The Marshall Lions Club recently heard from Reid McCain, Harrison County District Attorney at their Jan. 28 meeting.
McCain’s history includes working for the Marshall Police Department for 12 years, serving in Criminal Investigation, Patrol Sergeant and Lieutenant. He went to Oklahoma City, where he graduated with a law degree and worked for a while in Gregg County at the District Attorney’s office.
The club met at their normal meeting location at the Panola-Harrison meeting room, 410 E. Houston on Tuesday to enjoy a lunch of smothered pork tenderloin fillets served by Catfish Express Catering.
President Robert Wood called the meeting to order and welcomed Lions. Lion Robert asked Lion Dudley Swofford to open the meeting with prayer, followed the Pledges of Allegiance to the US and Texas flags led by Lion Tim Young. ”Hello! Ma Baby” and “The Marine Hymn” were sung with gusto, led by song leader Lion Alan Grantham, and accompanied on the piano by Lion Stacy Bowen.
Lion Tamer Patrick Owens welcomed all to the meeting. There were several guests today; Melanie Valdez, Manager of Austin Bank; Donna Lane, wife of Lion Stephen Lane; Alex Keith, new officer at Bancorp South, guest of Lion Alan Grantham and Ladarius Carter, guest of Heath Parker. Lions were encouraged to invite someone next week. Lion Patrick read a fun fact to Lions – “There are 2 ½ times more Barbie dolls sold in the U. S. than babies born!” He also mentioned that today is the 35th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle crash, killing all the astronauts aboard in 1986. The count for the day in the Den is 33. The Thought for the Day is: “Feeling down? Remember every night the sun has a sinking spell but it comes back up every morning!”
Tail Twister Chris Horsley levied several fines and mentioned that all three funeral homes in Marshall are represented at today’s meeting! Lion Chris asked Lion Alan Grantham about the whole pig he cooked on his barbeque pit. Lion Alan said it was very tasty and he had cooked it for his wife Natalie’s family gathering. Lion Chris auctioned a “fine pass” that would entitle the bearer to not pay a fine at any meeting, with Lion Dare Westmoreland winning. Lion Chris said that Lion Jim Ammerman will celebrate his birthday on January 31. He appointed McCain to lead the club in our “Happy Song” to them in the key of “a” for anniversary!
President Wood called on Program Chair for January, Lion Chris Horsley to introduce the program, the Harrison County District Attorney.
On Jan. 1, 2019, McCain was sworn in as Harrison County District Attorney. He remarked there is a lot of work to be done! Reid told about the process of getting a case to trial. First, a case is presented to the Grand Jury, a group of citizens who receive a notice from the District Court to serve for a term to decide whether or not a person should be charged. If they decide that there is enough evidence, they will give the DA’s office a go-ahead to prosecute the person. If not, the person will be “no-billed” and released.
McCain started off by describing events leading up to the recent conviction of Antonio Dejuan Trammel, who ran from officers, resulting in the injury to an MPD officer Zachary Lastra’s arm, cut on a smashed window. In fleeing from the officers, the mad committed a felony offense. The officer’s body camera caught the entire events and was a useful tool in presenting the case to the Grand Jury and at his trial. McCain said officer Lastra was able to tie a tourniquet to his arm and was heard on the audio saying, “Father, in the name of Jesus, help me,” while waiting on the ambulance. “All medical doctors will tell you, but for medical intervention, on May 13, the officer would’ve lost his life,” said McCain. “That’s serious bodily injury. Trammel was sentenced to 25 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.
McCain recounted the events leading up to a conviction in a child sexual assault case in Harrison County. He explained that a 6-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted by her father in 2016. He had also allowed his friend to sexually assault her. An aunt from Texarkana came to Marshall and took the child to live with her. The child did a forensic interview at the time, which is often used in court as testimony to cause less stress on the child. At the father’s trial, prosecuted by Madison Hood, he was charged with five counts of Aggravated Assault of a Child, this girl, now three years older, testified perfectly. The jury convicted him on all five counts and he was sentenced to 75 years each count, stacked, which meant he would serve 397 years total!
At the friend’s trial the same thing happened 2 months later – the jury sentenced him on three counts of Aggravated Assault of a Child and he was sentenced to 99 years each count for a total of 297 years. McCain said they had a skilled defense attorney who tried to trip up the girl on her testimony, but she did well in court. He praised Madison Hood for her tenacity and skill in the courtroom for those convictions. McCain told Lions that she is the daughter of Judge Jim Ammerman, longtime County Court-at-Law judge.
President Robert Wood presented McCain with a Lions writing pen and thanked him for an interesting program and presented him with a Lions writing pen. He asked Lion Kent Reeves to dismiss with a prayer and adjourned the meeting.