Ruthless, lethal destruction: freedom’s advocates censor reporters for life

No non-profit replied to my documented pleas for advocacy, no lawyer responded to my
May 10, 2010 Issue
  • ABSTRACT: ANNALS OF CRIME about the State of Kansas v. Samuel Bonilla. Last Labor Day afternoon, Tanner Brunson—accompanied by his friend Steven Holt, Holt’s daughter, his stepson, and a former boyfriend of his stepdaughter’s—drove his truck down a riverbed in Dodge City, Kansas. Holt and Brunson had consumed a lot of beer and in the riverbed they came upon Sam Bonilla, a Cox Communications cable guy, walking with his older son and his nephew. As Brunson’s truck approached, Bonilla gave him the finger. Holt and Brunson got out of the truck and as they approached Bonilla he fired on them with a .22-calibre gun. At the hospital, doctors stabilized Brunson, but Steven Holt died. Both Holt and Brunson were “good ole country boys.” Bonilla was Hispanic. Describes the history of the Hispanic community in Dodge City; almost half of the city’s current residents are Hispanic. After some hesitation, Bonilla turned himself in to the police on the evening of the shooting. He told them that he repeatedly shouted “Get back!” to Brunson and Holt before shooting, a claim confirmed by Holt’s daughter and stepson. Bonilla was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Holt and second-degree attempted murder in the wounding of Brunson. Rebecca Escalante, who runs Becky’s Bail Bonds and Tax Service, has found the Hispanics in Dodge City to be considerably less assertive than what she’d been accustomed to in Texas. Bonilla worked part-time for Escalante, and on one visit to see him in jail she took along Claire O’Brien, a reporter with the Dodge City Daily Globe. O’Brien’s article about Bonilla—in which he said he didn’t think a Hispanic could get a fair trial in Ford County— caused a sensation in Dodge City. County Attorney Terry Malone subpoenaed both O’Brien and Escalante—demanding that they reveal any anonymous sources, that O’Brien hand over her notes on the jailhouse interview, and that they both testify in a closed-door proceeding. Doug Anstaett, the executive director of the Kansas Press Association, thought the case made a good argument for the Kansas legislature to pass a shield law to protect reporters. Attorney Lucille Douglass, who began representing Bonilla, claimed that information about weapons and anti-Hispanic sentiment could have been easily obtained by subpoenaing Brunson’s MySpace page. A blog in Texas, Latina Lista, described Dodge City as “a place where some of the ‘white’ locals like to play a game they call ‘Border Patrol’ where they use their trucks to intimidate Latino pedestrians.” The implication was that Bonilla was nearly run over because he is Hispanic. Mentions gun rights. In early March, it was announced that Bonilla accepted a plea bargain on the reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery, resulting in a sentence of seventy-four months. As a noncitizen who had committed a felony, he would presumably be deported after completing his sentence.
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14 thoughts on “Ruthless, lethal destruction: freedom’s advocates censor reporters for life

  1. As this unfolds, it strikes me that your case represents far more than simple corruption and greed. I’m starting to smell some involvement of US intelligence in all this. The way this is unfolding suggests someone high up in the intelligence community or Obama administration has taken an interest in discrediting you. Obama has this thing about whistleblowing reporters. Some they kill or assassinate – some they merely discredit via dirty tricks.


    1. You are so exactly right! That’s why they say nothing. Their culpability will instantly become significantly greater if they compound their initial 3 public lies with another one at this point.Of course their private lies have another sphere entirely. Also they were relying on the statute of limitations, but my constant efforts have forced them to take just enough actions (nothing overt) to have extended the statute themselves.
      I know that justice is coming. Sometimes you have wait for it. But you can’t give up. I mean, you can’t agree that the truth makes no difference, not after you’ve made it worth everything that’s happened to you for the past four years. Also, regardless of how sanctimonious and contrived it sounds, how like a line from a bad TV movie, I’m the only one involved in this case about freedom of the press who has told the truth. That huge crowd of high profile dealers in truth – every single one betrayed it without blinking.
      I’m not going to leave it now. I can wait for justice if truth can wait for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, that it will never be the case that the truth makes no difference. It’s like they, ” the truth will set you free”, and the fact that you have put the truth out there for the record is a power all its own!


  2. Hi,

    I got the part of your article about Calvin Trillin failing to report that RCFP had not been entirely forthcoming about you.

    What I am not getting is this part:

    “Mr. Trillin just went along with a request made on behalf of former RCFP director Lucy Dalglish,”

    Do you know someone made a request to Trillin for Dalglish or are you speculating that it is likely? If you do know, do you know the name of the person and how it happened (and details such as phone call to him or your source of the information)

    It makes some difference to me if he just didn’t include it or if he didn’t include it as a favor to someone else.



    1. I find this question fishy, your anonymous request for names, phone calls and sources outrageous, and the very idea of Trillin’s right to with hold his knowledge of my innocence deeply offensive.

      Every time I have shared evidence, it has disappeard from the Web, and I’m certainly not going to repeat that mistake under these circumstances. I’m fully aware that what I have posted throughout this blog and elsewhere on the Web warrents legal action, professional sanctions and restorative measures.

      I think you’re a lawyer trolling for info, and if I’m wrong, well,
      I paid for the right to be wrong with three years of my life.


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