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2018 WCLP Conventions

The Williamson County Libertarian Party will hold precinct conventions for all precincts in Williamson County at:

Mimi’s Cafe
4151 North IH35 · Round Rock, TX

 

 

 

The Williamson County Libertarian Party County Convention will be held at:

Round Rock Public Library, Meeting Room ‘B’
261 E. Main Street · Round Rock, TX

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The meeting is open to the public, although only those elected as delegates at the above Precinct Convention will be eligible to participate.  More information and maps can be found at our event page at meetup.com.

Attorneys question Williamson County DA practices



Updated 10/28/2011 09:07 AM



By: John A. Salazar

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Allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in a 1987 Williamson County murder trial have sparked an investigation by the Texas Bar Association, and are causing others in the legal community to raise questions about courtroom ethics.

Travis County attorney Amber Vazquez Bode praises the moral code of some in her neighboring jurisdiction, but questions practices and procedures that affect whether some evidence ever makes it to court.

“I have a duty to enforce the constitution and seek justice,” she said. “There, I think, are some honorable people and some really good prosecutors that I have worked with there (in Williamson County).â€�

In a theft case involving one of her clients, Vazquez Bode says evidence was emailed to District Attorney John Bradley’s office three days before the end of the trial, and was not ever presented to the court.

The Wilco Watchdog keeps up with Williamson County politics, and sparked YNN to probe further into the Vazquez Bode case.


“They only give us the evidence that they hand us, we’re not given the file and copied it. In fact, we’re not allowed any copies of anything,” she said.

In fact, when Vazquez Bode found out the evidence existed, she questioned prosecuting attorney Tommy Coleman. In the motion for a new trial, Coleman replied, “it’s too late now, your guy already pled.â€�

“You can’t stack the deck, and you can’t hold back evidence, and those are fundamental principles that have to be adhered to,” Vazquez Bode said.

Williamson County District Judge Ken Anderson and Round Rock attorney Mike Davis are accused of just that–holding back evidence. In 1987, they prosecuted Michael Morton, and after decades of fighting for truth, Morton’s attorney finally convinced the judicial system he was wrongfully convicted.

Now, Anderson and Davis have been ordered by an outside judge to tell the truth of how crucial evidence never made it in front of Morton’s jury.

Round Rock attorney Scott Magee practices law in Williamson County. He said regardless who delivered injustice to Morton, justice must be served. He was in the courtroom when Morton was released.

“I looked in the eyes of his mother, I looked in the eyes of his father, I looked into his eyes,â€� Magee said. “I think at the very least we owe them as a county, we owe them as a state, an explanation of what happened to those 25 years of his life.”

There is no guarantee the public will ever know why evidence was buried by Anderson and Davis nearly 27 years ago, because the investigations being undertaken by the state bar can be kept private. For attorneys who practice there, however, there are questions of cheating in the tough-on-crime county.

District attorney Bradley tells YNN it was a policy decision that kept the emailed evidence out of the trial described by attorney Vazquez Bode. A judge later ruled that a new trial was not needed.

YNN has made repeated calls to attorneys representing Ken Anderson and Mike Davis, in hopes of hearing their side of the Morton story. At the time of this article’s publication, no calls have been returned.

Related Stories

  • 10/26/2011 Judge: Former prosecutors must testify in Morton case
  • 10/20/2011 State Bar of Texas investigating prosecutors in Morton case
  • 10/12/2011 Appeals court declares Morton’s innocence
  • 10/6/2011 Prosecutors in Morton case could face judicial fallout
  • 10/4/2011 Power of advanced DNA testing spotlighted in Morton case
  • 10/4/2011 Morton free after almost 25 years in prison
  • 10/3/2011 Michael Morton to be freed after 25 years behind bars
  • 8/17/2011 DNA evidence could clear Texas prisoner after 25 years

Williamson County celebrates its 100-year-old courthouse – Austin American


By Benjamin Wermund

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


Published: 11:08 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011

— The Williamson County Courthouse and the county around it have changed quite a bit in the past century. Small repairs, periodic updates and a nearly $10 million restoration in 2007 have wiped away much of the building’s 100 years. But little traces of the courthouse’s past remain.

Mickie Ross, director of the county’s museum, focused on those bits as she gave tours of the courthouse Saturday as part of the building’s centennial celebration.

“There are a lot of cool stories about Georgetown and this courthouse and what it has seen,” Ross said.

The celebration was an all-day event that included performances by the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra, speeches by the county judge and county commissioners, a rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song by Round Rock Christian Academy students and the orchestra, and a model of the courthouse made out of cake.

Inside the courthouse, Ross highlighted the building and the county’s checkered past.

In the courthouse’s rotunda, Ross points out a sign on the wall tucked behind a spiral staircase. “These seats for janitors only,” it reads.

“We don’t know what seats used to be there or who the janitors were or who was after their seats,” Ross said, before pointing out that the lettering on the sign matches the lettering on similar signs that designated which people could drink from which fountains.

The signs were painted over in the mid-1960s. The two water fountains remain lodged in the rotunda walls.

Ross tells a story about a school board member in the 1960s whose daughter went into the courthouse for a drink.

The board member waited outside for her in his car, and after a while realized she had been gone for an unusual amount of time. He went inside to find she had been detained by an officer in the building for drinking out of the wrong fountain.

Ross said children she tells that story to today do not understand why the girl was in trouble. Segregation of the courthouse water fountains ended in 1965.

“It is still a part of our history and evident with those fountains,” Ross said.

Upstairs, a glass case holds the heads of terra cotta angels, which commissioners had torn from the building in what became known as the “Massacre of 1966.”

After one of the courthouse’s outside balusters collapsed, commissioners decided to rid the building of the decorative terra cotta flair that adorned its outer edges, in fear of more damage. Most of the terra cotta was tossed into the San Gabriel River.

“It cost more to jackhammer off than to repair,” Ross said. “Hindsight’s 20/20.”

Most of the 26th District courtroom remains as it was in 1923, when the county’s district attorney at the time, Dan Moody, became the first attorney in the country to successfully prosecute a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

“It feels like you’re in the setting of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,'” Ross said.

In the 1920s, most counties had at least one elected official who was a member of the Klan. Not a single Klan member was elected in Texas after the trial, Ross said.

“The county has a reputation of being ‘tough on crime.’ I believe it goes back to then,” Ross said.

Papers from that trial, and three subsequent trials through 1934, were recently taken by the Texas Court Records Preservation Task Force, a group organized by the Texas Supreme Court to preserve items that will help interpret the history of the state.

Once the task force is finished with them, the documents will be returned to the county and will be available for public viewing in the district clerk’s office in the Williamson County Justice Center, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. St. in Georgetown.

bwermund@statesman.com;

246-1150