Stanley Marsh 3 was indicted on four counts of sexual assault ofeight counts of sexual performance byand two counts of indecency with. The allegations date to before Marsh, 75, suffered a massive stroke in His wife is now his legal guardian.
Three months later Cullen walked free, and the housewife wept in gratitude as she thanked her friends and neighbors on the jury. The housewife had driven more than fifty miles that morning back in August, not realizing that the 52 seats in Judge George E.
Instead, she waited in the corridor with about a dozen other disappointed middle-aged women, watching the proceedings through a small glass panel about the size of a small TV screen. It was their common experience that women like Priscilla were responsible for the majority of the evils of the world.
Who did she think she was fooling? Then there were the high heels, the cascade of platinum hair, and her shockingly piquant figure.
In August, no less! That was a good question, but one they would not hear answered. Maybe Cullen did it out of a sense of Christian charity, or perhaps because of some well-intentioned flaw in his own personality, some Pygmalion instinct. They brought the defendant cookies and pies and flocked around him at each recess.
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They brought their children and grandchildren to meet him and — for some strange and convoluted reason — had him autograph their copies of Blood and Money. One had him autograph her neck brace, and another offered to iron his shorts and socks. On one occasion the mother of a juror chatted with Cullen. Date a millionaire Amarillo all the groupies were shapeless, middle-aged housewives. There was a nifty, dark-haired young morsel who enjoyed getting Cullen in the corner and discussing sociology.
And there was a stream of young beauties, most of them from Fort Worth or Dallas, who frequented the trial. They always sat directly behind the defendant in the courtroom and shared daily catered luncheons with Cullen and his attractive girl friend, Karen Master. One of the most striking was Rhonda Sellers, whose mother is a close friend of Karen Master. Rhonda is a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and the former Miss Metroplex.
During each recess you could find Cullen moving freely among his admirers, shaking hands, posing for pictures, exchanging pleasantries. At times the security was so informal that, had he been so inclined, Cullen Davis could have walked out of the courthouse and been out of town before anyone noticed. The bailiffs ased to guard the defendant were openly on his side and treated him as they would a visiting dignitary. There was the day that Cullen walked out of the courtroom and took an elevator to the ground floor, accompanied only by one of his attorneys.
Another time when he was left alone in the jail booking office, the telephone rang and Cullen answered it. Besides being permitted to have catered meals, the defendant was allowed to keep a color TV set in his cell.
Although the Potter County jail was so overcrowded that other prisoners slept on the floor, Cullen was at times ased to a private double-bunk cell. He was always freshly groomed and immaculate in his expensive, conservatively cut business suits, very much the corporate president, collected and in control.
Each afternoon when the court recessed for the day, Cullen gathered a fresh change of clothes and in the company of Deputy Al Cross drove across town to see his chiropractor. Their eyes were windows into the heart of the community. What made all this display particularly weird was the nature of the crime. He was specifically charged with the cold-blooded execution of his twelve-year-old stepdaughter, Andrea Wilborn, his assumed motive being the elimination of all witnesses.
Many times I marveled at the doting housewives who were so quick to embrace the cause of a man three eyewitnesses placed at the scene of the murders. It was as if he were someone to whom they were beholden, someone whose position, courage, and date a millionaire Amarillo set him well above the struggling masses and, in some inexplicable way, promised meaning to all their lives. I suspect that all the same forces at work on the housewives likewise hit home with the jury.
Why did the Prince pick her? And just where did Priscilla Lee Wilborn Davis get off acting so high and mighty? Since Cullen Davis was one of the richest men in Texas, the selection of a jury of his peers was out of the question. In retrospect, Amarillo seems the perfect setting for the murder trial. Amarillo is large enough and flexible enough to contain a cast of characters of Dickensian duplicity and roguish charm. Yet it is isolated, self-contained, and properly aloof.
It feels like the capital of another state, the Panhandle, a place geographically if not culturally closer to Oklahoma City, Topeka, and Denver than to Austin. It is a randy, bullheaded, good-humored cowtown — the kind of town Fort Worth used to be, back before the time of Cullen Davis. A hundred years ago the Great Plains was populated solely by Comanches and great herds of buffalo.
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Then a man from Illinois named Charles Goodnight established a cattle empire and the rush was on. The land today remains much as it was then, checkered with ranches of enormous size and controlled like feudal kingdoms by the heirs of the old cattle and oil barons. Ostensibly, this land was to be used to demonstrate the practical value of barbed wire, but they somehow lost their patent and Grandpa Bush converted his part of the land into one of the great cattle empires.
Toad Hall, the house where Stanley, Wendy, and their five children live, is located on the site and constructed from some of the same stone used in the old Bush ranch house. He passed this skill down to his son and grandson, and when oil was discovered in the Panhandle around the original Stanley Marsh was well trained to get in on the ball game. In the years that followed, the Marsh family branched out into banking, cattle, television, and a of other ventures.
In a city like Dallas or Houston Stanley Marsh 3 never III would be passed over as another fruitcake with too much money and time on his hands, but in Amarillo, where he exercises an exceptional amount of financial clout, he is a date a millionaire Amarillo to be reckoned with. He wears baggy jeans, sometimes with chaps and boots, and outrageous shirts with part of the tail hanging out. He reminds you of a great, wondrous teddy bear. That was when Stanley wanted to outfit dead monkeys with skin-diving gear and hang them from the trotlines of poachers.
Judge George E. There was no doubt Judge Cave had had more of this hot potato than he could stomach. Early in the case Amon Carter, Jr. In his two years on the bench, Dowlen had never presided over a case like this one, but then few judges had. By the time the two hundred prospective jurors arrived at the courthouse, the defense already had a thick file on each one.
Potter County Judge Hugh Russell was hired to rate each juror according to information that was supplied by a battery of investigators and filtered through a computer. In particular, Racehorse Haynes was looking for jurors who could understand the abstract notion of reasonable doubt. Racehorse knew well that the rules of evidence would not permit the prosecution to attack Cullen with the same ax. The silk stockings hardly got scratched. Of all the rulings handed down by Judge Dowlen, easily the most damaging to the prosecution was the decision to allow an array of convicted felons and drug traffickers to testify concerning their close relations with Priscilla.
Somebody mailed me a spent.
That was the only time I really got mad. When it finally dawned on Freddy Thompson that this was realthat he was about to be locked up with eleven strangers for weeks and maybe months, and that ultimately they would have to decide the fate of a man who could buy a thousand like them out of his back pocket, Freddy tried to walk out the door. The bailiff grabbed him and read him the law. The law required that he sit in judgment. For the next days, Freddy hardly spoke a complete sentence.
Freddy was a cowboy. Not a rodeo cowboy or a feedlot cowboy or a cosmic cowboy, but a genuine working cowboy. Freddy had had an occasional brush with the law. Then there was the time Freddy and another cowboy named Rob turned loose that blind steer in a darkened hippie bar.
But nothing serious. Freddy respected the law, and more than that he respected tradition and old-time cowboy morality. He felt uncomfortable and out of place around rich people, a possible exception being his boss, Stanley Marsh 3, whose family owned the 10,acre spread where Freddy worked. Stanley was, to say the least, different.
Stanley would drink with his cowboys and listen to their troubles late at night. Unlike many of the ranchers on the Great Plains, Stanley took a personal interest in his cowboys. The one gut-level thing that a cowboy wanted to know was that his boss would take care of him, not so much now, but later, when he had reaped the wretched harvest of his occupation. Only after he had taken his seat with the jury panel did Freddy learn that the case involved the brutal slaying of a twelve-year-old girl. Freddy had a twelve-year-old daughter, and she was one of the great blessings of his life.
But it was late in the game. The voir dire was already into its sixth week. Freddy was the th prospective juror to be questioned and so far only nine had been selected. When the other cowboys heard that Freddy had been sequestered for the duration of the trial, they took bets on how long it would take for him to break out and how long it would take him to unwind enough to work cows.
Both sides knew the trial would be a test of endurance and took that into when they picked the jury. Both sides tried to pick people who were used to listening and taking orders — a mailman, a journeyman electrician, a typist, a sheet-metal worker, a grandmother, even an ex-nun who sold cameras at a department store. Overweight people are docile and submissive. It was one of those rare cases where the defendant could match resources with the state.
The state was also burdened with a circumstantial case that was bound to weaken with each volley from the defense. The jury would therefore have to reach its verdict based on the testimony of Priscilla Davis and expert testimony that Andrea Wilborn was killed with the same. Far went directly to the master bedroom upstairs and Priscilla proceeded to turn off the lights in the kitchen.