7 Best 'Criminal Minds' Episodes That Could Foreshadow a JJ & Reid Relationship (PHOTOS) – TVInsider

Criminal Minds surprised fans when it ended its 14th season with JJ’s (AJ Cook) love confession, and now everyone’s waiting to see how the CBS drama’s final season will address that big moment.

In “Truth or Dare,” while being held at gunpoint and with lives on the line, JJ told Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), “I’ve always loved you. I was just too scared to say it before.” Unfortunately, things had just become too complicated for the two. (After all, she is married with children — and Reid is their godfather.)

But while the confession may have seemingly come out of nowhere, given that the last time the series truly considered JJ and Reid a potential match was way back in Season 1, there have been hints over the years since.

Click through the gallery above to see the key episodes that might have foreshadowed that finale moment.

Criminal Minds, 15th and Final Season, Coming Soon, CBS

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Jeffrey Epstein dies by suicide a month after arrest in child sex trafficking case – CNBC

U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout via REUTERS.

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services | Handout | Reuters

Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier criminally charged last month with child sex trafficking, has died by apparent suicide, according to the Justice Department

Epstein, 66, hanged himself in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was being held without bail, sources told NBC News. He was found at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

He was transported by the FDNY-EMS from the jail to New York Downtown Hospital. When they arrived, Epstein was in cardiac arrest, sources told NBC. He was subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff. The FBI is investigating the incident.

Epstein was being held without bail in the jail since his arrest in early July at an airport in northern New Jersey after arriving there on his private plane on a flight from Paris.

He was previously put on suicide watch after he was found semi-conscious on the floor of his jail cell on July 23 with marks on his neck. Multiple people familiar with the investigation say that Epstein was in his own cell, but was not currently on suicide watch at the time of his death.

Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” by Epstein’s suicide and said the inspector general was opening an investigation in addition to the FBI.

“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said. “In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”

Epstein, a one-time friend of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, was accused of sexually exploiting dozens of underage girls, some of whom were as young as 14.

A video still from the NBC archive showing Donald Trump talking with Jeffrey Epstein at a party in Mar-A-Lago from 1992.

NBC

He pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faced a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison if convicted.

The New York City medical examiner’s office said it is investigating Epstein’s “cause and manner of death.”

Court documents unsealed

A federal appeals court on Friday unsealed nearly 2,000 pages of documents, including one that contains records showing that President Donald Trump flew on Epstein’s private plane in 1997.

Another document showed that an accuser said Epstein’s alleged procurer of underage girls, Ghislaine Maxwell, directed the accuser to have sex with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, a Maine Democrat, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and other prominent people.

Those files released Friday are part of a defamation lawsuit that Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers, filed against Maxwell several years ago. Both Mitchell and Richardson have denied ever meeting Giuffre. Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz also has denied Giuffre’s claims to have had sex with him at Maxwell’s behest when Giuffre was underage.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.

Joe Schildhorn | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

Epstein’s criminal defense lawyer Reid Weingarten did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. Attorney Office in Manhattan and the FBI NY Office have no comment.

But in a statement to The New York Times, Weingarten and two other Epstein attorneys, Marty Weinberg and Michael Miller, said they could not confirm his cause of death and trusted it would be investigated by the United States Attorney’s office and the United States Marshals Service.

“We are enormously sorry to learn of today’s news. No one should die in jail,” they said, according to The Times.

Marc Fernich, one of Epstein’s attorneys, on Saturday blasted prosecutors who he said were “bent on locking up a presumptively innocent man posing no real danger or flight risk,” as well as politicians “who wrote the restrictive bail laws that empower them to do it.”

He also blamed the press, saying it recharged Epstein with “dated crimes for which he’d long since paid his debt to society under an arms length plea deal just because he had the misfortune to be a wealthy man in the #metoo era whose former prosecutor happened to take a job with President Trump.”

“Unfortunate and predictable”

Brad Edwards, an attorney representing some Epstein accusers, called his death “both unfortunate and predictable.”

“The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation, and corruption unraveled is both unfortunate and predictable,” said Edwards in a statement obtained by NBC News.

“The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused.”

Annie Farmer and Courtney Wild, alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein, look on as their lawyers speak to the press at federal court following a bail hearing for Jeffrey Epstein, July 15, 2019 in New York City.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Gerald Lefcourt, a New York lawyer who previously represented Epstein in a similar case in the mid-2000s in Florida, was stunned to learn he had killed himself.

“It’s shocking, totally shocking,” Lefcourt told CNBC in a phone interview.

Lefcourt said Epstein’s suicide was shocking not only because of the circumstances of where it occurred, but also because of Lefcourt and Epstein’s current legal team belief that they could win a dismissal of the pending federal criminal case.

“When somebody is suicidal, you just take better care of them,” Lefcourt said. “This is unheard of, where there’s a suicide attempt, and he’s not closely watched so he can’t hurt himself. It’s just crazy. It’s not understandable.”

Controversial 2007 non-prosecution deal

Lefcourt in recent weeks had been consulting with Epstein’s current defense lawyers about a non-prosecution deal that Lefcourt had cut with the U.S. Justice Department in 2007, that said Epstein would not be federally prosecuted in Florida as part of a probe there involving suspected sexual abuse of underage girls.

The deal called for Epstein to plead guilty to prostitution-related charges involving an underage girl in a case lodged by a state prosecutor, and to register as a sex offender. In exchange, Epstein and his suspected co-conspirators would not be hit with far more serious federal criminal charges.

U.S. Attorney for Manhattan Geoffrey Berman has said that deal did not prevent Berman’s office from filing the new child sex trafficking case against Epstein last month, even though it involves the same time frame, the same conduct and Epstein’s home in Florida. Berman said the 2007 deal did not bar him, or federal prosecutors outside of southern Florida, from charging Epstein for the same conduct and time frame.

Lefcourt said Berman is wrong. “The deal, if you read it, says to cover all federal and state liability, and even mentions this statute” of sex trafficking, Lefcourt said. “We were preparing to argue that the deal covers this.”

“If you read the agreement, and know that it was approved by the deputy attorney general of the United States, and there was no new women” alleged to be abused since 2007 then the current prosecution “should have been precluded,” Epstein said.

Tampering with potential witnesses

Epstein’s bail was denied in mid-July when U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled he was a potential danger to “new victims” from his apparently “uncontrollable” sexual fixation on young girls, and the risk that Epstein would flee to avoid prosecution for child sex trafficking charges.

Courtroom sketch showing Jeffrey Epstein at his bail hearing in New York on July 15th, 2019.

Artist: Christine Cornell

“This newly discovered evidence also suggests that Mr. Epstein poses ‘ongoing and forward-looking danger,'” the judge wrote. “Mr. Epstein’s dangerousness is considerable and includes sex crimes with minor girls and tampering with potential witnesses.”

That tampering included payments to potential witnesses and possible co-conspirators on the heels of a series of stories in the Miami Herald about Epstein last winter.

Those articles looked back at the prior Florida state and federal investigations into Epstein in the mid-2000s. Those probes focused on Epstein’s hyper-obsessive fixation on receiving daily massages from underage girls and young-looking women at his Palm Beach, Florida, mansion.

Epstein received as many as three “massages” each day at his home from the girls and women, who were paid several hundred dollars per session.

Multiple women ended up saying that the massages were of a sexual nature. And a number of those women said that Epstein engaged in sexual conduct with them when they were underage.

Registered sex offender

Epstein hired a group of high-powered lawyers to defend himself during the probes. His legal team grew after local police, frustrated at what they saw as a state prosecutor’s reluctance to bring serious charges in the case, took evidence to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, the top prosecutor for the area.

That office, led at the time by Alex Acosta, did investigate Epstein.

But in what because a highly controversial decision, Acosta ultimately decided to only sign a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein that let the financier off the hook for serious federal charges.

In exchange, Epstein agreed to plead guilty to minor prostitution-related charges involving an underage girl — charges that were lodged by state prosecutors. Epstein served just 13 months in jail in that case, but much of that time was spent on work release, and jailers reportedly kept his cell door open at night.

As a result of that earlier case, Epstein registered as a sex offender. Acosta’s non-prosecution deal with Epstein generated widespread outrage last month on the heels of Epstein’s arrest for the new federal case in Manhattan.

Critics questioned why Acosta, who by then was Trump’s Labor secretary, had given what was now seen as a sweet-heart deal to Epstein. The deal is under investigation by an internal watchdog at the Justice Department, and has already been blasted by a federal judge because of Acosta’s failure to notify Epstein’s accusers at the time it was being crafted.

Acosta resigned as Labor secretary shortly after Epstein’s arrest last month.

U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta makes a statement on his involvement in a non-prosecution agreement with financier Jeffrey Epstein, who has now been charged with sex trafficking in underage girls, during a news conference at the Labor Department in Washington, July 10, 2019.

Leah Millis | Reuters

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Federal prosecutors confirm that the Epstein sex trafficking investigation will continue despite his death

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference, in New York, Monday, July 8, 2019. Federal prosecutors announced sex trafficking and conspiracy charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. Court documents unsealed Monday show Epstein is charged with creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

  • Federal prosecutors confirmed Saturday they will continue their investigation into Jeffrey Epstein and the charges against him of sex trafficking minors and conspiracy.
  • Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell early Saturday morning.
  • US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said, “today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court.”
  • The FBI and the Office of the Inspector General have opened investigations into the circumstances of Epstein’s apparent suicide, which occurred at 6:30 AM in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center by hanging. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The case against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy, will continue despite his death by apparent suicide early Saturday morning in a Manhattan jail.

The office of the US Attorney of the Southern District of New York released a statement confirming that the investigation into the charges is ongoing. It emphasized the count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, and urged any victims or people with relevant information to call the FBI. 

Berman also confirmed that the staff of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan found Epstein unresponsive in his cell and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after. The US Department of Justice clarified Saturday that Epstein was found at around 6:30 AM and that staff performed “life-saving measures.”

“Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court,” Berman’s statement said. “To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment – which included a conspiracy count – remains ongoing.”

Read more: ‘He had the misfortune to be a wealthy man in the #metoo era’: Epstein’s lawyer blames prosecutors, jailers, judge, and reporters for his client’s death

Just weeks before Epstein’s death, he was found unresponsive and injured in his cell with what appeared to be self-inflicted marks around his neck. He was briefly hospitalized and put on suicide watch, but The New York Times reported Saturday he was returned to the jail’s special housing unit July 29.

Both the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General have opened investigations into Epstein’s in-custody death, per Attorney General William Barr’s request.

The wealthy financier was indicted on accusations that he operated a sex trafficking ring involving dozens of sexually assaulted underage girls between at least the years of 2002 and 2005, involving his residences in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida.

Previously, Epstein had signed a secretive plea agreement that allowed him to serve just 13 months in jail out of an 18-month sentence for two counts of soliciting underage women for prostitution in Palm Beach. 

A lawyer for Epstein said in a statement that federal prosecutors and the judge overseeing Epstein’s case were in part to blame for his death. US District Judge Richard Berman recently denied Epstein’s request for bail, deeming him a threat to public safety, a flight risk, and a potential risk for obstruction of justice.

Epstein’s accusers have said they are “angry” at his death, with one stating that she believes her opportunity for closure has been taken away from her. 

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Here's the Real Reason Shemar Moore Left 'Criminal Minds' – countryliving.com

Shemar Moore played B.A.U. heartthrob Derek Morgan for 11 years on Criminal Minds. Viewers were obsessed with the hunky profiler who wasn’t afraid to chase down the most dangerous serial killers in the country.

But fans were crushed in 2016 when Shemar said farewell to the CBS series, and there are still a lot of questions today. Why, exactly, did he leave? And will he be back for the final episode ever of Criminal Minds? Here’s what we know.

shemar moore criminal minds

CBS Photo Archive

What Happened to Morgan on “Criminal Minds?”

Thankfully, the Criminal Minds writers took it easy on our hearts. While Morgan did have an emotional last season—he was kidnapped, nearly killed, found out his girlfriend and future wife was pregnant, etc.—Morgan didn’t die at the end of it.

A Beautiful Disaster

amazon.com

Instead, his character chose to exit the B.A.U. to spend time with his family, particularly his newborn son. Many tears were cried during his final moments, but the characters all supported Morgan’s decision to leave, including his BFF Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and his “baby girl,”, Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness).

Why did Shemar Moore really leave?

Shemar had similar reasons as Morgan for wanting to exit the show, and none of them were hostile. He told TVGuide that he wanted to explore other opportunities and “see what I’m capable of.” But Shemar was also searching for some personal growth, as well.

criminal minds cast

The best in the B.A.U.

ERIC MCCANDLESS

“I wanted to see what the next chapter of my acting career is and also have a little balance so I could pursue other avenues of my life,’ he said. “I want to get married, I want to have kids, I want to travel.”

What episode does Derek Morgan come back to on “Criminal Minds?”

criminal minds morgan garcia

These two will always be our favorites.

CBS Photo Archive

Because his exit wasn’t contentious, Shemar was open to the idea of returning to Criminal Minds, and he did so during the season 12 finale, and once more in season 13.

So, do we think he’ll appear in the series finale?

If we had to guess, we’d say there’s a pretty good chance. Although he’s busy with S.W.A.T., Shemar appears to have nothing but love for his former show, so it seems likely that he’d want to be a part of its goodbye.

“If I’m asked intermittently to come back like they did at The Young and the Restless, from my heart, the answer is yes, yes, yes, yes,” he’s said in the past. “But I don’t know where I’m going to be in my career and my life when that time comes. But is it possible? Yes, it’s possible.”

Fingers crossed!

Megan Stein is the senior editor for CountryLiving.com, covering entertainment news ranging from outrageous moments on “The Voice,” to the latest happenings with HGTV stars.

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Curt Rockway's National Anthem Attack Because Of Trump, Says Lawyer | Crime Time – Oxygen

Curt Brockway, a 39-year-old military veteran, who allegedly choke-slammed a 13-year-old — and fractured his skull — for refusing to remove his hat during the national anthem at a Montana rodeo was indirectly given “permission” to carry out the attack by President Trump’s language, according to his attorney.

Criminal defense lawyer Lance Jasper said President Trump’s divisive rhetoric drove Brockway to grab a teenager by the throat and slam him to the ground at Mineral County Fairgrounds. 

“His commander-in-chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” Jasper told the Missoulian. “He certainly didn’t understand it was a crime.”

He added that he also plans to use “mental illness or brain injury” in his client’s defense. 

Brockway was honorably discharged from the military due to severe brain trauma sustained during a vehicular accident, he stated, adding that the damage to his client’s frontal lobe perpetually plagues Brockway’s judgement and decision-making. This condition, combined with Trump’s language — like the president’s verbal attacks on kneeling football players — triggered Brockway’s violent outburst, he said. 

“[Brockway] owes a big portion of accountability for what took place, but it’s certain that there was other things at work here that definitely contributed,” Jasper explained. “Trump never necessarily says go hurt somebody, but the message is absolutely clear. I am certain of the fact that [Brockway] was doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president.”

“Whether that passes muster with the court as a viable defense is for a different day,” he said.

Jasper didn’t respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.

Brockway has been charged with felony assault on a minor. He was previously stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, the New York Post reported. 

Mineral County District Attorney Ellen Donohue said Brockway felt justified in his actions, the New York Post also reported. The prosecutor said she thought Brockway believed “he had every right” to harm the teen because he was disrespecting the national anthem.

The teen, police say, turned 13 in February. When Brockway demanded the teen take his hat off, the boy allegedly swore at Brockway. Police said Brockway then slammed the teen so hard that the boy was bleeding from his ears and required to be airlifted for treatment. 

“It’s just a lot of pain in my head,” the teen, who has not been named, told local television station KPAX after the incident. 

“I don’t remember anything — the rodeo, the helicopter — nothing.” 

The teen has since been released from the hospital.

Brockway’s arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 14, according to the Mineral County officials. 

In 2011, Brockway was convicted of aggravated assault with a weapon, after he pulled a semi-automatic handgun on a family member in a road rage incident, according to Mineral County court documents obtained by Oxygen.com. Brockway was serving a 10-year probationary sentence related to that conviction, but he successfully petitioned for early release in February, according to the Missoulian. 

Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen’s original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content. 

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Hong Kong activists use 'Pokémon Go' and Tinder to organize as police crack down on protests

hong kong protest

  • Protesters in Hong Kong have made creative use of technology like AirDrop and Tinder to spread information about the pro-democracy protests, despite increasingly brutal tactics by the Hong Kong police.
  • China is also using tech platforms to distribute information about the protest to mainlanders — pro-military propaganda videos shared via the Chinese version of TikTok.
  • While China has not yet intervened in the protests, which started in response to a proposed extradition bill that would allow Hong Kongers to be sent to mainland China for trial, officials have warned against continued protest. A representative for China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Bureau sent a warning to protesters, saying that “those who play with fire will perish by it.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories

As protests in Hong Kong continue into their third month, the police response has become more violent, masked men with gang ties have beaten protesters, and the Chinese government is making veiled threats. And as the crackdowns get more severe, activists are becoming more creative with their organizing tactics, using Tinder, “Pokémon Go,” and the iPhone’s AirDrop feature to organize.

Tinder, the popular dating app, is one method of sharing information about demonstrations. Gavin Huang, an editor for Goldthread, shared a photo of a Tinder profile he encountered on Twitter.

The South China Morning Post reports that, while most online organizing is still done on LIHKG, Hong Kong’s version of Reddit, protesters are exploring new ways of sharing information, including with Chinese mainlanders visiting Hong Kong. 

Read more: Pop star Denise Ho called for China’s removal from the UN Human Rights Council over Hong Kong, and a Chinese diplomat tried to shut her down

Because most information mainlanders receive about the protests is limited to government propaganda, Hong Kongers are using AirDrop to share information with them about why the protests are happening — namely, the desire for more democratic freedoms for the semiautonomous territory.

Protesters are also using the Apple feature to share protest information with one another, the South China Morning Post reported.

The Hong Kong police are using new tactics meant to deter protests and target activists, including marking protesters with colored ink, which makes them easier to track. Protesters have been using green lasers to obscure their faces on facial-recognition cameras.

While the Chinese government and armed forces are not directly involved in the protests, the government is also using 21st-century tech to spread its message about the protests. According to the outlet Abacus, the Chinese government is using Douyin, its version of TikTok, to share video of an anti-riot drill by the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison. The video got 88 million likes.

A representative for China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Bureau warned protesters that “those who play with fire will perish by it,” according to The Independent. The representative, Yang Guang, released a document warning pro-democracy protesters that punishment from the mainland was “only a matter of time.”

“I would like to warn all of the criminals: don’t ever misjudge the situation and mistake our restraint for weakness,” he wrote.

Yet the protests continue. When the Hong Kong police refused to allow a demonstration in a suburban neighborhood, protesters told them they came to play “Pokémon Go.”

SEE ALSO: US military bases are still using Chinese surveillance video cameras just weeks before a federal ban takes effect

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‘Criminal Minds’ & ‘Teen Wolf’ Creator Jeff Davis Inks Broadcast-Only Overall Deal With Fox – Deadline

Jeff Davis has signed a direct, exclusive, broadcast-only overall deal with Fox. Under the agreement, the Criminal Minds and Teen Wolf creator will develop scripted dramas for the Fox network in what marks Fox Entertainment’s first direct, overall term deal.

The pact, announced today during Fox’s presentation at the TCA summer press tour, marks the first talent deal signed by the Fox broadcast network since its split from studio 20th Century Fox TV earlier this year following the completion of the Disney-Fox acquisition.

Signing overall and development/script deals directly with writers and develop projects internally before laying them off at outside studios was a key part of the strategy laid out by Fox brass last summer as it prepared for a future as an independent.

“Jeff is a singular talent with a unique voice. His ability to create an incredibly wide range of shows – from character-driven procedurals like Criminal Minds to pop culture-piercing coming-of-age stories like Teen Wolf – is what makes this deal so significant,” said Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment, Fox Entertainment. “As the company’s first direct overall deal, it has even greater significance because it underscores our commitment to being in business with the industry’s best creators – and offering them flexibility and backend, both rare commodities in today’s marketplace.”

Davis created CBS drama series Criminal Minds, which is going in to its 15th and final season. He also created and served as showrunner on Teen Wolf, which ran for six seasons and was the highest-rated scripted series in MTV history. He has developed pilots for a number of networks, and along with producer David Janollari, he currently is working on a pilot for Syfy, based on the classic series Night Gallery.

The deal reunites Davis with Thorn.

“Producing the pilot of Teen Wolf with Michael Thorn not only began one of the best professional experiences I’ve had, but set a high bar for collaborative partners that I’ve sought to replicate ever since,” Davis added. “The chance to do it again with him, Charlie Collier, Charlie Andrews, Gabriel Marano and the rest of their team at Fox was one I couldn’t pass up.”

Davis is repped by Authentic Talent & Literary Management and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.

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El Paso lawyer with criminal record runs for district attorney on campaign of 2nd chances – El Paso Times

Longtime El Paso lawyer Roger Montoya said he is running for El Paso County district attorney, adding that he accepts responsibility for his criminal history and is building his campaign off of second chances

However, some are questioning the motives behind his campaign to replace outgoing District Attorney Jaime Esparza.

Montoya, who announced his candidacy July 20, joins a crowded race for the seat, which is already headlined by two prominent El Paso lawyers: El Paso County Assistant District Attorney James Montoya and criminal and family law attorney Yvonne Rosales.

Roger Montoya’s criminal background

Roger Montoya will enter the race with his criminal background being a main issue.

“All of the charges were misdemeanor charges at the level of conviction,” Roger Montoya said. “I have been convicted five times on misdemeanor charges. I pleaded guilty each time and accepted responsibility for my wrong actions. I served my sentences with dignity and grace.”

He was arrested several times, including two times each for discharging a firearm in a certain municipality and deadly conduct, according to court records.

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He pleaded guilty to all of the counts. The punishments ranged from two years of  probation to 90 days in the El Paso County Jail.

He also was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated last year, but the charge was dismissed in December.

Says mistakes make him better candidate

The mistakes of his past make him a more suitable candidate for district attorney as he knows what it is like to go through the criminal justice system both as a defendant and a lawyer, Roger Montoya said.

“I accepted responsibility for doing wrong things and I learned lessons from having been through the criminal justice system,” he said. “I gained perspective. It was a very humbling experience of being in jail, and I believe it is going to help me as district attorney by making me more of a humanitarian.”

He added, “I also believe it is going to help me because a lot of people perceive the current administration as thinking it has the type of people who are infallible. In other words, that they can’t be wrong. I know I can be wrong and I will have a listening ear when people tell me, ‘Roger Montoya, you are wrong and this is how and why.’ If it makes sense to me and is a logical thing, I will not have pride. I will have humility to admit when I am wrong.”

James Montoya said the convictions against Roger Montoya make him an unfit candidate for district attorney.

“Our community deserves a district attorney with a clean record,” James Montoya said. “Someone who has been convicted of threatening other citizens with deadly weapons on three separate occasions — and who was arrested for DWI last year — should not be our chief law enforcement official. How can we trust Roger to honestly prosecute the same crimes he’s committed?”

Shooting at house, road rage allegations

The first conviction of Roger Montoya stemmed from an April 16, 2008, incident in which he fired a gun at a home with people inside, according to a criminal complaint.

Roger Montoya pulled out the gun from his waistband, stated, “watch this,” and then fired two shots at the home, the complaint states. He then walked away from the home with the handgun.

He was sentenced to 15 months of probation after pleading guilty to one count of discharging a firearm in a certain municipality.

A second incident involved allegations of road rage. Roger Montoya was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault and another count of discharging a firearm in a certain municipality in connection with the Dec. 22, 2011, incident.

More: Here’s a look at ups and downs of El Paso County District Attorney Jaime Esparza’s career

More: State Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso to seek reelection to Texas House of Representatives

He allegedly threatened a person with a firearm, according to an indictment.

According to a complaint affidavit, Roger Montoya pulled out a handgun and waved it in the air at another driver after he became “angry at how people are uncourteous drivers,” the affidavit states.

He then went home and fired the weapon at a tree in his front yard.

Roger Montoya pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of deadly conduct on the aggravated assault charge. He also pleaded guilty to the discharging a firearm in a certain municipality.

He was sentenced to 24 months of probation, according to a judgment of conviction document filed in district court.

Roger Montoya was again arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault and criminal mischief in connection with a July 9, 2013, incident in which he allegedly pulled out a hammer with the intent to cause bodily harm and used the hammer to destroy a computer, according to a complaint affidavit.

More: Republican US Rep. Will Hurd won’t seek reelection, represents part of El Paso County

More: Border communities to get some federal reimbursement for migrant care from appropriations bill

He pleaded guilty to lesser charge of deadly conduct on the aggravated assault count and was sentenced to two years of probation.

Roger Montoya also pleaded guilty to the criminal mischief charge and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, court records show.

The last alleged criminal offense against Roger Montoya was a driving while intoxicated arrest May 25.

He was arrested after El Paso Police Department officers allegedly saw him swerving on the road at about 10:15 p.m. in the 9100 block of Viscount Boulevard, almost hitting a median, an affidavit states.

According to a motion to dismiss, the driving while intoxicated charge against Roger Montoya was dropped after key evidence was suppressed from being used in his trial. Court documents do not state what evidence was dismissed.

Connections with Rosales’ campaign

Roger Montoya was a big supporter of Rosales when she first ran for district attorney against incumbent Esparza in 2016.

According to Rosales’ campaign finance reports filed in July, Roger Montoya donated $50 to her 2020 campaign. He also served on her campaign’s host committee in June.

In a January 2016 campaign finance report filed by Rosales, Roger Montoya donated $100.

Through his law office, Roger Montoya donated $100 and $500 to Rosales’ 2016 campaign, according to her May 2016 campaign finance reports. He also gave her campaign a $216 in-kind donation.

“I supported her in the last election when she was running against Jaime Esparza because I genuinely believed that after 24 years that the people of this community — El Paso, Hudspeth and Culberson counties — really deserved to have a change in administration,” Roger Montoya said. “That’s why I supported the candidacy of Ms. Rosales. I genuinely believed because she had the courage to step up and challenge a person who had been firmly entrenched in their office, I believe she deserved my support.”

Now, he said, he believes he is the best candidate for district attorney as opposed to Rosales.

“I want to serve this community,” Roger Montoya said. “The voters deserve to have more than one or two choices on the ballot. If elected, I will serve this community well. I have 20 years of experience as an attorney and have tried 85 jury trials. I don’t want my candidacy to be a criticism or denunciation of Ms. Rosales.”

Rosales said that she believes Roger Montoya is now running for district attorney due to Esparza’s retirement and the differences she and Roger Montoya have on various issues.

“Yes, he was one of my backers and I appreciate the support he gave me back in the original race,” Rosales said. “When Esparza decided to announce his retirement, I guess that is when Mr. Roger Montoya decided he want to enter the race himself. I think over the years we had been discussing some of the policies and things I wanted to change. I guess we just had a difference of opinion on how certain things and programs needed to be changed and what different policies and procedures needed to be implemented.”

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Rosales said that she did not have any direct conversation with Roger Montoya about his run for district attorney, but he had told her he was considering running for the seat.

“When Mr. Esparza announced he was retiring, I was fully expecting for many people to take the opportunity to run,” Rosales said. “Nobody else wanted to challenge him before in the past, so I knew it was a likelihood that several people would enter the race.”

The connection between Roger Montoya and Rosales span more than just campaign financial support. The pair were a romantic couple more than 17 years ago.

Roger Montoya said his decision to run had nothing to do with his previous relationship with Rosales. She also said that any past connection to Roger Montoya had nothing to do with the race for district attorney and should not be brought up in the race.

“I think bringing that up is more tabloid material,” Rosales said. “It has nothing to do with the race.”

James Montoya called into question the validity of Roger Montoya’s motives and his connections with Rosales.

“Roger is completely unqualified to be this community’s district attorney and I believe his entire candidacy is a deliberate attempt by my opponents to confuse voters at the ballot box,” James Montoya said. “I find it suspect that Roger was part of Ms. Rosales’ campaign committee and donated to her as recently as last month — either Roger has totally lost confidence in her or something fishy is going on.”

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There are fears that having two Montoyas on the ballot could cause voters to be confused and split the votes between both men, which would potentially benefit Rosales.

“Frankly, these types of games show how little my opponents think of voters,” James Montoya said. “I am confident that this community will see through Roger’s charade of a candidacy. I look forward to knocking on as many doors as possible and showing that there is only one competent, honest, and professional Montoya and that’s me.”

Roger Montoya said he is not concerned over any confusion and will focus his campaign on getting his name out to the community.

“It is a potential problem,” Roger Montoya said. “But it is one that I spotted even before I announced. I am going to be dealing with that by making sure everybody knows the difference between Roger and James. As long as people know the difference of James, who is only a six-year attorney for the DA’s office, and Roger, who has 20 years experience, the voters will get it straight.”

Campaign to focus on criminal justice reform

One of the many focuses of his campaign will be criminal justice reform and providing a second chance for defendants to get their lives back on track, Roger Montoya said.

“Getting a second chance is one of the most important realizations that is being made throughout the criminal justice system,” Roger Montoya said. “Criminal justice reform is a huge movement right now. The momentum in the criminal justice reform movement right now is toward more leniency.”

Roger Montoya said that wants to bring a balance of being tough on crime while showing mercy to defendants who need a second chance.

“I want to be part of the criminal justice reform system that brings justice and mercy together,” Roger Montoya said. “We have to have balance. I know most of my opponents will be talking about being tough on crime. And of course, that is part of being the district attorney. You have to be tough when necessary, but you have to be tempered with justice and mercy.”

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Roger Montoya graduated from Cathedral High School and went on to attend the University of Notre Dame. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

He has been practicing criminal law for more than 20 years, including a stint from 1999 to 2002 as an assistant district attorney for the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office.

Aaron Martinez may be reached at 546-6249; aamartinez@elpasotimes.com; @AMartinezEPT on Twitter.

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SoftBank's Masayoshi Son says he wants to keep working with the Saudi government, despite the Khashoggi killing, in order to continue to bring the benefits AI 'to the people'

Masayoshi Son

SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son said the killing of a Washington Post journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was not something he has any inside knowledge about and stressed that his company’s efforts to develop artificial-intelligence technology with money from the Saudi government would not be affected by the matter, according to a report by Axios on Wednesday.

During an earnings call to discuss SoftBank Group’s second-quarter financial results, Son was asked about the death of Jamal Khashoggi in relation to the Saudi sovereign-wealth fund’s interest in backing Vision Fund 2, a $108 billion fund that will invest in technology startups, Axios said.

“[I’m] not in a position to know all the details of the incident,” Son said, according to Axios. “And, on the other hand, we have to continue with the efforts of AI and the technological evolution to bring benefits to the people, and we are going to make steady steps to achieve that goal.”

Son then said he would not make any further comments on the topic, according to Axios. A SoftBank representative did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.

The Saudi sovereign-wealth fund was a large contributor to SoftBank’s first Vision Fund, one of the biggest investors in Silicon Valley tech startups. But the Saudi fund was not listed as one of the confirmed backers for Vision Fund 2, which is topping out at around $108 billion in existing commitments. Son confirmed on the call that he was still in talks with the Saudi fund to back Vision Fund 2.

Read more: Former top Twitter execs Dick Costolo and Adam Bain announce 01 Advisors, a new venture capital firm with at least $135 million to put into startups

The Saudi government is widely believed to have directed the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October as retaliation for his critical views of the regime. The Saudi government has said that Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue” operation.

As the revelations have come to light, many companies and investment firms have sought to distance themselves from the Saudi regime or have committed to returning or declining future investment.

SEE ALSO: This serial entrepreneur wants to destroy LinkedIn’s ‘monopoly on recruiting,’ and he’s got Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson backing him

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