Taking The Fifth
May 20 | 1 Comment
So, just as I got done with the other donkey story I find yet another one. Consider this a special Two for Tuesday burro special. So what is it that makes donkeys the target of a litigious society? If it’s in Dallas, Tx, then it’s all about the noise.
The star witness paced outside the courthouse Wednesday, breathing hard, his head down, an American flag bandanna around his neck.
Buddy the donkey, led by Etienne Grimmett, walked ahead of owner Gregory Shamoun on the way to court Wednesday.
He said nothing to the media swarming around him. He just twitched his huge ears and swatted flies with his tail.
People had accused him of all sorts of things: He was loud. He was aggressive.
He smelled bad, too.
It saddens me to think about the state of reporting in this country. Sure the first four sentences report the scene, but was that last sentence, questioning Buddy’s hygiene, really necessary?
He was there to show the men and woman of the jury that he was none of those things.
“Call your first witness,” Judge Steven Seider said.
“Your honor, we call Buddy,” attorney Jeff Sandberg replied. “The donkey.”
Fortunately no one else in the courtroom was named Buddy The Donkey, lest confusion reign. On a side note his brother Billy was not in attendance.
With that, Buddy the donkey came clip-clopping down the black-and-white tile hallway of the North Dallas Government Center, where two neighbors were fighting about his presence in a back yard just west of Preston Hollow.
“Bringing a jackass into the courtroom? Don’t y’all see enough of them?” an onlooker asked.
As he got to the courtroom, the 3-year-old, 300-pound donkey paused. But with a quick shove from his owner and a tug on his red rope, Buddy walked slowly to the bench. He stared at the jury.
Really, bringing his age and weight into the conversation. Was that really necessary?
For several minutes, Buddy held his own. He remained calm. He was polite. He didn’t crack under cross-examination and confess. If he had to go, he held it in.
And when defense attorneys challenged whether he was in fact the real donkey in question, he didn’t blink an eye.
“Your honor, I have no questions,” Mr. Sandberg said.
“Nothing from me, your honor,” said defense attorney Quinn Chandler.
Had Johnnie Cochran been there, I imagine things would have been different. “You’re honor, I request that Buddy put his leg into the hoof mold taken from the property.”
Buddy then puts in his one oversized hoof, making it too big for the cast.
Cries of “If the hoof doesn’t fit, you must acquit!” would surely follow.
“The witness is excused,” Judge Seider said.
Buddy went outside. The proceedings continued.
The trial lasted three hours. But as the jury went to deliberate, the neighbors settled their dispute.
Buddy left the courtroom with his head held high.
“Well, you’ve had your day in court,” said his handler, Etienne Grimmett. “Let’s go get some coyotes.”
Coyotes? I’d think Buddy would rather have just had a ride back home or at least not have to carry the case files in a sack on his walk back home.