Sunday 10.8.17 @ 9pm. It has been an eventful, exciting weekend for me. The highlight has been Saturday and Sunday that have been filled with wall to wall American football games. I even managed to catch a bit of soccer too, the Mexican national team winning a qualifying match vs. Trinidad y Tobago. For me, this trip to Dallas county jail from Polunsky Unit is a vacation. We (me + 23 other men) even watched Jean-Claude Van Damme star in the 1990’s movie “Kickboxer” and laughed at how fake the action scenes look today.
Today I saw a lovely friend named Kay at visit and it was so nice to catch up with her and be “home” in Dallas to do that. After that I met with my legal team for about two hours and all I can say is that they have the master plan and the Dallas county prosecutor should be very concerned with their continued misconduct about to be brought to day light at long last. So that is very encouraging to me and it is a dream come true. I think of when I began this journey in 1999 and how me and my loved ones were treated by those who held literal power of life and death over us. And soon they will answer for their evil deeds. Yes, God is good and great. I am so grateful for my many blessings.
The hearing is on schedule to begin this coming Tuesday and run through the week. It will be long days for me – but I’m prepared! No doubt.
Tuesday 10.10.17 @ 8pm – My day began at 3:30am. I managed to get 3 hours of sleep last night, my average amount of rest per night since returning to Dallas County. By 8am, I had made my way to the holding cell of my district trial court, ready for the first day of part II of my life. The court bailiff is a likable, courteous man and he is a complete opposite from the way the guards treat me on Texas death row. I am treated like a human being and I am grateful for it. I had forgotten what it was like to be treated like a human being.
When the hearing is about to begin, the bailiff puts a pair of shackles on my ankles and into the court I go – it is game time! I think there are about 20-25 family members, friends and supporters sitting directly behind the defense table, on the right hand side of the court room. They have come to support me – and to show the state of Texas that my life matters. The life of an innocent man matters a great deal. It is a blur for me at the beginning when I enter the court room but I see my Mother and I lock my sight upon her and wave hi to her.
The hearing begins with my attorneys presenting a Power Point Presentation that highlights the absurdity of my conviction and sentence and it is amazing. My legal team that is Gretchen – lead attorney, Carlotta – co-counsel, Aggie, investigator and Megan – assistant – friend – intern and Harvard Law School student, who is the tech person running the Power Point are awesome. They are some serious lady power and as this hearing unfolds I am realizing what an “A team” they are. I love them all very much.
Our first witness is the hypnotized witness, Jill Barganier. Gretchen is super prepared and over the next 4 hours, she completely dismantles this witness’s testimony. One huge piece of Barganier’s testimony was her false memory of her complete belief that she “locked eyes” with the suspect that she later claimed was me. This was extremely powerful testimony – she said she was more than 100% certain that I was the person she thought she saw the morning of the murder. But when Gretchen played the video recording of the hypnosis session for the judge, this was not in the video. In fact, there is no evidence of Jill Barganier ever telling the police about this – it is in fact something she made up.
But the clincher is when this witness states while on the stand that “I’m not sure if I imagined locking eyes with the suspect or it really happened”! The judge’s eyes almost popped out of his head as he looked at her when she said this. He could not believe it. When it was over the only witness who was not a drug addict or a drug dealer, the only person who was not a criminal with a vested interest in cooperating with the police – her testimony was rendered completely unreliable. The testimony which was the foundation of the prosecution’s case was in the end totally and completely dismantled by the superhero legal team that now represents me. And I LOVE IT! It is a dream come true and I know we will reach our ultimate goal – winning a new trial in my case. So, yes, Part II of my life has just begun.
The next witness is (former) Farmers Branch Police officer Alfredo Serna, the individual who performed the hypnosis upon Jill Barganier. He testified that his training in performing hypnosis was the completion of a 40 course in investigative forensic hypnosis. He had never performed hypnosis before he hypnotized Barganier and never performed hypnosis after her. The ONLY person he ever performed hypnosis on was this critical witness in my trial whose testimony sent me to Texas Death row. Gretchen again has laser focus with this witness and again asks him the required questions that cause him to answer in a way that only confirms the fact that this law enforcement agent forever tainted Jill Barganier’s memory of what she believed she thought she saw the morning of the murder of Elizabeth Black. Over and over this poorly trained and zero-experienced hypnotist made one mistake after another which resulted in ruining Jill Barganier as a witness in my case forever.
It was telling to hear Serna inform the court that he still believed the human mind worked like a video recorder and he also continued to believe that the hypnosis technique called the “movie theater technique” was the safest most effective way of “retrieving lost memories”. When in fact forensic psychologists now agree that it’s the most dangerous. Serna helped us prove and establish the fact that hypnosis is only one of the many suggestive identification techniques the police intentionally subjected Jill Barganier to.
The final witness of the day was Farmers Branch Police officer Jerry O. Baker. Baker was the No. 2 Investigator (Detective) in this case. My co-counsel, Carlotta, was charged with direct examination of this witness. Baker was in the office of the Farmers Branch Police Dept. where Serna hypnotized Jill Barganier. This fact is a direct violation of the then accepted guidelines for administering hypnosis to a witness in 1998. Baker’s story has always been that while the police violated 4 guidelines, this violation was harmless because he did not know the name Charles Don Flores, nor had he seen a photo of Flores. Baker testified at trial that he did not learn of Flores’ identity until AFTER Barganier was hypnotized on Feb. 4, 1998. And he confirmed this in the evidentiary hearing. Except one thing – Investigator Baker is lying and we can prove it. Baker who is the “back up” investigator in this case in the event something should happen to the lead investigator – Calloway (who has since died!) Baker knows all the details of this investigation including the fact that the Police know Flores’ identity on January 31, 1998! Which leads us to think why are you lying about this? What else are you lying about? What misconduct are you covering up? For now having Baker lie again under oath will help us establish the fact that the police and the prosecutors in this case are all dirty and their crimes are now being exposed.
It’s clear the witness and prosecutors are wary at where my legal team is taking the story line to and why. They will know soon enough as the truth in this matter is fully exposed. I am innocent and can and will prove it!