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DA Threatened A 76-year-old man from Bedford pleaded guilty on March 4 in U.S. District Court in Lubbock to a charge of mailing threatening communications to Lubbock County District Attorney Bill Sowder. Bob Jeanes faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set. Jeanes mailed a letter to Sowder after police arrested Jeanes in a restaurant and charged him with unlawfully carrying a handgun, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the letter, Jeanes describes himself as the “National Sheriff of the Republic of Texas,” and orders Sowder to “discharge” the gun charge within 10 days, Sowder says. The Republic of Texas advocates separation from the United States under the 1836 Constitution for the Republic of Texas, which was signed before Texas joined the United States. According to the letter, if Sowder failed to heed Jeanes’ demands, Jeanes would have “no alternative but to have [Sowder] arrested for sedition against the Tranquility and Lawful Order of the People of the Republic of Texas and incarcerated without bond . . . until trial before the People.” Jeanes also stated in the letter that the death penalty is prescribed for one found guilty of sedition. Jeanes’ attorney, Fort Worth solo Paul Snell, did not return two telephone calls seeking comment before presstime on March 18. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of Lubbock, who prosecuted Jeanes, says he is pleased the case is being resolved with a plea. Sowder says he is surprised Jeanes decided to accept a plea. “I thought he might be of the mind to fight that all of the way,” Sowder says. “I am pleased that at least to this point he’s pled guilty and we’re going to avoid a trial.” Jack Ruby Trial “Follow me, young man, and I’ll get you into the courtroom.” With those words, Jack Ruby’s defense lawyer, Melvin Belli, swept Haynes and Boone business and securities litigation partner George W. Bramblett Jr., then a first-year law student skipping class at Southern Methodist University School of Law, into Judge Joe B. Brown’s courtroom to watch the trial of Oswald’s killer. Bramblett and Brown’s son, Judge Joe B. Brown Jr., a senior district judge of Dallas County’s 95th District Court, spoke at a March 14 panel discussion in Dallas about the trial, 40 years after a jury convicted Ruby on March 14, 1964, of murder with malice and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals later overturned the verdict; a new trial was planned in Wichita Falls, but Ruby died of cancer before he was re-tried. In the audience at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza sat Walt Bondies, former assistant district attorney for Dallas County, who helped investigate and research the case during that winter of 1963-1964, and who later went into private practice with Phil Burleson, whose appellate skills representing Ruby Bondies credits for the CCA decision. As a side note, Bramblett’s skipping class to watch the trial didn’t go unnoticed. As he stood at the top of the stairs waiting to get into the courtroom, seven inmates broke out of the jail and one of them led a hostage past the crowd, he said. A front-page newspaper photo captured Bramblett, mouth agape, as he watched the man hustle the woman out the courthouse door. Shortly afterward, a sheriff’s deputy wrestled the escapee to the ground. Recusal Requested Houston plaintiffs lawyer Richard Mithoff wants the Texas Supreme Court to hear his appeal of a medical-malpractice suit in which a $23 million judgment is at stake. But Mithoff, a partner in Mithoff & Jacks, wants Supreme Court Justice Steven W. Smith to recuse himself from deciding whether to grant the petition for writ of mandamus Mithoff seeks in Dolores Romero, et al. v. KPH Consolidated Inc. (In January 2003, the 14th Court of Appeals reversed and remanded Romero, and Mithoff wants the Supreme Court to restore the judgment.) In a motion to recuse filed on March 12, Mithoff alleges Smith cannot be fair and impartial because he made reference to Mithoff in his recent re-election campaign. As alleged in Mithoff’s motion, a “final message” Smith sent via e-mail to campaign supporters on March 8 criticized his opponent, 4th Court of Appeals Judge Paul Green of San Antonio, for holding a fund-raiser at “the mansion of a liberal plaintiffs’ lawyer who pocketed $10 million in legal fees in the Dan Morales Texas tobacco litigation, gave money to Hillary Clinton, and lists the Democratic Party as one of his clients.” Mithoff declines comment, but he alleges in the motion that “Justice Smith’s words were intended to convey �- and they do convey �- his personal animosity toward Mr. Mithoff and his clients.” Mithoff also notes in the motion that many of the statements in the letter about him were inaccurate his client in the tobacco litigation, for instance, was Harris County, not the state of Texas, and the Harris County Commissioners Court awarded him the $10 million fee. In the motion, Mithoff asks the entire court to grant the recusal motion if Smith declines to recuse himself. Green defeated Smith in the Republican primary election on March 9. Smith did not, before presstime on March 18, return two telephone messages seeking comment that were left at his office. A law clerk says he was on vacation during the week of March 15. Smith’s campaign manager, David Walker, was out until March 22, according to a message on his voice mail, and he did not return a message before presstime. The motion to recuse Justice Steven Wayne Smith

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