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Austin, TX Attorneys, Lawyers and Law Firms
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Austin, TX Attorney News
Austin man convicted in shooting death of motorist
A sentence of life imprisonment looms for Darius Lovings after the jury found him liable for the death of William Ervin in 2012.
Court heard that Lovings had shot Ervin when the latter stopped to help him while he was pretending to have car trouble.
Austin criminal lawyer Jon Evans had asked the jury to consider that mental health issues have been at play during the incident.
Lovings had told the police after his arrest that he had heard voices.
Aside from Ervin's death, Lovings is also facing charges of robbery and attempted murder.
Former prosecutor sentenced to 10 days for wrongful conviction
Ken Anderson, the former District Attorney of Williamson County, was meted with a 10-day jail term after the judge accepted his no-contest plea for the charge of contempt of court.
The charge steamed from the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton who was found guilty for the murder of his wife in 1986 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
However, in 2011, Morton's conviction was overturned using DNA as proof that he did not kill his wife.
In the light of that development, Anderson, who had prosecuted Morton's case, was scrutinized and was determined to have erred when he withheld evidence which would have been beneficial for Morton's defense.
Aside from the short jail stay, Anderson will also have to give up his license as a lawyer and as part of the plea bargain, he will also be disbarred for five years.
Austin attorney Eric Nichols, however, pointed out that there will be no conviction for Anderson on any criminal charge.
Morton, for his part, said he is more than happy with the result because all he wanted was for Anderson not to practice law anymore to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else again.
Anderson was also fined and made to do community service.
Man convicted of murder faces life imprisonment
A jury found Thomas Trent Atkinson, a man tagged by prosecutors as a pimp, guilty of murdering Alejandro "Alex" Hernandez Jr. and is facing life imprisonment.
Court heard that Hernandez had picked up a sex worker but had later dropped her off when they couldn't agree on her fee.
Hernandez was later found dead. He was beaten and had a gunshot wound on his back.
The jury believed in the witness, the same sex worker whom Hernandez picked up, who said that she had seen Atkinson shoot Hernandez.
Atkinson's lawyer, Keith Lauerman, a criminal attorney in Austin, tried to discredit the woman but prosecutors said her claims were not baseless.
They added that she did not hide who she was to the jurors even admitting her love for Atkinson.
Drunk driver to serve sentences from three convictions simultaneously
Nicholas Colunga will be spending 14 years in jail for hitting Kylie Doniak while driving intoxicated.
Doniak was among the pedestrians whom Colunga hit when he ignored a red light.
Aside from Doniak, two others were also injured in the incident for which Colunga was also convicted.
The judge ordered for Colunga to serve the sentences of his two other convictions simultaneously.
He also received more than $2,000 fine for all three convictions.
Prosecutors had wanted Colunga to be handed the maximum penalties for all charges but Amber Vasquez Bode, Austin defense attorney representing Colunga, told jurors that a longer stay in prison would make offenders more dangerous once they go back into society.
United States Attorney News
Sexually abusing four differently-abled women nets man prison
William Walker was handed a minimum of 24 years and a maximum of 60 years in prison after admitting to rape charges.
Walker submitted a guilty plea to allegations that he raped four women who are disabled in a span of 12 days in 2012.
The judge said Walker is a danger to society and rehabilitating him may not help.
Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Catherine Berryman said Walker was abused while growing up.
Former Human Rights Commission employee enters plea deal in child pornography
Larry Brinkin, who used to work for the Human Rights Commission of San Francisco, entered into a plea deal agreement on his child pornography charges.
The plea deal saw a second charge of child pornography distribution dropped against the 67-year-old Brinkin.
Under the plea deal, Brinkin will spend six months behind bars and another six months of house arrest. Afterwhich, he will undergo probation for four years.
Brinkin, who is a staunch supporter of the LGBT advocacy, will also be entered in the list of sexual offender and is ordered to go through therapy.
Randall Knox, an attorney in San Francisco, said that Brinkin has been deeply sorry for what he has done and has fully understood the damage that child pornography can inflict on victims.
Cuyahoga corruption snitch gets six years in prison
J. Kevin Kelley was handed a six-year prison sentence for his involvement in the Cuyahoga corruption case, considered as one of the biggest in the county.
Kelley was the first defendant to offer his cooperation to the FBI who was investigating the corruption issue.
He admitted to being the one who collects and pays off the bribes to county officials.
During his sentencing, Kelley issued an apology to his family as well as the taxpayers of Cuyahoga County.
Kelley has also been ordered to pay restitution of about $700,000.
Kelley's cooperation ensured the cooperation of other defendants in the case and the conviction of several people involved in the corruption.
Cleveland defense attorney John Gibbons said there is no excuse for Kelley's involvement in the corruption, however, his cooperation is the best way for him to make amends.
Famous dealer of wine convicted for fraud
The jury returned a guilty verdict against Rudy Kurniawan, a star wine collector, for faking vintage wines, which he apparently just manufactured from his home.
Kurniawan was convicted for fraud and is looking at a massive 40-year sentence.
Kurniawan was once known as among the top five collectors of wine in the world.
Prosecutors accused Kurniawan of earning millions from selling and auctioning fake vintage wines.
Found in the home that Kurniawan shared with his mother were unlabeled bottles and labels of Burgundy and Bordeaux wines.
Suspicions against Kurniawan started during an auction in 2008 wherein he offered to sell Domaine Ponsot wines.
But it wasn't until a 2012 wine auction in London that Kurniawan was arrested.
Los Angeles criminal lawyer Jerome Mooney, defending for Kurniawan, said his client was not trying to defraud people. Instead, all he wanted was to belong.
Cop gets two months for shooting trainee during an exercise
William S. Kern, a Baltimore Police instructor, was handed a 60-day jail stay, for shooting Raymond Gray, a police recruit, while they were doing exercises.
Kern, who has been in service for 19 years, told the court during his trial that he had brought a live gun to the exercises and he had accidentally used it instead of the training weapon.
Gray was hit in the head and was blinded in one eye when Kern fired his gun through the window to show the recruits the danger of lingering near the door, the window or the hallway.
Kern said that he brought his gun to the training for the safety of the recruits because the facility where they were having their exercises is not secure.
Baltimore defense attorney Shaun F. Owens had argued for Kern's release saying that his client's eventual dismissal from the service would already be enough of a punishment.
Kern is on a 60-day suspension while the Baltimore Police conducts an investigation within its ranks.
Gray's family, who expressed dissatisfaction with the sentence, has also filed a civil lawsuit in relation to the incident and is being represented by Baltimore litigator A. Dwight Pettit.