Martin Phipps, 51, whose law firm co-founded Bexar County’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors, went before a judge Friday for allegedly using a phone to harass his ex-wife while “under the influence “Stood from narcotics.
The case has been “reset” or postponed at the request of the prosecutor and Phipps’ attorney, Michael McCrum. This is the second 30-day sequel in this case.
Indictment has yet to be filed. District Court Judge Carlo Key noted the delay in filing.
“Tick tock, time is running out. We have to file this case, ”said Key, pointing out that the alleged incident took place the day after Christmas.
On February 8, Phipps was arrested on suspicion of telephone harassment of his now ex-wife Brenda Vega, a Class B offense. Phipps’ lawyers have denied the allegations.
Phipps sat quietly through the zoom and looked tired. McCrum, his attorney, said his office had not received an initial investigation report.
Richard Guerra of the DA office said he did not receive the full investigation from the San Antonio Police Department. He said two things had stopped her, the police may not be able to access Phipps’ phone without affecting his sheltered work as a lawyer, as well as a law enforcement investigation he said was ongoing.
“I’ve been told they are still doing interviews and that’s where we are now,” said Guerra.
TPR has learned that the investigation has expanded to other areas as the San Antonio Police Department scheduled further interviews in March.
In direct Twitter messages checked by TPR, Caroline Duesing, the brother of Phipps’ former long-time girlfriend, said detectives were traveling to Dallas to speak to her.
Duesing and her brother, who wrote the Twitter messages, did not respond to TPR’s requests for comments.
“To be honest, I would just like to clarify with our lawyer. The most important thing for us is to protect Caroline, ”said Matthew Duesing in a Twitter message to TPR in February.
Prosecutors declined to answer TPR’s questions about the delay
Newly revealed texts describe actions that led to Phipps’ arrest
Phipps’ arrest resulted from the alleged molestation of his ex-wife Vega, 24.
The couple were married on December 19 at Phipps’ Bar Paramour, which is on the roof of the building that bears his name and which houses his law firm. They had an appointment just a few weeks before the wedding. Prior to that, Vega worked as a paralegal and Phipps’ assistant in the company.
According to police records, Phipps aggressively confronted Vega at his home with King William. The record goes on to say that Vega told police Phipps was up and in an agitated state at the time of the confrontation.
According to text messages verified by TPR that had not previously been reported, Vega panicked and texted a colleague on how to get away from Phipps.
“Help,” said Vega in a 2 o’clock message sent the day after Christmas.
“I need your help to escape,” she wrote hours later. “No police.”
On the news, Vega said if she left the front door Phipps could hear her and she was scared of her husband.
“Idk what to do,” she said, “if I should go out of clothes and leave my shit.”
“Yes, if you are in danger, go,” said her assistant.
Her colleague – who wasn’t in San Antonio – told Vega to get an Uber.
According to the police arrest warrant, Vega was very afraid for her life. “She fled the residence, fled to Mexico, and left her personal belongings …”
“You left,” Phipps said in a text message that afternoon.
Phipps would shower her phone with text messages and voice calls for the next few days. Police took Vegas’ phone to catalog the messages for several days.
“The Defendant (Phipps) continued to send the victim over 40 electronic messages, namely text messages, over a two-day period in a manner that could reasonably humiliate, harass, alert and torment the victim,” wrote Aisha Jackson, a SAPD detective .
Phipps’ assistants had some tumultuous years. He sued one for embezzlement in 2016. He married Vega, who later fled from him and shortly before the country. His new assistant, Samantha Castillo, was arrested in early April for manslaughter for poisoning after a fatal collision with a cyclist about two blocks from the company’s offices.
An alleged abuse story
TPR has learned that another Phipps ex has made serious allegations against the high profile attorney and has asked the police for help. In September 2014, a former girlfriend filed an incident report with the Shavano Park Police Department.
In it, she said that she and Phipps had flown to Las Vegas together and that he attacked her during the trip.
“She stated that he was drinking and becoming belligerent; She grabbed her arms while holding her on the bed, choked her and slapped her face once, ”read the incident report.
The officer noted that there were “visible bruises on both arms and one on the left side of her chin”.
She told police it was the third time he had attacked her more severely each time, the report said. She cried several times while talking to the police.
In the report, she insists that she does not want to bring charges but that she is afraid and would like to inform the police if anything else happens. She does not identify her boyfriend in the report.
“(She) stated that she did not want to disclose the perpetrator’s personal information due to possible retaliation and other reasons,” the report said.
However, TPR has confirmed with three former employees that she was dating Martin Phipps at the time.
“That was a part of my life that I don’t want to remember and that I’d rather forget, and I don’t want to drag my family into this situation,” said the woman, who is also a lawyer in town, when TPR contacted them .
Further allegations against Phipps surfaced earlier this year.
Days after Martin Phipps was arrested in early February, a second young woman called in, allegedly harassing text messages. Lana Cop, a 22-year-old former Paramour employee, posted several videos on TikTok saying that she also worked for Phipps and that she also received abusive text messages and calls from the San Antonio attorney after her date.
Paramour is the bar Phipps owns and is located on top of the building where his company is located.
The young woman posted several videos claiming Phipps used the club drug MDMA or “Molly”.
TPR confirmed with former Phipps employees that the two were dated and that Cop showed them text messages from Phipps that had troubled them at the time.
When TPR wrote about this, she initially asked TPR to remove the story and videos from TPR.org, but changed her mind later.
“There are enough people who have looked at it and start talking about it. I am ready to allow you to use my story as well as answer any other questions you may have. I was afraid that he would return the favor, ”she said in an email.
Cop never returned calls for a scheduled interview and ended up making videos privately.
Paul Flahive can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @paulflahive
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