Articles Posted in District Attorney

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About a month ago, I wrote an article Crime Victim Dies of Complications, detailing a certain tree planted in front of the courthouse to commemorate crime victims.  I took a picture showing that the tree had apparently died and been cut down.

I also found it interesting that no one puts up wrongly accused / convicted trees around the courthouse — that might actually cause a jury to think twice about convicting someone. 

.beforetreespaceaftertree

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It appears a local crime victim has dies of injuries.  Reports are unclear as to whether the death is related to injuries sustained from the initial crime.

I snapped this photo recently of the "Crime Victim Tree" planted just outside of the new Collin County Courthouse.

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As you can see, the tree has been removed and all that remains is a bit of the stump below.

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photo1Recently, a letter was sent to the press criticizing the outgoing District Attorney and reporting their findings.  This letter made it to the Dallas Morning News, where it was reported by Ed Housewright.  The DMN did not publish the letter and I personally had been curious to see it.  I now have a copy, and I am publishing it here.

The letter came to me in a cryptic, no return addressed envelope.  As I opened it up (expecting white powder to fly out at me), I saw the contents containing documents regarding the 380th Grand Jury.

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Contained in the letter was a request to clarify the inaccurate reporting of the impaneling of the Grand Jury. I had written about this before.  In some reports, it seemed as if this grand jury was empaneled by Judge Wooten in order to investigate the District Attorney’s Office.

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According to the Dallas News, the Judge quashed records-tampering indictment against Collin County assistant DA Gregory Davis

So now what does that mean for the case?

Generally speaking the indictment serves to put the defendant on notice of what the charges are against him. If it is too broad, it is subject to being quashed. That’s what happened in this case.

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Judge quashes records-tampering indictment against Collin County assistant DA 4:17 PM CT

04:24 PM CST on Friday, January 7, 2011

By ED HOUSEWRIGHT / The Dallas Morning News
ehousewright@dallasnews.com

A judge granted a motion today to quash an indictment against former Collin County first assistant district attorney Greg Davis.

"I’m pleased it worked out this way," said his attorney, Ted Steinke, who filed the motion. "I’m glad the law was on our side."

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davisThe latest jab in what I like to call, “Indictment Fest 2010” is the indictment of Collin County’s District Attorney First Assistant Gregory Davis.  All of the back and forth is a bit too much for one article, so I’ll work on the background for another article.

In addition to Gregory Davis’ eight years at the Collin County DA, he was also a former prosecutor in Dallas.  Mr. Davis obtained twelve death sentences in Dallas County, including the only two such sentences against women in that county’s history.  He was involved with the Darlie Routier death penalty case, one that garnered a significant amount of controversy.

So what is the First Assistant and what do they do?  In Collin County, the First Assistant could be compared to  the president of operations for a company, along with the chief litigator.

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recuseImmediately after filing Brady Material – Favorable Evidence to the Defense, the Collin County District Attorney’s office joined in the Defense’s prior motion to recuse the District Attorney.

In the filing today, Gregory Davis, the First Assistant District Attorney explains that "[a]s a result of newly discovered evidence set forth in the State’s Disclosure of Evidence Favorable to Defendant, the State of Texas now agrees that the Criminal District Attorney of Collin County and the Collin County’s District Attorney’s Office is disqualified in this case."

Both of these filings follow my past article, "How To Gut Your Own Case: Collin County District Clerks Case." which outlined the similarities in the District Attorney’s High-Five paid time off program, and the District Clerk’s "Blue Book" time.

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bradyfiling-1Today, Gregory Davis, Collin County’s First Assistant District Attorney filed a "State’s Disclosure of Evidence Favorable to the Defendant."  This is commonly known as a "Brady Material." Brady material, in short, refers evidence favorable to the defense that is known by the State. The State is required to turn this evidence over.  Brady material is often the source of heated debates including what is, and is not, Brady material.  Brady material requirements stem from the US Supreme Court case of Brady  v. Maryland

Today’s filing goes on to detail some specifics regarding the State’s High-Five program.  I previously reported on this program and detailed the shocking similarities to behavior alleged in the District Clerk’s case. This stemmed from the District Attorney requesting a new way to code this time off which was denied by the County Commissioners.

The filing states:

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The Short Answer? Admit to doing the exact same thing the people charged did. commVideo

I have never had a case where a prosecutor has stood in front of a large group and admitted to driving while intoxicated — or any other crime for that matter. 

But that seems to be exactly what the elected District Attorney in Collin County recently did. No, he did not admit driving while intoxicated, but instead stood in front of the county commissioners and asked for assistance on properly "coding" his Hi-Five Paid Time Off program.  A program that on its face seems to be doing the same thing he accuses Six Collin County District Clerks of doing. Taking time off from work with the permission of their supervisors, but putting in with the county that they were actually present so they can be paid.

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Well, sorry about the crude posts, but I thought my readers would want to know what was going on reporterslive in this case.  After speaking with some courthouse workers (who actually had to work and didn’t have time to sit in the courtroom), I decided to "live blog" from my iPhone at the last minute.  It was a frustrating experience, and I promise to bring a laptop or at least iPad next time.

The quick background:

6 District Clerks in Collin County were indicted on on charges of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.  After setting PR bonds, the presiding judge of the court, Judge Rusch removed himself from the case, but the District Attorney did not.  Visiting District Judge Nuns was assigned to the case, and today all six clerks formally pleaded "Not Guilty."