FBI joins investigation into Brazoria County selection case, activist says

ANGLETON, Texas (KTRK) -- A former Brazoria County District Clerk and a jury accused of tampering have been under investigation for months.

Rhonda Barchak is accused of using her own method of picking jurors for more than a decade -- in some cases resulting in an all-white, all-male jury. On Wednesday, activists held a news conference at the county courthouse in Angleton to announce federal involvement and talk about what's next.

Although we have not been able to verify, Brazoria County resident Lee Taing told ABC13 he was convicted on a charge years ago by jurors who should have never been allowed to decide his fate.

SEE ALSO: Families want feds to look into Brazoria Co. jury process: 'The truth is always going to come out'

"One was adult probation. He works at the adult probation. The other was a friend of the district attorney that was prosecuting me," he said.

Brandon Williams has served 11 years for murder, but his mom said he was set up. When the detective working Williams' case tried to shed light on new evidence in August, he was reportedly told to "stand down."

"He no longer could tell me anything pertaining to my son, and he didn't want to receive a subpoena, so he could be a witness," said Linda Hagger, Williams' mom.

"On her son's jury, a husband and wife served on the jury. One of them was an employee of the Brazoria County Courthouse," activist Quanell X said.

Quanell X said that for more than a decade, Barchak blatantly handpicked, stacked the deck, and had little to no diversity on juries.

"Sounds like you're a member or the secretary for the grand jury of the Klu Klux Klan. That you tampered with a jury pool that came out all-white males?" Quanell X.

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The Texas Rangers were estimated to be done with their investigation by Thanksgiving, but when we checked with the Department of Public Safety, we didn't hear back on where things stand now.

According to Quanell X, the FBI has been involved for two weeks and is conducting interviews as we speak. Furthermore, he claims a grand jury is convening on Barchak's case this week, and has subpoenaed her to testify.

SEE ALSO: Brazoria County District Clerk's Office under investigation over 'irregularities' in jury process

The acting district attorney for Brazoria County confirmed that his office did present findings to a grand jury today, and should conclude Thursday. The FBI says per Department of Justice policy, it cannot confirm or deny its involvement in an investigation. Activists are calling for Barchak to be charged for each and every case she allegedly jury tampered with. If her case goes to trial, Quanell X is calling for a change of venue, out of Brazoria County.

"We want the grand jury to know, we are not going away. We want the grand jury in Brazoria County, Texas to know we will fight you from the womb to the tomb, from the cradle to the grave. From all of those children who were stolen from their mothers because you had a wicked district clerk who was corrupting the judicial process," Quanell X said.

Chip Lewis, the attorney for Barchak has maintained since her resignation in August that she has done nothing improper and is fully cooperating with investigations.

For more updates on this case, Erica Simon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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