Wednesday, August 21, 2013



The other day it occurred to me the government never called Villalobos in the Lucio trial to verify the forfeiture cases were bad. They could have forced his hand and made clear - no reduced sentence unless his gives up Lucio - but they did not.  I have held on this because I wanted to ask Emma Perez Treviño if anything came out in court about Villalobos not testifying.  She dismissed my question as meaningless and then said they could not call him because he would plead the Fifth.  This is why the Herald always gets legal coverage wrong.  They absolutely refuse to hire anyone with even commonsense on legal issues.  Because she does not understand the legal issue or commonsense she missed what should have been a headline story.

Once Villalobos testified in his own trial he waived the Fifth on the issues he testified about.  The DOJ was  free to call him to  testify on anything he had already testified to. Notice, I am limiting my statement to only that which he had already testified to. The waiver of the Fifth is limited to only issues he had already testified to, and nothing else.  The DOJ could not go outside the scope of his direct testimony.  The US Supreme Court has already weighed in on this many times.  Even if Villalobos' conviction is reversed on appeal the DOJ can still use his testimony in the retrial - there is no Fifth Amendment privilege - he waived it when he testified.  Defendants who refuse to submit themselves to cross examination after testifying are held in contempt if they assert the Fifth.  Once you open that  door you do not get to close it.

"By taking the stand and testifying in her own behalf, petitioner waived the right to invoke on cross-examination her privilege against self-incrimination regarding matters made relevant by her direct examination."

See Supreme Court:  Browns v. US

Key language - made relevant - anything Villalobos had already testified to concerning Lucio was relevant to the Lucio trial.  The DOJ was free to simply have him restate only that which he had already testified to and nothing more.

Heads up people - its real and not Hollywood - "anything you say can and will be used against you." 

So my question is, why did the DOJ not call Villalobos to at least verify the testimony he gave in his own trial? - Villalobos admitted the forfeiture cases were bad or at least very iffy.

The answer is simple, Villalobos made clear  - he would not cooperate as to other possible wrongdoers if he had to give up his friend and former law partner.  This should have been a headline story but was not because the Herald has no one on staff who understands these issues.

For argument sakes only, let's say I am dead wrong on the Fifth issue, let's say the DOJ could not call Villalobos to simply verify his own testimony and nothing more, we still know Villalobos in his cooperation with the DOJ has refused to give up Lucio - which tells us something about how the negotiations are going. With the Lucio loss the DOJ is not going to give Villalobos the time of day, unless he has someone big to give up.

Even the lastest story by the Herald concerning Sonia Solis is wrong - check it out they left out the fact Cameron county voters also voted in the State Board of Education run-off between Ruben Cortez and Celeste Sanchez.

Does the Herald even have an editor who checks their work.

Until Brownsville has a newspaper with  competent reporters nothing will change in terms of the corruption. 


Anonymous said...

First time reading your blog and boy am I shocked with all the corruption that goes on in Brownsville, TX.

Thank you Sir.

Anonymous said...

Bobby does a fantastic job, yet still only scratches the surface of the cesspool that Brownsville is. The corruption is endemic in all public sector entities from the smallest to the largest. It knows no ethnic or social economic limitations. It is simply how things have been done and how they will be done. I have little faith that the Feds will ever make a big enough dent to change its momentum.

BobbyWC said...

Other than stopping the politiqueras - we have seen zero change in the corruption - they keep on moving forward with an ounce of fear

The theory is the feds do not have enough bullets to hit everyone who is corrupt so they take their chances

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

I believe you are right and he cut a deal. Good for him.i hope he gives them all up .

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it kinda seem the Feds went way easy on Lucio. They only called like 10 out of 60 witnesses. The was already a lot of testimony about bad forfeitures that wasn't really addressed. IMO