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Texas Democratic Senator's Office Riddled With Bullets

Senator John Whitmire and his staff were away when it happened.
Texas Democratic Senator's Office Riddled With Bullets
Image from: Houston Chronicle

Texas State Senator John Whitmire's office was riddled with bullets overnight, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Reached by phone, Whitmire said his staff noticed the office had been damaged when they arrived at work Thursday morning and first thought the overnight weather had been to blame.

"There are bullet slugs everywhere. One lodged in a framed picture," Whitmire said. "It's pretty amazing."

"They told me the weather had harmed the office, but when you look at the damage, and start tracing it, there are bullet holes here in the office, and at least four slugs... a couple of them ricocheted around."

Whitmire, a Democrat, made news earlier this month when he intervened in a case involving Shannon Miles, a mentally ill man accused of shooting Harris County deputy Darren Goforth. After the man was found to be mentally incompetent, Whitmire moved to have him moved immediately to a mental health facility. The sheriff's department said there was a 90-day wait, something Whitmire found unacceptable.

Miles' attorneys objected to that, saying that Whitmire was trying to speed up the trial process in a capital murder case by speeding up the rehabilitation process. Whitmire, on the other hand, was concerned about Miles being held in a facility and by deputies who might have reason to do him harm.

"I thought everyone in this case was serious about sending him to the state hospital," Whitmire said. "He's sick. Sick people need to go to the hospital."

He also said he is talking to state agencies and mental health hospitals in a bid for more resources to address the backlog, especially in the Gulf Coast.

"I do have the ability to pick up the phone to ask a huge institution, like UT Health Science Center at Houston, to begin a proposal to do competency hearings and other things in Harris County," he said. "No one ever told me there's a backlog. I can only fix things that I know about."

The judge ruled that Miles was to remain in the custody of the Sheriff's Department until a bed is available at a mental health facility.

Whitmire has a long record of standing up in criminal justice cases. There's no evidence that the shots fired at his office have anything to do with the Miles case, but he certainly has enemies enough to go around.

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