It hardly seemed possible, but things are getting ever weirder in the case of Dymond Milburn, the 12-year-old African-American girl whose mother claims in court that several Galveston cops jumped out of an unmarked van, tried to kidnap Dymond and then beat her up in her front yard for no real rea … More >>
February 10, 2009
A deadlocked jury resulted in a mistrial for Dymond Milburn, the black girl who — when she was 12 years old — was charged with assaulting police officers who tried to arrest her in her front yard.The cops had been looking for three white hookers. Milburn was hospitalized and later arrested at her … More >>
February 9, 2009
Final arguments are expected to begin today in the criminal trail of Dymond Milburn, the 12-year-old Galveston resident who is accused of assaulting cops who tried to arrest her outside her home after mistaking her for a hooker.We first wrote about her here, in a story that rocketed around the web. … More >>
January 28, 2009
In December, Hair Balls brought you the story of Dymond Milburn, a 12-year-old girl whose family is suing several Galveston police officers after the cops allegedly beat and injured her while trying to arrest her for suspected prostitution. The lawsuit claims that the police hopped out of an unmarke … More >>
Quintanilla declared a mistrial in the case, and Galveston County Criminal District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk said that, based on discussions with jurors after trial, the state won’t prosecute the case again.
The issue of Milburn’s ordeal the night her mother sent her outside to flip a breaker box switch was as simple as black-and-white, her defense lawyer Anthony Griffin said.
Griffin filed a federal lawsuit last year against three officers, Roark, Sean Stewart and Sgt. Gilbert Gomez, accusing them of violating Milburn’s constitutional rights.
That case could go to trial late this year or next year.
Milburn was 12 years old when the officers about 7:30 p.m. exited an unmarked van and approached her in her Galveston yard.
Narcotics officers were called to 24th Street and Avenue P1/2 to investigate a complaint of three white prostitutes soliciting in the area and two men dealing drugs.
Griffin in Monday morning’srepeatedly told jurors police shouldn’t have mistaken his client, who is black, for three white women.
“They clearly had probable cause to search for three white prostitutes,” Griffin said.
“But when they didn’t find probable cause, they didn’t have the right to detain everyone in the area.”
Prosecutors Veronique Cantrell-Avloes and Ella Anderson told jurors Milburn knew the men were officers, because they wore badges and had “police” displayed on their shirts.
‘I Hate The Police’
“Not only did they have police all over them, but when she yelled, ‘F— you. I hate the police,’ you probably know you’re dealing with the police.”
The officers also identified themselves verbally, prosecutors said.
Milburn ran, possibly 2 feet, from the breaker box to a bush, where she hid while officers tried to pry her away in handcuffs.
Police should have admitted they were wrong to detain Milburn, Griffin said, but prosecutors said it was the officers’ duty to investigate the complaint.
Prosecutors said Milburn hit an officer’s face, but Griffin questioned whether the assault occurred, because both of Milburn’s hands were grasping the base of the bush.
The jury began deliberating at 11 a.m. on the felony assault charge and could have found it to be true that Milburn’s actions were delinquent.
The jury also could have found it true that Milburn committed the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor assault.
Juveniles in the Texas court system face accusations that the charges against them are either true or not true, and if found to be true, then they are considered delinquent.
About 7 p.m., jurors told Quintanilla in a note they were deadlocked.
Five jurors said the charge of assaulting a public servant was not true, Griffin said.
Griffin asked Quintanilla to declare a mistrial from a hung jury, noting it was unlikely one juror would convince five others to change their minds.
Before learning of the state’s intention not to retry the case, the Milburns said they were pleased with the outcome but had hoped for an acquittal.
Dymond said she becomes emotional when seeing pictures of her scratched neck and other photographs taken that night.
“I don’t want to have to go back to that memory,” Dymond said.
Wilfred Milburn said police should have apologized to his daughter.
The state’s first attempt to try Dymond ended in a mistrial Oct. 3, 2007, based on a witnesses’ statement to the jury, which never had a chance to deliberate, Griffin said.
Sistrunk said prosecutors gave jurors every piece of evidence available, and that the state couldn’t ask for more from the jury.
“The facts of this case aren’t going to change for either side in a subsequent trial with another jury,” Sistrunk said.
“And based on what this jury had to say, there is no reason to expect that the outcome would be any different than another split decision.”