By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Twenty felony convictions, and he's been sent away to the state penitentiary exactly once. What the hell ever happened to tough-as-nails, three-strikes-and-you're-out Texas?
"This one really takes the cake," says Andy Kahan of the city's Crime Victims Division. "Putting my advanced degree to work, I'm going to say that I have a better shot growing my hair back than this guy does of curtailing his professional career when he gets out again."
Lee's felony record includes mostly burglaries; the homeless man also gets picked up all the time for drug possession.
But 20 felony convictions and almost no hard time?
"I don't know if we can logically and successfully defend our actions in that," says Lyn McClellan, head of the DA's felony office.
Part of the problem is that Lee has mental-health problems, McClellan says, so there's a question of whether putting him away for 20 years, which his record would allow, is the best move.
Also playing a big part, though, is that he's apparently always willing to plead out to a brief jail stint. "He comes in, pleads out, boom-boom-boom, the prosecutor has another felony conviction," Kahan says.
McClellan agrees. "In so many cases it's, 'He'll take so-and-so,' and the natural reaction for a prosecutor trying to move a docket is, 'Well, he'll take that so okay, we'll do that. No one got hurt.' But there comes a time when you need to say 'stop.'...You can't be a slave to moving the docket."
McClellan says the next time Lee comes through the system (Next time? Who knows — maybe he'll give up burglary!), prosecutors won't be offering the standard plea bargain.
"We'll litigate it and let a jury decide what to do with him," he says.
This being Texas, there aren't a lot of great options when it comes to treating a mentally ill person who won't stop breaking the law.
But somehow, we're guessing Lee's chances at breaking the law again won't be so good with a Texas jury looking at a 20-felony conviction record.
Gramps Is Feisty Today
We finally heard back from the lawyer representing the guy with the two-day hard-on (See Hair Balls, September 13). And we're glad we did.
Not just to hear attorney Brian Tew talk about "woodies like marble," but because we otherwise would have missed the following exchange.
It comes from the deposition of a Boston Medical Group Texas employee.
Tew is suing Boston Medical, which is a company that often advertises on local radio promising help for men who can't get it up like they used to. This employee had the not-quite-enviable job of checking ("by feel") how long customers' boners stayed firm after receiving the prescribed injection.
"We have to physically, you know, look at the penis to see how firm it is," the employee said, "and also check it for — you know, how rigid it is. If it has any flexibility at all or if it is — how firm it is."
(Yet another entry in our list of Jobs We Do Not Want.)
Better yet was this, from later on in the deposition:
Q (by Tew). What's the oldest person that you've ever seen prescribed the injection?
A. Probably close to a hundred.
Q. One hundred years old?
A. Yes. [He lived] in a nursing home.
Defense attorney James Wilde: More power to him, man.
A. At a nursing home, or at a — at a —
Wilde: Retirement home?
Retirement home...The actual shuttle van from the nursing home dropped him off and picked him up on that day.
And the ladies appreciated the service, we're sure.
If youre selected to run a college thats perpetually low on cash, on a campus where the buildings are falling apart, you can do two things: Work tirelessly to improve conditions, which is no fun at all, or lead by example, which can be lots of fun. Former Texas Southern president Priscilla Slade chose the latter route, opting to show students just how a TSU expense account can help them to live their dreams. For this shes being prosecuted in criminal court. Check out Slade's AlmostMySpace page here.