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Wed Apr 13, 2022, 10:42 PM

A call, a text, an apology: How an abortion arrest shook up a Texas town

Calixtro Villarreal’s phone rang Saturday afternoon, about 48 hours after his client, Lizelle Herrera, was arrested and charged with murder — over what local authorities alleged was a “self-induced abortion.”

It was Gocha Ramirez, the district attorney in Starr County, Tex., a remote area on the border with Mexico. Herrera should never have been charged, Ramirez told the lawyer, according to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private interactions.

The district attorney reiterated that sentiment in a text he sent the next day to an acquaintance. “I’m so sorry,” he wrote in the message, which was reviewed by The Washington Post. “I assure you I never meant to hurt this young lady.”
(snip)

However, interviews with several people in the South Texas community closely following the situation, as well as statements from leaders in the Texas antiabortion movement, suggest this was not part of a broader antiabortion strategy, but instead a hasty error by a first-term Democratic district attorney. Herrera’s husband -- who filed for divorce on the same day as her arrest -- is being represented by a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest.

(snip)

Her husband, Ismael Herrera, filed a divorce petition on April 7, the same day as her arrest, according to court documents. They married in 2015, when she was 19 years old, and stopped living together on or about Jan. 1, according to the records. The separation occurred less than a week before the “self-induced abortion” described in her indictment. The couple have two sons, according to the records.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/04/13/texas-abortion-arrest/

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Reply A call, a text, an apology: How an abortion arrest shook up a Texas town (Original post)
gldstwmn Apr 13 OP
Thomas Hurt Apr 13 #1
gldstwmn Apr 13 #2
dalton99a Apr 14 #4
enough Apr 14 #3
gldstwmn Apr 14 #5

Response to gldstwmn (Original post)

Wed Apr 13, 2022, 11:29 PM

1. wtf is an assistant DA moonlighting as a divorce attorney...am I missing something here.

They hire part time ADAs?

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 13, 2022, 11:50 PM

2. This makes less sense than it did when I

first heard about it. It sounds like the assistant DA is moonlighting as a divorce attorney. Also it seems the DA is incompetent or did it on purpose. It seems like a tight knit crew in that county including her own attorney so I hope she doesn't get the shaft because she definitely deserves a settlement here and I'm not sure anyone is looking out for her best interests.

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 14, 2022, 08:28 AM

4. In Texas a prosecutor can moonlight for the judge

https://reason.com/2022/04/12/ralph-petty-prosecutor-secret-job-judges-who-decided-his-cases-prosecutorial-immunity/
For 20 Years, This Prosecutor Had a Secret Job Working For the Judges Who'd Decide His Cases
One of Ralph Petty's victims is trying to hold him accountable, but she will have to overcome prosecutorial immunity.
Billy Binion | 4.12.2022 5:04 PM

Ralph Petty worked as an assistant district attorney in Midland County, Texas, for 20 years. Like any prosecutor, he fervidly advocated for the government. But he wasn't just any advocate, because he wasn't just a prosecutor. Each night, Petty took off his proverbial DA hat and re-entered the courthouse as a law clerk for the same judges he was trying to convince to side with him by day.

His unethical side hustle heavily tipped the scales toward the government as he discreetly wrote opinions and orders that ruled in favor of the prosecution—also known as himself—and accessed materials confidential to the defense. For two decades, Petty managed a covert balancing act: He was both prosecutor and de facto judge, pocketing an extra $250,000 for his dishonest services.

In over 300 cases, the accused were denied their due process rights due to Petty's misconduct. Among his first victims was Clinton Young, the Texas man who was inching toward execution after entering death row in 2003 for a murder he maintains he did not commit. The conviction was overturned in 2021, and Young was released on bond in January pending a new trial.

Yet while Petty may have stolen years off people's lives—and, in Young's case, almost sent someone to die—it may be almost impossible to hold him accountable, thanks to assorted immunity doctrines that provide government agents with a near-impenetrable shield against facing victims in civil court. The safeguard given to prosecutors is extra thick, affording them absolute immunity for duties carried out in their official scope, meaning they can knowingly impanel false testimony or introduce fabricated evidence and still be protected.

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Response to gldstwmn (Original post)

Thu Apr 14, 2022, 07:46 AM

3. A lot of things are not clear in this story. NT

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Response to enough (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 14, 2022, 03:22 PM

5. Hopefully the WaPo keeps digging on this story.

Right now it sounds like the guy had his soon to be ex wife brought up on murder charges because his attorney was worked with the DA. Also what the hell was the grand jury thinking? That she was a ham sandwich?

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