Response to Judge Guerrero's letter: Will this nightmare ever end? This innocent young man was finally acquitted after more than two years of resetting trial dates ["A Child's Word," by Randall Patterson, May 21]. Brian wanted to give the interview to clear his name and get the truth out. His lawyer, Vivian King, was very supportive of his attempting to put his life back in order.
Should Judge Guerrero be commenting about Brian's case when all records of the case and the evidence presented in the case have been expunged from all records? In 2007, King filed with the court the evidence of the false allegation and gave a copy to the district attorney who was handling the case at the time. It was public record.
For five grueling days, Judge Guerrero refused to allow this evidence to be presented to the jury. Each time King tried to enter evidence of prior false allegations, Judge Guerrero denied it. It was very evident Judge Guerrero was showing partiality toward the district attorneys. King, knowledgeable and skilled, did not waver in her attempt to have the jury hear these false-allegation charges. Judge Guerrero finally decided to allow prior false allegations made by the child after King asked to reopen the case. I am sure the jurors knew there was evidence they did not hear due to the fact they were taken out of the courtroom on several occasions. Fortunately, the jury acquitted Brian.
Judge Ruben Guerrero
Brian has suffered tremendously emotionally, physically and financially through this entire ordeal. Brian lost his job at AT&T for almost three years while this case was pending. By the grace of God, Brian was rehired after the case was expunged from his records. It is our hope and prayer that he can now pick up the pieces and move forward.
Online readers weigh in:
Good King: Thank goodness for good lawyers like Vivian King, who personify the Sixth Amendment.
Comment by tom from houston
Jury fury: This typifies the danger of a jury trial. Had the judge not allowed the later testimony, that poor guy could well have been doing serious time as a child rapist, worst of all thugs in prison. I have been on both sides of the courtroom, and believe me, it was fear of a screwed-up jury that got me to take a plea and run for the border.
Comment by johnny833 from Deer Park
God bless Vivian King: God bless the HCCLA. God have mercy on Judge Guerrero. He will pay at the next round of elections if he does not allow a fair trial in his courtroom. And for those of you readers who have no connection to the judicial system, please remember this story the next time you are called for jury duty.
Comment by EC_Esq from Houston
Attorney attention: Good lawyering deserves good publicity. Bravo to you for publishing this story.
Comment by Jon Hill from Houston
Kids lie: Some run, some give up and a few believe in themselves. She's a believer, to know that children can and will lie. It also means that she is a parent. Those who believe children don't lie are clueless. They just need to stop.
Comment by R B Davis from Richmond
The Congresswoman and the King
Online readers respond to "Funeral, Cameras: Yep, Sheila Jackson Lee Is in the House," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, July 7:
In the right: Despite her grandstanding — which, frankly, if she was a white man, like that turd Tom DeLay, no one would care about — Sheila Jackson Lee is on the right side of the issues. She is consistently for human rights and pulls really hard for her Houston district.
Tax question: How much money was spent to send Sheila to California?
Please: Somebody, anybody run against her. Save us from her shameless grandstanding. Texas deserves better...
Great speech: I loved Jackson Lee's speech. She knew what she was talking about, and anyone who saw her speak and did not understand did not listen. She said exactly what should have been said in an awesome way. Thank you — I needed to hear your speech and remember what a fine person MJ will always be.
IN PRINT AND ONLINE
Houston Press wins several national and statewide awards
The Houston Press received national and statewide awards in two recent journalism contests for both its print and online editions, including eight first-place awards.
Hair Balls, the news blog at www.houstonpress.com, was named "Best Blog" in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies competition in the over-50,000-circulation category recently.
Houston Press staff writer Craig Malisow placed second in the AltWeekly Awards competition in the Public Service category for "Selling You," and Editor Margaret Downing received an honorable mention in the Feature Story category for "Mental Anguish."
Malisow was the big winner in the Lone Star statewide awards competition sponsored by the Houston Press Club. Competing in the over-100,000-circulation category, he won Print Journalist of the Year honors for a selection of stories that included "Selling You," "Language Barrier" and "Man on Fire."
Press staffer Chris Vogel took second place in the Print Journalist of the Year category for "Crime Doesn't Pay(back)" "Prison Cover-up" and "Dead End."
Vogel and Press staffer Paul Knight took first place in Internet-Based News, Collaborative: Hard News Reporting for online stories they did entitled "KBR Series."
Vogel also got a second in Politics/Government for "Prison Cover-up," and third in Investigative Reporting for "Crime Doesn't Pay(back)."
Knight also received a second place in Sports Story for "No Pressure," a third place in Feature Story for "Gone to Hell" and a third in Public Service for "Home Bound."
Editor Margaret Downing received a first in Business Story for "Bad Faith."
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Columnist Randall Patterson received a first and second place in the General Commentary/Criticism category for "To Catch a Rapist" and "Quality Assurance," respectively.
Photographer Daniel Kramer placed first in Sports Photo for "Boxers" and first in Photo Package for "Hurricane Ike." He came in second for Photojournalist of the Year honors with a "collection of images."
In other online categories, John Nova Lomax placed first in Internet-Based News Original/Feature Story for "Sunny San Leon Picks Up the Pieces After Hurricane Ike."
And in that same Internet competition, Press Music Listings Editor Craig Hlavaty placed second in the online Opinion category for "Metallica at Toyota Center"