Open Discussion #40
UPDATE on the Sgt. Prickett/Hugh McBryde/Scotty Ledbetter/Bill Medvecky wranglings:
I have noticed that a computer from UNT has spent a good deal of time on this site lately. Presumably this is in connection with the so-called investigation (read, witch hunt) regarding Hugh McBryde’s harassment of Sgt. Prickett and various UNTD and UNT PD employees. Reportedly Sgt. Prickett has been placed on paid administrative leave. Hugh McBryde reports that this is the result of his accusations of “extortion” and “stalking” against Sgt. Prickett. Really? If I were a Texan I would be seriously concerned about State resources being used for an “investigation” of such a ludicrous complaint by an obviously agenda-driven, disturbed individual as Hugh McBryde. I cannot fathom that any right-thinking person would take such accusations and maniacal ravings seriously enough to take that kind of action against a police sergeant. I mean, let’s consider the credibility of Hugh McBryde compared to Sgt. Prickett. How many protective orders and/or trespass warnings have been issued against Hugh for exactly this behavior in the past? Well, reportedly his first wife had a restraining order or protective order against him because of domestic violence (Hugh posted about this recently on his blog and confirmed it himself). Hugh’s own CHURCH in Vermont warned him not to set foot on Church property — remember, he made comments that the church took as threatening potential violence. See the letter below from the Elders:
Hugh blogged recently also that he had been threatened with charges of stalking or harassment because of his repeated maniacal phone calls to UNT staff at their homes. Hugh has been banned from more internet sites than most of us have ever been members of, collectively. Remember the stalking of Marty Braemer? What about Maggie Santos — a police officer with the Colorado Springs Police Department? Hugh got a wild hair that Officer Santos was part of some big FLDS related conspiracy, and just as he is doing to Sgt Prickett, Hugh harassed the CSPD until they opened an IA on Santos. Fortunately for Santos, her supervisors appeared to have treated Hugh’s lunatic reports and conspiracy theories with the regard that they deserved and promptly cleared Officer Santos without taking any action against her. Hugh was an employee at a used car dealership but got fired apparently — this appears to have been the result of Hugh stalking the wrong “Txbluesman” who didn’t take it well and called Hugh’s wife and presumably Hugh’s employer, as Hugh was fired right after that erroneous outing of TxBluesman. He is now a truck driver, having just completed a three week training course. How do I know this? Hugh confirmed it on his blog in a rather paranoid rant about someone accessing his drivers license record (wrong again, Hugh, but thanks for the confirmation).
Sgt Prickett, from information available on the web, is a police sergeant with the University of North Texas Police Department. Prickett has been with the same police department for 20 years — he has obviously done something right to remain employed with the same department for such a length of time and risen to the rank of Sergeant. He is the ranking supervisor and coordinator of all the police officers and security at the Dallas campus of the university. He is a Master Peace Officer and Certified Police Instructor, and he is a retired Paratrooper and Air Force Captain.
Sgt. Prickett’s “truthfulness” has actually been the subject of a Texas appellate court case. When his credibility or truthfulness was raised as an issue by the appealing drunk driver, the Court found Prickett to be credible and truthful stating:
We hold that the videotape does not raise a fact issue as to the legality of the stop. Officer Prickett testified that appellant committed a traffic violation when he first saw her driving: she failed to signal within 100 feet of changing lanes. See TEX. TRANSP. CODE ANN. § 545.104(b) (Vernon 1999); Tyler v. State, 161 S.W.3d 745, 748 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth 2005, no pet.) (“When a traffic violation is committed in an officer’s presence, the officer has probable cause to lawfully stop and arrest or detain the violator.”). Appellant’s first turn as described by Officer Prickett is not shown on the videotape, and there is no evidence contradicting Officer Prickett’s testimony. Furthermore, the remainder of the stop as shown on the videotape is consistent with Officer Prickett’s testimony. Although it is arguable whether the last two turns appellant made could be interpreted as being “abrupt,” the first turn shown on the videotape does appear to be “abrupt” in that the time between appellant’s signaling and turning is very short. In addition, the videotape confirms Officer Prickett’s testimony that appellant “straddled” the white dividing line when she turned southbound onto Welch. See James v. State, 102 S.W.3d 162, 172 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth 2003, pet. ref’d) (“Erratic … driving may furnish a sufficient basis for a reasonable suspicion that [a] driver is intoxicated even absent evidence of violation of a specific traffic law.”); cf. Tyler, 161 S.W.3d at 749 (holding that “appellant’s act of moving out of his lane of traffic, ‘straddling’ the white line separating the traveling lane from the shoulder, and ‘erratically’ re-entering his lane of traffic at an angle was unsafe and therefore a violation of section 545.060(a).”). The videotape does not raise a fact issue as to whether Officer Prickett had probable cause to stop appellant. Thus, we hold that the trial court did not err by denying appellant an article 38.23 instruction. See Estrada v. State, 30 S.W.3d 599, 605 (Tex.App.-Austin 2000, pet. ref’d). We overrule appellant’s first point.
Defendants Medvecky, Ledbetter and McBryde have been posting about a civil lawsuit that was filed against Sgt. Prickett for “use of excessive force.” Well, yes, there was a lawsuit in federal court, but it was apparently a bogus attempt to get a settlement from the State of Texas because the jury very clearly exonerated Prickett finding no excessive force was used, and they stuck the plaintiff with the legal costs. See the jury form and final judgment below:
Who wins the credibility contest: Sgt. Prickett or Hugh McBryde? There’s really no question. Hopefully, Sgt. Prickett will be back to his regular duties very soon.
Good luck Sgt. Prickett — we’re behind you all the way.
UPDATE: Bill Medvecky’s site has been suspended, presumably as a result of the restraining order that Sgt. Prickett obtained from a court in Dallas in connection with his defamation suit against Medvecky, McBryde, and Ledbetter. Way to go Prickett!