The 14th Court of Appeals in Houston has granted a new trial to Patrick "Booger Red" Kelly and Jamie Pittman, who had been convicted of running a club in Mineola where patrons watched and videotaped children engaging in sex acts.
It wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Booger and his pal, though: "Although the evidence is legally sufficient to support appellant's conviction and thus we do not reverse and render acquittal, the record of this case is rife with reversible error," the court ruled.
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Meaning "Lotsa luck with the retrial, dude."
The appellate court found that the trial judge had allowed hearsay as evidence, let prosecutors tell the jury in closing arguments that the two were convicted in a related case, and that an expert witness had not been established to have the proper expertise.
Testimony was gruesome enough without all that, according to the opinion's summary of it:
[One child] identified appellant as "Booger Red," the "meanest guy" he knew. He, like Shannon, described a sexual "kindergarten," where he learned how to do "bad stuff" by rubbing on dolls. He also described and identified the Mineola club; he testified that his mother and Jamie Pittman took him there and that appellant also was there. He explained that he and Shannon "played doctor" at the club in front of other people and that his privates touched her privates.
According to Holden, the people in the audience also paid to watch him dance. He also stated that he was sometimes videotaped by Jamie or Dennis Pittman when he was dancing, but that these tapes were burned at appellant's house. Holden identified Sheila Sones as another individual who was involved with the club; according to Holden, Sones helped make food at the club and watched him perform.