Sunday, May 19, 2013


MONDAY - DAY 7 -. MORNING SESSION
ARMANDO VILLALOBOS TRIAL

The trial starts at 8:30 a.m. - AUSA Wynne will continue with Direct Examination of Chuck Mattingly. There is a possibility the DOJ will end its case today. The defense will then move for dismissal based on a want of sufficient evidence. I am fairly certain Judge Hanen will deny the motion, but it is a necessary formality. At this point, the defense will start to call witnesses. hopefully they will close Thursday evening.  This will allow for final arguments on Friday and submission to the jury by lunch time on Friday.

In court waiting on judge and jury.  I was concerned about no signal - it took about ten minutes to get the signal up.

SIDE CASE JOSE SOSA:

The court is dealing with a criminal matter in another case.  A Mr. Sosa has plead guilty to a US Magistrate Judge - Juan Jose Sosa Sosa - Judge has ordered the interpreter to slow down - Judge speaking too fast and interpreter is translating too fast for Mr. Sosa.

Mr. Sosa reentered US to help wife and children who still live in the US.  Defense is arguing this as a basis for a lower sentence. 

Sosa is also facing revocation in state court.  His attorney want federal and state sentence to run concurrent.   Sentenced to lower end of 21 months - 8 months on revocation to be served concurrently.

Lopez Reyes Gamez - pleads guilty

DOJ Recommends probation.  Def. wants to return to Mexico to take care of family.  Def. does not want charge as aggravated - State court never told him he could be deported.  Judge is warning him if he returns illegally again he could get 2 2/2 years.

He is saying he does not want to offend the court by promising to not return - he wants to take care of his family.  He is concerned that if the conviction is aggravated - he will not be allowed to return legally.

Sentence 12 months and 1 day.  Judge Hanen imposing conditions of probation.

COLVIN TAKES MATTINGLY ON CROSS
8:47 a.m.

Discussing John Allen Rubio case and Mattingly's involvement in the case.  This is the beheading case of the children.

Ramm and Korina Barraza both on the team.  Rubio got the death penalty - Camacho - got three capital life sentences.

Also prosecuting some Mexican Mafia cases. 

Mattingly's heart is on the prosecution side not as defense counsel.

Mattingly reviewing the strengths of the Livingston case - Colvin wants Mattingly to look at the case as a defense counsel.

Mattingly being asked to draw a picture of the cartridge casing and pin - Now drawing the base of the cartridge so we can see the pin. 

They are discussing how the bullet acquires riffling marks  These marks are like finger prints. 

DA's office used an expert, but not hired because provided by the state.

Mattingly does not remember when they found the brass from the bullet.  The State's first report was inconclusive - Mattingly does not remember - the defense disagreed with the second report from their expert.

Colvin is making the point that at trial the prosecution would have to deal with the two conflicting reports by their expert.

Now discussing receipt on after market barrel.  There are potentially y millions of such receipts.

They did not have a gun.  This made doing a ballistics test  impossible for the state.

Cell tower triangulation.  A person's location based on cell phone records does not mean they committed the crime.

9:03 a.m

Mattingly agrees  the semen on the jeans implicated a possible other defendant.

Back to meeting in Judge Limas Chambers the night before

Apparently Limas called everyone back into Chambers - the defense brought up in chambers the 60 day issue, - Mattingly says the state including him was opposed to the 60 days.  Remember this was the night before the plea - where there is a record.

Mattingly believes the DA's office was already going too low - this meeting on Monday morning had an offer of 25 years (this is  the Chambers meeting). 

Gladden noted the civil and criminal case would be handled at the same time.

Gladden kept on raising the civil case  as needing to be tied to  the criminal case.  Mattingly notes this would be unethical - in fact it is very unethical.

Later Monday Villalobos made a deal for 23 years.  That evening Mattingly learned he was authorized to settle for 23 years.  Mattingly said they put the plea together on Monday so it would be ready.

Notice how they are cleaning up the testimony based on my observation.

Mattingly had arrived late because of an accident he observed.  By the time Mattingly got to court the plea was under way.

9:14 a.m.

Tape Call btwn Limas unknown suggesting this is a joke.  Limas is talking about receiving a bribe on the tape.  Again question about Limas getting a second bribe, in the Lvingston case - based on the tape.

Mattingly is not acting as an expert for the DOJ.  He asserts he is just here as a witness.

Mattingly says it has crossed his mind that Limas may have received a bribe- He says Limas was going to allow for the 60 days no matter what happened the DA's office said.

[note Mattingly could have gotten a stay from the court of appeals - he and the DA's office took no action on this issue]

There is nothing in the plea record which we have heard which indicates the court prevented the DA's office from speaking up.

Discussing a Red Herring - a plot to create a distraction from the truth.  Colvin is trying to put blame on Limas. 

Mattingly not allowed to answer question if DOJ is Monday morning quarterbacking the decision in the Livingston case.

Mattingly holding to himself a defense exhibit. 

He reviewed  the Oscar de la Fuente plea - he basically walks free except tax issues. (Mattingly)

Colvin just summarized how ODLF made money in the forfeiture cases - he agrees there were ethical violations.

9:30 a.m. - lawyers in side bar

Colvin asking if Mattingly and Villalobos did everything they could to prevent Livingston from fleeing - Judge Limas let him go

AUSA Wynne on redirect

Wynne just changed the happy face on the Red Herring he drew on Saturday to a sad face.

Mattingly knows nothing about the ODLF plea deal or they why?

Mattingly was earning $106,000 a year when he left office.

10k or 20k payments should show up in bank accounts - unless maybe cash

Mattingly is noting that the expert on the bullet for the state would have had to explain the difference in the two reports. 

Texas Rangers work for DPS - Mattingly reading the report on the bullet.  No usable prints were available.  Expert note that the bullet had to come from a glock - report inconclusive - but second report compared the casing recovered at the scene with one found in Livingston's home and a match was made.

Hired experts are like elbows, everyone has one - they will testify to what you pay them for - according to Mattingly.  As a prosecutor you ask the paid expert about their history - defense or prosecution and how much they were paid.

Livingston posted a cash bond of $500,000 - the semen issue was not an issue which would have prevented the DA from going forward.  Not every case is air tight - those plead out.

Mattingly - he and Gladden (Livingston defense counsel) could not find a solution.  In the end Villalobos took the lead on plea negotiations.

The first time the 60 days was mentioned was when they were in chambers with Limas on Monday b4 the plea on Tuesday.  Villalobos was in the room with Judge Limas - Mattingly cannot specifically state Villalobos objected to the 60 days, but he knows he did.

A transcript shows at 6:20 p.m. a call was made indicating the case had settled.  Mattingly does not remember making the call.

Mattingly assuming 6:20 is accurate - Limas was notified an agreement.  At that time Mattingly would have put together the plea agreement.

An evidence binder was provided to ??????

9:47 a.m.

Mattingly does not remember Eddie Lucio ever seeing the prosecution evidence

Mattingly - to be a good prosecutor you must also look at the weaknesses - but he felt very strongly about the case.

There was a possibility Livingston could have gotten only 20 years under "sudden passion."  there was clear evidence Livingston was preparing for what he was going to do - so sudden passion would not apply.

Normally you have a plea, Presentence Report and then Sentencing - in the case of a plea with a specific number of years a Presentence can be waived.

Mattingly expected Livingston to remain under the bond pending sentencing - Mattingly was suprised by the same day sentencing.

Mattingly says Villalobos walked up  to him in the courtroom - Mattingly said it looked like Limas would give Livingston the 60 days - Villalobos then said Livingston needed to be sentenced the same day.  Once sentenced the purpose of the bond had been satisfied and the bond is released.

[note - it is not lost on me Mattingly was involved in the negotiations with James Defenbaugh engineering - he did the negotiations with the same attorneys now representing Villalobos - This raises issues of his credibility, but neither side will raise it.

http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=125254]

After Villalobos told Mattingly they needed sentencing today Villalobos did not seemed shocked.

Had they not sentenced - had Livingston not shown for sentencing the bond would have been forfeited - the plea offer would be off the table - he could also be prosecuted for bail jumping - but by doing the plea and sentencing all at once - the bond had to be release - it no longer served any purpose.

10:03 a.m.

Mattingly says he would never take mony to get a deal done. 

MATTINGLY DISMISSED AS A WITNESS SUBJECT TO A 404B (??)

http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_404

Emma is explaining to me a 404B (I was going to google it) evidence of wrongdoing not listed in Indictment - I always give credit to everyone helping - Emma and I have helped each other.  I am never good with the numbers - had they used the term I would have understood it.

JOE VALLE ON DIRECT BY AUSA WYNNE

10:24 A.M

Former Attorney - Graduated Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston - until licensed he worked for Travellers Insurance an adjuster.

He started out in the DA's office when he came back to Cameron county

Valle received a target letter March 2010.  He plead to aiding and abetting - he got 12 months and one day.

No longer practicing law.  He is unemployed at this time. 

TAPE LIMAS AND VALLE (Concerning the gambling machines)

During the conversation he tells Judge Limas he is speaking with Villalobos right now.  Valle says he is calling her - Bazan - owned gambling devices - Limas was trying to help her with .

Another tape Limas and Valle -

Limas is saying everyone gets their machines back within 2-3 weeks.  Valle has called Villalobos several times with no return call. 

Valle - I am not going to Villalobos anything right now - Limas says no like 5 times - this all refers to a Teresa Bazan. 

Rodolfo Gutierrez - a DWI client of Valle - he had 2 DWI's the second DWI meant a problem with the pretrial diversion on the 1st DWI - the second could cause him to lose the Pretrial diversion.

Campaign pledge to Villalobos by Valle - for DA's office - this would have been his reelection - a pledge is a promise to pay

Valle - Judge Limas suggested Valle make a pledge to pay even though he did not have the money to pay the pledge.

The second DWI was resolved btwn DA's office - Villalobos allowed for Gutierrez to plead guilty to the first DWI and then dismiss the second.  Valle made an appointment with Villalobos - over the phone.

Valle - had been having problems getting a hold of Villalobos - so Valle told Villalobos' secretary Galvan that he had a payment on his $5,000 pledge as a way to get in the door.

10:45 a.m.

9:28 Valle shows up at Villalobos office - in 15-20 minutes they reached an agreement on the DWI case.  Valle at the meeting gave Villalobos $1,500 as part of his pledge. 

New client Marco Valencia-

The client had multiple criminal problems - multiple thefts - graffiti -

Exhibit 346-348 offered as business records - Valle proved them up as authentic.

The  documents are court filings  and hand written notes from file.  These are Valle notes - parents brought evidence favorable to client in terms of character - notes were made by an employee of Valle - he was another lawyer.

Note shows defendant agreed to plead guilty to deal worked out with Villalobos

Letter from Valle's office informing the family a deal had been worked out - "rest assured this was the best"  Discussed with Villalobos

Defendant plead to three felony cases, and three misdemeanor cases - one year - Valle met with Villalobos in his office - originally he could not get an appointment until he stated he was bringing another payment on his pledge - Valle made the payment.

In questioning it is not clear if check or cash - not being asked

Note from Corina Galvan (Villalobos Secretary)  verifies meeting happened.

They are discussing collaborating evidence - he had Valle define it and then let it go.

11:00 a.m.

Back to tape with Limas - Teresa Bazan was a friend of Judge Limas - Valle made no payment in regards to the Bazan case.

Valle gave Limas money when he was a judge.

Valle had ad litem appointments from Limas (ad litem - generally a post settlement appointment to represent the interests of the child to insure the settlement is fair to  the child)

The ad litem needs to investigate the case before making a recommendation to the court.

Sometimes the child may not be in the accident - but has damages because the parent can no longer provide in a way they use to before the accident.

In Valle's own  cases  a structured settlement would be worked out for the child wherein payments would be made over time.

ANDROPHY ON CROSS OF JOE VALLE

11:08 A.M.

Valle admits to multiple visits with the government on this case. 

Valle's original answer to DOJ of learning about the investigation in 2007, was wrong - but he corrected himself once he say the documents.  Valle asked DOJ to be allowed to review documents to refresh his memory.

Other than with the government Valle did nothing independently to prepare himself. 

Valle says the government has the key files he had - he made no copies, so he could not prepare on his own - he needed to look at the government documents.

At the James Hearing - Valle had not prepared for that hearing - he had just gotten out of a federal camp - he served 9 months and 8 days.

Def. James Hearing:  http://definitions.uslegal.com/j/james-hearing/

Valle only plead guilty to crimes with Judge Limas, but not as to Villalobos.  He plead guilty to aiding and abetting judge Limas. Judge Limas asked that Valle refer a personal injury case to Marc Rosenthal instead of another attorney.  Rosenthal paid a 25k advance - $3000 was then paid to Limas

Valle lost his law license - it is automatic when you plead to a felony.

Valle can reapply in 5 years for his license.  He is not sure he wants to practice law again. 

Valle 302 notes indicate he told investigators he never had a case fixed through the Cameron county DA's office - Valle admits to this

April 2012 - a meeting with investigators - Valle does not remember it - but he is willing to accept it as true - he told investigators he never got a receipt for his payments to Villalobos

Valle also told investigators he never wrote Villalobos a check for a campaign contribution.  Valle said he did not write a check because he did not want his name showing as as a contributor to Villalobos

Side bar with attorneys over evidence

11:28 a.m.

Valle told the government these contribution were for 2004-2005 campaign cycle - Valle is taking as true as anything in his 302 states to the federal investigators.

April 18, 2012 interview with agents - Valle corrected the dates he originally gave. 

Androphy claims Valle made mistakes at the James Hearing until he corrected himself after being allowed to review the documents.  This issue is his memory of dates.  [note I cannot remember yesterday - on dates I would be a worthless witness]

Androphy is trying to raise doubt about Valle's testimony.

Valle gave 3 $500 donations for golf tournaments - Valle says not for campaign - but does not remember - he thinks it may have been for advertising at the tournament.

Campaign reports - on Villalobos campaign - June 03, Joe Valle contributed $250.00 to Villalobos - Villalobos would send an investigator to his office and ask for contributions.  The campaign report shows a receipt for a check, not cash.

8/25/03 Valle contributed another $500 to Villalobos - Valle thinks it was golf tournament - the record shoes it was for a barbecue. - again a check

But previously Valle said he did not use checks - because he did not want everyone else asking for money for their campaigns.

Valle admits you have to pay both sides to get a fair shot.  Then he says not necessarily.

11:43 a.m.

Valle seems to be the first attorney to be showing any remorse for his actions and the system.

Another donation $1,000 - 2004 to 2005 cycle - a receipt was issued for a check - it is reported - the exhibit of the receipt is being shown.

August 2004 - another $1000 contribution to Villalobos - again another receipt verifying the donation

12/29/04 - another $500 donation - another receipt verifying paid for by check.

The evidence shows Valle's testimony is not very credible.  This is not a subjective conclusion - the objective evidence shows this  to be true.

 Androphy is doing an excellent job on this - we shall see how AUSA Wynne does his redirect.

July 08, another $500 - campaign checks - the receipt shows for the golf tournament.

Androphy just went over Valle's testimony he said no campaign check, no receipt, did not want to be ID as giving money.

Valle's says he has written campaign checks - he is being misunderstood - he meant to say he did not write the checks for the money given under the pledge -

[side note - but the checks he did write clearly showed other politicians he was giving money - this conflicts with his testimony as to why he did not want to write  checks]

VALENCIA CASE:

Jan 2011, meeting with Mr. Villalobos - Valencia had drug problems according to Valle - he was only 17 -

Valle felt like he had good parents - Valencia was sexually abused as a child - he remembers some kind of abuse - Androphy is trying to show Villalobos had good reasons for his decision in this case.

At the James Hearing the issue of the sexual abuse came up - Valle felt like this was a contributing factor for Valencia's conduct.  The ADA offered maybe 18 mos to 2 years, but he is guessing.

Villalobos agreed to 1 year state jail on  the felonies and 1 year county jail on misdemeanors to be served consecutively.

The 302 interview shows Valle told agents the ADA was offering 18 months. 

Valle felt like the ADA was being unfavorable. 

12:00 p.m.

Valle admits the deal from Villalobos was only a little bit better

[reality check - any where in Texas defense attorneys are aware campaign donations make their life easier - it is not a bribe - just part of the beast created by Texas to encourage bad behavior - Texas is as much on trial as Villalobos - the judges failed - the commission on judicial conduct failed - the State Bar failed- the legislature failed by creating laws and schemes which allow for all of this mess]

At the James Hearing he came in cold out of the federal camp - he guessed at a lot of his answers - he was not provided access to any documents before the James Hearing.

If the record shows Valle met with Mattingly then Valle agrees he met.  He does not remember Mattingly agreeing to the 12 month deal.

Valle is noting he has had so many meetings with DA's over 20 years he cannot remember every meeting.

Valle is clearly getting irritated with Androphy

[sorry guys spell check has been down for a while - I do not have time to go back and reread - so I use spell check for a quick check]

In March 2010, when Valle got his target letter, Valle does not know if word got out.  The Agents just showed up to his office and gave him a target letter.

Valle based on personal knowledge has no idea when word of the investigation got out.

Lunch Break 12:12 - reconvene at 1:15 p.m.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you explain the significance of releasing the bond and how it pertains to the prosecution's case?