All posts by Radiolegendary

Chris Eubank accused of cheating on TCOLE test

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 8.13.22 PM

Rural residence near Gatesville where Eubank co-signed a note…

 Six Shooter Junction – A scandal involving an officer taking qualification courses and on-line exams for Sheriff Parnell McNamara came to light when former Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon told The Legendary that Sgt. Chris Eubank admitted his part in the plot to get the Sheriff certified.

According to his admission to the former Texas Ranger, he had been pressured by an ex-lover and live-in companion to provide her financing for a rural residence at Gatesville, Texas, where they both once worked, and a car.

Tax records of the Coryell County Central Appraisal District reflect that the couple acquired the home in December of 2013 from the owner from whom they had rented, Jerry Etux Chartier. One may see the proof by clicking here.

Public Data.com records show that she acquired a Dodge Challenger, license number DHC0089, in April of 2014. She is a full-time dispatcher at the Gatesville Police Department and a part-time dispatcher at the Waco P.D.

Her evidence, he admitted to Cawthon, was a snapshot of himself sitting at a computer in the Sheriff’s office at the Bosqueville Community Center where he took the course, captioned “Me passing another test…” She allegedly threatened to take her recollections to authorities if he did not comply with her demands.

I told him, look, you have a future in law enforcement. Why don’t you just resign and move on?” Cawthon recalled. At the time, the matter was very controversial because of a federal lawsuit that a private attorney named Mike Dixon was arranging to help settle out of court because of other indiscretions committed by Eubank.

As previously reported, he shredded a TCOLE document called an F-5 report of the discharge for cause of an employee, Spencer Rowell, who had been dismissed by Jail Captain John Kollinek for professional misconduct. Sheriff McNamara had requested that the young man be given a chance to resign, though the Jail Division Captain had fired him.

Eubank ordered a subordinate to shred the investigation file on the matter, but when she demurred, he did the job himself. The problem, combined with the TCOLE certification indiscretions, was enough to preclude trying to mount a defense to the lawsuit concerning the outright dismissal or demotion of 9 officers filed in U.S. District Court. According to Cawthon, Dixon used the words, “because of that Chris Eubank shit!”

When Eubank attempted to resign, the Sheriff stopped the music, persuading him to stay on as a Sergeant following his stint as a Lieutenant wearing multiple hats involving training, evaluations, prospective employee vetting, and the like. In his new role, he works deep nights in uniform, contrasting with his former role as a plainsclothesman who drove an unmarked sedan, kept office hours, and had a staff who reported to him.

The revelation may very well generate some heat and light due to the fact that only last month, Sheriff Michael Cox, his chief deputy, jail captain, and a corrections officer were removed from office in Hill County, accused of falsification of a government document and computer fraud. These are State Jail felonies, punishable by as much as two years behind bars.

At any rate, Sheriff McNamara received notice of passing the peace officers exam on September 27, 2014. Records show that though he did not go to a police training academy, he nevertheless took in excess of 25 separate courses in law enforcement on-line, and received approval to take the test after officials waived their rules requiring instruction at an academy.

GETTING RECORD A LONG, STRANGE, TRIP TO TOWN

IMG_0001

 Hunt County Courthouse, Greenville, Texas…

Look out, kid, they keep it all hid – Bob Dylan, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

Greenville, TX – The court papers telling the reasons why CPS workers and three police officers forcibly took Deanna Jo Robinson’s kids  are buried in the files of two district courts.

They are open records, but officials are reluctant to share them. Daniel Ray, an attorney retained by Hunt County, sent a letter to the Attorney General’s office at Austin claiming that since the matter is under investigation, the reasons for the brutal raid cannot be revealed because, among other reasons, Ms. Robinson is a “patient;” her medical records may not be legally revealed. So it goes.

A trip to the courthouse tells the story this way. A little boy told CPS Investigator Joseph Feduccia that Deanna and her husband, a Mr. Llenas, stuff a sock in his little brother’s mouth when he cries. He further alleged that Llenas shouts at the boy, asking him if he wants to “sit in your poop” when he soils his underwear. Fedducia stated in an affidavit that when he arrived at their house, Llenas was cooperative and picked up broken glass in the yard where a window had shattered during an argument in which chairs had been thrown. He said Ms. Robinson had made suicide threats.

In the proposed order written for the 354th District Court by CPS attorney Holly Peterson, the couple were to be ordered to take parenting classes, pay child support payments, and report their whereabouts to social workers,  among other stipulations, including payment of attorneys to serve as attorney ad litem and guardian ad litem for each of the children.

In an order written for the 196th District Court, the CPS attorney wrote that Ms. Robinson’s son Landry, 18 months, was in “immediate danger to physical health of a child.” The writ is file-marked March 4, the day police and CPS workers came to seize the child. He and Llenas’ kids are in foster care, and an infant born 12 days later is in the custody of her mother at Quinlan.

So it goes, and you know it don’t come easy. To be sure, none of the above has been proven. They are allegations.

Asked for access to the court papers, a clerk reacted with anger; she snapped, “Which ones? There are so many of them.”

She demanded to know what the paper says. When told the scribbler had no idea, having never seen them, she became even angrier.  She said the files are checked out to the staff members of the courts, then relented after asking another clerk what to do. She printed the petitions and allowed the scribbler to take notes.

IMG_0002

CPS WORKER ADMITTED THERE WAS NO WRIT OR WARRANT IN ARREST

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 9.26.32 PM

CPS worker known only as “Mike” (middle) watched warrantless arrest and seizure of Deanna Jo Robinson’s son, Levi, 18 months old

Quinlan, TX – As internal affairs investigators, FBI agents and local government officials scramble to contain the facts, a picture of a courageous woman who fought to protect her child from an illegal seizure made by Child Protective Services workers without valid court papers is beginning to emerge.

Deanna Jo Robinson, 38, an Iraq War veteran of the Air Force, met CPS workers and lawmen at the front door of her parents’ home in this rural community outside the bustling east Texas county seat of Greenville.

They said they were there to take custody of her son, Levi, 18 months old, and had a court order authorizing his seizure due to an investigation of possible neglect and/or abuse of the child. She asked to see it, and, according to a friend of one of the CPS workers, a man he knows only as Mike, who works out with him daily at a gym located in Greenville, the CPS workers flashed a folder at her and didn’t give her a chance to read it.

The reason is simple enough, he explained. According to “Mike,” there was no court order, no writ, no warrant to show her their authority to take her son to a foster home where he and a step-son named Andric, 9, are still held without her knowledge of its location.

That’s when she tried to slam the door and two Hunt County Deputies elbowed their way into the residence, followed by a Quinlan police officer and the CPS workers.

When she struggled, according to Taylor Parrish, 25, who chatted with “Mike” about the encounter, “They decided to push her down on the floor.”

The two deputies wound up in the kitchen in a struggle with the woman while trying to put handcuffs on her. They eventually arrested her for assault of a public servant, interfering with an official duty, and resisting arrest – but only after Deputy Joshua Robinson beat her with his closed fist.

To view the video of the beating during Ms. Robinson’s arrest, click here: https://youtu.be/eJuKlQF0meg

She was 38 weeks and 6 days into her pregnancy on March 4, when the arrest took place. Six days later, she gave birth to another boy baby named Levi. According to a close family friend, CPS workers showed up at the hospital and took the child to her mother’s home in Quinlan, where he is still being cared for. In the seizure of that child, according to the family friend who requested anonymity, the workers had an “agreed order” from 385th District Judge Richard Beacom.

INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION

Deputy Jeff Haines, an internal affairs investigator for the Sheriff’s Office, took affidavits from Ms. Robinson’s parents at her lawyer’s office. An FBI agent appeared to obtain a laptop computer and the files of the video made by a motion-sensitive security camera that Ms. Robinson’s father, James Robinson, an elderly former city fireman, had fairly “forgotten about.”

In trying to place the video file in a Dropbox location with limited capacity on his computer, Mr. Robinson inadvertently cut off the beginning of the video depicting the encounter as lawmen and CPS workers entered the room, as well as the ending of the video showing her actual arrest after Deputy Robinson beat her with his fist, according to the close family friend.

He said he wants to get a clean copy of that video off the computer, one that has not been molested,” said the family friend. “He said he can carry it back to a lab at the FBI office and work with it there. I kept trying to tell him, the file is already molested,” said the family friend.

SHERIFF’S ALLEGATIONS TO MEDIA

Greenville and greater Hunt County is abuzz with excitement about statements Sheriff Randy Meeks made to media representatives alleging his belief that Ms. Robinson may have tried to grab Deputy Robinson’s handgun.

Critical thinkers are equally adamant that is highly unlikely because she was bent over the counter, and in any case, Deputy Robinson is right-handed, the hand he used as a fist to beat Ms. Robinson in dealing with her resistance.

One may listen to an audio recording of an interview with Taylor Parrish about what the CPS worker he knows as Mike told him:

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 2.31.02 AM

A chance to make case law – the risk, 10 years

Massey

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” – Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

Quinlan, TX – It’s the kind of nervy double-down only a true filibuster would make; KC Massey III is determined to make law, one way or another.

His moral stance is simple enough. He is totally unsatisfied that the federal government is doing justice or anything like it in the performance of its ministerial duty to defend the nation’s borders, as enumerated in Section 8 of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. He means business, and he’s backing it up with a risky wager.

If U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen decides to suppress the evidence that Border Patrol Agents and the Justice Department both insist constitutes a violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution – that Massey as a convicted felon had no right to possess a firearm as he patrolled private property at an Audobon Society bird sanctuary in the “no man’s land” located between the border fence and the Rio Grande in the Southmost neighborhood at Brownsville – the G will no doubt appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans.

That would open up the possibility of a Supreme Court challenge to the notion that federal authorities can regulate firearms because they were at one time or another since the date of their manufacture shipped from state to state, or from nation to nation.

If Judge Hanen denies his motion, Massey is equally determined to stand a jury trial for the offense. If convicted under 18 U.S. Code § 922 (g)(1), he would face a sentence of at least 10 years, according to federal sentencing guidelines. His appeal on bond or from behind bars would thereby be made even more difficult.

He and another man named John “Jesus” Foerster were charged with the offense in October after an August incident in which a Border Patrol Agent fired five shots at Foerster when he startled him during an interdiction operation in a brushy area at the river’s edge. Foerster is also a convicted felon.

The Offense https://youtu.be/Fyy9PQxwfEU

The risk was not unexpected.

I was prepared to lose it all when I walked away from my home,” he declared. It’s a home he and his wife have built during a successful career as an electrical contractor following a long climb out of the ignominy of a burglary conviction he sustained two and a half decades in the past.

State law says that he’s street legal to carry a long gun in the place where he lives (Tex. Penal Code 46.04), and to wear a sidearm on private property because it’s been more than five years since the date of his conviction.

He shakes his head and stops short of declaring what he will do if his gamble craps out. But that certain look is in his eyes, in the set of his jaw; it tells the story. This outfit has made up his mind he’s got the right to carry a firearm and use it in defense of himself, his family, his home, his place of business, or his nation, if necessary, because the Second Amendment to that same Constitution states unequivocally, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Again, The Look blazes up in his eyes, and he states, as in a declaration, “Hunting has absolutely nothing to do with it.”

The offense: “…(g) It shall be unlawful for any person –

(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”

It just flat doesn’t apply to the circumstances of his arrest, according to his reasoning. “I bought my firearms from a private individual – here in Texas…I was not involved in commerce; I was never involved in commerce.”

Congress has the duty “…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;…” according to the Second Clause of Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution.

But it doesn’t say anything about regulating who may go armed on private property to defend against the encroachment of trespassers who are engaged in the illegal trafficking of humans or the highly lucrative, but illegal importation of contraband, such as illegal drugs.

Here is what it does state, equally plainly:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Tenth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

The Defense https://youtu.be/2jGv0bjZwM0

The issues are torn from the pages of recent history in the making.

Last week, a federal Grand Jury at Austin indicted Williamson County Court-at-Law Judge Timothy L. Wright on multiple counts of selling firearms to a person unauthorized to possess them under federal law, and further alleged that he did so knowing the ultimate destination of the guns would be Mexico. He is also accused of lying to a federal agent.

Judge Hanen is involved in the current conservative clash with liberal sensibilities in his February 16, 2015, injunction prohibiting the Government from going ahead with a presidential executive order that would have given illegal immigrants legal status and protection and let them apply for work permits, in contravention of immigration law and the absence of an act of Congress. The Obama Administration appealed the injunction ordered by Hanen in the 5th Circuit, and is scheduled to offer argument on April 17 on whether it should lift the temporary hold so that the program can proceed while the lawsuit continues (State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al. (Civil No. 1-14-CV-254).

April 17 is an auspicious date in the dispute leveled in federal court by 28 states because that is the deadline Judge Hanen gave Massey’s attorney to offer his pleadings in support of his motion to suppress the evidence against Massey, and to dismiss the criminal charge against him. His ruling is expected on April 20. Hanen, an appointee of President George W. Bush, was forced to cool his heels during the Clinton Administration when Senators declined to confirm his original appointment by President George Herbert Walker Bush. He is an honors graduate of Baylor Law, the valedictorian of his class.

So it goes.

– The Legendary

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 9.44.23 AM

“Southmost,” jokingly called by residents, “The Gated Community”

Deputy beating a mother caught on hidden camera

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 2.31.02 AM

Greenville, TX – The story is brutal, and the only thing unusual about it is that a law officer is depicted giving a pregnant woman a severe beating with his fists, his actions captured by a concealed camera, while the woman’s 18-month-old boy looks on in horror.

Deanna Jo Robinson-Katsuki, 38, knew CPS workers were looking for her to serve a court order placing her 18-month old boy in foster care.

She left her home in the D/FW Metroplex on the rainy evening of March 3 and took refuge at her parents’ home in the Hunt County town of Quinlan, where two city police officers and a Deputy Sheriff named Joshua Robinson escorted the child protective services workers.

They gave her a glance at the court order alleging abuse of her child and those of her estranged husband.

She claims they didn’t let her read the document, and that she protested when they attempted to take her little boy without giving her a chance to do so.

That’s when two of the officers, Robinson and a city patrolman, wedged her into a corner of the kitchen counter and began to attempt to wrestle her into handcuffs.

Ms. Robinson repeatedly screamed, “I’m pregnant! I’m pregnant!”

A video made with a hidden camera placed in the dining room area that depicted the struggle taking place in her mother’s kitchen reveals that when they were unable to subdue her, Deputy Robinson punched the pregnant woman at least twice with a closed fist in the area of her kidneys on both sides of her spine. Pictures shot at a doctor’s office six days later following her release from jail show distinct bruising on her back, her extensively distended abdomen, and her thighs.

A mug shot released by authorities shows that she is 5 feet, two inches in height and weighed 175 pounds at the time, in the third trimester of her pregnancy of 38 weeks and 6 days. She was booked into the county jail for the third degree felony offense of assault of a police officer, interfering with an official duty, and resisting arrest. There, she served six days time sleeping on a concrete floor with the overhead lights shining in her eyes, a jailer checking on her every 15 minutes.

She said in an interview that despite her pleas, she received no medical attention because a female nurse who works at the jail was “afraid for her job.” Maneuvering in the jail was a painful process, she recalls. “I was about as big as a woman can get.”

What led to her apprehension as a potentially abusive parent whose 18-month-old child was seized, and the placement in custodial care of her newborn son to whom she gave birth six days after her release from jail?

One of my stepsons told his teacher about a fight – a case of domestic violence – that took place between myself and my husband. I hit him and he threw a chair at me,” she recalls. “The boy told her he really didn’t care if he lived or died. He said that he was tired of his life, that he wanted to die.” She said the boy is afflicted with a nerve disorder – cerebral palsy.

She is a veteran of the Iraq War who served in-country in an Air Force billet.

The story is all too familiar – domestic violence perpetrated by a war veteran leading to the seizure of the children in the family. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that of 2.5 million reports of child abuse and/or neglect each year, 686,000 children are deemed in “dire need” of an intervention, and of these, 17.7 percent of the reports are substantiated.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 10.26.31 PM

Fear and hostility marked the conduct of staff members at the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office when The Legendary showed up to collect public information related to the arrest that had been promised earlier. A woman named Teresa Duckworth who works as a secretary to the staff of the Criminal Investigation Division fairly shouted that the information is “too sensitive” to be released, that “It’s still under investigation.” She was reminded that the arrest and appearance before the magistrate to be charge was an accomplished fact, no longer under investigation.

She summoned an executive of the department who identified himself as “Buddy.” Buddy explained that though the public information request was precisely worded to include only items that are not excepted under the open records law, “That’s not how it was interpreted.”

After he talked with Sheriff Randy Meeks, he came back with a smile, offering booking information, the charge sheets, and the “police blotter” information regarding the offense and arrest. “Maybe we can give you part of the facts,” he explained.

Affidavits of probable cause for a warrantless arrest had been sent to a private attorney named Daniel Ray. Mr. Ray said, “I’m not going to release the narratives until they have been thoroughly redacted and I have obtained an Attorney General’s Opinion.” Clearly, Mr. Ray, a very cordial man with impeccable manners, is thinking ahead.

Judge Wayne Money smiled and said, “OK, what you want are the arrest affidavits, huh? Tell you what, if Mr. Ray says I should release them, I will on his say-so.” A clerk in his office had refused the request as out of the question, saying no such records exist in the courts. Her co-worker had asked, “What does he want?” She replied, “Oh, he wants the affidavits on Deanna Jo.” They both rolled their eyes as another woman fled to the judge’s chambers to summon him in this emergency.

Sheriff Meeks vowed to newsmen that his department will conduct a thorough investigation.

Information about the arrest – though incomplete and consisting only of the unsubstantiated video – went viral before authorities released public information about the incident.

As of midnight today, Tuesday, April 7, the YouTube video of the beating had received 70,000 views after one day of posting, according to data supplied by the broadcasting service.

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 9.19.53 AM

One may watch the video by clicking on the hyperlink below:

https://youtu.be/eJuKlQF0meg

Tax rise, budget overruns based on a stinking lie!

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 11.08.56 AM

Liberty in Chains

ELECTED OFFICIALS COWER BEHIND BULLET-PROOF GLASS

Waco – Taxpayers and We the People bear the costs and the loss of liberty that go with living under the yoke of a stinking lie – that jail costs and courthouse security issues are so intense it’s caused two historic tax increases.

JAIL OVERCROWDING?

Costs of housing “overflow” prisoners at the privately-operated, for-profit jail, the Jack Harwell Detention Center, have tripled, triggering massive need for a higher tax rate and the constant appraisal of business and residential properties at higher and higher values – for no good reason. The overcrowding issue is a manufactured concern. There is truly no such issue.

The Commissioners’ Court has lied to We the People for many years, saying that they have no operating permit from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to operate a 392-bed lockup at the Courthouse Annex in the 500 block of Columbus Avenue. It’s simply not the truth. Here is the proof. The commission issued an operating permit for the jail in March.  

The lockup was operated by CEC, Inc., as a unit for housing prisoners of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Justice Department. When they lost their highly lucrative contract, the Commissioners’ Court and Sheriff’s Department depopulated the lockup; CEC paid the Commissioners’ Court to not the operate the jail for which it had contracted. 

The Commissioners’ Court said they could not operate the downtown jail, even though they had spent an estimated $1.5 million to renovate the structure, its roof and electronic locking mechanisms, because the jail commission demanded they depopulate the jail. The Court claimed an issue with smoke detection and evacuation. It’s just not true. That is a falsehood.

Sheriff Parnell McNamara campaigned on the issue that he is opposed to private prisons, or the concept of anyone profiting from another person’s misfortune. After his election, he said he was looking for some answers to the conundrum. So far, he seems to have found none. 

COURTHOUSE SECURITY?

The criminal district court judges and former District Clerk Karen Matkin made vociferous demands for increased courthouse security. This created unprecedented and unnecessary expense. Even though the county spent an estimated $1 million to build a high security annex courtroom in the same building with the downtown lockup. Jurors, witnesses and spectators may enter at a separate entrance, prisoners may be housed in a maximum security lockup with direct elevator access to the building, and there is ample room for jury selection from special venires and large galleries of spectators. Inexplicably, it remains unused for that purpose.

All must use the eastern door to the courthouse, then traipse through a circuitous and needlessly complicated route to the annex courtroom by ascending to the third floor of the courthouse, taking a stroll through the witness waiting room in a corridor adjacent to the 54th District courtroom, across a catwalk to the Courthouse Annex, then descending from the third floor to the ground floor.

After paying local police officers in excess of $30 per hour to man the security station at the eastern door of the building, the Court scrambled to pay the bill, then closed the books on the matter. 

In a recent confrontation over a ball-point pen’s status as imagined by a certain Deputy Constable as a “weapon,” a number of persons with briefcases and backpacks were allowed to enter the building without being subjected to any scrutiny. They seemed to have waited for the moment in order to take advantage of the distraction. What contraband did they bring into the building with them? It’s a fair question.

Meanwhile, any request for information is treated as an insult, the elected officials demand a full-dress, unnecessary “public information act” request, including a ruling from the Attorney General’s Office, and provide no comfort station due to “security issues.” Legendary Reporter R.S. Gates has initiated a complaint to the Criminal District Attorney to inquire why and show cause. One may read it by clicking here. 

THE TRUE ORIGIN OF THESE PROBLEMS

An investors’ consortium raised $49 million to build the Jack Harwell Detention Center through the issuance of revenue bonds by the Commissioners’ Court, an action which demands no voter approval.

Investors held the high-yield, tax-free municipal bonds for the requisite 90 days, then sold them on the open market for a profit. The building was erected by wholly-owned or captive subsidiary corporation of CEC, Inc., named Hale-Mills Construction, operating out of Houston.

This company was allowed through a subcontractor named Accurate Air Conditioning to review plans, the site, and the existing jail on Highway 6 in order to prepare a response to a request for proposal one year in advance of the request for qualifications. Other prospective contractors were allowed on 30 days to prepare their bids. This resulted in a lawsuit in which the County Judge, the Jail Captain, and a County Commissioner all gave their depositions about an alleged violation of fiduciary trust. The matter settled out of court in a Houston civil venue. One may read about it by clicking here.  

Hyperlinks embedded in this printed report may be viewed by going to this URL:

 http://radiolegendary.com/2015/04/tax-rise-budget-overruns-based-on-a-stinking-lie/

These people perceive a real threat in ‘Jade Helm’

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 12.35.10 AM

Blackhawk downtown…descending into central Texas

Served eight years Air Force, this shit is NOT routine training. I warn all of you right now this is about to get ugly. They have already started “training” in March so July appears to be the time the country realizes this isn’t a training mission. A genius plan to round up Americans and place them into re-education camps and tell local law enforcement and first responders to not respond during this “live fire exercise”. By the time the majority of Americans realize what’s going on, the ones who would stand up and defend this country are either dead or placed in these camps. The threat is real. Militias, three percenters, veterans, stand up now. Prepare for war.” – Smith N. Wesson – Jade Helm 15, posted on a patriotic conspiracy Facebook page…

Signs of hostility, fear and loathing, are impossible to conceal. It’s a cultural thing, this bit of choosing up sides, and everyone who has ever done time on a playground or in a kindergarten is thoroughly familiar with the concept. Game faces don’t lie.

The issue at hand – Operation Jade Helm 15 – represents a paradigm shift for We The People, that of the standing Armed Forces’ special operations commands asking for and getting permission to conduct “realistic military training” inside the borders of the nation in areas other than “..Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings…” mentioned in the Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. According to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, armed forces may not operate inside the borders of our nation as law enforcement agents.

The operation is scheduled to take place during the 8-week period July 15 through September 15, and will involve ops in all the states located between California and Texas, including the Rocky Mountain states of Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. The Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina will oversee elements of the Marine Corps, Navy Seals, Air Force and the Army’s Green Berets as they conduct a war game that defines the “blue states” as friendly, and the “red states” of Utah and Texas as “hostile.”

Civil war, speaking plainly and simply, could not be more precisely defined. Law enforcement and the media are not invited, according to public information releases made during similar exercises in Florida.

How does the special ops “community” go about organizing all this? Quite simply, they ask permission, and it sounds like this presentation made to the Brazos County, Texas, Commissioners’ Court in February, home of the twin cities of Aggieland – Bryan and College Station.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 2.03.32 AM

The letter of permission inviting Special Ops troops to Aggieland (click to view full-size)

A similar operation took place further up State Highway 6 along the Brazos River system in Bosque County, near the Scandinavian community of Clifton, in July, 2014, when an airmobile cavalry battalion  of The Netherlands on a NATO training mission descended by chopper on a wild game ranch once billed as Texas Safariland to carry out a simulated raid on “terrorists” holed up in a cowshed. According to a local news report, the Dutch keep a squadron of assault helicopters at Ft. Hood near Killeen, and rotate troopers through the training mission on a routine basis to take advantage of the year-round flying weather and mild climate. A civilian contractor coordinates the “hostile” forces, and serves as a liaison with local landowners. It’s an ongoing mission.

The former emergency services planning coordinator and a talented grant writer, County Judge Dewey Ratliff said in a cordial interview, “They didn’t involve us. I just knew it the day it happened.” All permission was cleared with the landowner, a former airborne soldier. It wasn’t the first time the armed forces and the Department of Homeland Security had operated in Bosque, said Judge Ratliff.

In 2004, the Texas National Guard’s 6th Civil Support Team came from Camp Mabry at Austin to do a simulation of a raid on a clandestine poison gas lab producing Ricin and Sarin nerve agents. “They set up labs in shipping containers – wouldn’t let us take photos or anything. It was a full-scale haz-mat drill – the real deal.”

Judge Ratliff sees  present conditions along the U.S.-Mexican border in terms of international hostilities. “We’ve got a war on the border. People don’t realize it, but it’s a war.” State Troopers and Game Wardens rotate on two-week schedules, serving in interdiction efforts along the 1,254 miles of Texas’ border with Mexico. “That’s hurting our police present. Our police force is being reduced here.”

IF YOU LIVE IN A NIGHTMARE

And then there’s Waco and McLennan County. The centenary-plus double-domed courthouse is an exact replica of the former Mississippi State Capitol, and though the criminal judges who hear cases there love its antiquarian charm, they see its hallowed corridors as a security nightmare. Fair enough, if you live in a nightmare.

Security is tight. People have to remove their belts, place the contents of their pockets in the kind of shallow dishes used in churches to collect donations during services, and send their purses and briefcases through an x-ray tunnel before passing through a magnetometer set to detect metallic objects as small as a handcuff key.

In an effort to learn the status of McLennan County’s permission to conduct Jade Helm ops in its territory, a trip to the Commissioners’ Court required a full-dress inspection as rigorous as the kind TSA agents put you through for an international jet flight to gain access to the building.

A deputy constable dressed in sand-colored militarycargo pants and a crisp uniform shirt glared out from behind his war face framed in a long crewcut with motorcycle wings and fairly shouted that the writing instrument the journalist placed in the offering plate is a “weapon.”

“You’re going to put this back in your car,” he snapped. “It’s a weapon.”

“It’s me pencil, guv-nor,” the scribbler replied, whereupon the man of the law brandished the pointed object an inch from the scribbler’s nose and eyes, and screamed, “It’s a weapon!”

Okay, but not to me. I use it to take notes. It’s made of aluminum and it’s as big around as one of those pencils they gave you in first grade, and it’s very useful when placed in the arthritic fingers of a little old man with bad handwriting, the kind that is difficult to decipher 10 minutes after scribbling something. Got it for me 65th birthday from an admirer, I did.

Enraged, he shouted, “I know what it is. I buy stuff like this!”

Does he use it for a weapon? Really?

Why was he behaving so hostile? “I’m not behaving hostile to you,” he said. Say what? Bear in mind, this is an officer of the court, a server of process, a bearer of legal tidings, writs, orders, and the like.

This audio clip might give some of the flavor of what life in that troubled red state area of the world, home to the nation’s largest, most conservative university – Baylor – and a bastion of Republican politics.

Following the primary elections of 2014, the Commissioners’ Court eliminated two of the Constable and Justice of the Peace precincts, which required making adjustments in the boundaries of the remaining five of seven precincts. The only way to do that was to let the Precinct Chairmen and Executive Committee members of the GOP appoint the candidates of their choosing to serve the coming terms, thereby nullifying the Primary Election, in which the candidates had been elected and faced no opposition in the General Election. Shades of barnyard capitals of the republics of the “evil empire” such Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, and certain garden spots of the Balkans.

THE “BLACK ROBE EFFECT”

One such candidate thus eliminated, a judge who had won election to her bench in a previous general election, is Judge Kristi DeCluitt. She was offered and accepted a position as a criminal justice consultant to study alternate methods of dealing with the undesirable “special populations” of homeless mentally ill persons and veterans suffering the effects of their war-time service.

Asked prior to the Commissioners’ Court session if she is studying ways to expedite mental commitments, she demurred, saying she had no idea what the question could possibly mean as she stalked away.

The scribbler apologized for asking her, remarking that in certain conservative atmospheres, it’s not a good idea to ask questions, and she replied “Well, it’s kind of a touché thing, isn’t it?”

Whatever.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 12.32.15 AM

Operation Jade Helm 15 – (click for full size)

An article penned in 2012 about a Special Ops soldier who contributed $5,000 to the election campaign of a Sheriff Parnell McNamara, former U.S. Deputy Marshal in charge of the Waco office of the Western District of Texas. The article has had more than 12,000 readers during its life on The Legendary blog:

http://downdirtyword.blogspot.com/2012/02/generals-failed-mission-actually.html

Ladies and gentlemen, if you will rise for our National Anthem:

https://youtu.be/RTZoJ01FpD8

 

 

Sheriff, officers arrested in officer licensing fraud

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 4.57.59 PM

Ousted Hill County Sheriff Michael Cox

Hillsboro, TX – There’s a new Sheriff in town following the arrest of Michael Cox, Chief Deputy Mark Wilson, former Jail Captain Leroy Rodriguez, and Corrections Officer Bryan Winget on multiple counts of computer fraud and tampering with government documents.

Conviction for the State Felony Jail offenses could result in a sentence of two years.

Hill County Attorney David Holmes announced the appointment of Wes Collins to serve as interim Sheriff. Retired 220th State District Judge James Morgan ordered the removal from office of the Sheriff and his officers on the attorney’s recommendation. District Attorney Mark Pratt and 66th District Judge Lee Harris recused themselves.

The charges stem from alleged tampering with records of Texas Commission on Law Enforcement licensing exams and computer fraud that show the Sheriff took an on-line telecommunicator’s licensing test when in reality another person did the work at his behest as a result of coercion through power and position. He is also charged with the offense of having another person lie in a letter of response to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards about a complaint that inmates were seen in a restaurant downtown.

In a third count, the former Sheriff is charged with fraud by tampering with the government record of his taking the  telecommunicator’s certification test.

Former Chief Deputy Mark Wilson is similarly charged with fraud and tampering with government documents on three charges , one of which involves fraud in obtaining a telecommunicator’s license; the second allegation states he signed five appointment letters certifying the hiring of five officers, then stamped the Sheriff’s signature on the documents; and in a third allegation, the affidavit of probable cause states he used the computer fraudulently to file his telecommunicator’s license test.

The complaint against former Jail Captain Leroy Rodriguez alleges he allowed a Correction Officer, Bryan Winget, to credit his record for 40 hours of training he did not complete; the affidavit further alleges that he allowed Winget to take the Corrections Officer licensing exam for him.

Bryan Winget is charged with falsely using Rodriguez’ name to complete the jail officers’ certification test on-line and fraudulently crediting 40 hours of course work to  Rodriguez.

Withholding info as suppression of evidence

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.21.42 PM

The eyes of David Sirbasku

There is no such thing as justice, in or out of the courtroom. – Clarence Darrow

Six Shooter Junction – It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and what they can do about it, that really counts.

In Waco, even people who admit their guilt are still capable of being found not guilty when it comes time for the judge to render a verdict. True story.

It happened just the other day in a McLennan County Court-at-Law. A husband and wife, two top employees of Judge Ken Starr, former Solicitor General of the United States and Whitewater Special Prosecutor, the man who now runs Baylor University, walked away free because the special prosecutor in that case had failed in the information against them to allege upon exactly which date their respective offenses occurred.

Both readily admitted their culpability as drunk drivers, but ultimately neither faced a punitive gavel – simply because of who they are and to whom they report for work each morning. The cognoscenti and hoi poloi of Jerusalem-on-the-Brazos cackled, twittered, and belly-laughed their way through a couple of merry days when the world learned of the amazing development – in a town with no real pity or sympathy for drunks behind the wheel, on the job, in the gin mills, or in their own homes, the kind of place where judges routinely throw the book at offenders, take their kids away from them, go off their bond, revoke their probation on the slightest offense, and closely monitor their every word, thought and deed in rehabs, detoxification centers and 12-step recovery meetings.

Seemingly, these two could have mooned the judge, slapped the bailiff, and still received letters of commendation for their troubles, if not the outright beg of their pardon. So it goes.

Truth is, criminal justice in this central Texas town that straddles the Balcones, half situated on the blackland prairie and river bottoms of the Brazos, and half on the high, stony plains of the Edwards Plateau, is as hit or miss as it is across the Rio Bravo – in old Mexico.

The chief difference is that here in Texas, folks always know with what offense they are charged – but only because of a peculiar vagary of American and Texican law in the Code of Criminal Procedure and the U.S. and Texas Constitutions that dictates that it be so – and mainly because the pawn shop operators, check cashing services and other assorted merchants who cater to the untermenschen of the honky tonks and bars, dope houses, street walkers, chop shops, burglary fences, and criminal defense attorneys would not be able to arrange their bail for a big, fine price were it not so. One can wait years in a Mexican jail until the charges are revealed.

In Texas, plea “bargains” are considered as just an agreeable way to end another messy happening at el Palacio de Justicia following an extended stay at the Highway 6 condos, la casa de calaboose.

There is a moral element to all this, one no one seems to recognize. It is a matter of record that Moses was purported to have spent quality time staring into the face of God while he received the Ten Commandments at the summit of Mt. Sinai. “Thou shalt not lie,” said God. He also said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Choose. Neither leave much doubt.

There is one way to consistently win at this game of liar’s poker: DON’T PLAY.

Few ever find their way to that golden shore. Predictably, when it comes to crime and punishment, it’s a business – a bottom line runs through it. Just ask the bond salesmen, underwriters, architects, consultants, wardens and corporate officers; they’ll be glad to tell you. Business is booming. Hard times are here to stay, and the cash just keeps rolling in. (Cue the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil…”)

How could anyone call entering an arrangement called a plea “bargain” any kind of bargain at all, when it’s based on a stinking lie, a lie told against oneself, that the offense committed is actually thus, and so, well, you know. “If you choose the lesser of two evils, you’re still choosing evil,” said Abbie Hoffman, a well-known thorn in the side of the establishment. A former media darling, he ended his days teaching school in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts.

And so it’s tragically comical that the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office Supervisor of Records, Tamma Willis, has chosen to withhold a request by Legendary Reporter R.S. Gates for the affidavit for a search warrant, the warrant, and its return, all signed by Judge Ralph Strother at 1:30 pm on January 8, 2013.

Willis has decided that though the warrant has been served long ago, the arrest made, and the man charged and indicted for possession of controlled substances – heroin and methamphetamine – his case is pending in State District Court for possession, and the intentional and knowing offense of attempting to take a controlled substance into the McLennan County Jail, that the material contained in the affidavit and the search warrant is all part of an “ongoing criminal investigation.” Revealing what happened just might screw it up.

Wrong. They are court records. They are subject to discovery by any member of the public, including the defendant himself and his attorneys. But, then, the Criminal District Attorney’s Office has a very strict policy of not allowing discovery materials to get into the hands of attorneys until exactly 21 days prior to a jury trial.

All this has become the subject of a furious appeal and equally steadfast holding by an Assistant Attorney General, that the appeal entered by Gates is defective because he did not sign it. And now, an assistant prosecutor has admitted he did not forward that page to the AG’s office. He will send it along forthwith, etc.

The comical, knee-slapping truth is that Willis, who is famous on Google for being often reproved by AG’s office officials for withholding information previously released to others, actually released the identical information to The Legendary Jim Parks on January 15, 2013, way more than two years previously. Imagine that!

Sirbasku allowed a young woman, a friend who had become homeless, to come to his opulent home just a few doors up the street from the home of Sheriff Parnell McNamara on Rock Creek Dr. in Bosqueville in order to bathe, wash her clothes, and rest up.

When she stayed in the bathroom for an long period, he checked on her and found her dead in the tub, “unresponsive,” in the parlance of officialdom. A deputy who accompanied Emergency Medical Technicians found a full syringe on the wash stand. It field tested positive for methamphetamine, according to affidavits for warrantless arrest turned in on that day. On the third day thereafter, deputies purportedly went back to the house and found him in his bedroom, small quantities of heroin in the bathroom and methamphetamine on his nightstand, according to an arrest report attached. He told Deputy Michael Gates that he was severely addicted to heroin and that he used the methamphetamine to keep from going to sleep.

That information, given so freely at the time, is now the subject of sturm and drang, complete with gargoyles and griffins beckoning from the wings to coax the fat lady to sing – loudly.

Obviously, something has changed. Now there is some reason, some deep, dark reason why no one should know exactly what was recorded at the time of Sirbasku’s arrest.

All this begs the question, why was it permissible under the law – the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure – and the Texas Open Records Act, to release all these gory details on January 15, 2013 – and now it is verboten?

Who cares? Look at the reality of the records that are accessible.

Focussing on all this alone is to say nothing of the companion civil case, People of the State of Texas v. 2011 BMW. Sounds ridiculous, that a beamer could offend against the Peace and Dignity of the People of The State of Texas, no?

Nevertheless, Deputies confiscated the luxury model import auto they found in the driveway the day of Sirbasku’s arrest. They cited the grounds that Sirbasku told them he sometimes let his friends drive it to the drug house to score heroin. Therefore, it became contraband in the case against him, possession with intent to deliver, according to affidavits filed in the case. Authorities also seized a custom-made AR-15 assault rifle that was found in the trunk of the car.

When Sirbasku did not replevy his property and place it under bond, then failed to show up for the hearing, the DA’s office applied for and received a summary judgment .

In the shuffle, he has seen a charge of possession of a controlled substance causing death fall by the wayside.

All good things come to those who wait.

I am sincere.

So mote it be.

– The Legendary Jim Parks

http://downdirtyword.blogspot.com/2013/01/there-is-in-mclennan-county-texas.html

Murder, rape, robbery all about the sex offenses against the peace and dignity of the People of…

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 10.52.40 PM

Aggravated rape, aggravated robbery, and the prospect of violent death came through a bedroom window at 518 Dolphin Place, Corpus Christi, Texas, on a work night, Monday, Sept. 17, 1979…

CORPUS CHRISTI – VICKY KORN, 17, was the first to arrive home that evening – at about 9:10 p.m., following her work shift at Padre Staples mall.

The stereo was playing. She switched on the television and sat down to change her shoes, and according to a statement she gave a detective later that night, she began to feel very uncomfortable because she thought she heard whispering in another room.

And then she saw the two-tone baseball cap where it lay on the dining room table.

The cap didn’t belong there. She knew that very well because she had turned the house upside down several weeks earlier looking for a baseball cap to wear on an outing; though she searched high and low, she could not find one.  The sudden recognition with its fleeting thoughts and flash of cognition was the portentous beginning of an evening of terror.

In those moments while she sat there feeling “uncomfortable,” she struggled to decide whether to leave the house. That’s when two men stepped out of hiding into the dining area brandishing pistols; as they approached her from each side, they told her to sit still while they put masking tape over her eyes and led her to a chair in a back corner of the room. During the 10 minutes she sat there, they asked questions about who would be coming home; when a car drove up in the driveway, she said it was either her father, or her mother.

The masked strangers asked which door her father would use, and she said the front; that’s when they told her to keep quiet or they would hurt her. It was the first of many threats leveled at she and other members of her family. When Marvin Korn came in, he called out to see if anyone was at home, and the two invaders ushered him into the living area at gunpoint, where they masked his eyes and made him lay on the floor.

Korn later recalled for police that one intruder wore a camouflage jacket; eerily, both wore pillow cases over their heads.

They asked many questions, all about his place of business, what kind of burglar alarm they would find there, which key unlocked the door and which disarmed the alarm, and they bound him with the kind of ultra-sticky silver air conditioning duct tape most people keep handy, fresh from where they’d found it in his garage.

That’s when Mrs. Annabelle Korn and her 15-year-old son Jeffrey walked in the back door. As the two men robbed her, she recalled for detectives, the duo seemed unsatisfied with the 1.6 carat pear-shaped diamond, the gold 50-peso coin pendant and necklace, $140 in endorsed money orders, and $170 in cash they took from her; they kept asking her for more money.

She told them she would be glad to write them a check.

Of the two Anglos, one was much older, possibly 30 to 40 years of age. She said he pulled up her skirt and shucked her pantyhose down while he fondled her. After he disappeared, the younger man, whom she guessed was about 20, was polite; he courteously pulled her hose back up, then calmly smoothed her skirt back down.

The older Anglo left with the keys to Mr. Korn’s place of business, a pharmacy in Flour Bluff, where he broke in to steal drugs and money.

Everyone recalled that at some point, a third man they perceived as black from the fitful snatches of vision they got through their masking tape blindfolds of his dark complexion and from hearing his heavily accented ghetto patois, mumbled to himself non-stop about the violent prospects the family faced. As the two Anglos reassured them they would not be harmed if they cooperated, he mentioned he ought to kill them all “just for the hell of it.”

Investigators later agreed that this “black” man was actually Anthony Melendez, younger brother of Gilbert Melendez, and a co-defendant of he and David Wayne Spence, who later entered a guilty plea to capital murder and testified against Spence in the ritual torture deaths by knife and the use of his teeth to attack Jill Montgomery, Raylene Rice, and Kenneth Franks in a park at Lake Waco in July, 1982.

For the crimes at the Korn residence, they charged him with aggravated robbery, aggravated rape, and burglary. He was still at large and wanted for his part in the alleged crimes at the Korn residence when Waco police arrested him in 1983. Transferred to the Nueces County Jail at Corpus on the robbey and rape warrant obtained in 1979, he was later overheard by jailhouse snitches in Corpus Christi admitting that he was at Lake Waco when the trio of teenagers were murdered there in July, 1982.

In addition to numerous incisive defensive knife wounds to her hands, arms and fingers, Jill Montgomery also lost the entire nipple of one her breasts in the gnawing attack. Evidence presented at trial convinced jurors that the murderers raped both she and Ms. Rice.

Evidence from the Lake Murders crime scene awaits mitochondrial DNA testing, financed by a freelance author named Frederic Dannen who is under advance contract to publisher Simon & Schuster to produce a book abuut the Lake Murders.

DNA testing paid for by Dannen has exonerated two men who were serving life for the murder of Spence’s mother, Juanita White. Medical examiners and an odontologist testified that Mrs. White had suffered a bite wound on one of her buttocks, said to have been “payback” for Spence’s alleged biting attacks at the Lake.

DNA testing proved by an estimated 1 in 19 billion odds that another suspect who lived in the North Waco neighborhood – right around the corner from Mrs. White’s home – had carried out her murder. Benny Carroll allegedly left her face a “bloody mess” after beating her to death with his fists. He had been previously convicted of the rape of another elderly woman who lived nearby.

Needless to say, among Lake Murders buffs, the Juanita White murder is a serious who-done-it.

A California testing lab is holding the DNA evidence hostage because preparations for a type of testing have already been made; thus the evidentiary material to be tgested is deemed by their attorney to be “work product.”

To further confuse matters, Innocence Project of Texas Vice President Walter Reaves, who is serving as Melendez’ appellate attorney, has enlisted Dannen, the free-lance book author, former “New Yorker” staff writer, and former New York “Times” reporter as a legal assistant in the case. He is thereby subject to the attorney-client privilege rule.

Prosecutors and a forensic odontologist caused jurors in two separate capital murder trials to believe Spence carried out the murderous attack on Ms. Montgomery – the most extensive of the three – as a case of mistaken identity in exchange for half of the proceeds of a $10,000 life insurance policy a store keeper named Mohammed Muneer Deeb had allegedly offered him for the murder-for-hire of another young girl named Gail Kelly; she also lived at the Methodist Home where Ms. Montgomery had lived, as had Kenneth Franks, a beau of Ms. Kelly whom Deeb admittedly fancied as a possible marriage partner who could anchor the Jordanian computer student’s claim on a green card and resident alien status.

MARVIN KORN’S 1979 HOME INVASION ORDEAL ended about 11 p.m., when he realized that he was no longer hearing people moving around, ransacking the house. He called out to ask if they had gone, and after he worked free of his bonds about 11:20, he freed his wife, son, and daughter.

Korn later recalled that the phone rang repeatedly and for minutes at a time during the hour and a half-long invasion, something he speculated must have spooked the attackers and sent them packing. It was a neighbor who became alarmed when no one at the Korn home answered during the hour between 9 and 10, when the family usually reunited after a busy day on a work night.

Mrs. Korn fled to a neighbor’s house across the street, where she called police. When she told them she thought the invaders intended to rob her husband’s drug store, they said the silent alarm had just then begun to ring at headquarters. His children took refuge at another neighbor’s home; while he waited for police, he called yet another neighbor, the family doctor, and requested that he meet them at a local hospital.

According to Sgt. G.R. Lazo, the pharmacist was not really sure how long the home invasion lasted; he was “considerably upset,” and though one assailant had struck him and another had fondled his wife, he showed no real physical evidence of assault.

He told the investigators he really had no idea what, exactly, had happened while he was bound and blind-folded. Nevertheless, the investigator remarked that he seemed especially nervous, ill at ease.

His daughter Vicky, however, suffered a small cut on her “backside” where she had sat on some broken glass on her parents’ bed. The intruders had applied masking tape to the glass, then cut it with a glass cutter in an attempt to keep the shattered glazing material from spreading far and wide.

In a poignant aside, the detective reported that when he first arrived, there were a few drops of blood on her parents’ bed, muddy shoe prints on the window sill, and some glass shards strewn across the bed and floor. The room was a mess, as were the other two bedrooms. Lazo noted that Vicky was dressed in “a hospital gown over which she had some type of night robe.”

“She was cooperative, easy to be interviewed and related the entire story as to the events without much hesitation.” Though he noted that she had been treated with a rape kit, he tactfully stated that her condition was unknown. However, authorities later charged the suspects with aggravated rape. Just like aggravated robbery, it was defined in 1979 as an offense during which the perpetrator has made the victims believe they will be killed or otherwise seriously harmed; the offense is a felony of the first degree, punishable by 5 to 99 years in the penitentiary, a $10,000 fine, or both.

The robbers took a gold ring with 4 sapphire stones from Vicky, which, along with other items of personal adornment, was later found at the home of two brothers, Ronnie and Kenneth Clark. They charged both with the crimes at the Korn home, and later, based on information they obtained in their investigation, obtained an arrest warrant for Anthony Melendez, as well.

Two other Clark brothers, Jeff and Douglas, one of whom worked at Gateway Pharmacy, were interrogated closely. Detectives learned that during the police investigation, they passed along information to their brothers about what they learned police were doing to bring the attackers to justice.

Following his transfer back to Waco to answer for his alleged part in the Lake Murders, Tony Melendez suddenly changed his mind under the continuing interrogation of former Waco Police Sergeant Truman Simons, who had quit his job as a city police officer to take on the entry-level duties of a jailer at the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office. He promised Sheriff Jack Harwell that if he hired him in that slot, he could clear the triple murders at Lake Waco within a week.

Defense attorneys and the defendants David Wayne Spence and Melendez’ brother Gilbert were surprised when he suddenly decided to plead guilty to capital murder and testify against Spence, even though his trial attorneys went on record with his former employer that he had an airtight alibi. They claimed they had evidence that he was on the job at Bryan, Texas, on the Tuesday evening the triple murders at the lake occurred, that his former boss’s payroll records he was painting apartments until Friday evening, when he caught a ride back to Waco.

One may only speculate that, offered his druthers, he chose to plead guilty and go to the penitentiary as a self-convicted capital murderer rather than a convicted home invader, robber and rapist, an offense fraternally considered in the criminal hierarchy to carry a very low social status behind bars – or anywhere else.

His co-defendants are both dead. Spence lost his life to the executioner’s needle; his brother Gilbert Melendez died of AIDS.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles earlier this month announced it has agreed to investigate a petition for executive clemency in order to make a recommendation to Governor Greg Abbott.