undefined terror drove them from public view. Judge Matt Johnson gave them an opportunity to line up seeking privacy for their examination.

Both prosecution and defense, the defendant, the judge, and the court reporter retreated to the jury room. When they emerged, a number of those persons – nearly half the empaneled members of the venire – had been placed on the jury by elimination in the attorneys’ picks and the judge’s removal of veniremen for cause.

The operative question – the bottom line – had been this. Just as matters are, the way you sit here now, is there any reason you cannot render a fair and impartial verdict of guilty or not guilty, based on the facts as presented?

That question was never answered publicly.

If they were in fear for their lives, how could they do any such thing? What made them fit for jury duty in which they would be called to sit in judgment of a man on trial for an offense that could net him 45 years behind bars?

It’s a fair question. The fact that it costs a pretty penny to read the recorded transcript of the voir dire taken in private is an obscenity flung in the face of justice, a menacing insult to the intelligence of thinking men and women on any side of the question.

The arctic blast of a frosty blue norther answered. All persons with good sense headed for the house, grateful to have shelter from the storm, driven by the sleet, threatened by the prospect of sheets of ice in their path.

So mote it be

  • Legendary Jim


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