Evidence in banker deaths

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Eleven key risk management players at the world’s top financial firms have committed suicide since the first of the year.

Last week, evidence emerged in one case that pointed to a reason. A Deutsche Bank executive was distraught after having been replaced by a more experienced colleague following a government veto of his appointment to the key post, it was learned at an inquest into his death in London.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

While a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman said Tuesday that “Bill was not under suspicion of wrongdoing in any matter,” according to statements read at a coroner’s inquest in London, the former senior executive at Deutsche Bank, who committed suicide in late January, was concerned about investigations into the German bank.

 William Broeksmit, an executive who worked in the bank’s risk function and advised the firm’s senior leadership, was “anxious about various authorities investigating areas of the bank where he worked,” according to written evidence from his psychologist, given Tuesday at an inquest at London’s Royal Courts of Justice.

 Mr. Broeksmit, an American born in Chicago who retired from Deutsche Bank in February 2013, hanged himself at his London home on Jan. 26, according to a statement read at the coroner’s inquest…

 A close colleague of Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain, Mr. Broeksmit was expected to be appointed the bank’s chief risk officer in 2012, but the move was vetoed by BaFin, the German financial regulator, because of a lack of suitable experience, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

Ms. Wilcox, citing written medical evidence from Mr. Broeksmit’s doctor and psychologist, said the executive was sleeping badly during the summer of 2013, and his “self-esteem had been greatly undermined.” He was also trying to stop smoking cigars and his alcohol intake was high, according to a medical report.

1 – William Broeksmit, 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London, on January 26th.


2 – Karl Slym, 51 year old Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok on January 27th.


3 – Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of the JP Morgan European headquarters in London on January 27th.


4 – Mike Dueker, 50-year-old chief economist of a US investment bank was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.


5 – Richard Talley, the 57 year old founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead earlier this month after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.


6 – Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, however the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.


7 – Ryan Henry Crane, a 37 year old executive at JP Morgan died in an alleged suicide just a few weeks ago.  No details have been released about his death aside from this small obituary announcement at the Stamford Daily Voice.


8 – Li Junjie, 33-year-old banker in Hong Kong jumped from the JP Morgan HQ in Hong Kong this week.


9 – James Stuart Jr, Former National Bank of Commerce CEO, found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz., the morning of Feb. 19. A family spokesman did not say whatcaused the death


10 – Edmund (Eddie) Reilly, 47, a trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, commited suicide by jumping in front of LIRR train


11 – Kenneth Bellando, 28, a trader at Levy Capital, formerly investment banking analyst at JPMorgan, jumped to his death from his 6th floor East Side apartment.

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Waco – In their zeal to conceal, obfuscate and confuse the criminal record, public officials have written a blank check to the criminal element and the defense bar in McLennan County.

In this case, the blank line when filled in exacted a price of an innocent woman’s life. There is no telling how many similar cases are out there, the details simply unavailable due to red tape.

Nevertheless, the paper trail of the bad acts of David Wayne Zahirniak weaves a tangled streak of malefacation seldom seen as perpetrated by one man.

Oddly enough, one complicating factor – entry of a wrong number on a document outlining condition of bond – may have had a great contribution to the mixups that made the cases fall through the cracks.

A Deputy District Clerk applied a number of a case closed to the document supporting bond in an April, 2008 case of aggravated sexual assault of two girls whom he was caring for at the time.

In November of 2007, Zahirniak assaulted a juvenile corrections officer and wound up charged with official oppression. He was sentenced to a year in County Jail and a $4,000 fine, the sentence suspended, and placed on probation. In the following year, prosecutors moved to revoke his probation, recommending 270 days in jail and suspending six months of the sentence to allow credit for 90 days time served.

In the April, 2008, case of three counts of aggravated sexual assault, Zahirniak remained in jail for more than 90 days without prosecution. He gained his release on a writ of habeas corpus when his attorney applied under the delay in prosecution provision of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

A June, 2009, conviction for less than a gram of methamphetamine netted Zahirniak a sentence for a State Jail Felony.

In April of 2014, he assaulted Caitllyn Reed with a cane, was charged with aggravated assault, and bonded out. Only days later, he went back to her house and engaged in an altercation during which he is alleged to have murdered her with a gun belonging to her father.

In the end, the State of Texas expected her to defend herself with a borrowed pistol.

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High court challenge to NDAA martial law plan –


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After the string of black Suburbans pulls away, it is difficult to believe that the military would provide relatives or lawyers with any information whatsoever as to where the person being detained was being held.”

WASHINGTON – Most people have no idea that within days, they could be rounded up by U.S. military troops, held without bond – or charges – unable to communicate with family or friends, and without the benefit of counsel following the Supreme Court’s refusal to review what a panel of activists have labeled a “clearly unconstitutional” version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014.

While most Americans sweated out whether Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson would get to continue his run as Cabela’s factotum of conservative backwoods wisdom, 85 out of 100 U.S. Senators quietly fast-tracked a systemic method of totalitarian military authority into play.

The 2014 version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will grant the President unconstitutional authority to “arrest, kidnap, detain without trial and hold indefinitely” American citizens thought to “represent an enduring security threat to the United States,” according to lawyers who are pressing the Supreme Court to change their minds.

A blue ribbon panel of plaintiffs spearheaded by journalist Chris Hedges filed a friend of the court brief that asserts, “If this court refuses to hear the Hedges Challenge, it will leave American citizens subject to unconstitutional military arrest and detention.” Their rank includes such luminaries as Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Noam Chomsky, Alex O’Brien, Kai Warg All, Brigitta Jonsottir and the political action group “Day of Rage.”

They are now suing the government to stop the enforcement of a law that grants presidential authority to detain anyone who is deemed a troublemaker, or a threat to national security.

The terms are actually that vague. That is despite what the president himself said at the time of the middle-of-the-night hurry up session that passed the law to start with. “It’s clearly unconstitutional,” Hedges says of the bill. “It is a huge and egregious assault against our democracy. It overturns over 200 years of law, which has kept the military out of domestic policing.”

Although President Barack Hussein Obama made palliative noises at the time, “Simply stating that means it could be interpreted as the contrary,” according to veteran journalist Bob Unruh, of “World Net Daily.”

The law would authorize executive actions similar to the 1944 detention of Japanese-Americans and confiscation of their property and goods.

In the Second U.S. Circuit of Appeals, justices overturned a ruling of the trial court in the Southernn District of New York when the trial court, on Sept. 12, 2012, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District Court of New York ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and placed a permanent injunction on the indefinite detention provision.

Obama then appealed, and the 2nd Circuit authorized the government detention program.

Since the law passed, multiple states have passed laws banning its enforcement. Herb Titus, a constitutional expert, previously told news outlets that Forrest’s ruling underscored “the arrogance of the current regime, in that they will not answer questions that they ought to answer to a judge because they don’t think they have to.”

The judge explained that the plaintiffs alleged paragraph 1021 is “constitutionally infirm, violating both their free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment as well due process rights guaranteed by the 5th Amendment.”

She noted the government “did not call any witnesses, submit any documentary evidence or file any declarations.”

It must be said that it would have been a rather simple matter for the government to have stated that as to these plaintiffs and the conduct as to which they would testify, that [paragraph] 1021 did not and would not apply, if indeed it did or would not,” she wrote.

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Free on writ, lover kills victim with her own gun

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Around the close-knit Bohemian community of Tokio Loop Road, David Zahirniak had acquired a reputation for being the kind of man who likes to watch children committing lewd acts.

He admitted as much to arresting officers when they learned from two small children’s father that he walked in on them while caring for them and found them acting out sexually. He then encouraged them to continue, according to the children, who told their father.

Though he was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of the two children in 2008, those charges lost their thunder when 19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother reduced his bond from $455,000  to the terms of a personal recognizance bond due to delay in prosecution past 90 days. Authorities released him on a writ of habeas corpus.

When on March 21, 2014, he attacked Caitlyn Reed with a cane at her home at 1363 Tokio Loop, he left her bruised at hip and thigh, her arms similarly marked. When police summoned an ambulance to take her to the hospital, he left his home in nearby West to intercept the emergency vehicle, attempting to ram it on its route to the hospital. At the time, McLennan County Sheriff’s Officers noted that he left a message on his victim’s phone, threatening to rape and beat her for her calling them to her rescue. He faced an aggravated assault charge with enhancement by a deadly weapon, his bail set at $150,000, later reduced to $100,000, until on August 29, Judge Strother released him on his personal recognizance due to a delay in prosecution.

Following that incident, according to published reports, she took a .40 cal. Springfield XD semiautomatic pistol from her family’s home, hoping to use it in her own defense. Zahirniak found the weapon and returned it to her parents, but she again obtained it from their home and took it with her.

When officers walked in on the scene of her murder on April 5, it was at the call of Zahirniak, who claimed he found her shot dead, lying in her bed with her back facing north. He claimed she was possibly a suicide victim. They found the same weapon on the floor next to her bed, one fired round ejected, and other live rounds still available.

Deputies disbelieved him. According to Capt. Bubba Colyer, “Based on trajectories of the fired round and or rounds that we found at the residence they were not consistent with the initial story that was told to us by the defendant.”

Zahirniak is charged with the murder of Ms. Caitlyn, jailed on $100,000 bond. His alleged victim is survived by two small children whose father is now caring for them.

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Apple’s cop kill switch

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The tree of knowledge is now shielded from all usurpers who would upstage God, piss off police, or take any embarrassing pictures or video of folks doing things they might not like to explain.

Apple, Inc., has patented a new zap gun that will allow authorities to disable any smartphone from recording pictures, video or audio.

A ‘kill switch’ technology that works through mobile networks, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or GPS is able to send an encoded signal that can selectively shut down features of smartphones within range.

It all depends on what kind of policy needs to be enforced. Though the globe-straddling corporation said its new technology, which builds an “electronic fence” around any particular area, is available for protection of trade secrets, security information, or copyright, Apple goes much further.

After all, the kill switch is for sale.

In the patent application for U.S. Patent No. 8,254,902, Apple explained, “…covert police or government operations may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions.”

As wireless devices such as cellular telephones, pagers, personal media devices and smartphones become ubiquitous, more and more people are carrying these devices in various social and professional settings,” the corporation explains in the patent.

“The result is that these wireless devices can often annoy, frustrate, and even threaten people in sensitive venues.”The company’s listed “sensitive” venues so far include mostly meetings, the presentation of movies, religious ceremonies, weddings, funerals, academic lectures, and test-taking environments.

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Burglary nets life term

Clock watching

Clock watching a big bitch jury selection

Hill County, Texas – By the time police came to Bravern Ray Winston’s rescue in a residential Hillsboro neighborhood where a crowd of people were pelting him with beer bottles and rocks through the open windows of his car, he was already facing enough charges to put him away for life. That was on May 26, 2013.

After doctors and nurses x-rayed the multiple contusions and bandaged the numerous abrasions to his head and chest, deputies took him to jail, where a Justice Court Judge charged him with a second burglary of a habitat, the same charge for which he had already been indicted May 21. With three prior convictions for a burglary offense, an injury to a child, and an additional felony escape arrest, he was facing an array of possible prison sentences of 2 to 20 years; 5 to 99 years or life; or 25 to 99 or life, each with an additional $10,000 fine.

When the cops showed up, people were reacting to their rage that in his haste to escape the hue and cry, he nearly backed his car into a pedestrian. Police then arrested him on sight with an unaided warrant. Their arrest affidavit without warrant stipulated an additional charge of aggravated assault of a woman at her residence, noting the use of a deadly weapon.

He has yet to face a jury for that charge.

An 8-woman, 4 man jury found him guilty of entering the home that prosecutors identified in the burglary case being tried on the indictment returned on June 21, 2013; they found he had the intent to steal the belongings of its residents. They didn’t take long to convict him.

When they entered the punishment phase of the trial, they took even less time to assess a sentence of life behind bars. Known as the habitual offenders’ enhancement to felony offenses, convicts call that sentence “the big bitch.”

It was not a surprising event. During the questioning of the 80-person venire the previous Monday, Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Crain described the large array of possible sentences for the offense charged, but did not mention his previous convictions.

Something clicked in that group’s mind. They began to think as a unit.

As she questioned the entire venire whether they thought prison sentences should be aimed at rehabilitation rather than punishment, only 12 of the jurors indicated that they thought prisons are built and operated for any purpose other than to punish the offenders. Of those who said they think rehabilitation is a prime consideration in a criminal sentence, the majority qualified their remark by saying that they feel rehabilitation is plumb off the table in the cases of offenders with previous multiple offenses.


That’s the chance you take with a jury. The defense made a motion to have the jurors assess punishment in case of a conviction. Winston went through two other defense attorneys before he settled for the court appointment of Steve Keithley, a Corsicana lawyer, who has entered an immediate notice of appeal.

Numerous handwritten notes that Winston wrote to 66th State Judicial District Judge F. “Bob” McGregor are bradded into the record of the trial, most of them requesting dismissal of his attorneys. In one, he wrote that he wanted to get a new lawyer “because the court appointed attorneys aren’t working in the defendant’s best interest, and I’ve got too much knowledge of the law to let one not defend me to the best of my knowledge…I’ve got more than enough proof to show any jury in the United States the DA is indicting people off the police reports only.”

Winston lost his chance for a pre-indictment examining trial on June 25, the day before his arrest in the case of the aggravated assault on a woman in her home, when the Grand Jury returned a true bill of indictment on June 21, four days prior to the date of the examining trial.

Asked about Winston’s record of numerous offenses, Justice of the Peace John Milburn shook his head and said in a resigned tone, “Well, I magistrate 9 out of 10 of the charges over at the jail.” Then he thought about his career of more than 4 decades, at least half of which he has served as Justice of the Peace. “Over the years, every time I look up, it seems, there stands Bravern Winston… And, yes, it’s true, I did once lower his bail.”

The motion Hillsboro attorney Dwight Carmichael filed to plead for Winston’s release on lowered bail described the figure of $120,000 as an amount both excessive and in contravention to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which declares bail amounts may not be so high as to be punitive.

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Fear of 7/1 stalks offshore depositors

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Get short in dollars, long in gold, land, durable goods

What does it matter to we the people of the pavement, the paycheck and the payments if multinationals, money managers and moguls suddenly find they can’t stash their cash offshore without paying a huge penalty?

The pundits make it sound like the end of the world because, they say, the dollar will take yet another nose dive off the high dive into an empty pool of evaporated liquidity.

The result? No longer will it be necessary for the world’s trading nations to deal in dollars before investing their currency in consignments of petroleum or wheat, cocoa or sugar, coal or liquid propane.

Europeans and Asians will be free to breeze on by the Treasury and the Fed with their noses in the air, free of fear of the fate of such foolhardy souls as Saddam Hussein, people who thought they could demand payment for their products – in Hussein’s case, it was petroleum, and he wanted euros – in currencies other than the once high and mighty U.S. Dollar.

What’s all the fuss about?

When the nation emerged from a near bankruptcy and bail-out flurry of banks too big to fail and manufacturers too vital to give up valuable market share to foreign brands, when the orgy of borrowing for wars of attrition on two fronts to save big oil’s bacon was drawing down to a close in 2010, Congress acted to close the loopholes top earners have been using to dodge the tax man by transferring their profits to foreign banks in other countries. Then they offset the scene by four years.

Title V of HR 2847 says it short and sweet.

Come out of the huddle with that raunchy old end run after July 1, 2014, and you will face a 30 percent penalty payable to the IRS, and it’s collectable by guess who. The banks themselves are obligated to report on who does what, to collect the dough, and then turn it over to the tax man. If they don’t comply and turn in their customers and the information the tax police need to impound their shekels, they face the choice of being banned from the American playing field. That’s not good; because, for awhile, it’s going to be the hottest scene on the planet – for bankers. For the rest of us, if you smell bacon frying, it’s probably you know what and you’ll know whose it is when you smell it broiling on the griddle. Bon appetit!

The 2010 law is two-pronged. Called the HIRE Act, its immediate concern was to give tax credits to construction oufits who would agree to employ long-term unemployed workers and keep them on the job for 12 months or more, saving them 6.2 percent in employers’ contributions to the Social Security Trust Fund. A dream of the Democratic Senate Committee, it was crafted for the purpose of rebuilding a nation in disrepair.

The goal? To rebuild highway and bridge infrastructure neglected during the wars for big oil, when the tax man collected the full pop of motor fuel use taxes, and the politicos refused to spend it on upkeep of the roads the motorists and truckers use.The problem:

If the dollar loses its status as the world’s reserve currency, the world’s traders in key commodities are no longer forced to convert their cash into dollars in order to buy the daily basket of goods it takes to make their national economies run.

Where does that leave we the people of the pavement, the paycheck and the payments?

That’s an easy question to answer. It’s like this.Every hour of every day – including weekends and holidays – Uncle Sam borrows $200 million he flat does not have in order to spend it on fixed costs he must cover. In two months, the U.S. borrows more than the total earnings of the top 100 corporations in the world.

Where does the money come from?

Quite simply, the Federal Reserve Banks loans it to the Treasury, and they won’t quit doing that when the bottom falls out due to the new regulation on offshore banking by fat cat corporatists and big-time traders, as analysts from every stripe predict it sure will. So, in the midst of this conundrum, the thing to be is a member of the Federal Reserve. Those banks will be the only ones making any real money. All the rest will be getting paid in play money, confetti, oceans and oodles and stacks and bales of pretty paper printed in intricate patterns with big numbers that mean nothing much other than you know what.

To cover the action, the Fed will then in turn order the Treasury to print more dollars, and we’re off to the races.

That means your savings, 401 K plans, holdings in stocks and mutuals, and anything else that is tied to the worth of the dollar will become worth less and less in inflated currency – by the hour. In the past fiscal year alone, the borrowing to cover the national debt has increased exponentially, to a sum of $3,500 billion from a previous flat line of only a small particle of that amount.

How do you bring a once proud nation of earners to its knees, begging for scraps? Make their currency worthless, bankrupt the people by making them fight other nations for the privilege to starve out faster, and count your coupons.

Cheerio. – The Legendary

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M/Sgt CJ Grisham, blogger, combat vet – is a PTSD victim in treatment

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M/Sgt. C.J. Grisham is an activist GI from Temple who gained fame when he went out and purposely got himself busted for carrying his locked, loaded AR-15,  and for leading Open Carry rallies at the State Capitol, the Alamo, and all over Texas. He has authored a blog called “A Soldier’s Perspective” since 2005, contributed to “Doonesbury,” and this is an excerpt from his farewell installment to “The Sand Box.”

If you’re a feeling, thinking human being, you should read this. This is just a sample… – The Legendary

…So, with a heavy heart, I gathered my troops around and tearfully explained to them that I was stepping down as First Sergeant. 

If I’m going to stand up here and tell you it’s okay to get help,” I told them. “I have to be willing to get help myself.”

I’m forever grateful to my commander at the time, who understood and supported what I was doing. And my wife couldn’t have been more supportive.

It had been six years since I was attached to 3/7 Cavalry in the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) for the main assault into Iraq on the evening of March 19, 2003. Our task was to perform a hook maneuver and scout ahead of the division. We raced northwest to Al Salman, then made the sharp right turn towards As Samawah. Salman was a hilly, peaceful place. It was apparent the Iraq military never thought we’d head that way. We had a few small skirmishes, but no damage or injuries were sustained. The biggest problem we had was getting our vehicles through the rugged terrain.

Samawah would be the first time I had to fire a weapon at another human. It wasn’t pretty either. The mujahidin were infesting Samawah. We had outpaced most of the Division, so the fighting largely rested with us. They played dirty, using human shields as they fired their AK47s on full auto while resting the weapons on the shoulders of women who were bleeding from their ears from the sound. It’s hard enough to kill a human enemy; it’s even harder having to kill an innocent person in order to do so…

PS: At the time the Temple P.D. Captured him, Sgt. Grisham and his son Chris were patrolling farm land owned by members of his extended family to let meth cooks know he has his stuff, and he will use it if they don’t stop stealing the anhydrous ammonia that is intended for fertilization of cotton and maize crops… – The Legendary

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Inmate’s fervent appeal: Defense or Assault?


Home invasion or aggravated assault: Witnesses not called…

Columbus, Colorado County, Texas – Exhibit 4 looks like some kind of snapshot from a demented family album. But it’s bound into a dreaded “red jacket” in the 25th State District Clerk’s Office, as ‘Exhibit 4’ in the official court record of a felony trial that put a man in the pen for an enhanced sentence of 65 years as an habitual offender – the “little bitch.”

One glance tells the story. Someone wanted to hurt Christopher Lujan very badly, so the shooter aimed the black .22 six-shooter at his groin, and as he twisted away from the muzzle, the bullet missed his genitals and pierced his peritoneal cavity.

Add in the fact that it was way past beer-thirty – 3 a.m. on a boozy August night in 2006 in the rural suburb of Eagle Lake – and you begin to get a grip on the background to this fine mess. Amado Hernandez Aguilar had not been free from the penitentiary and parole term he was still serving for burglary of a habitation for the five years required for a felon to legally own a firearm. What’s more, when the officers arrested him later, he was still drunk. They initially charged him with public intoxication. Not good.

The shooting victim – fresh back home from a helicopter ride to a Houston emergency ward – identified Aguilar as his assailant. He gave officers a statement that included details of how he had been at the Aguilar residence earlier in the evening, had words with his alleged assailant, and left. Lujan said Aguilar had pulled the gun and displayed it; he told Lujan he was going to shoot him. Lujan said he told Aguilar that if he was going to shoot him, go ahead, but, Lujan told the cops, Aguilar thrust the gun back into his waist band, said the gun was for “the Casanova brothers.”

When he returned, he wanted to visit David Aguilar, who had already gone inside. As he tried to walk past Aguilar and “some girl called Misty,” he stepped onto the porch to knock on the door. Amado Aguilar asked him, “Are you trying to sneak up on me?” He then pulled the same gun he had earlier displayed as they argued. Aguilar shot him from where he stood in the yard. He crouched over Lujan, according to the victim’s statement, and pointed the gun at his head, asking if he wanted him to shoot him again.

Unable to walk due to the severity of the pain, Lujan crawled away to a spot where he collapsed halfway in the yard and half in the street, where officers snapped his picture when they arrived.

When prosecutors presented the case to a Grand Jury, they asked for and got an indictment for aggravated assault with a firearm, a second degree felony that calls for a minimum term of 25 years in the penitentiary, enhanced by the fact that he was at the time of the alleged offense a convicted felon in illegal possession of the firearm, an aggravated offense that calls for enhancement to 65 years as an habitual offender.

Standing trial is for Amado Aguilar a time of intense activity, punctuated by flurries of filing motions to dismiss his court-appointed counsel, then seeking redress with The State Bar of Texas to discipline his trial lawyers and appellate counsel for various transgressions.

His claims of ineffective counsel and court error have now been rejected by the 14th District Court of Appeals in Houston and the Court of Criminal Appeals at Austin. He is headed for U.S. District Court in Houston, and his complaints have something in common with an increasing chorus heard far and wide in the The Lone Star State. Members of the defense as well as prosecution bars have been clamoring for reform of the procedures used in courts statewide to discover exculpatory evidence that could exonerate accused offenders. In many cases, convicted felons have been released from penitentiary cells after serving many years when crusading lawyers have discovered evidence that exonerated them of their crimes – evidence that was previously undisclosed due to “agreed orders for discovery.”

Aguilar alleges that lawyers who have appeared in his behalf have by omission withheld vital discovery information that could exonerate him by various means, including dragging their feet to argue motions before the Court, stalling in timely filing of applications for appeal or writs, the outright failure to call witnesses or to cross examine prosecution witnesses, and ignoring his demands for action and more action in the investigation of witnesses who, he now claims have “new discovery” that will show a jury he is innocent.

Texas courts have responded by saying that his points on appeal consist of harmless error regarding moot points and dismissed them out of hand, without publishing their holdings.

Incarcerated at the James Allred Unit near Wichita Falls in 2008, he churns out lengthy writs and motions on a daily basis in turgid legalese that is filled with typos, syntactical vagaries, and terribly twisted grammatical usages.

A sample: “The crime scene photographs adduced at trial, while tending to support Wilson’s account of Luhan’s (sic) condition, also depict Luhan laying approximately 10 to 15 feet to the left of where the walkway, leading from the doorstep of the residence Luhan testified that he went to first, intersects with the road, which fully evinces, to be where he was at, when Wilson arrived, Luhan would have been going in the wrong direction to reach his professed destination. See (Exhibit-3). Also compare, Luhan’s testimony. (S.F.Vol.1.pgs. 168-169).”

And so it goes, banker boxes filling with material, two volumes of the red jackets thickening by the days and weeks and months that pass.

Nevertheless, his allegations of his attorneys’ malfeasance are serious. Among them:

  • Counsel refused to investigate a number of witnesses or visit the crime scene;
  • The appeals attorney filed his application 108 days late;
  • Counsel refused to get 9-1-1 tapes and interview the caller;
  • The victim was not shot at the Aguilar residence, but in another location;
  • Counsel refused to obtain copies of witness statements;
  • Counsel intentionally misrepresented (defendant’s) request for continuance;
  • Counsel claimed a critical misrepresentation of when officers found the victim;
  • Counsel was aware of the lack of evidence to prove that;
  • Defendant had only one encounter with the victim – when he told him to leave.

  • .Aguilar

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Greetings from… Margaritaville!

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Reporting by R.S. Gates, Story by The Legendary Jim Parks

It was an adroit move on the part of the McLennan County Commissioners Court, this thing of an historic tax raise to cover increased expenses for the care and feeding of prisoners at the County Jail, courtroom security, and a thousand and one other details.

Something that slipped through without any notice – a part of the ‘fluff’ that Tea Party watchdogs often complain of – was the 19th District Court Reporter’s trip to “Margaritaville.”

No, it’s not down on some funky island in the Caribbean named for an obscure French saint, nor is it on an isolated stretch of coastline in Central America, a volcanic paradise overshadowed by towering mountains, bordered by blinding white sugar sands, and bounded just offshore by a fabulous system of coral reefs. This is definitely not the kind of place on the edge of the jungle where some colorful soldier of fortune has laid a plank across two oil drums and pours out the rum, vodka and whiskey each day come tea time.

This is a planned expanse account destination development in the wilds of the Red River bottoms at Bossier City – Louisiana – the best corporate America has to offer and the outfit has a mojo budget to bribe the Texian legislators to keep on voting against legalized gambling – that is, in the Lone Star state. Yeah, that Margaritaville, where rooms cost $259 dollars a night, a cool $159 more than the c-note the county’s travel policy allows.

It’s a long story, but we will try to sum it up in a few brief paragraphs because, hey, that’s where your money goes, folks, clean as a whistle.

And there’s really nothing new about it.

In fact, the venerable pioneering GOP member of the Texas House of Representatives, M.A. Taylor, once recalled that during his freshman term, he jerked the phone up and called The Honorable Bobby Bullock, then State Comptroller. He asked, “Bullock, which ones of these state department heads rush to spend up all they money they have budgeted, so they can go back to the well for more?”

Bullock laughed the obligatory equine snort, according to Rep. Taylor, and replied, “Well, that question will be real easy to answer, Brother Taylor.” He paused for effect. “They ALL do it!”

And so it came to pass that in addition to the stress of taking down every word that is said in the ultra-busy 19th Criminal District Court, a venue where Judge Ralph T. Strother is often at pains to remind witnesses that they must utter actual words such as “Yes,” and “No,” and not just nod their heads when they give their answers, Court Reporter Michelle Karr was called upon to make a transcript of the capital murder trial of Albert Love, a young man recently convicted of the killing of two dope gang members as they sat in a ghetto parking lot smoking a “black and mild.”

Those who are so convicted get an automatic appeal, and it takes an original and two copies to get the higher court reviews necessary to carry out the sentence, be it death, life with no possibility of parole, or any other permutation available to jurors.

The price: $58,954.50. That’s in addition to her annual salary of $74,035.

To cover the extra cost requires an additional $38,955 from a contingency fund, which the Commissioners Court readily approved.

And then, there’s the need for continuing education in that profession, a requirement that is met at various professional development conferences. This year, the Court Reporters chose to address “Managing the Chaos of Court Reporting.”

This clambake will be held at – you guessed it – Margaritaville! Along the tranquil banks and in the bayous of the Red River at – of all places – Bossier City, Louisiana, where zee slots are, how you call, liberal, and zee dice, they are some kinda hot, hot, ami.

So, where did the money come from?

This is not like a corporate bond fund, you see. You are not locked into spending every dime you raise through taxes. You can let a certain amount accumulate, year to year, but it’s limited to a certain margin, and it doesn’t really matter what the margin is because, guess what, they never reach it. Ever.

Our man on the scene, R.S. Gates, says, “They paid it with their little slush fund. That’s where it came from.” He goes on to explain the politics of tax increases and the avoidance of roll-back voter approval elections in this way.

One restraint on spend happy government officials is the Roll Back. If a taxing entity raises the “TAX RATE” above a specified amount, the voters automatically get to hold an election. They use tax rate as a semantic diversion. It is a slightly different method to arrive at how much they are going to spend. The reason voters get a say so about the tax rate rather than the BUDGET is the framers thought this would be more restrictive on government. The roll back rate for tax purposes is some arbitrary percentage of increase governed by the government code or the charter. If the tax rate is increased more than that amount, say 5%, it goes to a vote. What it all boils down to is HOW MUCH STINKING MONEY THEY HAVE TO SPEND. In the case of McLennan County Commissioners, they voted to take the maximum amount of taxes from taxpayers they were allowed to by law without having their decision subject to voter approval.”

Simple enough. What’s more, it works – every time. Gates ought to know. He is a co-founder of the Waco Tea Party, a man living with the ignominy of having been purged from the ranks of that watchdog group over his outspoken criticism of the ways of officials who are so adept at tax and spend tactics.

He is now an outspoken lone wolf, a tea pot, short and stout, with no base upon which he may rest, a singleton dawg on the prairie, howling at the moon over the things he sees and with which he feels copious disapproval.

There are worse fates.

– The Legendary

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