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Watkins’ No-Show Infuriates District Court Judge

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins refused to appear in court Thursday to answer allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and a possible FBI probe.

Watkins’ no-show capped weeks of accusations, claims, and counter-claims and left 204th District Court Judge Lena Levario frustrated.  “Him violating a court order to come down to the courtroom is a serious concern,” she said, and assistant prosecutor Teresa Guerra Snelson responded, “Your honor, he really is ill,” even though Watkins was reportedly at the office and working.   Earlier, another DA prosecutor asserted executive privilege.

The dizzying events leading up to the showdown revolve around Al Hill III, a Hunt family heir.

With political power player Lisa Blue as his attorney, Hill won $115 million in an inheritance case years ago.  But in court documents, Blue claims Hill didn’t pay her $50 million legal fee, so she sued.

As that case was going to court, the DA’s office indicted Hill for felony mortgage fraud.  Hill’s attorney claims the indictment was a deal between Watkins and Blue as a favor to Blue, who is also a Watkins campaign donor, among other office holders she supports.

Hill attorney John Hueston told reporters, “And they repeatedly called each other on the eve of the indictment that she so wanted right before she had a civil case proceeding with $50 million at stake. At the hearing today we intended to pull back this corrupt curtain on the deal that they reached.”

Blue plead Fifth Amendment privileges and Watkins didn’t show.  Hill’s attorney said he was both surprised and disappointed that Blue took the Fifth Amendment in today’s hearing.  “It’s undisputed, as we argued in court and in our papers, that the District Attorney in this case contacted his most important political donor, Lisa Blue, and asked, ‘Are you interested in the criminal indictments of the Hills?’”

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