DWI case disappears in Collin County court system
Two North Texas men who tried to get a drunk driver off the streets and into a courtroom are confused and upset.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at WFAA.
#1 Oct 27, 2009
The DA's office was caught in an outrageous abuse of power. If the voters elect the DA candidate annointed by the establishment we will be seeing a lot more of this and even more decisions based on politics/influence/corruption instead of justice and the public interest. If you like what happened in the "disappearing DWI case", you will love 4 years of political decisions by the establishment candidate. Collin County deserves better.
#2 Oct 27, 2009
So the Collin County DA is helping out a friend instead of pursuing justice fairly. What's new about that? Willis is even more political than Roach, which is why Willis has so many political endorsements despite being fired from the DA's office for incompetence. If the voters want business as usual they will certainly get it with Willis.
#3 Oct 27, 2009
I wonder how many other valid cases also "disappeared" in this way but escaped media scrutiny due to the DA's corruption. I can't believe this was the first time a case disappeared before a visiting judge. Disgusting! What scares me even more is that the establishment candidate for DA in 2010 will be even worse. Elect a politician and this is what you get.
#4 Oct 30, 2009
Half the "people" in that office should be tarred & Feathered.
#5 Oct 30, 2009
This stuff happens all the time. And it will continue until you demand that it stops.
Here's a great documented article regarding the problem.
One should also understand that DA's and other public servants such as cops in Texas routinely exercise "IMMUNITY" from prosecution for their crimes - in other words:
"They are above the law - because they ARE the law".
When did American's vote to allow OUR employees to be above the laws we ourselves are held to?
Why are bad prosecutors so rarely punished?
By Radley Balko | October 26, 2009
#7 Nov 1, 2009
On the contrary Bill, I don't think Judge Willis is a friend or admirer of Roach and his questionable and egotistical antics. I think Judge Willis understands the point of the position is Justice being served - not convictions at all costs - THE mantra of the Roach administration.
In any case good ridence to DA Raoch and his cronies.
#8 Nov 2, 2009
NOW that DA Roach has thrown one embarrassing Collin County whistle blowing ADA and then Prosecutor KERRIE WALKER under the bus, one wonders aloud upon whom next Damocles’ sword will fall?
Shoes one wouldn't want to be wearing:
Those of “all around good guy” CURTIS HOWARD.
Has oh ever so loyal Howard now become an even greater liability for Mr. Roach?
They're both wearing the same suit, along with certain other Roach prosecutors, after all. Dress accordingly.
History, Oh History.
Ere so unceasingly, inexorably, repeated History!
Will Howard’s Collin County career be the next in the swirling swath cut down in Roach’s Night Of The Long Knives to save his “legacy” at all costs?
Only time will tell.
#9 Nov 2, 2009
Is that not a criminal conspiracy? And all for a possible job with the FBI. Where has the integrity for justice gone. Lady Justice must be hidden in the basement or buried in a hidden grave.
#10 Nov 3, 2009
Integrity and Justice for decades has laid buried in that basement filled with Roaches. Sh-t starts at the top of the hill and rolls downward until most if not all underlings are mired in it. Many even love it and long ago forgot the difference between Integrity and Justice v sh-t.
#11 Nov 4, 2009
AT SUPREME COURT: CAN PROSECUTORS BE SUED FOR FRAMING DEFENDANTS?
Two American men WRONGLY IMPRISONED FOR 25 YEARS filed a lawsuit against prosecutors for FABRICATING EVIDENCE AGAINST THEM. The Supreme Court hears the case Wednesday.
WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to consider an unusual question:
[ It’s unusual only because the answer should be obvious; but so telling of how crooked the legal system has become.]
DO AMERICANS WHO HAVE BEEN FRAMED BY UNSCRUPULOUS PROSECUTORS FOR CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMMIT HAVE A RIGHT TO SUE THE PROSECUTORS WHEN THE
Solicitor General Elena Kagan argues in a friend of the court brief that local, state, and federal prosecutors must enjoy absolute immunity from citizen lawsuits – EVEN WHEN THEY SENT INNOCENT MEN TO PRISON FOR LIFE BY FABRICATING INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE AND HIDING EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE.
At trial, the false testimony led to their convictions. They were sent to prison for life.
When the false testimony and other exculpatory evidence was discovered, the two innocent men, Curtis McGhee and Terry Harrington, were released after 25 years in prison. They filed a lawsuit against the prosecutors.
The question before the high court is whether the prosecutors can be held accountable in a civil trial or instead are entitled to absolute immunity from such lawsuits.
"If the allegations here are true,[the Iowa officials] ENGAGED IN PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT OF AN EXECRABLE SORT, INVOLVING A COMPLETE BREACH OF THE PUBLIC TRUST," Solicitor General Kagan writes in her brief to the court
ABSOLUTE VS. QUALIFIED IMMUNITY
Lawyers for Mr. McGhee and Mr. Harrington argue in their briefs that police officers who fabricate evidence do not enjoy such absolute protection from a civil lawsuit.
They say prosecutors who actively participate in the pre-trial investigation of a case must be held to the same standard as citizens, police officers, detectives, and agents, who can be sued if they violate clearly-established constitutional rights.
"WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FABRICATE EVIDENCE WITH AN INTENT TO USE IT TO DEPRIVE INNOCENT CITIZENS OF THEIR LIBERTY, THEY VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION," writes Paul Clement, a former US Solicitor General who is arguing the case for McGhee and Harrington.
"The framing of innocent American citizens for a crime they did not commit, lies at the core of what Congress sought to prevent in the Civil Rights statutes," Mr. Clement says in his brief.
LAWYERS FOR THE TWO PROSECUTORS COUNTER THAT THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT "NOT TO BE FRAMED."
Since prosecutors enjoy absolute immunity from lawsuits related to the actions they take at trial, any false testimony cannot form the basis of a lawsuit against a prosecutor, they say.
Attorneys general from 27 states and the District of Columbia filed a friend of the court brief urging the high court to embrace this broader view of absolute prosecutor immunity.
However, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Cato Institute, and the American Civil Liberties Union argue for a lower level of immunity that offers prosecutors protection from lawsuits except when they have violated a clearly-established constitutional right.
NO CONFIDENCE IN JUSTICE SYSTEM
Mr. Herrmann writes: "We can imagine few rulings of this Court that would send a more negative message about American criminal justice than to permit prosecutors to frame American suspects for the murder of a police officer, ADMIT THE OUTRAGE, AND THEN WALK AWAY WITH IMPUNITY, AFTER THEIR VICTIMS HAVE WRONGFULLY SUFFERED TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN PRISON."
The case is Pottawattamie County, Iowa, v. McGhee and Harrington.
#15 Nov 5, 2009
Every single day more and more of the endless documented cases of those in the “law enforcement system”; from cops, to prosecutors, lawyers and even judges; committing crimes – heinous crimes.
All betrayers of the public trust. Liars! Thieves! Predators!
Far too many cases to be “blown off” as “isolated incidents”(which is what these “people” want us to believe.
If you can’t see this is a serious systemic sinkhole of a problem – then surely you can’t see the forest for the trees……..
#17 Nov 6, 2009
A "PERVERSE" POSITION ON PROSECUTORS FABRICATING EVIDENCE
[ Another great by GRITS 11/06/2009.
This case show the sad state of affairs in LE when Judges, Prosecutors and Crooked Cops use the law itself to protect themselves from their own crimes.( We the people should be so lucky.)
It’s so bad that the bizarre common sense evading question has been fought by petulant prosecutos all the way to SCOTUS. And you wonder why the people rightfully do not trust our legal system or those who lord over it ( and us?)
This case pretty much pulls back the curtain for all to see what REALLY motivates those in LE. JUSTICE? Hardly. Protect their asses and give themselves impunity to punishment for committing crimes - absolutely!]
" Wednesday the US Supreme Court held oral arguments on an important case regarding prosecutorial misconduct, where PROSECUTORS SOUGHT ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY WHEN THEY FABRICATE EVIDENCE TO FRAME A DEFENDANT if the information is used at trial.
It was a bit of a shock to read Neal Katyal, the attorney representing the Administration, tell the court that:
“ IF A PROSECUTOR KNOWS A POLICE OFFICER FABRICATED EVIDENCE AND PUTS IT ON AT TRIAL, THERE IS NOT A FIFTH AMENDMENT DUE PROCESS VIOLATION (P. 20)!!“
That's change we can believe in, baby! Yikes!!
The position before the court was to REJECT THE IDEA THAT US CITIZENS HAVE "A FREE-STANDING DUE PROCESS RIGHT NOT TO BE FRAMED," according to Katyal.
Justice Stevens dismissed that declaring, "There is no free-standing right. There is just a right not to convict a person with made-up evidence.
Katyal insisted to the court that WHILE A POLICEMAN OR EVEN A PROSECUTOR WHO FABRICATED EVIDENCE IN THE INVESTIGATIVE STAGE of a case had QUALIFIED IMMUNITY,
IF THE SAME PROSECUTOR PUT THE FABRICATED EVIDENCE ON AT TRIAL, THEY WOULD CONFER UPON THEMSELVES ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY for the act - an outcome Stevens referred to as "perverse."
I also thought it was interesting that Justices seemed fairly dismissive of the effectiveness of other sanctions against prosecutors. Sotomayor referenced "numerous studies we were provided that SHOW THAT AS A MATTER OF ROUTINE PROSECUTORS ARE NOT SANCTIONED FOR IMPROPER PROSECUTORIAL CONDUCT in the investigatory stage."
Justice Kennedy is usually the swing vote on the court and oft-considered the body's bellwether. He was the first justice to ask a question of Pottawatamie County's attorney.
In its entirety, his question was, "Your -- your case here is a polite way of telling us we wasted our time in Buckley v. Fitzsimmons.... I mean, we were just spinning our wheels in that case?"
HE LATER SUMMARIZED THE PROSECUTORS POSITION AS:
"THE MORE DEEPLY YOU'RE INVOLVED IN THE WRONG, THE MORE LIKELY YOU ARE TO BE IMMUNE?
THAT'S A STRANGE PROPOSITION."
Even though justices seemed sympathetic to the practical concerns raised by prosecutors, THEY ALL SEEMED RELUCTANT TO GRANT AN OFFICIAL GREEN-LIGHT FOR PROSECUTORS TO FRAME INNOCENT PEOPLE."
Is this all window dressing - or will things go forwards as usual with criminals continuing to hide behind their robes, suits and uniforms?
Time will tell - but there's not much optimisim from this vantage point.
#18 Nov 6, 2009
AUSTIN TX POLICE INTERNAL AFFAIRS DETECTIVE FIRED FOR TRYING TO SWAY OUTCOME TO FAVOR COP IN SHOOTING INVESTIGATION
November 5, 2009, 01:57 PM
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo today has fired an internal affairs detective involved in the investigation into the fatal shooting of Nathaniel Sanders II by a police officer, officials said.
Detective Chris Dunn sent an e-mail to fellow investigators and supervisors two days after the May 11 shooting that suggested they review the criminal histories of Sanders and two other suspects and possibly MAKE THE HISTORIES THE CAUSE OF THE SHOOTING.
“I am so smart I scare myself,” Dunn wrote, according to sources familiar with the e-mail.
[...apparently being a conspirator in a potential frame job is considered "smart" in some dark circles ...]
Independent investigators cited the e-mail in concerns that the investigation into the shooting by senior police officer Leonardo Quintana was biased.
Acevedo has since removed Dunn from internal affairs and opened an internal affairs investigation into his actions. Austin police policy requires investigators to maintain an impartial attitude.
(Kind of hard to believe or do when you still work for the same department, HUH?)
Acevedo is expected to discuss his decision in a news conference later today.
His decision comes the day after he suspended Quintana for 15 days for not activating his patrol car camera before approaching Sanders.”
[ NOW, tell us again why “expert witness” DPS Commander Albert Rodriguez who the Texas Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals exposed for tampering and being involved in falsification to protect bad cops is STILL employed and NOT behind bars ?]
#21 Nov 11, 2009
DENIAL IF DUE PROCESS IN CURRENT COLLIN COUNTY CASE
My hope in posting here is to expose the egregious judicial misconduct & violations of the 14th Amendment in a current Collin County case involving a father of 2 young boys in Collin County. Concerned citizens, please assist us in forcing Judge Oldner to recuse himself so the imperial evidence can be heard, justice be done and 2 small boys be returned to their father’s custody, as originally mandated by the courts, but overturned by Judge Oldner without cause or reason, even in light of proven allegations of the mother’s sexual abuse and drug addition. All case details can be reviewed here: http://eoffian.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/66/
#22 Nov 12, 2009
TEXAS STATE TROOPER SENTENCED TO OVER 7 YEARS IN PRISON FOR POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE OF 57 POUNDS OF COCAINE
November 10, 2009 8:18 PM
( " How ironic. How Hypocritical.
One of the largest (accidental) drug busts in the state of Texas.
And the criminal MAJOR drug dealer turns out to be:
A Texas Police Officer. " )
BROWNSVILLE — A Texas state trooper was sentenced Tuesday to more than seven years in federal prison.
A shackled and chained Jesus Rafael Larrazolo, 35, of Brownsville, appeared before U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who SENTENCED THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY TROOPER TO 87 MONTHS IN THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS.
THE SENTENCE COMES NEARLY A YEAR AFTER LARRAZOLO WAS ARRESTED ON A CHARGE OF DEALING COCAINE.
A FOUR-YEAR VETERAN of the DPS, he apologized during the court the proceedings.
The PEACE OFFICER PLEADED GUILTY to one count in a federal indictment charging him with possession with intent to distribute 26 kilograms, or 57 POUNDS, of cocaine on Jan. 15, according to court documents.
The drugs had a street value of $1.64 million.
Details of the plea agreement were unavailable because the document was a sealed by court order.
(“ Remember: We are not allowed to know….”)
Larrazolo was employed as a DPS trooper when Brownsville police and the FBI arrested him Nov. 21 last year in the parking lot of the Best Buy store in Brownsville as he loaded his car with cocaine.
Brownsville police were conducting unrelated surveillance when they saw Larrazolo with suspicious suitcases that turned out to contain cocaine, according to police.
Larrazolo, dressed in plains clothes, identified himself as a DPS trooper and displayed his credentials when arrested.
During that same hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Lancaster asked that Larrazolo be held without bond because of FEARS HE WOULD FLEE TO MEXICO.
Federal authorities previously said the man’s relatives in Mexico were powerful and wealthy enough that he would be in a position to safely hide out and avoid prosecution.
Larrazolo has been in federal custody without bond since his November 2008 arrest.
#25 Nov 14, 2009
MPD TICKETS MAN FOR HONKING AT STOP SIGN RUNNING COP
Thursday, 12 Nov 2009, 9:46 PM CST
McKINNEY, Texas - A driver says a McKinney police officer pulled him over because he honked his horn. He says he honked because the officer ran a stop sign and almost hit him.
He thinks there's video to prove it. But FOX 4's Saul Garza reports its video the city doesn't want you to see.
Welcome, good McKinney citizen, to the reality of how the MPD actually operates, from the chief on down. You’ve successfully fallen through the looking glass and now see the charade that is the McKinney Police Department.
The essence of Officer Jason Norton’s statement as you relate in the above video, that the “exempt” lettering on the squad’s license plate “means the MPD does not have to obey the law” is nothing new.
Your claim of retaliation against you by the MPD is nothing new.
Clearly after months and months of the MPD’s “internal investigation” has been long over. Yet Chief Kowalski following his usual pattern of “keeping their doings on the down low”, apparently is saying the investigation continues – into whether a cop ran a stop sign.
Surely it’s because they’ve hired eminent scientist Steven Hawking to study the matter and he’s a busy man. It is rather odd though, that after your complaint the charges against him were dismissed about 30 minutes latter and you say you were told that the officers involved would be disciplined. Seems like the “investigation” has long been over doesn’t it, chief.
And of course the MPD just sidesteps, as is their wont, both State and Federal Freedom of Information Acts and refuses to let it’s employers (we, the public) see the dash-cam video, which apparently must be the graveman proving the cop did in fact run the stop sign.
The department and it’s chief even thumbs it’s nose at the media. Par for the course.
Again good McKinney citizen, welcome to world of truth about the MPD.
Know that you are not alone and do follow through on the law suit, as have others before you and others who will do so, until this sham of a department is exposed.
And Chief Kowalski, if you and your department has done nothing wrong, and if you and your department actually serve the public – what is it you have to hide from us?
It's a simple, common sense question, chief.
#26 Nov 15, 2009
McKinney Cop Abuses Authority with Horn Honking Ticket
Not Wise to mess with Texas. No pun. Officer Jason Norton and other Bubba cops are in the Spot Light, Horns honking and lights are flashing. Nothing you can do about it either. I hope that really torques your jaws. You guys should go ahead resign and move to Amarillo where other smart ass cops go when they are exposed! Chicken shit is not Chicken Salad. Once again rouge cops action's has overloaded their collective asses. Good enough for you Big Shots! McKinney's finest, yeah right! Can't wait to see the movie!
I bet they hate the Internet and postings like this that expose them. It might break some of the "Back the Blue, No Matter What" rules. I bet they would love to trim off the 1st Amendment from the U. S. Constitution. LMFAO
#28 Nov 15, 2009
POLICE VIDEOED DISPATCHING 7 COP CARS TO GIVE COOPERATIVE MOPED RIDER TRAFFIC TICKET, TICKET COST $2K
( Unbelievable. Professional Police Embarrassment.
Actually, TOTALLY believable.
“ Rally For The Red, FILM the Blue”)
#31 Nov 16, 2009
Night Of The Long Knives II
CURTIS HOWARD DEMOTED OVER DWI FIX DEBACLE
AS PREDICTED, ever so loyal prosecutor Curtis Howard’s career under DA John Roach has been cut down a notch.
Another vassal sacrificed in the name of plausible deniability for our DA?
• There will be a pretext of a “full investigation”,
• The investigation will be only internal at worst, or at best conducted by a shill,
• The investigation will never actually be complete, thus the stonewalling by the Roach’s office for freedom of information will continue ad infinitum because “the investigation is still ongoing”,
• No public report containing any germane content will ever be released to the public,
• The CC DA’s office will continue business as usual: convict at all costs (as opposed to “Seeking Justice”) work heavily shielded from public view and inspection.
Because remember people:
“we don’t have the right to know what OUR employees are doing” in Collin County.
“On Monday's Commissioners Court agenda is the line item, "AI-31093 Personnel Changes, Human Resources."
A look at the background information in the court's meeting packet reveals that one of the personnel changes is THE DEMOTION OF CURTIS HOWARD from Second Assistant DA to Chief Felony Prosecutor.
As part of the demotion, Howard will see his pay cut 5% from $104,393 per year to $99,174.
HOWARD IS THE 3RD PERSON TO FALL after WFAA's Brett Shipp published a story alleging that a wealthy DWI defendant had his case "vanish in the Collin County Court system".
Earlier this month, Chief Misdemeanor PROSECUTOR KERRIE WALKER RESIGNED HER JOB at the District Attorney's office.
She was the person named by Shipp as the prosecutor who forced an acquittal of the DWI defendant with a 'stand and rest' tactic before a visiting judge.
Last month, PROSECUTOR BRAD CLEMENTS RESIGNED after writing an email that described the circumstances of the case in a general criticism of the county's prosecution of indigent and poor defendants.
CLEMENTS ACCUSATION THAT WEALTHY, WELL CONNECTED DEFENDANTS RECEIVE PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT HAS NEVER BEEN ANSWERED BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY or his office.
District Attorney John Roach has:
• promised a full investigation, but
• has never said when the investigation would be complete, or
• if a report would be made public.
The Collin County Observer has called for an independent jurist to conduct an impartial inquiry.”
#33 Nov 17, 2009
Willis is completely unqualified for DA. Unless you think doing misdemeanor plea deals gives you all the criminal law experience a DA needs to be a hands-on, ready-on-day-one leader/mentor of felony prosecutors. How many felony jury trials has Willis done as a prosecutor? There seems to be a lot of mindless following of the herd on this one as opposed to an objective evaluation on the merits of the various candidates.
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