Clay Chabot -- doesn't that name sound like something from a daytime soap opera, or a Harlequin romance novel?
Wasn't Clay Chabot one of Erica Kane's husbands on All My Children back in the 1980s?
Clay Chabot is a real man though his story is reading somewhat like a melodrama. It seems that the Dallas County District Attorney's office is seeking to revoke Clay's bond and send him back to jail because they argue he's violated the terms of his release. The revocation hearing was yesterday.
What did Clay Chabot do that was so very bad?
He fell in love with one of his live-in chaparones while living under house arrest in his Cedar Hill home. Who's the lucky lady? She's his sister-in-law's daughter. And, of course, Clay has a MySpace page where the happy couple published photos of their wedding ceremony.
Oh fine, so there's a question of no marriage license even though she's going by "Mrs. Chabot" these days. And, yes, she's 37 and he's 49.
But it's love - the stuff that dreams are made of.
Love as the Basis for Bond Revocation
Meanwhile, the prosecution is ticked off about this marriage. They are moving for bond revocation because, they argue, a sexual relationship may violate the terms of his release.
First Assistant District Attorney Terri Moore actually argued at the hearing yesterday that she "didn't believe that the court intended for Mr. Chabot to be permitted a live-in girlfriend, wife, or spouse while out on bond." (Quoting the Dallas Morning News, who reported events from Tuesday's revocation hearing.) According to Moore, "[w]e give him an inch, and he takes a mile."
Chabot Already Victim of False Testimony That Resulted in Murder Conviction
Now, here's where the story goes from silly to serious. Clay Chabot was out on bond because the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is hearing his motion for a new trial -- because it's been discovered that Chabot was convicted of murder based upon the lies of his brother-in-law. Seems DNA testing has revealed that the brother-in-law actually raped the murder victim.
The District Attorney is claiming that they are going to retry Chabot when his motion is granted, because they still think he's guilty of the crime. Now they're arguing that Chabot and his lying brother-in-law are both guilty of the murder.
Chabot Did Stop at a CellPhone Store on the Way to the Doctor
Perhaps the only real argument they've got here is that Clay did stop at a cellphone store on the way to the V.A. for medical treatment (he's allow to leave his house for doctor visits). However, it wasn't off the beaten path: it was a store on the route from Cedar Hill to the V.A. Hospital -- and please: he wasn't stopping off to gamble, buy booze, or get porno -- he stopped with his sister-in-law at a phone store.
For this, Chabot should go back behind bars after he was wrongfully convicted of murder? Maybe the DA knew this wouldn't be a big enough argument - so she added on this horrible event: Chabot married the woman he loves.
The audacity of it all.
Love Shouldn't Be Penalized
In prisons everyday, there are couples who wed without even the hope of building a life together. It's the story of legend how many penpal relationships have evolved in marriages behind bars. Heck, About.Com has an how-to article online, "How to Marry a Prisoner."
Surely if Texas Cadet Murderer Diane Zamora and Night Stalker Richard Ramirez can marry while in prison for life, then Clay Chabot can get hitched while on house arrest while his wrongful conviction is being ironed out.
Perhaps Clay's sister sums it up best: "He may have fallen in love, but he didn't do anything wrong."
Dallas Morning News