U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen ordered Marc G. Rosenthal jailed pending trial for violation of his pretrial release at a hearing Friday in Brownsville.
Rosenthal was caught on video drinking at a Brownsville bar last Saturday, a direct violation of his pretrial release agreeement.
Also, Rosenthal was seen giving a bear hug to former state Rep. Jim Solis Wednesday. Solis is one of the government’s main witnesses against the Austin attorney.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office brought the violations to Hanen’s attention Thursday.
“It was nothing more than a hug,” Rosenthal’s defense attorney Ernesto Gamez Jr. told Hanen, who visibly struggled to contain himself.
“It had to be an intentional violation,” Hanen told Gamez, adding, “you don’t unintentionally bear-hug somebody!”
Thursday’s developments came when Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Wynne brought Rosenthal’s behavior to Hanen’s attention just prior to continuing with Rosenthal’s trial. Rosenthal is being tried on 13 corruption-related counts in federal court in Corpus Christi.
Rosenthal, who had been free on a $100,000 bond with a 10 percent deposit since August 2011, had promised to comply with release conditions, including avoiding all contact directly or indirectly with a victim, witness, co-defendants or defendants in related cases, and no drinking in public.
For more on this story read Saturday's Valley Morning Star.