December 22, 2004
What's missing from this story?

Here's a story about an outgoing District Attorney. Can you tell what's missing?

When Terry McEachern goes to court after Jan. 1, he´ll be gazing up from the defense table instead of the prosecution table he´s occupied for nearly 20 years as district attorney for Hale and Swisher counties.

After losing his bid for re-election in November, the 54-year-old career prosecutor and former college football player has been setting up shop in the Skaggs Building, where he´ll focus on family, personal injury and criminal law.

“The juries I´ve worked with have been absolutely fantastic and I´m looking forward to seeing jurors again - this time from the defense side of things,” said McEachern, who grew up on a Swisher County farm and who has garnered a 90 percent conviction rate as prosecutor - three points over the state average.


Among the things he´s “proud of” during his 19-year tenure as DA, McEachern cited:

•Establishment of the SANE program for sexual assault victims.

•Setting up the second accident reconstruction program in the state, which led to a stiff sentence for a drunk driver in a multi-fatality accident near 24th and Joliet several years ago.

•Serving as a board member for the Texas DA & County Attorney Association.

•Receiving the Department of Public Safety´s Director´s Award in 1995 - the highest civilian honor accorded by the DPS.

•And establishment of the first victim´s assistance program in Hale County.

“But what´s given me the most satisfaction,” he said, “has been seeing some of the people who worked for me rise to positions of higher authority.”

Give up? Terry McEachern was the prosecutor in the Tulia drug bust cases. You know, the ones that featured the lying undercover cop Tom Coleman, for which a specially appointed judge threw out all of the convictions based on Coleman's utter lack of credibility as a witness? Those cases. I can't imagine McEachern would have considered that a highlight of his career, but you'd think his professional obituary would have at least touched on it.

Lauri from Tres Chicas (who has some prior experience with former DA McEachern) caught this, and she has a coda to add. I found her post at Grits for Breakfast.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 22, 2004 to Crime and Punishment | TrackBack