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Jacksonville

FBI raids Rusk ISD over child pornography


by: Cherokee

Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 02:31 PM CDT

Rusk, Texas:

Longtime Rusk ISD drama teacher Harold Earl "Bo" Scallon was indicted by a Federal grand jury in Tyler on Tuesday March 4, 2008 for possession and distribution of child pornography. The FBI raided Harold Scallon's Jacksonville, TX  home in July 2007 on a federal warrant based on the ongoing investigations by the Longview, TX police department. The FBI also issued a Search Warrant to seize Scallon's company computer at the Rusk High School. Forensics on his computers' hard drives uncovered massive files storing violent and sexually graphic depictions involving children. Chat room conversations presented at sentencing had Scallon admitting his interest in 8 and 9-year old boys. The Rusk ISD drama coach was sentenced to 6 1/2 years federal prison in June 2008; the distribution charges were dropped as part of his plea agreement.

(Source: Tyler Paper Former Teacher Gets 6 Years for Possessing Child Porn, June 17, 2008)

According to a March 5, 2008 Tyler Paper article, the Rusk ISD superintendent's office refused to acknowledge that Harold "Bo" Scallon was employed in the drama department up until the time he was indicted in federal court. After decades of weekly accounts of the school teacher, local newspapers deliberately refer to the theater coach as "former" and "EX-teacher" even though Harold Scallon never formally stopped working for the Rusk, Texas school district. Scallon had entered retirement in 2002 but continued to work at the Rusk High School under a renewable annual contract. Not to mention Scallon's 30-year stint with the Rusk Lions Club as patron to local politicians and as eager volunteer watching over the kiddie swimming pool. (Source: Cherokeean Herald March 3, 1983)

During her June 2007 graduation speech, Rusk ISD Valedictorian Kinsey Gresham commemorates H.E. Scallon's presence in his students' and fellow faculty members'  lives . "Bo" Scallon had worked over 30 years for the Rusk, Texas Independent School District in both the high school and junior high. His wife was a former councilwoman and both were active in the Rusk Chamber of Commerce.

During these 30 years, Bo Scallon was also an active member of the Rusk Lions Club and with parents' blessings, managed the local children's swimming pool. Cherokee County media portray the high school theater teacher's official retirement and contractual obligations to the school district as ending in April 2007, prior to the FBI raid. However, Harold "Bo" Scallon's continual employment with the Rusk ISD was apparent to the FBI because investigators issued Federal Warrants to the principals' and superintendents' offices and came to the Rusk campus in the summer of 2007 to seize Scallon's company computer.

(Source: Tyler Paper Rusk Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Possession, April 9, 2008)

Bo Scallon is reported to have hobnobbed with every single religious, educational and community organization in the county. For decades, he sat on multiple boards overseeing youth activities while he acted out his sick fantasies through child porn. Prior to being caught, how many grand juries had Scallon been called to? How many child molestation trials did this man sit on as the district attorney's favorite jurist?  The answer would make your stomach turn. H.E. Scallon is scheduled to be released from the federal penitentiary on November 12, 2013 and will go back to being coddled in Cherokee County, TX as a registered sex offender. (Source: www.bop.gov)

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Trial by innuendo, the overturned Dorothy Bingham case


by: Cherokee

Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 01:54 PM CDT

Burden of Proof  (n ): the obligation of the State to present legal evidence demonstrating the defendant's guilt.

Reverse Burden of Proof : the defendant better have a competent lawyer who is willing to challenge fabricated evidence in Cherokee County, TX.

The Cherokee County district attorney's office has been violating evidentiary standards for decades. Prosecutors and judges have worked hand-in-hand to stage trials based on hearsay and otherwise inadmissible innuendo that may or may not show up for judicial review on the court record. Nonetheless, cases lacking tangible evidence are presented to Cherokee County juries in the hope they will convict based on "feelings" rather than actual proof beyond a reasonable doubt. These criminal cases would otherwise be unprosecutable in counties that obey the rule of law because the burden of proof standards are not even close to the civil  criteria of the preponderance of the evidence. In any other jurisdiction, the district judge would throw out the case before it made it to the newspapers.

"To hell with clear and convincing. Isn't it likely the defendant is guilty, because we say so?"

For some reason, Cherokee County judges sit comfortably during these factless trials and condone tainted juries being seated. "Because it's such a small town, we know everybody's related."  They also allow the district attorney to butcher the Texas Penal Code by applying bogus case laws never seen before in precedent, such as the Law of Parties on defendants in no way associated with the commission of a crime.

The 'Law of Parties' doesn't mean the district attorney and state witnesses should be congregating at each other's homes or drinking margaritas with the jury foreman.

Section 7.02 of the Texas Penal Code, known as "the Law of Parties" states that a person is criminally responsible for the actions of another if he or she promotes or assists - even immaterially- in the commission of a crime. In the case of conspiracy to commit murder, Texas law allows the death penalty to be applied under this statute and is currently upheld by the US Supreme Court. For the record, the collusive Cherokee County judiciary took a stab at trying to convict under this statute several years ago, as they have with Jessica's Law under other concocted legal scenarios. They change the case facts around to match what they want to present on the record. Another recent example of this is the 2005 dismissal of Constable Randall Thompson (for what they alleged was his refusual to perform his duties) and a complete denial that Thompson was a salaried county employee facing a federal drug indictment.

The local newspapers help match their skewed version of reality, in the process losing all credibility. They operate as a tight little corrupt unit, creating stories and strategies for each other, before and after the jury has deliberated. Normally, case facts are conveyed through the process of questioning witnesses. In Cherokee County, the judge and prosecutor have already side-barred to agree that the reasonable doubt standard will not explained to the jury. Why is the complete opposite intent of the law applied in Cherokee County? Why is more important to get a conviction rather than to uphold the rule of law?

Is it to divert blame away from themselves? Is it to get their names in the TDCAA journal by lying about their cases? Or to simply grandstand for their jury pool toadies? It is usually a combination of all the above, but the most plausible explanation is to divvy up the proceeds of insurance payouts. They can't collect without a conviction and they can't convict the individual who is dolling out the recompense check. But they will throw everything including the kitchen sink at anyone threatening to get a piece of the pie.

The Kitchen Sink Theory is "unsupported by more than a mere modicum of evidence and will not support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt" ... unless the trial takes place in Cherokee County, TX.

Cherokee County has a documented history of generating revenue by bringing charges against innocent individuals. Court-appointed attorneys, bail bondsmen and court employees all reap the benefits of the small town shakedown. The local 'no-news-is-good-news' media also does its part by refusing to publish overturned convictions that shed light into the deliberate misapplication of legal statutes and resultant waste of taxpayer dollars. They will however publish concocted accusations, a la Robert Fox and highlights of ongoing trials they feel is in the county's best interest. When Cherokee County's District Attorney throws in the kitchen sink,  they are busily guzzling the bath water and repeating the lies.

Case in point, the reversal of Dorothy Bingham's  murder for remuneration and organized crime conviction by the Twelfth Court of Appeals.  The case was tossed out based upon insufficient evidence presented at trial by the district attorney. In 1998, Dorothy Bingham and several individuals from Jacksonville, TX were indicted in Cherokee County for the murder of Bobby Sexton. Somewhere in the mele', Cherokee County decided insurance money was involved and somebody had to get their hands on the victim's death benefits. In 2000, Bingham along with her estranged granddaughter and others were convicted of First Degree Murder.

Dorothy Bingham spent two years in prison until her appeal was heard and her convictions overturned. Said her attorney to the Jacksonville Daily Progress on her release,

"I thought we had a pretty strong case because basically she was convicted on innuendoes and speculation "

[It was] "quite a leap of faith on the jury's part to think Dorothy had anything to do with [the murder of Bobby Sexton]."
The Cherokee County district attorney told the jury at trial that because Bingham could have benefited from the victim's payable on death policy, she was in fact a co-conspirator in the killing of Bobby Sexton. The Tyler Court of Appeals disagreed with the misinformed Cherokee County jury and found "no rational trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that Appellant [Dorothy Bingham] was a party to Bobby's  murder."  (Source: 12th COA opinion No. 12-00-00242-CR,  Bingham vs. Cherokee Co.)

Unfortunately, rational jurists are systematically culled from the Cherokee County jury pool and relatives of the victims are impaneled to deliver the conviction. To serve further injustice, readers have to delve back into the archives of the Houston Chronicle two hundred miles away to find the story. You won't read about it in the corrupt town where it took place.

Sources of trumped up charges overturned by the 12th Court of Appeals, Tyler:
2nd Judicial District Criminal Docket; Case 13745 ; CAPITAL MURDER REMUNERATION
THE STATE OF TEXAS vs BINGHAM, DOROTHY GREGG

2nd Judicial District Criminal Docket; Case 13947 ; OBSTRUCTION OR RETALIATION
THE STATE OF TEXAS vs BINGHAM, DOROTHY

2nd Judicial District Criminal Docket; Case 14049 ; ENGAGED IN ORGANIZED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
THE STATE OF TEXAS vs BINGHAM, DOROTHY

2nd Judicial District Criminal Docket; Case 14049A ; MURDER
INTENDS SBI CAUSING DEATH
THE STATE OF TEXAS vs BINGHAM, DOROTHY

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Cherokee County, Texas' incumbents run unchallenged, again.


by: Cherokee

Mon Dec 24, 2007 at 10:10 PM CST

     Several lackluster Cherokee County, Texas incumbents are seeking reelection in 2008 and are running unchallenged by either political party. Namely Elmer Beckworth, Cherokee County's second term district attorney running on his 20 + years as assistant DA and his fictitious legislation co-written by the then TX District 3 State Senator Todd Staples (Rep.-Palestine, TX). Legislation he claims was designed "to allow state judges more discretion in denying bail to people who violate the terms of their bail." As if the Texas constitution did not already allow for the denial of bail for repeat offenders. That's why it is called "bail;" if you violate the conditions you get to sit in jail before your trial. The lie is that before this 'legislation' a defendant on felony bond could have that bond reset repeatedly if the conditions of the bond were violated, even in a case of escalating domestic violence.

    The pretext of the 2005 proposition, Prop.4 was to pay homage to slain Jacksonville, TX resident Faye Harris, murdered in 2003 by her estranged ex-husband Michael Harris. Mr. Harris could have had his felony bond revoked with one phone call on the day he forfeited it and months before he eventually murdered Faye Harris. His restraining orders were not enforced by Cherokee County despite efforts after the fact to smokescreen with an insincere measure named after the victim. Has any other county in the state of Texas seen defendants out on felony bond violate restraining orders and get their bail set and reset and reset for each worsening occurrence while their trials are postponed indefinitely? While they are in protective custody and each time threatening to kill their wife?

    Michael Harris was under watch at the Rusk State Hospital for drug treatment and had repeatedly violated the conditions of his bail AND the restraining orders against him. His initial bond for a pending felony arson trial (he allegedly burned down his ex-wife's home) was set and reset and reset multiple times by the non-operational Cherokee County district court. Michael Harris' pattern of increasingly violent terroristic threats and vandalism against his wife was documented up to his indictment and 2006 plea bargain (given to him by candidate Elmer Beckworth). Harris accepted life in prison and Beckworth accepted an honorary 'victim's rights' award bestowed for the preventable death of Faye Harris. Cherokee County's negligence was quickly turned into a publicity stunt by the district court, the sheriff department and the local state representative's office.

    This hoax of denying repeat offenders' bail was voted and approved by amendment in 2006 after several Texas newspapers fell for the talking points. Other media outlets did not accept the legislation's emotional overtones and saw Proposition 4 for what it was: excuse making by a negligent East Texas district court for the murder of woman whose protective orders were not enforced by local law enforcement.  An avoidable malfeasance that did not result in a judicial reprimand, but the actual course of action Elmer Beckworth, et al hold as their political platforms. The amendment was so good in fact, it popped up again in 2007 (as a duplicate proposition written in committee) for another sympathetic vote. Voters got a second chance to vote twice for the same 150 year-old legal precedent, because legislators know most people don't pay attention to the propositions on the ballot. And unknown backwater prosecutors begging for attention get their names in the paper by running a con game.

    The same ruse with the same wording appeared in 2007's list of proposed amendments, namely November 6th's Proposition 13. Proposition 13 was worded as "the constitutional amendment authorizing the denial of bail to a person who violates certain court orders or conditions of release in a felony or family violence case." Elmer Beckworth of Cherokee County told himself and the state legislature he alone had discovered that "flaw in the Texas constitution" and that hole was plugged in 2006. But you can bet the exact legislation will appear again by another 'victim rights' champion down the road, who sees the Bill of Rights and the Texas State Constitution as an obstacle. Just like the same repeat bills trying to ban abortion and drugs or making it illegal to do something illegal.

    This type of legislation is co-opted to give the impression that Cherokee County has been lenient when assessing bail in the past. Proponents (feigning opposition) travel back to when Texas' founding father Sam Houston was imprisoned for inciting a revolution. Poor Sam Houston couldn't petition the Mexican government to set his bail back then, 300 something years ago...The fact is Cherokee County is always facing federal rights class action suits because of the policy of denying bail to defendants in order to extract confessions during incarceration in the county jail. And to stave off future lawsuits for the ongoing civil rights violations of minorities at the hands of Cherokee County law enforcement.

    Elmer Beckworth's logic in advocating stiffer bail requirements falls on deaf ears when in 2007 Cherokee County just watched their decorated Jacksonville, TX police officer Larry Pugh be sentenced to 12+ years in federal prison for multiple rapes and retaliation. After "Elmer's Law" had already passed unanimously. However, Larry Pugh never had to face rigorous bond hearings because Elmer Beckworth did not indict him on state charges until AFTER Pugh was sitting in federal prison. And never investigated Pugh's missing victims scheduled to testify against him, even though a complainant's decomposed naked body was found in the national forest. Officer Larry Pugh's federal bond was revoked after he was caught trying to pull his last rape accuser into a van with a belt around her neck. Pugh's single state charge, levied by district attorney Elmer Beckworth, involved Officer Pugh having "sex with an inmate," not him retaliating and trying to kill a protected federal witness. Or the 30 other official rape victims that came forward in Cherokee County. This surviving female witness filed a successful civil suit against the city of Jacksonville, TX.

    The 369th District Court also had the opportunity to see their bailiff Constable Randall Thompson coordinate trials and provide security at the Rusk, TX courthouse, while simultaneously issuing subpoenas, writing speeding tickets, helping out on drug raids, etc. etc.---ignoring the fact that Thompson was out on federal bond for selling narcotics to an undercover federal agent. In 2006 Constable Thompson was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for intent to distribute meth.  No state charges needed to be levied for Thompson's drug dealing; nor any type of bond hearing or suspension of Thompson's law enforcement duties until the US Department of Justice indicted him. And you can bet the Cherokee County at Law and District Attorney's office continued to prosecute everything Thompson sent to them after his federal arraignment.

    But let's not digress.

   The fact is the Texas Constitution has always REQUIRED a repeat offender to be denied bail. It REQUIRES a district judge to revoke the bond of a repeat offender, hence Cherokee County's dragging of the heels and postponements when it comes to prosecuting the few cases that make it to trial. And besides, Cherokee County, Texas has never had a problem with denying anyone's bail before. Because the 4th Amendment in the Bill of Rights is arbitrary in their eyes.

    Let's face it folks, the Texas Constitution has never been at fault for allowing some dirtbag out on felony bond to murder someone. It is the lack of initiative the Cherokee County district court has in enforcing the protective orders they themselves pretend to crusade. There were never any ancillary conditions of Michael Harris' bond to keep him from killing his wife. In fact, in a county with only 1 or 2 murder trials every term of the district attorney, these homicides are lauded in the local media and reprinted over and over again. To make it appear to outsiders in civilization that the letter of the law is actual upheld, amongst multiple federal convictions of Cherokee County's bailiff, constables, chief of police, patrolmen and correctional officers. To make it appear they are with the times and not immersed in racial tensions brought on by ingrained and outdated prejudices. To make it appear they are players in the State's political arena. But just because they say it, don't make it so.

    Criminal negligence and propaganda might impress the local yokels in the upcoming March primaries, but it should not make an impact on the rest of the state. These hypocrites may go unchallenged in their respective political primaries, but hopefully they will stay in their East Texas rat holes. Until another violent homicide they could have prevented helps them find another "flaw in the Texas Constitution."  

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