Posts Tagged Precious Moments
By Attorney David Engler
The family of first generation Mexican immigrants lived in a small town named Shiner, Texas about 130 miles west of Houston. The land is not easy to farm because the sun is so relentless and the soil rocky.
But the extended family worked their farm and raised horses and crops enough to keep everyone fed. There was never enough money to buy the newest John Deere harvester or spend much money on building new barns.
When Jesus, 47, who hung around the local hardware shop and the two beer joints at night offered to come shoe the horses for a few bucks, the young 23 year old father of two agreed.
It was a Saturday in June and the work was going to be capped off with barbecued chicken on the grill. He had plenty of Mesquite wood lying around to give it a taste like his Dad used to make it. Sunday was going to father’s day. He would relax only then.
Around 3:30 pm Miguel heard a scream and at the same time a young neighbor boy turned the corner and yelled, a man had taken Angel from the house crying. Miguel could recall the sprint to the barn from where he heard his daughter scream. Back along a pile of fencing, Jesus was on top of his daughter with his pants at his ankles. By 4:30 pm the local coroner would pronounce Jesus dead. Miguel had landed the eight blows quickly to the head and neck of his daughter’s attacker. His five year old daughter was sobbing.
After beating Jesus Flores, the father called 911.
“I need an ambulance,” the father told the dispatcher, according to 911 tapes released by police. “This guy was raping my daughter and I beat him up and I don’t know what to do. This guy is fixing to die on me, man, and I don’t know what to do.”
“Come on! This guy is going to die on me!” he continued during the frantic, five-minute call. “I don’t know what to do!”
Emergency workers, as well as the daughter’s grandfather and aunt, tried to revive Flores but could not. Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said he found the distraught father crying, saying that he had not intended to kill Flores.
“He’s a peaceable soul, ” V’Anne Huser, the father’s attorney, said. “He had no intention to kill anybody that day.”
The local sheriff ruled it a homicide, because that is what it was. In the low hills of Texas people talked straight. Within a day the local prosecutor presented the case to a grand jury that just as plainly said, Miguel was justified.
Being justified. It is the doing of an act that no reasonable person would say should not have been done. No one really needs a law book to read the defense laid out in Texas law that deadly force to stop a sexual attack is justifiable. Of course it is. If Miguel’s wife had turned the same corner and seen this drifter raping her girl and her husband landing blow after blow; she would not have stopped it. There is not a place in my mind where I can say he should not have delivered such a sure and swift justice. The beauty of this story is the remorse shown by Miguel. No one would have ever blamed him yet he said he did not mean to kill.
The father’s protection of his children knows no bounds. For Miguel there will be nightmares. But he shall forever be justified.
Also published on Attorney David Engler’s Legal Blog http://davidengler.wordpress.com//
By Attorney David Engler
Jerry and Tina were married for more than 30 years. They got married young. They were both 21. The two children came in the first five years. She managed a Papa John’s pizza store and his job was working in a plastic extrusion company that manufactured the containers that spit out anti-bacterial soap in public places.
There was not an endless demand for such dispensers and the Chinese could make the same product at half the cost. It was inevitable that he was laid-off and the first 26 weeks of unemployment went by quickly. The truth of the matter is that he could hardly get out of bed once Tina left the trailer.
He had now gone through 52 weeks of unemployment compensation. He thought the break might be doing them some good. It was what she wanted. She said she needed time apart to get her head straight
For him, more important than working, was staking out the pizza shop and confirming his suspicions. He had no idea of what he would do if found out she was cheating. It didn’t take long to discover that Tina saw the same customer every night. She was at work, but didn’t stop her from walking this guy out to his car. She leaned in close to him while he was sitting and Jerry could almost make out a kiss.
He followed the guy back to his townhouse in a ragged area of Austintown. He replayed the movie in his head. He would approach him just as he was opening the door and swing with his own fist. The guy would not know what happened. Jerry would then throw at him the family picture of he and Tina with the two kids. It was taken when the children were in middle school.
He did not do any of those things. He gave up. Jerry wasn’t great looking, but next to this guy he could have been Brad Pitt. He couldn’t understand.
So at the lawyer’s office the next day he asked what his options were. When it comes to personal property the court wants both parties to divide up the property ahead of time. If the parties cannot agree everything could be placed for sale at auction. Men usually want the motorcycle and a flat screen T.V. Women want to take the one thing that will hurt the most. Tina and Jerry had no bank accounts to divide. He drove a Cavalier with 105,000 miles and she drove a leased Dodge Caliber. Jerry wore glasses that were made sometime in the 80’s. They covered half of his face. Together they bought ceramic statues to commemorate each birth, special anniversaries and a few times they went on vacation. The little statues never cost more than $25.
After I told him there was no spousal support where he was capable of making as much as she did and the personal property had already been split; he asked “you mean to tell me that after 30 years of marriage all I get is the Precious Moments Collection?”
There was no irony in his voice.