Collin County DWI Case Buried? Not So Fast.
I’m not the first to blog about this issue, and it has been fairly well covered both by the by the Collin County Observer as well as by Hunter Biederman, but I wanted to share my perspective because I find the WFAA coverage so misleading.
For those who are not familiar, WFAA recently broke a story strongly implying that a Collin County prosecutor fixed a case for some unspecified personal benefit; with the after the fact knowledge of her supervisor. Specifically, the piece indicates that this particular prosecutor (who has since resigned from the Collin County District Attorney’s Office); waived a jury, cancelled all the witnesses who could have provided evidence of guilt, and intentionally presented no evidence when the case was called for trial, thus ensuring a not guilty verdict.
The misleading part? The story would have you believe that this was an airtight case of guilt and the only explanation is that the prosecutor threw the case for some unknown reason. The story leads the viewer to conclude that the civilian witnesses were the source for this story and that they came forward because they were so outraged.
In fact, the source for the story appears to be a disgruntled former Collin County junior prosecutor who was recently let go by the office. For weeks prior to the WFAA story, the local attorneys were aware of this particular prosecutor, and that he sent an email to a former law school professor in which he accuses his boss of fixing the very case reported on by WFAA.
The second aspect of the story that is misleading is the claim that this case was so airtight. Apparently the disgruntled former junior prosecutor believes so, and that’s part of the problem. He lacks the experience and judgment to know the difference. WFAA reported the story from this premise based on the facts apparently supplied to them by the disgruntled former prosecutor. Was it an airtight case? Well, there are numerous honest reasons why a hardworking honest prosecutor might conduct a no evidence bench trial. Perhaps the stop of the defendant’s motor vehicle was “bad.” Maybe the defendant looked great on video or the case was poorly investigated. Maybe there was some problem in the way in which the breath sample was collected that would have prevented its admission into evidence.