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.
read the full text...
read the full text...
Enhanced by Zemanta