HPD Beating Trial Will Stay Here Because You Don't Read Or Watch News; Reporter Subpoenaed
The trial of four HPD officers accused of beating a young burglary suspect will remain here in Houston, a judge ruled this morning.
Why? Partly because, as one prosecutor argued, "the fact is that there are a lot of people who don't follow the news."
The officers are accused of beating 15-year-old Chad Holley in March 2010, an arrest that was caught on a storage-unit company's security camera.
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Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin said, "There are explanations for the conduct of those officers" but that any juror who had seen the video would not be open to hearing them.
The hearing over the change of venue motion included testimony from Mayor Annise Parker, HPD chief Charles McClelland and activist Quanell X.
It almost included testimony from the Houston Chronicle's Brian Rogers. He was covering the trial -- writing his story, actually, in the courtroom when he was hit with a subpoena.
"In court today, I was subpoenaed to testify about pretrial publicity re: the story i was writing in the courtroom I refused 2 answer anythng," he tweeted.
Later he described the scene: "Just me Standing alone with a subpoena in my hand, everybody else just filming and taking notes, pretending they're NOT reporters," he wrote.
Rogers, who tells Hair Balls he can't comment on the situation, was called to the stand by DeGuerin to answer questions about the comments already received on a story he had posted that morning.
Judge Ruben Guerrero would not let him call his editor or the Chron's lawyer; he refused to answer DeGuerin's questions, citing constitutional rights, and Guerrero did not compel him to answer them, so he left the stand.
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