Re-enactment and Role Reversal

Case tried by Bill Clanton, TLC 2010

On May 1, 2008 my client, an African-American man, was enjoying a motorcycle ride with a group of acquaintances on a road that winds though the Texas Hill Country. My client was a novice rider and so he was at the back of the pack of about 15 riders.

Unbeknownst to the riders, one of the residents on that road had a problem with these riders. He had called the police at least three times, and had never received a satisfactory response. On May first he decided to take the actions that he felt the police should. When he heard the riders pass his house he ran out and hopped in his pickup truck and chased them down.

Meanwhile, my client, about two miles up the road is pulling into a parking lot and resting. He unzips his jacket, takes off his helmet, and does a few stretches. Then he notices the rest of the group starting to leave. So he zips up his jacket, put his helmet back on, mounts his bike and gets ready to go when he notices the strap on his helmet is twisted. He straightens out the strap and sees a pickup truck pull up. The truck pulls up next to him, and yells something at him. My client has earplugs in and his helmet on and when he realizes the driver is not asking for directions he takes off on his bike.

The driver, wanting to make his point, moves his truck infront of my client, blocking his exit. My client nearly drops his bike because he has to stop so suddenly. My client is afraid when the driver gets out of his truck and starts walking toward my client. My client gets off his bike and an argument ensues. My client realizes that this is going nowhere turns to his left and as he does the truck driver swings and hits him in the helmet and the fight begins. The truck driver bites my client’s finger so hard that he still has a scar. The fight comes to an end and the truck driver tells my client, “You are going to jail.” Just then a group of cops, on their way to eat, are passing by and the truck driver flags them down. He tells them his side of the story and my client is arrested without the opportunity to tell his story.

The truck driver testified that he never moved the truck after pulling up next to my client, that he got out of his truck to take down my clients license plate number, that my client headbutted him twice, and that my client reached so far down his throat that he damaged his vocal cords. My client reenacted the scene by reversing roles with the truck driver and showing how he was hit. He explained how the fight started and was much more credible than the truck driver. The police officers set a scene where the truck was parked directly in front of the motorcycle, blocking it from moving.

At my client’s request, we tried the case to the judge who cited the truck drivers lack of credibility in finding my client not guilty. I was talking the judge a few days later in his chambers and he said that based on my clients testimony the truck driver lacked any credibility.

2017-12-27T11:29:16-07:00 April 13, 2011|TLC Blog|
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