A shout out to Cory Roth of Houston for his recent success in an extremely convoluted case (assault family violence). D, a 57-year-old Navy vet who accumulated some wealth and property, was accused by the half-sister of one of his kids. She moved from California to “take care of” D though she hadn’t spoken to or seen him in over a decade, bringing 9 kids. D rented her a house, but worried the kids were being left alone and called the police. D went to house, where she claims he kicked, hit, punched, slapped, and pulled her hair, leading to 911 call. Judge decided there was no evidence of family relationship, so he did not include family violence language in the jury charge. Cory says the prosecutor told him before trial they were going to dismiss and proceed on the Violation of Protective Order charge that came out of the case. Bottom line: The VPO was dismissed and a Kidnapping charge was reduced to an Unlawful Restraint, time served. Congrats, Cory, on persevering through all the twists and turns for a just end.
Sarah Roland sends a shout out to Chris Abel, board member from Denton. Chris has started the year off on a huge winning streak, with Not Guilty verdicts in three DWI trials and two assault family violence trials, as well as a huge appellate reversal in a solicitation of capital murder case in the Second Court of Appeals, Lathem v. State. Sarah says he’s too humble to include his string of dismissals, but we’ve got no problem mentioning his successes. Way to go, Chris!
Kudos to new editor Michael Mowla for his work on the online version of the SDR. The critics are raving about the new format he’s introduced to the feature, adding to its functionality with his characteristic panache.
Vik Vij and second chair Daniel Lazarine experienced slight consolation in one of those losing cases that are all too familiar to defense lawyers. As Vik noted: “Horrible facts. 6th DWI, all since 2009. Terrible driving. High blood. Awful behavior. . . All on video.” A tough case with difficult witnesses, one who “argued and exaggerated.” In the end, D got six years—but it was less than the offer as well as the maximum sentence. Sometimes it’s the little victories that sustain us through the hard times.