Statement Analysis is in bold type.
Based upon what has been released to the public, this case is puzzling.
Given the fact that they have a video, and lots of witnesses, and the passage of one year, I am curious to analyze the statements of the prosecution as to what they believe they have, and are doing. They have charged him with "murder"; not manslaughter, which will warrant explanation. They also have two others, besides the pastor, who were injured in the altercation.
This first article is from Recordnet.com, author Keith Reid. The second, with quotes, is AP.
My concern is obvious to readership: People of faith are being demonized today, and I am suspicious of the motives of the prosecution on something this puzzling. If the video tape shows legal "murder", it still begs the question as to why they waited one year. If, as they claim, the pastor lied about throwing a punch, it is still not "murder" as even a punch is self defense.
Why is a "punch" part of this case, anyway?
We have seen malicious prosecution before, (Duke Lacrosse case) just as we have seen legal bullying (Kevin Fox, father of Riley Fox) but the delay of one year raises many questions. We have seen some prosecutors fearful of losing cases allowing for no justice, far more than we've seen those who are malicious in prosecution.
What are your thoughts on this case? We obviously must be lacking some information...right?
"A Manteca pastor who was arrested on an outstanding warrant by Manteca police on Tuesday and charged with murder related to a Las Vegas fight a year ago has posted bail and could soon be released from the San Joaquin County Jail, his attorney said.
Robert Cox 55, a youth pastor at The Place of Refuge church in Manteca, was with two interns and his wife, Julie Cox, on a Las Vegas ministry trip in June when he became engaged in a fight with a man named Link Ellingson, according to a letter written by Pastor Mike Dillman on the church's website, placeofrefuge.com.
"Following the service, the group went together to eat dinner. After finishing their meal, and while preparing to continue their trip to Texas, a very large man assaulted Rob and two of our interns," Dillman wrote. "The man declared that he was going to 'kill' Rob. In self-defense and in an effort to protect the interns, Rob used his weight to push the man back causing him to fall and he hit his head on the concrete. Rob and the interns were treated at the local hospital, Rob for a broken finger and two of the interns for concussions."
Cox's Las Vegas-based attorney, Warren Geller, said Ellingson died in December after being in a coma and undergoing several brain surgeries.
Geller said that from all accounts, Cox acted in self-defense. He said Cox had never been arrested previously and has a reputation of being kind and gentle.
Dillman and his church are supporting Cox. The church's website now has a banner that says "Bring Justice I Support Pastor Rob" and has a link to a fundraising website where people can donate.
Gellar said he has posted $100,000 bail in Clark County and expects Cox to be released from the San Joaquin County Jail.
"Bail in San Joaquin County is $1 million, but what will happen now is the local prosecutor here will inform the district attorney and sheriff in California that satisfactory bail has been posted, and he'll be released to travel back to Las Vegas on his own for arraignment," Geller said.
Geller said he is still researching the facts of the case and is unsure why Las Vegas authorities took so long to press murder charges against Cox.
An arraignment date had been scheduled for Thursday but has been canceled, according to the Clark County Superior Court website. The date has yet to be rescheduled."
Contact reporter Keith Reid at (209) 546-8257 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.recordnet.com/edublogand on Twitter @KReidme.
In this article, statement analysis is in bold type.
MANTECA – A local youth pastor arrested on an outstanding warrant for murder in Las Vegas said he is innocent and acted in self-defense.
Robert Cox spoke over the phone from behind the walls of San Joaquin County Jail, where he's been since Tuesday.
"I was blindsided and totally shocked," Cox said.
In truthful statements, we look for the pronoun "I" or "me" for strength. Being "shocked" is sensitive. "I was blindsided" is very straight forward. Use of pronoun "I" is strong. The shock is sensitive, with "totally"...
The murder charge stems from an incident last June. Cox, a youth minister for The Place of Refuge Church in Manteca, was with his wife and about 20 interns in Las Vegas on a ministry trip.
They had dinner at the Four Kegs Sports Pub when Cox said another man at the restaurant, Link Ellingson, started threatening the group out of the blue.
Cox said he had to protect his group.
"When somebody says they are going f**ing kill me and they attack me and choke me and punch me in the face and go after my students and give a student a concussion..." Cox described.
This is not to say "He did" such and such with "when somebody says", but the pronouns are reliable: "me, me, me" and "my"
This is to explain why he did something rather than report what happened. Note that his quote is cut off.
Cox said he grabbed Ellingson by the waist and both of them fell down.
But court documents and the police report state that Cox punched Ellingson in the head, leaving him with a severe brain injury as seen in pictures shared by Ellingson's niece, Gina Hardy. Ellingson died in December.
"I've never had such heartbreak," Hardy described.
"No, I did not throw a punch," Cox said.
This is a very strong denial on its own. If the question is, "Did you throw a punch?" and the answer enters the language of the interviewer, it reduces reliability. We look for this statement in an open, freely edited statement.
Cox's wife, Julie, gave News10 a picture of her husband showing what she says are choke marks on Cox's neck from that night.
His wife says she fought to amend the police report back then but got nowhere. She thought they were in the clear when she got a letter from the Clark County District Attorney's office in October stating that charges wouldn't be filed. Now, they are fighting the charge.
His lawyer posted a $100,000 bail for him and they're waiting for him to be released from jail.
Cox has a court hearing on Monday where his family hopes he will be released on bail.
The Clark County District Attorney's Office is not commenting on the case