Criminal Justice

After Indicting Cheney & Ex-AG Gonzales, DA is No-Show in Court Today

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A strange prisoner abuse case in South Texas involving indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, two state court judges and a former federal prosecutor got a bit more bizarre today when the district attorney who brought it was a no-show in court.

Judge Manuel Banales, who is presiding over the Willacy County case, couldn’t go forward with a hearing because District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra was missing in action. However, Banales promised to issue summonses, rather than arrest warrants and allow the defendants to waive arraignment, reports the Associated Press. The judge also told Texas Rangers to check on Guerra at his home and order him to appear in court on Friday.

If Guerra doesn’t appear then, the judge indicated, he will probably appoint a replacement prosecutor. But the ongoing delay wasn’t music to the ears of the lawyers packing the courtroom today.

“Even though Banales said he would not hear their motions until Friday, they argued the indictments were improperly handled and the product of a vindictive prosecutor,” the news agency recounts. “All of the defendants had filed motions to dismiss indictments. They complained that Guerra had time to talk to the media about the indictments Tuesday, but did not show up for court Wednesday.”

Earlier coverage:

Vice President Cheney, Ex-AG Gonzales Indicted in South Texas Prison Abuse Case

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