Trial to set off fireworks, precedents

The Judge Arditti trial is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 2nd, yet the fireworks have already begun to go off. The defense has filed a motion with the judge hearing the case for him to maintain impartiality, which is like accusing the judge of being bias, or favoring one side. The judge has yet to respond to the motion.

Beginning Monday, I will be in that courtroom, reporting day-to-day from the trial. Just as background, my name is Sonny Lopez and I have covered cases involving mass murderers to druglords and human traffickers. I began my journalism career at the Albuquerque Journal as a cop reporter, covering that mass murderer who shot dead a family in a coffee shop as they enjoyed an early-morning cup of coffee. Later that same day, the man was wounded in a gunbattle with police at a Hollywood studio. He said the voices in his head told him to shoot Michael Landon of Bonanza and Little House on the Prarrie fame.

I ended my stint at the Journal as the chief of the Southern Bureau located in Las Cruces. I covered stories throughout Southern New Mexico and West Texas, including wildfires in the Gila National Forest. I then moved on to the now defunct El Paso Hearld-Post where I was given the title of education reporter, which involved covering five school districts, a community college and a university.

While at the Herald-Post, I uncovered misconduct within the Ysleta School District involving bribes for votes, and a superindentent who wined and dined executives on the taxpayers dime. I then worked as the Mexico reporter for the El Paso Times.

The school district debacle honed investigative skills that I may need to call upon while covering the Judge Arditti trial, which will set a precedent by allowing reporters to witness the jury selection. It will be an experience for readers and the community alike.

Since leaving the Times, I have been a freelancer on retainer for the Dallas Morning News, covering anything from human traffickers to Iraq war heroes. My dispatches concerning the Iraq war were stopped by the newly formed Homeland Security Department as they made their way through the Internet. I have also freelanced for the New York Post and have written for Latina Magazine.

As I cover the Judge Arditti trial for the El Paso News Organization, the Internet, coupled with my observations, will be my greatest tool. My posts will more than likely not be tampered with by Homeland Security, but expect updates throughout the day and a story at the end of each day of the trial.

There will be fireworks going off in the courtroom and precedents are expected to be set.

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