Friday, August 27, 2010

Climate of Terror, Frustration Evident In Robinson

Crime victims, police upset at release of violent offender

Robinson -- Excel Motors is not an impressive place of business. Tucked in a weedy gravel lot at the side of Robinson Road, near the intersection of Moonlight on the
edge of town, it's easy to pass it up without noticing the used car lot.

On August 2, two men arrived in a car and one of them, a black man named Steven Ray Johnson, 41, allegedly approached Mr. RayEasley, owner of the establishment and stabbed and slashed him so badly he spent the next week in the hospital - three of them in intensive care - according to an elderly lady who stands by there when he is not at his place of business.

Mr. Johnson was reportedly trying to wash Mr. Easley's blood from his hands and clothing as they escaped in the car in which they arrived with a bag containing keys to the cars on the lot, having obtained no money and no car in which to escape.

Mr. Easley's assistant said he was not there, that he was out running errands in town and that if he chose to speak with anyone from the media, he would.

She was visibly upset, angered when informed that Mr. Johnson was released from the McLennan County Jail on a personal recognizance bond after a four-day sojourn by Jail
Magistrate Raymond Britton.

"We've been told not to talk with anyone about this because it's an ongoing investigation," she said, referring all inquiries to the Robinson Police Department.

"Besides, it is none of your business," she said, asking The Legendary to leave the property.

At the Robinson Police Department, records clerks were just as adamant. They said they could release no information about the attempted capital murder of Mr. Easley for which Mr. Johnson was charged.

They directed The Legendary to fill out a Public Information request "so we can check into it and see if it's anything we can release."

The lady called for the Lieutenant in charge of Criminal Investigations, a man with a shaved skull and a very reddened face, who shouted through the glass partition of the office that "The matter is part of a continuing investigation and I will not discuss it with you!"

Informed that Mr. Johnson had been released on his personal recognizance in lieu of a $100,000 lien to be levied against his property and chattels if he fails to appear in court, he became visibly upset and shouted even more loudly.

"I'm not going to argue with you!"

The thing is, no one was arguing with him. The Legendary was speaking to him as a neighbor, nothing more, or less.
The awful truth is, all the posturing and anger in the world will not buy any of The People of the State Of Texas one shred of peace and dignity, law and order, safety and security - any more than that which they may be able to provide for themselves.

It is a known fact that police agencies are under no legal obligation to protect the public. Their weapons are for their own protection, no one else's.

One may easily imagine the frustration of a professional police officer seeing two allegedly violent offenders released during the same seven-day period with no exchange of cash money to secure their return.

Jailers released Robinson karate instructor Danny Passmore last Friday. He had been held since late May on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child. District Attorney John Segrest declined to prosecute him in the absence of further physical evidence from the DNA analysis laboratory of the Department of Public Safety at Austin. The DA had declined to present the case to a McLennan County Grand Jury, which triggered the need to release the alleged child rapist due to a delay in prosecution of more than 90 days.

Scrutiny of jail records for Thursday, August 26, show that several others accused of serious felonies were released, either on their personal recognizance by McLennan County judges, or by a letter from the DA declining prosecution during that one 24-hour period.

Goldie Dukes, 39, was released on a personal recognizance bond by 54th District Judge Matt Johnson on charges of evading arrest and robbery after the DA refused charges of robbery, evading arrest, theft of property and interfering with an emergency call.

Corey Hutchinson, 28, was released when the DA refused the charge, after an arrest for violation of a protective order for which he had been held under $50,000 bond.

Delvin Pope was released after the DA refused the charge of failure to stop and render aid. He was arrested and held on $5,000 bond.

Felipe Alvarez, 30, was released by Judge Britton on personal recognizance following an arrest for DWI for which he had been held on $10,000 bond.


  1. Britton is an appointed magistrate who does not answer to the voters. Someone needs to explain this. I read the news story and it was a horrendous attack. The other two were released because the law required something be done. This guy was only in jail for four days.

  2. That you didn't get information from Robinson is not unusual. Most police departments, even small one, have a person designated at the Public Information Officer. That person may not necessarily be the investigator -- and in most cases the PIO won't be one because if they have to go to court, whatever they say might be used by defense attorneys to impeach the credibility or the motives of the investigator. Still, it doesn't seem to turn away a request for information without giving a reason for it. Don't know about Robinson's policy on information, but elsewhere a request for info is generally kicked up the chain of command and a reason is given for not providing it. If most police had their way, all that would be reported would be the arrest, that way juror couldn't be thrown out before being seated because they "read about the case." The Gordian knot of laws and court procedure don't always result in the intent to protect the public -- that's for sure.

  3. I merely asked for the face sheet of the offense report and arrest report, to both of which any member of the public is entitled under the holding of City of Houston v. Houston Chronicle Publishing, Inc. This is a standard crime report and arrest report form and excludes all work product of the investigation, about which the officer is so concerned. Obviously, the only information requested is date and time of offense, weather at the time, name of complainant, location and offense perpetrated.

    I did not ask for witness statements, ballistics reports, evidence reports, fingerprints, blood or body fluid tests, witness statements, addresses or names of witnesses, social security numbers, or the like.

    I was told to fill out a public information request for information that I was granted in 1972 by the 14th District Court of Appeals at Houston.

    This hassle was settled then. I have a letter from Mr. John Segrest, District Attorney of McLennan County in which he concurs and gives his understanding of the matter.

    When I mentioned this, the people at the P.D. subjected me to a tirade about matters which were settled long before the blessed event of their birth.

    Enough is, like, enough.

    It's a cultural thing, Xenophon. I know it takes time to change a cultural perception, but, good grief, Charlie Brown!

    These people would not hear me out as to the opinion of the chief law enforcement officer in this jurisdiction, the Criminal District Attorney. I had a copy of the letter on file in my vehicle. I keep it handy in my travels, you know. It's an excellent memorandum of law, a complete brief on the subject by a person with a high degree of subject matter expertise.

    Why create friction where none, in fact exists? I put it to you, sir. That I do.

    God, deliver me from frightened people.

    Most cordially,
    The Legendary

  4. Yes, still very confused and bewildered at this whole thing! Think of how Mr Easley must feel that the possible perpetrator is still at large. But what is there to do sir? Especially when one has NO control over a situation. I also noticed that the bond set was only $100,000.00 for attempted capitol murder? What is wrong here?

  5. Robinson PD ever get you the info you requested after you made filled out the public information request?

  6. No, sir, they did not.
    The Legendary

  7. I was working on an Attempted Capital Murder case and stopped by the Bruceville-Eddy Police Department. I filed the request last week when the Chief was out. I stopped by there just two working days later and met the chief walking out of the building. He said he never got the request and I thought "here we go". The Chief led me back in the building and pulled the case. He asked what I had requested and then produced the documents, made copies and gave them to me without charge. Took 5 minutes. Talk about public service. After what I have been through this guy deserves a medal! I have never been treated this good.