It was difficult getting people to talk, even off the record, for this week's feature story on Dr. Michael Brown.
His latest defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin, was quoted this week in the Houston Chronicle as saying Brown "is not understood by the public," and he's right -- to a point. Fortunately, there's a hefty court record documenting Brown's bizarre, often violent behavior and obsession with guns and sex. But we would've liked to have had the opportunity to talk to Brown about his formative years. Unfortunately, while DeGuerin was willing to further impugn Brown's wife's character, he wouldn't even respond to our list of questions for his client.
One of our questions was a plea to hear from any friends or family members willing to speak on Brown's behalf. It would have been nice to have a balance to the madness. But even if DeGuerin hadn't ignored us, we don't think he would have been able to provide any names in the first place. It appears that, outside of the four women who married and later left him, he hasn't had any close friends, or anyone brave enough to tell him to get a grip.
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When Brown and his estranged wife Rachel sought counseling in 2010, according to the therapist's notes, Rachel's main priority was to get her husband to stop drinking. Brown's priority was to get his wife to stop "reacting."
So when DeGuerin told the Chron that Brown "made some very bad judgments on whom he chose to spend his life with," we're not sure what he meant. Between Brown and Rachel, only Brown was ordered by two authorities -- a district court judge and the Texas Medical Board -- not to drink. Only one of them had a documented history of cocaine use. Only one of them had a documented record of physical abuse.
We also don't know what DeGuerin meant when he told the Chron, "I think prosecutors were bamboozled by Rachel." In one sentence, he demeaned prosecutors as hapless rubes and painted Rachel as a femme fatale.
It was a wholly unnecessary smear, and we think that if DeGuerin really meant that -- if he genuinely believed in his client's innocence and integrity -- he would have had the stones to address our questions. But of course, that's not his job. His job -- like everyone else trailing behind Michael Brown -- is to take the money and clean up the mess.