Judge Wants Indictments Against Victoria Officials Spelled Out Or Will Drop Charges

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

VICTORIA, Texas (AP) - A district judge's ruling calls for
District Attorney Stephen Tyler to clarify the alleged wrongdoings
of Victoria's mayor, police chief, former city attorney and a
police lieutenant or the majority of the charges against them will
be dropped.
Yesterday's ruling will also make available to defense attorneys
copies of grand jury testimony.
Grand jury proceedings are typically secret but the ruling said,
"defense lawyers need the records to build their arguments."
The district attorney tells the Victoria Advocate, quote, "I'll
be doing something. I'm not walking away."
Tyler said he hadn't determined whether he would rewrite the
charges or if he'll need to get a new grand jury indictment.
The newspaper reported Tyler said he was confident his evidence
was strong enough to write indictments that would stick and to
eventually prosecute the four men.
Victoria Mayor Will Armstrong and the others were indicted in
May in a widening probe accusing top city officials in this South
Texas town of tampering with a criminal case against former
Victoria County Sheriff Michael Ratcliff.
Ratcliff was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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