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.

Texas appeals court stayed fourteen executions in 2015

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued fourteen stays of execution in 2015, almost twice as many as in any other year. Three new judges served on the appeals court bench last year after being elected in 2014: Bert Richardson, Kevin Yeary, and David Newell.

Of the fourteen stays issued in 2015, two were rescheduled and later carried out, according to data from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and yearly reports from the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has established a reputation for being hard on criminals, however experts have noted that the stays granted in 2015 likely indicate a shift in state and national attitudes towards the death penalty. On a national scale, the 28 executions carried out in 2015 represent the fewest number in the past 24 years. While it’s true that almost half of those occurred in Texas, the decline is still evident. According to Lee Kovarsky, a law professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey who has been involved in Texas death penalty cases, “You’re seeing a national trend show up in state-level decision-making.”

At the [firm-name], our legal team of criminal defense attorneys will do everything in our power to protect your rights if you have been charged with a criminal offense. To discuss your situation with us today, call [phone-number] now.

Man on death row appeals Harris County capital murder conviction

Thirty-seven-year-old Robert Gene Will II, who has been on death row for 13 years since he was convicted of capital murder in relation to the shooting death of Harris County Sheriff’s Officer Barrett Hill back in 2000, claimed in a federal habeas petition, which he filed on Friday, November 27 before United States District Judge Keith Ellison, that prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Texas have illegally withheld evidence that could exonerate him.

Case records showed that Hill and another police officer responded to a report that two men were breaking into cars at a Houston apartment complex on Dec. 4, 2000 at around 6:00 in the morning. Records state that the officers found Will and his partner at the scene, at which point the officers chased the two men into a wooded area nearby. It was in this field that authorities claim Will shot and killed Officer Hill.

Will claims that Harris County prosecutors pursued this line of argument with only circumstantial evidence backing them up.

Twelve Texas inmates have already been executed this year, more than any other state.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or other areas within the state of Texas, do not hesitate to contact the skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorneys at the [firm-name] to represent your interests in this process. Contact our lawyers today by calling our offices at [phone-number].

Two men arrested for DUI crimes after collisions on the same street

Two adult males have been arrested last Sunday, November 29 for driving while under the influence of alcohol and causing vehicular accidents, police officers in El Paso, Texas reported.

The men arrested were identified as Justin Estes and Andrew Gonzalez, who caused accidents on the 8900 block of Gateway East in the Lower Valley.

According to a preliminary investigation, the first crash happened at around 2:00 in the morning when Estes caused a two-vehicular collision around the area. Estes allegedly attempted to drive away from the collision, but officers were able to stop him before a chase began.

While police officers were working to document the first crash, Gonzalez, who was driving along that same stretch of road, crashed into a police car that was parked near the area and had its emergency lights on.

Estes and Gonzalez were charged with driving while intoxicated.

Every American has the right to adequate legal representation when facing criminal charges. If you have found yourself dealing with serious charges related to driving while intoxicated, contact the [firm-name] by calling [phone-number] to speak to a criminal defense attorney about your situation right away.

Defense, prosecution rest in trial of South by Southwest car crash case

Both the prosecution and the defense rested their cases in the trial of 23-year-old Rashed Owens, who is accused of killing four pedestrians when he struck them with the vehicle he was driving during an attempt to evade police officers during last year’s South by Southwest film, media, and music festival in Austin, Texas.

Owens is facing capital murder charges in the fatal vehicular accident he allegedly caused in March of 2014 when his car sped through a downtown crowd, causing the deaths of four individuals. According to prosecutors, Owens had been driving under the influence of alcohol and was speeding to avoid a traffic stop.

Owens did not testify in the court hearing last Thursday, November 6, and the defense came to a rest without calling any witnesses. Owens’s attorney maintained that it was not the defendant’s intention to hurt any person.

Austin Police Detective Richard Harrington, a crash reconstruction expert and the prosecution’s final witness that day, said surveillance footage showed that Owens had been traveling at a rate of 55 miles per hour during the incident.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or other areas in the state of Texas, contact the attorneys at the [firm-name] by calling [phone-number] to speak to legal representative about building your defense today.

Man convicted of murder based on bite mark evidence now free from jail

Fifty-nine-year-old former construction worker Steven Mark Chaney was released from jail at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, Texas on Monday, October 12 after serving more than 25 years in prison for a murder conviction back in 1987. However, Chaney is not yet fully exonerated of murder. He still has to undergo another trial in order for the formal exoneration to happen.

Back in 1987, Chaney was convicted of the murder of John and Sally Sweek based on the testimony of dentist Jim Hales, who told the jury that there was a “1 to a million” chance that a person other than Chaney could have left the bite marks that were found on John Sweek’s arm. Prosecutors alleged that Chaney murdered the drug dealing couple in order to avoid paying a substantial debt.

Since the conviction, Hales has stated that the science used to make that conclusion regarding the bite marks has changed, invalidating his testimony. The Dallas District Attorney’s Office then concluded that the bite mark evidence was erroneous.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in Dallas, do not hesitate to get in touch with our attorneys at the [firm-name] to let us help you build a strong legal defense. Call our office today at [phone-number] to learn more.

Widow, stepdaughter accused of March 2007 murder of Texas man

The Clifton Police Department in Texas on Friday, September 18 has charged Texas resident John Wesley Frizzell’s widow, Waco resident Sharon Allman, and stepdaughter, Hillsboro resident Misty Lynn Glenn, of murder in connection to Frizzell’s 2011 killing- four years after he was found shot to death.

According to Clifton Police Chief Trace Hendricks, Allman and Glenn are believed to have conspired to kill Frizzell.

When police responded at the home of the victim to a domestic violence call in March 2007, they found Frizzell with a gunshot wound to the head and Glenn’s younger sister unconscious. They concluded at the time that Frizell’s death had been a suicide.

Each and every one of us, whether guilty or not of a criminal charge, deserves the right to legal counsel and a fair trial in court. As it is, we at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Dallas promise to fulfill our duties to our criminal defense clients with zeal, enthusiasm, diligence, and the utmost competence. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

Hobbit, Spartacus actor Manu Bennett arrested in San Antonio for assault

Forty-five-year-old actor Manu Bennett was taken into police custody in San Antonio, Texas and was charged with assault after he was accused of getting into a drunken fist fight with a man at a party for the Alamo City Comic Convention in a downtown Grand Hyatt hotel room on Saturday, September 12.

According to the police report made by the San Antonio police, Bennett was asked to leave the party after allegedly having too much to drink and causing a scene.

Bennett was released from prison at around 1 p.m. the following day.

Bennett is most known for his portrayal of Azog the Defiler in The Hobbit trilogy, the Gallic gladiator Crixus in the Starz television series, Spartacus, and a supervillain in the CW television series, Arrow.

Violent crime charges such as assault can negatively impact a person’s career and personal life. If you have had the misfortune of being charged with such an offense in Dallas or other areas in Texas, hire the legal services of our competent and aggressive attorneys at The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter today by calling our offices at (214) 845-7007.

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