EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Judge Sam Medrano ordered District Attorney Yvonne Rosales and former Assistant District Attorney Curtis Cox to appear before his Court in a scheduled hearing on November 30.
A dramatic scene unfolded in the 409th District Court Thursday morning where Judge Medrano scheduled a last-minute hearing to decide on motions filed on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office before the November 30 hearing intended to discover who broke the Judge’s gag order which was imposed July 1.
Assistant District Attorney Charles R. “Kyle” Vance appeared on behalf of the prosecution, telling the Court he was not an attorney on the Walmart case and was only notified yesterday by the DA’s office to appear on their behalf.
Following the abrupt departure of Curtis Cox from the case on November 3, Assistant District Attorney Scott Ferguson has been filing motions on behalf of the State. The DA’s office revealed in Court Thursday that Ferguson has a medical condition that prevents him from appearing in Court and is currently residing in Austin.
Ferguson requested to appear at the Motion hearing via Zoom, but the Judge denied the motion before Thursday’s hearing.
“Well, it was Mr. Ferguson who was filing motions on this case. And this is who the prosecutor the State of Texas has put on the Crusisus case? Whose medical situation does not let him come forward to argue these?” Judge Medrano asked.
“Well, Judge, I really don’t know the facts in the case. What I told you is as much as I know. I wish, I wish I could tell you more, but I just really don’t,” Vance told the Court.
Following the exchange, Judge Medrano asked Assistant District Attorney Samantha Nelson, who was present in the courtroom, to go down to the District Attorney’s office and bring DA Yvonne Rosales, her First Assistant George Al-Hanna, and ADA Curtis Cox, whose last day with the County is Thursday, up to the courtroom.
Upon her return, Nelson advised the Court that Rosales and Al-Hanna could not be located and were not present in the office, and Curtis Cox was in quarantine on his last day of employment and could not appear.
Judge Medrano read through the State’s motion to clarify the scope of the November 30 hearing and reminded the prosecution that the hearing was set at the request of Curtis Cox, who requested additional time to review the audio tapes presented in attorney Justin Underwood’s Ad Litem report on behalf of his clients, the Hoffmann family.
“No, the status hearing doesn’t have any special meaning. Everybody knows. Mr. Cox knew; Mr. Ferguson knew when he did travel from Austin to appear at least twice in my Court that we are trying to get to the bottom of who may have violated my court order. I don’t know why the State continues to believe that there’s anything vague,” Judge Medrano told Vance.
Medrano advised Vance that the District Attorney’s office can bring evidence in the November 30 hearing, including their audio expert from Pennsylvania, who filed a report indicating that two of the three audio recordings submitted in Underwood’s report were incomplete.
Several family members of Walmart victims were present at Thursday’s hearing and appeared visibly upset following the hearing.
Defense attorney Joe Spencer argued the DA’s office had committed several crimes concerning the Hoffmann family. “There were many crimes — including tampering with witnesses, obstruction of justice, misprision of a felony, false statements; there are other crimes that I can’t show you,” Spencer argued.
The defense at times seemed frustrated by the District Attorney’s Office, insisting they were retraumatizing and revictimizing the victims in the Walmart case.
“Every defense lawyer in the country knows Patrick Crusius is not leaving prison alive. It’s only a question if it’s going to be on God’s time or man’s time,” Spencer said. “Since two days after this incident, we have been trying to resolve this case and bring judicial finality to this community,” Spencer argued. “But the District Attorney’s Office and the politicians see fit that somehow that is is politically proper to argue ‘oh, we want the death penalty,’ and then use the victims as pawns, revictimizing the victims further.”
“To accuse the victims of perpetrating fraud or accuse the victims of doing nefarious things is unconscionable. What has come out in Mr. Underwood’s report is unconscionable. Shocking to the conscious and a violation of the laws of humanity,” Spencer said.
Ultimately, Judge Medrano ordered ADA Vance to advise Rosales and Cox to appear in Court on November 30 at 1 p.m. to determine who may have violated the Court’s gag order in the Walmart case.
- Top El Paso high school football players selected for annual all-star game
- Exclusive 9 day forecast: Windy Tuesday
- Tulsa company opens new ‘customer contact’ center in El Paso, will employ 150
- ‘Sweet as Pumpkin Pie:’ Newborns dressed up at El Paso hospital for Thanksgiving
- Fort Bliss Army hospital to get new top-of-line center for traumatic brain injuries, PTSD
- Start your Cyber Monday shopping now with these early deals