Manslaughter downgraded by DA

Aug 14, 2008 Full story: The Bandera County Courier 10

According to local law enforcement officers, John Ivan Heinen, 32, is a menace to public safety and needs to be taken off the road.

Full Story

Mohave Valley, AZ

#1 Aug 14, 2008
sounds like you have the same gutless da there as we have here. a gal ran over a motor cycleist, kept on going for a block an a half, cops tested her for extreme dwi, and 1st degree man slaughter leaving the sence of an accident, and the da offeers her a plea deal she got 10.5 years and will be out in less than 2. some justice eh .
Roger Sullivan

Fredericksburg, TX

#2 Aug 15, 2008
These prosecutors become career politicians and become dis inclined to do anything they don't have to do. Our DA is a man names Bruce Curry and he would rather settle than go to court. This man being prosecuted has seven or eight DWIs and now has kiled his own brother. He claimed he didn't know if he was driving or not. He will probably kill again now that he has been given the chance. I don't think much of the Bandera Police Chief but he has a point about miscarriage of justice. A plea bargain was not in order here but the DA can chalk it up as a win and that is all he cares about. The cowards won't even talk to the newspapers about what they did here.

Since: Aug 08

San Antonio, TX

#3 Aug 15, 2008
DWI's should not be downgraded just to boost a DA's record. This is not Justice for the people! The Bandera Police Chief was dead on in the statement of this "being a miscarriage of justice".
Roger Sullivan

Fredericksburg, TX

#4 Aug 16, 2008
Thankfully we have a new County Attorney starting next year. The County Attorney is the first contact for DWIs. If she dropps the ball the drunk driver just figures he/she got away with it. A man from San Antonio confided he was offered a "deal" from County Attorney Schneider to plea bargain his DWI down to blocking a public roadway. She still has not learned that the average citizen in Bandera does not want to share the road with drunks. Everytime this happens there is no reference to a DWI on that persons record.
Then Our District Attorney get the subsequent DWI and a lot of the time he just gets in line and offers a plea also.
The Police Chief and his people as well as DPS and our Sheriff's deputies put their lives in danger enforcing the law and when they have a solid case plea bargained into something that doesn't even resemble the original charge I honestly don't know why they bother to go out tomorrow and do it all over again. Thank Gd they do!
The people involved in this arrest and investigation feel strongly the case could have been successfully prosecuted so it is hard to understand just exactly what DA Curry or the Judge were thinking here. The 216th District Judge Steven Ables is not bound by any prosecutor or defense attorney to accept these plea bargains unless he believe it is in the best interest of justice. The best interest of justice here is to put the man in jail before he kills again. So what happened here?????

Kingman, AZ

#5 Aug 16, 2008
what the whole thing does is scream for mandantory sentincing, pre set, no parole no time off, a drunk causing an injury (no mater how slight, first time, 20 years.
one that causes a death, the death penalty, to be carried out in public, with in 30 days.
wanna bet it would slow down soft hearted judges, and weak da's ??
Roger Sullivan

Fredericksburg, TX

#6 Aug 21, 2008
Well for what ever reason this man Heinen is going to be tried for intoxication manslaughter after all. A local newspaper, the Bandera County Courier just reported when District Judge Stephen Ables found out Heinen's mandated treatment for alcohol abuse could not be completed because the rehabilitation facility could not accept him reportedly because of outstanding warrants and other DWI charges he will be held for trial after all.
This would be the same 216th District Judge Stephen Ables who just accepted a "sweetheart deal" to keep Heinen from standing trial for intoxication manslaughter. One would think a sitting District Judge such as Stephen Ables would have verified whether or not Heinen could complete the terms of his plea bargain before offering it. These Judges are just not accountable to anyone for their actions.
This Judge should be ashamed of what just transpired in his courtroom.
I think pressure from the Bandera County Courier's reporting along with pressure from law enforcement voicing their opinions may have turned the tide. There are still good people out there willing to stand up for what is right. Drunk drivers kill people!!!
Read the whole story at Bandera County Courier

Boerne, TX

#7 Aug 29, 2008
If you want to see injustice check out what just happened to a innocent mexican american man named raul gellegos this week in bandera. You couldn't ever imagine what this corroupt community has done. Please read for this could happen to you!!!!
With weldon tucker in charge, It will only get worse, for which he is above the law. But he must remember there is one last court to attend where the law will not be able to help. When people like himself head south for thier final destination, there will be many to help send them to where they belong. god bless the innocent people that have been wrongfully accused in this bullshit town of bandera. Why do you think bandera hasn't improved in any way!@? Look at the past of your county officials and their sons that walk around town protected by a big badge and a guilty mind. What you do for others, others will do for you. Not to promising for those who only do wrong to others, especially when it's only to fill a big white hat that was never going fit. Someone needs to run as an independant and take charge of this county and give it a chance to improve with honesty and integrity because if you have been around bandera you know that there hasn't been any of that in in the higher levels of office. What a shame...
Roger Sullivan

Fredericksburg, TX

#8 Aug 30, 2008
Ok what happened to this man Raul Gellegos?
By the way County Attorney Kerry H. Schneider's son was arrested AGAIN for criminal trespass and assault by contact. Lets see if Schneider's momma can get these charges dropped. The Bandera Police witnessed this event.
I understand Sheriff Weldon Tucker's son is still in jail awaiting trial in Kerrville AGAIN.
What a crew!

Boerne, TX

#9 Aug 31, 2008
Raul Gellegos was railroaded last week. he was a mexican and had a court appointed counsel,,should I say anymore,, he was doing yard work at a drug bust and they took him too, said he pulled an automatic rifel on them,, Gzzz 120 years, he wasn't a bad dude.. I heard tucker fixed the jury. ain't no human being gonna give that kinna time in prison.. those 12 people must be proud of them self,, so sad

United States

#10 Oct 21, 2012
Oh Jonh Ivan Heinen will get drunk and kill again. The brother he killed was a drunk and drug user,his dad was a drunk and on and on. People like this don't change and D.A.s have no interest in putting away drunk drives with multi counts. Sad thing is he will kill an innocent family next. Knew him and Joe personally and was not surprised. Karma was a bitch for Joe as he chronically beat the elderly patients at nursing homes. Saw him break an elderly mans nose and when all was reported he got off.

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