Opinion: DNA-driven Human Nature

 Opinion: DNA-driven Human Nature

By George Smith

It is a part of basic, DNA-driven human nature for folks to resist admitting a mistake. It doesn’t really matter whether or not the mistake was an honest faux pas or an intentional violation of societal norms, saying “I was wrong!” is just difficult to enunciate. it is a mixture of a negative psychological response and personal muscle control.
There are citizens of Marshall and Longview who owe a former Harrison County resident an abject apology for their thoughts, statements and vitriol hurled in his direction. A vast majority will not apologize for their non-Christian judgment, content to just sit back and forget past thoughts and public statements.

Trey Wood is no angel; he will be the first to tell anyone that. He is a sober alcoholic, former drug addict, a convicted felon who spent two-plus years in prison for robbing a drug dealer. He, like everyone else, has lied in his life to obtain what he wanted at a particular point in the time, without regard for the welfare of others. 
 
I’ve known Trey since his teenage years. He was a certified “rounder”, a gifted athlete and communicator with more charisma than should be allowed. At times, he was an insufferable teenage jerk, but, to me, despite his swagger and jockesque bravado, he had a gentleness that belied his size and outward attitude; he hurt people’s feelings because of his lack of impulse control and his ADD, not out of pure, hard-hearted meanness.   Trey came out of prison with the goal of never going back; once, for Trey, was enough. What he didn’t count on was falling into his lifestyle bugaboo of being in the wrong situation at the wrong time and making bad decisions in an attempt to extricate himself. He started drinking and taking prescription drugs and making friends who were not “friends”. Some people, like Trey,  have a habit of repeating mistakes over and over. And overl. And then there is the Trey who is a talented, award-winning writer, a hard-working, creative  entrepreneur who started three small businesses during the pandemic, and the man-child I know as a loyal friend. He is not a family member…but is a member of MY family.
 
   All that to say this: Several years ago, out cold and partially paralyzed on drugs administered by Marshall physician Shaun Bobbi Kelehan, Trey was sexually assaulted by the doctor. After sobering up, Trey filed charges with the Marshall Police Department; the charges were investigated, video and audio tapes were made, and charges were filed.

That’s where the “fix” went in. Under the guidance of a special prosecutor in Longview, a grand jury declined to indict Kelehan, despite the fact the jurors were not afforded the opportunity to view the videos of Kelehan admitting administering  drugs and the sex act, plus another, earier non-consensual sex act a year earlier that Kelehan admitted that Trey did not remember. The jurors were told the doctor passed a lie detector test and that Trey did not take one, True. But, the doctor took one administered by an official of his choosing; Trey was not offered one. Trey was not called to testify.
 
In other words, the prosecutor gave the jurors what he wanted to give them to elicit a verdict he wanted. As a former foreman of a Harrison County Grand Jury, I watched this scenario play out in the secrecy of the proceedings.
Trey then hit rock-bottom. He started drinking heavily, was in and out of rehab and contemplated suicide. A friend’s concern and intervention by Austin police got him back in detox and he started looking forward to a positive, productive future again.

But he did not forget the abuse, the injustice of the situation or those that judged him rashly and wrongly.
He contacted the Texas Medical Board and provided them with his story, the video and audio tapes and after a months’-long investigation, Kelehan’s practice was severely curtailed. The board continued investigating and uncovered additional information detrimental to Kelehan’s practice.

In April, the board noted in a public document a second male patient had made a similar complaint against Kelehan. 
In the last few months, Kelehan sold his business and, in agreement with the board, elected to relinquish his license rather than continue with a final, formal hearing dealing with the results of the board’s almost year-long investigation.
Giving up his license does not protect Kelehan from further charges or from action in civil court.

Where does this leave Trey?

One word: Vindicated. To those who stood steadfast by the doctor, no one — not even Trey — ever said he wasn’t a good doctor and kind to a vast majority of his patients. But those who attacked Trey, from strangers who only took second-hand, pitifully inadequate information from Facebook posts, and especially from family members who disowned Trey because of his accusation…you owe him a profound and sincere apology.

No one, especially not Trey, expects anyone to take that giant leap; it just is such a hard step to do, you know, admit it when what you think, feel and do is just blatantly wrong-headed.

Still, for all he’s been through, for the injustice to which he was subjected, to the personal attacks and ridicule…a small ‘Sorry!” would be nice.

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