Welcome to Cherokee County, Texas the Official Site on Corruption

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

Paroled felon with gun turns State’s evidence; has criminal record expunged. Molester pleads to 24 months for raping Jacksonville TX boy.

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Rusk, Texas:  In January 2004, death row inmate Richard Aaron Cobb was convicted of capital murder in Cherokee County’s 2nd Judicial District Court, CAUSE NO. 15054. According to a TDCJ summary of the September 2, 2002 incident in Rusk, Texas, Richard Cobb and codefendant Buenka Adams abducted a man and two women during a convenience store robbery. They fatally shot the man, sexually assaulted and shot the two women. The three victims’ bodies were left in a field near Alto, Texas. The two female store clerks survived. Both Richard Cobb and Buenka Adams were convicted of capital murder in Cherokee County, Texas and sentenced to death.

 Information based upon Richard Cobb’s direct appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals indicates that Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth dropped felony gun possession charges on a habitual criminal, named W.T., for his jail cell testimony against Cobb.  W.T. was strategically placed in the Cherokee County jail cell (in Rusk) with Richard Cobb during the Appellant’s trial and testified he overheard Cobb implicating codefendant Buenka Adams. W.T., a convicted felon, was incarcerated in Rusk, TX for felony possession of a firearm. Appellant Richard Cobb also argued in his Motion that Elmer Beckworth’s office failed to disclose to defense attorneys one victim’s financial arrangement to have her story/testimony broadcasted on the syndicated “Montel Williams’ Show.” The witness was also in the process of writing a book detailing her ordeal.

During a motion for a new trial, Richard Cobb’s attorneys argued the fact that Cherokee County District Attorney Investigator Randy Hatch had made calls to W.T.’s parole officers asking for leniency on their star witness’ behalf. Felony gun charges were completely dropped against W.T. for his cooperation. To date, W.T.’s Cherokee County record has been expunged. District Attorney Elmer Beckworth denied making ‘deals’ with the felon W.T.; however Beckworth told the TXCRIMAPP charges against W.T. were “just not prosecutable” because W.T. was stopped on a four-wheeler on his way to “target practice” in the woods. The fact is W.T.’s testimony was never needed to convict the Cobb/Adams duo of murder; forensics and material evidence were overwhelming against them both. Plus the two surviving victims’ testimony.

W.T’s unecessary testimony was merely a ruse to bolster the district attorney’s case. And let’s not forget who W.T. is related to in Rusk, Texas…an easy ploy to get a friend’s son off of parole altogether. Former DA Investigator Randy Hatch vouched for a convicted felon on parole caught with an illegal firearm, despite the State having ample testimony from the two surviving victims at trial. There never was a TDCJ Parole Revocation Hearing to determine W.T.’s felon gun possession charges. In fact, W.T. was released early from his parole and his identity wiped clean with the help of the district attorney’s office, for being a supposed jailhouse snitch.

District Attorney Elmer Beckworth’s statement (in the Appellant’s brief) to the court regarding dropping his State witness’ felony gun possession charge:

“My experience in over 20 years of felony prosecution the citizens of Cherokee County and East Texas generally are not real fond of weapons offenses, very difficult to get a jury in a felon in possession with a firearm. And in situations where someone is hunting the weapon is in their home or something like this where it’s target practicing and there is no other crimes involved or activities indicating a danger situation it is very difficult to get a conviction and most of those cases are not prosecuted and are declined on the basis of insufficient evidence.”

Quite the opposite stance Elmer Beckworth and the local Cherokee County media takes when probationers have their community service revoked for “target practice” during ‘slow news daze.’ The Jacksonville Daily Progress even reports in a convenient article the fact that Texas state law prohibits felons keeping a firearm even within their home, until five years have passed after their parole or probation is over. Texas law in 2002 appropriately applied to Mr. Beckworth’s star witness W.T. states it is “unlawful for a convicted felon to possess a firearm outside of their residence at any time.” Deals to strike the arrest record of a convicted felon are also beyond the pale, except in Cherokee County, Texas.

Attorneys for Richard Cobb produced letters written by W.T. to Elmer Beckworth and his office referencing W.T.’s meetings with Beckworth and investigator Randy Hatch, stating: “At our meeting in Mr. Hatch’s office on 12-19-02 you agreed to completely clear this charge as well as try to have the parole hold lifted so I could get released.” Another letter was written by Beckworth on January 10, 2003. Although it was addressed “to whom it may concern,” Beckworth testified that it was sent to [W.T.’s] parole officer, Roy Shamblin. The letter stated: “Please be advised that this office will not seek prosecution on [W.T.] for the offense of Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon. If anything further is needed please contact this office.” Signed Elmer C. Beckworth, Jr. and Randy Hatch.

Apparenlty District Attorney Elmer Beckworth did make a sweet deal with convicted felon W.T.  We can always count on local media to avoid reporting actual court documents and prosecutors to lie about actual proceedings. The ends always justify the means.

Richard Cobb’s capital murder conviction was affirmed by the appeals court and Cobb remains on death row in Huntsville. The Appellant’s arguments were predictably immaterial to the Court of Criminal Appeals; however they shed light on how effortlessly Cherokee County’s district attorney office lies about the deals they cut, when it is politically expedient. Especially when felons are used to bolster their cases. A more progressive court of appeals may have released these murderers back into society and agreed with the Appellant’s points of error made by the Cherokee County, TX prosecutor. Cronyism with unreported and nondisclosed felons is a common Cherokee County district court tactic. And when the judicial errors are revealed, the local newspapers report a crackdown of the exact same crimes ignored prior, complete with embellished police reports. Why? Because Cherokee County is corrupt.

And innocent rail-roaded defendants in the region can expect even the most egregious prosecutorial misconduct, collusion between State Witnesses and Investigators, a la the jailhouse snitch and Randy Hatch, and complete baldface lies to be sanctioned by the higher appellate courts.

The argument is not that Richard Cobb and/or Buenka Adams were obviously guilty of murder and should be put to death. The question is why would the Cherokee County District Attorney deliberately risk putting the trial jury’s verdict in jeopardy by swearing in a convicted felon (who they made deals with) on the stand. Why rely on a jail house snitch to testify when two surviving witnesses would have presented unimpeachable evidence against the defendants? Why? Because Cherokee County is corrupt.

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Richard Cobb, death row

Jacksonville, TX:

Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth blames another rape victim for being “too embarrassed to go to trial” during an interview in the August 19, 2008 issue of the Jacksonville Daily Progress. During June and July, Beckworth’s office offered probation and a 24 month prison sentence to Jacksonville, TX resident Stephen Oliver. Oliver, age 48, pleaded guilty to repeatedly sexually assaulting a local teenage boy for over a 2-1/2 year period.

Beckworth, pleased with the light sentence of the child rapist, stated to the Daily Progress the victim would “recant his story” if the case went to trial. Of course Cherokee County residents, voters and readers of the Daily Propagandist are too stupid to realize even teenage minors don’t take the stand in cases of sex assault; their statements are enough to convict offenders for life. Stephen Oliver will spend less time in prison than he did sexually assaulting and ruining the life of a innocent youth.

After serving a few months of his prison term, Stephen Oliver can join the following list of registered Cherokee County Texas sex offenders given probation by Elmer Beckworth, whose names were released in 2006:

• Frank Birden Guinn, age 82, Alto TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 12-year-old female;

• Michael Morrison, 48, Alto TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old female;

• Gary Mark Hayles, 43, Bullard TX, indecency with a child by contact of an 8-year-old female;

• Wesley Boyd Mohr, 60, Bullard TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 10-year-old female;

• William Barry Travis, 54, Bullard TX, aggravated sexual assault of a child of an 8-year-old female;

• Matthew Isaiah White, 17, Bullard TX, indecency by exposure involving a 15-year-old female;

• Christopher Steven Goleman, 33, Gallatin TX, aggravated sexual assault of a disabled 39 year-old female;

• Tommy Junior Allen, 54, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 11-year-old female;

• William Tracy Arnold, 42, Jacksonville TX, burglary and felony involving a 34-year-old female;

• James Travis Baker, 22, Jacksonville TX, indecency of a child by contact of a 6-year-old female;

• James Isaac Barnett, 18, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child of a 14-year-old-female;

• Brian D. Black, 19, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 10-year-old female;

• Vernon Willis Blackshire, 29, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;

• Anthony Eugene Boone, 38, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 6-year-old male;

• Cole Joseph Brooks, 22, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;

• Christopher Lee Calley, 25, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 3-year-old female;

• Gark Michael Clark, Jacksonville TX, 52, sexual assault of a child of a 16-year-old girl;

• Arturo Allen Cochran, 26, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old female;

• Carlos Jerome Conner, 37, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;

• Steven Daille, 58, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• James William Dennis, 64, Jacksonville TX, agg. kidnapping/sex assault of a 38-year-old female;

• Jose Ramon Galan, 53, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 9-year-old female;

• Jonathan Keith Glenn, 23, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old female;

• James Henry Golden, 52, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 36-year-old female;

• Nathan Wayne Grimes, 61, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a 9-year-old female;

• Ollie Ray Grogan, 62, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a 5-year-old male and 7-year-old female;

• Nickolas Noel Harwell, 31, Jacksonville TX, two counts of aggravated sex assault of a 12-year-old female;

• Kevin Lyn Hawes, 42, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old;

• Christopher Michael Hennessy, Jacksonville TX, 25, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female; absconded.

• William Lee Hershiser, 48, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• Roger Hunter, 72, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 14-year-old female;

• Aaron Lee Joslin, 25, Jacksonville TX, two counts of sexual performance of a 7-year-old male;

• Robert Michael Lane, 33, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 10-year-old female;

• Jackie Neal Locke, 46, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 13-year-old female;

• Ben Mallard, 47, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 11-year-old female;

• James Donald McClain, 56, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 20-year-old female, and 11-year-old female;

• Leroy Edward McCuen, 56, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 9-year-old female;

• Kenneth Ray Messick, 59, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female and 16-year-old female;

• Stacy Bernard Mills, 39, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 11-year-old female;

• Tracey Dewayne Moseley, 33, Jacksonville TX, indecency by exposure, of a 15-year-old female;

• Jamie Lee Newburn, 28, Jacksonville TX, two counts of attempted sexual performance of a 14-year-old female;

• Sammy Carroll Newman, 54, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 12-year-old female;

• Patrick Brian Norsworthy, 43, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of an 8-year-old female;

• Derrick Wendell Owens, 34, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 9-year-old female;

• Kevin Wayne Patton, 36, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 14-year-old female;

• Glenn Durrell Pierce, 49 years of age, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old male;

• Bruce Townsend Powell, 48, Jacksonville TX, attempted sexual assault of a 30-year-old male;

• Jimmy Reed, 47, Jacksonville TX, attempted sexual assault of a 25-year-old female and unknown female;

• Mandell Rhodes Jr., 43, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 52-year-old female;

• Thompson Ward Stricklen, 43, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 11-year-old female;

• Paul Arlen Taylor, 51, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 13-year-old female;

• Terry Lawrence Taylor, 48, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 12-year-old female;

• James L. Wells, 52, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old female and 6-year-old female;

• Johnny Decole Wells, 25, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• Larry Wayne White, 45, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old female;

• Timothy Kevin Zweck, 32, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• Robby Lee Buffalo, 32, Rusk TX, prohibited sexual assault (incest) of a 11-year-old female;

• Richard Dean Davis, 47, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 14-year-old female;

• Nile James Dean, 39, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 8-year-old female;

• James William Hammons, 45, Rusk TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;

• Jason Aaron Husband, 29, Rusk TX, sexual assault of a child of a 15-year-old female;

• Elbert James Patton, 90, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of an 8-year-old female and 9-year-old female; deceased.

• Delian Brenanard Session, 43, Rusk TX, sexual assault of a 34-year-old female and 11-year-old-female;

• Troy Gibbs Sutherland, 31 years of age, Rusk TX, attempted sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;

• Aubrey Thomas Taylor, 48 years of age, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 10-year-old female;

• Dale Joseph Tylich, 51, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a female less than 16 years of age;

• Charles Clifton Bruner, 45, Troup TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 6-year-old female;

• Michael Servetus Childs, 31 years of age, Troup TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;

• Tommy Robert Husband, 46 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 16-year-old female;

• Michael Sean Lee, 33 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child of a 13-year-old female;

• Timmey Martin, 41 years of age, Troup TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;

• Michael Ryan McMichael, 34 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child of a 12-year-old female;

• Martin Otis Pitts, 51 years of age, Troup TX, two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a 7-year-old female;

• Bryan Thomas Toombs, 31 years of age, Troup TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female.

• Alisha Arriola Corley, 36 years of age, Wells TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old male.

 

That’s your Cherokee County Texas district courts hard at work. The District Attorney’s office makes sure assault arrests of their grand and petite jury foreman never sees the light of day, either. Do a county by county comparison.

 § 22.01. ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense ifThe offense is a third degree felony if the offense is committed against an arresting officer or a victim of family violence.

the person:

(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes

bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;

(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with

imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or

(3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical

contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably

believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or

provocative.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Palestine, Texas:

Anderson County Sheriff candidate Steven Quick, age 46, was arrested on a domestic violence charge on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at their Palestine, TX residence. Both Quick and his girlfriend are Anderson County Jail employees; Mr. Quick being the former Chief Jailer and Democratic candidate vying for Anderson County Sheriff in November’s general elections. The assault appears to be isolated to a domestic dispute involving the dog kennels at their trailer house.

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Steven Quick, Palestine TX

 

 

Texas Occupational Code

CHAPTER 53. CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION

§ 53.002. APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER. This chapter does

not apply to:

(1) the Supreme Court of Texas, a person licensed

under the court’s authority on behalf of the judicial department of

government, or an applicant for a license issued under the court’s

authority on behalf of the judicial department of government;

(2) a peace officer or an applicant for a license as a

peace officer described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal

Procedure; or

(3) a person who:

(A) is licensed by the Texas State Board of

Medical Examiners, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, the State

Board of Dental Examiners, or the State Board of Veterinary Medical

Examiners; and

(B) has been convicted of a felony under Chapter

481 or 483 or Section 485.033, Health and Safety Code.

Under Title 3 of the Texas Occupational Code and the Medical Practice Act, autonomous state agencies regulate the licensing of doctors, dentists, pharmacists, acupuncturists and other health providers. Such as the Texas Medical Board and Board of Dental Examiners. It is this dichotomy of legal statutes that allows arrested and convicted offenders to continue to practice their licensed professions unnoticed within the county. Normally, the arrest of Cherokee County professionals and subsequent dismissal of charges goes unreported. Especially those members of the local Chamber of Commerce or related to the county’s ‘Politico.’ The district attorney’s office doesn’t want anyone to spill the beans.

The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) compiles public databases to review license holders’ disciplinary actions. The Texas State Pharmacy Board also reviews its members. And these professional boards don’t look kindly at license holders not reporting their assaultive offenses and continuing to operate in health related services. Because the local Cherokeean Herald and Jacksonville Daily Progress take their marching orders from the Rusk Texas courthouse (and refuse to print articles when prosecutor’s cousins are arrested), readers can be informed of Cherokee County inmate bookings via the online VINELink. Anderson County jails, however are routinely offline. Crime victims may choose to register with the service: The Texas Statewide Automated Victim Notification System (SAVNS) that gives offenders’ county jail custody and case status. The Texas SAVNS hotline is available 24/7 at 1-877-TX4-VINES (1-877-894-8463).

TDCJ  also offers inmate information at their state-level facilities via their website at : http://168.51.178.33/webapp/TDCJ/index2.htm

Under Sec. 153.0045. RULES ON CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION, the boards adopted Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupational Code requiring hearings and stiff penalties when license holders are convicted of crimes.

“The board shall adopt rules and guidelines as necessary to comply with Chapter 53, except to the extent the requirements of this subtitle are stricter than the requirements of that chapter-Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1.12, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.”

A good example from the Texas Medical Board, Fall 2006-

UNPROFESSIONAL OR DISHONORABLE CONDUCT VIOLATIONS:

GOODMAN, JOHN WILLIS, M.D., RUSK, TX, Lic. #D2437

On October 6, 2006, the Texas Medical Board and Dr. Goodman entered into an Agreed Order requiring that he have a chaperone in the room any time he performs a physical examination on any patient and prohibiting him from performing genital or rectal examinations. The action was based on allegations that Dr. Goodman conducted inappropriate genital examinations on several [Rusk State Hospital] inmates in 1998.

Sec. 153.006. CRIMINAL RECORD REPORT.

(a) “The board may receive criminal record reports from any law enforcement agency or another source regarding a license holder or license applicant. ” This is a valuable law and resource to the public when it comes to drug convictions of health professionals, that may otherwise go unreported. As in Dr. Goodman of the Rusk State Hospital in 2006. 

 

Jacksonville, Texas:

Deborah Raissi, wife of Jacksonville, TX City Manager Mo Raissi, pleaded guilty on Monday, June 9, 2008 to possession of marijuana and drunk driving from an earlier arrest in Bullard, TX. Mrs. Rassi was pulled over by Bullard PD on Highway 69, in the wee morning hours back in October 2007. She was offered 2 1/2 years probation, a thousand dollar fine and community service. And the story has been cached away from public scrutiny.
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  D.Raissi (Courtsey Smith County, TX)

Smith County, Texas:

Precinct 1 Constable Henry Jackson  recently facing 10 State charges, ranging from felony tampering with governmental records, official oppression and sexual harassment of a female deputy. Constable Jackson had his bond lowered after an alleged violation, i.e. he continue to operate his unlicensed security company. His bond was originally set at $1 million.

Constable Jackson’s criminal trials began in August, but was postponed for the more sensational “Mineola Swingers’ Club” trial in Smith County. Felony corruption charges were completely dropped during an impromptu meeting with State and County attorneys and Jackson’s defense team. According to the Tyler, TX newspaper, Jackson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and was fined $100. He must complete an overly excessive 6 months probation and 200 hours of community service before returning to work without a criminal record. Constable Henry Jackson runs unopposed in Smith County’s Pct.1 during November’s elections. And that is East Texas politics at its finest hour!

Whitehouse, Texas:

Timothy Adcock, age 25, of Whitehouse, TX pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 in Tyler’s federal court. He is facing 10 years in federal prison. Having a cousin or two in the prosecutor’s seat at the Rusk, Texas courthouse gives Cherokee County’s variety of counterfeit Christians, wife beating sociopaths and pedophiles absolutely no culpability. Contrasted with Smith County officials who admit child abuse is on the rise in the area.

Henderson County, Texas:

Inmates within the Athens, TX jailhouse are suing Henderson County authorities on a variety of health and sanitation issues. Inmates named in the federal class action suit are seeking punitive damages for neglect.

Shelby County, Texas:

A federal lawsuit claims that Shelby County officials working out of Tenaha, TX have been targeting minorities and motorists during obvious ‘asset seizure’ practices. Innocent people have been forced to sign over their personal effects during traffic stops in the county, to avoid being charged with “money laundering.”

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  Tenaha, Texas is on a major drug route.                                                    US 59

The most recent case to make through the well-disposed US Eastern District Court is 2:2008cv00288 Morrow v. City of Tenaha Deputy City Marshal Barry Washington, et al  

The East Texas media has been approvingly quiet in the past when it came to small towns’ “Highway Robbery.” An example that barely saw the light: in 2007, Shelby County Assistant Auditor Marilyn Lout, age 70, stole nearly $200,000 from the county’s Indigent Health Care Fund. Mrs. Lout, a cancer patient and grandmother, had been funneling money to her daughter-in-law in Hardin County. The Texas Attorney General’s office seized other diverted monies and assets of unnamed individuals after a raid on Lout’s Shelbyville, TX home. Marilyn Lout quietly accepted a plea bargain with Shelby County prosecutors of 10 years probation after threatening to “tell all.” This poor East Texas grandma meant business and the sympathetic media in the region has all but buried the misappropriation and theft of taxpayer money.

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Marilyn Lout, Shelby County TX auditor

It has come to light that Shelby County officials have been supplementing their county salaries with over $3 million in seized money and property from motorists. The Shelby County officials named in the Morrow lawsuit are not part of a wider Drug Task Force. US Hwy 59, a notorious corridor for drugs from Mexico, travels through greater East Texas and downtown Tenaha.

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                         Tenaha, TX in Shelby County

The back roads of East Texas are prime sources of undocumented revenue for local law enforcement and officers of district courts. The shakedown of out-of-state travelers has been going on for decades in the Piney Woods.  And as they say, there are plenty of narcotic interdiction officers along this route willing to violate the 4th Amendment.

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US 59 between Marshall and Jefferson, TX [courtesy Wikimedia]

The best advice to motorists traveling this area of East Texas-

 Don’t go. Turn around and go home.

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13 Responses

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  1. i the mother of richard cobb know that mt son was not given a fair trial. but not having the money to have a good lawyer, we had a court apt. good freind of our D.A. .never trying to help him get a fair trial just trying to get it over richard was only 18 and was told if he did not help his little would be harmed because he owed drug money to cousins of admas his family would be harmed .he refused to help and was told his whole would suffer .his dad was dying with cancer and he was afride

    Anonymous

    12/26/2008 at 12:57 PM

  2. Are you KIDDING ME? He F**KING KILLED SOMEONE in an armed robbery…what kind of fair trial did the victims get!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anonymous

    10/04/2010 at 11:56 AM

    • Elmer Beckworth lied directly to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals regarding his use of the “jailhouse informant” during the Richard Cobb trial. Beckworth’s office sought and was granted immunity for the jailbird who testified “over hearing” Richard Cobb discussing the case while both were incarcerated in the Rusk, TX jail. Beckwoth didn’t just mislead or misinform within his appellee brief; he placed the entire case being dismissed. In any other district court, lying at this magnitude could have had the murder trial thrown out and retried at taxpayers’ expense. Cherokee County criminal cases are tried based upon the preponderance of the evidence, rather than beyond a reason doubt. Won’t a reasonably informed jury always doubt a prosecutor who lies in print to the appeals court?

      • I DO understand that Elmer Beckworth lied…he is a cronic liar, but the fact that this woman thinks the outcome would have been different is preposterous. Her son kidnapped 3 people drove them to Alto and shot all three of them. One died and the 2 girls lived. He should have been tied up and skinned alive in front of his mother. I knew the guy he killed and he in no way deserved what that bastard did to him. We need more justice…

        Anonymous

        10/07/2010 at 5:52 PM

  3. I know a lot about the Cobb case, and definitely agree with his mother regarding an unfair trial.

    Everything leading up to the trial was, in my opinion, a disaster. Mr. Beckworth and Mr. Hatch and their posse of nepotistic cronies did is disturbing. But, what really irked me was that the the motion to change the venue was not granted. Cherokee County is rather small… any major crime perpetrated within the county is going to be front page news, especially if it’s a capital case, of which Cherokee Co. hasn’t seen too many of in the past. Also, Cherokee County, unfortunately, like most of the state, has a very “right of center” perspective, and is very pro-death penalty. I know a lot of people, who wholeheartedly agree with the “eye for an eye” philosophy.

    If I had been on that jury, I would’ve given Richard a life sentence, instead of death, due to many mitigating factors, of which I will only mention one. Like his mother, I concur with the issue of his age. Richard was very young. If the crime had only been committed five months and one day earlier, he wouldn’t have been eligible for the death penalty in the first place. I know many people, including myself, who did some very bad things in their youth, and if had been caught, would’ve spent a great deal of time in prison. Fortunately, I learned from my mistakes (unlike many, sadly), and became an upstanding member of society. Richard will never get that chance. (Because of this, if the death penalty is never abolished, the federal government should at least raise the age of execution to 21.) While he may have been a participant in a heinous act, his life was far more complicated than what many people will ever know, and because of those tribulations hidden in his past, his choice of action (or inaction, depending on what you may believe) weren’t very good ones. I am by no means saying what he did was right, just saying there is more to a person than what a few news articles may say, that’s all.

    Anonymous

    03/22/2011 at 1:22 AM

    • Those who assist in the commission of capital murder deserve the death penalty.
      That being said, every trial and court proceeding in Cherokee County is unfair. The juries are composed of relatives of courthouse personnel who lie to during voir dire to be seated. Criminal cases are illegally tried based upon the preponderance of the evidence, rather than the standard of reasonable doubt.
      The point of this particular posting was that Beckworth, et al not only planted a previously convicted jail house snitch in the same cell as Cobb, but that Beckworth perjured himself to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals regarding his offer of leniency for the stoolie’s “testimony,” i.e. that Cobb incriminated himself in the Rusk jailhouse. Beckworth testified in Austin to one thing, while he and his investigator did the complete opposite: they wrote a letter to a Cherokee County parole officer to block a Blue Warrant that would have revoked their State Witness’s parole, in return for the felon’s sworn statements.

  4. I as Richards mother agree that what he did is wrong but as a child of god do not belive that any person has aright to take another person life what richard did god will take care of and i know richard will be called to answer for but not by my hand but godsmy nice was the woman that bernie lucas killed but i know god will take care of him i hold no hate in my heart for him but i do not think was wright was when richard was on trail they brought up his little brother and said he would turn out the same way you do not comdam some one for anothers persons guilt may god forgive all of where we all fall short keep my family and the people inviold in this awaful event in your prayers

    Anonymous

    07/18/2011 at 8:20 AM

    • Lesson one: don’t murder someone.
      Lesson two: don’t live in Cherokee County.
      Anyone with two working brain cells knows the consequences of both.

  5. Your judicial needs to catch up with the real world. If it really is right to take a mans life for whatever crime he committed & be punished for it…. England & America should have been nuked by now for the rape & violence they still continue to commit the world over!

    Anonymous

    12/07/2011 at 3:30 PM

    • …are your refering to the spread of democracy and freedom the UK and USA spread around the world? Or the death sentence for murderers and collaborators? Richard Cobb’s capital murder trial highlights the district attorney’s pattern of lying directly to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on how he makes deals with jailhouse stoolies for their pretend testimony. These local snitches are cycled in out of the Rusk, TX jail and are a definitive part of the Cherokee County criminal justice system. They are bought and paid for.

  6. What he did isn’t right but Richard was a kid who made a mistake. He wasn’t even old enough to drink, yet he can be given the maximum sentence! Its totally wrong. I hate the way people judge him when they don’t know him. As if you have never done something your ashamed of! Richard is a wonderful human being inside and out. Nothing about this is fair.

    stevie

    12/16/2011 at 11:31 AM

    • From the Richard Aaron Cobb, Appellant vs. The State of Texas FROM CAUSE NO. 15054 IN THE 2ND DISTRICT COURT
      CHEROKEE COUNTY
      http://www.cca.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/HTMLOpinionInfo.asp?OpinionID=14971

      In point of error eight, Appellant claims that the trial court erroneously denied his motion for new trial, which was based on allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. Appellant alleged in his motion that the State failed to timely disclose evidence that was necessary to effectively cross-examine and impeach State’s witnesses William Thompsen and Nickie Dement. Thompsen, who was incarcerated in the Cherokee County Jail at the same time as Appellant, testified at trial that Appellant told him that he planned to falsely place the blame for the instant offense on Adams, “[s]aying that [Adams] had threatened him, that if he didn’t take part in the killing that he wouldn’t live to see the crime either.” When defense counsel asked Thompsen on cross-examination if he received any benefit as a result of his cooperation in Appellant’s case, he replied: “No, sir, I didn’t. There was no deal made whatsoever…”

      At the hearing on the motion for new trial, Appellant introduced into evidence two letters pertaining to Thompsen. One letter was written by Thompsen to the prosecutor, Elmer C. Beckworth, Jr., on December 26, 2002. In this letter, Thompsen referenced a meeting with Beckworth and investigator Randy Hatch, stating: “At our meeting in Mr. Hatch’s office on 12-19-02 you agreed to completely clear this charge as well as try to have the parole hold lifted so I could get released.” Another letter was written by Beckworth on January 10, 2003. Although it was addressed “to whom it may concern,” Beckworth testified that it was sent to Thompsen’s parole officer, Roy Shamblin. The letter stated: “Please be advised that this office will not seek prosecution on [William Thompsen] for the offense of Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon. If anything further is needed please contact this office.”

      Defense counsel testified that the State provided him with the letter from Beckworth at the end of the guilt phase of the trial, after Thompsen had already testified. Beckworth explained that he first became aware that defense counsel did not have possession of that particular letter “on the morning before final arguments.” He discovered that the letter had inadvertently been placed in Adams’ file and gave it to defense counsel before closing arguments. On March 25, 2004, after Appellant’s trial, Beckworth also discovered that the letter from Thompson to Beckworth had inadvertently been placed in Adams’ file and immediately faxed it to defense counsel…

      Beckworth testified that the State did not make any deal with Thompsen regarding his charge for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Forrest Phifer, Thompsen’s attorney, also testified that he was present at the meeting with Hatch and Beckworth and that no deals were made in exchange for Thompsen’s testimony. Phifer explained that Thompsen had not been indicted for the charge, and it was Phifer’s standard practice to file a motion for an examining trial in cases without indictments. Both Phifer and Beckworth testified that cases in Cherokee County are routinely dismissed at the magistrate level when a defense attorney files a motion for an examining trial. Beckworth testified that he did not prosecute Thompsen on the charge, not because of any deal for his testimony, but because the case was “just not prosecutable,” explaining as follows:

      With reference to Mr. Thom[p]sen’s case the offense report indicated that he was riding a four wheeler on a location and law enforcement found him in possession of a firearm, that he was – – indicated to them that he was going to do some target practicing in a field or in the woods somewhere.

      My experience in over 20 years of felony prosecution the citizens of Cherokee County and East Texas generally are not real fond of weapons offenses, very difficult to get a jury in a felon in possession with a firearm. And in situations where someone is hunting the weapon is in their home or something like this where it’s target practicing and there is no other crimes involved or activities indicating a danger situation it is very difficult to get a conviction and most of those cases are not prosecuted and are declined on the basis of insufficient evidence.

      In this particular case, parole was notified that we were not going to prosecute, some of that took place through Mr. Hatch, and unknown to me until a point shortly before trial at which time the Defense was made aware of it, I believe Mr. Hatch did ask Mr. Shamblin [for] leniency for [Thompsen] and I believe that was developed by the defense during the trial.

      The record reflects that the defense was able to argue at trial that Thompsen received a benefit in exchange for his testimony. When cross-examined at trial by defense counsel, Thompsen admitted that the State never showed up for the examining trial and that Hatch made a phone call to his parole officer on his behalf. Defense counsel also made the following statements in this regard during his closing argument:

      Mr. Beckworth wants to talk about Mr. Thompsen. Mr. Thompsen got a benefit. Randy Hatch called his parole officer and asked for leniency. Mr. Thompsen got another benefit. When his examining trial came up the State didn’t even show up so all charges against him were dismissed.

  7. I love looking through a post that can make people think.

    Anonymous

    10/22/2014 at 9:13 PM


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