Central Texas Reporter

Posts Tagged ‘Theft’

Theft By Official Oppression in Coryell County

In Corruption, Coryell County, Crony Capitalism, Crooks and Lawyers, News, Official Oppression, Sheriff's Offices on July 27, 2012 at 22:05

Readers may have heard of the case of Blue Heavens Farm, owned by Marijeta Medverec, of Copperas Cove, Texas.   Her 67 acre farm is off of Hwy 116 North, just outside Copperas Cove, and it is a prime area for development as Copperas Cove continues to grow and expand its tax base.  The property would make for a tremendous housing development, but before that can happen, Ms. Medverec must go.  Never fear, official oppression through crony-capitalism being the order of the day in Coryell County, Texas, operatives have seen to it that Ms. Medverec will be forced into selling the land.  They have accused her of abusing or neglecting her animals, or keeping them in unsanitary conditions, or in cruel confinement, as the allegations have been as vaporous as the entire procedure’s linkage to law. The Sheriff’s office executed a warrant to seize all of her animals, including 34 horses, some goats, and a few head of cattle, along with three pigs.  They have done this precisely because it’s a charge they can’t prove, but don’t need to prove either, and can merely make the accusation.  The problem is that the legal system is being used as a tool to attack private property rights, as well as to aggrandize local officials seeking a big media score, and while there is no actual justification for the seizures of the animals, the county continues to hold the animals as though there had been some factual basis.  The matter is being heard in the court of Justice of the Peace for the 4th Precinct of Coryell County, Coy Lathan.

This reporter has talked to at least three people who personally know Ms. Medverec, and who believe this entire case is preposterous, knowing how the animals are kept, and knowing the degree to which Ms. Medverec exerts herself in their care and upkeep, never mind the colossal expense she absorbs monthly in doing so.  If you want to see how media colludes with government, check out this video report from KCEN-TV:

kcentv.com – KCEN HD – Waco, Temple, and Killeen

The KCEN-TV story accompany the video states:

“(KCEN) — Over 100 animals have been seized from Blue Heaven Farms outside of Copperas Cove on July 19.

The sheriff’s office executed the warrant for Animal Seizure at the farm located on Greenleaf Drive. The warrant was for horses, cattle, goats, donkeys and pigs.

The alleged owner of the animals, Marijeta Medverec was keeping the animals in unsanitary conditions.

So far 34 horses, 10 cows, 7 donkeys, 54 goats, and 3 pigs have been taken from Blue Heaven Farms. More animals are still being loaded up and transported to a holding area outside of Gatesville.

They will be kept there until a hearing to determine the disposition of the animals.

Officials have been investigating the property for about a month. No criminal charges have been filed yet, but the investigation is continuing.”

The “alleged owner,” but not “alleged unsanitary conditions?”  What sort of sloppy reporting permits this sort of statement? What sort of shoddy reporting allows that while no criminal charges are pending, the disposition of the animals has been determined already?  Who tipped the media, anyway?  Certainly not Medverec, who had no idea the seizure had been ordered.  This sort of reporting is the fantastic result of either complete incompetence or laziness, and I’m betting on the latter, with a smattering of the former thrown in for good measure.  The reporter who showed up for the seizeure was undoubtedly tipped-off to the event by somebody within the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office, a department doubtless trying to score an early propaganda victory.  It is not possible that if the media were digging into this story, they could miss the official oppression inherent in the position of the Sheriff’s office, but once one concludes that, one must then ask: “Why?”

The search for motives leads to the high places in government in Coryell County, TX, and chances are that Ms. Medverec is going to lose.  She’s retained a lawyer, but the law is so completely foreign to these locales that what the lawyer may think to do may not be permitted.  Whether or not her lawyer is able to fully represent her remains to be seen, but you, the reader, should understand the basic strategy being employed:

Medverec’s animals have been examined by a veterinarian and found healthy and sound, and the examining veterinarian attested to that fact in court on Wednesday. In fact, a string of witnesses came before the Justice of the Peace court to offer testimony, including the Chief of Police of Holland, TX, (also a trained farrier and animal control officer,) various other parties who know Ms. Medverec, and two witnesses for the prosecution including a representative of the Sheriff’s Office, and a friend of one of Ms. Medverec’s neighbors who has visited the adjoining property twice since 2005(I kid you not.)  Most telling was the fact that the County’s own veterinarian did not show up to testify.  The County Attorney was also apparently a witness for the County, calling into question the competence of various witnesses skilled and assumed by virtue of their duties and professions to be experts in their fields while offering up his own personal experience as a sort of strange backdoor testimony and claims to expertise in fields in which he could at best be termed a layperson. (Somebody should check to see if this man has passed successfully the bar exam. Given his behavior in open court, including particularly his bullying of both the court and witnesses, there may be some chance that he’s faking it.)

As if JP Lathan’s Kangaroo Court wasn’t bad enough, attendees in court would have witnessed that there was no provision to record the proceedings, and that there were no charges at all against Ms. Medverec, and it was initially explained that this had been a hearing.  The defense attorney was even confused as to what sort of plea to enter, since there were no charges under consideration.  What was at stake in the hearing was the disposition of Medverec’s animals, but none could say with certainty the basis for the removal, including the County’s Attorney who seemed more intent on leading witnesses in a fashion that would be considered a mockery of justice in any real courtroom.  Of course, there will be no official record of the testimony, since no means of recording was evident in the courtroom, and no court recorder was present.

It’s hard to understand how something like this could happen until you understand the backwards nature of justice in Coryell County.  There sits a Sheriff who is a politician, and is out to score propaganda victories in the press, as is the County Attorney, but none can say what the actual infractions of Ms. Medverec have been, as it seems the allegations are a moving target of vague notions about the conditions of the animals, and the conditions of their surroundings at one particular time or another. 

As near as this reporter can discern from all reports, there really is no basis for the case except that since the JP in question issued a warrant that would be laughed out of a real court(and thus the reason the Sheriff’s Office sought a seizure order there, rather than in a proper county courtroom,) because Coy Lathan isn’t a trained jurist, he does not know the rules of civil procedure, and he does not know how to conduct a trial of any particular consequence, nor control attorneys, nor in any way manage a courtroom.  The scene was something truly out of the wild, wild west, complete with an inept judge, and a County Attorney seeming to act at once both as counsel for the County and witness for the non-prosecution, answering his own questions and otherwise posing as an expert on all sort of matters including everything from animal husbandry to farriery, but apparently not the law.  It is no wonder there was no recording of the testimony in any form, or of the court proceedings in general, because it would have been a blight on the annals of the history of law.  As it is, absent an actual record, the JP will be able to sweep this case and his incompetence under the judicial carpet as he returns to his ordinary duties including pronouncing mangled bodies dead at the scenes of accidents.  The questions remains: Do the people of Precinct 4 in Coryell County have any inkling of what sort of goofball they’ve elected for this position of public trust?  After a full day of testimony, the JP announced to the court that he would issue his ruling at 10am on Thursday.  One wonders if he needs the additional time to bone up on the law he seemed incapable of adjudicating. 

It is speculative at best, but one theory is that he’s trying to figure out some way to justify the warrant and seizure orders he issued, while somehow respecting the fact that this is a trumped-up case, but also that the county is on the hook for an alleged $33,000.00 in animal care over the period of six days that the various farm animals had been in the county’s care.   If he were to rule in Medverec’s favor, it is inconceivable that the County wouldn’t be forced to eat this hyper-inflate bill, so Lathan is going to have some explaining to do if he doesn’t order the permanent removal of the animals. Naturally, it is on this basis that it can be predicted without the foresight of Nostradamus that he will perform some sort of legal gymnastics to make it come out well for he and the County.

That’s how justice works(or rather, doesn’t) in Coryell County.

Medverec owns the farm, but somebody else wants it, or at least wants it gone.  Whomever wants the land, they are using contacts within the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office to carry out their dirty work, because even if Medverec has not been charged, while her animals are held by the county, she’s accruing a bill for their care although there is no justification for the seizure or holding of the animals. In fact, the county now wants to make something, anything, stick in order to justify the seizure, and it is this moving goal-post and burden of evidence that will ultimately break Medverec.  After all, as the county builds up a giant bill for the care of her animals that ought never have occurred, they are digging a hole in which she will be financially buried.  Once she’s in that position, the county can seize the land over the lien, and auction it.  I wonder who will buy the land if this should come to pass?  The county will naturally auction her animals, and most will make their way to slaughter, begging the question about the nature of the alleged wrongdoing, and “who done it:” Medverec, or the County?

This is the crooked nature of everything about so-called “justice” in Coryell County, Texas.  That the citizens of this(or any) county stand for any of this is a scandal reflecting the complete detachment of most citizens from the day-to-day affairs of their government. In short, while residents are oblivious to the monstrous actions of some local government officials, their lives are being stolen from them, one-by-one, and they have the added burden of paying for this circus.

One person who knows Ms. Medverec told this reporter “Marijeta is kind to animals, and she cares for them with the devotion of a mother.  She had one horse with a tumor on his eye, and she shipped him to specialists and surgeons all over the state to save his eye and his life. This is not a woman who neglects horses, or anything, except her own sleep.”

Speaking to one witness who offered testimony at the case in Medverec’s defense, she said “The County Attorney was incompetent but was going after witnesses like a death penalty trial, and was trying to sell a notion of how things normally appear and function on an operating farm that defies all logic.  If the JP doesn’t toss this action and chastise the Sheriff’s Office for its behavior in this case, perhaps handing down some sort of sanction against the SO, he’s either incompetent or crooked, or both. No such matter should ever be heard in a JP’s Court, because they haven’t the trial expertise to deal with matters of such grave import.  These guys issue times of death at accident scenes, for Pete’s sake. They’re not trial judges.”

Most JPs would know that this is out of their league, and kick it up to the county court, but this JP has decided to hold a trial of this sort?  Something stinks in all of this, and either the JP is being played by the SO, and the County Attorney.

Coryell County Cronyism and Official Oppression is alive and well, and it even has possession of justice, making the whole situation into a case infinitely worse, an indictment of the criminal justice system writ large across the face of Texas.  It’s a blight on the Lone Star State.  What this entire case consists of, in fact, is the complete standing of justice on its head.  A citizen should be able to turn to his or her government for relief against theft and coercion, but in this case, Medverec may well be robbed at gunpoint by the government.

Chew on that with your morning coffee.  Secure in your papers and effects?  Not in Coryell County, Texas, where law is the servant of the lawless.

If you reside in Central Texas and have a story or tip about corruption in government, you can email your story to centraltexasreporter@gmail.com

We can’t promise we will answer every email, or pursue every story, but it’s time somebody blows the lid off corruption in Central Texas.  You can help.

Update 8/12/2012: It seems this case is getting some additional attention.  We’re hoping to reprint a story from another blog site once we get permission.

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