The Texas Prosecutor, January-February 2017, Vol. 47, Iss. 1

A roundup of notable quotables

“Yes. I said Nutella.”

—Toronto detective Sgt. Paul LaSalle to the Toronto Star after police busted a car-theft ring during Project Cyclone. The far-reaching investigation uncovered links to drug-trafficking, a kidnapping plot, and the theft of a truckload of Nutella. One hundred thirty-seven charges are now pending against 23 people. (https://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2016/11/25/police-bust-vaughan-based-auto-and-nutella-theft-ring-recover-5-million-in-stolen-goods.html)

“We got a lot of criticism, but we thought it was the right thing to do.”

—San Francisco Superior Court Judge John Stewart, who (along with his colleagues on the court) discarded 66,000 arrest warrants issued over five years for “quality of life” crimes, such as sleeping on the sidewalk. Stewart says most of those who are cited are homeless and can’t afford the fine and seldom show up in court. The city’s police union and some members of the public have protested. (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/national/article118114428.html)

“I still hear voices. I try my best not to listen.”

—Joseph Cala, a Hurst man serving 30 years in prison for beating his 79-year-old mother to death, slicing her open, cutting out her heart, and biting off part of it. He claims that “witches’ spirits” took him over the evening of the murder and told him to do it. (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/northeast-tarrant/article118296713.html)

 “I have looked for the good in this defendant and I have found very little.”

—Senior U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra, about Ruben “Menace” Reyes, as Ezra sentenced Reyes to five consecutive life terms in a Supermax prison. Reyes is a former enforcer for the Texas Mexican Mafia and had entered an open guilty plea to killing five people, including a police officer. (http://www.chron.com/news/local/article/Mexican-Mafia-hitman-sentenced-in-San-Antonio-to-10644741.php)

“From our perspective, it kind of brought a bit of comic relief from a very intense trial.”

—Judge Ralph Strother of McLennan County, about a local woman, who was serving on a jury deliberating late into the night on a robbery case, who had been reported missing by her family. Officers interrupted the jury’s deliberations at about 11:45 one night to check on the woman, who was in the jury room and was fine. (http://abc7amarillo.com/news/offbeat/deliberations-by-texas-jury-prompts-missing-person-report)

“I’m getting just as much out of it as you are.”

—District Judge Marc Carter, who runs a veterans court in Harris County, on his response to those who complete the program and return to thank him for helping them turn their lives around. (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Former-officer-s-courtroom-is-filled-with-a-sense-10689900.php)