Hunt Bonneau, the attorney for BYU signee Charles West of Coppell, Texas, joined "Monty in the Morning" on 1320 KFAN on Friday morning to discuss West's legal troubles and the accusations facing him.
Below is a transcript of that interview if you are unable to listen. The audio was later made available here.
The show's host, Tim Montemayor, led in to the interview with a recap of the allegations against West, which I have included.
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TIM "MONTY" MONTEMAYOR: He is accused of ordering a prostitute to his home. He is accused of holding a knife to her throat after refusing to pay her. He is accused of sexually assaulting her because apparently she would not perform without payment. Those are all the things he is accused of doing. He is accused of having marijuana on his possession when the police came.
By the way, it is not disputed that Charles called the police.
Let's get to the bottom of it. Hunt Bonneau is the attorney for Charles West, and straightaway Hunt, good morning. Did your client do what he is accused of doing or accused to have done?
HUNT BONNEAU: Good morning Monty, no, he didn't. He's not guilty of these charges. You know, in this day and age with the tweeting that goes on and the facebook that goes on and all the news outlets that get into it, it's really amazing how quickly we jump and say ‘hey, this person did this so he doesn't deserve this' and on and on. I would love to get into all the facts, but in our system right now you really can't. But I can tell you he's not guilty of what he's been charged with.
MONTY: Did he know this woman prior to their incident at his home? Is she a total stranger to him?
BONNEAU: That's probably part of the facts that I'm not able to get into. I would love to be able to do that. And Charles, when he and I sit down and talk, he says "can we please just tell them this, can we please just tell them this." And I'm telling him not to talk. There's going to be a day .... when you ask that question, it reminds me of a story most people know about in the Bible about Solomon.
He's this judge, this lady comes to him and says ‘I was laying in the bed and this other lady rolled over and killed her own baby, and now she's trying to take my baby.' And the other one says, ‘no, no, she actually rolled over on my baby." They go before judge Solomon, and it's your basic he-said-she-said, you don't know what to do.
Solomon says ‘well get my sword. I'm just going to cut this baby in half, I'll give each of you half of it.' When the facts were tested, the truth came out. When he pulled out that sword, the real mom said ‘no, just give her the baby. I don't want my baby cut in half." So he knew who to give the baby to.
So what if tweeting and newspapers were back then? You'd have people tweeting ‘why did she have the baby in the bed with her?' And then somebody else would say, ‘why was she even sleeping with another woman? They don't even deserve to come to BYU, she's sleeping with another woman.' Or ‘why wasn't she with her husband?'
All the accusations coming out, they're not facts, they're not a court of law. You've got some people making accusations, and at this point it's so difficult for us to keep up with it. I can just tell you he's not guilty of the charges, and we're really excited to get to the point where the facts can be tested, and that's what we plan to do.
MONTY: Talking to Hunt Bonneau, he's the attorney for BYU recruit Charles West on 1320 KFAN. What kind of guy is Charles? Because calling around Coppell last night and just talking to people, I could not find anybody to say a cross word about this kid. Everybody said that Charles West is a quality guy. I would imagine representing him, you would agree with that.
BONNEAU: I could go on and on about his character. I'll start off by saying, and it's something why BYU probably recruited him, is he's just a hard worker. One of my favorite examples is when we do 7-on-7 here in Texas, it's hot. And the coaches aren't allowed to come out and watch 7-on-7. So there's nothing that forces a kid, a 17-year-old kid out in the hot sun to have to hustle. No coaches there to look at him and it's hot. But I can tell you when I was there, he's still the one the quarterback wanted to go to because you knew he was going to run his route when he got hot.
There were other families who have texted me this week saying "hey, he came over to our house to do yard work. We could leave the house, and we came back he was doing the yard work." You know, we live in a pretty affluent community here. There's not a lot of 16, 17, 18-year-old kids that like doing yard work and will do it all afternoon long.
That, along with I also spoke with the mother of one of his ex-girlfriends. I said "Tell me about Charles." They said, "You know, we love him. You know, he's no longer dating our daughter but he was always respectful, always polite." And I think that's probably what you found when you were calling around.
This is a kid, we need to be really careful before we start assassinating kids before we get all the facts out on the table.
MONTY: You know, I was talking to a guy who called himself a friend of the family, and he told me, "If you've ever met this kid, the idea that Charles West had a knife to anybody's throat would be a complete 180 away from who he is as a guy." When you heard the charges, when you heard that he was arrested and Charles West is accused of having a knife on a prostitute's throat, how stunning was that to you?
BONNEAU: Well that's about the first question I asked myself. I said, "Who's making the accusation? What's her character? Why was she over here in Coppell?"
There's so many different questions we can throw out, and that y'all can throw out a hundred at Charles and a hundred at me and there's all these things that may be unanswered. But I think the problem with having a courtroom out here in the open media, and tweeting and facebook, is anybody can think of a question. But until the facts get tested, until they're logical and you can get down and test the actual facts and not ‘could it have been this and could it have been that,' you're really just blowing in the wind. It's just a fun thing to do, you don't need a degree, you don't need any IQ to have an opinion and tweet it out on twitter. And so to waste our time reading all that trying to come to the defense to every accusation that's brought out there, we can't do it. And frankly our justice system doesn't allow us to do it.
MONTY: Hunt, can you explain to me his family situation? Because from what I understand, he did not immediately make bail because his family is not well-to-do. I know you talk about living in an affluent community, but from what I understand the West family is not well-to-do by any stretch of the imagination.
BONNEAU: I want to be real careful in what I say in that aspect. I would first say they're an outstanding family, his mother and him. I've been in their living room now more than ... and I've been in their living room before, back when he was in eighth grade I'd pick him up and take him to 7-on-7 some. But I've had more time to sit down and talk with them. A delightful family, church-going family, god-fearing people. From a financial standpoint, it did take them a day or two to round up the money and that's always going to be difficult for anybody that gets involved in this system. You can get accused of anything and you've got to go hire a lawyer to pay to defend yourself, and when you win you don't get paid back for that.
But rather than me get into the details of their financial situation, I don't know that I know it completely. More what I would say is about the character of that family and what their plans are, and what their plans want to be for Charles. And that is he wants to continue being the great kid he is and take the talents God has given him and get out to BYU.
And I'll tell you about that, you know, when I heard some folks saying "he doesn't belong at BYU or BYU's going to take ..." I think he's the perfect kid for BYU. The Bible tells us iron sharpens iron. And he's 18. He's not perfect. The key to that scripture is the discipline to put others in your life who will hold you accountable. And to get into BYU, let me tell you, he could have gone to the SEC. He could have played in the Big 12. He could have gone to a lot of colleges that don't have the honor code as a part of their program. But he, with plenty of options, chose, ‘I want to go somewhere where I'm going to be sharpened by other like-minded people.' And he chose BYU, and I think that says more about him than anything else.
MONTY: How worried is he that he's going to lose the opportunity to go to BYU?
BONNEAU: Well he's not worried because we have a system here that fleshes out the facts, and BYU is going to stick with him until this thing plays itself out in the court system. And I'm not worried about it either. We're going to get to the bottom of these facts, and when it comes out, he's going to be fine.