Shout Outs


Kudos to Jim Huggler of Tyler on a big win in the CCA, gaining a reversal in the Walker v. State case. The Walkers—who legally adopted their three grandchildren after abuse and neglect of their druggie parents—were sentenced to 25 years in 2012 based on “expert” testimony in the scalding of their 3-year-old granddaughter, Bridget. The Twelfth Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed the decision in 2014, and the couple immediately began serving their sentences. Jim argued that the appeals court erred in holding that the evidence was sufficient to sustain their convictions, and the CCA agreed. The TCDLA listserve lit up with congratulations, noting that justice was served in a case where an overreaching prosecutor and an overly zealous CPS investigator got a jury to go along with suspect evidence and manufactured indignation. The CCA file can be viewed here: Worth noting is this quote: “The human desire to defer to an ‘expert’ is innate and not always rational. In this case, the jury acted irrationally in deferring to the experts’ unsupported conclusions that Kenneth, Shelley, or both of them intentionally caused the injury . . . We do not know, nor can we know, how the child came to be injured without resort to speculation.” Way to go, Jim, on a job well done.

Congratulations to Michelle Latray and Michael Dahlenburg of Groesbeck on a recent win. In October, a Limestone County jury found her client not guilty of Evading Arrest with a Motor Vehicle, which the State alleged was a deadly weapon. D’s checkered history had him facing 25 to 99 years as a habitual offender. State only called one witness, the state trooper who arrested D—after observing two vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed in the opposite direction. Trooper testified that the video shown of the incident wasn’t as accurate as his own vision. The jury, after deliberating an hour and a half, disagreed. Kudos to the home team, Michelle and Michael, for the big NG.

Kudos once again to Patty Tress Morris of Denton, who won a Motion to Suppress in October on a coerced confession. The police interrogated her client and told him his wife had been threatened in order to obtain a confession—without telling him the specific threat or any details. The judge agreed that this was coercion and suppressed the statements of her client during the police interview. Good job, counselor.

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Federal Corner: Child Pornography; The Playpen; The Onion Router (“Tor”); Network Investigative Technique (“NIT”) Warrants; Suppression; and, Confusion in the Courts – By F. R. Buck Files Jr.

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