DR. JOHN CODWELL IS A TOUGH WITNESS ON THE STAND: SICKLE CELL CRIMINAL TRIAL OF KENNETH BEATTY!

ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO TANGLE WITH THIS GUY!


I was covering the trial of Kenneth Beatty (writing on legal pad) on Tuesday. He is the former executive director of the Sickle Cell office here in Houston. Beatty is accused of misusing more than $200,000 in funds from the non-profit organization. He’s faced with a felony and some heavy jail time if he is convicted. But Tuesday all eyes were on former Sickle Cell board member Dr. John Codwell (on witness stand). He was called as a witness for the prosecution. He testified how Beatty did not have the permission of the board to spend thousands of dollars. Codwell also said the board had no knowledge that the former executive director opened nearly a dozen credit card accounts in the organization’s name ringing up a bill of $50,000. Beatty’s defense attorney wanted to get Dr. Codwell to acknowledge he didn’t know if a list of charges by his client were legitimate or not. That was no easy task. Beatty’s attorney went down a list of dozens of charges to several of Houston’s upscale restaurants. Codwell’s was clearly irritated by the spending saying, “I don’t think they were legitimate.” He went to say, “we weren’t eating that good, we couldn’t afford to eat like that.” The former board member became impatient with Beatty’s attorney who continued down a list of minor credit card charges. Codwell finally told the attorney to bring on the real charges like trips to Mexico, shopping at Dillard’s, excursions to Victoria’s Secret and more. The attorney told Codwell he was going to get to that. But the attorney continued on in his attempt to get Codwell to say he didn’t have personal knowledge if many of the small charges to businesses like Kinkos were legitimate or not and related to sickle cell business. Codwell continued to give the defense attorney problems causing him clear frustration in the courtroom. Just minutes before it was time for Dr. Codwell to step down he gave Beatty a stare that would send chills down your back. He shook his head in disgust while mouthing something to Beatty that wasn’t quite pleasant. I couldn’t quite make out all the words but it wasn’t nice. I think it slipped by the attorneys and judge. Dr. John Codwell is a witness I don’t think any attorney wants to tangle with!