Ellis County Observer publisher Joey Dauben finally gets a court-appointed attorney

Joey Dauben

Joey Dauben, the publisher of the now-defunct Ellis County Observer, finally got to see a court-appointed lawyer this week to help him fight the three felony counts of child sexual abuse that have kept him in the Navarro County Jail without legal advice for almost two months now.

Edward Jendrzey, whose office is in Waxahachie in Ellis County, received the court-ordered appointment Thursday, Feb. 16. Jendrzey accepted the case after Steve Keathley, a Corsicana attorney whose wife is the president of the Navarro County Bar Association, declined an appointment by District Court Judge James Lagomarsino to represent the journalist.

In a telephone interview today, Jendrzey said, “Yes, he knows I’m representing him,” when asked whether he had met with his new client, who reached out for help from the media this week in a handwritten letter from jail. When a defendant declares himself to be indigent and asks for a court-appointed attorney, that is supposed to occur within 72 hours. In the letter, Dauben also again claimed he is innocent of the charges.

Jendrzey said his first step in Dauben’s representation will be to conduct an independent investigation of the case to learn the circumstances and to attempt to get Dauben’s $200,000 bond set by Lagomarsino lowered. “I’ll be meeting with the prosecutor about that,” Jendrzey said. Dauben’s family and friends have been unable to raise the 10 percent (or $20,000) payment bond agencies typically charge to get a defendant released from jail.

—  admin

Ellis County Observer Publisher Joey Dauben sits in jail with no attorney for almost two months

Joey Dauben

It’s apparently pretty unpopular in Navarro County to be Ellis County Observer Publisher Joseph Glen “Joey” Dauben, judging from his difficulty in getting a court-appointed lawyer assigned to his sexual assault of a child case.

Dauben, whom the Dallas Observer and D Magazine featured in stories last year about his gonzo style of journalism in coverage of small-town issues and missing child cases, has been sitting in the Navarro County Jail under $200,000 bond since Dec. 19. In a story dated Dec. 20 about Dauben’s arrest and high bond being set in Judge James Lagomarsino’s court, the Corsicana Daily Sun noted that Dauben had declared himself indigent and filled out paperwork requesting a court-appointed attorney.

Dauben, 30, is accused of molesting a 15-year-old male during a church trip four years ago in 2007. The Texas Rangers investigated the allegations of the youth, who is now 19, and filed the charges against Dauben.

In a handwritten letter Dauben sent to me on Feb. 9 from the Navarro County Jail in response to a letter requesting an interview, Dauben said he still had not had the benefit of legal counsel. “As of this letter, on Feb. 9, I have yet to see a lawyer on this case,” Dauben said in the letter.

Dauben goes on to say he filed a request on Dec. 20, as was reported by the Corsicana Daily Sun, and that he refiled it recently after continuing to languish in jail without seeing a lawyer.

—  admin