Execution of Dallas child murderer stayed

Dallas resident John Battaglia, who was convicted of shooting and killing his two daughters on May 2, 2001, will not face execution on Saturday, December 10. Instead, he received a reprieve, and his execution will happen no earlier than February 2017, as ruled by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday, December 2.

Battaglia’s attorneys argued their client was not mentally competent to face execution. Both the state of Texas and Battaglia’s legal counsel have 60 days to prove their claims until the courts decide whether Battaglia will die by lethal injection or not. Court documents showed that Battaglia shot his daughters eight times in his loft in Deep Ellum shortly after his divorce from his wife, Mary Jean Pearle, who was processing a request to have Battaglia’s probation for assault revoked.

If you have been charged with a crime in Dallas or another area in Texas, do not hesitate to enlist the legal services of our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

Texas mother shot dead by husband after filing restraining order

39-year-old El Rey Gonzalez killed his estranged wife, 41-year-old Elva Gonzalez, by shooting her on the front lawn of her house in Baytown. The Harris County incident happened last Sunday, October 30, one day after she filed a restraining order against him.

According to preliminary investigations, their two children – who were aged 16 and 21 – called 911 to report an intruder in their house at approximately 6 p.m. that day. The intruder turned out to be El Rey, who was able to convince Elva to come out to the porch and have a conversation with him. She was shot when she stepped out onto the lawn. Police officers were able to shoot and wound El Rey when they arrived at the scene of the crime. El Rey is a registered sex offender who had prior convictions for assault, and gun and drug possession.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter extend their sincerest thoughts and condolences to the family of the victim in this tragedy.

Texas man who allegedly drowned wife faces death penalty

Prosecutors in North Texas say they will ask for the death penalty against 34-year-old Rodolfo Arellano, who was accused of drowning his 28-year-old wife, Elizabeth. He tied a rope attached to heavy concrete around her neck and pushed her off a bridge into Lake Worth in Tarrant County.

According to a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office filed a notice on Friday, September 16 to seek the death penalty against Arellano, who is charged with capital murder.

Elizabeth Arellano’s remains were discovered on April 16, 2016 after authorities responded to fishermen who called in to report a potential suicide after seeing someone fall from the bridge. She and Rodolfo Arellano had already legally separated and reports showed that Elizabeth had plans to file a divorce petition from her estranged husband, who is now sitting in jail with a $500,000 bond.

Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter have the experience and commitment necessary to help you win your case in criminal court. Contact us today by calling our Dallas offices at (214) 845-7007.

Five Alabama residents murdered with an ax and gun

Derrick Dearman, a 27 year old from Mississippi, was charged with six counts of capital murder and two counts of kidnapping on August 23rd. Dearman broke into an Alabama home before sunrise on Saturday morning, carrying an ax. The family living inside was housing Dearman’s estranged ex-girlfriend. He killed a total of five people, using the ax he brought with him and guns he found inside. He later confessed to the murders, professing his love for his ex-girlfriend, Laneta Lester, and revealing that he was on methamphetamine at the time of the slayings.

After the massacre, he kidnapped his estranged ex-girlfriend and a child of two of the victims. He claims he did not kill them because the drugs had worn off and he “realized what was really going on”. He was charged with six counts of murder rather than five to account for the unborn child of one of his victims, who was pregnant.

 

Charlie Passarelli, Jr., who said he provided a house for Lester and Dearman earlier this year, said Dearman was frequently high on methamphetamine and physically abused Lester.

Dearman says he does not recall most of the events from the incident, but feels he deserves to die.

Teen son fatally shoots his parents

Former linebacker Antonio Armstrong and his wife, Dawn, were shot in the 5300 block of Palmetto in Houston, Texas on Friday, July 29. Both of the victims were 42.

Armstrong, a Kashmere High School graduate who became an All-American player at Texas A&M University had a family of five that included his wife and three children – a 20-year-old, 16-year-old, and 12-year-old. The Armstrong’s operated a small chain of local fitness centers together and Antonio was an assistant pastor at a Gulfton-area congregation. It was one of Antonio and Dawn’s sons who allegedly opened fire on them in their townhouse, killing the mother instantly and hospitalizing the father at Memorial Hermann, where he later died as the result of his injuries.

Vaun Lee, a friend of the victims, said Antonio and Dawn were good parents who got along well with their children. According to Lee, “They are the family that everyone wanted to be like.”

 

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.

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].

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.

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