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#26 2020-01-22 12:11:11

btrettel
Member
Registered: 2013-10-01
Posts: 57

Re: Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019

I spoke with the same attorney who called me earlier. They now have the video and showed it to the defense.

Apparently the defense's lawyer indicated that the defendant didn't do anything wrong because I wasn't in the bike lane. This is ridiculous as bike lane use is not required when turning left, in fact, to my knowledge you're required to move from the bike lane. (I checked the TTC, sections 551.103 and 545.101b.) Plus, even if I was breaking the law, how does that justify breaking a worse one? Obviously this argument is weak.

The attorney I spoke with indicated that the defense might claim the defendant felt threatened by me following him. I made sure to leave plenty of space between myself and his vehicle when I approached because I didn't want to give the impression that I wanted to harm his vehicle or him. My only intention was to tell him to drive better. The attorney stressed that it could be hard to get a jury to understand why I followed the driver.

Anyway, he asked me if I'd be okay with offering to reduce the charge to disorderly conduct if he'll take an anger management class and bike safety class. What do you all think? I told him I'd give him an answer by Friday. I told him that I definitely want to see this go to trial.

Last edited by btrettel (2020-01-22 12:13:54)

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#27 2020-01-22 13:01:44

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,202
Website

Re: Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019

This is your case, not mine, but if it were me, no way in hell I would agree to Disorderly Conduct.  He *already* got an undeserved golden ticket from the DA charging him with a mere Class B Misdemeanor (Terroristic Threat) instead of the proper 2nd-Degree Felony (Aggravated Assault).  No more handouts.

btrettel wrote:

...the defense's lawyer indicated that the defendant didn't do anything wrong because I wasn't in the bike lane.

[bangs head on desk]

btrettel wrote:

The attorney stressed that it could be hard to get a jury to understand why I followed the driver.

Believable.  Non-bicyclists are clueless about what it means to ride a bike in this country.

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#28 2020-02-02 00:47:37

btrettel
Member
Registered: 2013-10-01
Posts: 57

Re: Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019

I said they could reduce the charge to disorderly conduct if he does what I mentioned earlier. Here's my thinking: Going from a misdemeanor to a lesser misdemeanor isn't much. The decrease from a felony to a misdemeanor was much more significant. If I were to do this again I would push the police harder to charge him with a felony. My thinking is that reducing the charge to disorderly conduct will increase the probability of a conviction, as I'm not confident that a jury would be sympathetic towards me. My main concern is for the defendant to improve their anger and hatred issues, but I also think having a criminal record would serve as a warning to others as I'm not confident the defendant will improve.

If this guy isn't convicted of merely disorderly conduct given the evidence, I think that would just show the extent of the bias against cyclists.

The next court date is February 21.

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#29 2020-02-02 01:44:07

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,202
Website

Re: Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019

You have a good point.  Me, I'd probably be willing to roll the dice to get the maximum penalty, even though it's not much.  But it's not my case, this is your rodeo, so it's entirely up to you.

BTW, are you sure this guy *doesn't* already have a record?  As insane as he is, I wouldn't be surprised if he already has a rap sheet.

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#30 2020-02-02 11:42:55

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 205

Re: Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019

One good reason to push for a felony conviction for scum bags like this is to make it harder for them to possess a firearm.  Yeah, I know, we're in Texas where you can just about trade in your HEB Buddy Bucks to get a gun, but every little bit helps.  This guy is not the kind of stable genius we need with a conceal carry permit - which he could not get as a felon.

I agree it's a good idea to see if this guy already has a record. I'll bet he does, and I'll also bet it's not for some victim-less drug crime.

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#31 2020-02-02 12:06:39

btrettel
Member
Registered: 2013-10-01
Posts: 57

Re: Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019

Good point about firearms.

I don't know if the guy has a record or how to check if he does. The prosecution's attorney probably looked into it though, as he told me that he looked into whether I have a record but couldn't find anything. I assume that he did that because the defense might try to argue that I've made false claims before or something.

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#32 2020-02-02 20:22:41

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 205

Re: Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019

Being a felon is no little thing. My GF is a felon, and believe me, having that on your record makes life much harder than you might think. Sure, granted, she made some poor choices early in life, but she was also a victim of our stupid fascist drug laws largely devised by that traitor and war criminal R. Nixon. In a civilized country, a person with a drug addiction is treated as a person with a health problem, not as a hardened criminal that needs to be destroyed and kept down in the cycle (see how I worked cycling into the rant) of poverty and despair. America is NOT a civilized country by any reasonable measure, and the constant conveyor belt of injustice proves that every day.  And your case is just one more example of how we are just a stupid place run by morons. And damn to hell every republican and go-along-to-get-along democrat for helping keep it so.

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#33 2020-02-03 00:54:50

btrettel
Member
Registered: 2013-10-01
Posts: 57

Re: Justin Lewis threatens Austin cyclist w/screwdriver 9/25/2019

I've said before that taking the budget for non-violent drug "offenses" and putting it towards violent offenses that are ignored (e.g., violence against cyclists) could lead to dramatic changes in bike safety. I sympathize with the police in that they don't really have the budget for bike safety issues, but it's not that our society doesn't have the money in general.

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