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  • And this, children, is why you should just PAY THE TICKET!

    http://www.thepittsburggazette.com
    City jury trials are no longer a thing of the past

    By Susan Taft
    [email protected]


    The first jury trial to be held in Pittsburg city court in more than two decades ended in a guilty verdict for Cordell Moody Sept. 11. Mr. Moody was found guilty of running a stop sign on South Texas Street at the railroad crossing, and a fine of $100 was assessed.

    Before the trial, Justice of the Peace Bobby Carpenter heard a recusal motion from Mr. Moody who acted as his own attorney. Judge Carpenter asked Mr. Moody why he felt City Judge Steven Simmons couldn’t be fair.

    “We had a conflict of interest,” Mr. Moody said, “and I filed a lawsuit against him and Officer Matthew Essary. He denied all my motions, for change of venue and extension of time, and he joked about court procedures. He shouldn’t sit in that seat over me.”

    City Attorney Mike Setty explained Mr. Moody was in court last month and asked the court for a jury trial. After that hearing, he filed a civil suit in district court.

    Judge Carpenter denied Mr. Moody’s motion and allowed Judge Simmons to preside.

    “I figured you would,” Mr. Moody said.

    Mr. Moody then pleaded not guilty.

    In opening statements, Mr. Setty said Mr. Moody was northbound on South Texas Street toward Quitman Street in a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix and unlawfully refused to come to a full stop at the stop sign. He was ticketed by Officer Essary. The incident occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. July 20.
    “There is a big stop sign at the railroad track, and I believe the evidence will show Mr. Moody ran that stop sign,” Mr. Setty said.

    Mr. Moody said the officer had his red lights on before he reached the railroad crossing.

    “I did not see the stop sign,” he said. “I got the ticket in July, and he put September on the ticket. He wrote a ticket for no insurance, and I had insurance. He kept looking in my trunk; it was an illegal search of my trunk.”
    Mr. Moody said he always stops at railroad crossings.

    “I don’t want to knock my front end out of line,” he said. “I stopped, but I didn’t see the stop sign.”

    Police Chief Richard Penn was the first witness. Mr. Moody visited Chief Penn the day after the ticket was issued.

    “The ticket had the wrong date on it, my name was wrong, and you got the time wrong, and I asked you should it be dismissed,” Mr. Moody said. “I showed you my medical papers. I was on the way to the hospital, and I shouldn’t have been stopped and harassed. You said you would investigate this and let me know. Did you ever let me know?”

    Chief Penn said he did not.

    When Judge Simmons overruled one of Mr. Moody’s objections, Mr. Moody said the judge could not be fair in this case.

    “How are you going to be fair to me?” Mr. Moody asked. “I done sued you. You cannot give a fair, impartial trial. There should be another judge.”
    Officer Essary testified he was in the driveway at Pilgrim’s hatcheries when he observed that Mr. Moody did not stop at the stop sign at the railroad track.
    “After observing him not stop, I then pulled out on South Texas, and got behind the vehicle at the intersection of Quitman and South Texas streets,” Officer Essary said. “I continued to follow the violator to the 200 block of Quitman then I initiated a traffic stop.”

    Mr. Setty asked if Mr. Moody turned right toward downtown instead of left toward the ETMC.

    “That is correct,” Officer Essary said.

    Officer Essary testified Mr. Moody did not tell him he was sick or observe him being woozy. He said Mr. Moody told him his proof of insurance was in the trunk. He said Mr. Moody got out of the car and went to the trunk to get his insurance card which was expired.

    Mr. Moody said he knew he applied his brake because he is afraid of knocking his car out of line at railroad tracks.

    “I did not see the stop sign, but I stopped at the tracks,” he said.

    “I tried to tell him about my sickness, and he just ignored me,” Mr. Moody said. “I said something about a little boy being sick; there was no little boy in the car. Instead of giving me assistance to the hospital, he just kept searching my trunk.

    “I was talking out of my head. I was sick.”

    Officer Essary said he remembered Mr. Moody saying a little boy was sick.
    Mr. Moody said he turned right on Quitman Street because he didn’t know the way to the hospital.

    Mr. Moody then asked if the ticket was issued in July, and Officer Essary said it was.

    “It says September,” Mr. Moody said. “Have you ever been under the influence of drugs or alcohol?”

    The officer said no, and Mr. Moody asked if he was under the influence that night to which Officer Essary replied ‘no.’

    “Then why did you put September on the ticket?” Mr. Moody asked. “You can remember not seeing my lights but you can’t remember the date?”

    “Sir, I did not do it as a malicious act,” Officer Essary said. “I was not aware I did it.”

    Mr. Setty said everyone makes mistakes.

    “The date on the ticket was corrected, and it was properly dated on the complaint,” Mr. Setty said.

    “You can’t do that; it’s falsification of records,” Mr. Moody said.

    A video of the traffic stop was shown to the jury. Mr. Setty said Mr. Moody didn’t say anything about being woozy or going to the hospital, and he told the officer the insurance card was in the trunk.

    “Did you believe he was ill or a danger to himself or need assistance?” Mr. Setty asked.

    Officer Essary said he did not.

    Mr. Moody said he mentioned a little boy was sick and that he was taking a little boy to the doctor. He said when the officer didn’t see a child in the car he should have known he was sick.

    “I wasn’t talking right,” he said. “When I went back to get in the car, it was like I was going to fall and I had to catch myself. The video didn’t show that. If they falsified the ticket they tampered with the video.”

    The six man jury took less than 10 minutes to find Mr. Moody guilty of running the stop sign. He was given 30 days to pay the $100 fine plus court costs and fees.
    Last edited by TexasAggieOfc; 09-21-2009, 04:09 AM.
    sigpic
    Let your watchword be duty, and know no other talisman of success than labor. Let honor be your guiding star in your dealing with your superiors, with your fellows, with all. Be as true to a trust reposed as the needle to the pole. Stand by the right even to the sacrifice of life itself, and learn that death is preferable to dishonor. ~ Gov. Richard Coke, October 4, 1876

  • #2
    I assume we will be seeing Mr. Moody in the "Ask A Cop" section here very soon.
    "I would rather live one day as a Lion, than a thousand years as a Sheep."

    Comment


    • #3
      court cost should include fees for the jurors, the judge's fee (different judge) ...
      It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
      Paul "Bear" Bryant

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh yeah, they( Moody) exist. They can be fun. They are job security.

        Comment


        • #5
          One old cop....HELL YEAH!
          "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
          The Tick

          "Are you referring to the secret headquarters of a fictional crime fighter or penal complex slang for a-$$hole, anus or rectum?"
          sanitizer

          "and we all know you are a poser and a p*ssy.... "
          Bearcat357 to Dinner Portion/buck8/long relief

          Comment


          • #6
            LOL, good. I hope it cost him a lot more.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kckpd756 View Post
              I assume we will be seeing Mr. Moody in the "Ask A Cop" section here very soon.
              HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


              OMG, I needed that...

              The opinions expressed here are from the individual only and do not represent the view of any agency that the poster may be affiliated with

              Comment


              • #8
                I got told, by a fool-of-a-client, that I abused my authority by writing him a ticket for the accident he caused. This tool claimed to be a former police officer, and claimed I violated his rights by arresting him (a cite is technically an arrest in Texas) for a misdemeanor not in my view. In the process of so doing, he fully admitted he did not yield the right of way.

                The judge explained to the jury (yes, he asked for a jury trial, on a $200 ticket) that it is not their place to decide a point of law, but rather to determine whether the accused violation occurred. Ten minutes later, he had a $200 fine and I had 2.5 hours OT.
                If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

                ---Jack Handey

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's ridiculous that you can go to a jury trial in Texas over a traffic citation. What a waste of resources. I would assume that it's the same way everywhere, but in Florida if you are even charged with a second degree misdemeanor and the state is not seeking jail time, then the defendant has no right to a jury trial or legal representation. When it comes to traffic citations, the judge's decision can be appealed, however there's no provision in the law for a jury trial.

                  I went to court yesterday on a crazy guy we arrested for Abuse of 911. He asked for a public defender, but the court denied his request because the state was not seeking jail time. He then asked for a jury trial, which again the court denied because no jail time was being sought. He ended up defending himself and getting convicted during a bench trial.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you ever want to be dissapointed as to how the human race has turned out just go sit at traffic court for a day.......its sad.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah have jury trial for a traffic ticket. People LOOOOVVEEE coming in for a day away from work (probably unpaid or wasted a day of vacation) to listen to some idiot ramble on about stuff that has nothing to do with stopping for stop sign.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Delta_V View Post
                        That's ridiculous that you can go to a jury trial in Texas over a traffic citation. What a waste of resources.
                        As a citizen and a Deputy I think that citizens should have a right to appeal to a jury. This story is a bad example but I personally was given a traffic citation for a bogus charge. A buddy from within the citing officers agency told me that he barley passed mandate and wasn't even a road officer but a paper pusher for the courts. He admitted on court stand that he did not know all the traffic laws and then admitted on the court stand that he did not know the law about what drivers are supposed to do at an intersection when the red light is out. My lawyer had to educate him on the stand in front of the jury about how drivers are supposed to treat failed traffic lights as a 4 way stop. The judge had to ask my lawyer to move on..

                        Then the officer said that my front wheel drive car had its back wheels spin, smoke and fishtail. That is correct. A front wheel drive car can NOT make the back wheels spin. Even more important is that the code in my state allows a vehicle to "lay drag" if attempting to avoid an accident - which the officer admitted that I was crossing over an intersection and that other cars failed to stop.

                        So I fully expect citizens to retain the right to a jury trial and do my best to fully understand any and all traffic codes that I might write a citation for. Those stay on a persons record for a long time, cost them fines, increased insurance...
                        Any views or opinions presented by this prenomen are solely those of a burlesque author and do not necessarily represent those of a LEA or caementum couturier.

                        nom de plume

                        This is the internet- take all information with a grain of salt. Such could be valid and true or could be typed just for playing devils advocate.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Delta_V View Post
                          That's ridiculous that you can go to a jury trial in Texas over a traffic citation. What a waste of resources.
                          All traffic citations in Texas are criminal except speeding and open container, so we can put someone in jail for Running a Stop Sign if need be. You can't do that with civil infractions. These Justice of the Peace courts usually hear cases trial by judge instead of jury anyway.
                          sigpic

                          " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kcso View Post
                            All traffic citations in Texas are criminal except speeding and open container, so we can put someone in jail for Running a Stop Sign if need be. You can't do that with civil infractions. These Justice of the Peace courts usually hear cases trial by judge instead of jury anyway.
                            I guess only in Texas you can speed with some some opened beer cans sitting in the center console and go home that night, but oh no, watch out with that stop sign lol

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by damode1985 View Post
                              I guess only in Texas you can speed with some some opened beer cans sitting in the center console and go home that night, but oh no, watch out with that stop sign lol
                              We've got one better. In my county, driving with an open container is a citation (under Florida statute), but being in a parked car with an open container is a misdemeanor arrest (under County codes).

                              Comment

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