So, what are some things that you might want to bring up in conversation? Here are a few names that are significant to the case, and the reasons why.
Heidi Ruiz was the officer who first interviewed Jane Doe. She later claimed that the recording equipment malfunctioned, so it would need to be re-done. She also threw out the written statement prepared by Jane Doe’s mother, saying that she was not educated or calm enough to write it. She single-handedly wiped out all record of the initial outcry interview, and chose to re-do it days later at the Children’s Assessment Center.
Denise Oncken was the first-chair prosecutor in Coy’s case. She gained notoriety a few years back for hiding evidence from the outcry interview in the same type of case; namely, that the abuser was black while the poor sap she was prosecuting, Glen Kahlden, was white.
Lisa Andrews, the junior prosecutor; she actually lists Carlos Coy’s case at the top of the list of notable cases up on her website. She and Chip Lewis, Coy’s defense attorney, worked together at some point in the recent past, presumably continuing the professional relationship developed before Lewis left the Harris County Prosecutor’s office.
Denise and Lisa watched Jane Doe’s testimony, and the testimony of her mother, change from one day to the next. You can see a bit about that here: http://www.spmaftermath.com/2012/06/spm-responds-part-8e.html
Chuck Rosenthal was the elected Harris County District Attorney at the time of Coy’s trial. He’s a real peach, as you can probably guess. He was eventually forced to resign after multiple scandals involving racist emails, boinking his secretary, giving her an $11,000 raise, destroying thousands of emails subpoenaed in a federal case, and then blaming the whole thing on prescription drugs.
Chip Lewis was Coy’s defense lawyer. When I started the blog, I wondered if he had not directly contributed to Coy’s conviction, either through general incompetence or from overconfidence relating to his relationships at the prosecutor’s office. He was not incompetent, that was my own lack of knowledge about the trial process coming through; however, I do get the impression that he was surprised at the tactics used by the prosecutors, perhaps because this was one of his first cases on the opposite side of the court room.
These are the names involved in the trial. One thing to remember is that each of them played a small part, and I sincerely believe that each of them acted in a way that agreed with their consciences. You may notice that neither Jane Doe, the child, or Mary Doe, her mother, are mentioned here; while it may seem easy to assign blame to them, I don’t know the extent to which they were victimized by a flawed system. Because it’s impossible to know how much of what happened was their doing, and because I don’t believe that either of them have the power to affect Coy’s case, I generally only discuss them when someone else brings them up.
In my opinion, people lie every day; that’s not significant. What is significant, and what I believe should be more well-known, is how the justice system can turn an unverifiable story into a 45 year prison term.