UT student’s suspected killer makes first court appearance

Meechaiel Criner, the homeless man who turned 18 a little more than a week ago, made his first court appearance on Friday, July 8.  Criner is charged as the primary suspect in the killing of University of Texas at Austin freshman Haruka Weiser.

Presiding Judge David Wahlberg discussed some routine defense motions for discovery and asked both panels when they thought Criner’s capital murder trial could commence. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office transferred Criner from an isolated holding cell at Travis County Jail in central Austin to the general population of the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle. Police arrested Criner a week after Weiser was reported missing on April 3, 2016. Her body was found two days later on campus in Waller Creek near the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center. Criner was recognized by campus-area firefighters from video footage that depicted the suspect.

The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter send condolences to the friends and family of Haruka Weiser as they begin this trying time.

Soldier fatally shoots ex-Marine, wounds wife in Arlington

Twenty-two-year-old Fort Hood, Texas-based soldier Ricci Bradden was charged with murder and aggravated assault on account of fatally shooting 35-year-old former Marine T. J. Antell and wounding his own wife, Quinisha Johnson, with a gunshot, at the Walgreens Pharmacy at 5600 New York Avenue in Arlington in Tarrant County on May 2, 2016.

According to the arrest warrant, Bradden sought out his wife, Johnson, to confront her at her place of work. He then shot his handgun twice after an argument, hitting Johnson once in the ankle. Bradden tried to flee the scene when an armed man, who was identified as Antell, told him to drop his weapon and stay where he was. Bradden was able to knock the gun out of Antell’s hand and shoot him.

He made a court appearance last Thursday, June 30 and asked for a bail reduction of his $515,000 bail.

There are personal and professional consequences of a criminal charge conviction, none of them good, so it’s best to get in touch with our attorneys at [firm-name] in Dallas, Texas by calling our offices today at [phone-number]. Speak with a knowledgeable legal professional who is dedicated to protecting your legal rights and interests as soon as you can.

Texas appeals court lifts gag order in Waco biker shootout case

On Wednesday, June 15, The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals lifted the gag order formerly placed on the biker shootout case that happened in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. The May 17, 2015 incident resulted in the death of nine people and caused injury to 18 others.

The gag order was issued in the case of Matthew Clendennen, who was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, by McLennan County State District Judge Matt Johnson. However, defense attorneys and the McLennan County district attorney’s office applied the gag order to most of the cases associated with the shootout. According to Clendennen’s legal counsel, Clint Broden, “The district attorney’s office disingenuously claimed to seek the gag order to preserve ‘the paramount importance [of] the trial rights of Mr. Clendennen’ despite the fact that its motives were very transparent.”

If you have been charged with a crime, such as organized criminal activity or murder, the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter may be able to offer you legal assistance. Contact us to find out more about our aggressive and committed criminal defense strategy by calling our offices at (214) 845-7007.

Prosecutors seek to revoke probation of man convicted of manslaughter

Prosecutors in Dallas County are seeking to revoke the probation of 30-year-old Leo Deleon, who was convicted of manslaughter in 2013 after he drove drunk and caused the death of 28-year-old Heather Holt.

A hearing was set last Wednesday, June 8 before Texas District Judge Teresa Hawthorne, the same judge who gave Deleon a probation sentence in the manslaughter case. This time Hawthorne must decide whether Deleon should serve a jail sentence for the fatal accident, which is made worse by Deleon’s leaving the scene of the accident. Prosecutors earlier tried to send Deleon to prison for violating the terms of his probation; in 2014, he tested positive for methamphetamine.

It is your legal right to have a competent criminal defense attorney at your side no matter your crime, as a strong defense strategy can help your case immensely. A fair trial is your right if you have been charged with a criminal offense, whether you are guilty or not. Seek out the legal services of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Dallas by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

Rapper arrested after fatal T.I. concert shooting

Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred at the concert of hip-hop artist T.I. at Irving Plaza in Manhattan. Police have arrested 33-year-old Brooklyn rapper Roland Collins, who goes by stage name Troy Ave, on Thursday, May 26, saying video surveillance showed him firing a weapon as he entered the venue.

An associate of the shooter identified as Ronald McPhatter died during the shooting. He was part of Collins’ entourage. Approximately 1,000 people were inside the concert venue when the shooting occurred. A concertgoer, Maggie Heckstall, was shot in the leg, while another member of the audience was shot in the chest, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. Police Commissioner William Bratton attributed the act to “the crazy world of the so-called rap artists, who are basically thugs that basically celebrate the violence they did all their lives.”

Sometimes violent acts occur unexpectedly, placing a huge burden on both victims and perpetrators. The thoughts of the criminal defense attorneys at the [firm-name] are with the families and friends of all individuals involved in this incident.

18-year-old sentenced to 38 years after shooting death of Iraqi man

Eighteen-year-old Nykerion Nealon was sentenced to 38 years in prison last Monday, May 23 for the death of 36-year-old Iraqi national Ahmed Al-Jumaili on March 4, 2015. Al-Jumaili was outside his apartment complex in Dallas, Texas taking pictures of snow with his wife and brother when he was killed.

Al-Jumaili left his country to escape from the violence and to be with his wife. Mohammed Altaae, Al-Jumaili’s father-in-law, said that Al-Jumaili saved money for a year to finance his move to the United States. Russell Wilson, Nealon’s legal counsel, argued that even though Nealon was near the vicinity of the area where Al-Jumaili was shot at the time of the incident, it was another person who pulled the trigger.

Wilson also criticized the sentence and compared it to the sentence given to Ethan Couch, who caused the death of four people in 2013 because of drunk driving. Couch, who had been 16 at the time of the accident and sentencing, received two years in prison after breaking his probation – 180 days for each person killed in the accident.

If you are facing charges and in need of criminal defense in Dallas, trust that the attorneys at the [firm-name] will do everything to help get your case dismissed or have you face the lowest penalties possible. Call our offices at [phone-number] to discuss your specific situation.

Off-duty police officer gave ride to main suspect in UT Austin murder

An off-duty police officer in central Texas reportedly gave the 17-year-old Meechaiel Criner a ride from Georgetown to a hospital in Austin around 10 days before Criner was charged with the murder of a University of Texas at Austin college student.

Criner is currently being held under police custody as the main suspect in the murder of 18-year-old Oregon resident and University of Texas student Haruka Weiser. Georgetown Assistant Police Chief Cory Tchida said the police deputy who helped Criner will not be subject to any violation, noting that “He was trying to be decent and help somebody out.” Criner was under the care of Child Protective Services before being reported as a runaway on March 24, 2016.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Dallas handle criminal defense cases such as domestic abuse, murder and homicide, and drug offenses. We tackle our cases with an aggressive, experienced team to make sure every defendant receives the representation he or she deserves. Call our offices at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your legal options.

Execution delayed for Dallas man who killed his children

Sixty-year-old former Dallas, Texas accountant John Battaglia, who was given the death penalty after shooting his two daughters – nine-year-old Faith and six-year-old Liberty – was granted a last-minute reprieve on Wednesday, March 30 from the Fifth United States Circuit Court of Appeals in order for his defense attorney to pursue mental incompetency claims.

The execution, which was set for 6 p.m. that day, was postponed until the courts can determine whether Battaglia should not be executed on the basis of possible mental problems and “delusions”.

On May 2, 2001, Battaglia shot his two daughters in his Deep Ellum loft while his ex-wife was listening on the phone.

At his capital murder trial, an adult daughter from a previous marriage said Battaglia was suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, characterized by manipulative behavior, a lack of empathy, and a hyper-inflated sense of importance, according to his psychiatrists.

Gregory Gardner, Battaglia’s present legal counsel, said Battaglia has long “exhibited bizarre behavior consistent with severe mental illness”.

The appeals court did not decide whether or not Battaglia qualified for an insanity defense but concurred that he previously “lacked counsel to prepare his claim of incompetency”, noting that Battaglia had a history of saying that his lawyers wanted to secure his execution.

Arlington police officer accused of shooting and killing college football player to possibly face criminal charges

Former Police Officer Brad Miller of the Arlington Police Department in Texas, who was recently fired after shooting and killing 19-year-old college football player Christian Taylor during a suspected robbery at a Texas car dealership, could possibly face criminal charges or civil lawsuits, with authorities stating that the Tarrant County District Attorney could make their case to a grand jury in a few weeks.

The Arlington Police Department is currently under the process of awaiting toxicology reports on Taylor, who was seen in surveillance videos breaking the windshield of a car on the dealership parking lot and then driving the vehicle into the glass showroom.

The shooting itself was not taken by video camera.

Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Dallas specialize in representing clients who have been charged with a criminal case. If you have any criminal defense case issues and would like us to represent you in a court of law, you can call our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

Former Texas death row inmate seeks $2M

A report from The Houston Chronicle stated that former death row inmate Alfred Brown is seeking almost $2 million from the state of Texas after being imprisoned for over twelve years following a wrongful conviction.

Brown was found guilty of capital murder in 2005 in relation to the killing of Houston police officer Charles Clarke during an attempted robbery at a check-cashing store in southeast Houston in 2003. Brown was sentenced to death even though his defense attorneys claimed that he was “borderline mentally handicapped.”

Texas legislators approved the Tim Cole Act in 2011 following the false conviction of Lubbock resident Tim Cole on rape charges. Cole died halfway through his 25-year sentence in 1999, four years before the man who actually committed the rape confessed to the crime and almost ten years before DNA evidence would overturn his wrongful conviction.

The Tim Cole law set the amount of financial compensation the state of Texas could be liable for after a wrongful conviction to as much as $80,000 per year served in prison. Brown’s lawyers are now claiming that, according to this law, Brown is entitled to compensation as he is technically an exoneree.

If you have been charged with a crime in Dallas, contact the criminal defense team at [firm-name] as soon as possible by calling [phone-number] to discuss your case.