Criminal Practice of Law

Relationship with Mac, sitting on a downward spiral and she wanted to die! She turned to Mac and constantly begged and pleaded, with him to do her bidding. On the night that marks the 21st, 1961 wearing only pink jammies bearing road with Mac to stark tank just outside extra County. After giving her a final kiss, he put the shotgun to her head and pulled the trigger and wiped out her earthly troubles. Mac told this story to the police. Took them to the stark tank where he left Betty’s body. In the meantime he retained, Warren Bernet. Warren made a plaintiff to the court jury admitted that he was not contesting that Mac would have done the killing. He forcefully told the court jury in the opening statement that this state of Texas had to prove Mac’s sanity at the time. Warren steered clear of claiming irresistible impulse which we don’t have, and hammered on the unique phrase,” deprivation of reason”

So he characterized Dr. Marvin DE grace testified, that Mac had lost his ability to reason, that he was deprived of his reason and shot Betty, while under that influence. The jury found Mac innocent by reason of temporary insanity. The kiss and kill a murder is another striking example of the real drama that permits trial by jury. Of the equal importance the case spotlights Warren Bernet as one of the all-time premier lawyers of our profession. Just like this one …Gold Stein.

Of equal importance as I say is he’s a premier lawyer. One time I chanced to be Judge in DW Settle’s court room and a, a young lawyer was whirling all over the place trying to; develop her admission for particular piece of evidence. Judge Suttle called him to the bench and asked him,” Counsel, in the future instead of using a shotgun to prove you’re point, why don’t you use a scope, like Warren Bernet.” That says a lot to me! During my over 60 years of practice, I never faced a more worthy opponent, than Warren.

There just, lot of stories going around about his and my race for district attorney. In 1952 I ran against him for DA in midline in Odessa. We had lot of fun. His car went rather part of town mine went rather part town so we had shared cars and go to the valley…rallies and everything. While on July 4th 1952 at the American legion rally, it fell upon me to speak…first! Unfortunately! I was a family man, I had, children, a wife. Doing my best to build a family…

So I, I built on that, hammered on manhood, family man! And I kinda didn’t aside that Warren’s got time to make a family man. He’s too busy riding out sowing wild oats so like the family man, family man, family man. That was a mistake! Warren said. Any of you ever hear Warren Bernet, well If you haven’t you’ve missed a, heck of a voice! He toned his voice down said,” Well yeah! Charlie and I get friends, best friends. In fact the matter is, we came here today in my car. I respect him at being a family man! And I know I’m not! But this race boils down to one simple issue. In your district attorney, do you want fertility or ability? Come-on in honey I’ve been waiting for you. On the way home one night a young woman whose boyfriend was a camera man at TV station with star falls

So a man lurking behind her, she went into her apartment, left the screen door. Last but didn’t last the door. Crawled into bed! Pretty soon there was latch unless she saw looming in the, doorway, this man! In a sweet sexy voice she purged, “come on in honey I’ve been waiting for you!” well the guy was a, excited he crawled on bed. She embraced him but there was a catch to it. She had an ice pick in her hand. She stabbed him in the back and called the police and as he lay on the floor he said,” Please tell my wife that I loved her”. When I trialed the defendant, one of his leg was notably shorter than the other and his lawyer had pleaded entrapment. But it didn’t work.

Although if that wasn’t enough, the boy, the girls boyfriend took photos having him in the trial, limping down the steps and down the steps and send it to the home TV station with his cover story. That’s pretty cold. Now this case is a chuffer board perk, demonstrates the value again of, demonstrative evidence. My young client was in a of habit hugging a pretty waitress when suddenly a, chuffer board poet, perk you know what they are, whizzed past him and past his head, went to the sheet rock. Russian Totem was her boyfriend, oil field worker. He shot him in a leg stopped him in his tracks.

Now the old court room was a wooden floor. Had that oily sawdust you might say on that. Not 25 feet across from the council table was a brass spit tune and an old iron radiator, while the prosecutor was pooping. My defense, compered a putt, to the pistol. Well like sometimes will happen to you in your trial a flash hit man a swept that perks of the table. It rose across court room and huanged into that radiator. And my, apology to the court was accepted but, jury got the point and found my client not guilty!

In 1966 when Fort Worth came to prosecute Melvin Stuart Pittman 18 year old boy who killed a fish man on the shore of lake Arlington. After visiting for a while, Pittman walked about 10 paces sort of happen incline. And the moon was shining on the man’s back. Pittman in his confessions say,” I took these 10 paces up and shouted “HEY!” The man turned. Moon shining on his face, and I shot that sucker right between the eyes, POW!” I demonstrated that in my jury argument and one of the juriologist but juriologist by jumped out of their skin. Pittman got the death penalty but was reduced to life by ferment V Georgia.

Kenneth Mcduff also was reduced to life, Kenneth Mcduff. Kenneth Mcduff was Roy day or green. As his teenage accomplice abducted 2 boys and a girl, put the girl in the back seat with him, stuffed the 2 boys in the trunk drove to the corn field, lifted the trunk shot the 2 boys in the head after raping the girl, killed the girl by stepping on her… broomstick across her throat! Possum style as he called it. Well Mcduff’s lawyer made a fatal mistake of asking Kenneth, ”well now Kenneth you got into little bit of trouble, didn’t you? As a teenager bet you paid you’re debt to society and have been a good since. Isn’t that right?” Mcduff smiled and said,” Yes Sir, I sure have!” well that opened the door wide open for GI truck on cross examination.

I had obtained his record so I ask him, “Kenneth tells the jury what you’re lawyer meant by, a little bit of trouble! Did he mean you were convicted for 4 burglaries, and served time on that? Did he mean that you were trialed for assault with attempt to rape? Or that you were on parole when you committed, these 3 cold blooded murders? Is that what you meant?” action taken and words spoken. Freddy Seman his brother judge George N. Seman were inducted in the first class, of TC the LA hall of fame. We’ll discuss Freddy’s miraculous acquittal in a case of all call a case of lethal hands. Freddy Clarke got crosswise with a drug dealer. A rival drug dealer! They took him out in the country in a car, the drug dealer and he beat him about the face and head, very severely. Threw him in a car and took off. When the man was moaning and groaning in the back seat and about been beats of bad. Or the deceased dealer hit his brakes and said,” Oh you haven’t had enough?” the client somehow had gotten a gun and he shot the dealer in the back of the head from the back seat and killed him.
Freddy was hard to defend him. Frank Castiyoun homicide detective had been a champion boxer in the Navy and had refried a lot in and around San Antonio. So Fred qualified castiyoune’s next pert based upon his years in asking to hold up his hands, hold up your fears! As with those be lethal weapons or the deadly weapons! Yes, they would be. As a matter of fact the defendant or deceased was himself a boxer and yes it could be that they were deadly weapons.

The jury found client not guilty. Why? Because of action taken and words spoken by the dealer. On my final case in Texas versus Albert Medina, I like to call it a case of the bleeding hearts. My client Albert Medina was snookered out of his weekly pay by 2 pool sharks from parker heights. Everybody thought I was crazy for having a, constable on the jury. But I was a pretty good pool player myself and spent some of the better times of my years in the pool halls. And I knew something about pool sharks. Well he was on the jury and they found my client not guilty. Now interestingly enough, when the sharks got in their car and started to run off, my client ran up to em’, jerked open the door and drew down on em’ and demanded rest of his money, the return of his money. As the driver handed him his wallet…as Albert reached for it in the mud all in that instant, the driver lunged down at him. He shot twice, killed the driver and seriously wounded the passenger.
This illustrates the value of a photograph, not only of a photograph but the value of checking all of the photographs in the DA’s file. One photograph showing the driver lined pruned back on the driver seat, both feet on the ground, square to the car; no way it could be other than what my client said. That he shot him as he lunged back at him. Well the jury found him not guilty and gave Albert 6 months, aggravated assault on the passenger.

The pool judge, judge Avits, wonderful old judge, was retiring. That was the last case he trial, that I trialed in front of him. I had respect for him because he blew a fuse at the verdict and severely chastised the jury, told em’ he was glad he was retiring because my clients filling up with bleeding hearts. Well that tirade got the attention on online bilton and surrounding papers but national as well. Well I had respect for the judge, for being able to keep his feelings from the jury. That’s pretty rare!

So I obtained permission to address the court and told em’ it was distinct honor for me to appear before him in his last case. But he mellowed, thanked me for the way I trialed the case, thanked the jury for their verdict and wished them well and Albert was found as I say, not guilty. Well, since he had been in bell county jail for 6 months, he walked out without having serve any more time. He gave his trustee reviver to me and I in turn gave it to the district attorney. This might what be called a consolation prize. Thus ended the case of the bleeding hearts…
Another example of real, real drama that you will experience if you try a case with a jury with competent counsel on the other side, a fair judge, try it, believe you like it. I trusted reading in thoughtful of study of this paper, well what you’re imagination inspire you to announce, ready you re honor! Pick a jury try and argue case before that jury and enjoy the real life drama of trial by jury. Caveat, caveat, caveat! Always cook your grids and leave 20 minutes. Thank you! [Audience claps] Speaker: [indistinct voice] Charlie don’t go away. On behalf of the San Antonio criminal offence lawyer association and everybody here today from Texas criminal defense lawyers association, we signed a little birthday card for you.
Charlie: ah great!
Speaker: this isn’t one of those big fancy cards that tell you how special you are. Now this is one of those ginormous fancy cards that tell you how special you are!

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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