Not Breaking News on Russ Martin's Brief Day in Court
Not so with Russ Martin's supposed trial in Fort Worth this morning.
The media - myself, a reporter from Dallas' Only Daily and a Channel 8 cameraman, that is - found our way to the Tarrant County Justice Center this morning at 8:30. Tucked in the corner of the sixth floor, lined by a hallway of long faces and guilty body language, is Judge Jamie Cummings' County Criminal Court #5.
On the docket for 9 a.m.: Russell Dale Martin.
Expected to see him, maybe even talk to him this morning.
But after waiting for the court's doors to unlock at 9 a.m., no Russ. No attorney Tim Powers. No nothing.
Wait, here comes the bailiff.
"Sorry, Russ and his attorney have already come and gone," he says. "His case has been re-set for trial."
1. Russ is slick, having somehow avoided our probing cameras and noisy notebooks at the courthouse.
2. Other than a 6:15 a.m. wake-up, a $20 parking fee and two-hour round-trip drive, I completely wasted my morning.
3. Russ Martin is determined to take his case to a jury trial.
I hear he's reconciled with girlfriend/victim Mandy. It's obvious he's confident he can beat this rap.
UPDATE: Just heard from Powers, who says today's non-proceeding was just routine "docket management." He says a firm date for a trial still isn't imminent, adding that "the best result is not always the quickest result."
"Russ is satisfying his burden of proof by appearing at these hearings," says Powers. "The case is still active. I believe Russ is innocent. At this point no options have been eliminated and we're vigilantly exploring a satisfactory outcome. At some point he'll have his day in court."
UPDATE II: Prosecuting attorney Christy Dunn calls this afternoon, enlightening us that Martin's next "trial" date isn't until March.
As always, stay tuned.