The Texas Prosecutor, November-December 2018

A roundup of notable quotables

“When he said he wanted me dead, I took him at his word.”

—Collin County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Crystal Levonius, who had been working up a case against Daniel Steffen, later testifying in Steffen’s trial. Steffen was accused of sexual assault of a child (among other things), and in a recorded phone call, he had told someone he wanted to do “whatever it takes” to kill Levonius. At that, she was removed from the case, and the Collin County office recused itself. Dallas County ACDAs Jason Fine and Trey Stock were assigned as special prosecutors, and Steffen was convicted of sex crimes and solicitation to commit capital murder in September. He was sentenced to life in prison.
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2018/09/13/plano-man-preyed-young-boys-plotted-kill-prosecutor-gets-life-sentence-horrendous-crimes

 

“I don’t need to be a criminal anymore, and that’s a great feeling. And my new dealer is the prime ­minister!”

—Canadian Ashley MacIsaac, in a news article about Canada’s recent legalization of marijuana possession and sales. www.myplainview.com/news/medical/article/Canada-now-world-s-largest-legal-marijuana-13313115.php

 

“Very, very small. And very dark.”

—Sgt. Brad Makovy of the Grand Prairie Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit. He was testifying in the capital murder trial of Charles Wayne Phifer, who was later convicted of beating to death his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter, Leiliana Wright. Sgt. Makovy was describing a closet in the family’s home where Leiliana had been “strung up” as punishment before she died.
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2018/10/11/4-year-old-suffered-like-no-child-grand-prairie-cop-seen-before-testifies-murder-trial

 

“Over the weekend, I visited upstate NY, where I got ­arrested & later did time. And it kind of holds a special place in my heart bc it’s where I got my life back together. But someoneasked [sic] me where my dog was & it got me ­thinking. Here is a thread abt dogs, addiction, and reentry.”

—Keri Blakinger (@keribla on Twitter), a journalist at the Houston Chronicle newspaper (and former felon). The thread (from October 15) is worth reading.

 

“I don’t know if I hate you or I thank you for finally speaking up and giving me my daughter back.”

—Fallon Wood, in a victim impact statement given at the trial of Gregorio Cruz. Cruz admitted to police that he didn’t kill Breanna Wood, Ms. Wood’s daughter, but that he was paid to dispose of her body. He led authorities to her remains.
https://www.caller.com/story/news/crime/2018/10/16/man-gets-8-years-evidence-tampering-death-breanna-wood/1653418002/

 

“The law is so complex and ambiguous, very learned people can have very different opinions on what a line of statute means. It’s highly unlikely that someone is going to go to jail [just for cannabidiol], but I cannot sit here and say that it is my legal opinion that it is a legal chemical.”

—Kyle Hoelscher, a Corpus Christi attorney and pro-marijuana activist, in a news article on the growing (illegal) sales of cannabidiol (CBD) in Texas.
https://www.statesman.com/news/20181012/despite-legal-uncertainty-sales-of-cannabis-extract-booming-in-texas