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Michael Welsh

Video
Right along the Mexican border sits the small, tight-knit community of Terlingua, Texas. Its residents have traded today’s modern comforts for something that money can’t buy: total freedom. But the price of freedom proves high when a long night of drinking ends with a brutal killing. The death results in the loss of not one, but two members of the community, and the gut-wrenching murder trial that follows threatens to tear this community apart.
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District Attorney Ron Ponton arrives in Terlingua for a town hall meeting, prompting residents to ask how the jurors could have arrived at their verdict. In interviews, two anonymous jurors begin to reveal the confusion and animosity that existed in the jury deliberation room to during the final hours. Both jurors are having a hard time living with the decision.
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The town of Terlingua looks to the future with a new owner of La Kiva bar taking the place of Glenn Felts. No one believes the bar or the town will ever be the same, but moving on will mean coming to grips with the culture of alcoholism that grips Terlingua. In a final farewell, Glenn appears intoxicated with Tony Flint at the La Kiva bar. Filmed just three hours before his death, Glenn declares: "Sometimes we get careless. And that’s a real shame.”
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As night falls on Sierra Blanca, the jury in the Tony Flint trial returns a not guilty verdict. Terlingua residents react in shock and anger—demanding to know why Flint wasn’t at least charged with manslaughter. The only person who believes justice was served is Flint’s lawyer Justin Low. An anonymous juror from the trial comes forward to describe how nightmares over the verdict are causing him sleepless nights.
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Tony Flint takes the stand in the final day of testimony. To support his claim of self-defense, he recalls how Glenn attacked him and tried to go for a weapon in the back of Tony’s truck. Beating Glenn unconscious was the only way he could save his own life. In closing arguments, Tony’s attorney offers the additional argument that the La Kiva cook ran over the unconscious body of Glenn Felts causing his death. After a long deliberation, the jury returns its verdict.
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As the trial of Tony Flint begins, the defense’s opening statement shocks the court. Tony is innocent of murder charges for reasons of self-defense. Texas state law recognizes self-defense as justification for use of brutal force. Terlingua residents react in disbelief and outrage. They believe Glenn wasn’t capable of self defense against the larger Tony. The overwhelming physical evidence and the medical examiner’s autopsy revealing a brutal beating are damning indictments.
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As law enforcement uncovers overwhelming crime scene evidence, Tony Flint is arrested on suspicion of murdering Glenn Felts. In audio interrogations, Flint insists that an alcoholic “black out” prevents him from remembering the details of what happened the night before. In the far-off town of Sierra Blanca, the trial of Tony Flint is set to begin.
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The brutal beating and death of beloved Terlingua resident, Glenn Felts, stuns the community and launches a search for answers. Felt’s good friend, Tony Flint, a local river guide, is arrested on suspicion of murder. Stunned residents react and speculate on what could have happened. As townspeople await the start of trial, they recollect both men in very different ways.
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Freedom is the most essential right of being an American, but in the Badlands, freedom has its own meaning. The tiny, off-the-grid town of Terlingua, Texas borders the Rio Grande River and Big Bend National Park. With the nearest modern city amenities over 200 miles away, Terlingua is less a community and more of a state of mind. In the wake of the brutal murder of Glenn Felts, the townspeople struggle to make sense of the crime and determine how life in their tiny paradise can ever be the same.
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