Dallas County Judge Carlos Cortez's Girlfriend-Choking Defense is Actually Pretty Convincing

Categories: Legal Battles

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There are two sides to every story, and on Thursday, District Judge Carlos Cortez's version of what happened at his Uptown condo on the night of December 28 won out, when a Dallas County grand jury declined to indict him on charges that he choked his girlfriend and held her over his 20th-floor balcony.

Cortez, understandably relieved, held a news conference to proclaim his innocence and express relief "that this hasn't affected my abilities to perform my duties as a judge."

There's a big difference, though, between escaping prosecution and being vindicated, and, since grand jury deliberations are secret, there's really no way to know which is the case here.

See also: Dallas Judge Carlos Cortez Accused of Strangling His Girlfriend Says He Was Actually Saving Her Life

Maybe jurors decided his girlfriend, 26-year-old Maggie Strother, made the whole thing up. Alternatively, they could have believed Strother but decided that there wasn't enough evidence to support criminal charges.

From a legal standpoint, it doesn't really matter; a no-bill is a no-bill. Politically, it matters quite a lot, and Cortez must tread a delicate line, convincing voters in the March 4 Democratic primary that he's innocent without coming across as a douche glorying in his accuser's defeat.

He seemed to strike the right balance during a lengthy interview on Fox 4 last night. He maintains his innocence but doesn't gloat and says that the whole thing has been a sobering experience that he's learned a lot from.

Cortez and his attorneys do, however, take the occasion to show a couple of videos that, while not definitive proof of his innocence, at least cast serious doubt on Strother's credibility. The interview is worth watching.

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

In the first, surveillance footage taken on the night of the alleged attack shows Cortez apparently escorting Strother out of Le Tour Condominiums. There's no sound, but Cortez says he is asking her to leave because she'd been drinking and taking prescription drugs and had tried to throw herself from his balcony.

Cortez appears fairly calm in the video, and Strother has no marks on her neck despite the fact that, according to Cortez' attorneys, the scene took place an hour after he supposedly choked her.

Another video Cortez shot with his cell phone in November as he and Strother drove home from the Rihanna concert, which he says they had to leave early because she had passed out. In the clip, she appears to be extremely intoxicated and is sort of attacking Cortez as he drives. She opens her door while the car is still moving and throws herself onto the pavement, then asks why Cortez pushed her.

Again, not enough to definitively prove Cortez's version of events, and not enough to take Cortez's arrest off the table as a campaign issue. Strother's attorney issued a statement Thursday saying his client stands by her story.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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68 comments
boogerleo
boogerleo

Do you believe this sleezeball? And he is a Judge?? And he is up for re-election?? Let's see how smart the area voters are - the ones that keep John Wiley, Craig Watkins and other officials in office! Wanna bet??

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Don't remember who to give credit to but gratefully steal "Lie down with fleas......"

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

The Democrat War on Women continues unabated.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Meanwhile that bastard Republican TEA partier Ted Cruz JAYWALKED today and an angry mob of journalists spontaneously formed.

daviddennard
daviddennard

Have we already forgotten about this little dust-up that Cortez created with another judge over a simple parking space:

Civil Courts Feuding judges' parking spots changed:

We're getting word that the feud between Judges Carlos Cortez and Eric Moye is not going to dissipate any time soon. The civil district judges had assigned parking spots next to each other in the George Allen courthouse's underground garage. But we hear a court staffer has made arrangements to separate their parking spaces since their dust-up Thursday. This brouhaha could make things a little awkward at the annual judges' picnic.

Kevin Krause

kkrause@

dallasnews.com

lebowski300
lebowski300

Probably used the Wayne Brady Defense.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "he and Strother drove home from the Rihanna concert, which he says they had to leave early because she had passed out."


LOL! ... Rihanna and Domestic Violence ... who knew?


I'd question the judgment and maturity of any "judge" who'd attend a Rihanna concert.



TexMarine
TexMarine

when lowlifes meet...how touching. too bad they wont reproduce.

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

Advice for the judge -- never stick your dick in crazy.  JS

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Who among us has NOT started dating someone who at first seemed just a little eccentric, only to find out after it's too late that the person is full-on bat-shit crazy?

justsomebody
justsomebody

One question, that surveillance video is from the parking garage door, not the lobby. It seems he is suggesting that she leave at the door, was he saying that a woman he knows to be highly intoxicated should leave the building in her car? Why was the cart involved? It would be interesting to see the video from the lobby.


Regardless that video from the car is beyond damning, clearly a woman that would throw herself out of a moving car and then blame the driver on video is not credible at all


Also a correction, it's La Tour not Le Tour.

James080
James080 topcommenter

Looking at every allegation in the light most favorable to Cortez, we have him no-billed for assaulting his apparently drug addled girl friend, a sealed pending investigation into a rape which allegedly took place in Cortez's apartment last year, and we have Cortez spending over $100,000 trying to seal the file of a lawsuit he filed, then dropped, allegedly because his deposition discloses some behavior he doesn't want publicly revealed.


Now consider all of this in the light most favorable to Cortez, and you must come to the conclusion he is not fit to be a judge. Congress, sure, he would look like an amateur next to those clowns, but not a judge.

observist
observist topcommenter

How long has Ricky Gervais been moonlighting as a judge in Dallas?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

He's not a criminal.  He is a person with extremely terrible judgment when it comes to his close associations, which says his wisdom as a judge is terrible.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@boogerleo He is better than those other Democrat judges in Pennsylvania that railroaded several thousand children into a democrat donor fat cat's prison for kick backs.

ruddski
ruddski

"Lie down, then flee"

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@ColonelAngus

It's funny how the one time a Republican stands up for a woman - it's for one who's a semi-suicidal psycho who files a false complaint against a government official.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  

When your crazy, 26 y.o. girlfriend wants to go see Rihanna, you damn well go see Rihanna.

ruddski
ruddski

We'd like to get that guarantee in writing.

Daniel
Daniel

@CrackerDaddy  You're a few decades too late to benefit me with this advice, but thanks for caring.

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

@bvckvs But we're not elected officials.  He is.  He should exercise more caution in his extracurricular activities.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@bvckvs  based on your own comments on various other websites you've never made it past getting gas on a date bc your debit card didnt work and she bailed on you after that

ruddski
ruddski

The cart was her ride?

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@James080 And yet, I bet a survey of Dallas area attorneys would show that they overwhelmingly would rather be in his Court than say Sally Montgomery's or D'Metria Bensons.

ruddski
ruddski

How about those that stood up for the Palin girls, the ones that stood up for Hillary, the ones that stood up for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or for that matter, Islamic women in general?

James080
James080 topcommenter

@ruddski  

Come on you two, the President has done wonderful things for people who want free cell phones, food cards, daycare, apartments and health care, but don't really want to pay for any of it themselves. He's freed them from labor, taxes and personal responsibility so they can chase their dreams. Who knows, maybe a few community organizers will eventually emerge from the coddled masses....

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@ruddski  Uh, they already did.  Daddy was baking cookies with the kid while mom was getting baked on the couch.  Thats the whole argument here.  She was worried about losing the kid to him so she faked her attempted murder

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@AdamsonScott @bvckvs

As an elected official, he's exactly who he's supposed to be - one of us. As long as he performs his duties well and commits no crime, it shouldn't matter who he dates.

In this country, your private life is your own business - and I wouldn't want it any other way.

ruddski
ruddski

And then, I flattened his tires, and the rest is history. My location, undisclosed.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @bvckvs  

.


Q. What's the difference between a Jewish woman and an Italian woman? 



A. Italian women have real orgasms and fake diamonds.


ruddski
ruddski

Sometimes, I feel so ungrateful, so unorganized, like a subhuman mongrel.

But I've always hated Hawaiians, it's a character flaw.

stardot4
stardot4

You are the hater. You hate Ted Cruz. Ted hates evil.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ruddski  

The DO needs a couple of old Soviet style Political Officers embedded to amplify news purity.

"The FCC will send monitors to newsrooms across the country who will ask questions regarding the “philosophy” of the newsroom, inquire about possible conflicts between reporters and their bosses, and even determine how much influence each individual has in deciding what to report."

"If radio and television stations resist coughing up confidential employee data (including demographic information) to aid the FCC monitors, the study also (on pages 10 and 11) provides helpful “strategies” for obtaining information -- even when employers and their Human Resources departments refuse to cooperate."

The roadmap to censorship is clear. Expect this study to show that some news organizations are failing to cover the “right” stories – thus failing to give the people what they “need.”

Best hope Ted Cruz doesn't take over (gulp!).

ruddski
ruddski

It's a good thing this venue is not subject to Obama's FCC, the common commentariat might be shut down for the collective good, there's so much that is improper here.

ruddski
ruddski

Colorado cookie dough!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@bvckvs @AdamsonScott  sorry holmes, once you hold a PUBLIC office, your private life is free game.  You want a public office and probably obtained it on a public image, well if the private life doesnt match the public image, its fair game holmes

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@ruddski  

nougat  (ˈnuːɡɑː, ˈnʌɡət)  — na hard chewy pink or white sweet containing chopped nuts, cherries, etc

ruddski
ruddski

@observist

"Nugent said he apologizes "for using the streetfighter terminology of 'subhuman mongrel' instead of just using more understandable language, such as 'violator of his oath to the Constitution'."

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Yeah, that old testicle just exuded love and understanding. Bout as much as Jerry and Pat.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @DonkeyHotay @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  



Leviticus? ... fun times!


All who curse their father or mother must be put to death.  They are guilty of a capital offense. 
-- Leviticus 20:9


If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. 
-- Leviticus 20:10


A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death.

-- Leviticus 21:9


If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins.  I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle  

-- Leviticus 26:21



OBEY your God's COMMANDS !!

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