Friday, July 22, 2011

'Lamb district attorney says Texas Ranger lied, but not really'

The title of this post is the headline of a story in today's Lubbock Avalanche Journal by Logan Carver which opens:
Lamb County District Attorney Mark Yarbrough once wrote in a memo that Sal Abreo was a liar; but in court Thursday Yarbrough told a different story.

Yarbrough said he wrote that Abreo was “the worst Texas Ranger you will ever meet,” and that “he lied to me to get me to file this case,” because he was frustrated with Abreo and didn’t really mean it.

The memo was penned two years after the impetus for Yarbrough’s frustration.

He said Abreo, the lead investigator in the 1996 murder of Evangelina Cruz, told him one thing about a witness which conflicted with her statement; but because Abreo cleared it up in another report, he never really lied, Yarbrough testified.

Claims of Abreo’s deceit and corruption have been a dominant issue in the civil rights suit filed by Alberto Sifuentes and Jesus Ramirez — the trial of which is close to entering its fourth week. ...
Sifuentes and Ramirez were arrested, convicted and imprisoned for the 1996 shooting death of Evangelina Cruz at the Littlefield Jolly Roger.

When an appeals court overturned their convictions and a Lamb County grand jury declined to indict, the pair of Mexican nationals sued the law enforcement and prosecutorial individuals and entities they say violated their constitutional rights to wrongly convict them.

The complaint filed by Sifuentes and Ramirez accuses Abreo, Yarbrough, Littlefield police officer Leonel Ponce and others of conspiring to wrongfully convict Sifuentes and Ramirez.
The complainants also allege so-called "Brady violations," or withholding exculpatory evidence:
Phil Wischkaemper, Ramirez’ appointed attorney during the original criminal trial, testified after Yarbrough and was expected to retake the stand today.

He said he never received evidence and information Abreo had — specifically a comparison of shoes taken from Sifuentes and Ramirez to a shoe print at the crime scene. They didn’t match.

“It would have been a centerpiece of my cross examination of Sal Abreo,” Wischkaemper said.
See the full story here.

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Anonymous said...

Seems the Texas Rangers have a problem with telling the truth. We had the Ranger who committed perjury in the Anthony Graves trial who, I think was promoted to the top Texas Ranger position in the state. Then we have Phillip Kemp who committed perjury in the Mineola Swinger's Club case. Now we have this guy. Maybe its time to admit that there is a systemic problem with perjury within the ranks of Texas law enforcement.

Hook Em Horns said...

The commission of perjury is done with complete impunity in Texas. It is symptomatic of a system that is terribly broken. Lies, deceit, malice, bad eyewitness testimony, bad testimony for that matter. It is unreal what passes muster, every single day.

rodsmith said...

sad thing is it's NOT just texas it's a major nationwide problem.

Anonymous said...

They are liars.

PAPA said...

The righteous mind have left people, especially those in authority from the PrezBO all the way down.It takes building people's morality and that is no longer a priority in the United States of America. The corruption within the borders of the U.S.A. is coming to what we have lived to witness from 3rd world rulers, enforcers, dictors,kings, queens, etc...put prayer and the 10Commandments back into the class rooms, the pleadge, the flag and 30years from now will see a turn around. This was a different country when all the school children prayed each day for this works, let try it again.

Anonymous said...

To the right of the news article was a story about a star Lubbock high school baseball player who was charged with assaulting a police officer. Turned out to be another mistaken identity case.

Wasn't him as he was with his team @ the state baseball tourney.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Grits, thanks for including the name of Mr. Ramirez's original trial attorney/lawyer (Phil Wischkaemper).

I was beginning to think that they'd represented themselves. Please let us know what document you discover his name on & the name of Mr. Sifuentes' - if possible. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Why not post update showing that plaintiffs lost? Wouldn't that be fair?