MISTRIAL IN HIGH PROFILE FELONY INDECENCY WITH A CHILD CASE
I was hired about six months ago to represent a young medical doctor who was subpoenaed to testify as a witness at the grand jury. My client did not know whether she was the subject of the grand jury, a.k.a. the potential defendant. She has not (yet) been indicted, but a mistrial was granted in the case she ended up testifying in.
My client had several conversations with the persecutor and her investigators prior to hiring me. Of course, Team Texas did not allow my client much time to prepare for the meetings. Of course Team Texas did not allow her to review every relevant document during the meetings. Of course I told my client to STOP TALKING once I was hired
Needless to say, I called the prosecutor who had been in communication with my client. I had heard about the persecutor before. I had seen her in action. She is notorious for being dirty, deceptive, rude, abrasive, and unethical. Her name: Tiffany Johnson. So I call Madam Johnson to let her know that my client had hired me as her attorney. Johnson raised her voice in a threatening manner and told me that my client has “no right to an attorney,” that “she doesn’t need an attorney,” that having an attorney will do her no good. She was making offensive, bold-faced lies to an attorney.
All I wanted to do was figure out if my client was the subject of the grand jury investigation. Do you think she would tell me? Hell-to-the-NO! I think during the next conversation I told the persecutor that my client would testify and further assist if she was granted immunity. She gives a fair response that immunity could only be granted by the elected district attorney. Fair Enough.
My client is eventually subpoenaed to testify at the grand jury. The dilemma you have as a criminal defense attorney is whether you allow your client to testify, or whether you direct him to “plead the fifth.” Criminal defense attorneys consider directing their clients to “plead the fifth” when the client may be criminally liable for some conduct. You may be wondering what it means to “plead the fifth.” This statement refers to the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Fifth Amendment prevents a person from making incriminating comments – that is – saying anything that will cause them to get in trouble and be used against them in a criminal case.
After much thought, reflection, and conversations with mentors, we wrote a statement that truthfully told the story of what happened. The persecutor did not want it, even though I had it with me in the grand jury lobby.
My client ended up not testifying before the grand jury. The defendant was indicted. He was charged with the second degree felony crime of indecency with a child. My client’s employer hired her another attorney a short time later.
Fast forward to trial >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
This case was tried by Stanley Shneider and Casie Gotro for the defense. These are two of the best attorneys in the City, State, and probably the Country. I was not able to see all of the trial, hell, it lasted 11 days, but I did see lots of it. For the most part it was a very fair trial with few objections and the correct rulings from the judge, the Honorable Stacie Bond of the 176th District Court of Harris County, Texas.
The first prosecutor for the state gave a pretty good closing. It had me concerned. She played on the reptile in each of our minds – the desire to survive – by talking about how the defendant was basically THE PERFECT pedophile. Why? Because he was top doctor in the pediatric hospital and therefore everyone was on his side, respected him, would not question him, and he had complete—unrestricted access to every child in the hospital. Scary stuff, right?
Casie Gotro then stood up and gave a rousing closing argument. She was passionate and you could tell that she was just as offended as her client was, but, unlike the persecutor, it did not come off in a tasteless manner. Maybe it is defense attorney bias, but there was just something about her closing that was excellent.
Then Stan Shneider does his closing. He did a remarkable job of personalizing his client and using the entire courtroom. The theme of his part of the closing was evidence shaping – how the government only presented the evidence that was convenient to them, instead of all the evidence available to them, and molded it –deceptively—to their advantage.
The persecutor stands up and starts screeching about how my client and the nurse were bad medical professionals, and how unprofessional they were, but it was kind of common and that’s why the jury needs to believe the government’s witness who works for the government.
The persecutor was 3 minutes over when she implies at worse and states at best that the defendant, his attorney, and the defendant’s many supporters were so dismissive of the complainant’s allegations because he is a black boy and that black people don’t know how to raise a family or be mothers. That was not the case at all. I covered my mouth while all of the supporters, 10 to 15, made audible gasps and sounds. Stan makes an objection, gets an instruction and motions for a mistrial. The judge then orders the supporters to be quiet or they will be escorted to jail.
The prosecutor then pauses, lifts her hands, points the audience and says “see what the victim is up against.” I have no doubt that the POS persecutor was trying her best to raise a reaction and get one of the defendant’s supporters sent to jail… probably his wife. Unlike persecutor, the supporters maintained control of their emotions.
Stan then objected to improper argument. Sustained. Instruction. Granted.
L O N G P A U S E
Motion for Mistrial
L O N G P A U S E
Gasps. OHHHH to see the look on the persecutor’s face. She looked like she just took a big ass messy nasty shit in her underwear. IT WAS GREAT. And her trial partner, oh she looked pissed.
I don’t think Stand wanted to object to the prosecutor’s last statement, she was five minutes over her time and just a few words from ending. But he had too. He had to preserve the record, even if it meant a not guilty verdict that – to me – looked likely was just hours, if not minutes, away.
Seeing him smoke a stogie outside the courthouse with several of the jurors, I’m can only guess he learned how close he was to getting a huge not guilty verdict for a local hero.
But really, Persecutor, why did you sit on a case – DO NOTHING – for 14 months and allow the good doctor to continue practicing medicine, if he was public enemy number one, a pervert pedophile molesting children?
My question to you, dear reader, is this: What did your attorney do in his free time this week? Did he watch two of the best lawyers around try a high profile case? I think not.
Cory J. Roth
Cory Roth Law Office
4306 Yoakum Boulevard, Suite 240
Houston, Texas 77006
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