Patterico's Pontifications

8/13/2007

Beldar Whacks Verdon

Filed under: Crime,General,Law — Patterico @ 7:55 pm

Beldar whacks Steve Verdon and Radley Balko, calling them

chumps for propagandists who are both willing and eager to tell lies by omission.

He adds:

Messrs. Verdon and Balko — grow some B.S. receptors, please? If you’re going to post about a case like this one, at least read the danged opinion whose results you’re condemning first, okay?

His case against Verdon is better, as Verdon’s post is positively misleading. Balko is guilty of nothing more than linking someone else’s dishonest piece with approval.

Beldar 1, Verdon 0.

UPDATE: Beldar clarifies in comments that his characterization of these folks as “chumps” applies “on this occasion only.” Noted.

58 Responses to “Beldar Whacks Verdon”

  1. Beldar whacks Rothberg, Verdon and (by extension) Balko so I count it as: Beldar 3, Others 0.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  2. “Chumps” on this occasion only. I just expect better of both Verdon and Balko; I often agree with the former, and more than occasionally with the latter.

    Beldar (dae850)

  3. Well said, Beldar. This is the kind of crap that makes many wonder whether or not the media or the Left can even get the basic facts correct when reporting on a story.

    JD (815fda)

  4. Radley writes:

    Texas is about to execute a man the state itself admits committed no murder.

    I don’t get it. With such an admission by the State, what Court would uphold the conviction let alone the sentence?

    nk (119c34)

  5. I have whacked Beldar in the past here — and felt bad about having done so later — but he’s hit this one out of the park.

    The Rothberg article is so typical of what prosecutors see from defense attorneys and friends of defendants everyday. They never let the actual facts get in their way.

    Like Compean and Ramos.

    (Had to do it).

    wls (2458d8)

  6. nk,

    Radley can weasel the word “committed.”

    Verdon has no such weaselly out.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  7. Patterico #6,

    Heh! I like Radley too. Maybe I was being too lawyerly on “admits”.

    nk (119c34)

  8. Like Compean and Ramos.

    Couldn’t agree with you more, wls. I feel so much safer with those two vicious criminals locked away.

    Unlike these two poor persecuted victims of society.

    Sorry, I also had to do it.

    nk (119c34)

  9. nk

    Funny isn’t it how that Texas jury rejected Compean and Ramos’ claim that they felt they were threatened by that drug courier running for Mexico, just like that other Texas jury rejected Foster’s claim that he didn’t know the other guy might shoot one of the people they were robbing on their ongoing crime spree.

    wls (2458d8)

  10. I know, wls. Don’t take it as a personal attack. Will you permit me that the damn cracks in the system work both ways? That some dangerous escape and some harmless get caught?

    nk (119c34)

  11. nk — absolutely.

    On the subject of the New Jersey killings, if I hear another commentator say Carranza “slipped through the cracks” I’m going to have to buy another TV. Anderson Cooper was the latest offender tonight.

    Newsflash: He did not “slip through the cracks.” Newark does not report arrests of aliens to ICE. They only report to ICE after someone is convicted and sentenced.

    So, it was the POLICIES of Newark and the New Jersey court systems that put Carranza back on the street.

    But I did find quite interesting the MS-13 angle being reported tonight.

    wls (2458d8)

  12. Hmmmm,

    On one side, we have the three other people involved in this crime saying Foster had nothing to do with it, and on the other side?

    Nothing, as far as I can see.

    Yeehaw!

    alphie (015011)

  13. alphie — your position would make sense if you were of the belief that only the person holding the gun and who actually pulls the trigger is the only person who can be convicted of capital murder.

    If that’s your view, then you have a lot of work to do because many states have the “felony murder” rule. Its a product of the English common law.

    wls (2458d8)

  14. Well, WLS,

    Foster didn’t even know Mauriceo Brown had a gun when he got out of the car.

    So it would seem that in Tejas, you can get whacked by the state for not being psychic.

    alphie (015011)

  15. Alphie:

    I guess you didn’t take the time to read the excerpts from the court decisions that Beldar included in his post. Such as this excerpt from the Fifth Circuit’s Opinion:

    “On the evening of 14 August 1996, Foster and three others — Mauriceo Brown, DeWayne Dillard, and Julius Steen — embarked on armed robberies around San Antonio, Texas, beginning with Brown’s announcing he had a gun and asking whether the others wanted to rob people: “I have the strap, do you all want to jack?” During the guilt/innocence phase of Foster’s trial, Steen testified he rode in the front seat, looking for potential victims, while Foster drove. Steen and Brown testified to robbing two different groups at gunpoint that night; the four men divided the stolen property equally. The criminal conduct continued into the early hours of the next day (15 August), when Foster began following a vehicle driven by Mary Patrick.

    Patrick testified: she and Michael LaHood, Jr. were returning in separate cars to his house; she arrived and noticed Foster’s vehicle turn around and stop in front of Michael LaHood’s house; Patrick approached Foster’s vehicle to ascertain who was following her; she briefly spoke to the men in the vehicle, then walked away towards Michael LaHood, who had reached the house and exited his vehicle; she saw a man with a scarf across his face and a gun in his hand exit Foster’s vehicle and approach her and Michael LaHood; Michael LaHood told her to go inside the house, and she ran towards the door, but tripped and fell; she looked back and saw the gunman pointing a gun at Michael LaHood’s face, demanding his keys, money, and wallet; Michael LaHood responded that Patrick had the keys; and Patrick heard a loud bang.

    Michael LaHood died from a gunshot wound to the head. The barrel of the gun was no more than six inches from his head when he was shot; it was likely closer than that. Brown had similarly stuck his gun in the faces of some of the night’s earlier robbery victims.”

    wls (2458d8)

  16. Actually, wls,

    I read the court transcripts, not Beldar’s highly selective snippets.

    Foster had told the others to stop robbing people, and was unaware that Brown had gotten the gun back when Mary Patrick flagged down their car.

    I believe Brown told Foster he was just going to try to get her phone number as he was getting out of the car.

    alphie (015011)

  17. Here’s how it works Alphie — witnesses say all kinds of contradictory things at trial. Its the role of the jury to determine who is telling the truth.

    The fact that a witness said something at trial doesn’t make it so. The facts are what the jury determines them to be from conflicting evidence — such as the testimony of the various perpetrators that you cite.

    What the Circuit Court is reciting from the record are the facts as established considering the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict — in this instance a guilty verdict. All reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the verdict, not against it.

    wls (2458d8)

  18. Except in this case, wls, there was no contadictory testimony.

    Everyone who was in a position to know what happened that night said the same thing:

    “Foster was just the group’s driver, not the getaway driver; after the second robbery, Foster said he wanted to stop, so Dillard took the gun back and believed no more robberies would be committed that night; he directed Foster to drive through the residential area where Michael LaHood lived; Foster stopped because a woman flagged the car down and because Steen told him to; there was no agreement to rob Michael LaHood; and, after Brown shot Michael LaHood, Foster tried to leave but Dillard would not let him.”

    So, it looks like the jury decided to fry a man…just ’cause they could.

    Yeehaw!

    alphie (015011)

  19. Too dumb to even respond to, but I will in the morning.

    wls (2458d8)

  20. Alphie: Please link the transcripts you purport to rely on. Are they complete? Do they address, among other things, his splitting of the previous robberies’ proceeds?

    Beldar (dae850)

  21. I should mention: I’ve updated my post to explain my discomfort with the Fifth Circuit panel’s opinion, on a key (but very technical) point of which I’m unpersuaded by the panel’s reasoning.

    That does not mean that I’m persuaded, as Alphie argues, that Mr. Foster was effectively a kidnapped Girl Scout with nothing to do with these actions.

    Last point for now: Alphie, the regional bigotry is very, very offensive. It’s something a troll would do. Are you a troll?

    Beldar (dae850)

  22. I’m sorry: One more request, Alphie: Have you confirmed that the Fifth Circuit simply fabricated the line “I have the strap, do you all want to jack?” Because I’ve often suspected that Judge Barksdale makes that sort of stuff up all the time, in between her own bank robberies, while she’s chillin’ with her clerks.

    Beldar (dae850)

  23. His case against Verdon is better, as Verdon’s post is positively misleading. Balko is guilty of nothing more than linking someone else’s dishonest piece with approval.

    I disagree. Balko stated, in his own voice:

    Texas is about to execute a man the state itself admits committed no murder.

    That’s not just an approving link, it’s a factual assertion. Plus, Verdon appropriately updated his post following Beldar’s take-down, while Balko hasn’t edited his at all. If past performance is an indication of future results, expect no acknowledgement of the error whatsoever until mid-September, 2008. Then we’ll see a defensive, non-apologetic remark to the effect that he got a minor technicality wrong (e.g., it really was a murder after all), but it doesn’t really affect his main point (which is that the death penalty sucks, and so do prosecutors, and so does Texas, and therefore, so really do prosecutors from Texas who seek the death penalty). Then he’ll follow the non-admission admission with a promise that even though his error really didn’t mean anything, he’s still going to correct it in his next column because he’s such a great guy, and correcting stuff is what great guys do. Then follow the next few articles to see if any correction ever comes, and don’t act too surprised when it doesn’t.

    Xrlq (6c2116)

  24. Beldar,

    I read the transcripts you linked to. The passage above comes from “Foster v. Quarterman.”

    There seems little doubt that Kenneth Foster participated in some robberies, and for that, he should pay.

    But there is also little doubt that he had called a stop to it before the fatal one.

    His testimony and his three accomplices’ testimony confirm that.

    And so does the tesimony of Mary Patrick, the victim’s girlfriend:

    “Patrick testified: she and Michael LaHood, Jr. were returning in separate cars to his house; she arrived and noticed Foster’s vehicle turn around andstop in front *363 of Michael LaHood’s house; Patrick approached Foster’s vehicle to ascertain who was following her; she briefly spoke to the men in the vehicle, then walked away towards Michael LaHood, who had reached the house and exited his vehicle; she saw a man with a scarf across his face and a gun in his hand exit Foster’s vehicle and approach her and Michael LaHood; Michael LaHood told her to go inside the house, and she ran towards the door, but tripped and fell; she looked back and saw the gunman pointing a gun at Michael LaHood’s face, demanding his keys, money, and wallet; Michael LaHood responded that Patrick had the keys; and Patrick heard a loud bang.”

    Mauriceo Brown asked Lahood for his car keys, which meant he intended to drive away from the crime on his own.

    He was acting on his own.

    Kenneth Foster had stopped being “the driver,” his only part in the previous crimes.

    I’m curious, do you think Foster should be executed, Beldar?

    alphie (015011)

  25. Beldar – Yes, alphie is a troll of the highest order. Reflexively contrarian, and rarely makes a cogent point. At least in this instance, it is trying.

    alphie – After an evening of armed robberies, do you really expect anyone to believe that these guys stopped to be good samaritans?

    JD (815fda)

  26. alphie – In the early morning hours, it is common to wrap a scarf over your face, presumably to conceal ones identity, and get out of the car with a gun, just to get a phone number for a good samaritan? Or, might that simply suggest a robbery?

    JD (815fda)

  27. Sigh. Alphie, I didn’t link to any transcripts. The trancripts are what the court reporters type up with the questions and answers. What I quoted from, discussed, and put a .pdf copy of up on my blog’s server space (for the convenience of those who don’t have Westlaw or Lexis) is just the Fifth Circuit’s written opinion. It does contain some quotes from, and elsewhere some paraphrases of, trial testimony and other courts opinions. The reason I posted it, and quoted extensively from it, is because it is so very inconsistent with the story suggested by Rothberg’s half-truths, but I invite everyone to read it for themselves to make up their own minds about that.

    You say there is “little doubt” that Foster stopped participating. That is what his lawyers claimed at trial, and what he and they have claimed since then. But the jury heard and rejected that claim. They found the circumstances and the other testimony to compel the opposite conclusion. They didn’t believe he was objecting, they didn’t believe he was kidnapped. They believed that when he continued as the getaway driver after the shooting and told Brown to hide the gun, that’s because they were still part of the same conspiracy. They thought the notion that Foster was gung-ho for several armed robberies, but then tried to bail out before the last one, was stupid. They believed Foster’s co-conspirator’s testimony in the sentencing proceedings that Foster was stalking their victims, following them for miles into a residential dead-end.

    The testimony you’re looking at the summary of was what Foster came up with later, after the trial (during which he refused to testify), during the habeas proceedings. That’s inherently suspect, and it certainly can’t undercut the jury’s conclusions. If he wanted to sell that story, he ought to have gotten on the stand at trial. He didn’t — no doubt because to do so would have exposed him to impeachment during the guilt phase on his two prior (admitted) felony convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (see Foster v. State, 1998 WL 349443 (Tex. App. — Austin 1998) (unpublished opinion)).

    The jury was specifically instructed, however, that they ought not convict Foster of murder if they thought Brown was acting independently of Foster. I would bet $10k, even without seeing the transcript, that Foster’s lawyer argued the hell out of that instruction and that theory during closing argument. And I hope that his lawyer was better at making that argument than you’ve been (even though that’s a pretty low threshold, Alphie).

    But the jury rejected that argument. Not because they just wanted to fry him (and we use a needle now, actually), but because it was a bogus, ridiculous argument that ran contrary to the evidence and contrary to human nature.

    As for whether I think Foster should be executed: Read my update on my own blog. Based on what I now know, without having access to the entire record (i.e., the “transcripts”), but just based on Judge Barksdale’s opinion for the unanimous panel, I would not have joined that opinion. I would have voted to affirm the district court for the very technical reasons I detailed there. It amounts to saying that the State ought to have to go back and dot a particular i before Foster can be executed, and I think the odds are overwhelming that another jury would do just that if given the chance. (I.e., they’ll readily make the same findings the first jury did, plus they’ll make an explicit finding that he’s guilty of a “major participation in the felony committed” (i.e., the armed robbery) by Brown. But I am not persuaded that Foster has yet received all of the process of law to which he’s due under Tison, and I don’t think he should be executed unless and until that happens.

    Beldar (dae850)

  28. Re Xrlq’s predictions (#23 above) re Balko’s reaction: It’s in a new post. Very civil. Very like what Xrlq predicted, though.

    Beldar (dae850)

  29. Heh! I think Xrlq called it perfectly, actually:
    Then we’ll see a defensive, non-apologetic remark to the effect that he got a minor technicality wrong (e.g., it really was a murder after all), but it doesn’t really affect his main point (which is that the death penalty sucks, and so do prosecutors, and so does Texas, and therefore, so really do prosecutors from Texas who seek the death penalty).

    Radley is very good when he writes about abuses of authority. He gets into trouble when he tries to analyze legal issues because, I think, he deliberately refuses to understand “legalese” but has no qualms in trying to speak it. Mark Twain described a French waiter that was like that: “He spoke English on the Continental plan. That is, he spoke it but did not understand it”.

    No offense, Radley. Like I said, you have done a lot of good work on police brutality and other abuses of authority.

    nk (119c34)

  30. Verdon is a friend of mine and while I don’t share his opinion on the substance of the matter, I’m happy to see him acknowledge Beldar’s work ( for whom I also have great respect ).

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  31. Xrlq – was practically pitch perfect in his guesstimate of how Balko would address his errors.

    JD (815fda)

  32. He gets into trouble when he tries to analyze legal issues because, I think, he deliberately refuses to understand “legalese” but has no qualms in trying to speak it.

    He’s not trying to speak it. He’s using plain old english definitions of “murder” which have beebeen stolen by lawyers to mean very specific things, rather than the broad English meaning. Yes, lawyers need that precision, but you need to realize that slipping into “was this legal” analysis because someone used a word that lawyers also use isn’t very helpful when somebody is asking “was this right?”

    Aaron Denney. (3379df)

  33. Aaron – We do not speak old English. He was talking about the law, and he was wrong.

    JD (815fda)

  34. “They believed that when he continued as the getaway driver after the shooting and told Brown to hide the gun, that’s because they were still part of the same conspiracy.”

    Then why did Brown ask for LaHood’s car keys, Beldar?

    alphie (015011)

  35. Brown may have been planning to scram. That in no way exonerates Foster, who was waiting patiently to drive his buddy to the next crime.

    JD (815fda)

  36. Alphie, the only place I see the term “car keys” is in your posts. Can you point me to the court record where is says such?

    From the record: “Michael LaHood told her to go inside the house, and she ran towards the door, but tripped and fell; she looked back and saw the gunman pointing a gun at Michael LaHood’s face, demanding his keys, money, and wallet; Michael LaHood responded that Patrick had the keys; and Patrick heard a loud bang.”

    Do you suppose Patrick might have been referring to “house keys”?

    tmac (0c909a)

  37. Alphie asked (#34):

    Then why did Brown ask for LaHood’s car keys, Beldar?

    Perhaps because he was an armed robber in the midst of attempting to deprive LaHood of his other possessions? Duh! Unless they were in a tow truck, that would be the most obvious way for the gang to steal (and later split the proceeds of, or otherwise dispose of) LaHood’s car, just as they’d done with the proceeds of the armed robberies of the prior victims. Presumably the shooting and resulting panic interrupted that plan, though. And it doesn’t matter whether it was just Brown’s improvisation or something they’d all discussed: It was all part of the same conspiracy to commit a pattern of armed robberies, as found by the jury from ample evidence.

    If in fact either of us had access to the transcript, we might discover such things that the jurors knew, and the lawyers argued to them as important circumstantial evidence, like the make and model of LaHood’s car, or whether any of the other robberies also presented attractive car-jacking opportunities. Remember “I have the strap, do you all want to jack?” That likely made it into the summary because it was a particularly vivid quote. But in a double-capital murder trial, it’s hardly likely to be an isolated bit of evidence. We know it’s not, in fact, because we have summaries of co-conspirator testimony (e.g., that Foster was picking the targets).

    Beldar (dae850)

  38. “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” –Tony Baretta

    Horatio (a549f7)

  39. Beldar 1, Alphie 0.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  40. Haha, DRJ,

    I don’t know that it’s much of a victory.

    Looks like the collective punishment crowd is going waaay too far once again.

    Where does the idea come from, I wonder?

    alphie (015011)

  41. Man, there’s rampant braying in this thread. Probably because the source got pwn3d.

    Paul (f54101)

  42. Alphie: From the Fifth Circuit opinion, which is apparently the only thing you have read:

    Brown testified at the joint trial of himself and Foster: He admitted shooting LaHood, but claimed he didn’t intend to do so, and was only seekign Patrick’s telephone number. He claimed he only shot LaHood after he saw what he thought was a gun in LaHood’s possession, and heard what he thought was the cocking of a semi-auto handgun. That seems somewhat at odds with Patrick’s testimony that she saw Brown get out of the car with a scarf across his face and a handgun drawn, and that she saw Brown pointing the gun in LaHood’s face and demanding his money, wallet, and keys just before LaHood was shot in the face at point blank range.

    Since the Jury convicted Brown of capital murder, for which he has been executed, I think we can dispense with the “He only wanted to get the chick’s phone number” theory of the defense.

    Now, lets move on to Dillard and Steen.

    Purusant to a plea agreement, Steen testified against Foster and Brown at trial. Dillard did not testify at trial, though he later testified in Foster’s state habeas corpus proceeding.

    At the time of the state habeas proceeding, Dillard was then serving a life sentence for ANOTHER capital murder committed by he and Steen.

    Quite a cast of defense witnesses we’ve got here.

    Dillard testified there was no agreement to commit robberies on the night in question — though he then said he took the gun back from Brown after the SECOND robbery. Reminds me of that old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

    Dillard testified Foster was the group’s driver, not the “getaway driver”. Uhh, ok. I didn’t know armed robbers used chauffeurs, but I haven’t spent much time in West Texas so I can’t say one way or another. Maybe they are heirs to oil money.

    DILLARD said Foster said he wanted to stop.

    DILLARD also said Patrick flagged them down and that is why Foster stopped the car. Do you think Patrick said that? Between the two of them, which one has more credibility — Patrick or Dillard. So, lets chalk up one clear LIE for Dillard.

    Steen testified at trial against Foster and Brown. Now, several years after the trial, presented for the first time during the federal habeas proceedings, and while serving life himself for both this and another crime, Steen says he did not “think” Foster knew what was going to happen when Brown got out of the car — with a scarf across his face and gun drawn according to Patrick. Steen says there was no “agreement” to commit a robbery — wow, I’m glad we got that crucial fact from such a credible source.

    As the Fifth Circuit ultimately concluded, these claims were all made in one fashion or another in the trial, and were rejected by the trial jury which recommended the death penalty — all while knowing that Foster was not the shooter. This case is not unique in that regard, and the Texas statute is not unique.

    Nor is the misdirection of death penalty opponents who never let the facts get in their way.

    WLS (077d0d)

  43. Aaah,

    But I’m not an opponent of the death penalty, WLS.

    Not against criminals that commit seriously violent crimes, that is.

    Like the Iraq war, though…this case has helped convince me that certain folks should never have any say when it comes to state sanctioned violence.

    alphie (015011)

  44. Ah, another attempted thread hijacking by troll.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  45. Well, in 3-wks the world will have one less punk who thinks he gets to set the rules.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish!

    Another Drew (a28ef4)

  46. alphie,

    It is possible, but hopefully not likely, that while you’re waiting in line at the car wash, two scags, one armed with a gun, will try to rob you for the cash in your pocket. Your life will hang on a three-pound trigger pull. Should you survive and should either of the scags get caught, one or both will say that he met you there to make a drug buy from you. That the “other dude” robbed both of you. Taking your money and drugs and his money. And your legend as a very well-known neighborhood drug dealer will grow even more. He might even have a lawyer young enough, naive enough and inexperienced enough to believe his story and actually do his own legwork to investigate you because his investigator could(would) not.

    Criminals lie. They lie as naturally as they breathe.

    nk (119c34)

  47. Alphie — its kind of like a basketball team which only has one ball during a game.

    Here, Mssrs Foster, Brown, Dillard, and Steen had only one gun.

    Is the high scorer the only person on the basketball team that gets credit for the victory?

    How would you apply your rules to Newark?

    You have one gun and 4 suspects? Does Mr. Carranza get off the hook if it was the 15 year old who pulled the trigger — four times.

    WLS (077d0d)

  48. And on the subject of lying criminals but otherwise off-topic here’s a h/t (most appropriately for Justin, I think): O.J. Simpson’s book will be published after all. By the Goldmans.

    nk (119c34)

  49. Wls said”

    “Funny isn’t it how that Texas jury rejected Compean and Ramos’ claim that they felt they were threatened by that drug courier running for Mexico”

    El Paso is part of Texas? You could have fooled me.

    (I had to do it too)

    What is even funnier to me is when Johnny Sutton describes the jury as a “West Texas Jury”–especially since I started my career as a prosecutor in Lubbock, Texas.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  50. Jerri Lynn:

    Keep in mind that in federal court, jurors are drawn from the entire district — not just the city where the trial takes place. So, its entirely possible that the Compean and Ramos jurors came from all over West Texas, and not just El Paso.

    WLS (077d0d)

  51. Jerri Lynn,

    It’s a small point but I had the same “West Texas” moment/reaction when WLS said this:

    Dillard testified Foster was the group’s driver, not the “getaway driver”. Uhh, ok. I didn’t know armed robbers used chauffeurs, but I haven’t spent much time in West Texas so I can’t say one way or another. Maybe they are heirs to oil money.

    LaHood’s murder occurred in San Antonio so these defendants are more likely to have drug money than oil money. Plus, real West Texas oil men drive their own pickup trucks.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  52. WLS,

    We don’t mix divisions out here in West Texas so the jurors undoubtedly came from the El Paso Division of the Western District of Texas. That means they came primarily from the City of El Paso and possibly from the surrounding area, but there isn’t much surrounding El Paso. South is Mexico, West and North is New Mexico (an entirely different District) and East is … not much.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  53. DRJ said:

    It’s a small point but I had the same “West Texas” moment/reaction when WLS said this:

    Dillard testified Foster was the group’s driver, not the “getaway driver”. Uhh, ok. I didn’t know armed robbers used chauffeurs, but I haven’t spent much time in West Texas so I can’t say one way or another. Maybe they are heirs to oil money.

    LaHood’s murder occurred in San Antonio so these defendants are more likely to have drug money than oil money. Plus, real West Texas oil men drive their own pickup trucks.

    Hee hee! I almost spewed on my computer when I read this.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  54. Doesn’t Xrlq have some temp work to do? Why is he posting here?

    Clapper (7787b4)

  55. With just a little google searching for “Kenneth Eugene Foster” you will find Court documents detailing the facts without Foster’s convenient twist. You will find:

    1) They had a gun and decided to go out and rob.
    2) They did in fact go out and rob.
    3) Foster claims they just ended up there. Which is confusing because from his and Brown’s versions which have changed, they were following for a party, weren’t following at all, heading home, or avoiding the police. One of the Justices put it succinctly by saying:

    “The state habeas court was free to take judicial notice of (1) the locations near Crossroads Mall in Northwest San Antonio where the four conspirators committed a pair of armed robberies on the night in question and (2) the location of the LaHood residence in extreme North Central San Antonio. The testimony established the general route taken by Foster as he followed Mary Patrick’s vehicle from an apartment complex off Blanco Road, across Bitters Road, north on San Pedro avenue, and into the neighborhood and the LaHood residence, a distance in excess of five miles. S.F. Trial, Volume XVII, testimony of Mary Patrick, at pp. 499-50 . . . . When viewed by a reasonable finder of fact, the foregoing evidence utterly refutes Dillard’s assertions at Foster’s state habeas hearing that Dillard directed Foster to drive through the residential neighborhood where the LaHood residence was located in an effort to avoid the police while en route to Dillard’s home in extreme North East Bexar County. Assuming the state habeas court had any familiarity whatsoever with the geography of Bexar County, that court would have had no choice but to reject this aspect of Dillard’s testimony at Foster’s state habeas hearing as PATENTLY ABSURD (my capitalization). Given the circuitous nature of the route required to reach the LaHood residence from the location where Foster began following Mary Patrick’s vehicle, only one inference can reasonably be drawn from Foster’s actions: Foster was doing precisely what Steen testified the four co-conspirators were doing…looking for more prey.

    4. Foster turned the car around for no good reason. That reason, too, keeps changing with the times. However, what doesn’t cahnge is that he stopped the car while the shooter got out.
    5. The only surviving witness testified that Brown had a bandana over his face.
    6. After the murder, Foster chose to stop the car. Let him back in. Didn’t see if the victim was alive or give him aid.
    7. Told Brown to hide the gun on several occassions.
    8. Foster claims he had no control. He was the only driver of that car. Is he saying that his friends held a gun to his head too?
    9. The documents reveal that forensic evidence put the barrel of the gun within 6 inches, they say probably closer. That would be 1-5 inches. So much for self defense. Sounds like a gun being pointed at your face as someone demands your money.

    Ultimately, the most damning evidence that it was a robbery is the fact that Foster was the sole driver. That he picked out the cars to be followed. That he did in fact follow those cars for over 5 miles. (A mapquest search has over 8 turns, crossing intersections and entering a secluded neighborhood). He turned the car around and stopped the car. . . Foster claims Brown was a Romeo, that’s why no one paid attention to him when he got out. Is he serious? It was 2 or 3am, they had just committed 2 armed robberies, they had just stalked them for a long time, to get a number? Wow, that’s priceless

    BDB (abbca1)

  56. The persistence of the death penalty is only one way in which the United States stands out from the rest of the Western world on crime and punishment.
    It also has the highest incarceration rate of any country, with more than two million people behind bars. (China, second in the rankings, has an estimated 1.5 million, and Russia just short of 900,000.) The US has just 5 per cent of the world’s population, but 25 per cent of its overall prison population.

    Beldar: “Sigh. Alphie, I didn’t link to any transcripts. The trancripts are what the court reporters type up with the questions and answers. What I quoted from… is just the Fifth Circuit’s written opinion.”

    And the transcripts show us something, don’t they?

    AF (57ec94)

  57. Alphie does this all the time. He comes up with a contrary opinion, isn’t smart enough to defend it, then pollutes the rest of the thread using 2nd grade logic. In this case I find it interesting that he believes Mr Brown when he says he just got out of the car to get Ms Patrick’s phone number, disbelieving Ms Patrick where she says he wore a scarf on his face and had a gun, THEN disbelieves Mr Brown when he said he pulled a gun for self defense against Mr LaHood, and believes Ms Patrick when she said he demanded the car keys and Mr LaHood’s wallet, since that somehow proves Mr Foster was now disengaged from yet another armed robbery as obviously Mr Brown was taking the car and should be considered by himself at this point.
    Rational thinking and logic are not his strengths.

    buzz (9e5c44)

  58. Stories like this one can get Radley forgiven for a lot.

    nk (e3412b)


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