Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Setting the bar high

Yesterday, former U.S. Representative, and current Houston criminal defense attorney, Craig Washington took the state up on an offer of pretrial diversion on an aggravated assault case involving a deadly weapon.

On New Year's Day 2008, Mr. Washington fired three shots at a car after a confrontation in the parking lot of his Houston office. Mr. Washington said he feared for his safety while the teenagers claimed he fired at them without provocation.

Now if the Harris County District Attorney's Office is willing to offer a pretrial diversion on a aggravated assault case, what kind of misdemeanor case would not qualify a citizen accused for the program?


Cyn said...

I do not know any facts other than what I have read on blogspots & in the newspaper. But, I figure that if this argument is made, the State will respond that Mr. Washington has worked very hard contributing to society in his position as a lawyer; that to be convicted of this offense w/could cause the loss of his license therefore a major loss to the community; and that the state's case was iffy (you know that argument that they will offer diversions in dog cases rather than dismiss).

I know for a fact that the state - Mr. Ramirez - disapproved an application for a 30 y.o. Canadian citizen who is here on a work visa - said there was nothing particularly distinguishing about him.

Anonymous said...

Well the facts:

The boys were visitng Rich's, a Teen club accross the street from Mr. Washington's law office parking lot. Mr Washing ton resides at his law office building.
Someone charged the boys $10 to park there. The gate was open, ansd others were parking there as well.

Mr. Washington came out on his stair way upper landing and told the boys and another parker not to park there. The boys said they paid some one to park there. Mr. Washington said I own this place and you can't park here. so the boys said, OK, we are leaving and got in their car. The other parker left first. As the boys were about to pull away, Mr. Washington walked up to the driver door, pointed a pistol at the driver's head and said roll down your window. The driver thought, nothing good can come from this and drove out of the parking lot immediately in terror, as Mr Washuingtom proceeded to pump 3 bullets into his har. Mr. Washington's aim was good and deliberate. Two bullets hit the driver's door, one right at the window, and one just below. The third hit the bumper on the driver's side.

Mr. Washington was never in fear of the driver backing up to him, as the driver drove forward, away, in flight.

Mr. Washington was beside the car when he pointed the gun, and when the car pulled away. He was never in its path, and there was no way to point the car at him. The car was backed up to the fence of the parkinlot, and there was no place for Mr. Washington to get behind the car for him to think it could back up in reverse toward him.

He shot at the driver of a fleeing car that was leaving as he instructed, peacefully, but left in ga great hrry in fear, after he pointed a pistol at the dirver's head.

Now, Mr. Washington knew he was not in danger, becuause at the top of the landing he had already determined his only problem was some kids parking in his lot to go to Rich's This was not the first time that local street pele had "sold" parking in his lot. his gate was broken, so it was open. Mr. Washington's discussion from the landing verified to him two things: 1. he had two cars of teenagers parking in his lot, and 2 they were leaving, peacefully.

He decided to stop the last one from leaving by threatening the young driver with a pistol.

From the side of the car, with the exit to the street, and the car pointing to the exit. Mr. Washington then tried to kill the lad. Nearly did. His aim was good enough with the first two shots. Only yhe angle of the car allowed the steel door ro deflect te bullets. had the angle been a little sttepr, those shots would have penetrated the door and the driver.

So, why does the DA lay off this case?

At best its lazy, unwilling to prosecute the facts to deter such actions. Worst case, its a political favor.

Either way it stinks.

By the way, if the driver had been backing up, threatening Washington, the driver would be dead. Washington's aim was good, and he would have had a closer, square-on shot through the back of the car.

Washington plead because the demontrable facts clearly dispelled his fear of my life sory. Why the DA took such a deal,has to stink.

Houston DWI Attorney Paul B. Kennedy, said...

Now my question for you is, were you in the parking lot? If not then you are getting your information second-hand.

I have no idea what really happened that night and I make no judgment as to what should have happened in the courtroom.

My point is, quite simply, if you're going to offer PTD on a felony offense involving a weapon, how do you justify not offering it to any other first-time offender?