Case Profile- ongoing investigation
Reginald W. Blanton Case
Reginald's Legal Info
The following will highlight Reginald's struggle throughout his appeals to be represented by the lawyers appointed him by appellant courts. These copies of Reginald's filings demonstrate how appellants (i.e. Death Row Prisoners) are virtually voiceless and invisible; taken advantage of by a system supposedly designed to protect their constitutional rights. Here is something different; something despairing; something criminal...
On April 9th of 2000, In San Antonio, TX, Reginald Blanton (Defendant) was visited by his twin brother Robert, and Roberts girlfriend Latoya who wanted to cruise around and visit friends and family. Having nothing important to do, Reginald agreed to hang out with the two. Reginald & Robert, through their gang affiliation & popularity, were known as the “Blanton Boys” in inner-police circles concerned with “who’s who” in the hoods they patrolled. One of the friends they went to visit was Carlos Garza, whose apartment was down the street from their fathers trailer-home, on the Southwest side, where the Blanton Boys spent many years growing up.
Upon arrival at Carlos’ apartment, Latoya decided to stay in the air-conditioned car, considering she was pregnant and the Blanton Boys didn’t plan on staying long, since they had other people they wanted to see. Reginald knocked on Carlos apartment door, but there was no answer. There was loud music playing indicating that he was home. Thinking Carlos was either busy or sleep, they decided to drive around the neighbourhood, visiting other friends before going back to Carlos’ apartment for one last attempt.
While Robert visited with a friend of his at some apartments next to Carlos’, Reginald walked over to Carlos’ apartment to see if he would answer; but there was still no answer. Reginald, Robert, and Latoya then left the neighborhood, and went to the Eastside of town to visit more friends and family. While leaving the Eastside, they came across a pawn shop where Reginald asked his brother to stop by so he could pawn some of his jewellery, as he had frequently done; after which, they brought their evening to an end, going to their respective homes.
On April 11th of 2000, police were dispatched for a disturbance fight, between Robert & Latoya at the brothers’ father’s home. Latoya, having outstanding warrants for her arrest, was taken into custody by police. Uncooperative, Latoya found herself charged with resisting arrest and assault on a public servant. She was then driven by the arresting officer to a parking lot across the street from the trailer park so the officer could do some paperwork and await the arrival of a detective nearby doing an investigation into a recent murder. This detective, aware of the disturbance, Latoya’s arrest and her involvement with the “Blanton Boys”, saw an opportunity to manipulate her vulnerable predicament (facing jail time), and end his unfruitful investigation.
Rather than being taken to jail for the charges she was already in custody for, as anyone else would have been, Latoya was taken to the homicide department where she was force-fed information by this same detective on how he believe Carlos Garza was murdered April 9th of 2000, by two gunshot wounds to the head, in the confines of his apartment, which someone had broken into by kicking in his front door.
Latoya was told she would be charged with capital murder, forcing her to have her child in prison - losing her child, if she refused to sign a statement typed by this detective, accusing Reginald of conveniently bragging (since a witness could at least testify to her not knowing what happened when the Blanton Boys went up to Carlos’ apt, being she stayed in the car) about killing his own friend, as they drove to the Eastside of town.
This detective coerced Latoya into signing the false statement he typed, after which, all her pending charges were dropped, and she was released from the homicide department the same day, without ever seeing a jail cell.
The thing more disturbing is, this detective was aware that several people had visited Carlos before his murder, one of which gave a description of a man she witnessed threaten Carlos’ life before Robert, Latoya, & Reginald went to visit him. However, because this detective couldn’t locate the man in the description, and wanted the prestige of expediently solving this murder, he took a necklace described to be worn by the man in the woman’s description, and made Reginald the owner of it just another brick in the tomb he was building for Reginald.
After this detective constructed this evidence against Reginald, he called Robert at his home, asking him to come to the homicide department so he could talk to him about Carlos’ murder. He told Robert they would send a squad car to pick him up and that he wasn’t under arrest. After Robert got there, the friendliness ceased, and the detective also coerced Robert to sign a false statement under threat of charging him and his pregnant girlfriend with capital murder. This statement not only used terms that weren’t part of Roberts vocabulary, but had his wrong age & social security number. Also, this statement made the shooting happen at a location other than the actual site! Giving credence to the statements being of the detective’s making, not the witnesse’s!
On April 14th of 2000, at the age of 18, Reginald was arrested for the capital murder of his friend Carlos Garza. It was alleged that Reginald broke into Carlos’ apartment and killed him to rob him for the jewelry he pawned later that day.
During Reginalds Trial
Latoya testified: “It’s my word against their word! You all were not there! If I did not say anything, I was going to be charged with capital murder.” She stated that the only reason she signed the detective’s statement was because she was intimidated and scared. Robert testified: “I don’t talk like that… They can do anything to you.” He also said that he “ didn’t think it would go down the way it did,” and that “all I could think about was getting out of the detective’s office. How much more were these forced decisions influenced by thoughts of not being able to raise their child together, and the possibility of losing their child?
Further, group pictures of Carlos and Reginald posing with other friends were submitted into evidence. These pictures show Reginald wearing some of the very jewelry he was alleged of stealing from Carlos. Carlos’ girlfriend, who took the pictures in her apartment, testified that these pictures were taken about 2½ months before Carlos’ murder. Another witness, who also appeared in the pictures, testified that they were indeed taken about 2½ months prior to Carlos’ murder. They also testified that Carlos had given the jewelry to Reginald prior to the pictures being taken, and that Reginald & Carlos had traded jewelry in the past; explaining why Reginald had another piece of jewelry previously owned by Carlos. These facts went undisputed during trial, considering they emerged not only from the defense witnesses, but the prosecutors witnesses as well.
You can’t steal what you already had! Yet, this evidence was completely disregarded, first, by the prosecutors; which means they disregarded their own witnesses testimony. But, this was just some of the many injustices that occurred throughout Reginald’s persecution. Perhaps the following will explain why the jury also disregarded this critical evidence.
There was not a single African American on Reginald’s jury. Upon an evidentiary hearing for his State Habeas Corpus, Reginald’s court-appointed trial lawyers testified that the prosecutors made a statement about a black juror being the sole hold-out juror in another trial, forcing a mistrial; which influenced the prosecutors to use a jury-shuffle, shuffling all the African Americans on Reginald’s jury panel from the front to the back, as to prevent any African Americans from appearing on Reginald’s jury. In shuffling these African Americans to the back, they most likely won’t be interviewed to serve, because a jury is usually amassed before a complete jury panel is interviewed. However, jury selection still made it to these African Americans, who were excluded by the prosecutors with jury-strikes. And Reginald’s jury was stacked against him. But, Reginald’s case would deteriorate further; this time, through his court-appointed lawyers.
Reginald has presented approximately a dozen critical issues in the categories of:
wrongfully admitted evidence
ineffective assistance of counsel
that he pleaded his court-appointed attorneys to file on. One of these critical issues concerned a 12-inch footprint on Carlos’ door the prosecutors said was his. On the day of Carlos’ murder, Reginald was wearing 10-inch shoes with a track on the soles different from the one in the print on Carlos’ door. Though Reginald’s court-appointed trial lawyers were aware of this, they refused to bring it up, just as his court-appointed appellant attorneys have, and this was despite the many letters Reginald wrote them, requesting that they raise these issues.
Compiling carbon copies of all the letters he sent these court-appointed lawyers, Reginald mailed a 50-page filing to the appellant-court, notifying them of his lawyers’ refusal to represent him, while requesting for the court to hear his ignored issues. Yet, the court also ignored his plea. In a last ditch effort to have his interests represented in his appeal, Reginald sent the same filing to the American Bar Association, who investigates into claims of a lawyer’s professional misconduct. After viewing Reginald’s thorough complaint, they found no violation in his lawyer’s refusal to represent his interests, while stating: “If your case involved a court-appointed attorney, court appointments are exclusively under the authority of the appointing court and the Board cannot take any action to remove or replace a court-appointed attorney.” This indifference placed Reginald right back in the same court that was ignoring him! Yet, Reginald still fights to have his interests represented.
There was NO jury of his peers, NO murder weapon, and NO eye-witness account. The only thing found was Reginald blindly (and purposely) convicted of capital murder, sent away to be branded with a number, and thrown in a line awaiting to be quietly murdered by a state who systematically executes more people than any other in the nation… Texas Death Row!
*** Reginald needs your help NOW! ***
**Your thoughts, words and actions are seeds you plant in the womb of the universe. You water them with your attention, whether you are paying attention or not**
also you can read the follow on from this
DIRECT APPEAL EXCERPT AS FILED BY REGINALDS APPELLATE ATTORNEY SUZANNE KRAMER
** COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS""