A part of me forever resides in Texas with Colonel William Travis & Jim Bowie. My 5-6 years in Dallas and San Antonio in the 80s gave me eye-witness The Lone Star State has more solid-gold squirrels and lallapaloozas than the rest of the continental 47 put together. But where I now call home can produce a few worthy of mention.
“The only thing folks in Dallas and Houston can agree on is: All of’em would rather live in Austin.” Eventually enough of’em moved to Austin to create Hill Country gridlock that makes a longhorn cattle drive look like a day on the beach at South Padre.
Richard “Racehorse” Haynes
The last time I was in Austin I couldn’t tell if I was stuck on Dallas’ North Central Expressway or Houston’s Southwest Freeway. When your radiator is overheating and the galoot beside you in a lowrider is waving a Smith&Wesson and yellin’ Viva Zapata it doesn’t much matter where you are.
I never spent much time in Houston, by choice. I do recall the drive from Dallas to Houston goes right by:
The World’s Largest Collection of ….
incarcerated psychopaths with three first names.
The local Chamber of Commerce actually has that on its Welcome To sign. It’s not that Texas is so full of world-class eccentric lawbreakers. They are just so deliciously proud of the fact. The NY Times wedding announcements are THE most fun read there is. #2 is Texas Monthly’s Scandal Sheet.
Every filthy rich Texas guy and gal has a walk-in closet full of flimflams and felonies. There’s a reason it’s called filthy rich. A cagey coot with a glib tongue and glibber ethics can get by really well keeping those filthy rich folks out of Huntsville.
Dallas has The Cheerleaders, Mark Cuban and “The hand grenade with the bad haircut” – H. Ross Perot.
Houston counters with heart surgeons, Sheila Jackson Lee and outrageous trial lawyers with colorful nicknames. If you watch Harry’s Law (you should!) you’ve met Tommy Jefferson; Cincinnati’s version of Richard “Racehorse” Haynes.
They say: “Racehorse” could turn a smoking gun into a peppermint stick …. and have jurors line up to lick it.
A flamboyant defense attorney named “Racehorse” is a Texas courtroom’s answer to a Cowboy Cheerleader named “Brandi”. Which brings us to Raleigh’s Yeeee Haa Trial Of The Year So Far.
Remember now, my backyard is the ancestral home of Mike Nifong and John Edwards. For a metro market of only 1,000,000 we have cred when it comes to the practice of Outrageous Legal Theatrics.
NOTE: The following centers around an absolutely horrific local tragedy caused by one individual’s total disregard for personal responsibility.
“Racehorse wannabees”. Picture this as your deep-pocketed client:
Ostentatiously Faux Rich 40-ish White Guy
With John Edwards hair
Drives a late-model Mercedes sedan
After mid-week golf game has a few pops at the club bar
Stopping at local tavern, has A LOT more pops.
Kisses girlfriend (uh oh!) good night in tavern parking lot
Blitzed out of his gourd, Drunk Doctor drives his upscale European motorcar 70 mph in a 35 on a winding road; at twilight … late for dinner with unsuspecting wife and family
Slams into Hyundai driven by beautiful 19 y/o Ballerina. Not just “the quintessential perfect every daughter” – A Ballerina.
THE most incredibly extensive collection of totally unsympathetic elements for one arrogant defendant to have going for him. Really. Read thru the list again.
Oh, and he had “a prior DUI” from college that he had bought his way out of.
His attorneys are the Roger Smiths (Jr and Sr) of Raleigh’s famous Smith Brothers. The lawyers – not the cough drop guys. You may recall Roger’s better-known brother Wade from The Duke Lacrosse Dream Team. Wade cut his teeth decades ago with Jeffrey McDonald of “Green Beret Slaughters Own Family Manson-style”.
Wade Smith is also the first call you make if you are a UNC Asst Football Coach named Black Santa. Your best friend for 30 years, Butch, looks into a camera and tearfully swears he never really knew you very well. Yes, Wade Smith is John Blake’s attorney. Yee Haa!
If you are caught dead to rights and need Wade Smith, tell him you are a prominent Democratic politician. Wade is running a special this month for Disgraced Governors.
The Rogers convince Drunk Doctor to reject any plea bargain. The apparent reason being if “Doc” has to spend even a fortnight in C-Block he will make Ned Beatty in Deliverance seem like Justin Beiber Visits Disney World.
Roger & Roger convinced Pickled Philandering Boy Toy / John Edwards’ Look-alike that they might bamboozle the jury by claiming that : He really didn’t mean to do it …. OR that he bought season tickets to The Ballet one year. …. OR he was overly distraught that he had lost $5 in a Nassau earlier that afternoon. …. OR his girl friend was threatening to go public unless she got a free boob job re-do. A bunch more Yeeee Haas!
The Rogers wanted his breath-alyser reading inadmissible because it was so off-the-chart it read Cremation Fluid. They lost that motion.
An overly ambitious Asst DA will probably over-reach and blow it setting Drunk Doc loose. The trial is expected to last two weeks. I may go sit in the courtroom gallery just to see if Mikey Nifong shows up.
From adjoining barstools in The River Oaks Hangout for Elderly Flamboyant Texas Lawyers; Racehorse and F. Lee Bailey are texting The Rogers “how to pick jurors who are dumber than toothpicks”. To quote The Right Reverend Mack Brown: “The Eyes of Texas are upon you ……. “