“Deliberations lasted only about one hour, a swift verdict considering the six-day length of the trial in a downtown Dallas courtroom.”
TV critic Ed Bark, who I believe has covered Aguilar’s initial story and its fallout from the start wrote on Monday:
Aguilar was suspended with pay by the station on Oct. 16, 2007, the day after her controversial exclusive interview of then 70-year-old West Dallas salvage business owner James Walton. She approached him in a sporting goods store parking lot, where he had a new shotgun in his possession after previously shooting and killing two alleged burglars within three weeks time. Her nearly 14-year career as a Fox4 reporter officially ended on March 6, 2008, when Fox4 exercised its option to drop her at the halfway point of her latest two-year contract.
Aguilar was paid her salary throughout that period under a standard “pay or play” provision in reporters’ contract. The station also paid her for 90 more days after opting not to pick up the second year of her contract. Her husband, John, continues to work at Fox4 as a newscast director.
In his 45-minute closing argument to the jury, Shaunessy said that Fox4’s action solely had to do “with the fact that Rebecca Aguilar for more than 10 years was a bad employee.”
The Walton interview, a flashpoint throughout the trial, “was an ambush interview from the start,” jurors were told.
It certainly appeared that way based on the video; which was the subject of a very early edition of my Silicon Graffiti video blog, way back in April of 2008. It was the subject of a takedown notice from KDFW, the aforementioned Dallas-based Fox affiliate, which my crack legal team was able to defend. As a result, it seems to be one of the few video copies of this incident left on the Web: