Expert Witness Update - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

KTEN News Special Assignment Investigation

Expert Witness Update

Updated: Feb 28, 2008 05:37 PM CST
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An update on a story we broke Thursday night at 10: As we reported, a sexual abuse expert is accused of lying on the stand. Carolyn Ridling testified she was certified by the Attorney General of Texas, but has not been certified for the past three and a half years.

Meanwhile, Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown sent an e-mail to KTEN Friday morning. He took exception to our report, as well as this quote by Sherman Criminal Defense Attorney Don Bailey.

Bailey said, "She's testified in several hundred cases in nine different counties that border the Red River. And there's probably several hundred of those people who are in prison because of her testimony, and it was false."

Joe Brown contends that, "The trial court and a court of appeals had reviewed the Fannin County case in which Ms. Riddling testified wrongly, and both courts upheld the convictions."

He also says that in one case, "A Grayson County Judge had considered Mr. Don Bailey's complaint about her testimony, and denied to grant a new trial."

As for Randy Garsee's report Thursday night on KTEN News at 10, Brown wrote, "Mr. Garsee's piece was slanted, and designed to inflame, with no regard for the facts. To run with Don Bailey's quote...  and not challenge that quote is absolutely embarrassing journalism. There is absolutely no evidence to support that position, and Mr. Garsee knew it. I hope you expect better than that.  I will not trust that man in the future."

We, here at KTEN, stand by the report.

We also spoke with Fannin County District Attorney Richard Glaser, Friday.

He says he will continue with his inquiry into Carolyn Ridling's testimony, and thinks it will go to the grand jury in March or April.

Editor's note: Below is the entire e-mail sent to KTEN's General Manager, Asa Jessee, and KTEN's News Director, Steve Korioth:

Asa and Steve:

I was very disappointed in the way Randy Garsee presented the story on Carolyn Riddling.   Both Richard Glaser and I made ourselves available and were very cooperative in providing him information.    The piece he produced ignored some of the most important pieces of information which we gave him, and instead was clearly designed to sensationalize the story.

Specifically, Mr. Garsee did not report that both the trial court and a court of appeals had reviewed the Fannin County case in which Ms. Riddling testified wrongly, and both courts upheld the convictions.  He was also told how a Grayson County judge had considered Mr. Don Bailey's complaint about her testimony and denied to grant a new trial.  Further, he did not report that Carolyn Riddling was at all times qualified to testified to the matters that she did, and that the certification she claimed was not required to be a witness in the cases in which she testified.

I addressed all of these things with Mr Garsee, and stressed the importance of them.    He edited my comments to dramatize the situation, and ignored the facts that were contrary to his agenda.

Unfortunately, it was very clear that Mr. Garsee had an agenda in this case from the very first time he called.   At my office, he spoke of how he knew what the ratings were between your station and Channel 10, and that he was going to fix that.   I really hope that his efforts at ratings will not result in the kind of poor journalism he displayed on this piece.   I always try to be polite to your reporters and give them as much information as I can.   At a minimum, I would expect them to accurately present both sides of an issue.

Mr. Garsee's piece was slanted, and designed to inflame, with no regard for the facts.   To run with Don Bailey's quote to the effect of "There are several hundred people in prison because of her testimony, and it was false" and not challenge that quote is absolutely embarassing journalism.   There is absolutely no evidence to support that position, and Mr. Garsee knew it.    I hope you expect better than that.    I will not trust that man in the future.

Sincerely,  

Joe Brown
District Attorney
Grayson County, Texas

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