OOOooooh, someone doesn’t look happy
Here is the face launched a petition that so far has 42,721 names and messages on it for Judge Ralph Strother to resign. NOT JUST for his incredible rubber stamping of the Anderson plea deal BUT also for the THREE OTHERS. He has cuddled up with the DA’s office led by the defeated DA, Abel Reyna, who lost an election because of the perception that Reyna is a crook. WORLDWIDE. Worldwide before THIS because of TWIN PEAKS. Yep, another Reyna production, well, till it went South, now just another problem for the next guy.
THIS time, this deal was so crooked and the family of the accused President of a Baylor Fraternity so rich and so powerful, the family of the victim HAD TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY just to keep the DA’s office from running some secret deal through without them knowing it. Yep. Sneaky got caught.
Ralphie has a couple of more years left, happily, he can’t run again, he’s 76, truly if he didn’t see this coming, and if he can’t do better than this shi* he needs to go home.
Superstrother, it was all so sweet before last week.
The toxic cloud swirling around the McLennan County Courthouse in the wake of the Jacob Anderson plea bargain has caused the state district judge who approved the deal to delay a child abuse trial set for Tuesday in his court.
Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District Court and prosecutors involved in the plea arrangement with the former Baylor University fraternity president have been swamped with irate, threatening emails and phone calls since Strother accepted the plea deal and put Anderson on deferred probation for three years.
Anderson, former president of the Phi Delta Theta chapter at Baylor, pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of unlawful restraint in exchange for prosecutors dismissing four counts of sexual assault. He will not have to register as a sex offender or spend time in jail.
As the hostile calls and emails, including one from Sheffield, England, continued throughout the week, Strother consulted Friday morning with prosecutors and defense attorneys for Michael James Davis about the judge’s concerns that the present environment might spill over into next week and affect Davis’ trial.
Strother was listening to a Dallas-based radio station on the way to work Friday and heard a report about the petition circulating on the internet to remove him from office. A separate petition set up by a student at the University of Texas at Dallas preceded the university president banning the 23-year-old Anderson from campus and barring him from attending his graduation ceremony next week or attending graduate school at the university.
After discussing the prospects of selecting an impartial jury that would be fair to both sides, Strother and the attorneys agreed it would be better to delay Davis’ trial on two counts of sexual assault of a child and six counts of indecency with a child by contact until the backlash over Anderson’s case subsides.
“Our community and the state and the defense all have the same concern, and that is ultimately that justice is done one way or the other,” said attorney Dan Stokes, who represents Davis with Nora Farah. “If there is even a hint that maybe emotions are running too high right now to get justice done, then the safe thing to do to ensure that this whole process is protected is to postpone it. It’s to wait until that dies down. It is an absolute natural reaction to everything. But we have to ensure that we are doing the right thing for both sides, both the state and defense, and I think that is what we are doing in this case.”
McLennan County First Assistant District Attorney Robert Moody declined to discuss the trial postponement, referring questions to the judge. Strother also declined comment.
Farah, whose client is free on bond but who has been waiting to go to trial since his indictment in August 2015, said Davis understands the judge’s concerns and approves of the postponement. No new trial date for Davis has been set.
“The main concern is making sure everyone gets a fair trial,” Farah said. “My client has waited a long time for trial, but he wants to make sure he gets a fair day in court. In light of everything, everyone feels that was the best course of action. That was the main objective.”
Baylor Law School associate professor Liz Fraley, president of the local chapter and a national representative of the American Board of Trial Advocates, said Strother’s decision to delay the trial is thoughtful and fair.
“I think any time a judge can try to ensure that our judicial system works well and that cases are decided on the evidence presented in that particular trial and not on outside factors, it shows thoughtfulness and concern for the parties,” Fraley said. “It is rare that you have such a public outcry when all of the facts are not known, and any time you are dealing with the integrity of the judiciary and the rights of both the complainant and the accused, I think that taking a step back and allowing a situation to cool down seems like a prudent thing to do. It is a thoughtful thing to do. I think it shows a thoughtful judge who is getting both parties’ input in a case that is important to both sides.”
Judge Mark Atkinson, CEO of the Texas Center for the Judiciary, which conducts educational programs for judges, asked Strother to send him copies of the hundreds of emails he has gotten since he accepted Anderson’s plea bargain. Atkinson told Strother he wants to use them in a case study to share with judges across the state to alert them about what can happen in the current social media landscape and how people from all across the world can react to a controversial case.
Atkinson did not return phone messages seeking comment for this story.