Lynn Brezosky and Peggy Fikac - Express-News
RAYMONDVILLE — Lawyers for Vice President Dick Cheney and former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were bewildered Wednesday when the prosecutor in a slew of indictments against them failed to appear in court.
Willacy County prosecutor Juan Angel Guerra's no-show ruined hopes their motions would quickly quash cases against their clients and stumped the presiding judge as well.
The manager, Hilda Ramirez, was subpoenaed by defense attorney J.A. “Tony” Canales after buzz in the courthouse that Guerra was nowhere to be found. She told the judge she had been trying to reach Guerra all day.
Legal experts were stumped by the indictments, with most doubting that any of the charges had merit. Guerra's failure to appear in court Wednesday added to the mystery.
“The State of Texas is entitled to have its day in court,” he said, adding that he would write an order for Guerra to appear.
“It's a creative indictment, but I don't think it properly alleges any crime,” Edmonds said. “It's more of just a rambling narrative ... I think a court will find that it's legally insufficient.”
“The Prosecutor has usurped for himself the role of Prosecutor, Judge, victim, and director of the Grand Jury,” the motions say.
GEO Group Inc. and Warden David Forrest are charged with murder and manslaughter in the inmate's death. Lucio, D-Brownsville, is charged with acting as a paid consultant on prison contracts in Willacy County and elsewhere in the state and thus profiting from the influence of his office.
Lewis, who's not involved in the Willacy County case, said, “I don't think he (Cheney) will ever spend a day in court.”
“If this DA can do this, then any DA in any county or parish could literally shut the federal government down,” Treece said. “I thought that it (the case) was suspect for another reason — he seems to be retaliating against his local enemies.” Cheney's personal attorney, Terry O'Donnell, called the situation “really bewildering.”