Thursday, September 18, 2014

Payback, TXGOP style

When you go up against these thugs, you better be well-armed and well-prepared.

Nearly seven months after the 4th Court of Appeals ruled prosecutors had missed the deadline to file a contempt claim against local defense attorney Michael McCrum, the decision was reversed Wednesday by Texas' highest court for criminal matters.

The Court of Criminal Appeals opinion again opens the possibility that McCrum — currently serving as special prosecutor in the case against Gov. Rick Perry, who is also accused of professional misconduct — could spend up to six months in jail if found in contempt of court.

McCrum has denied any wrongdoing.

The Bexar County district attorney's office filed the contempt motion against McCrum in January, several months after a trial in which his client, Taylor Rae Rosenbusch, was convicted of intoxication manslaughter.

Prosecutors alleged McCrum had instructed Melanie Little, a punishment-phase witness who had served as Rosenbusch's addiction counselor, to “get lost for awhile,” turn off her cellphone and take a long lunch to avoid coming back to testify.

He was also accused in court documents of having told her “the DA was out for blood” and “wanted Taylor to be put away for a long time.”

A contempt hearing began in January, but it was halted after McCrum's attorneys took the case to the San Antonio-based 4th Court of Appeals, arguing that the state missed its deadline. The 4th Court agreed, ruling in February that the state was five days late.

The article goes on to detail some of the long-standing grievances between McCrum and the Bexar County DA's office.  Bad blood indeed.

The Fourth Court of Appeals, noteworthy for its seven women justices -- several are Latina -- has jurisdiction over thirty-two Central and South Texas counties, and the evidence suggests that it is a good mix of Democrats and Republicans.  The Court of Criminal Appeals is an entirely different kettle of (Republican extremist) fish.  Presiding judge Sharon "Killer" Keller is someone I've long blogged about; she has her own ethical challengesThree of the nine seats on that court are on your November ballot, and one of the Republican candidates, Bert Richardson, is the man who appointed McCrum special prosecutor.

That could make for some awkward moments next year in the CCA building.

I'd like to see more develop out of this investigation or hearing or whatever it may be called as it moves forward, but I expect McCrum and his counsel to be ready and able to defend his integrity, should the claims against him proceed.

I just don't think Rick Perry's indictments are going away so easily.

Update: More from Texas Lawyer.

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