Thursday, May 23, 2013


DAY 1O, VILLALOBOS TRIAL
AFTERNOON SESSION

NEWS UPDATE

If we are to believe Villalobos he pursued forfeiture cases which he knew he could not win and were bad.  He did this to fund his office.  If this is true, then it is an indictment on Commissioners Court and its failure to properly fund the DA's office.  DA Saenz needs to review these cases and meet with Judge Cascos to discuss the problem.

1:11 pm

[note - I have a lot of comments I was reviewing them when the judge came in - I rejected most - I still have more to review - I accidentally denied a good comment - sorry - but one comment I rejected said I am wrong about pursuing bad forfeiture cases - and there is case law which says so - then the poster says the Texas Supreme court used the word "may"  this is the problem - it can go either way - hence the word "may" - I rejected it not for the content - but for the way it was argued as insulting - but I am disclosing the substance of the claim]

We are back - we are talking about the chase case - Villalobos says these type cases are not the type they pursue - it was really only an evading arrest case - state jail

Perez Case

This was a case of whether there was actually a crime.  The issue was - was there a chargeable offence - plus the alibi - Villalobos did meet with Oscar de la Fuente

They are going real quick over different cases to allow Villalobos to explain his decisions.

Roberto Garcia

he was in treatment for cancer - on a run of the mill DWI you do not want to revoke on a sick person because then the county gets stuck with the medical bills

Bond Cases wherein Oscar de la Fuente signed off on the bond.  Villalobos says this is common.  The attorney signs the bond so they can still get paid in the underlying case.

Did not address the $40,000 issue - just moved right over it.

Sale of Triple-Sec to minor - the defendant got a non-contractual pretrial diversion - Villalobos says they are ususally worked out as a class "C" but Villalobos preferred the pretrial diversion (remember  this got his office $500).

Villalobos denies every being given a dollar with the exception of campaign contributions
'
Limas Allegations

Villalobos denies Limas allegations - at the time they were butting heads - Limas tried to give deferred adjudication to the daughter of his banker.  Limas refused to pur her in jail, From May until the Fall - waiting on a decision on mandamus - law required 30 days - Limas would not give it - finally after mandamus he gave the defendant one day a month for 30 months

Once Limas became a private lawyer - he just did not bother reading the file - he just wanted what he wanted and Villalobos would not play

Vicente Atkinson  - possession of a controlled substance - he eventually got pretrial diversion - for a long time Atkinson never appeared - once it was worked at he got pretrial conversion

Rueles - was the young man who worked at a postal shop - Limas had shown the man cooperated - he got pretrial diversion

Valle Case

Had two DWI's Villalobos each is separate but the end result whether one or two is the same - so you dismiss one - wrong - I proved in the Ben Neece complaint this is not the law.

No truth to claims that if they told Corina they had a campaign contribution they would get in to meet Villalobos

Going back to the tape with the unknown voice in Spanish - Villalobos denies it is his voice - fact is DOJ could have done an analysis

AUSA Wynne on Cross of Villalobos 1:35 p.m.

Wife was in medical school - Colvin calls for side bar

Side Bar - issue is his state bar complaint - Androphy opened the door to this by raising why Villalobos left Dallas - he was in fact fired - Nortin is saying meaningless Judge Hanen reviewing documents

Judge Hanen will allow in he was fired, but not the State Bar issue.

ASUA Wynne back on cross

Wife medical school 2004-2010 - in Matamoros - 2001-2012 living with his wife - they split after the indictment.

Villalobos did not want people to know she was there because of his position [i find this reasonable]

Villalobos looking at a large stack of checks - Yolanda signed the checks - another stack significantly larger - all the signatures are Villalobos - His  file is a lot thicker than his wife's - Villalobos concedes/

This goes to whether or not Villalobos had control of the check book

Villalobos admits to being fired in Dallas - He also admits to taking Limas on a gambling trip to St. Charles

Villalobos first time worked for Saenz and then later Yolanda de Leon - Yolanda de Leon put Villalobos to work the juvenile division although under Saenz he was a felony prosecutor

Villalobos hired about 10  special prosecutors

Villalobos hired  Ruben Pena in the Pepe Villarreal case - in that case Pena dismissed the case within 6 days.

They are discussing  non-contractual prediversion cases - apparently went to law enforcement and non law enforcement.

Pretrial Diversion Rule Sheet

Was for young attorneys to guide them who was qualified.  They are discussing the chase case - the defendant did not qualify but Pretrial Diversion according to Villalobos was worse than other options.

Currently the policy of $500 being paid to DA's office has been changed to $250,00. 

Amit Livingston Case

The jeans were found at the victims home and not the murder scene, 

There was a search warrant in Port Aransas - for an apartment and not a vehicle.  - But the search warrant shows conflict between a house and vehicle -

Limas originally granted the motion to suppress and then Limas rescinded his Order by saying he inadvertently signed the motion to quash.  Villalobos Limas could be sloppy in his work

2:00 p.m.

Forfeiture case wherein Lucio filed a request for Disclosure - Truck case

Villalobos looking at Lucio's filings in Money Truck case.

In Lucio's Answer there is a Request for Disclosure - for Sanchez

Oscar de la Fuente - represented Chavez - Villalobos likes ODLF does not do work on the cases because it means more money for the DA's office

ODLF in his answer states a lack of probable cause for the forfeiture - so there is evidence of an objection by both attorneys

ODLF and Lucio did basically the same amount of work

Eddie Lucio got the Livingston case

Money House case

Villalobos concerns about the numbers on the house being a problem - The warrant contained diagrams of the place to be search - so  the description was more than a number - the number was only one factor.

Villalobos was also concerned with triple hearsay - Villalobos says no way around the triple hearsay

Oscar de la Fuente did the work - Villalobos was concerned Julio Villarreal or his family would make the claim for the money.  Had no one made the claim the DA's office would have gotten all of the money.

The money laundering case would have the same weakness because of the affidavit - fact is no money laundering case was ever brought. Dec. 31, 2012 - Villalobos left office

Notes with AUSA Esquivel - defendant cooperating with the government

Villalobos - Julio Villareal was upset because he thought they were done with him.  Villarreal was never  served because Oscar de la Fuente got notice - An answer was filed

AMIT LIVINGSTON CASE

The bug doctor in Stephenville - Villalobos does not remember being concerned about the issue.

Villalobos tough jeans was a big issue

Villalobos brother pays mothers electric bill,

If it sounds like he is all over the place - he is

Livingston failed to report in April 2007.  Many of the calls show missed calls - they were not texts according to Villalobos - Limas refused to learn to text until after he left office.

Looking at long lists of calls with Eddie Lucio - Villalobos says Eddie and he have been talking since the 9th grade.

CASH FROM MOM

The business is owned by Villalobos grandmother.  The mother reimburses her expenses. 

ODLF was Villalobos in 2003 was campaign treasurer and then changed to David Gonzales

There will always be cash and checks - A mulligan is when you misfire a golf shot and you want another one - you paid for mulligans through donations.

$2,500 cash deposit - from Mom for campaign - basically it was a loan to the campaign  - mom reimbursed Villalobos cash and then he loaned it to his campaign

Looking at campaign finance reports - shows loan from Villalobos and no reference about mom - [but according to Villalobos she did not loan the money- it was reimbursed and then he loaned it to himself]

There was another $1,200 cash - but I missed it - fatigue setting in -

Villalobos never told the ethics commission it was from his mom because it was a loan from him to his campaign.

LIVINGSTON DAYS LIVINGSTON CASE

Villalobos said he did not know the 60 days was granted until after the hearing, but admits it was discussed the day before in chambers .

Villalobos did not know about the 60 days until after it was done.

Difficulty with filing Writ of Mandamus - Villalobos agrees no one filled it. 

Villalobos said if a cold plea (means no agreement on sentencing) he wanted a full blown evidentiary hearing which would have put pressure on Limas

Villalobos restates sentencing happens on the same day if the defendant has agreed to a time certain in jail,

Money Truck case 2:30

Former FBI Brownsville Office Chief Miles Hutchinson no longer employed by FBI

Villalobos claims Julio Villarreal did not know about any pending investigations

The report shows Sanchez the driver agreed to bring the truck to the Combs truck stop.

Legalities about the search and seizure were to be raised by Eddie Lucio and Oscar de la Fuente

Without Eddie and Oscar working the case the county could have gotten an additional $84,000 on default.

AUSA Wynne looking at money orders written a few days after the Truck Seizure case -

Villalobos the money orders were for monthly bills. 

August 30, 2008 - payment for time share at Disney World -

Villalobos claimed to be at HEB buying groceries and a money order.  But he still had to go back to work - Wynne raising issue of groceries spoiling  - [me big stretch]

THE HOUSE SEIZURE CASE

Had Oscar de la Fuente put up a defense Villalobos would have caved.

AUSA going back over money orders after house seizure case -

Pretrial Diversion cases

Villalobos under pressure to get charity donations under the program.  - Neither of Limas cases resulted in charitable donations - they did the community service

2:43 p.m.

Perez case - Villalobos facts did not support deadly conduct - but there was also a motion to revoke probation - Villalobos denies that he said it should be dismissed.  Oscar de leon

Hervery Ruel

This was the scissors stabbing case.  Jessica signed a non affidavit on the broken nose and stabbing

If Jessica had been compelled to testify and she denied a claim - at least part of her statements could have been played and the jury would have heard her own words.

Oscar de la Fuente would be making the objection to the tape [Wynne refers to him as the lazy lawyer]

We are looking at stab wounds of Jessica - in the Ruel case.  Villalobos is claiming in a case like this jurors would complain their time was wasted - because they did not have a cooperating witness.

Villalobos and Limas on phone - Villalobos telling Limas there is someone trying to set him up and they are talking about recording and the Golden Rule Villalobos says "always assume you are being taped."  Villalobos defends on this that as a politician you must assume someone is setting you up by recording you.

Yolanda de Leon was the DA before Villalobos - under de Leon Villalobos assigned to Limas court -

More tapes - Abel Limas - John Blaylock - They are discussing Livingston case - they are discussing how Livingston checked into Huntsville - Limas says Gladden says it was a deal done by everyone.  Limas and Blayclock are saying they do not to hurt Villalobos.

Villalobos is denying the idea that this getting into the public would hurt him because it was in the public and he won by 10,000 votes

Villalobos agrees that he has a duty to supplement a grand jury subpeona - until indictment -

Villalobos is not sure about grand jury rules in federal system

3:03 p.m.

Since indictment Villalobas has done what ever his attorneys told him to do.

Jury dismissed for break - Judge Hanen reviewing document for impeachment evidence

The argument is a state grand jury subpoena which Villalobos used to get Abel Limas phone calls after he plead.  It impeaches because it shows an abuse of power  and he was not acting within his authority - as DA

CORRECTION - I ACCIDENTALLY STATED VILLALOBOS MOM OWNS THE BUSINESS - I CORRECTED IT TO SAY THE GRANDMOTHER - SORRY - I HEARD IT RIGHT - BUT TYPED IT WRONG

ASUA wynn continues cross

Credit card shows visits to Vegas, Orlando and other places.  Villalobos used his credit cards and cash. 

Villalobos went to see UT play in the Rose bowl - tickets came indirectly through Marc Rosenthal - the tickers were properly disclosed.  .

Livingston - The Rule 11 Agreement shows the 12th  But the plea was on the 13th..

Villalobos was asked to explain his calls with Lucio on the 12th and 13th.  Villalobos said it was related to another matter they were working on. 

Transcript Livingston Criminal Plea

Villalobos said he came in after it was done.  - Judge Limas explains to the jury that at 6:20 p.m. on Monday Febraury 12, 2007, he got a call there was a plea.  It was too late to contact  the jury to tell them not to come back.

At 4:26 Eddie Lucio talks to  Mario the husband to a perior of time - 2 minutes later Lucio speaks with Villalobos and then back to Mario - It is a series of calls back and forth between Lucio Mario and then Villalobos.

3:42 p.m. almost done

Las Vegas trips - several trips 2006-2008 Vegas - Dr. Zamir would invite Villalobos as his guest

They even went to a boxing match in Victoria -

Orlanda 2006 - 2008 multiple dates - Villalobos has a time share.

After indictment Villalobos never showed up to work until noon - more or less

With Yolanda De Leon - Villalobos claims his supporters did not like the lack of access under Yolanda De Leon.

Villalobos was sued by some lawyers who claimed he was not accessible.  Villalobos claimed they were dishonest lawyers who were blacklisted.

Colvin on Redirect

Villalobos kept Lucio as victims attorney informed

THE DEFENSE RESTS - 3:48 P.M.

AUSA Rebuttle Witness Monica Garcia

Sister of Mrs. Hernandez who was murdered by Livingston - she is close to her mother - she attended all of the meetings with her mother.

The mother speaks very little English

She was interested in the case and wanted to be present.

Villalobos told the family to not hire a lawyer.  Villalobos never referred a lawyer to the family.  Two meetings prior to the case - the civil case was discussed after Livingston failed to appear. 

Her mother understands very little English - Villalobos and her mother communicated in Spanish - she claims Villalobos Spanish was better than hers.

Cross by Androphy - 3:56

She met with the government maybe twice - the FBI took notes of the meeting - she spoke with them just before this trial started - about three meetings -

Octr 27, 2005, only Villalobos were present with witness and mother

Second meeting was Monica and mother  - February 2006 - Villalobos Monica and her mother

Was Gabby Garcia present at any meetings - some people did come and go into the meeting - it was just to tell him he had a phone call.

Mario Hernandez worked the insurance issues - Monica's mom was not upset about Mario getting  the money.  At one point the mother thought Mario was involved in her sister's death.

Witness does not remember if mother raised her concerns about Mario

When witness was with her mother her mother did speak to people at DA's office.  During this period she lived at home and did not work or go to school.

Relationship with Mario was not the best but they still spoke.

AUSA Surovic on redirect

In meetings before today - the meetings were actually with the mother

4:08 p.m. very concerned my computer screen is dying - will work on it tonight

Androphy back on Cross

Witness looking at FBI 302 notes - 4/13/2011 - no discussion about ??? cannot hear - Androphy was not at the mike

Witness released

4:12 p.m.

AUSA Wynne wants to question Yolanda de Leon about about why she put Villalobos into Limas court and why she put him the juvenile court.

4:32 p.m.

It appears the lawyers will stipulate that Yolanda de Leon believes she put Villalobos in Limas court because of their positive relationship, and that she demoted him to juvenile court

We are still here waiting on the lawyers to complete the stipulation

Judge Hanen in order to save time is explaining to what the witness would say - Yolanda would have assigned Villalobos to Limas' because of their relationship

Second that De Leon assigned Villalobos to juvenile court from felony court

Tomorrow - jury instructions - closing argument and then deliberations - we are in break - the jury is gone for the day - but there is gong to be house cleaning for the lawyers and judge - I will wait to see what happens .

THE LAWYERS ARE WORKING JURY CHARGE

DOJ makes a change to make clear not just comment but interstate commerce.

Ashley objection conviction of Limas not in charge - turns out Judge Hanen has yet to sign the final judgment on Limas - Overrule

Ashly - objecting to something in Jury Pattern Charge - overruled

5:09

The Lawyers still working on mechanics of jury charge

Ashly page 11 - count one instruction -

They are doing their job - but they [defense] is trying to get things added which could corner the jury into making a mistake as to what is before them

Villalobos counsel is having a concern with the use of the word enterprise - they are concerned it will bias the jury - but the DA's office is an enterprise in a conspiracy case you do not have to prove enterprise

They moved on

We are on page 28 - they want a 4th element - "the alleged payment was made for an official act." 

I am last man standing or sitting all the other press has left

Judge Hanen says the instruction as is is verbatim from a Supreme Court case.

They are looking at an issue wherein the circuit fifth circuit has addressed the issue - but other appellate courts use the language

We left court at 6 p.m. - I missed some of the jury charge discussion - I did not realize my  computer unplugged and it went down - you did not miss anything - it was mostly posturing for a more favorable instruction for Villalobos.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that our commissioners court is bad, really bad. BUT, how can you justify Villalobos' position on the forfeiture cases? He bloated the office and made positions available to his buddies. Is the DAs office under funded? Possibly. He basically admitted to taking money that magically appeared AND no one was charged. He basically admitted it was wrong but he needed the money. Where had your objectivity gone?
By your account, his testimony has hurt him. I don't understand why the defense let him take the stand.

BobbyWC said...

My rule has been these type comments will only be allowed after a verdict - I made a decision early on this and I am holding to it - we will have a verdict tomorrow

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

I have not defended Villalobos on the forefeiture isue = read the red highlight

I will have it once we have a verdict - right now I am being careful

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Was it Da Saenz who asked for an investigation or was his dept indicted? News suggested wasn't his call.

BobbyWC said...

The only testimony was Saenz opened the investigation

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Also I'm assuming if your expecting a verdict tomorrow he'll be found guilty .Do you believe on all counts? Any predictions?

BobbyWC said...

I will not predict - I have no idea how the jury received the evidence - In the morning the judge at 9:00 am will start to read a 29 page jury charge -

I was told by one attorney the each are expecting an hour for closing argument - this means the case will go to the jury just before lunch or about lunch time

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

I've read you blog off an on for quite a while. Sometimes I agree with you, sometimes I think you're batshit crazy.

I must say, though, that I have gained a lot of respect for you these last couple of weeks. You have truly done the public a great service in blogging this trial. Transparency is how our judicial system is supposed to work. You have given us that transparency. All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

I think ARV's strategy here is to paint himself a an honest person. "Yes, I did some wrong things, and I admit to that and take responsibility for it. However, I did not do what the feds say I did."

Anonymous said...

Excellent job sir, your dedication to this case and the process is enviable. As a regular reader, I must say I do prefer this style over all the opinions you normally give, maybe something to consider. However, it is your blog and you may of course present it whatever you wish, but you may retain more readers with this type of format and maybe safe the opinion portions of your writings to the comment section. Just a thought and once again thank you for your efforts in this matter.