A surprise from the witness stand highlighted the third day of Tom Coleman's perjury trial. The Lubbock trial centers on whether the former lawman lied about his own arrest record during hearings for Tulia defendants in 2003.
Swisher County Sheriff Larry Stewart came to Lubbock on Wednesday to testify for the defense, but what he said on the stand now has his own credibility in question. In court Stewart testified not knowing any negative information about Coleman when he hired him as an undercover drug agent for Tulia. But, it was later revealed Stewart may have known about Coleman's criminal history because a background check was conducted on Coleman at the time he was hired. The state then accused Stewart of giving conflicting testimony. The sheriff was then appointed a local attorney.
Stewart could face perjury charges, but none have been filed yet. The Lubbock American Civil Liberties Union President was following the trial in the courtroom. He says the ACLU was waiting for a criminal investigation to unfold against the Swisher County Sheriff and the Swisher County District Attorney, Terry McEachern. "The ACLU is very curious to know why McEachern and Stewart have not been investigated more aggressively or indicted or held accountable for their role in the debacle," says Harvey Madison, President of the Lubbock ACLU.