Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Leave the Money and Run

Remember that time I pointed out that I thought Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg's words about the Alfred Dewayne Brown case seemed to be a little cagey for her?

I believe I said something to the effect of:
Ogg leaving the door open to the idea of re-prosecuting Brown is shocking to me. There's no chance in hell that Ogg doesn't know the facts of the case.  She may not have the time to delve into it as deeply as she feels necessary, but I guarantee you that she has more than a passing familiarity with it. I have no doubt that she has formed an opinion on what needs to be done.
Houston Chronicle reporter Keri Blakinger just published this bombshell of an article, which details that the notorious phone call that is the heart of Brown's alibi may actually not be quite as exculpatory as Brown's legal team would like the general public to believe.

To recap (extremely) briefly, Brown claimed he couldn't have committed the Capital Murder that he was sent to Death Row for because he was at his girlfriend Ericka Dockery's home at the time.  The phone records (withheld by Dan Rizzo, apparently) in question showed a landline phone call from Dockery's home to her place of work.  Dockery claimed that this phone call was Brown calling her from her home.  It was this piece of evidence that got Brown off of Death Row.

That same piece of evidence now may become the thing that puts him back there.

From Blakinger's article:
But now, the county is alleging the phone call doesn't prove Brown's innocence because it was actually a three-way call, showing he was at the scene of the slaying. The shifting interpretation of the old records stems from a new expert analysis that Brown's attorneys have already begun calling into question.
Hmm.  As I mentioned before, Brown's actual innocence may not be quite the well-settled issue his legal team would like the public to believe.

Brown's civil attorney, Cate Edwards had this to say:
"The county's '3-way call' theory is simply incorrect," [Edwards] said, "and is inconsistent with Ms. Ogg's recent actions referring Mr. Rizzo to the Texas State Bar and appointing of independent counsel to determine whether Mr. Brown is actually innocent."
This statement is the legal equivalent of Donald Trump yelling "Wrong!" every time he doesn't like what he's hearing.   In actuality, Ogg's recent actions are perfectly consistent with this information.  Whether the calls were three-way or not, they still should have been turned over to the defense.  Ogg referring Rizzo to the Bar is still the right move on that level.  Her referral of the case to John Raley is also perfectly consistent with having an outside set of eyes look at this situation from a neutral standpoint.

The bottom line is that Alfred Brown got his freedom from Death Row, but ultimately decided that wasn't enough for him.  He wanted compensation.  His highly publicized attempt to get that compensation is what brought this information to light.

In retrospect, he probably should have just left the money and enjoyed his freedom.


Anonymous said...

C'mon Murray, Lisa Falkenberg says his innocent. Isn't that good enough?

Anonymous said...

What beautiful poetic justice. Lisa Falkenberg, the Pulitzer prize winning Chronicle reporter who can't be bothered with researching facts and details and the law before writing the story she has already DECIDED is the truth. How many times has she been told the truth only to disregard it because it doesn't fit with her agenda? How many people does she get to disparage and defame with her lazy, poorly researched articles? How long will the chronicle pretend she brings anything special to their rag? Let us all remember that she rode her Pulitzer "horse" all the way to her award by actually claiming that SHE was the reason for the Harris County grand jury system changing......really, as if that was not already in process and everyone in the courthouse knew it? But why let that small detail stop Falkenberg from taking all the credit. I mean really, a girl from Seguin who still has trouble with "your" and "you're" taking on the details of actual murder cases and trials and transcripts and appeals and the law when she can just whip out an editorial overnight.....Who needs to take the time to read all of it? Who needs to do so much work? Who needs to bother with the TRUTH? Not Falkenberg or her paper.

Anonymous said...

So this would mean: That Team Ogg had evidence to justify retrial but was too lazy to actually evaluate it and; Accused a former ADA of a "Brady" violation for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence, when in fact the evidence was not exculpatory.

Wonder if she will pull Raley off the case now.

Anonymous said...

Falkenberg , the quintessential mediocre left wing hack scribbler.

Anonymous said...

A theory is just that, a theory. It's not evidence and carries about the same weight in a court of law as hearsay. This "bombshell of an article" is nothing more than a sieve that was imagined by someone using poor detective skills. In fact, if the shoe was on the other foot and the defense came up with such, many of you would be laughing out loud and posting comments similar to mine. Bennett had a good post a while back on confirmation bias, and this post and the previous comments are a textbook example.

Anonymous said...

Murray: Here are some quotes from you in March...

Whether or not those phone records conclusively prove Brown's innocence or are something that could still be explained away is an argument that I will leave to someone more familiar with the case than I am. But the records are most definitely exculpatory.

Exculpatory evidence is evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial that exonerates or tends to exonerate the defendant of guilt. It is the opposite of inculpatory evidence, which tends to prove guilt.

The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association today called for Rizzo to be prosecuted for Attempted Murder for seeking the death penalty on Brown.

When you said the "records are most definitely exculpatory" what did you base that on- the mob mentality that had taken over to railroad a career civil servant?

And now it appears that the District Attorney's Office let an accused murderer out of a conviction based on some phone records that seem to show Brown is guilty.

Incompetence at best.

So when is Rizzo getting an apology? When is Falkenberg giving back her Pultizer?

Anonymous said...

6:45 I have a theory that you are an assclown. It is just a theory though.

Murray Newman said...

What part of you thinks I’m backing off any of those statements?

Rizzo neither needs nor deserves an apology. In fact, these records make it all the much worse. If he had played by the rules and turned over inconvenient evidence rather than hiding it, Brown would have never left Deatb Row.

Murray Newman said...


Donnie T. said...

I talked to Lisa Falkkenberg for two hours about my friends murder..I was surprised at how little she knew about the case..I know the facts in this case..There is no doubt Brown is a cold blooded killer..If Raley takes an honest look at this case along with other things that are going on we should be seeing Alfred Brown rearrested pretty soon..I look forward to attending his second trial also..

Anonymous said...

1. The grand jury system needed to change.
2. Rizzo needed to be reported to the bar.
3. Brown deserved a new trial.
4. Brown may still be guilty as hell.

All of these things can be (and are, I think) true.

Anonymous said...

Donnie T--Falkenberg was less concerned with this one case than she was about the grand jury system as a whole. Your friend's case got caught up in it and that sucks. But this particular grand jury was abusive by any definition, and we know that evidence was withheld.

I don't know if the evidence is really of a third party call. I know that we know better than to trust the state on this, because especially now they have egg on their face and need to be scrutinized. I'm not sure if you're a fan of Thomas Jefferson or not (many conservatives are), but he said that the only way he knew of to keep the government honest was to ensure a fair and impartial system of jury trials. We just have to work on that fair and impartial part. If it shows that Brown's guilty, then so be it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:44,

"If any person commit Petty treason, or a husband murder his wife, a parent his child, or a child his parent, he shall suffer death by hanging, and his body be delivered to Anatomists to be dissected.

Whosoever committeth murder by poisoning shall suffer death by poison.

Whosoever committeth murder by way of duel, shall suffer death by hanging; and if he were the challenger, his body, after death, shall be gibbeted. He who removeth it from the gibbet shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and the officer shall see that it be replaced.

Whosoever shall commit murder in any other way shall suffer death by hanging."
--Thomas Jefferson

Anonymous said...

Murray, you and the rest of the buttchugging Aggies on here can GTFO. You're still going to stick to your guns about the comments you posted in March?

I know you think Dan is "incompetent" - hey, not all of us have the privilege of dressing up in white and playing grab-ass for a few semesters in Aggieland - but even the most incompetent of prosecutors would fire a silver bullet like this phone record, if he knew it was available.

This was a capital case, with a mega-file and investigation that accompanies a capital case. Things get lost, slip through the cracks, etc. (unless you're Murray Newman of course). Smallie Biggs should be sending Dan a thank you note for the oversight, as it allowed him a two year reprieve from the clink, and what will likely end up a mere life rental with TDCJ, rather than the needle.

I don't know Dan's acumen in court, but I know his character, and it's way beyond any of you mouth-breathers.

Anonymous said...

Of course comment moderation is enabled. We'll see if my previous post passes Murray's muster...

Murray Newman said...

Anon 7:51 & 7:53,

Are you complaining about my comment moderation because I didn't allow your comments about Lisa Falkenburg being a prostitute and your graphic references to her anatomy? If so, you should probably be on, not here.

Sounds like you've been hitting the sauce tonight. Pretty sure that most sober folks would agree that where I went to college doesn't have a lot to do with this case. Also, I wasn't a Yell Leader. Just FYI.

I'm absolutely sticking to my guns about what I said about Dan. He screwed this up royally. "Smallie Biggs" is what I'm guessing is your rather racist description of Alfred Brown? I agree he didn't deserve to be out. Thank your highly "competent" friend Dan for that.

For future reference, I moderate comments because sometimes douche bags like to take advantage of them. LIke the guy who tried to publish Kelly Siegler's home address and where her kids (then in grade school) attended school. I think you can see I publish comments that disagree with and blast me. I'm sure Dan is proud to have you in his corner.

Anonymous said...

4:53: I'm not seeing how what you posted (although it's all arguably invalidated by the teachings of Jesus--you know, the "Christ" part of "Christian"?) is at odds with what I posted. I said he may be guilty. But I'm sure you want American citizens to get a fair trial, right?

Yours in Christ,


Anonymous said...

Anon 7:51
You are sick and demented.