Tag: Not Guilty

Not guilty

Delivery of A Controlled Substance [Lamar County, TX]

Criminal Charge: Delivery of Controlled Substance [Enhanced to Habitual Offender Status]
Case: State of Texas v. Jerry Crabb [Cause 25375]
Court: [Lamar County] [2013]
Not Guilty

Charged with delivery of a controlled substance, this third degree felony, which normally carries a sentencing range of 2-10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections, was enhanced to a first degree felony carrying a range of 25 years to life. The State offered Mr. Crabb 12 years in the penitentiary early in the case, then raised the offer to 18 years. He rejected both offers.

Paris, TX police officers set up a “controlled buy” with a snitch in the snitch’s home. They arranged two cameras to capture the buy, then they told the snitch to call Mr. Crabb hoping he would bring drugs to the home. The snitch did call someone but, while the testifying officer conceded the call was recorded, the prosecutor didn’t play that recording at trial; Mr. Crabb did arrive at the home some time later in the company of an unidentified man.

The three officers hid in the home while the snitch met the two men in his kitchen. The cameras captured all three men but there was no video of an actual drug sale. When Mr. Crabb and the man left, the officers let them go – no arrest was made. They claimed about 13 grams of methamphetamine were left behind, and they claimed they had thoroughly searched the home for drugs beforehand and none were on the property.

The case depended on the credibility of the snitch – a convicted drug user – to persuade the jury Mr. Crabb sold him the meth. At trial, Haslam argued that the snitch called the unidentified man, his own dealer, rather than Mr. Crabb because he knew Mr. Crabb was not a dealer. He also knew, however, his dealer and Mr. Crabb worked a legitimate day job together and that the dealer would have to get a ride to the home. Haslam argued this is why the snitch steered the alleged buy away from the cameras so strategically placed by the three experienced officers: the snitch knew Crabb was not going to be selling him the drugs.

The jury returned a NOT GUILTY verdict in 50 minutes.

Not guilty

Evading Arrest and Detention [Lamar County, TX]

Criminal Charge: Evading Arrest / Detention
Case: State of Texas v. Damien Garcia, Cause 60754
Court: Lamar County, 2013
Result: Not Guilty


Mr. Garcia was charged with evading arrest or detention under the following facts. Two Paris, TX police officers heard a dispatch that an anonymous pedestrian hailed down another police car and reported an altercation at a convenience store involving a light-skinned male with red hair who was “possibly” wielding a gun.

The officers rushed to the scene. On arrival, the observed Mr. Garcia – who is neither light-skinned nor red-headed – in a calm discussion with the red-headed young man. The officers jumped from their cars barking orders to the young men; Mr. Garcia fled the scene on foot and was eventually captured.

At jury trial, one of the officers testified he was riding along with a new officer to train him. Remarkably, he testified that Mr. Garcia admitted at the police station that he was indeed involved in an altercation at the scene…a fact that was utterly omitted from each cop’s report. Further, even though the police station is full of cameras and audio equipment, they both testified the alleged confession was not captured on video. When Haslam challenged this testimony coming from an officer delegated the task of training cops how to do their work, the trainer meekly acknowledged his failure to include the “confession” in his report was an “oversight”. Indeed.

Haslam argued to the jury that the “confession” wasn’t taped because it never happened, and that in any event state and federal law require “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that the suspect has, is or soon will commit a crime before a cop can force a citizen to stop. Here, he argued, the only information these cops had was that the red-headed man was involved in a fight. They observed Mr. Garcia in a calm discussion with him. In short, there was absolutely zero reasonable, articulable suspicion that Mr. Garcia was involved in any criminal activity.

The jury agreed that this information was legally insufficient to detain Mr. Garcia and he was not legally obligated to listen to the police officers’ command that he stop. Their NOT GUILTY verdict was returned in 45 minutes.

Interestingly, that red-headed young man walked away unapprehended – ever: while the Paris Police Department was so busy chasing down Mr. Garcia’s refusal to submit to their illegal arrest, the man about whom reasonable, articulable suspicion DID exist simply walked…away.