In 2009, Oncken was prosecuting a man name Glen Kahlden for the sexual assault of a child. On the eve of the trial, defense lawyers discovered that the prosecution had hidden what might be called a vital piece of evidence; the child, in her original 'outcry' statement, had accused a black man of assaulting her. Glen Kahlden is white.
One of the defense lawyers, the team that found the omission, was named...Wait for it...Lisa Andrews. I don't know how common the name 'Lisa Andrews' might be, but I can see the whole thing playing out in my head like this: "Check the files VERRRY carefully, Stradley" Andrews says to her co-counsel. "You wouldn't believe how that bitch screwed over 'Los back in the day."
Now, instead of declaring a mistrial and giving Kahlden's defense team time to form a stronger defense around this new information, Judge Van Culp allowed the trial to continue, ruling that "“There's absolutely no harm that can be shown. There's no grounds for a mistrial.”
No harm? How long had Andrews and Stradley been working on a defense on the assumption that, at the very least, the prosecution could tell a black man from a white one? Also, there is no mention of the very salient fact that Judge Van Culp officially acknowledged that Oncken WITHHELD evidence that pointed towards the INNOCENCE of the defendant. After all, why presume innocence when you can just hide information until you win?
In the article, it mentions that Denise Oncken testified at the Brady Hearing, along with her paralegal. What it doesn't tell you is that the paralegal, Kim Flores, contradicted the testimony of her boss. Shortly after this, she turned in her two weeks notice. A week after this, she was unceremoniously told that that day was her last day on the job, and escorted out of the building.
How does this relate to Coy vs.
First of all, it suggests that at the worst the D.A.'s office is hiding information, and at best they're sloppy with due diligence. Since I am not a lawyer, I had to take a closer look at what DD is. Here's what Wikipedia.com (that font of knowledge and misinformation) has to say:
"Due diligence is also used in criminal law to describe the scope of the duty of a prosecutor, to take efforts to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence, to (accused) criminal defendants."
On Exculpatory evidence:
"Exculpatory evidence is the evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial, which clears or tends to clear the defendant of guilt."
As an example ...
"The police believe the witness's account is not true or the witness is unreliable and choose to not follow up on the lead.
The prosecutor is obliged to inform the accused and their attorney of the witness statement even if the police doubt the witness's version of events. If they fail to do so, the defendant would have grounds for appeal or for a motion to dismiss."
Remember that last example, because that ties in to statements made by Susan Szczygielski, indicating that although the plaintiff suggested that what had happened was a dream, Szczygielski did not 'explore the option' because she didn't feel it was possible that the event did not happen.
At around :46 of the above video, a woman who is either Oncken or Andrews, and either way represents the HCDA , accuses Coy of being "...So vicious, so predatory..."
If the D.A.'s office feels so strongly about what Coy is accused of doing, what was their opinion of Mr. Tony Shore, serial rapist and murderer?
Here's a list of Mr. Shore's crimes, per http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/shoreanthony.htm
On 09/26/1986, in
On 04/16/1992 in
On 10/19/1993, Shore entered the home of a fourteen year old female, bound and sexually assaulted her, and strangled her to death. Shore then fled the scene on foot.
On 08/07/1994, Shore kidnapped and sexually assaulted a nine year old female causing her death. Shore then dumped the victim's body behind an abandoned commercial building.
On 07/06/1995, Shore kidnapped a sixteen year old Hispanic female and sexually assaulted her causing her death. Shore then dumped the victim's body in a field.
When they finally caught up with him in 2002 or 2003, it was because of this:
The girl explained: One night, when Tony's girlfriend was in the hospital, he'd raped her. "I know he's been doing it to [my sister] for years and years," she told her aunt. "I was supposed to mind my own business."
Gina called her mother. And her mother called police. According to their case file, the girls told
What was the plan to deal with this 'vicious, predatory' man?
"He'd have to register as a sex offender, meet regularly with a probation officer and do community service. But under the deferred adjudication program, he'd have no record of a conviction if he made it through probation without a problem", says Denise Oncken, chief of the D.A.'s child abuse division.
Thanks, Harris County District Attorney's Child Abuse Division. Thanks for locking up a man on the possibly true, possibly dreamed testimony of a child, while offering a serial rapist and murderer community service. Y'all are doing a bang-up job.
So what happened?
"...his wings were hardly clipped: He was barred from being within 100 yards of a school or day care, but the judge made a special exception to allow him to keep living on East 18th Street -- in a house that overlooks the playground at Field Elementary School. He was also exempted from the rule that barred him from contacting his daughters, according to court records.
Such a light sentence isn't exactly normal, "but it's not outside the norm, either," Oncken admits. When prosecutors have a weak case, she says, their only choice may be to take what they can get.
...though urine tests during Tony Shore's first year of probation twice revealed cocaine, he was never sent to jail.
Coy continues to rot in prison because of a trial with no physical or DNA evidence. Why should we let this stand?