Monday, February 18, 2013

Judge, seasoned prosecutor stunned by Waco police 'I have never seen a situation quite like this...'

DA gigs daily paper account as 'inaccurate, misleading'

District Attorney Abel Reyna
Waco – Seven defendants walked free of an indictment for engaging in organized crime because the Waco police refused to tell the prosecutors the names of confidential informants in the case.

Said State Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother, “...in my legal career I have never seen a situation quite like this,” as he ordered legal staff and the top brass of the Waco Police Department to come to a decision whether to release the information to prosecutors by 5 p.m. on Monday.

The judge answered the objections of the prosecutor this way.

I know, and that's the issue I'm about to address,” he told First Assistant Prosecutor Michael Jarrett as he ruled that a defense attorney representing one of the defendants cannot know the name of the confidential informants. “That certainty is the rule, and I have not been able to find a single case that ever dealt with that...”

He further noted that in his career as a criminal prosecutor, “When I stepped into the courtroom, I always wanted to know everything there was to know.”


Five other defendants are all charged on the same Waco police case number involving extortion of motor vehicles from persons presumably involved as customers in drug sales.

Mr.Maddison has figured in social media news stories lately in which hehas vigorously defended his innocence against allegations that he wasinvolved in an arson attack on a Bosqueville woman named Ashley DawnRogers and her three children that cost her life and those of two ofher children. (click here for a previous report)

A third child was rescued by a neighbor as the fire suddenly engulfed the trailer house located on N. 18th Street near the Brazos River. Reported at 6:30 p.m. on a chill February night in 2012, the dwelling was totally involved in flames when firefighters arrived only minutes later.

I'm not even sure the statute or the rules of evidence, whether the privilege exists,” the judge added in regard to withholding the names from the prosecution. He did note, however, that prosecutors have the right to decline prosecution under the indictments if they so choose.

Though the informants provided information, none of it concerned participation in providing information that dealt with the legality of providing the information, or that dealt with the legality of obtaining the evidence, the judge said, according to a court reporter's transcript reprinted on District Attorney Abel Reyna's Facebook page.

Mr. Reyna leveled harsh criticism at Waco Tribune-Herald courthouse reporter Tommy Witherspoon's account of the hearing, which was held last Friday. In that hearing, an attorney for the City of Waco argued that a possible leak in the DA's office caused the police to object to release of the names of the informants. Mr. Reyna responded by noting on his Facebook page:

The newspaper staff, “in an effort to sell papers, has reported inaccurate and misleading information about the McLennan County District Attorney's office and an implied 'leak' in our office. I can assure everyone that there is no 'leak' in our office. The Waco Trib has taken an outdated issue and failed to report it accurately, and worse, withheld pertinent information to the story. This can hardly be considered journalism...”

He noted that the employee who was accused of leaking information resigned her position last spring over an unrelated matter.

9 comments:

  1. I thought they didn't have to disclose their CI's..

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  2. The judge ruled that the prosecutor and the judge must be informed of the identity of confidential informants, but the defendant and the defense attorney are not allowed to know who gave the investigators their confidential information. - The Legendary

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  3. Why does this POS habitual criminal keep walking out. Next time lets hope he goes in for the right thing and never comes out again :)

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  4. What is wrong with the justice system???? Do your jobs and put the criminals where they belong. They shouldn't be let out for snitching and helping their case. Yes we need informants they help put the crack heads behind bars but then the crackheads become informants and that's where the problem lies.

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  5. According to the inmate list, this story may be inaccurate. Delvin Maddison and Wendi Baskin are both still in jail on the same case number, charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Ms. Baskin has two additional cases involving drugs - methamphetamines - and is subject to placement of surety bonds to be released on those charges. The inaccuracy in this story is that neither of them have necessarily "walked free," as stated in the article. I think I owe my readers an update on this issue. - The Legendary

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  6. Good! So glad to hear!! I hope they sit there until whatever else they have done say in the last year comes and bites them in the ass.or is ur ass to sore delvin?????.-Happy Camper

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  7. Now, then, let's not get carried away. I would appreciate it if this forum is not misused as a venue to bullyrag or hoo-raw the inmates. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Any comments are welcome, but I feel it's unacceptable to menace or belittle these people simply because they have been charged with a crime. What makes this all newsworthy to me is that it's so terribly unusual, to air these accusations in so public a fashion. The conflict itself is nothing new. That's as common as can be, but the public airing of it is as new as tomorrow's sunrise. I think the judge is spot on when he says he wishes the prosecution and defense, police and other authorities would simply sit down and talk their differences out the way normal, civil professionals are accustomed. But, then, there is the possibility that this situation is out of control. I remind one and all that there are many murders alleged, that related items from the past figure in this ongoing saga of woe. It's kind of a Yoknapatawpha tale that rambles all over the big woods, the thickets and the roads and winds up back in the same spot, at the courthouse and the jail house. Entirely regrettable, but there it is. It's scary. "Yes, it is," saith the Texas Ranger. Very. - The Legendary

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  8. What is a surety of bond? They don't have a bond what does that mean? I agree the last comment although funny not needed this is a very confusing situation..

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