|Mary Tipton Received No Justice|
from District Attorney Luis V. Saenz
District Attorney Luis Saenz gives lip service in the above advertised photo-op that portrays him as the ultimate advocate for battered women, victims of domestic violence and crime in Cameron County.
If the once-beautiful Mary Tipton, victim of a hit-and-run accident on FM 803 in February 2015 could still speak, she would disagree with DA Saenz' grandiose portrayal of himself.
Yes, Saenz met with Mary's family, including her husband, Ralph Tipton, Ralph's dad and son, Mary's two sisters and two brothers. He comforted one of the crying sisters and promised the family that he personally would prosecute this case. That lovefest occurred in March 2015.
After meeting with the family, DA Saenz decided he had too much on his proverbial plate and assigned the case to Oscar Guzman, a prosecutor in his office.
Meanwhile Brownsville Police Department Detective Thomas Clipper discovered security video in a warehouse on FM 803 that covered the entire accident. Clipper watched the video for "three days," as noted in his report, the video covered the accident from beginning to end, showing Marisa Govea Hernandez' white Volkswagen striking Mary Tipton while southbound on FM 803.
Inexplicably, when Prosecutor Oscar Guzman received the video from the Brownsville Police Department, it had been reduced to a mere 30 seconds. Guzman found the video "inadequate" evidence to prosecute and arranged a plea hearing. That plea hearing was set for June 28, 2016.
Ralph Tipton showed up for the hearing, despite not being directly notified by the DA's office or his lawyer, Oscar Alvarez from McAllen. Prosecutor Guzman was a no show, as was Attorney Alvarez, prompting Judge Rene De Coss to say, according to Ralph Tipton, that "he'd never seen anything like this in 20 years. . . no DA, no evidence, nothing and no one knows what's going on."
When Ralph Tipton approached Court Reporter Rachel Kram for a transcript of the incredible hearing, he was told that "the machine was down" for the hearing and there was no transcript.
A reader commented that the handling of this case resembles the Keystone Cops, but likely few in this reading audience are old enough to remember Abbott and Costello. Actually, we've reported just a glimpse of the DA's office participation, not said much about BPD Officer Clipper or Attorney Alvarez.
The fucking irony is that Mary Tipton may very well have been one of those victims proclaimed so publicly he would protect, a victim of domestic violence. Her husband, Ralph Tipton, told me that she was a member of three battered women advocacy groups, and, that she spent considerable time on the phone assisting victims before her death.
None of us lived with Ralph and Mary Tipton. We don't know if she was, in any sense, a battered woman. We do know she was struck by Marisa Govea Hernandez on February 28, 2015 and Hernandez did not stop to render aid.
We also know that District Attorney Luis Saenz, a blowhard, not embarrassed to advertise his accomplishments, has been totally impotent in prosecuting Mary Tipton's case.