While the wheels of justice grind along slowly, slowly is "better safe than sorry."
I found it completely fascinating to be in the courtroom yesterday to see and hear for myself the words, intentions and dynamics among the Judge, the Dulins' 2 attorneys and Matt's attorney.
Okay. Here is my layman's accounting of the 1.5 hour hearing yesterday: The purpose and intent of today's hearing was for the Judge to either grant or deny Baker's motion to dismiss the case. Well, apparently just yesterday Matt's attorney came up with something to throw a monkey wrench in the works and try to buy more time......and more time.......and more time. (Seriously, why doesn't Matt want to get all this truth out there and justify himself and prove his innocence? Why live in limbo year after year after year after year? Doesn't the "truth set you free"?) Ellison (Matt's attorney) e-filed his paperwork way too late and it wasn't in the Judge's possession yet. Not a good move. Everyone was irritated.
Long story short(ish) - Ellison decided that he wanted to challenge all of the Dulin's expert witnesses and testimony. Well, all but the computer expert witness. They challenge their qualifications. The paperwork and Ellison's own words today say something about that the experts aren't doctors. Since when are PhD's not doctors? These experts are well known, top-notch and extremely qualified. If Baker's attorney doesn't recognize these guys' names and extent of their qualifications, well, doesn't say much for his experience in these matters. But I'm thinking that he knows they are qualified and admissible and is just doing anything to delay this case from going to court.
Where the monkey wrench comes in is this: The purpose of this hearing was to either grant or deny Baker's motion to dismiss. That's what the Court was prepared to do. That's what the room of people were there to witness. Ellison brings up this expert witness crud at the last minute. But then he goes on to tell the Judge that he wants to discuss the expert witnesses now. But that's not the purpose of this hearing and you can't just change gears last second with no room for preparation like that. The Judge was brilliant enough to know what was going on. The Judge was prepared to give his finding. BUT if he did so BEFORE the expert witness wrench was cleared up, it would give Baker a HUGE reason to appeal after he's found guilty and the trial is over. Judge went into his chambers for about 30 minutes to research case law and whatnot on this. He HAD to come back without being able to grant/deny Baker's dismissal so things wouldn't get messy later and give Matt reason for appeal. It was a slimy, back-door, desperate act by Baker and Ellison, in my opinion, to delay this even longer.
If you remember one thing about this post, remember this: I would bet every Christmas present under my tree that Judge Strother was ready to deny the motion to dismiss.
Other than the talk of expert witnesses, 90% of the talk was about a continuance and trial dates. He was adamant before he signed the continuance that Ellison get with the Dulins' attorneys POST HASTE and work their schedules for a trial date. It was obvious he thinks this should and will go to trial. Ellison got his continuance granted because he's rather new to the case and needs more time to prepare. AND since he wants to depose and go through the expert witnesses ad nauseum, that will take a few more months. Convenient, eh? I guess if Baker has to pay for all these experts to fly in and take depositions, he'll be starting up new rounds of fundraising. The good people of Kerrville should know where their fundraising money is being spent. Wasted.....in order to delay. For some reason, the available trial dates are 3 months apart. It was set for April 6. The Judge asked Ellison if he could be ready by July 6. Guess what he said? Uh, no, I don't think I can. How about next Fall? Everyone's eyeballs just about popped out. They are going to push for July 6 but it very well could be October 6. Depends on future delay tactics.
Wrap-up: Very good long-term outcome feeling. I like Judge Strother. I think he's honest and on point. The only real bad thing about yesterday was more delays. Personally, I think it just gives more time for lies and contradictions from the defense....and more time for people to come forward with more information to help.
Justice delayed.....is still justice.