Shout Outs

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Kudos to Alex Bunin and Gonzalo Rios, Jr. for being reappointed to the Governing Board of Texas Indigent Defense Commission. Congratulations, Alex and Gonzalo!

Congratulations to Tip Hargrove for earning the Palmetto Medal, which is one of the highest awards presented by the Citadel College Alma Mater. Mr. Hargrove’s service reflects great credit upon himself, the Citadel, and it’s Alumni Association, Kudos, Tip!

Congratulations Mark G. Daniel (Ft. Worth) on your Texas Senate reappointment to Texas Forensic Science Commission. Thank you for your public service and keeping TCDLA members updated, and fighting for justice.

Kudos to our TCDLA members who testified at the State Capitol led by our TCDLA Legislative Team Bill Harris, Chair and Lobbyists Allen Place, Shea Place, and David Gonzalez! TCDLA members who came to Austin to testify: Nicolas Hughes (Houston), Rick Flores (Austin), David Botsford (Austin), Michael Gross (San Antonio), John Convery (San Antonio), and Frank Sellers (Ft. Worth) #TCDLASTRONG.

Thank you Wilvin Carter (Houston) for assisting a fellow colleague to save his/her Bar License and his/her career and to receive an Order of Dismissal after a year-long fight. Their confidence and trust in you was well met.

Congratulations Carmen Roe (Houston) whose client received probation on a PSI today – an attorney who pled guilty to two felonies for unlawful practice of law after losing his bar card. The offer was 10 years.

Suzanne Spencer (Austin) received a phone call criminal defense attorneys wait a lifetime for in March 2021. Suzanne represented an Unaccompanied Minor Immigrant a few years ago. He immigrated from Honduras by himself during the 2014 migration. Upon turning 17 while in the throes of a psychotic episode, he was charged with 6 offenses ranging from Continuous FV to VOPO to Assault on PO.

Suzanne was court-appointed to represent him. He was found ITST (incompetent to stand trial). However, he was restored to competency at the State Hospital. She was able to bond him out on Mental Health PR bond (unique unwritten policy to Travis County). Over the next 2 years, he complied with conditions and maintained employment in construction. They were successful at getting 5 of the 6 cases dismissed and upon the advice of a good immigration attorney, the 6th case was reduced to a misdemeanor and amended in a carefully crafted plea bargain designed to have no effect on my client’s Immigration Petition. My work was done and we parted ways.

Two years later, on March 12th, out of the blue – the client called to thank her. The day before he had been Granted LPR in the US Immigration Court in San Antonio. (LPR stands for Lawful Permanent Resident). The client was so happy and told Suzanne that he owed it all to me. She reminded him that he did his part which wasn’t easy and the result was a team effort that included 2 amenable prosecutors. The client is doing well contributing to the GDP. He is married and a father now.

Thanks to Seth Fuller (Denton) who represented an adult client with a co-defendant juvenile brother (both victims of sex trafficking) in Bell County who was appointed a lawyer originally a blind man could see was not capable/willing to defend this kid on a murder charge (now that he’s been certified re-indicted to cap). We were desperately looking for a new lawyer for the juvenile, but a single mom with two kids in jail, there was no money to hire a lawyer. Bell county refused to allow a withdrawal of the court-appointed for a new court-appointed. Mr. Fuller, when asked, took this juvenile case pro-bono and has knocked Bell County off its feet. Bell county now  has a new policy because of Mr. Fuller. He has and is fighting this case like he’s being paid a million dollars an hour. His willingness to take this case pro-bono has and will literally save a 14-year-old (trafficking victim) life. We are forever indebted to Mr. Fuller. 

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Staff Highlights: The Voice’s New Communications Coordinator!

The Voice for the Defense is excited to announce that Austin-based graphic designer Rebecca Keith, has joined TCDLA as our new Communications Coordinator!

Rebecca is a solution-driven graphic designer and visual artist, proudly born and raised in the “Wild and Wonderful” state of West Virginia. She earned her BFA from Marshall University, graduating with honors in 2015. She developed a love for travel (and red wine) while studying abroad in Florence, Italy with the university’s College of Art and Media.

Rebecca has since built many strong relationships and gained ample experience generating creative content across a wide variety of industries. Utilizing her fine-tuned skills and expertise, creative problem solving is her happy place. She takes pride in the work she does and enjoys the design process, working passionately on each project that passes by her desk from concept to delivery.

When she is not putting the pencil to paper or the pixel to screen, Rebecca can be found with her nose in a good book, coasting around on her long board, exploring new places and being the best Aunt she can to five beautiful kiddos. As a recent Texas resident, she has summer plans to check out the desert and take surfing lessons at Port Aransas Beach.

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April 2021 SDR – Voice for the Defense Vol. 50, No. 3

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