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.

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.

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.

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.

Confidential Free Case Evaluation