Man on death row becomes first man to be executed in 2017

Convicted murderer Christopher Wilkins, 48, was the first person executed in the United States in 2017. He was injected with the barbiturate drug pentobarbital on Wednesday, January 12 at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville in Walker County.

When asked during his trial if he would rather spend his lifetime in prison or be executed on death row, Wilkins reportedly said, “I haven’t been good to anybody for the last 20 years and I won’t be for the next 20 or the 20 after that.” An appeal made before the United States Supreme Court to stay his execution was denied hours before Wilkins’ execution.

In an interview with the Tribune, Hilary Sheard, Wilkins’ current attorney, said, “The real issue in the case is that he was represented in a critical stage of the process by an attorney who failed to investigate the case and who had agreed to go to work for the District Attorney’s Office, the same office who put Mr. Wilkins on death row.”

Texas had killed 539 people on death row since 1976, the year when the ban on the death penalty was lifted.

If you are charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or another area in Texas, you have a higher chance of getting your sentence reduced or your case dropped completely if you contact our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling 214-845-7007 today.

Houston’s murder tally stable despite rise in early 2016

According to Houston police data, the total murder tally in the area in 2016 was 302 murders, which is one less than in 2015. However, the statistic is still higher than the five-year average.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, in a press statement released on Wednesday, January 4, said the Houston Police Department transferred 175 police officers to patrol duties from administrative duties.

Art Acevedo said he will make it a point to thoroughly conduct investigations on felonies to crack down on murders this year. The new police chief plans to focus more on felonies than minor drug offenses. Acevedo noted “When people are shooting people, we need to treat that as if it were a murder, because the person that commits an aggravated assault today is the same person that’s going to commit a murder.”

He will partner with Harris County’s newly installed criminal justice leaders, District Attorney Kim Ogg and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, on a cite-and-release program for low-level drug offenses.

Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, who provide quality legal representation for our clients in Dallas and other areas in Texas, handle criminal defense for cases that involve domestic abuse, assault, and murder, among others. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

Houston man convicted of killing his pregnant wife exonerated

After long proceedings in which 30 witnesses testified and over 200 pieces of evidence were examined, District Judge Larry Gist ruled the murder conviction of 48-year-old Houston, Texas resident David Mark Temple be overturned. Temple is currently serving a life sentence for allegedly killing his pregnant wife, a high school teacher who was seven months pregnant, back in 2009.

Five of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ nine judges affirmed Gist’s findings, while three dissented, and one abstained. Temple’s legal counsel, Dick DeGuerin, welcomed the development, amid his growing concerns about the speed of the case. DeGuerin said “I was still concerned because it had taken so long. It’s been a year.” He said he will try to get Temple released on bond and that Temple is “extremely happy and relieved and hopeful that he can be home by at least Christmas.”

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or another area in Texas, you should protect your life and reputation by hiring the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter. Contact us at 214-845-7007 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team as soon as you can.

Convicted child sex offender kills wife in Baytown

El Ray Gonzalez, 39, is facing murder charges in relation to the death of his estranged wife, Elva Gonzalez, 41, on the front lawn of her house in Baytown, Texas last Sunday, October 30.

According to preliminary investigations, the Gonzalez’ children – aged 16 and 21 – were able to call the police when El Ray first arrived in Elva’s house. When police arrived at the house in the 1900 block of Mississippi Street, El Ray was walking Elva outside the house at gunpoint. He then shot her several times before receiving a wounding shot from a police officer. El Ray received medical attention for his wound and was immediately arrested. The victim’s children were not hurt during the incident.

Supposedly, Elva filed a restraining order against her estranged husband days before the shooting happened, but the Baytown Police Department could not confirm this report. Department of Public Safety records show that El Ray received a conviction for the sexual assault of a three-year-old back in 2005.

Being charged with a criminal offense can have damaging consequences on your life. Contact the legal services of our criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, who provide legal services to clients who live in Dallas by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

Richardson woman’s boyfriend implicated on her death

A Collin County grand jury last Tuesday, August 9 has indicted 27-year-old Richardson in Dallas and Collin counties resident Jason Michael Lowe on a charge of murder in relation to the death of his girlfriend, 27-year-old fellow Richardson resident Jessie Bardwell, who was found near Lake Lavon in May 2016.

Sergeant Kevin Perlich of the Richardson Police Department said they have a strong case to support the theory that Bardwell had died from “homicidal violence”.

Dr. Lynn Salzberger’s autopsy report of Bardwell’s “severely decomposed” body, which was released last Thursday, August 11, showed that it was discovered in a remote wooded pasture and was wrapped in a navy blue fitted sheet which was secured with a knotted red strap around it.

Bardwell had been wearing a T-shirt and shorts at the time of her death. She was identified through dental records.

If you had been charged with a criminal offense like domestic abuse, theft/robbery, sex crimes, assault, or homicide/murder, in Dallas or other neighboring areas in Texas, get in touch with our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

6th Street shooter kills bystander

Police responded to a 911 call reporting a shooting that happened on Sunday, July 31 at around 2:15 a.m. in the 200 block of E. Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. The shooter killed 30-year-old Teqnika Marie Moultrie, an innocent bystander.

According to police investigations, 24-year-old Endicott McCray got into an altercation with his brother-in-law, so he took a gun from the waistband of his jeans and tried to shoot his brother-in-law. He then shot at the ground and fired four more gunshots in the air. Moultrie’s wife, Sabrina, said they had just exited Voodoo Doughnuts at 212 E. Sixth Street when the gunshots were fired. Sabrina said she dived to the ground when the gunshots rang out, but then she saw Moultrie sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Moultrie died at the scene of the incident. Four other people sustained gunshot wounds and were transported to the University Medical Center Brackenridge.

If you are arrested or charged with a crime in Dallas or another area of Texas, do not hesitate to consult with our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter. Call our offices at (214) 845-7007 so we can start planning strategies for your criminal defense.

Judge rejects inmate’s request to speak with doctor

Nineteenth State District Judge Ralph Strother denied a request by death row inmate Carnell Petetan, Jr. last Tuesday, July 19. Petetan wanted to speak to state expert Dr. Randy Price, a neuropsychologist in Dallas. McLennan County prosecutors said Petetan’s attorneys were on a “fishing expedition,” but that they had already released all evidence favorable to the defense.

Price offered his expert opinion to McLennan County prosecutors in Petetan’s capital murder case but did not give his testimony during Petetan’s trial. However, Price did attend Petetan’s trial and heard defense expert witnesses say that Petetan suffered from an intellectual disability that should disqualify him from receiving the death penalty. Petetan received his execution sentence in 2014 after the shooting death of his estranged wife, Kimberly Farr Petetan, in 2012.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter are prepared to give your criminal defense case the dedicated attention that it requires. If you are charged with a murder, assault, or any other crime in Dallas, we may be able to lessen your sentence. Call our offices today at 214-845-7007 to discuss your legal options.

Bill proposed to make killing police officers a federal crime

United States Senator John Cornyn III (Republican of Texas) introduced the proposed Back the Blue Act of 2016 last Wednesday, July 13 to give more protection to members of law enforcement agencies, in a bid to address the police shootings in Dallas during the first week of July that resulted in the death of five police officers.

Fellow U.S. Senator from Texas, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, gave support to the bill, saying, “This bill better protects our nation’s finest by providing stronger tools for the prosecution of those who would harm law enforcement. We must stand in solidarity with our police officers, firefighters, first responders, and federal officers who selflessly run into harm’s way to protect our families and communities.”

The main provision of the proposed legislation is to make the act of killing a member of a law enforcement agency a federal crime, subjecting the offender to the death penalty. The bill also seeks to fund police departments’ community relation projects and broaden the definition of what constitutes as self-defense for police officers during altercation scenarios.

Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter legally help our clients in Dallas and surrounding areas with cases related to homicide/murder, drug crimes, driving while intoxicated/driving under the influence, among others. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

‘American Sniper’ killer wants re-trial of his case

An attorney for 28-year-old ex-Marine Eddie Ray Routh, argued last Thursday, June 30 at Texas’ 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland, to give Routh a re-trial. Routh had been convicted of the murders of United States Navy SEAL veteran and sniper Christopher Scott “Chris” Kyle – dubbed the “American Sniper” due to his 160 confirmed kills during his Iraq tour – and his friend, Chad Littlefield on Feb. 25, 2015.

Routh’s legal counsel, J. Warren St. John, said he was behaving erratically on the day of the killings not because his brain was addled by marijuana, but because he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and was, therefore, unaware of the consequences and of his conduct during the time of the murders, noting, “If Eddie was intoxicated he wouldn’t have been able to shoot Chris Kyle and drive his truck.”

if you need legal advice or legal representation for your criminal case in Dallas or other areas in Texas such as domestic abuse, murder/homicide, or something similar, contact our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter today by calling our offices at (214) 845-7007.

Judge amends East Texas mass murder gag order, allows news sources to report

State District Judge Deborah Oaks Evans has amended the gag order she placed on the East Texas mass murder case in a motion she filed with the Anderson County District Court on Tuesday, December 1 just before 5:00 p.m. to allow news coverage of the trial. The order still prohibits attorneys and police officers from speaking with reporters.

The newly-amended gag order allows members of the media and the public to attend pre-trial hearings and print “any information they have already obtained or may obtain in the future”.

The case under discussion is that of 33-year-old William Hudson, who is accused of killing 77-year-old Carl Johnson; 40-year-old Hannah Johnson, Carl’s daughter; six-year-old Kade Johnson, Hannah’s son; 46-year-old Thomas Kamp; and Austin and Nathan Kamp, 21 and 24, respectively, who are Kamp’s sons from a previous marriage.

The victims were allegedly killed on Monday, November 14 at a campsite next to Hudson’s property in the town of Tennessee Colony, located southeast of Dallas.

Hudson is facing six counts of capital murder, meaning he would get the death penalty if convicted of his crimes.

Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter provide legal services for our clients who have been charged with criminal offenses in Dallas or other areas within the state of Texas. To receive legal advice and assistance regarding your criminal charges or if you want to hire us to legally represent you, do not hesitate to contact us by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

Confidential Free Case Evaluation