Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Lawyer seeks to remove judge in Thrash case

Laura Martinez and her attorney Phil Ross
 Photo: Carlos Javier Sanchez /Contributor
by John MacCormack, San Antonio Express-News 

The acrimonious legal fight over Charlie Thrash, 81, a mentally incapacitated millionaire, came to a dead halt Tuesday.

Thrash’s legal guardians went to court to seek a permanent injunction against his girlfriend Laura Martinez, her lawyer and various family members. But the matter was put on hold when Phil Ross, the lawyer for Martinez, asked to recuse Probate Judge Oscar Kazen.“Today would have been the hearing on all the marbles but Mr. Ross, at the midnight hour, filed a motion to recuse,” said Kazen, who declined to step down.

Kazen signed a temporary restraining order March 14 that accused Martinez and her family of fraud, converting Thrash’s property, committing assault and battery against Thrash and interfering with his court-appointed guardians. That order expires Thursday.

Another judge, yet to be appointed, will hear Ross’s motion, possibly this week.

On March 15, Kazen annulled the March 4 marriage between Thrash and Laura Martinez, citing a court order that Thrash, because of his mental incapacity, not be allowed to drive, vote or make important personal decisions.

A few days later, District Judge David Canales voided the March 5 adoption by Thrash of Martinez’s two adult children, Joe and Brittany Martinez.

Martinez says she began dating Thrash in 2012 when he was still operating his business, CT Thrash Differential & Axle Service on West Avenue.

Thrash’s estate is worth an estimated $3 million, and Martinez said she is his sole heir.

In his recusal motion, Ross cites a host of reasons why Kazen should step down, ranging from the judge’s decision not to hold a political fundraiser that Ross offered to host in 2018, to ignoring pertinent evidence about Thrash’s restored mental state, to scolding Ross in open court about unprofessional conduct.

Lawyers for Thrash’s two court-appointed guardians said the recusal motion was little more than an attempt by Ross to delay.

“We will argue it is a motion filed in bad faith, a dilatory tactic,” said Laura Cavaretta, who represents Tonya Barina, the guardian who last week attempted to make an inventory of Thrash’s assets, including his classic car collection.

“I was able to go to his home and the hanger and take pictures and make an inventory,” Barina said.

Barina said that all but one vehicle — a $100,000 Corvette — have been recovered. It is believed to be in Junction.

Thrash was not present at Tuesday’s hearing. On March 6 ,he was removed from the home in Shavano Park he shared with Laura Martinez by his personal guardian, Mary Werner.

Werner said she took the dramatic action, backed by Shavano Park police, because she feared for Thrash’s safety. Since then, she said, Thrash has been staying with a relative.

“He’s doing good. He’s getting out and about. Yesterday he got his hair cut,” Werner said.

Ross, who has been publicly criticized by both Kazen and Canales, said he is trying to rid Thrash of the guardianships on the grounds that his mental capacity has been restored and to reverse the annulment of the marriage to Martinez and the voiding of the adoptions of her children.

“We are fighting for everything,” he said.

“We’ve also asked Judge Kazen to appoint a medical expert and make a report to the court on whether Charlie has capacity,” he added.

Full Article & Source:
Lawyer seeks to remove judge in Thrash case

See Also:
Judge nullifies mentally incompetent San Antonio man’s adult adoptions, scolds lawyer for misleading him

San Antonio millionaire marriage annulled after abuse, exploitation and ‘abduction’ claims



Unknown said...

Mary Werner is the most evil Guardian there is and Tonya Barina has been caught in a web of lies!

Anonymous said...

A gold digger and a crooked lawyer teamed up to try and fleece an old guy, lol.

Anonymous said...

First, Mr. Thrash had to endure financial abuse by undue influence at the hands of the girlfriend, her 3 adult children and her ex-husband. Now, he and his family will have to endure the guardianship system. Looking forward to a day with clearly defined criminal laws for both financial abusers and guardianship injustices.
Kudos to Dirty Money for increasing the awareness of guardianship injustice but shame on them for promoting a financial abuser.