Jury: Man not guilty of Mardi Gras bead battery

By Chris Paschenko
The Daily News
Published June 9, 2010

GALVESTON – A man accused of tossing a cantaloupe-size bag of Mardi Gras beads from a second-story balcony onto a woman’s head was acquitted Tuesday of a misdemeanor assault charge.

A jury of three men and four woman deliberated about 10 minutes before finding Larry Dean Wiseman, of Houston, not guilty of assault causing bodily injury.

Wiseman was accused of hitting Ingrid Gonzalez in the back of her head on Feb. 2, 2008, near 2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row in Galveston, prosecutor Virginia Jones said.

“It was a large bag of beads,” Jones said.

Tad Nelson, Wiseman’s defense attorney, said prosecutors charged the wrong person.

He said Wiseman’s wife, Karen Wiseman, testified to having thrown the bag of blue beads.

“There was an argument that persisted,” Nelson said.

He said the beads were thrown in retaliation to a threat and the use of profanity.

Karen Wiseman could not now be charged because too much time had passed since the incident, Nelson said.

Gonzalez denied the accusations, saying she never uses profanity.

Jones denied trying the wrong defendant, saying the state wouldn’t have proceeded if that had been the case.

Both sides attempted to settle the case, which Nelson called a waste of taxpayer money.

“Our client tried to pay them $7,000 for all the medical bills, but we couldn’t get an agreement,” Nelson said. “Myself and the DA, we could never get the numbers straight. If we’d both hustled better, we could have gotten it done.”

Gonzalez asked for $11,000, including lost wages, pain and suffering, Nelson said.

“It was not realistic,” Nelson said.

Milo Hassloch, of League City, was the jury foreman in Judge Roy Quintanilla’s County Court No. 3.

“We just didn’t feel like the prosecution met the burden of proof,” Hassloch said.