Thursday, October 1, 2009

Woman gives birth alone in Taylor County Jail cell

Lisa Mijares claims to have given birth to her son three years ago in the Taylor County Jail in Abilene, TX. After allerting correctional staff that she was in labor, her request for help was reportedly ignored.

Although the birth certificate of her son states he was born at Hendrick Medical Center, she claims that is not the case and that she and her son were transported to Hendrick after she gave birth.

Mijares reportedly isn't the only woman to have given birth at the jail. In a separate alleged incident, the baby died.

In this video interview, Mijares describes squating on her jail cell floor and catching the baby in her hands as she gave birth.

Perjury complaint filed against Officer Bailey

A complaint was filed last week with the Abilene Police Dept. against Officer Courtney Bailey for allegedly committing perjury. Victor Fiorentini was accompanied by me for moral support when he filed the complaint.

A few days earlier, Fiorentini also filed a request with City Manager Larry Gilley, that his arrest be fully investigated in light of the new evidence that Officer Bailey wasn't the only officer to perjure herself at his trial.

A similar request filed before the trial was denied by then Assistant Chief of Police, Stan Standridge.

I encourage Chief Standridge to reconsider his position in the spirit of fairness, especially considering that Fiorentini had his skull, orbital (eye bone) and two molars fractured due to his beating at the hands of three APD officers who were there for the purpose of a standby and not a criminal complaint.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Officer claims she didn't see Fiorentini get hit!


Abilene P.D. Officer Aron Bryan (female whose face injury is pictured) in court transcripts claims that she hit Fiorentini only in the kidney but didn't see or hear Officers Corntey Bailey or Officer Long ever strike Fiorentini.

Bailey alone claimed to have struck Fiorentini 7-10 times, but it was Officer Long that reportedly did the most damage to Fiorentini's face.


Court Transcripts - May 12, 2009 -Pg. 139, lines 8 -15: Attorney Sam MeHaffey questioning Officer Aron Bryan:

Q: Which part of his body were you hitting?
A: His right kidney area
Q: Did you ever hit any other part of his body besides his right kidney area?
A: No
Q: Did you see other officers striking Mr. Fiorentini?
A: I couldn't see.
Q: Is that a no?
A: That's a no.

Is our communtiy expected to believe that Officer Bryan isn't trying to coverup for fellow officers Bailey and Long? It appears to me from listening to the audio of the arrest and reading 195 pages of court transcripts and testimony, that this isn't the only case of aggravated perjury by officers testifying against Fiorentini.

In addition, court transcripts show that APD officers were told by Mrs. Fiorentini that Victor Fiorentini hadn't threatened her or her son physically, she simply reported that she was concerned that her husband was going to cut up her property with a chainsaw, which he never actually did. She asked police to standby while she and her son gathered some personal belongings.

The rumors that the police were called to a domestic and violent dispute are simply not true. This was simply meant to be a police standby while one resident gathered some personal property.


Officer Cortney Bailey testifying that she saw Victor Fiorentini strike Officer Aron Bryan. Court transcripts from May 12, pg 38, lines 20-25 and pg.39, lines 1-25 and pg.40, lines 1-3.

Q. And you saw that he hit her somewhere in the hairline?
A: Yes.
Q: Which --
A. I knew at that point that he hit her on the side of the head. It wasn't until later when there was injury, I mean, she had a knot, that we knew exactly where.
Q: But you could tell -- you saw the punch close enough that you could tell the general area that it impacted; right?
A: Yes...
Q: And you saw that punch, didn't you?
A: Yes.
Q. Because the punch is from right over here and you're right over here, and a hundred percent of your attention is on Mr. Fiorentini?
A. Actually by the time the punch happened, I was within probably I would say 5 to 7 feet because I began moving when he got up.
Q: Did he hit her with his right hand?
A: Yes, which was on my side.

Court transcripts - May 13, 2009 -Pg. 139, lines 8 -15: Attorney Sam MeHaffey questioning Officer Cortney Bailey after pointing out that Bailey has just contradicted her own account of the events, which was captured on audio the night of the arrest.

Q: Okay. A man says: Did he whap her pretty hard? And you say: I didn't see the actual hit. I didn't see him go up on her, but I mean, I knew -- I mean, I saw her try to get out of the way.
A: Uh-huh.
Q: Is that what you said?
A: I mean, it's pretty staticky, but that sounds about right. That's what I stated yesterday.
Q: So, you didn't say that he hit her --Mr. Fiorentini hit Officer Bryan with a closed fist?
A: He punched her. Unless there -- I mean, that, no, I did not see the actual fist. I said that yesterday. I didn't see the fist make contact with her head, but she had a knot, a knot right here in her hair.
Q: But you didn't see the closed fist actually make contact with her?
A: No, sir.
Q: And that's your testimony?
A: Yes, sir.

On May 12, Officer Bailey testifies that she saw Fiorentini strike Officer Bryan with his right hand but then reverses herself on May 13 when confronted with an audio of her admitting to never having seen Fiorentini strike Officer Bailey.

If Officer Bryan isn't perjuring herself, then she should be let go from the Abilene P.D. for being blind. How she could have not witnessed the beating of Victor Fiorentini is beyond me. By claiming she did not see the beating, she avoids being questioned on the witness stand about the details of Fiorentini's beating.

In my estimation, Officer Bailey's case is the most obvious case of aggravated perjury in that she clearly contradicts her testimony.

Question, why didn't the D.A.'s office charge Bailey with aggravated perjury when she reversed her fabricated story of seeing Fiorentini punch Officer Bryan with his right fist?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Was this police officer given a haymaker concussion by Victor Fiorentini?

This is the picture of one of the alleged injuries sustained by APD officer Aron Bryan, which according to her resulted in a concussion. The other injury she reported was a sprained ankle (no picture available).

Officer Cortney Bailey testified that she was only five to seven feet away from Bryan when she saw Fiorentini strike her with his fist.
This appears to contradict Bailey's statement to a correctional officer when he asked, "Pop her pretty hard?"

If it is Bailey on the audio, she apparently said, "I didn't see the actual hit. I mean, I didn't (see) him go up on her...but I mean...I knew...I mean I saw her trying to grab his (arm and) he was fightin'."

According to Fiorentini, he was convicted of only twisting Bailey's ankle and not striking her. Fiorentini denies he attacked her ankle.

Was this Veteran beaten by police on Veteran's Day?

Here is a picture of Victor Fiorentini who claims to have been beaten by members of the Abilene Police Dept. His skull was fractured and two molars broken. I will have more on this story later.

Fiorentini claims to never have struck Officer Bryan nor to have sprained her ankle. Is it possible she sprained it on Fiorentini when kicking him?

In testimony, Officer Cortney Bailey testified that she was about seven feet from Officer Bryan when Bailey saw her get punched with a fist.

This is apparently a contradiction to the audio that was made unbeknownst to Officer Bailey, a conversation she had with a Taylor County correctional officer, where she states that she actually never saw Fiorentini punch Officer Bryan. I will be making the audio available when I figure out how to do it.

Being that the Taylor County Citizens' Review Board is still in formation, I will give my personal view of the events:

Several police officers escorted Mrs. Fiorentini and her son to pick up their personal effects at the Fiorentini home, where she no longer lived at the time (they are back together and have a 17 month old baby). Victor Fiorentini ordered the police off his property nine times in a verbally aggressive
manner, which was for the most part professionally handled by Officer Bryan, except for some minor taunting on her part.

It would have been wise for the officers to have explained the law with regard to what they were wanting to do and what the rights of Mrs. Fiorentini were at the time, being that she was also a property owner.

When Fiorentini started seeing his son taking the home computer, Fiorentini tried to enter his home after throwing a lit cigar toward Byron (big mistake) but didn't hit her. He also called her a "cunt" (bigger mistake) and used other profanity.

Bryan physically kept Fiorentini from entering his own home by grabbing his arm, which he told her to remove. I am not a legal expert here, but due to Fiorentini's threatening tone, it appears to me that Byron's actions were for the most part warranted up to this point. Her and another officer's taunting a man under the influence of alcohol was not wise and aiding the son in taking the home computer may even have been illegal.

At this point there was a scuffle and Fiorentini ended up with a broken skull and two broken molars. Bryan's claims to have been hit in the head by Fiorentini may be true, but the picture of her doesn't show any apparent swelling. Officer Bailey's testimony of seeing Fiorentini hit Bryan contradicts the audio purported to be her, where she denies having seen the hit.

In addition, after reading the court transcripts, I don't understand how Fiorentini could have grabbed hold of Bryan's foot to twist in when both of his arms were being controlled by two other officers with Fiorentini laying on his left side pressed into the ground. Does Fiorentini have a third hand? The officers should have either cuffed Fiorentini rather than beat his face repeatedly, as the court transcipts of the officers claim...or they should not have beat his face repeatedly while Fiorentini was in handcuffs.

The fact that this part of the audio of the arrest was not made available smacks of coverup. Fiorentini claimed he was screaming for help at this point. WHERE IS THE AUDIO?

I believe Fiorentini should not have spoken in a threatening manner and should not have used profanity. I think the police should not have allowed the Fiorentini's son to take the home computer for that was a civil manner, they should have only been allowed to pick up their personal effects, such as clothes.

After reading the court transcripts and listening to an audio allegedly provided by the APD of the arrest (which appears to be severely edited), it is my personal conclusion that far more than legal and necessary force was used to arrest Fiorentini. Only one side of his face appears to be beaten and his claim to have been beaten while in handcuffs with his face pressed into the ground should be investigated.

I believe Fiorentini to have been the victim of a vicious beating at the hands of certain members of the Abilene P.D. The fact that Fiorentini's request for an internal investigation was denied by then Assistant Chief Stan Standridge is problematic to me as well.

When contacting Standridge for comment and asking for the officers' side of the story, Standridge said he would not comment on the case itself and would not allow the officer's to give their version, so I have to rely on court transcripts and police audio.

I will add that Chief Standridge was a consummate professional in dealing with me, and even though he strongly disagrees with my tactics, he communicated clearly, patiently and helped me to see why allowing the police officers to contact me and give their side of the story wasn't in the best interests of the Abilene P.D.

Had Fiorentini stayed in his seat, none of this would have happened. Had the APD not allowed Fiorenti's son to take the home computer, none of this would have happened. There were bad mistake made on both sides and I don't think a fractured skull and broken molars should have been part of the equation.

More to come on this when I learn how to post the audio and the PDF files of the court transcripts.

If anyone believes I don't have my facts straight, that someone has falsified the court transcripts or court audio, or that I am missing something, please do not hesitate to contact me at I will be happy to air any other eyewitness account, whether it be a citizen's or a law enforcement officer's.

Additionally, I intend to have a Taylor County Citizens' Review Board website independent of, I just need to find the time to get it online.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Alleged Beatings At the Taylor County Jail

Picture of inmate who claims he was
held down by guards and kicked in
the ribs. Click on photo to enlarge.

Lance Hunter Voorhees
Abilene, TX 79606

September 8, 2006
The Honorable Greg Abbott
Attorney General
State of Texas
PO Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

As a chaplain for Taylor County Detention Ministries, the majority of my service is spent volunteering at our Juvenile Detention Center but I also serve at the Taylor County Jail. Over a period of approximately three years I have received various complaints about jail personnel from inmates both past and present, their relatives, county employees and medical personnel.

While some of these complaints appear to be without merit, some reported incidents ring true; incidents that violate the Texas Administrative Code’s Minimum Jail Standards. I am requesting your office investigate the veracity of these purported violations.

Prohibited sanctions allegedly violated under TITLE 37, PART 9, CHAPTER 283 §RULE 283.1, SUBSECTION (4) are as follows: (B) corporal punishment, (C) administration of disciplinary action by inmates, (D) deprivation of clothing, (F) deprivation of items necessary to maintain an acceptable level of personal hygiene and (H) deprivation of physical recreation or exercise.

§RULE 283.3 may also have been violated according to SUBSECTIONS: (1) lack of access to a grievance board of more than one person, (2) not providing details on what constitutes grounds for initiation of a grievance and (7) not providing a documented appeals process when requested.

The most serious types of complaints I’ve received about jailers (designated by number instead of name) are as follows: JAILER #1 kicking inmate Wesley Freeman while he was restrained on the floor by other jailers, JAILER #1 elbowing an inmate in a specialized restraining chair equipped with straps, JAILER #2 encouraging an inmate to hang himself, exposing inmates restrained in the chair to the sun for long stretches of time, subjecting an inmate to multiple dog bites, allowing the beating of inmate Juan Manuel Albarado (a juvenile certified as an adult) by a known adult adversary, prescription drugs stolen by staff, drugs sold to inmates by staff, the taunting of a 100% disabled veteran and former Air Force Captain (who will testify by affidavit) to crawl across the concrete floor for his withheld asthma medication, the pepper spraying of asthmatic inmate David Jefferson by JAILER #3 for defiantly knocking his bowl off the table, several claims of pepper spray being used for corporal punishment (mostly by JAILER #3) including: the spraying of toilet paper thus making it harder to clean up, putting sprayed inmates in a drunk tank or “rubber room” for long periods of time (up to a full night) without a change of clothing and no water to wash off the debilitating spray (Sheriff Dieken says this is done for a maximum of fifteen minutes), jailers purposefully spraying up into inmates’ nostrils and mouths plus in one case restraining the head and pulling back the eyebrows so that an inmate’s eyelids opened wider to expose his eyeballs to a more direct spray.

It has been reported to me that pictures of inmate injuries are missing or not taken at all. Complaints that some inmate grievances not followed up on by staff are common. Sheriff Jack Dieken admits that grievances used to get thrown in the trash and destroyed before taking office but claims he put an end to this practice and ended the beatings he admits occurred prior to 1993.

Name Deleted, (a juvenile sentenced to twenty years for manslaughter) was reportedly a victim of trumped up or exaggerated internal write-ups that were eventually used against him in the sentencing phase of his trial. The supervisor that reportedly wrote some of them has since been fired. With regard to that case, Assistant District Attorney Harriet Haag is being investigated by The Board of Disciplinary Appeals for violating Rule(s) 3.03 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

It is interesting to note that all but one inmate I’ve spoken with say they are well fed and none claim to be the target of racial slurs by jailers. Although some “feel” discriminated against, none have provided evidence and all but one state that only a fraction of jailers are committing said violations. If an inmate is simply going to lie, why doesn’t he or she lie about being the victim of racial slurs or food deprivation? The consistent details add credibility to accusations by inmates.

Although Sheriff Jack Dieken has publicly stated that he is open to hearing complaints, my experience with him is less than satisfactory. When I inquired into the civil rights of inmates he told me that “I don’t need you. You’re nothing. You’re nothing. You’re a citizen.” With regard to my inquiries, Sheriff Dieken demanded that I “Leave it alone.” When I responded “I can’t do that, Sir” he then retorted, “Then you’re a sorry Republican. You’re a damn liberal Democrat.” As a direct result, I am no longer allowed to counsel adult inmates face to face or see them at all without special permission.

The above conversation happened the Monday after I requested an investigation into Wesley Freeman’s claim of being kicked by a jailer. The Sheriff’s response to me was “Wesley Freeman is a piece of crap. He is a little piece of putty.” He is “not worth my time.” He referred to inmate Juan Manuel Albarado in similar terms when I brought up his beating at the hands of another inmate.

I can’t be certain which claims are valid but neither can the Sheriff, who reportedly hasn’t even spoken with Freeman or Jefferson regarding their claims. Nevertheless, since speaking with the Sheriff it has been made public that one jailer resigned after being confronted about punching an inmate and two others were reprimanded for taking heavy-handed “liberties” with another inmate. The story was published on 8/29/06 in the Abilene Reporter News (

As a chaplain, I am not in a position to investigate these claims. Although I did contact our Chief of Police, the District Attorney and a Texas Ranger about the matter, no investigation has been initiated that I am aware of. That is why I am asking the Attorney General’s Office to interview related prisoners, county employees and medical personnel. Please investigate these claims and find out how much money is spent on pepper spray. Are these allocated funds in align with the 36 pepper spray incidents that have been documented this year?

I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t appreciate what jailers do; I am very pro-law enforcement. My mother and stepfather both served as police officers and my stepbrother currently serves as a police detective. Like my family, I realize jailers provide a valuable service for relatively low pay. Nevertheless, jailers that systematically violate Minimum Jail Standards cast a dark shadow on the majority who perform their jobs with integrity. Law-breaking jailers are simply criminals with pepper spray and a badge. Nobody should be above the law.

Lance Hunter Voorhees
Chaplain – Taylor County Detention Ministries

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Iraqi Uranium Not An Urban Legend

To all those who have been whining for years that there was no yellowcake uranium in Iraq and therefore no danger of Saddam Hussein reconstituting his nuclear weapons program at the time, try this one on for size.

In a recently announced 3-month secret mission, the U.S. military removed 550 metric tons of yellowcake from the defunct Tuwaitha nuclear complex just 12 miles south of Baghdad. The U.S. brokered a sale of the uranium (worth tens of millions of dollars) on behalf of the Iraqi government to Canada for their nuclear power program.

Yellowcake is concentrated natural uranium that can be transmuted into nuclear weapons grade material through an enrichment process in gas centrifuges. In 2003, the CIA recovered two large barrels of parts and blueprints for the same type of centrifuges from an Iraqi rose garden owned by nuclear scientist Dr. Mahdi Obeidi.

These documents included information on how to conceal evidence of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program from U.N. inspectors and others. Obeidi, who was one of many scientists ordered by Saddam to hide such materials, has since been quoted as saying that the Iraqi dictator could have restarted his nuclear weapons program “at the snap of a finger.”

The liberal media has long raked President Bush over the coals for “lying” about Saddam’s pursuit of yellowcake uranium mined in Niger to build nuclear weapons. The accusations center on 16 fateful words spoken at Bush’s January 28, 2003 State of the Union address:

“The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Two months later, we went to war.

While some of the evidence pointing to collusion between Saddam and the government of Niger was forged, the bogus evidence didn’t prove to be the only evidence. The clear evidence being made public, President Bush has now been vindicated in that his assessment of Saddam’s nuclear intentions was not only reasonable, but accurate.

Had we not invaded Iraq two months later on March 19, 2003, what would Saddam now be doing with all that yellowcake uranium? If we hadn’t stayed the course after Saddam was deposed, would insurgents now be selling tons of yellowcake on the black market to interested parties that don’t have U.S. interests in mind?

President Bush should be applauded for not giving the weapons inspection dodging Saddam Hussein the benefit of the doubt.

I think the biggest mistake Bush made was not asking Congress for a formal Declaration of War the way the Constitution mandates. The result is that he opened himself up to accusations of warmongering by a critical Congress who acted like rabid dogs who have smelled blood. This has been no small matter and voters should hold any and all turncoat politicians accountable.

The U.S. operation to remove the deadly yellowcake was also no small matter either. The secret operation included transport by ship and two weeks of airlifts. The secrecy was due to concerns that those transporting the yellowcake would be vulnerable to insurgents and we could not risk taking the chance of uranium falling into the wrong hands.

So here we are, again involved in a civil war clear around the other side of the world. While that has made us look bad to some of our allies, such as the French, it doesn’t take much to realize that the oft-repeated mantram that this war is all about oil doesn’t have any teeth.

This war is not just about our economic security; it is about the physical security of the United States and our allies, including the French who are now experiencing their own epidemic of Islamic extremism.

Yes, the 4116 American lives that have been lost to date in Iraq is a painful price to pay, but as wars go, the loss of life has been minimal.

In comparison, in one day we lost 4,498 at Pearl Harbor and another 4,900 on D-Day. While the war in Iraq has seemed to drag-on for over five years, our U.S. military should be congratulated for a job well done, not castigated for allowing American blood to be spilled overseas in defense of our interests. Just wars are almost always about economic and physical security.

In contrast, our war at home against drunk drivers has cost over 13,000 American casualties per year. This doesn’t get nearly as much play in the media because it is easier to exploit the deaths of American soldiers and the insurgents disguised as innocent non-combatants that kill them — just blame it on the commander in chief.

Some will surely dig their naive peace activist heels into the ground and argue that Saddam didn’t have the resources to build a nuclear weapon. To those I would say this. Utilizing 1945 technology and resources, the U.S. created and dropped two atomic bombs — one on Hiroshima and the other on Nagasaki. Approximately 67,000 people died the first day and an additional 36,000 died over the next four months.

Now imagine what Saddam or the insurgent terrorists could have done with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium at their disposal. Imagine the modern nuclear technologies and resources anyone controlling billions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenue could purchase.

Had it not been for George W. Bush, we could have found ourselves in the middle of a disaster far greater than the one experienced on September 11th and maybe even greater than the 100,000 deaths in Japan. Thank God that was a risk President Bush wasn’t willing to take.

It is important to not only show support for our troops, but to also know why you support them.

Lance Hunter Voorhees is a political columnist and former radio co-host of “A.M. Big Country.” Feel free to email or visit his new Blog at © 2008 Lance Hunter Voorhees