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 Courthouse Bluff!

[b]Victory! Courthouse Bluff[/b]
[i]July 11, 2005[/i]

After this past court case on Friday in Tyler I was not looking forward to going to today’s court case in Dallas. Less was at risk for this trial; only money, no jail time (not counting our free speech right”. It was for a situation which occurred over 6 months ago, when preaching outside of a club. 11 police officers showed up and gave me a fine for “drawing a crowd”. Then in a letter they sent it said it was for “religious solicitation without proof of ID” but today in court they claimed it was for “violating an anti-noise ordinance”. But of course in a loud club district, it’s absurd to say I was violating this ordinance, since I probably would not be heard even 20 feet away.

When an officer issues a fine and the person requests a trial, the officer must appear to testify as a witness or the prosecution has no case. The officers all had until 9:45am to make their appearance. As all the court cases were being read out loud by the judge, the prosecutor would declared whether the case was going to be dismissed or if they were ready, based on if the officers have shown up. I waited in anticipating that my case would be thrown out. It had been so long since the actual event; surely the officer wasn’t going to show up in trial, will he? The Judge said “The State of Texas vs. Jesse Morrell” and the prosecutor responded with “State Ready”.

Patrick Cryer, my defense attorney, pulled me out into the hall to discuss how the trial process was going to go. We would have a chance to question the potential jurors, specifically what their thoughts were of street preachers, and the prosecution would also have their chance. The officer would testify, I would testify, and it would go on from there. The “anti noise ordinance” clearly states that before a fine can be issued, an order to leave the area must be given by the officer. No such “order” was ever given to me, and thus was our case.

My attorney explained: “The prosecution has offered once last plea bargain. We don’t have to go to trial if you want to pay $100 fine, and be put on probation.” I responded with “NO WAY!” to which my lawyer said “Yea, I didn’t think you’d be interested. I’ll go tell the prosecution.” My attorney returned after speaking to them with a smile on his face and a paper slip in his hand. “They’ve dismissed the case. They decided to back out of taking this to trial.” He explained that It was dismissed on the bases of “insufficient evidence.” Thank God I didn’t take the plea bargain because it was all one big courthouse bluff!

Months ago, when I received the citation on the street, the officer confiscated my $250 Fender P-10 portable speaker and I haven’t had it since! When I went to retrieve it from the police station I was unable to do so because I had no papers. They suggested that I hunt down this single officer some how in the city of Dallas to try to get papers. Dallas City Ordinance states that if an officer confiscates an object, they must issue a “receipt” in order for you to pick it up. If they fail to do so, it’s considered theft. I was never issued such a receipt and thus have not been able to get back my portable speaker. My attorney is now working on getting a court issued order for me to get my sound box back!

I have felt as though I’ve been shackled with three chains; one on my right wrist (Dallas court case), one on my left wrist (the other Dallas case), and one around my neck (The Tyler case). Now one chain has released its chilling grasp and I feel I have hope once again. One court case conquered and two more to go. Thank you for your prayers!

 2005/7/11 23:14

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 Re: Courthouse Bluff!

Thank you for telling us about this great news Lazarus. How awesome that you weren't intimidated to take the plea. We'll keep your other two cases in our prayers!


Mike Compton

 2005/7/12 0:38Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37510
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


Brother Jesse,

Thank you for sharing this what encouraging news. God definetly is answering prayers. I know alot of this is to build your faith and allow you to suffer for the preaching of the gospel. Think of how much more the saints of old suffered to speak the gospel of the kingdom of God. We will continue to be in prayer about your situation brother and expect to hear more praise reports of what God is doing.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/7/12 1:57Profile

Joined: 2005/5/25
Posts: 189

 Re: Courthouse Bluff!

Hi, Praise God you listened to the spirit within. Well done. Amen.

Jesse The scripture in Matthew is spot on, this is your personal scripture from God to you. Pray it to God when you are led to, cling on to the promises he has given you. Don't get complacent about it. Keep it fresh.ask God through time Just what other purpose it may serve through your life. He has given this to you. His power, his word, his promise,and to receive these, trusting in him.

He will show many more promises to you as you walk with him.

And I am sure you know all this.

Walk with, talk with, pray to, and rely on and lean on him. Amen

Best wishes to you I will be in touch in August for the next case.

You will be kept in prayer you will be added to my list and I will put your name forward for prayer at the prayer centre for you as and when and in August and also for your future with God.

God Bless you

I am privileged, to be praying for you.


 2005/7/12 6:38Profile

 Re: Courthouse Bluff!

This is great news, Jesse. Praise the Lord for giving you a clear head when you need it to give God's answer. You're also learning something about the way the legal system works. Next time an officer tries to confiscate your goods, you'll be looking for a receipt. I hope he still has your soundbox to give back...

 2005/7/12 7:57

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


That's horriable that they would try such a thing. Amazing thing this "justice" system.

Jimmy H

 2005/7/12 11:24Profile

Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1832
Hemel Hempstead

 Re: God is the great Judge

He cares for all of us so much!! I am happy about the news!!! DOm

Dominic Shiells

 2005/7/12 13:19Profile

Joined: 2003/7/21
Posts: 268


Reminds me of all the times the apostles had to appear in "court"...they never had any real evidence then, either. Praise God.

Mary M.

 2005/7/12 14:33Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7486


Thanks, Bro. jesse for sharing this with us. I admire your willingness to not be intimidated, to not back down from these threats. God bless you!


Sandra Miller

 2005/7/12 17:55Profile

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