On Somervell County Court's Case Against Lonnie Walsh (April 24, 2017)


 

On Somervell County Court's Case Against Lonnie Walsh (April 24, 2017)
 


19 July 2017 at 7:00:31 AM
salon

I went yesterday to hear Walsh's jury trial, that he requested. First time I have ever been to a Somervell County Court (aside, of course, from Somervell County Commissioners Court) and was interested not only to hear Walsh's case argued from both sides (State of Texas represented by Andy Lucas), but also to see the process of jury selection, and, later, after-jury-deliberations.

Jury selection started about 9:00 am, with, first, people who had reasons to be excused from jury duty, and second, Voir Dire, in which the potential jurists were asked questions such as     Incidentally, the court had new automated viewing screens and projectors, used to display a power point of the process. As a side note, on misdemeanor cases, there are 6 persons selected to be on a jury, rather than 12. After the jury was selected, Judge Danny Chambers gave instructions intended to actively limit or stop conversations about the ongoing trial. 

Lonnie Walsh had two charges against him, shown above, which originally happened on May 27, 2016. One was Failure to identify, the other was Resisting Arrest. Lucas called 3 witnesses to testify, Janna Reynolds, Mike Reynolds (who was a deputy at the time) and Eric Bailey.Before that testimony, Walsh heard the charges against him. The first, which was that Walsh refused to give identifying information to peace officer Mike Reynolds. Walsh pled not guilty. The second was that Walsh intentionally prevented Deputy Mike Reynolds from arresting him by using force against said police officer. He again pled not guilty. 

Below is a partial rough transcript of the trial. 

Opening Statement by Lucas: Janna Reynolds , while working at the County Extension office, defendant and his girlfriend had entered and asked questions. She said Walsh appeared agitated, girlfriend left to the car, and he followed after asking to be contacted if information regarding his question came up, girlfriend's contact info. Janna looked out the window, through blinds, and said she saw Walsh strike the GF in the head. She then called her husband Deputy Mike Reynolds. Reynolds go the report from his wife, including description of vehicle, new where GF lived. Mike Reynolds sent to address, didn't find but spotted vehicle on the side of the road. Approached, asked to identify. Walsh refused to give name  address, combative, officers coudl not identify. Walsh was placed under arrest. Walsh tensed up, refused to cooperate with arrest. With help of Deputy Bailey was able to arrest. Walsh continued not to identify himself. Officer Bailey had a car video rolling. 

Lawrence (attorney for Walsh). Failure to ID section A has nothing about detaining or investigating. Walsh was not under arrest at that time. Video - 2 vehicles on scene, from the rear. Car closest (2nd video) was corrupted 

Janna Reynolds, witness: Witness list not provided, Lawrence objected, and issued a running objection. At the extension office on Texas drive, Walsh and GF were looking for a list of local organic producers. Walsh's demeanor was short, because the ext office didn't have the info. GF walked out first Walsh stayed to provide info, seemed pretty frustrated over ext not able to provide info. Reynolds window in front of desk, she heard skidding and then saw the car stopped. Both had turned to look at the back of the seat. Walsh very animated, flailing arms began to strike  on side of head with his fists. Backed up, hit the fence and left the parking lot. Blinds on windows, Reynolds write down car description. (I looked over at the GF, who was in court, and she was saying "BS" and shaking her head no) Reynolds called her husband on her call phone. Told him where GF lived, said Walsh physically assaulted GF. 

Lawrence: This is not a trial for assault so far as you know. No firsthand knowledge of ID or resisted arrest. Did not call 911 or dispatch at any time. Looking through blinds into a car window. 

Janna excused. 

Eric Bailey, witness. Was on duty with Deputy Reynolds. Reynolds said assault had taken place at ag ext agent. Did the licence plate through dispatch. No one at GF when they got there, turned south on 56, vehicle on side of road. Approached and asked what had brought him there. Said they were looking at rocks on the side of the road. Reynolds arrived before he did. Reynolds asked GF about it, and if an assault had taken place. She denied it took place.Asked Walsh for ID, he said he wasn't giving it to him, said he didn't have to. Reynolds got ID from GF. Reynolds said you have to ID yourself (to Walsh) Walsh's demeanor was very defensive. Never provided him an ID, told Reynolds that if we had a complaint an assault had occurred he wanted to see it in writing. Reynolds placed him under arrest. He didn't see any injuries. (ID for protective orders, warrants for arrest). Defendant was not cooperating in any way. Reynolds told Walsh to go to the front of the car, he kept walking to the side. Grabbed his arms, he was resisting, took both deputies. Walsh said "She has my identification". GF said "Don't fight them, just give them your name". Reynolds didn't recall how he was identified. 

Lawrence: Hearsay, assault, lists charge on video for which he is not on trial today. 

Showed video from Bailey's car. Reynolds was corrupted and not shown. 

Lawrence: Didn't come through dispatch, came to Reynolds directly. Lights were not flashing. Not a traffic stop. Reynolds talked to GF first, then you asked for ID. GF had already said several times nothing happened. Didn't tell him he was under investigation for assault before asking for ID. After arrest, told Reynolds where to get his ID (on the video) At time of arrest, failure and assault. 

Break for lunch

Mike Reynolds,witness. Received call from wife, Janna said she's witnessed an assault in parking lot. Man and woman came in, woman went back out, heard a skid, heard yelling, woman's arms up, trying to block, said left hand backsided, hit the fence when backing up. Told lady's name, county road, license plate. Called dispatch to tell LP to get address to do welfare check. Bailey with me, but in separate vehicles.Pretty detailed description, back to town, but keeping an eye out for vehicle, stopped to continue welfare check. My concern for her safety, she seemed agitated, nothign had happened, fight a lot, 4 years trying to get him out. Some bruising on right arm. Couldn't see marks on her head, asked Bailey to identify the male subject. He refused to tell me.. "Doesn't have to". He said he had to see the complaint in writing. No info, important in domestic situations to stop and prevent further violence, cannot just say okay and leave. He coudl have had a protective order; probable cause to believe there was an assault. "If you don't give me your ID, you're going to jail". After handcuffed and in vehicle, gave his name, GF produced ID. Possible might not have gotten so far if he'd given ID. 

Lawrence: Car video- attempted to record. Watchable? "Not very good, sections missing, not a very good video, I can tell you that". Stuck her arms up, Ran ID, no protective order, no warrants. "Didn't consider this a traffic stop"

The defense rests

Closing arguments. Lucas: Not the crime of the century and may have gone differently if he'd handed his ID. Reynolds no option but to put him in custody, 3 witnesses, video. Lawrence: Technicality. Failure to iD only section A, is intentionally after arrest. Refused prior. However, immediately after the arrest, he said "She has my ID". Did not commit the crime of failure to ID. Technically, Walsh did not commit that crime. Bad attitude alone is not a crime. Resisting arrest? Did he resist? Did he have weak legs because he had hernia surgery? No frontrow seat video. Govt hasn't gotten past burdon of proving past a reasonable doubt. Just hold the govt to what the law requires.  Lucas: What you saw in the video, he does not give Reynolds his name. I don't know, she may have it. He was combative during this whole stop.

Jury went out to deliberate, wanted to see video again. 

Verdict: Not guilty of Failure to identify, Guilty of resisting arrest. 

Punishment: Confined 12 mos, fine of $1000, suspended sentence with community service and pay the fine assessed over 18 months. (Also includes $297 court costs, $40 probation fee and $10 crimestoppers)

 

I went yesterday to hear Walsh's jury trial, that he requested. First time I have ever been to a Somervell County Court (aside, of course, from Somervell County Commissioners Court) and was interested not only to hear Walsh's case argued from both sides (State of Texas represented by Andy Lucas), but also to see the process of jury selection, and, later, after-jury-deliberations.

Jury selection started about 9:00 am, with, first, people who had reasons to be excused from jury duty, and second, Voir Dire, in which the potential jurists were asked questions such as     Incidentally, the court had new automated viewing screens and projectors, used to display a power point of the process. As a side note, on misdemeanor cases, there are 6 persons selected to be on a jury, rather than 12. After the jury was selected, Judge Danny Chambers gave instructions intended to actively limit or stop conversations about the ongoing trial. 

Lonnie Walsh had two charges against him, shown above, which originally happened on May 27, 2016. One was Failure to identify, the other was Resisting Arrest. Lucas called 3 witnesses to testify, Janna Reynolds, Mike Reynolds (who was a deputy at the time) and Eric Bailey.Before that testimony, Walsh heard the charges against him. The first, which was that Walsh refused to give identifying information to peace officer Mike Reynolds. Walsh pled not guilty. The second was that Walsh intentionally prevented Deputy Mike Reynolds from arresting him by using force against said police officer. He again pled not guilty. 

Below is a partial rough transcript of the trial. 

Opening Statement by Lucas: Janna Reynolds , while working at the County Extension office, defendant and his girlfriend had entered and asked questions. She said Walsh appeared agitated, girlfriend left to the car, and he followed after asking to be contacted if information regarding his question came up, girlfriend's contact info. Janna looked out the window, through blinds, and said she saw Walsh strike the GF in the head. She then called her husband Deputy Mike Reynolds. Reynolds go the report from his wife, including description of vehicle, new where GF lived. Mike Reynolds sent to address, didn't find but spotted vehicle on the side of the road. Approached, asked to identify. Walsh refused to give name  address, combative, officers coudl not identify. Walsh was placed under arrest. Walsh tensed up, refused to cooperate with arrest. With help of Deputy Bailey was able to arrest. Walsh continued not to identify himself. Officer Bailey had a car video rolling. 

Lawrence (attorney for Walsh). Failure to ID section A has nothing about detaining or investigating. Walsh was not under arrest at that time. Video - 2 vehicles on scene, from the rear. Car closest (2nd video) was corrupted 

Janna Reynolds, witness: Witness list not provided, Lawrence objected, and issued a running objection. At the extension office on Texas drive, Walsh and GF were looking for a list of local organic producers. Walsh's demeanor was short, because the ext office didn't have the info. GF walked out first Walsh stayed to provide info, seemed pretty frustrated over ext not able to provide info. Reynolds window in front of desk, she heard skidding and then saw the car stopped. Both had turned to look at the back of the seat. Walsh very animated, flailing arms began to strike  on side of head with his fists. Backed up, hit the fence and left the parking lot. Blinds on windows, Reynolds write down car description. (I looked over at the GF, who was in court, and she was saying "BS" and shaking her head no) Reynolds called her husband on her call phone. Told him where GF lived, said Walsh physically assaulted GF. 

Lawrence: This is not a trial for assault so far as you know. No firsthand knowledge of ID or resisted arrest. Did not call 911 or dispatch at any time. Looking through blinds into a car window. 

Janna excused. 

Eric Bailey, witness. Was on duty with Deputy Reynolds. Reynolds said assault had taken place at ag ext agent. Did the licence plate through dispatch. No one at GF when they got there, turned south on 56, vehicle on side of road. Approached and asked what had brought him there. Said they were looking at rocks on the side of the road. Reynolds arrived before he did. Reynolds asked GF about it, and if an assault had taken place. She denied it took place.Asked Walsh for ID, he said he wasn't giving it to him, said he didn't have to. Reynolds got ID from GF. Reynolds said you have to ID yourself (to Walsh) Walsh's demeanor was very defensive. Never provided him an ID, told Reynolds that if we had a complaint an assault had occurred he wanted to see it in writing. Reynolds placed him under arrest. He didn't see any injuries. (ID for protective orders, warrants for arrest). Defendant was not cooperating in any way. Reynolds told Walsh to go to the front of the car, he kept walking to the side. Grabbed his arms, he was resisting, took both deputies. Walsh said "She has my identification". GF said "Don't fight them, just give them your name". Reynolds didn't recall how he was identified. 

Lawrence: Hearsay, assault, lists charge on video for which he is not on trial today. 

Showed video from Bailey's car. Reynolds was corrupted and not shown. 

Lawrence: Didn't come through dispatch, came to Reynolds directly. Lights were not flashing. Not a traffic stop. Reynolds talked to GF first, then you asked for ID. GF had already said several times nothing happened. Didn't tell him he was under investigation for assault before asking for ID. After arrest, told Reynolds where to get his ID (on the video) At time of arrest, failure and assault. 

Break for lunch

Mike Reynolds,witness. Received call from wife, Janna said she's witnessed an assault in parking lot. Man and woman came in, woman went back out, heard a skid, heard yelling, woman's arms up, trying to block, said left hand backsided, hit the fence when backing up. Told lady's name, county road, license plate. Called dispatch to tell LP to get address to do welfare check. Bailey with me, but in separate vehicles.Pretty detailed description, back to town, but keeping an eye out for vehicle, stopped to continue welfare check. My concern for her safety, she seemed agitated, nothign had happened, fight a lot, 4 years trying to get him out. Some bruising on right arm. Couldn't see marks on her head, asked Bailey to identify the male subject. He refused to tell me.. "Doesn't have to". He said he had to see the complaint in writing. No info, important in domestic situations to stop and prevent further violence, cannot just say okay and leave. He coudl have had a protective order; probable cause to believe there was an assault. "If you don't give me your ID, you're going to jail". After handcuffed and in vehicle, gave his name, GF produced ID. Possible might not have gotten so far if he'd given ID. 

Lawrence: Car video- attempted to record. Watchable? "Not very good, sections missing, not a very good video, I can tell you that". Stuck her arms up, Ran ID, no protective order, no warrants. "Didn't consider this a traffic stop"

The defense rests

Closing arguments. Lucas: Not the crime of the century and may have gone differently if he'd handed his ID. Reynolds no option but to put him in custody, 3 witnesses, video. Lawrence: Technicality. Failure to iD only section A, is intentionally after arrest. Refused prior. However, immediately after the arrest, he said "She has my ID". Did not commit the crime of failure to ID. Technically, Walsh did not commit that crime. Bad attitude alone is not a crime. Resisting arrest? Did he resist? Did he have weak legs because he had hernia surgery? No frontrow seat video. Govt hasn't gotten past burdon of proving past a reasonable doubt. Just hold the govt to what the law requires.  Lucas: What you saw in the video, he does not give Reynolds his name. I don't know, she may have it. He was combative during this whole stop.

Jury went out to deliberate, wanted to see video again. 

Verdict: Not guilty of Failure to identify, Guilty of resisting arrest. 

Punishment: Confined 12 mos, fine of $1000, suspended sentence with community service and pay the fine assessed over 18 months. (Also includes $297 court costs, $40 probation fee and $10 crimestoppers)

 

 

 

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