New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 7, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 8A — Herald-Zeuung — Thursday, April 7, 2005
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Prosecution could end its case today
to the boy — he faces five to 99 years in prison.
On the two lesser allegations, of causing bodily injury to a child, Fierro faces five to IO years in prison.
He is being held in Comal County Jail. His bail is $120,900.
Prosecutor Von Bunn put the boy on the witness stand Wednesday, introducing him to Robison and to jurors.
Bunn took the boy through a description of what his life was like in the months before police arrested May and Fierro.
Through questioning, Bunn brought him to the point, just days before the arrest, when Fierro allegedly injured the boy s genitals by ripping the skin and partially peeling it from the base of the organ.
“When he hurt you, did he grab your privates?” Bunn asked.
“Yes,” the boy answered. "He grabbed it....”
The boy also testified the incident was painful and resulted in bleeding.
Under continued testimony, die boy said the incident occurred on the front porch of die home when Fierro was ordering the undressed boy inside to take a bath.
After the bath, Bunn asked him what he did next.
"I had to go back inside the doghouse," the boy testified.
“Ray put you in?” Bunn asked, asking him also what he was wearing.
“I think no clothes,” the boy answered.
Bunn asked him if he was sure, but the boy acknowledged that he was not.
The boy testified that he was confined to the doghouse on more than one occa-sion, and that he often didn’t know what he was being punished for. Many of the occasions where he did know, he said, were for lying.
He described being beaten with a belt — but was not clear on how many times his mother had done it or Fierro had done it.
He also described being tied, spread-eagled, into bed — having to sleep that way and having Fierro threaten him on two occasions with a knife.
“Ray held it to my privates like this,” the boy said, gesturing as though holding a weapon.
“What kind of knife was it?” Bunn asked.
"A little steak knife,” the boy answered.
“What did he say?” Bunn asked.
“‘If you don’t go to sleep, I’m going to cut your ... off,’” the boy answered.
“How did you feel?” Bunn asked.
“Scared," the boy answered.
On another occasion, the boy said, Fierro gripped his tongue and threatened to cut it off with a large knife.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Anthony Cantrell began by asking the boy whether he realized Cantrell had been seeking — unsuccessfully — to meet with him.
“I’ve been trying to talk to you for a long time and this is the first time I ve been able to,” Cantrell said.
The attorney asked how many times he’d talked to Bunn, and the boy said it was probably more than five.
Cantrell then asked the boy whether he remembered this period in his life well and the boy said he did. Then Cantrell asked the boy questions about telling the truth.
“You know saying something that adults want you to say just because they want you to say it would be wrong?” Cantrell asked.
“Yes,” the boy answered.
“And you know this is an important place and its very important you tell the truth?”
“Yes,” the boy answered.
Cantrell asked the boy if his mother believed he always told the truth, and Assistant District Attorney Ed Springer objected because an answer would call for the boy to spec-ulate on what his mother believed. Robison agreed.
Cantrell established the boy’s mother had sometimes taken toys away from him for punishment and sometimes used a technique called “time out.”
Irater, the punishments got more frequent and severe, though.
“Did it seem to you that you were being punished unfairly?” Cantrell asked.
“Yes,” the boy said. He couldn’t remember how many times his mother had belted him and Fierro had belted him — or if his mother had ever done so before dating Fierro.
Cantrell asked the boy if it were true lied never told the police about the injuries Fierro allegedly caused. The boy admitted that he hadn’t.
Today, the prosecution is scheduled to complete its case at the Comal County Courthouse. The defense will begin its case as soon as the prosecution concludes.
Casted appointed vice chair of rural caucus
AUSTIN — State Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, was appointed as a vice chair for the Rural Caucus of the Texas Legislature.
“We tried to look at geographic representation as well as cover subject matters of interest to the caucus,” Rep. Robert L “Robby” Cook, chairman of the caucus, said.
Casteel joined fellow House members Charles “Doc” Anderson (Waco), Roy Blake Jr. (Nacogdoches), Juan Escobar (Kingsville), Stephen Frost (New Boston), Yvonne Gon-DINOSAURS
CONTINUED FROM Page 1AMuseum raising money for building program
“It’s almost like ‘Crime Scene Investigation,”’ Deschner said.
Keaims will speak on fossils of the local area and the geology of the spillway gorge at nearby Canyon Dam.
Texas Dinosaur Day is a fund-raiser for the museum’s building program.
Deschner said the museum is about one-third of the way to its fund-raising goal of $1.6 million and plans to
zalezToureilles (Alice), Mark Homer (Paris), Lois Kolkhorst (Brenham), and Rob Orr (Burleson) and senators Craig Estes (Wichita Falls) and Dr. Bob Deuell (Greenville) as vice chairs.
The rural caucus exists as an informational resource for members of the Texas Legislature. Throughout the legislative session, weekly meetings are held on various topics of interest to the members. Additionally, work sessions are held to help educate members on topics
AT A GLANCE
■ Texas Dinosaur Day runs from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country.
■ Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 5 to 12.
■ The museum conducts group tours for anyone who can't make it Sunday.
■ For information, call (830) 899-4972, 899-6928 or, during hours of operation, 899-4542.
expand tile facility, which also encompasses Native American heritage, Comal County history and the development of Canyon Dam.
Supporters hope to build classrooms, barns that will
ranging from school finance and budget issues to transportation and insurance.
“We are fortunate to have so many leaders in rural issues who have worked on various issues important to their district and rural Texas,” Cook said. “We have expertise in education, transportation, natural resources and budget issues.
“All rural members will play a key role in developing and shaping policy in an effort to address long-standing rural issues in our state.”
protect fossil dinosaur tracks from rain, and drainage improvements to prevent flooding and damage to the tracks.
Also planned is an amphitheater on the cliff overlooking the tracks and a new entrance that would better accommodate school buses and two gardens — one prehistoric and die other a “heritage” garden typical of pioneer times.
“We have a site plan and are making calculations and designing it now,” Deschner said. “This project is for the benefit of preserving the tracks and the education of local people and visitors.”SHIELD
CONTINUED FROM Page 1ANewspaper executivesspape say law ineffective
who are reluctant to close any doors that might help a criminal investigation.
“It doesn’t protect anything,” said Michael Schneider, director of programming for the Texas Association of Broadcasters. “One of the core principles is to protect
whistleblowers. This bill as amended would not do that.” Schneider said without legal protection, confidential sources are unlikely to come forward with information.
“It’s not about protecting the journalists,” Schneider said. “It’s about protecting the sources.”
While broadcasters have long supported a shield law, the bill gained support from publishers and editors who have been reluctant to have the Legislature define what
press freedoms are guaranteed by the First Amendment.
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said he won t push the bill without the support of news organizations.
“If I cannot strengthen this bill to make it a true shield for sources and information — and not a sieve — I will thank the members for the use of the hall and spend the next two years convincing my colleagues why it is important to do this right,” Ellis said.
DRT hears from Burgin
The Daughters of The Republic of Texas, Ferdinand I jndheimer Chapter, met Feb. 12, at Forke Store at Conservation Plaza. The tables were covered in white lace table cloths with red and white hearts scattered on them. Tile serving table held two red, white and blue boots with red roses and baby's breath. Attending were 34 members, six associates and eight guests.
The guest speaker was Sgt. Cynthia Burgin who spoke on “Texas — Mexican Folk Cures and Magic.”
Business meeting consisted of
■ Voted on proposed new membership of Stephanie Wiley, Gladys Kloepper Smith, Vivian Ahr Scott, Elizabeth Martin, Christine Martin and Doris Luker.
■ Virginia I lansard reported that history essays have all been read and winners chosen. Certificates are being prepared.
■ A registration form was handed out for the DRT’ 114th Annual Convention, May 11-14, in Midland. The theme is "Celebrating the Centennial as Custodian of the Alamo.” All registrations must be postmarked no later than April 12.
■ The chapter has gained 12 new members this year.
■ Kathy Alblinger, CRT sponsor, would like pictures of community activities the children are in (for the CRT scrapbook that is presented at convention.
■ Lynn Byrd requested that everyone have their picture taken for scrapbook. Also, anyone who has pictures of the November meeting, get in touch with Byrd.
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