The courts in McLennan County, Texas are the Loch Ness of cesspools. The blatant collusion between police, prosecutors and judges makes even the jaws of crusty, old cynics drop. The cynicism of the politicians who define “justice” deep in the heart of Texas would make an old whore weep. And just when you think things can’t get any more surreal a monster emerges from the bottomless stench and eats another victim.
Looking at Waco is like looking at whatever you see after you wash down about 2000 mikes of acid with a couple of quarts of cheap mescal and a couple of hits of nitrous – just to take the edge off. No wonder CNN refuses to look. No wonder the ACLU of Texas refuses to look. It is so much easier to pretend that what is really wrong with America is a few dozen statues of Robert E. Lee.
Yesterday the monster who lives in Loch McLennan raised its head and grinned at Cassie Lynn Gotro. Gotro is the tough talking lawyer, idealistic admirer of Gerry Spence, occasional, reluctant television celebrity and 2014 winner of the Charles Butts Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award who represents a known enemy of the cesspool named Christopher Jacob Carrizal.
Cesspool v. Carrizal
Yesterday, the Loch McLennan monster became annoyed that Gotro had missed a preliminary hearing in the matter of the Cesspool versus Carrizal. Carrizal is scheduled to get his fair trial September 11 – although the official docket says his trial will begin September 12 – and preliminary jury selection is scheduled to begin this Friday.
Prosecutors have been saying in loud, clear voices for the last year that they want to “do” Carrizal first because assistant prosecutor Michael Jarrett wanted “one he could win.” And what could be a nobler cause than feeding Jarrett’s ego – especially after all those rude things people said about his brain after that time he was playing with a Glock 22 in a “perfectly safe manner” and the damned thing just went off and took out a courthouse window. That clearly wasn’t Jarrett being an idiot. That was clearly just another example of what crappy guns Glock makes.
This week, Carrizal is charged with “directing activities of a criminal street gang,” “engaging in organized criminal activity with an underlying offense of murder,” and “engaging in organized criminal activity with an underlying offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.” All that amounts to life in prison.
Next week he may be indicted for assassinating President Kennedy. The week after that? Who knows. What difference does it make? Carrizal is what the Red Chinese call an “objective enemy.” He is an enemy because it is his turn.
Who’s A Handsome Judge
Gotro emailed the court that she couldn’t attend yesterday’s hearing because she was busy and then she filed a motion to postpone Carrizal’s trial.
Her motion to continue the trial complained that she couldn’t effectively defend her client because “ the state continues to deny the defense access to records and material evidence.” The ideal Texas, the Texas that Texas sees in the mirror every morning when it shaves, has had something called the Michael Morton Act since 2014. The idea of that is that every criminal case should have an open evidence file: Which means that when the prosecution has evidence the defense should have immediate access to that evidence.
The judge in the case, a Bad Santa impersonator named Ralph T. Strother, threatened to revoke Carrizal’s bail if he and Gotro aren’t in his courtroom tomorrow morning. The he denied her motion for a stay. And then he looked into the dark, still waters of Loch McLennan and grinned at the fair and wise justice he saw reflected there.