Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton used his wife as a getaway driver while fleeing his McKinney, Texas, home in an attempt to avoid being served a subpoena related to an abortion lawsuit.
In a sworn affidavit obtained by the Texas Tribune, process server Ernesto Martin Herrera testified that after arriving at Paxton’s home and seeing Paxton through the doorway, Martin Herrera was told by his wife, State Sen. Angela Paxton, that the attorney general “was on the phone” and to leave his card. He then went back to his car and waited.
A little more than an hour later, Paxton exited the house through the garage. “I walked up the driveway approaching Mr. Paxton and called him by his name,” testified Martin Herrera, “as soon as he saw me and heard me call his name out, he turned around and RAN back inside the house through the same door in the garage.”
Around 20 minutes after that, “Angela [Paxton] came out and opened the driver side and rear side door behind the driver of the truck. She then got inside the truck and started it, leaving the rear door behind the driver side open,” Martin Herrera said. He then witnessed the attorney general run “from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side.”
“I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him,” Martin Herrera added. “Mr. Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck.”
Martin Herrera told Paxton (who ignored him) he was serving him with legal documents, which he placed on the ground as Paxton got into the truck and was driven away, accompanied by a second vehicle.
Paxton indicated on Twitter that he had acted out of “concern about the safety and well-being of my family” and described Martin Herrera as a “stranger lingering outside my home.”
A judge ruled on Tuesday that Paxton would not be required to appear at a hearing related to the suit. In a statement following the decision, Paxton called Martin Herrera a “suspicious and erratic man” and said he was “lucky this situation did not escalate further or necessitate force,” after making allusions to his Second Amendment rights.
The subpoena was related to a federal class action lawsuit brought by a coalition of abortion rights groups against Paxton and other district attorneys. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Texas has implemented some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, including the criminalization of providing or performing abortions in the state.