Black Panthers travel to East Texas to fight for defendants in San Augustine kidnapping case
The Houston New Black Panther Nation made its way to San Augustine Monday to argue for the mother and daughter team who was sentenced to prison last week for kidnapping an eight-month-old baby out of Houston eight years ago.
Gloria Walker was found guilty of the first-degree felony of kidnapping and injury to a child and was sentenced to thirty years in prison. Her daughter, Krystle Tanner, was found guilty of the lesser charge and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Authorities say in 2004, Tanner abducted Miguel Morin from his home, moving him around East Texas for eight years not allowing him to go to school or go by his birth name.
Last week, Gloria Walker prayed for Civil Rights advocates to help her get a new trial after she was sentenced.
"All the jurors are white. Now I ask my peers, I haven't seen my peers yet. 12 jurors are white. I've got a white judge, a white DA. I mean come on? Let's work on this now. Come on. Give me justice the right way. If you're going to take down me, do it right," Walker said on February 19, 2013.
Just one week after she was sent to jail, Walker's prayers have been answered.
Minister Quanell X, the National Spokesperson for the New Black Panther Nation, traveled to San Augustine with a member of the Black Panther because he feels Walker and Tanner should have a new trial because he believes it is unfair that two black women were tried by a panel of white jurors.
He also voiced his concerns on how the Houston Police Department led this trial astray.
"The Houston Police Department did a piss poor job in investigating this case, handling this case and doing diligence to bring justice to everybody that was involved in this case," Quanell said.
But, he says HPD isn't the only one to blame for the "unfair trial."
"The defense could've done more to make it more fair, culturally diverse trial that is more transparent. The defense did not do that," Quanell said.
Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham from the San Augustine Sheriff's Department says it doesn't matter because there is enough evidence to prove this is still a kidnapping case.
"The things that she told me just did not add up. Didn't hold water. And when you put all the pieces of this puzzle together it would lead anyone, any reasonable person to believe that the child was kidnapped," Cunningham said.
Quanell says he will try to get a new case for Walker and Tanner because the trial did not follow the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Civil Rights Bassett case, which ruled that no African American defendant could be tried under a panel of all white jurors.
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