Friday, May 15, 2009

Richard Wintory

This is a little bit outside of our CJC realm, but a notable prosecutor and friend to many of us in Harris County, needs the help of anyone who can possibly add a little bit of assistance.

Richard Wintory was a high profile prosecutor with the Oklahoma County District Attorneys Office (Oklahoma City) for quite a while. He tried a lot of major cases. At one point in his career, he headed up a section out of the Oklahoma Governors Office targeting highway drug interdiction. He was very active in the National District Attorneys Association and involved in committees as well as a regular lecturer at NDAA conferences and the National College.

In 2002, Richard left the Oklahoma County D.A.'s office after being recruited by the District Attorney of Pima County(Tuscon) Arizona to work in that office. He was assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) prosecutor trying major drug cases. He was awarded Prosecutor of the Year by the Arizona Narcotics Officers Association. He was also awarded Arizona Prosecutor of the Year by the Arizona Bar Association.

Besides being one heck of a prosecutor, he is also a gifted instructor. Richard has lectured prosecutors all over the country. He has spoken at the Harris County District Attorneys Office as well as the Texas District Attorneys Association. He also regularly teaches police officers at the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy in Mississippi and the Midwestern Counterdrug Training Center in Des Moines Iowa.

After Richard moved to Tuscon he married Lisa, the love of his life. They met in Oklahoma City and she followed Richard to Arizona. Lisa and Richard welcomed their first and only child, Michael three years ago. Sadly, two weeks after his birth, Lisa had a heart attack that resulted in her total disability. Lisa suffered brain damage that left her in a near vegetative state. Richard has done everything possible to make her life as comfortable as possible. She is now living at their home in Tuscon and Richard is providing 24 hour professional care while he continues to prosecute HITDA cases and teach prosecutors and police officers. His life is difficult but you will never hear him tell you that.

Just when you would think that no more bad things could happen to Richard, on Sunday, while trying to retrieve Michael's balloon that got hung up in a ceiling fan, Richard fell from a ladder and struck his head on the floor. While still conscious but knowing that the blow was serious, he drove himself to the hospital. There they discovered a subdural hematoma and took him directly to surgery. While the doctors say that they believe that the surgery was successful and that Richard is doing reasonably well, they do not know what, if any, permanent damage may have occurred. Richard has been kept in a drug induced coma and, as of today, is not moving the left side of his body.

In addition to the concern for Richard and Lisa, there is a financial issue too. Richard needed his salary and the extra money that he made doing lectures around the country to pay for the costs of care for Lisa. It will be quite some time before Richard is teach again. And, we don't know how long he will be away from his ob and how long that job will wait on his return.

Richard needs our help, and he needs it now.

So here’s something specific that you can do to reach out and help Richard.

A special bank account was set up in 2006 to help Richard with the many extraordinary expenses he regularly incurs for Lisa’s care, and many of you have contributed to it. That account is still open and is at Wells Fargo Bank, 6270 N. Oracle Road, Tucson AZ 85704, account # 3826-7315-68. What Richard needs more than anything right now is a financial cushion to help him and his family make it through that hideous 7 week gap where he will not be earning any money.

If you have it in your heart to open up your wallet, it would be very deeply appreciated.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I have attended numerous Wintory seminars with the TDCAA and NDAA over the years.

I'll send a donation today. Thanks again for letting us know.

Tex

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Good to hear from you, Tex.

I actually owe Ted Wilson a big thanks for pretty much writing Richard's biography for me.

One of the best thing about the criminal law community is that we do help each other on both sides of the Bar, when in need. I hope this proves to be no exception.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to Harris County Criminal Juctice Center for putting out this story on Richard. He and Lisa are loved by so many people in so many places. Here in Oklahoma i know my heart aches for a friend i have known since 1974 and i challenge everyone connected with the Wintory's here in Oklahoma to do what they can to help. Paula Jackson

Anonymous said...

Richard was to present at our conference in Nebraska next week. We have worked with Richard for many years and think the world of him. We are praying hard for Richard, Lisa and Michael. We will be asking for donations to assist in their time of need from the many attendees at our training.

Joe Jeanette
U.S. Attorney's Office
Nebraska

Anonymous said...

Richard is a amazing person. He needs our help and our prayers.

Thanks for letting us know.

klista said...

Thanks for your post. I've sent out messages from your site to old classmates from Oklahoma. Do you have any updates on his condition? If so, will you post them?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

KLISTA,

This is the latest update I have on Richard:

>Richard was taken off the ventilator yesterday, breathing on his own now.
>He has demonstrated a slight grip with his left hand and remains able
>to move the toes on his left foot. According to Michael, his dad, this
>is encouraging news as his left side remains mostly paralyzed.
>
>Also, he is talking in whispers.
>
>He was assessed yesterday be a speech therapist. A physical therapist
>has not seen him as yet.
>
>He is still receiving morphine to control pain in his neck, shoulders, etc.

klista said...

Thanks for the update, Please keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

Do you have an update on how Richard is doing this week?

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if anyone has heard how Richard was doing?

Anonymous said...

I understand Richard is doing much better now and receiving out- patient physical therapy...