Dallas teacher charged with sexual abuse of young child

The Dallas Police Department recently took 53-year-old Dallas ISD elementary school teacher Jorge Ruiz into custody. Ruiz taught at Arthur Kramer Elementary School and was arrested on Wednesday, October 5 around 6:30 a.m. on charges of continuous sexual abuse of a young child and indecency with a young child by contact. He was detained in Lew Sterrett Jail at the North Tower Detention Facility with bail set between $200,000 and $100,000 for each offense.

According to the police, a therapist called their hotline on Friday, September 30 and told them about an incident that her seven-year-old client recalled for her. The seven-year-old said that Ruiz, her first-grade teacher, asked her to put her hands inside his pocket because there was a bunny inside while other students were out of the classroom during recess.

If you are facing a criminal charge – whether it is your first time or you are a repeat offender – seek legal help from our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter. Not only are our legal representatives competent and aggressive, they are also compassionate and have a knack for developing strong legal strategies. Call our offices today at 214-845-7007 to learn more.

Human rights advocate to spend five years in jail

Dallas, Texas activist Dominique Alexander, who founded the Next Generation Action Network, was released from prison on Wednesday, September 21 after receiving a sentence of five years in jail on Tuesday, September 13. Alexander pleaded guilty to a charge of serious bodily injury to a child in 2011. The Next Generation Action Network is a nonprofit organization that advocates equality for all races, religions, and nationalities.

District Judge Gracie Lewis subtracted more than three years from his sentence, using the time Alexander served on probation as a factor in the sentence, to which defense attorney Debbie Sanchez said, “I’ve never seen that happen, ever.” Alexander was one of the organizers of a downtown rally that was interrupted when gunman Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire on the police detail assigned to keep the peace at the protest on July 7, 2016, resulting in the death of four Dallas police officers and a public transit officer.

Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter provide legal services for our clients in Dallas and handle criminal defense cases such as assault and gun possession. If you have questions regarding your legal issues, please contact our firm by calling (214) 845-7007.

Number of death penalty executions lulls in Texas

It has been more than five months since Texas executed someone on death row: the longest time that executions were postponed since 2008.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which recently issued four stays in four weeks, has stopped six executions. Though executions and the ordering of death sentences have continuously dwindled in recent years, it’s “unusual” for Texas to experience such a long gap in executions, said Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Elsa Alcala. Alcala is a staunch opponent of the death penalty and how it is applied in Texas, noting changed witness testimony and junk science as serious issues.

According to at least two judges on the state’s highest criminal court, it was through the effort of defense attorneys that executions are on the decline recently. With this development, those who oppose the death penalty are optimistic that courts are thinking twice before ordering executions.

If you are accused of a crime, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can help you achieve a reduced sentence. Contact us at (214) 845-7007 to see how we can handle your case.

Deputy constable in Harris County loses evidence

Around 150 criminal cases in the area of Houston, Texas have been forced to close after a deputy constable – whether accidentally or intentionally – destroyed over 20,000 pieces of evidence while emptying out a cluttered property room, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced during a news conference on Friday, September 2. According to Anderson, another thousand cases – at least one involving aggravated assault – are undergoing review at the moment.

As such, prosecutors are now working with defense lawyers for a retrial of a defendant who has been sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment after pleading guilty to drug charges, The Houston Chronicle further reported.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said the deputy cleaned the property room of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office in January 2016 but failed to illustrate how so many files could have been destroyed, as some were stored digitally. Herman said he did not learn of this event until March, after which he quickly notified the district attorney’s office of the development.

Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, who provide legal services for our clients in Dallas or other areas in Houston, handle criminal defense cases such as domestic abuse, theft and robbery, sex crimes, homicide/murder, and assault, among others. Call us today at (214) 845-7007 to learn how we can help you with your case.

Winston-Salem teen facing 32 charges

Eighteen-year-old Winston-Salem, North Carolina resident Alexander Manuel Rios is facing a total of 32 charges, including 12 counts of felony breaking and entering into a motor vehicle.

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office reported that the first of the incidents occurred in the Midway area on July 3 and 4, 2016. They were able to identify Rios as the suspect through eyewitness accounts, physical evidence, and recovery of some stolen property. After the crimes, the police had a difficult time locating and apprehending Rios. He was eventually arrested in mid-August and is currently detained at the Davidson County Detention Center. Rios was assigned a $300,000 secured bond and is expected in the Lexington District Court on Monday, September 19.

For legal defense and advice about your criminal case, do not hesitate to seek the assistance of the attorneys at The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Dallas, Texas. Discuss your case with us by calling our offices today at 214-845-7007.

Jeff Wood’s execution stayed by Texas criminal appeals court

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed the execution of Jeff Wood, who was sentenced to death in relation to the shooting death of a convenience store clerk during a robbery in 2006.

Jared Tyler, Wood’s legal counsel, welcomed the development, noting, “The court did the right thing by staying Mr. Wood’s execution. Justice is not served by executing Mr. Wood, who was outside the building when it happened and who had no criminal history. These former jurors have said they feel the government’s presentation to them of a discredited psychiatrist who predicted with certainty, and without evaluating Mr. Wood, that Mr. Wood would be criminally violent in the future was unfair.” Petitioners are asking Texas Governor Greg Abbott to grant Wood clemency.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter provide legal services for clients in Dallas and other areas in Texas, and handle criminal defense cases such as theft and robbery. Call our offices today at 214-845-7007 to learn more about your legal options.

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.

Montgomery County court to start hearings on mental health cases

Montgomery County is going to start sending non-violent criminal offenders with serious mental illnesses to get treatment from mental health facilities instead of keeping them incarcerated.

This move seeks to address the unfortunate reality that one in five people in Texas jails are mentally ill in some way, according to a 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics report. The report also found that mentally ill people who are incarcerated are much more likely to be repeat offenders. Those individuals, who are usually homeless and are prone to substance addiction, are nicknamed “frequent fliers.”

The Fort Bend County Public Defender’s Office started focusing on mental health in 2010, adding specialized attorneys, social workers, and case managers to their office. The county also has felony and misdemeanor mental health courts. Mental health courts began in Florida in 1997 and operate like drug courts, which mainly want to provide treatment rather than punishment.

Your professional and personal reputation may be tarnished if you are convicted of a criminal offense. To get the chance of having your criminal charges reduced or dropped altogether, contact the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Dallas. Call our offices at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your legal options.

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.

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