Tuesday, May 14, 2013



ARMANDO VILLALOBOS TRIAL
 TUESDAY AFTERNOON SESSION
 
AFTERNOON SESSION IS ABOUT TO START

CONTINUATION OF LIMAS ON REDIRECT

The court and attorneys are discussing how to explain this new sign PTD contract with Vincente Atkinson.  Neither side had seen the signed copy until today.  It seems the judge may tell the jury that it was assumed it existed, but until this morning neither had actually seen it.

Limas:  Limas says his part in the Atkinson matter ended after he provided him the PTD contract.  Limas is verifying the signed PTD contract signed by Vncenti Atkinson.   Androphy had used an unsigned copy.  The signed copy only came to every one's attention this morning.

About 2 years  later - termination notice for Atkinson for unsuccessful completion of the program and reset for trial.

More tapes:

Limas and Jim Solis:  Oct 2008 - At this time they were friends - Limas would be Of Counsel associated with Rosenthal and Watson.  They are saying the client told Joe he had his seatbelt.  They are interviewing a client who is still in the hospital. 

He talking about another case he is going to get through Armando Villalobos.  There were two  cases - Eddie Lucio was working on a medical malpractice case with a baby - overdose case.  At this  time Limas was still a sitting judge.  Limas wanted it sent to Rosenthal and Watson.  Villalobos would get part of a fee for getting the case to Limas to give to Rosenthal.

Limas, while still a judge is going to call Eddie Lucio directly to get the cases.

Continued new call Solis and Limas

They are discussing Solis having Lynn Watson contact Eddie Lucio about the baby case, 

Another call Solis/Limas:  They are discussing the baby case and who has what along with discussions about Eddie Lucio and Marc Rosenthal (Limas is still on the bench at thist time)

Limas says he talked to Villalobos about piece mealing the case.  Limas worked getting the case for Rosenthal through Villalobos.  Limas is claiming this is the only way he was able to get the case for Rosenthal.  Lucio and Villalobos were law partners in Dallas - formal disclosure - Eddie Lucio worked at my firm for a short period of time.  It did not work out.

ANDROPHY REEXAMINES LIMAS

Question:  when he speaks to de la Fuente de la Fuente speaks in a Spanglish - with Valle mostly Spanish - with Solis mostly English - with Armando Villalobos Limas never spoke Spanish - Villalobos does not speak Spanish -

Androphy notes when he discussed the $10,000 payment (Livingston's father) with his wife and the voice in background laughing was Villalobos, Limas notes Villalobos understands Spanish but that he cannot speak it.  This is not at all uncommon.  Androphy is suggesting the knowledge of the Livingston $10,000 was not disclosed until trial in terms of Villalobos having knowledge of the $10,000.   Androphy wants Limas to admit he did not reference Villalobos yesterday when he heard this tape.  Limas denies  the claim.  Limas denies that the DOJ or its agents discussed this with him after trial yesterday. 

The transcript has an unknown male asking in Spanish " he gave you $10,000?"  He now claims Villalobos spoke some Spanish.

Androphy claims Limas never once in the 302 conversation with the government investigators telling them about conversations with Villalobos about the money he was taking.

ANDROPHY ON LIMAS' PLEA AGREEMENT

Androphy is raising the question of whether or not Limas will get probation for his testimony.  Limas agrees with Androphy the range of punishment is 20 years to probation, depending on the quality of Limas' testimony.

VINCENTI ATKINSON AGREEMENT

Maria de Ford signed off on the agreement - which by law never should have been granted. 

Atkinson signed an affidavit of no prior arrests or conviction. 

Villalobos added to the PTD program a confession to  the crime so that if you violated it all you could do was plead guilty.  He also added community service or payment to charity.

Probation Department Report could not find any basis to deny PTD - their investigation was of both state and federal records.

RUELAS CASE AGAIN

Limas opposed his client cooperating against other defendants. 

MORE TAPES

Abel Limas and Meme Longoria - He is asking Meme to meet with him at Michael Cowens office - he wants some signs made to say they are praising Judge Limas - he makes hard decisions - they refer to a black guy - Livingston - he wanted Meme to put out signs at the court house.  He called the victim in the Livingston case the whore girl - Limas claims the DA was concerned about this and the DA did not want this coming out - in part to protect the family

Abel Limas and Joyce Longoria (Meme's wife)

It concerns the transcript of the plea during his reelection 2/13/2008.  It shows the family did not object to the plea.  This conflicts his testimony that he had not seen the transcript until this past week.

Limas is saying the transcript being discussed is not from the Limas case, but from a Cornejo Lopez processing to demonstrate how she treats peope in her court.

DOJ WYNNE REDIRECTS AGAIN

Limas reasserts the conversation had nothing to do with Livingston.

But a second refers to the girl killed by Livingston as the whore girl.  The mother of the girl was apparently going to be protesting in front of the court.  Limas wanted Longoria's wife to have pro Limas signs outside.

LIMAS IN HIS OWN PLEA WAIVED HIS OWN APPEAL

Limas claims this is the most dangerous part of his plea - because he is powerless after the sentencing.

BACK TO VINCENTI ATKINSON

Limas agrees the charge was a 2nd degree felony.  

Ineligable - previous arrest - he had a previous arrest - any offense of possession higher than a state jail felony - so he was not eligable for PTD. 

ARMANDO SPANISH
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He Spanish is not great - he speaks it mocho - half - half - not very well versed but can speak some Spanish,

Limas speaks to his kids in Spanish but they answer in English - some people understands but cannot speak

2/27/2008 Transcript - exhibit 267 Villalobos and Limas - Limas is speaking to Villalobos in Spanish - a crude Spanish

PAYMENT FROM LIVINGSTON SENIOR

Limas says never happened

Limas dismissed as a witness

Court in Recess

GREG GLADDEN (LIVINGSTON'S ATTORNEY

Houston lawyer since 1978, practices in the Supreme Court and the federal court of appeals.  Also a member of all for federal districts in Texas.  He has practiced in 11 different states.

He represented Amit Livingston

It was a murder case.  The victim was found several days later.  Gladden was hired after Livingston made bond.

Exhibit 426:  Criminal docket in Livingston - case initiated November 16, 2005.  Gladden claims Livingston cooperated more than he should have before Gladden was hired.

His cocounsel was Ed Millet - Gladden and Millet had a history of working together. 

Gladden not sure who was lead counsel in the Amit Livingston case.

Tansferred to 404th which was Limas court - 11/14/2006,   Gladden does not remember which court it was in when he started because it got bounced around.

Judge Limas handled the plea.  Gladden negotiated with the DA for the plea. 

Gladden also represented Livingston the wrongful death civil suit filed by the family. 

Civil case was filed on Oct 2, 2006.  This is about the time period Gladden got involved. 

Case plead out in February 2007

During this time in the criminal case Gladden was trying to determine the facts.  His office spoke with witnesses in various towns. 

Motion to Surpress Evidence filed - issue improper ceasure - the judge overruled Motion.  Millet argued the motion. 

Gladden's assessment on the evidence against Livingston was Livingston had dug himself in a pretty deep hole before Gladden hired.  Gladden saw it as a punishment case and the only issue was the punishment not innocence or guilty.

Gladden's discussions were with Mattingly.  Villalobos was also involved in face to face discussion in his office. 

According to Gladden up until trial the plea discussion were professional.  Livingston would not agree to jail time, and the DA was demanding a range of 45-55 years - more or less.

Limas was not involved in the negotiations - but Limas was offering to allow Livingston from free time after a guiilty plea.  Gladden says this is not uncommon

In civil court Lucio tried to seek an attachment of the criminal bond money.  Gladden says Texas case law requires the sheriff return the money to the defendant, even though it was his fathers money.  So Gladden removed the case  to federal court in hopes of better protecting Livingston's father's interest in the $500,000 cash bond.


LIVINGSTON TRIAL DAY

The jury selection process had begun - questionaires were handed out.  Negotiations continued in the DA's office.  Part of it was in Villalobos office with Mattingly's office and a conference room.  The closer they got Villalobos got more involved.

The offer got to 25 years and giving the money to the children.  By agreeing to no appeal, the offer went down to 23 years.  Gladden, Millet and Mattingly, Villalobos were in negotiations.  Villalobos was present during these negotiations late in the day on the 12th.

The final agreement was 23 years, settle the civil case, and take up the judge's offer of allowing the defendant to turn himself at sentencing - this would mean doing sentencing after the guilty plead.

KEY - JUDGE LIMAS CAME UP WITH IDEA OF ALLOWING LIVINGSTON TIME TO GET HIS AFFAIRS IN ORDER

Judge Limas had to be called back to the court house to hear the plea.  Gladden agreed to bring the civil case back to Limas court for settlement - Monday night.

The offer included 60 day delay for sentencing.  Villalobos objected and wanted sentencing right away so he could not change his mind, but no objection to Livingston turning himself in 60 days later.  Gladden felt the immediate sentencing was good because he was concerned Livingston would change his mind.

To insure Livingston did not change his mind the DA's office provided Gladden a large binder with solid evidence so as to convince Livingston to not change his mind.

The next day the DA's office showed late - they then went through the formal process taking the plea and putting on evidence in support of the plea. 

Exhibit 317:  Looking at transcript of plea hearing.  Gladden is noting not part of the plea agreement but Gladden says he is asking for permission for his client to turn himself in in 60 days.  Gladden says the DA did not object.  Gladden reminds the jury Limas offered the idea of Livingston turning himself in later.  Gladden says without the time to get his affairs in order it could be a deal breaker.

Villalobos wanted the sentencing at the plea which would release the money to the sheriff and allow the family gets to speak - as opposed to coming back for sentencing.

State law does not allow for voluntary surrender - this is why you needed later sentencing to allow Livingston time to get his affairs in order.

Gladden - no one objected to the 60 days for Livingston to get his affairs in order - from the DA's office

Gladden walked over to federal court to nonsuit the civil case and remand it back to state court.  In a Rule 11 Agreement the parties settled case.  This was entered into the day before  the plea bargain.  This means there was no bond on the day of the plea.  The Rule 11 settlement agreement was filed on Tuesday morning. 

The agreement failed to note a $25,000 assignment to cover Livingstons expenses.  A second Rule 11 Agreement had Eddie Lucio paying Gladden his $25,000 fee. 

The clerk's office initial refused to accept the amended Rule 11 because the case had been closed.  Gladden went back to judge Limas and he had his clerk file the agreement.

After February 13th the case is over.  His client was released to come back 60 days later.  Livingston went to Huntsville to go through a 2 day seminar about being in prison.  Livingston and his parents participated in the program.

Gladden has no idea where his client is now.

Livingston failure to turn himself in did cause problems.  Lucio had failed to timely pay the $25,000 to Gladden from the bond money.  Lucio was concerned he might have to return  the money.


JUDGE LIMAS REACHES OUT TO GLADDEN

Gladden suggests Villalobos should resign claiming abuse of prescription drugs such as the DA in Harris county.

Limas - his abusive language is hard to listen to  - "this bitch had to have known" the deal.  Who the bitch is I do not know. 

The father of the kids got a big insurance check so he was not hungry to settle for the bond money.  The father of the children wanted more time for Livingston.

Gladden offered to get out to Limas a letter to the Herald editor to get the story correct because according to Gladden the Herald was getting the story wrong.

Limas called Gladden because Limas was getting murdered in the press.  Based on the requests by Limas Gladden suggested he get the transcript typed up so that people could should see there was no objection by the DA's office.  Gladden was particularly concerned  with Villalobos claims he vehemately objected which Gladden deemed  to be false.

ANDROPHY ON CROSS EXAMINATION OF GLADDEN

Gladden was interviewed by the FBI, including today during his lunch period.

He read his 2010 302 with the FBI.  He claims part were not accurate.  The FBI does nor use recorders, they just write it down.  He says they had him (Gladden) blaming Limas for something - which was incorrect.

A second 302 was done in 2012 - this is when he told them about the incorrections from 2010.

In the press area of the courtroom the BV is now the only one here.  In the far corner there is someone also typing but she is not sitting in the designated press area.

Gladden is reading a statement so he can testify

Gladden saw the case as a punishment case and not an innocent or guilt case.

Androphy is getting into Ms. Hernandez social life (victim).  Androphy is going over other possible defenses including other people who  may have had a motive.  She appeared to have had a long term relationship with Livingston.  The victim and Livingston met on the Internet.

Androphy is trying to suggest through questioning Gladden failed to properly investigate possible other defendants in the case.  Gladden is stating his client did it so it would not have been fruitful to look for other defendants.  Gladden did explore the possibility of other men. 

Apparently Mario Hernandez was arrested for PI and exhibiting a gun while Livingston was in the Hernandez home.

Within an hour prior to the murder witnesses testified Livingston and Hernandez were openly lovey dovery in a restaurant on SPI.

Androphy is trying to suggest Gladden did not fully explore other evidence - including a pair of jeans which contained semen

It is after 5 - the jury is bored and getting antsy - no one knows to seem where he is going with this long cross

Sometimes it takes a while to lay the foundation for the real question but Androphy is dragging this out way too much

Forensic testing was submitted by Gladden's cocounsel and the report shows the test was inclusive.

It was inconclusive on a ballistics test for the bullet.  Gladden believes it could have made a mistake

Androphy is stating DA's ballistic report found it conclusive,

Gladden never reviewed the Livingston file before trial.  He took it out of storage at Androphy's request then Androphy never showed to look at the file and did not return phone calls.

Gladden blames Androphy for not going through the file since he is the one who asked for it.

JUDGE HANEN HAS DISMISSED THE JURY TO DISCUSS THE TIMING PROBLEMS

Gladden has to get back to Houston for a medical procedure - Judge Hanen has stated no headway is being made.  He is not admonishing anyone but making note of the problem.  He noted Gladden is not that important of a witness to be taking this long

WE ARE BACK

They are discussing a chambers meeting the day before the plea on Tuesday.  Gladden originally told the FB in 2010 the meeting was in chambers on Tuesday not Monday.  Gladden has actually shown the FBI 302 report does not make sense in part - the FBI clearly confused proceedings in state and federal court concerning the removed civil case.

Gladden is claiming Androphy is misrepresenting his  testimony.  Androphy wants Gladden to say it is his report.  Gladden denies same and says it is the FBI's notes and not his report.

Gladden does not remember being interviewed at the court house in Houston, Texas.  He is claiming he has no recollection of the interview.  He does not remember the interview at all.

Gladden reviewed the statement with the FBI in 2012 and one of the prosecutors.  He has not read the report from 2012.

Gladden in reading the 2012, 302 report and claims there are mistakes. 

They are having a side bar over this endless cross- they attorneys were clearly animated with one another while discussing the matter with the judge.  The court reporter actually stopped them for talking over one another.  She is a cool court reporter - she has no problems letting the attorneys know they are talking over one another.


Androphy is trying to put the blame on Gladden for not telling Judge Limas the 60 days was illegal.  Give me a break - sorry - but total BS - that was the DA's job not the defense counsel's job.

I know I broke my rule - but total BS

In an affidavit Gladden stated to the Commission on Judicial Commission the plea was discussed in chambers and Villalobos was present.  He said prior to the plea in chambers he adviced the court of the plea agreement.

Gladden swore voluntary surrender is no longer available.  He is lecturing Androphy on the law.  Here is the problem, before sentencing you can give the defendant time to report back for sentencing after a guilty plea.  But once sentenced the defendant cannot be released. 

Judge Hanen is trying to move this along - but he message is not being received.

Gladden does not remember when Villalobos arrived for the plea.

REDIRECT BY DOJ:

I guess the message to move along was received - before the break Androphy said he had another hour -

They are going over the FBI 302 with corrections - 7 paragraphs of corrections.  Gladden says his corrections were to get the document to speak the truth.

The DA exhibit to establish Livingstons guilt included cell phone records which showed Livingston lied about where he was with her.  There were revealing photographs. 

Gladden said he plead the case the way he did because it was the best possible outcome for his client.

Gladden has been dismissed.

We are done for the day.

Court tomorrow starts at 10 a.m.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do they not record?

BobbyWC said...

I can only speculate - but I think it hurts their credibility that statements are not recorded

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

They can record but you need special permission from the SAC .They don't do it because it doesn't always play out well to the jury.If an interviewee hesitates in responding it looks like its involuntary ...If the agent is trying to extract info and says the wrong thing it can look cohersed ...so the interview takes place with 2 agents and a note pad then they write up a report and then it's a 302. I Feel sorry for the agents they have so many internal laws and guidelines and then the constitution....that criminals don't have to adhere to.Makes catching them so much harder.