WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The latest motions filed by the defense team for the former president of a Wichita Falls auto dealership accused of sex crimes against children include a request to delay the start of his trial, and to forbid the use of the term ‘victim’ during the trial.
Anthony Ryan Patterson, the former president of a former Wichita Falls automotive dealership, the Patterson Auto Group, is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in the 78th District Court.
Wednesday’s hearing is a little over a month ahead of what is currently set to be the beginning of Patterson’s specially set trial on Nov. 14, 2022.
However, following one of at least nine motions filed since Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, by Patterson’s defense team, the start of his trial for the six charges pending against him may not start until 2023.
The defense team which includes attorneys Michael Mowla, Chuck Smith, and Toby Shook, have filed multiple motions in limine, a latin term meaning “at the start”, or in essence, without the presence of the jury, before the trial begins.
Motions in limine typically deal with what can be included as evidence, and what is to be excluded as evidence, all before the trial begins. Patterson’s defense team has filed nine separate motions, some containing multiple motions in and of themselves.
Among the motions filed by Patterson’s defense team is a motion to prohibit the prosecution from referring to the complainants as a “victim” or plurally as “victims”.
According to the defense, “allowing the State to refer to the complainants generically as ‘victim’ or ‘victims’ may confuse the jury.” Additionally, the motion said, “there can be no ‘victim’ or ‘victims’ until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed.”
The motion cites a defendant’s right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment, and said that referring to the complainants as “victims” would assume guilt, when everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and would violate Patterson’s constitutional rights.
The motion also said, “during trial, defense counsel would not refer to the complainant or other witnesses as ‘the liar’ even if the counsel believed so… The same rules apply to the State.”
Additionally, a motion was filed on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, the day before Patterson’s scheduled pre-trial hearing, asking the court for a continuance, pushing back the start date that is currently set for Nov. 14, 2022.
Two main reasons were given by Patterson’s defense attorneys for the delayed start date:
- “Thousands of pages of evidence” have been uncovered that the defense didn’t have before, causing new trial strategies to be considered
- The defense’s expert witness, a clinical and forensic psychologist, has two trials the same week, and will not be able to be present in Wichita Falls for a trial on the week of November 14
The current trial start date is set for roughly one year and six months after Patterson was indicted by a grand jury for three counts of indecency with a child by exposure, two counts of trafficking a person, and one count of continuous trafficking of persons.
Patterson was arrested on Feb. 3, 2021, for human trafficking, and two days later, while still in custody, resigned as the president of the Patterson Auto Group.
Patterson faces 25 years to life in prison on the six charges against him.
Below is a full list of motions filed by the defense in less that a week’s time, all ahead of Patterson’s scheduled pre-trial hearing Wednesday:
- Motion for Disclosure of Evidence
- Motion in Limine Regarding Hearsay and Punishment Evidence
- Motion in Limine To Prohibit Use Of The Term “Victim”
- Motion in Limine Regarding the Admissibility of Pertinent Character-Trait Evidence
- Motion Regarding State’s Expert Witness Testimony
- Motion Electing The Jury To Assess Punishment
- Motion for Disclosure of Immunity and Other Preferential Agreements or Discussions
- Motion In Limine for Disclosure of Evidence, Hearsay Statements, and Testimony of “Victim Advocate”
- Motion of Continuance of November 14, 2022 Trial Date
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for the latest on the case and trial against Anthony Patterson.