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1
Jury Foreman - He said he didn't MEAN to kill her. So it's cool. As long as he didn't mean it. Or something. Also, her name sounds brown.

At what point does Texas suffer a brain drain and recession/rot from all the people who just can't take it anymore?
Posted by nullbull on June 6, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 2
you pay your invoices after the services are rendered, not before.
Posted by Max Solomon on June 6, 2013 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Fortunate 3
My apologies to all the decent, normal, nice Texans out there, but Texas is just fucked up.
Posted by Fortunate on June 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM · Report this
4
@3 we are working on this problem, promise.
Posted by olechka on June 6, 2013 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 5
I think in Texas it's illegal to NOT shoot prostitutes.

Florida too.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on June 6, 2013 at 3:48 PM · Report this
6
@2
"you pay your invoices after the services are rendered, not before."

I know, right?
It's funny because she's DEAD.

And the guy who killed her is acquitted.
Yep. That's funny.
"invoices". Ha ha ha ha.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on June 6, 2013 at 3:49 PM · Report this
biffp 7
This country has no future when there is a law that you can shoot someone to recover property. That's the plot of a horror movie not the rule of law in a first-world country:

The Texas law that allows people to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft was put in place for “law-abiding” citizens, prosecutors Matt Lovell and Jessica Schulze countered. It's not intended for someone trying to force another person into an illegal act such as prostitution, they argued.
Posted by biffp on June 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
8
@6 "It's funny because she's DEAD."

...or it's so unmitigatedly awful that we have to laugh.
Posted by t's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does? on June 6, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
Jaymz 9
Agree with @7 but also want to emphasize the NIGHTTIME THEFT aspect of this outrageous Texas law: So you can blast the running purse thief if it is "nighttime" but not "daytime"!?

I'm attending a joint convention at Whistler next month with Washington and Texas lawyers - we don't do criminal law but I'll make sure I ask about this... wow.
Posted by Jaymz on June 6, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
10
This is also something you only see in Texas:

http://a2.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/image…

Posted by gromm on June 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM · Report this
11
You west coast liberals just don't understand Texas values. The women wasn't killed because she was a sex worker, she was killed because she was a thief. Down in the Lone Star state that's how thieves are dealt with.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on June 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 12
@6: i'm not laughing at her death.

professional transactions work that way. escort services are supposed to be professional transactions. but this wasn't a professional transaction, as @11 says, it was theft.

he should have taken his lumps - he killed her (with a gun, 'natch) over $150, and now he's wracked with guilt.
Posted by Max Solomon on June 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM · Report this
13
Wow Mehlman,

I want to think that was snark, but I'm not so sure. You give someone $150 expecting sex in return and if you don't get it you can murder the person in cold blood? You really think that's an acceptable response?

Posted by mshawn on June 6, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
biffp 14
@11, and I thought it was disgusting when people talked about cutting off people's hands in Saudi Arabia. In Texas, it's death, and not even by the government. Why be just the stupidest state in the country, when you can lead the world in ass-backwardness?
Posted by biffp on June 6, 2013 at 5:16 PM · Report this
Bonefish 15
1: From the looks of things, they already underwent that brain drain decades ago, and we're looking at the aftermath.

Either that, or they simply never had a significant population of brain-havers to begin with.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on June 6, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
16
@13 Taking somebody's life over $150 does strike me as somewhat excessive, but I'm not a Texas native so maybe I just don't understand.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on June 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM · Report this
Eric Arrr 17
Let's be precise, Dan. She wasn't a prostitute, she was a thief, posing as a prostitute. Morally, what she did was pretty much the same as stealing $150 from a person who expected her to supply drugs, instead of sex.

(Which makes the case for the legalization & regulation of prostitution and drugs so that people have better recourse under the law than to use force when someone robs them.)
Posted by Eric Arrr on June 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM · Report this
biffp 18
The NRA corrupted the legislative process to have stand your ground laws passed in Florida, Texas and 23 other states. It has everything to do with increasing profits for gun manufacturers, and nothing to do with justice. That's all you have to understand: the history of the legislation.
Posted by biffp on June 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
19
Yeah, it legally wasn't theft, even if she did agree to have sex with him and then she did back out. Contracts are invalid if they involve illegal activity. Let's take the guy at his word and assume that she did break her word and not have sex with him after she said she would. In this scenario, she's kind of a jerk, but she's not a criminal; prostitution is illegal, so the agreement--sex in exchange for money--is not binding. The fact that I'm reluctant to accept the word of a confessed killer and that it's ridiculous that a human life is worth less than $150 just adds to that.
Posted by doodle4395 on June 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM · Report this
20
"She was a thief" So we're taking the word of the guy who KILLED her about what exactly transpired, are we? The person who has observably committed a crime is the authority on how it went down? Why not? It's not like he and his lawyers could have looked for a legal loophole and fitted his story to match up with that? No, that would NEVER happen.
Jesus Christ.
Posted by Mistress Matisse on June 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 21
He ordered a prostitute on Christmas Eve. That's pretty sad in and of itself.
Posted by Gern Blanston on June 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM · Report this
22
@18 That Texas law that allows people to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft has been on the books since the 1800s. The NRA had nothing to do with it. Until 1972 Texas law defined the murder of an unfaithful wife by her husband as justifiable homicide. That law was only changed because it was declared unconstitutional because it didn't give wives the right to shoot cheating husbands.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on June 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM · Report this
23
@20 One of the functions of juries is to access the credibility of witnesses. The legal system didn't simply accept the killer's story at face value. He was put on trial, opted to testify, and was deemed not guilty by jurors who had listened to what he had to say.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on June 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM · Report this
lolorhone 24
Who gives a fuck if she was a thief or a prostitute? The man shot her in cold blood for less than the cost of decent bike for a grade schooler and people are having mealy-mouthed debates as to whether she got coal in her stocking come Christmastime? What the fuck is wrong with you people (and I don't just mean Texans)?
Posted by lolorhone on June 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM · Report this
25
I'm not that enamored of this nation of United States. In fact, I'm pretty sure I want nothing to do with more than half of them, especially Texas.

You know? If we dissolved the U.S.A. and reverted to 50 sovereign states, we'd get 49 more seats at the U.N. Our defense spending would go way down. (Seriously, which state would want to invade Iraq on their own?) Plus, donor states like New York could keep more of that Federal tax money that's a net drain on us. And those crappy drivers from Jersey would need a visa to drive on our roads. ;-)
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on June 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 26
@17,

Many escorts officially sell their time, not sex. If they feel like having sex with their clients, that's great for the clients, but it's specifically not required by the agreement the escort enters into. Dan himself went on a date with that kind of escort for a book he wrote; I think Skipping to Gomorrah, but I'm not 100 percent sure.

In either event, if this asshole had murdered a drug dealer for ripping him off, he'd be facing the death penalty right now.
Posted by keshmeshi on June 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM · Report this
27
I wonder how Texas would have dealt with this if the merchandise had been drugs instead of sex.
Posted by Prettybetsy on June 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM · Report this
28
This is just another prime example of misogyny in our country. It doesn't matter what the circumstances were- no one should be killed over such a petty sum. My crazy former bff stole $100 from my wallet when she went through her coke phase. Know what I did? I forgave her for being an addict and a big fucking mess. Obviously, strangers can't be expected to be as forgiving, but when a man kills a woman and gets away with it- that's not about anything other than misogyny.

Our country is so messed up about sex and politics that in some places being a hooker would be the bigger crime rather than murder. Letting this guy get away with murder is unacceptable. A sex worker is someone's daughter, sister or maybe even mother, too. Just b/c she was a hooker by trade doesn't mean that the guy who murdered her should be walking free.
Posted by angry grrrl on June 6, 2013 at 6:34 PM · Report this
29
This man, on Christmas Eve, pointed a gun at a woman and pulled the trigger and then said that he didn't mean to kill her. Why does anyone here believe a single fucking thing he said? He's either a damned dirty liar or so fucking stupid that he cannot be trusted to move about freely in society lest he have another "accident." Either way, he's a murderer and he belongs in a cage.
Posted by MiscKitty on June 6, 2013 at 6:53 PM · Report this
30
Did everyone get that she lived paralyzed from the neck down on life support for several months before dying? One account says she suffered some brain damage when her respirator failed. She would have been unable to do anything but lay there and suffer that until someone noticed. And this guy walks.
Posted by AlliMike on June 6, 2013 at 6:55 PM · Report this
31
@12
"professional transactions work that way. escort services are supposed to be professional transactions. but this wasn't a professional transaction, as @11 says, it was theft."

First off, no they do not. There are many instances where you pay for a service prior to receiving that service.
And obvious example would be pre-paid phone service.

Secondly, I think "Mistress Matisse" probably has more experience and knowledge in this area than you.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on June 6, 2013 at 6:57 PM · Report this
Posted by venomlash on June 6, 2013 at 7:35 PM · Report this
33
Well Texas let him off. I wonder if the Feds will go after him? He did interfere with her constitutional right to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
Posted by Mugwumpt on June 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Report this
34
I would hope she had family who could bring a civil suit but I suppose in Texas the life of a prostitute would go pretty cheap. Apparently under $150.00. I'm stunned.
Posted by Mugwumpt on June 6, 2013 at 7:44 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 35
if the headline hadn't said texas, i would have sworn bailo did this.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on June 6, 2013 at 7:44 PM · Report this
36
Solomon @ 12: He's not just wracked with guilt - didn't you read the part about how when he sees a gun on tv, he has to *CHANGE THE CHANNEL*???

How much worse could his life get? Poor guy has suffered enough.
Posted by Chakolate on June 6, 2013 at 8:13 PM · Report this
37
Texas: Where an unborn female fetus is precious and deserves to live, even if it means the death of the woman carrying her, but 23 years later, she can be shot and killed for $150 and nobody cares.

If I had been on that jury, and an unanimous vote was required to acquit, it would have been a hung jury. He shot her in the neck over $150. Unless she was holding a gun on him at the same time, he deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his life.
Posted by SherBee on June 6, 2013 at 8:23 PM · Report this
38
Meh. What do you expect from a State that made it illegal to teach critical thinking in schools.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on June 6, 2013 at 9:23 PM · Report this
39
I'm waiting for him to be prosecuted for attempting to solicit sex; sources suggest it's a felony down there. Either he was trying to pay for sex, which is a serious crime, or he was paying for an escort service (in which case, there was no non-delivery of service). He can't have his murder and eat it too...*

* It's the best wit I can come up with now that I've had a few hours to cool off from cursing the jury when I first read the story.
Posted by MemeGene on June 6, 2013 at 10:33 PM · Report this
40
This story is unfuckingbelievable. Something about it has just pushed me over the edge. The USA is a morally bankrupt nation. Even the sort of dismissive "Texas will be Texas" comments on here make me sick.

WE should not stand for this. WE should not stand for a lot of shit in this Country. For example…who prosecutes the negligence of this Country for going to WAR in another country on false pretense? Who fucking holds this Country accountable?

Check and balances? There are no check and balances in this Country. That's naive bullshit.

FUCK!
Posted by Timothy http://www.moreperfect.org on June 6, 2013 at 10:38 PM · Report this
41
Reminds me of a maxim some lawyer told me once--if you're innocent, opt for a bench trial; if you're guilty, opt for a jury trial.

Juries fuck up fairly often.

And the DA maybe fucked up too. The jury might have convicted the defendant on manslaughter--the article made it sound like a murder conviction or acquittal were the only options. If so, that was an aggressive choice by the DA.
Posted by Functional Atheist on June 7, 2013 at 3:54 AM · Report this
42
Thousands of people have been acquitted for intentionally killing people they didn't mean to kill.

This is really just the dark side of the Rule of Law when you have stupid laws. But to take offense with the jury or the justice system is wrong headed and against the rule of law, which is THE greatest thing ever invented by America.
Posted by fetish on June 7, 2013 at 5:07 AM · Report this
Kinison 43
Well I gave my friend money for crack and he didnt buy me any crack, so I had to shoot him in the back to recover the money I gave him.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on June 7, 2013 at 5:33 AM · Report this
CubOnFire 44
@41... I agree... I live in Texas and i'm outraged. I was worried that this wouldn't make national news but it's good that Dan is blogging about it.

The best thing to do is share the hell out of this story so we can make sure it gets out to the rest of the country. There is nothing about this that is right and it can't be the last we hear of this story...
Posted by CubOnFire on June 7, 2013 at 7:56 AM · Report this
45
Guys? SHE WAS AN ESCORT. You pay an escort for TIME, not for sex.
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on June 7, 2013 at 8:11 AM · Report this
46
@42

"But to take offense with the jury or the justice system is wrong headed and against the rule of law, which is THE greatest thing ever invented by America. "

a) Juries have the option of ruling against the law itself. That's one of the reasons we have juries.

b) This woman was an escort. The money paid to her was for her time, not for prostitution, which is illegal in Texas. He shot her for refusing to commit a crime. It's a miscarriage of justice even with such a fucked-up law.
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on June 7, 2013 at 8:54 AM · Report this
47
@46 Yeah, that, but I think @42 misses a key point when he says, "...acquitted for intentionally killing people they didn't mean to kill."

Look, I'm no mind-reader, but why is it so hard to infer intent when someone points a loaded weapon at a vital part of someone, clearly in anger, and pulls the trigger?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the prosecution lost this case in jury selection.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on June 7, 2013 at 9:12 AM · Report this
48
If he gave her $150 to compel her to have sex with him, then according to Texas law he should be subject to 20 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Posted by EclecticEel on June 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Ophian 49
As someone who has been exiled in Texas for the past three years:

GODDAMN FUCKING TEXAS!
Posted by Ophian on June 7, 2013 at 12:39 PM · Report this
50
The law is not meant to assist someone who breaks it. This was an error of the judge to allow a defense that was based on the existence of an illegal contract. As fact-finders, once that terrible mistake of law was made, all the jury was asked to do was determine beyond a reasonable doubt that the transaction was "subtantively" (not "formally to those bickering about paying for time versus sex) money exchanged for sex.

As for intent "following the bullet" ... well in some jursidictions is still does, but it isn't right to say that it always does (e.g. someone pointing a gun they thought wasn't loaded, a cop who intends to immobilise and hits a main artery [that second one is an actual case that may have been relied upon for authority here]).

To the discussion about juries and finding against the rule of law (@46 I think) ... that is absolutely not 'one of the reasons we have juries.' Jury nullification is frowned upon everywhere and judges are meant to do their best to keep barristers on point and if counsel is actively seeking such a verdict, they can be cited for contempt. Juries do make terrible mistakes of law all the time though ... and the craziest thing is that lawyers aren't allowed to serve on them. Most of these errors stem from poor instructions from the judge. Oh, and @42, the assertion that the US "created" the rule of law is right up there among the most outlandish things I've ever read.

The comparison to the drug deal gone bad is the most apt in the circumstances and who knows what a jury would have decided there (I'm not quite ready to impose objective misogyny on a group of people I've never met without knowing the judges instructions). There are some jurisdictions (outside the US) where drug dealers can write off losses from robberies on their taxes even though their business is illegal ... I guess the gov't cares more about revenue than crime.

Bottom line, this case will serve as impetus to change that ridiculous law (only at night ... really?!) and won't serve as any kind of precedent in future trials because it was wrongly decided and every first year law student in the country taking contracts/criminal law knows it.
More...
Posted by In the interest of clarity ... on June 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM · Report this
51
I'm from Texas (granted, I don't live there anymore), and I have found that assholes, bigots, and gun nuts everywhere (there is a gun/vitamin shop on the main street of the CO town I live in). What happened to that woman was awful, the fact that this man walks free is criminal. I don't care if she was a prostitute or a petty criminal, no one deserves to die over $150. But this whole "it's Texas so obviously it's full of backwards, redneck idiots" makes me sad. It's a large state, it stands to reason it would have more idiots than other states. But it also has wonderful, intelligent, and well rounded "live and let live" individuals in it as well. It's not the state that is the problem here, it's the same judgmental idiots that live anywhere. Even NYC is having a rash of homophobic attacks. We as a culture need to have a freaking reality check, not just certain areas.
Posted by lizziethered on June 7, 2013 at 11:44 PM · Report this
Ophian 52
@51, there are idiots everywhere. However, in TX the idiots are mostly in charge. It is not unique in that. I grew up in VA, and they have done some mind blowingly bigoted and stupid things too.

"We as a culture need to have a freaking reality check, not just certain areas." Yes. Yes we do, but Texas should be at the front of the line.
Posted by Ophian on June 8, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
53
Let's think this one through a bit more. Even in the best light presented so far it seems a horrifying miscarriage of justice to me. But, on closer examination I think it is even worse that that. This guy apparently claimed the women stole $150 from him and because it was a property crime committed at night he was allowed to use deadly force to get his property back. He further claims she was a prostitute who he paid $150 but who didn't deliver sex but only some sort of perhaps stripping or dancing around. Clearly she is not convicted of prostitution (at least in this case) so we can at best say alleged prostitute. But, in fact it sounds from the description like she might have been offering a legitimate service (sexy dancing) for pay and he mis-interpreted and thought she was offering an illegal service (sex). When he realized that he did not like what he had bought, he decided, entirely on his own, and as far as I can tell against the evidence (after all, she likely did not advertise for sex unless she is stupid, at best she hinted, which after all, in some ways 90% of advertising hints at) that by asking for a refund and being refused he could instead consider this a property crime and shoot her.
Now, imagine I get thirsty around 10pm and walk down to my local Starbucks. I order a Grande latte. They deliver a tall cup 3/4 full of some semi-dark liquid. I decide it is only 3/4 full, not the promised "grande" size and that the taste is not to my liking. I complain and the shop decides I am a crank and doesn't refund my money or refill my cup to the brim with freshly brewed coffee. Can I consider this a theft of my money and shoot the barista? I don't see the difference between this case and the one cited. Am I missing something?
Posted by FredSlogger on June 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM · Report this
persimmon 54
Hey, remember those days when it was illegal to force a woman to have sex with you for money?
Posted by persimmon on June 8, 2013 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Ophian 55
"Outside the courtroom, Gilbert thanked God..."

Now I have to go shoot the pizza guy in the neck for skimping on the pepperoni. God bless The Republic.
Posted by Ophian on June 8, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
56

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