Galveston County officials no longer have justification for withholding information about the 2018 mass shooting at Santa Fe High School and should disclose records they hold to the public.

Justification for withholding the information ended when Medical Examiner Erin Barnhart disclosed what were supposed to be confidential details about the shooting to a documentary filmmaker.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206; michael.smith@galvnews.com​.

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(25) comments

David Smith

It's time the person responsible for this atrocious act

Goes to trial.. it doesnt take 3 years to evaluate someone.. this is horrible!!

Whatever it takes .. people deserve JUSTICE..

Get the ball rolling!!!!

Jim Forsythe

David, he may never go to trial. It is possible he will remain in a mental health facility, for the rest of his life. If he goes to trial, he will not face the death penalty.

Until Dimitrios Pagourtzis is judged competent to stand trial, he most likely will remain in a mental health facility. Doctors in early 2022, will determined if he is still incompetent. The issue of Pagourtzis’ competency relates to his current state of mind and not his state of mind at the time of the shooting. Pagourtzis’ mental health had deteriorated since he was arrested, and he had no understanding of the legal proceedings underway against him, Poehl said in an affidavit. Nick Poehl is one of Pagourtzis’ attorneys.

“The Galveston County Criminal District Attorney remains committed to prosecuting the defendant to the fullest extent of the law once he is found competent to stand trial,” Assistant Criminal District Attorney Brent Haynes said.

David Smith

So he has to understand the procedure before he can stand trial? BS.. He knew right from wrong when he did the crime

Jim Forsythe

David, if we go by the law, he is required to be mentally competent to stand trial. It has nothing to do with if he was competent, when the crime was committed. He has been seen by multiple psychiatrist, that have said he is incompetent to stand trial. Until they declare that he is competent, he will remain in a mental health facility.

One may not like the procedures that this brings to light, but unless they are changed, the same with happen over and over.

2019----A judge has ordered a third psychiatric examination on Pagourtzis in October to help determine whether the former student is mentally competent to stand trial. The teen charged in a mass shooting at a Texas high school last year has been formally declared incompetent to stand trial.

District Court Judge John Ellisor on ordered psychiatrist Dr. Victor Scarano to complete an examination of Pagourtzis, Scarano was hired by the district attorney's office.

Charles Douglas

Mr. Smith> You are my kind of American![thumbup][thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

The killer has good lawyers. In delaying justice they are prolonging agony on the victims' friends and family.

Without a death penalty because of his age, justice will never be served.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, justice would be served, because that the way our system is set up. It may not be what Carlos wants, but that is what our system says can happen. At what age do you think the death penalty, should not be a option?

If he ever goes to trial, there is a chance he will let go by a jury. If there is a trial, it will not be in Galveston country.

I have no idea how good his lawyers are, but if they are as good as you say, he may never be found guilty. Remember Robert Durst.

Carlos Ponce

Without a death penalty because of his age, justice will never be served.

Jim Forsythe

At what age do you think the death penalty, should not be a option?

Carlos Ponce

There should be no age limitation, Jim. Age is just a number. Accountability knows no number. I know of 8 year olds who can be held accountable and the death penalty apply.

Jim Forsythe thrusts a Teddy Bear into the arms of a 17 year old and say, "We should not execute this child".

Who should make the determination? THE JURY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim Forsythe

So Texas is wrong in setting a age limit. Carlos, you would be OK with a 4 year old being sentenced to death? "A 2-year-old boy in Maine shot his parents Wednesday morning with a gun" if the parents die, should the boy face the death penalty?

No matter what you think, Texas will go by the law they made, and not what Carlos thinks needs to happen.

Carlos, nowhere did I say I was for or against giving him the maximum allowed by law.

A jury does not set what the maximum for a convicted person, it is set by Texas law.

The state of Texas has said, We will not execute this child.

If you do not like this, work to change it.

Carlos Ponce

Jim posts, "So Texas is wrong in setting a age limit."

Texas did NOT set an age limit for capital punishment. The United States Supreme Court did.

"Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that it is unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed while under the age of 18."

Voting against capital punishment: Justices Anthony Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Dissenting: Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sandra Day O’Connor.

Note: Christopher Simmons (age 17 at the time) had prior discussions murdering someone because they could get away with it because of their age.

And Jim, NO JURY WOULD ISSUE THE DEATH PENALTY AGAINST A 2 YEAR OLD!!!!!!!!!!! To even mention it shows desperation on your part.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, you started out with "There should be no age limitation, Jim. Age is just a number. Accountability knows no number. I know of 8 year old's who can be held accountable and the death penalty apply." Which indicated you were OK with giving the death penalty to a eight year old, I then asked you would you be OK giving a 4 year old the death penalty and you did not say no. Until I ask if you would be Ok giving a 2 year old the death penalty did you object. At what age do you, Carlos say no to the Death penalty?

The state of Texas does have a law about age and the death penalty. Since they could set the age at 21, they do have a law about age.

Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 8.07. Age Affecting Criminal Responsibility----(c) No person may, in any case, be punished by death for an offense committed while the person was younger than 18 years.

21 states do not have the death penalty.

Carlos Ponce

It should be up to the jury.

Carlos Ponce

If you research, the Texas law was enacted to reflect the 2005 Supreme Court decision.

Death Penalty is applicable on premeditation. No juror would think a two year old would be found guilty of premeditated murder..... except Jim.

Jim Forsythe

Again, making up your own laws.

Carlos Ponce

It is MY opinion, Jim.

Jim Forsythe

You have not answered at what age you, Carlos, say it is OK to give the death penalty?

I asked you if a 4 year old would be OK, by your standards for the death penalty, you have not answered.

I did not say that a 2 year old should be put to death, but I asked you, since you said no age limit.

Carlos Ponce

"You have not answered at what age you, Carlos, say it is OK to give the death penalty?"

Yes, I did answer.

Here it is ... AGAIN!

Leave it up to the jurors.

Now, quit throwing a hissy fit because you don't like my ANSWER.

Carlos Ponce

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEvdRkrKGMY

Jose' Boix

The salient point is captured in these word: "The revelation Barnhart had disclosed to filmmaker Charlie Minn information about where the bodies of 10 victims had been found, how they were situated and descriptions about wounds the victims suffered ..." To me, it describes a broken system. How is it possible that a "filmmaker" can just come, ask and receive such information? Are there no checks and balances, protocols and procedures controlling such share of information? Just my thoughts.

Carlos Ponce

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOXhHLaMwF8

Jose' Boix

Mr. Ponce, thanks for sharing the YouTube link. However, I do not think appropriate at all having a "documentary" as the mechanism to share such information. I understand that the County has held information, but using a YouTube and a film documentary is totally inappropriate. Just my thoughts.

Carlos Ponce

Jose' , I agree a documentary is not proper. But it does give insight into the film maker's point of view, some of which I have problems.

Jose' Boix

Carlos: Thank you, but I believe that it is totally incomprehensible that the County Chief Medical Examiner can share such personal information at all. And, in this case the "case" is still "open." Something is sadly wrong with that office. Just my thoughts.

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