We were going to take a pass on this one. We were going to ignore the press release Dallas police sent at 12:39 p.m. informing every media outlet in town that Thomas Lee Watkins III, the 20-year-old nephew of Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, had been arrested for allegedly shoplifting a pair of $70 headphones from the Walmart on Cockrell Hill Road while carrying a small amount of marijuana.
Watkins has been getting raked over the coals in recent days over real, substantive issues. His nephew's allegedly sticky fingers didn't seem to merit additional ink. Here at at Unfair Park, we cringe at the thought of being judged by the actions of certain members of our extended families.
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But then, at 12:48, all of nine minutes after the original email, DPD spokeswoman LaTonia Kelley sent a curt followup: "This information was inadvertently sent to media ... please disregard."
She didn't explain why the information should be disregarded, and we haven't been able to get the media relations folks on the phone. But it probably has something to do with the fact that Thomas Lee Wakins III isn't Watkins' nephew and isn't related to him at all.
"It seriously was an accident," DPD spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey. "It wasn't even a press release."
It wasn't supposed to be, anyways. According to Jeffrey, Thomas Lee Watkins III told arresting officers that Craig Watkins was his uncle, a claim that was relayed to the media relations department which presumably would have checked the claim to see if it was true. But instead of sending the email internally, Kelley inadvertently sent it to DPD's vast media list.