In May, Sam Bassett had two separate motions to suppress granted in DWI cases. In Burnet County, Sam won on a McNeely issue in felony DWI case with an alleged .24 blood test result. The timing of the Court of Criminal Appeals couldn’t have been better. In County Court in Travis County, Sam was able to persuade a judge to grant a motion to suppress on the issue of probable cause to arrest with a similarly high alleged blood test result. It’s nice to see that judges follow the law and sometimes avoid result-oriented analyses. Kudos, Mr. President.
The tag-team Rolands of Denton—Sarah and George—scored two NGs on a 2-count sexual assault of a child case after a full week in trial. It seems the 16-year-old stepdaughter made an outcry of lifelong sexual abuse from age 3 to 14. Trial showed an interesting sequence of events: child abuse presentation in her child development class; a statement to her parents that “I can call CPS and make something up and it will be up to y’all to defend against it”; huge argument with dad a couple weeks later followed by significant grounding; and then outcry to mom. Complainant was very specific during trial about graphic acts but only made a general sexual abuse allegation initially, then again with teacher, in forensic video, and in counseling. As Sarah notes, the jury panel went from people literally shouting “castrate him” (to cheers from other panel members) to a group who took less than 2 hours to acquit. The Rolands rocked it. Kudos.
Paul D. Key of McKinney secured a not guilty verdict in a jury trial for D charged with killing his 3-month-old son. An autopsy stated that blunt-force trauma to the head caused child’s death, but Paul showed he had been suffering from a slew of medical problems and was struggling with chronic pneumonia at the time of his death. Experts asserted that the child died of natural causes, and witnesses testified to the character of D. Congratulations, Paul, on a righteous verdict.
Director Ken Murray of the Capital Trial Project sent along word of a good outcome in Dallas County. He noted that D Tyrone Allen entered a plea to LWOP on capital murder charges and life on a charge of aggravated assault of a public servant. Ken says: “The Dallas Public Defender team—Brad Lollar, Andy Beach, Christi Dean, and their support staff—deserve huge pats on the back and congratulations for this result! As a side note, that means the original judge’s ruling granting a pretrial Atkins hearing never really got overturned as we feared would happen. Given what we believe was a good case for ID, this is a fantastic result.” Good work, team.