The Robert Trevino Case Part 3
By 04/30/2008 19:30:00
Part III: Bill of Exception
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006, 09:39:21 PM »
Robert R. Trevino is currently serving three consecutive life sentences, for several counts of child abuse. He is the victim, in this writer's opinion, of a travesty of justice executed against him in the 40th District Court, Ellis County, on Aug. 21 through 24, 1995. But the icing on the "railroad job" cake occurred Oct. 3, 1995 during a Bill of Exception hearing before the HONORABLE GENE KNIZE, Judge, Presiding.
Texas Appellant Court Rule 33.2 covers Formal Bills of Exception. These bills are filed, formally, to complain about a matter that would not otherwise appear in the record in a court of law. Trevino's attorney, John Dixon, filed such a bill in order to argue several points he was not able to make during Mr. Trevino's trial, and to set the stage for an appeal of Trevino's case.
What happened during this hearing will be taken "verbatim" as a true copy from the document labeled "BILL OF EXCEPTION" covering Case nos. 21,530 to and including 21,534, dated Oct. 3, 1995 prepared by Bryan L. Coday, CSR. This is a public document and can be obtained from the Court.
There will be several quotes in this article taken directly from the bill, utilizing names, times and dates if necessary.
Part III of this series will deal with only the BOF direct examination of one BILLIE WIGGINS, the officer responsible for the investigation of the charges against Trevino. Wiggins is currently employed with the Waxahachie Police Department and is actively engaged in police work activity.
She has, however, married and now is known as Billie Wiggins Pendleton according to Texas State Driver's License Records.
The direct examination of Wiggins, by Dixon, will be covered extensively. There are several areas of the discussion leaving this writer "cold" with her answers. There is, in one subject area, she was asked the exactly worded question and in one instance her answer was "Yes", and shortly thereafter she answered the same question "No". It will be pointed out to you.
During this direct examination, Mr. Marshal, of the district attorney's office, made several objections, some sustained and some overruled. Marshal did, however, object to the very first question Dixon asked Wiggins. Here is the Question and answer from the tran scri pt:
Dixon: Officer Wiggins, what was your relationship with former Police Chief Ted Garber?
It was objected to by Marshal and overruled by the Court.
Dixon again had to repeat the question and the following is Wiggins' answer.
Wiggins: He was the Chief of Police for the Waxahachie Police Department where I was and am still current employed.
It was obvious Dixon was trying to establish a romantic relationship between the two and proved so during the following questioning. This examination can be found from page 17, line 15 through page 29, line 8 of the official tran scri pt.
During the questioning Ms. Wiggins makes the following statement on page 19, lines 2 through 7:
WITNESS: I would like to state for the record, the time we are going back into, it was a very traumatic time in my life, I was HOSPITALIZED AND DIAGNOSED WITH MAJOR DEPRESSION. So I will answer your questions with the best of my recollection.
(this is Ms. Wiggins Testimony verbatim from the tran scri pt. The emphasis and capitalization are added.)
This is a law enforcement official, testifying before a district judge, after investigating charges against another human for being that had just received three life sentences in prison?
This is a law enforcement official with the capability of carrying a sidearm and making arrests on the citizens of Waxahachie? Wouldn't it appear to someone this person's actions and/or reactions could possibly be questionable? Wouldn't a "justice seeking" Judge be at least a little curious about this witnesses' testimony?
Pointing out possible perjury in Ms. Wiggins' testimony about a meeting held in the Council chambers in Waxahachie; In the Bill Tran scri pt--page 20, line 18, through 25, same page:
Do you ever remember seeing Robert Trevino at a City Hall meeting designed for the purpose of addressing the termination or resignation of Ted Garber?
Q: Were you at the meeting when City manager Bob Sokol allegedly verbally assaulted Robert Trevino?
A: Yes, sir.
Page 27, Line 25 and page 28, lines 1 through 4, the following question and answer are made:
Q: Do you know - were you at the meeting - did I ask you whether you were at the meeting on the night Mr. Sokol allegedly verbally assaulted Robert Trevino?
A: No, I wasn't.
Well, was it Yes or was it No? This is a legally sworn enforcement official answering a question with completely opposite responses in the course of a few minutes. Short memories don't belong in life threatening situations, or obtaining evidence resulting in life sentences for an individual.
Here's the killer question and answer. It appears on page 28, lines 24-25 and page 29, lines 1-3 of the official tran scri pt.
Q: But you didn't like Robert Trevino's attacks on Mr. Garber's, did you, Ms Wiggins?
A: I HAVEN'T LIKE ROBERT TREVINO SINCE THE FIRST TIME I ISSUED HIM A CITATION, WHICH WAS THE OCCASION I SPOKE OF THE FIRST YEAR I CAME HERE.
(emphasis added, but the word 'like' was probably 'liked')
Now if you wer a District Judge and you heard this law enforcement official make this statement in a Bill of Exception hearing, what would you think of the extensive testimony she gave during the trial?
What's more important, what kind of non-biased, ojective investigation could this person conduct on an individual she admittedly didn't like? Along with the foregoing, how much of her investigation contained the real, true facts?
When I first read this statement, and taking into consideration all of the other research I've done on this case, it reaffirmed my opinion Robert Trevino has been sitting in prison for more than years because of this injustice.
The injustice wasn't tendered by Billie Wiggins alone however. The district attorney, and the judge could and should have put a stop to this immediately, if they had had the desire and any visionary forethought whatsoever.
Most certainly Judge Knize should have taken all the above in consideration before he rendered his decision to honor the State's Objection.
What a mess!! If you think this is a witch hunt, you should read the tran scri pt of the trial. I will try to give you an idea of the garbage that transpired in court in another part of the series.
The above testimony did cause some heartburn for Judge Knize in his summary of the Bill of Exception hearing, and here is his final statement page 39, lines 3 through 25 and page 40, lines 1 through 3: Quote:
THE COURT: All right, thank you Mr. Dixon. It would certainly be included as part of the record in this case, especially if you ask the court reporter to type it up and put it in there.
But I find the evidence offered in support of your conclusions of a conspiracy against the defendant to be nonsecular, jumping the Grand Canyon without a bridge, and therefore, I sustain the State's object to the offer of the testimony being offered today with the exception -- and I would like to note for the record that the defendant's question -- and I don't recall exactly how it was.
"But it was something to the effect of the witness Wiggins, do you like or dislike Robert Trevino, and her answer was she hadn't liked Robert Trevino since the first citation. That question was not asked the witness during the trial of this case nor was it tendered to the Court to be asked of the witness. And if it would have been, the Court would have admitted it. But that wasn't tendered to the Court during the trial at that time, and with the exception of that one question and one answer, I sustain the State's objection to the testimony." Unquote.
What a nice unobtrusive way for a Judge to cover his butt. What about justice in this case?
Aren't we interested in that?
Here's some questions that need answers:
* Could a possibly biased, non-objective investigation by a police official of the city, who stated in sworn testimony she hadn't liked Trevino since the first time she issued him a citation, been in the interest of an individual's guaranty of his constitutional rights?
* Could the investigator, responsible for the evidence that put Trevino behind bars, who was shoulder to shoulder and was rumored, and I specify "rumored", to have had a romantic affair with the ex-police chief (who Robert Trevino and others attempted to have terminated for trying to rid the city of some police officers) be non-subjective in her evidence presentation to the District Attorney's office? Doubtful!
* Could the investigator, who works for, and has her checks signed by the City Manager who had verbal assault charges filed against him by Robert Trevino for allegedly stating words to the effect, "Maybe someone will get rid of you", be not intimidated by this man's position respective to her employment? Doubtful!
* Could the investigator who provided investigative evidnece to the District Attorney-Gene Knize at the time-and the Judge - Joe Grubbs at the time - (both who had their hands slapped by an appeal court in a previous case against Trevino for not allowing him "absolute" legal representation in a former case) be not intimidated by their positions? Doubtful!
* And oh, by the way, this is the same investigator who had personal knowledge of charges filed against Patrick Lankford, a witness against Trevino, in August/September 1994-almost six months prior to the arrest of Trevino- for statutory rape of a 12-year-old girl, and did not arrest the young man earlier.