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Thursday, June 28, 2007

[TX] Deputy Finch testified he felt "like a monster"

The jury will come back with a verdict on Van Zandt County Deputy James Finch any moment now. Before the attention shifts to guilt and sentencing, for his ex-wife I'd like to pause on some things that came out during the trial. (He was fired the day of the standoff with fellow deputies - June 24, 2006, but when it happened, he was a man of the law.)

Ex-wife takes stand at trial of former lawman
The Palestine Herald
June 22, 2007
...On Thursday, the eight-woman, four-man jury heard from Finch’s ex-wife... the couple had divorced approximately nine months prior to the June 2006 incident after 16 years of marriage... He turned his head and kind of grinned and said, "Is that so b----?" and he raised his gun and started firing at me... The woman testified that Finch fired "two or three" shots initially before taking her phone away and striking her in the head with his service revolver... the woman said her ex-husband stated, "’Nobody can help you now, b----’ and shot me in the foot"... the woman testified her ex-husband physically assaulted her by banging her head on various surfaces throughout the residence; sodomized her with his pistol; placed the pistol in her mouth on multiple occasions; and also forced her to drink his urine. At one point, James Finch made her "suck" her own blood off of his pistol... He kept saying, "It’s over tonight, b----. We die tonight"... In addition to the gunshot wound to her left big toe, the woman said her other injuries included scalp lacerations; a broken finger; and a concussion...

Nurse testifies during Finch trial Saturday
The Palestine Herald
June 24, 2007
...Testimony has showed that Finch fired a shot "over" — but in the general direction of — multiple officers stationed outside his ex-wife’s mobile home... Sue Hinson, the SANE nurse who examined Finch’s ex-wife at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler just hours after the incident, testified Thursday, telling the jury she believed "dots" seen inside the woman’s vaginal walls were probably caused by a gun... Using "reasonable medical probability," Sokolowski asked the state’s expert if she felt the alleged victim’s injuries were caused by a penis or gun. "I would say it was caused by the gun...or some other object," Hinson testified...

Deliberations to start in ex-lawman's trial
The Palestine Herald
June 26, 2007
...James Allen Finch, 39, of Athens is being tried on three counts of aggravated sexual assault and single counts of attempted capital murder; aggravated assault on a public servant; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; aggravated kidnapping; burglary of a habitation; and endangering a child in connection with the incident occurring during the wee morning hours of June 24, 2006 at his ex-wife’s mobile home... Around 1 a.m. on June 24, 2006, Finch, with his pistol and coke/whiskey mixed in a two-liter Coke bottle in tow, told the jury that he departed his apartment in Athens en route to his wife’s mobile home outside of Frankston. "I was just going to tell her I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was planning on making her watch me kill myself. I just wanted her to see the consequences of what she’d done... I climbed up on top of her and started hitting her on the back of the head as hard as I could...with my fists," Finch testified. "To be fair, you beat her up?" Calhoon asked. "Bad," Finch answered... After seeing the "blood seeping out and everything," Finch testified he felt "like a monster"...

Lawyers' Closing Arguments Entered
Tyler Morning Telegraph, TX
June 27, 2007
...[Assistant District Attorney Stanley] Sokolowski said Finch had a "selective" memory when he took the stand Monday. He said Finch, who dialed *67 to hide his phone number from a 911 dispatcher, didn't remember reporting a fake robbery as a means to distract Frankston police the night of the standoff...

Deliberations to continue in former lawman's trial
The Palestine Herald
June 27, 2007
The jury is considering nine charges against Finch, including three counts of aggravated sexual assault and single counts of attempted capital murder; aggravated assault on a public servant; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; aggravated kidnapping; burglary of a habitation; and endangering a child... On several occasions, jurors were shown photographs of the alleged victim’s blood-soaked hair — which was naturally dark blonde but appeared to be red in the photos — and the residence which had mostly "pattern" blood stains, but also at least two "impact" stains, throughout it... Finch denied vaginally, anally and orally assaulting his ex-wife with his weapon, testifying, instead, that she attempted to initiate sexual relations in an effort, in his opinion, to calm him down... The defendant’s ex-wife testified last week that "18 or 20" staples were used to close her head wound...

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