Monthly archive

October 2015 - Page 2

Said & Done



President Sam Bassett extends special thanks to Robb Fickmann for his assistance in drafting the complaint against McLennan County Justice of the Peace Peterson on behalf of TCDLA’s Judicial Integrity Committee. A host of members posted on the listserve expressing similar feelings of gratitude. Thanks again, Robb, for leading the charge.

Kudos to Danny Easterling of Houston, who received a not guilty by reason of insanity on a murder case in Harris County. D had stabbed and killed his 83-year-old father during a paranoid psychotic delusion while off his medication for Schizoaffective Disorder-Bi Polar type. Danny credits his defense expert, psychiatrist David Axelrad, MD, on a good job testifying to that. D had a long history of mental illness, including being committed to mental health hospitals. The father called the police that day to say his son was “cracking up” and threatening to stab him. In the ensuing standoff, D was shot while trying to flee, and the father stabbed to death. Congratulations, Danny, for a jury verdict not often seen in Texas.

DWI Committee Chair Mark Thiessen and co-counsel Andy Taylor continue to walk the walk. The pair won a DWI trial in Harris County 2½ years after the original arrest. Client ran afoul of the law when he couldn’t avoid an accident on the freeway. He was arrested and the blood test came back at .20. The state retested the blood a year later due to a missing analyst and it came back .17. Another analyst problem in June 2014 led to their asking for a continuance, which was denied. Ultimately they tried a .15 third blood test. State really had no defense to why the blood appeared green and was tested 11 months after the tube expired. Congrats, guys, on hanging with the D till the bitter end.

The staff in the home office extends kudos to Assistant Executive Director Melissa Schank for her yeoman’s work in negotiating the shoals of insurance adjusters and construction contractors to revivify the office after the trauma of a burst water pipe left the environs in a state of flux this summer. Everything has returned to normal again, and all work is now completed, thanks to Melissa—and it is all oh, so fashionable, of course . . .