Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Three strikes too many.........

"He took the life of Joshua, you know, he was just a baby," stated Joseph Rodriguez, the boy's stepfather.

Blaine T Boudreaux, 34, had his first encounter with the Houston TX police at 3:30 pm on April 26 2015 when he rear ended a car near the Texas Medical Center.  The police responded to the accident on the 6600 block of Fannin where Boudreaux had crashed his black Dodge Ram pickup into the back of another car.  The two occupants, a adult and a two year old were taken to the hospital with injuries and later released.  Boudreaux was issued a citation for failure to control speed and allowed to leave the accident scene and he did not appear to be drunk at that time.

At some point between 5:15 pm and 6:00 pm, he was driving along the 4400 block of the Texas 5 Spur and he ended up on the 1400 block of Lockwood and the East Freeway feeder road.  He apparently passed out at a red light there but awoke when another driver honked his horn. Boudreaux then accelerated  ran the red light and hit a Honda Civic at 6:10 pm.

Joshua Medrano, 6, was riding in the car with his mother Cynthia and both were taken to area hospitals.  Joshua was taken to the Texas Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead even though he had been seatbelted in.  Cynthia was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital with broken bones and a collapsed lung and she is still there.

Boudreaux was suspected of being intoxicated at the scene and failed a field sobriety test at the scene.  He was taken into custody finally but on Monday the 27th another body was discovered.  Leonard Batiste, 61, was found dead alongside the 4400 block of the Texas 5 Spur along with the front bumper and license plate off of Boudreaux's truck.  The police report that it looks as though the truck left the roadway and hit Batiste, who is believed to be homeless, and then regained the roadway to travel on.

He has now been charged with intoxication manslaughter, failure to stop and render aid involving death and intoxicated assault.  In less than three hours, Boudreaux was involved in three accidents which caused injuries and the death of two people.  The police are still investigating the hit and run of Batiste and the first accident.  They would like to know for certain if Boudreaux had been intoxicated then as well or if he had begun his drinking after that accident.

One can only hope that he had not been intoxicated during the first accident and the police missed an opportunity to save two lives and prevent the pain and suffering of the families they have.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Just destruction.......

Freddie Gray, 25, was laid to rest on April 27 2015 and his family had asked that there be no protests that day to allow for them to mourn his death.  He had been arrested on April 12 by the Baltimore MD police for possession of a switchblade.  The initial report state that sometime after he was arrested, he suffered a medical emergency.

It took 11 minutes after his 8:40 am arrest for him to be placed in the van and 30 minutes later paramedics were summoned to take him to the hospital.  Gray was in a coma within an hour of his arrest and died in the hospital on April 19th.  He had three fractured vertebrae, a throat injury and his spine was 80% severed in the neck area.

Gray had a police record but it was for minor offenses and drug related charges, nothing that should have led him to dying in police custody.  The Baltimore police suspended six officers that were involved in the arrest and transport.  They and the DOJ have also opened an investigation as to what had gone so horribly wrong with his arrest.  For days there had been peaceful protests until the 25th when the protest in downtown Baltimore turned violent.

That violence looked like a kindergarten fight compared to what developed on the 27th.  There were rumors of a protest being held for young people that afternoon and now, reports have stated that it had also been advertized on social media as a "Purge" like the film.  What it became was nothing like a protest backing the belief that black lives matter.  News stations nationwide showed the developing firestorm and night of destruction and looting.

Reporters questioned why the police were not being more forceful in handling the crowds and others tried to whitewash the behavior as young people who are frustrated with their situation and venting.  What I watched was nothing more than people running wild, looting, destroying property, attacking the police and burning their own neighborhoods.  I do not know how you can spin people breaking into businesses and strolling out with whatever they want as part of a protest of police brutality.

As it got closer to evening, views from the ground and helicopters showed people driving up to various businesses and leaping out with trash bags to fill as they ran into businesses.  The police had come under fire by crowds of people throwing whatever they could get in their hands at the officers or their vehicles.  Several police cars could be seen destroyed and claimed as though they were a spoil of war.

At one point, the CVS store, which reportedly had been convinced after many years of diplomacy to open there was set on fire.  Reporters in the area wondered why the fire department had not rushed over there quickly to put out the flames.  A police car and van could be seen further down the street from the CVS, abandoned and burning as smoke began to roll out of the looted store.  Finally the police moved in as a line and the firetrucks could be seen trying to snake their way through the crowds while rocks and bottles were thrown at them.

The fire department finally arrived and the police had to create a ring around the equipment and trucks so that they could try and put out the fire.  The mob around could be seen doing whatever they could to prevent the firemen from doing their job and it could be seen now why it had taken so long for them to respond.  Everyone was fair game now to attack or destroy and it had nothing to do with a young black man dying after he was arrested.  The situation was quickly spinning out of control and there did not seem to be enough police to even take a chance at arresting anyone.

What happened next I am sure shocked more than a few people........ someone came up to the fire hose and stabbed it several times and then walked away.  The police were forced to expand their safety perimeter around not only the fire trucks but the hoses as well.  I can think of no reason as to why you would want the prevent the fire department from putting out a fire since it could easily spread and take out a whole block of buildings.  This was not a protest and it was done right in front of reporters broadcasting live.  No one did anything to stop the man either, as if this was an everyday thing to do.

There were several reporters who were now stating that they had been threatened, one was attacked and his camera stolen and many were starting to move away from the direct action.  Usually they have no end of people who want to get on camera and voice their specific complaints but that was not happening now.  As the sun was going down, reporters were looking for cover and the fires were beginning.

Reporters that had been filming looting and destruction were told that they should move away if they knew what was good for them.  They had dropped the use of the word "protesters" as the mobs became more destructive and most had stopped trying to speculate why the police were not moving in to break things up.  All someone had to do was watch their television and they could feel the tension of the mob.  They were waiting for one more reason to just let loose and destroy anything nearby.

It seemed that whenever the police moved to a new area to try and settle things down, the mob would move back in and continue to loot and burn.  At one point, the the new senior housing and community center that the Southern Baptist Church had been building caught fire.  The $16 million dollar complex was scheduled to open in December of this year with 60 units of affordable housing for seniors.  It also had a community center that would be able to offer work-force training and various other services and programs for all ages in the neighborhood.

More than 60 church members arrived at the building site in an attempt to try and stop the continued destruction or to just stare at a years long dream go up in flames.  As the night wore on there were more news reports and films of mobs setting fires, destroying cars and looting shops of their goods that they just dragged outside and fed to the street fires.  This had nothing to do with being frustrated.... it had everything with being able to run as a mob and doing anything they felt that they wanted to at the moment.

In the morning it had been reported that there had been 20 police officers injured, 19 structure fires, 144 cars burned and 235 people arrested.  What was left was the clean up and some store owners chance to see if their business had survived the looting.

Baltimore has struggled like so many other large cities that have lost major businesses.  What happened last night will not encourage more business to invest in a store there.  They were not protesting their conditions or grievances..... they were destroying the dreams of hardworking neighbors of theirs.  No one guarantees that you get a break in life or that you will be handed a good job, fancy car and a roof over your head.  You have to work at it like every one else.

The cars that were burned, they belonged to people who may still have to make payments and it may be their only transportation to work.  No one gave them that car but you took it away quickly.  The CVS store that is looted and burned out....... they won't rebuild and reopen there so people are out of work and many have no where else to shop or fill prescriptions.  The various other small stores that were looted or burned....... the owners have worked hard to open that business and now their dream is trashed.

That was not an attempt to vent your frustrations with being held back from success....

You just wanted to run wild, destroy and enjoy the moment.  I can bet that things are going to be a bit rougher now that you tried to destroy your own homes.  Destroying the dream of a church to give back to the elderly and needy in the neighborhood is about as low as you can go and I can't entertain any complaints you may have about how tough life is for you.

I can't take your complaints very seriously when you are willing to destroy a dream that was aimed at helping those most in need......

Black lives matter and the protests and outrage should be pointed towards every life that is taken by gunfire, not just those few who die in police hands......

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Finally......... after fifteen years......

Linda Watson, 35, was last seen alive at the Victory Church in Pima County AZ in August 20 2000 as she attended a church function with her mother, stopped out to eat with her and they returned to the house they shared.  She lived only a few blocks away from the church and was supposed to meet with her lawyer on the afternoon of the 21st to discuss getting a restraining order against her ex boyfriend but she never showed.  She was also due in court on the 24th for a child custody hearing with her ex husband David Watson.  She was trying to restrict Watson's visitation time with their young daughter who she had custody of.

The next day, the 21st, it was reported by a repairman that the back door was open and sheriff's went to her house in the 2600 block of West Curtis Rd.  They found her Jeep parked in the driveway and the door to the home open.  Her bible and beeper had been left on the table and there were obvious signs of a struggle.  A cup lay shattered on the floor, coffee was splashed up a wall and Linda's blood was on the floor.  Linda also failed to meet with her ex husband on the evening of the 23rd to pick up her daughter Jordynn from him.

Her mother Marilyn and the child's paternal grandfather had been granted visitation with the little girl by the courts but David was doing all that he could to not allow that to happen.  Marilyn was convinced that David had something to do with her daughter Linda's disappearance and the police agreed.  They had not evidence of his involvement but he was kept as their number one suspect and her ex boyfriend was also kept tabs on.

Marilyn kept busy trying to find any clues as to where her daughter had gone to and by 2003 the legal battle with david was once again boiling over into court.  She had requested a review of the visitation agreement for her granddaughter and she scored another victory.  The court ruled that Marilyn could have the child for one weekend a month as well as having two phone calls a week with her.  The judge also ordered that Marilyn could have an additional four hours of visitation within seven days of holidays and special days such as birthdays.  To try and ensure that the rulings were carried out, it was also ordered that the judicial supervision program work with the families to make sure David followed the rulings.

Linda, Marilyn  and Jordynn

Shortly after Marilyn had won her case, on May 7 2003, Marilyn, now 63 and her long time friend Renee Farnsworth, 53, were returning from visiting the granddaughter when they were both gunned down in the driveway of Marilyn's home.  Marilyn had lived next door to Renee for three years and they were described as inseparable.  The pair had taken Jordynn shopping at several stores during the day and had dropped her back home before heading home themselves.

The police found the pair shot to death in the driveway after neighbors reported hearing gunshots in the area.  Only three years after her daughter Linda had disappeared after legal battles over custody, it seemed as though Marilyn would pay the same price for challenging David.  Renee, worked as a certified respiratory therapist and Marilyn's closest friend, died along side of her in the driveway.  The police still could not arrest David for any of the three deaths but Linda's ex boyfriend was not believed to have played a part in any of them by now.



Linda was declared dead in 2006 but her body had not been found yet.  Family members still hoped that she was alive but it was a very faint hope, tempered by the wish for closure.  The police finally had a major breakthrough in the the three cold cases in 2012.  In October 2003 human remains had been found in an undisclosed location in the Tuscon AZ desert that were thought to possibly be Linda's but it wasn't until 2012 that they could prove it.  The advances that had been made in DNA evidence allowed them to positively identify the remains as Linda's.

That identification brought the cold cases to the forefront again and on April 25 2015, David Duane Watson was arrested at his home without incident.  Watson, 46 and a captain with the Tuscon Fire Department was booked into the Pima County Jail on three counts of first degree murder.  he is currently being held on $2 million dollars bail.  The police have stated that they are confident that they have the right man as well as enough evidence to finally convict him of the three murders they had believed all these years he had committed.

There was no announcement of his next court date or if he had obtained a lawyer yet.  There was also no report as to who will now be caring for Jordynn who is now in her teens.  It is unfortunate that it had to take this many years to finally "get their man" but the police have shown that they did not give up on the cold cases.