Friday, May 1, 2015

Two Strike Felon, Tex McDonald Expected to Take GUILTY PLEA DEAL in Chukchansi Raid.

The Fresno Bee's Marc Benjamin has the details on a plea deal that would keep felon Tex McDonald from becoming a 3rd strike felon.  Lucky Tex.

Tex McDonald, the former chairman of Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, is expected to take a plea deal Friday in Madera County Superior Court that allows him to avoid a possible third strike for his involvement in the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino office raid in October.

McDonald’s lawyer, Antonio Alvarez, said his client intends to plead to a “non-strike felony” that will let him out of jail within a few months. “I think we are going to resolve,” said Alvarez. “We have a framework in place, we just have to iron out the details.”

Other participants in the raid that led to the casino and hotel closure may have their cases resolved Friday, too, lawyers in the case said.

But some of the men who served as “tribal police” in the raid said they will not take a plea bargain offered by Madera County District Attorney David Linn, because it will affect their abilities to get jobs in the future.

Linn said that he is offering to whittle down the more than a dozen charges against most of the 15 men to one count of false imprisonment and possibly a lesser charge. The officers and three employees of the McDonald faction’s tribal police said they will consider the offer. Tribal council member Vernon King also is considering his options, a tribal official said. King and McDonald are the only two of the 15 defendants who remain in jail since their arrests six months ago.

If they reject the plea deals, the remaining defendants will have a preliminary hearing, the stage that determines whether the case goes to trial, said lawyer Mark Coleman, who represents eight of the 10 officers and one tribal employee.

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