by James Muñoz
The 2003 death of Col. Philip Shue was ruled a suicide by the justice of the peace.
His widow is fighting that ruling all the way to the Texas Supreme Court because she believes her husband was murdered.
Shue, 54, was found dead April 16, 2003, along Interstate 10 near Boerne.
Kendall County Justice of the Peace Nancy White didn't win re-election. She now lives in another city. Her attorneys say she shouldn't have to explain the "thought-processes" behind her ruling.
"Col. Shue's chest had been mutilated. His wrists and ankles were covered in duct tape," said attorney Jason Davis, who represents Mrs. Shue.
"[Mrs. Shue] and many others believe it was a murder, including experts who have analyzed the same evidence," Davis said.
The truth, in this story, may be stranger than fiction, because Shue's vehicle slammed into a tree, his chest was mutilated, a finger was cut off and there was duct tape around his wrists and ankles.
"And yet, Judge White came on to the scene and declared it in a matter of minutes an accident, and the question is, 'Why?', and now she's going to remarkable lengths to avoid for having to answer to that," Davis said.
White's attorneys say this isn't a cover up. If JPs always had to answer to subpoenas and depositions, there would be no end to the second-guessing and harassment of the judges, her attorneys said.
"No, we're not going to let litigants dissatisfied with a judge's ruling, go sue somebody else and use the civil discovery process, to harass and abuse these judges," White's attorney Patrick Ballantyne said.
Mrs. Shue's attorney sees it differently.
"It's a pretty simple case of a witness just refusing to answer," Davis said.
Shue's widow is suing the insurance company USAA, saying the agency failed to cancel life insurance policies that led to death threats against the Mr. Shue.
USAA said they cannot comment on pending litigation.
A Kendall County court-at-law judge ordered White to testify by deposition, but she refused. Last week, the 4th Court of Appeals upheld that decision, but White still refuses. The case is now being appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.
KENS video: Husband's death was murder, not suicide, widow says
HIGH DOLLAR LEGAL “DREAM TEAM“
HIRED BY KENDALL COUNTY TEXAS
Former Kendall County JP Nancy White
Appeals Court Denial for Judicial Immunity in Shue Case
Kendall County News.com
What’s next in the Colonel Philip Shue death investigation, seemingly having more twists and turns than a Tom Clancy novel? The mysterious circumstances leading to death of Colonel Philip Shue and the many unanswered questions surrounding the death investigation, continues, almost four years later, with no end in sight.
On January 5, 2007, Tracy Shue filed, for a third time, a Motion to Compel former Kendall County Justice of the Peace Nancy White to answer the basic questions of why and with what evidence she concluded Colonel Philip Shue’s Manner of Death a “Suicide.” Over the past year, the Kendall County Court has repeatedly ruled to deny the former JP’s Motion to Quash and Request for Immunity in answering the why and with what evidence questions, citing the duties and mental processes of a Coroner would not be protected under the “Mental Processes Rule.” But, true to form in the Shue case, the fight is not over and former JP Nancy White, with her legal “Dream Team“, paid for by the taxpayers of Kendall County, have now filed to appeal the decision of Judge Bill Palmer.
Kendall County News has requested the Commissioner’s Court to provide an estimate of the current and projected legal costs pertaining to the actions of the former Kendall County Justice of the Peace. No response has been received to date.
Former Kendall County Judge is Order to Answer Questions for The Third Time
Kendall County News.com
For those of you familiar or unfamiliar with the Tracy Shue case, here is a breakdown with the timeline of events, and where we stand as of today.
On December 28, 2005 Tracy Shue filed to have Judge Nancy White give a deposition on the cause of death on Colonel Philip Shue.
Judge White filed a motion to Quash on January 13, 2006, for Protective Order to avoid her deposition. She objected to being deposed in part on the basis of the “Mental Processes Rule”
Ten days later Judge Palmer overruled Judge White’s “Mental Processes Rule“ objection and ordered her to proceed with the deposition.
Judge White was not satisfied with the Judge’s ruling and yet filed another motion for clarification of the court’s January 23rd Order. Judge White again argued that her deposition be quashed on the basis of the “Mental Processes Rule”
Once again on February 23, 2006 the court denied Judge White’s motion for clarification and order that her deposition proceeds.
This brings us to the deposition on November 10, 2006. Judge White refused to answer some questions that her lawyers thought was abusive which violated the court’s order. Her answer to the questions being asked was part on the basis of the “Mental Processes Rule”
Judge White abused the discovery process and failed to comply with two previous orders from the court. Given these prior orders, there was no justifiable excuse for Judge White’s failure to answer questions posed to her during her deposition. Such conduct necessitated Tracy Shue’s filed motion to compel and motion for cost.
This brings us to January 5, 2007. Shue’s attorney opened up the argument about wasting the court’s time and money going over an issue that was already ruled on by Judge Palmer, twice. Judge White’s attorney followed by stating that she did not have to answer any questions based on her being, at that time, a Judge. Judge Palmer then asked Judge White’s attorney, (paraphrasing) “A Medical Examiner can give testimony on the ruling of death. In Kendall County, the Medical Examiner is also the Justice of the Peace; so in this case, she wears two hats acting as the Justice of the Peace as well as the Medical Examiner. In acting as the Medical Examiner, Judge White does not then qualify for the “Mental Processing Rule“, because in this capacity for this case, Judge White was also the Medical Examiner.” Judge White’s attorney then followed that comment by saying, “Well that’s different!” and in true Judge White fashion, no additional reasoning from Counsel was provided.
Shue’s attorney rebutted and went over how Judge White last year, had a news conference the day before depositions were to be heard. She released confidential information to the Media, which included Social Security numbers, phone numbers and addresses of Tracy and Col. Philip Shue. Then Judge Palmer asked where the original paperwork was located now and Shue’s attorney answered with, “All I have is copies.” Then Former Judge White, not her attorneys, blurted out stating where the original documents were located. After that, her attorney turned to her and stated quickly, “Do not say another word.”
After hearing about 45 minutes of both Counsels pleading their cases, Judge Palmer ordered that Judge Nancy White’s deposition be reset for 9:00am on January 26, 2007. The case will be heard at the Kendall County Courthouse. It was ordered that Judge White must answer all questions which she did not answer in her depositions urging the Mental Process Objection. Lastly, Judge White is to pay court costs and court reporter costs for continuation of deposition.
To add insult to injury, Judge White’s attorneys advised Judge Palmer that they are appealing his decision to the Circuit Court. Also, Judge White’s attorneys didn’t feel it was fair that she be responsible for the court, court reporter and deposition costs, in which then Judge Palmer summed up the sentiments felt in the court, by stating, “Well if she had answered the questions during the last depositions, we wouldn’t be here today!”
All Tracy Shue asked for was an inquest which has been denied to this day. The question that needs to be answered by Former Judge Nancy White is: How did she find that suicide was the cause of death for Col. Philip Shue???????????
--Submitted by Tracy Shue