...For example, the question you asked about the civil situation. You said, “In your write-up you mentioned that your accuser lost the civil suit; the only documents the Harris County Clerk has on the web site appears to show that they won $25,000.”
I didn’t say they lost the suit, it was impossible for them to lose because the judge made a ruling that my conviction was final when my state appeals had been denied and that I wouldn’t get the chance to defend myself in civil trial. It was a tragic ruling because I was anxious to get back in court, even if it was only civil, and prove my innocence.
But it wasn’t to be. My accusers knew that lightning wouldn’t strike twice on the same man, so they waited till my state appeals were denied before they took me to trial. Somehow they knew that I wouldn’t be able to defend myself if my conviction was final, which eventually it became “final” once your state appeals have been denied. A person almost never gets relief during the state level of the appeal process. Why? Because the state just spent a lot of money getting you convicted and they damn sure don’t want to let you go.
They want you in prison so they can start making that $40,000 a year on your head. So the snakes waited it out to make sure they were in the money. It took about a year and a half, almost two years, before my state appeals had been exhausted. Then I got a visit from my lawyer who brought me the bad news. He said that this judge made a decision that he (my lawyer) greatly disagrees with. He said that we wouldn’t be able to fight the fact that I’m innocent of these charges. It knocked the air out of me because we (My lawyer and I) were ready to expose this family, and the truth. This is what my lawyer told me.
He said, “Carlos, you won’t be able to say that you did not do this. You won’t be able to even say those words. I can possibly find ways to buff out the truth, but the jury would have to be paying pretty close attention to my efforts. The jury will basically be ordered to look at you as the man who did this ungodly thing to this little girl.”
“How can they do this? I’m supposed to be able to defend myself.”
“I agree, but this judge doesn’t think going through a whole new trial is necessary.”
“So, how would you be able to bring the truth out.”
“I can try to paint a picture, and just hope that the jury can see what I’m painting. I believe you’re innocent, and I’ll try my best, but the judge’s decision was not a good thing for us. Let me explain what will happen:
There’s going to be two parts of this trial, damage and punitive. On damages, the jury will decide how much money this child will need for the rest of her life to pay any medical costs, such as counseling, physical therapist visits, etc.
Let’s say she’s awarded ten thousand dollars a year for the next fifty years. Then you’ll be ordered to pay her five hundred thousand dollars in damages. That’s how that goes.
But the punitive stage has no cap on the amount of money the jury can award the plaintiff. You’ve already been punished as far as going to prison, but now they want to punish you financially. The Jury can award them a bajillion dollars if they choose. Of course, you don’t have a bajillion dollars but you’ll be broke for the rest of your life trying to pay it. So this is the stage I’m most worried about.
I know you don’t want to hear this, but you may want to think about giving them an offer to avoid taking this to court. I think you should talk to your brother and come up with something that’s good for you. I understand that you don’t want to give these people a dime, but you’ve got to weigh out the situation. You could lose everything you’ve ever worked for, and then some.”
The next weekend, I spoke to Tudy. I explained that the fight would be lost even before we put the gloves on. We decided that the smartest thing to do was to make an offer. This was one of the lowest points in my life; having to pay people money who didn’t work for it, and for damn sure didn’t deserve it. We agreed that $300,000 was more than fair, and something we could handle.
A week later, Tudy wrote me and told me that our lawyer gave their lawyer the offer, and their lawyer started laughing. There would be no deal and the trial was locked in.
In late [1994?] I was shipped to the Harris County Jail to await civil trial. In January of  the trial began. Sure enough the judge told the jury that they’re job would not be to decide whether I was guilty or not. H esaid, and I believe these were his exact words, “Twelve jurors, just like yourself, already sat through a lengthy trial and found Mr. Coy guilty.” He told them that their job was only to decide how much money the plaintiff should receive.
But my lawyer was brilliant. With God on his side, he showed the jury what kind of people we were dealing with. He let it be known that the child thought the whole thing could have been a dream. Plus, the judge in the civil trial allowed us to talk about the way this family lived. These are the kind of facts that the judge in criminal trial broke his back trying to keep in the dark. For all the jury knew in criminal trial, this family was a bunch of Christians like the child’s dumbass mother said they were.
By the end of the damages phase of the trial, you could see in the jury’s eyes that they were confused. That’s just how good my lawyer was…
…Anyway, so when it was time to award damages, the jury insulted this family by giving them $25,000. Everyone knows that their lawyer gets at least half of that, so the family was, in reality, given 12gs. I got a microphone in my study that costs more than 25gs. The rims on one of my cars are $3,000 a rim. When you see all the possessions that their lawyer brings up, you’ll know how much of an insult that figure was. The jury, in my opinion, were saying, “We don’t believe this man was guilty. But since we’re being made to look at him as guilty, here’s some chump change.”
Like I said, That’s what I believe the jury was saying because hurting a child is such a horrific thing, especially in the damage it can cause. $25,000 was -is- nothing.
But now came the punitive stage. This is, as their lawyer put it, a multiple of what the damages are. Therefore it should be at least 2, 3, 4 times than what damages were. Nope. Sorry. After more testimony, the jury awarded them “Zero dollars.” That decision represented what that whole trial ended up being about. About a man that shouldn’t have even been in that court.
You know, when their lawyer came to my unit to do the civil deposition, which is done before the trial, I complimented him on his shirt. It was a cool-looking polo. I said, “Man, that’s a nice polo.” He didn’t even answer me. He just said hello to my lawyer and began asking me question about everything I owned. At the end of the trial, after that family walked out of the courtroom in shame, that same lawyer came up to me and shook my hand. He said “I wish you well, Mr. Coy.”
So that was that. I called it a victory, because under the circumstances, it was. But I never said that my accuser lost the civil suit. I said, “In the civil trial, my lawyer found ways to expose these people and the jury saw another side of the story.” They ended that trial by awarding the family zero dollars.