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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
Man cleared of theft charges
Kevin Keheley can breathe a sigh of relief after a jury exonerated him of theft.
Keheley was accused of defrauding a man after entering into a contract of developing an application for a smartphone, which he was never able to produce.
The contract was for $17,000 and Keheley was paid up front with $10,000.
Keheley then relocated to Austin but promised to finish the application. This, however, never happened.
Denver criminal lawyer Laurie Schmidt, who defended for Keheley, said that what happened was a business dispute.
Schmidt added that Keheley had no intention of running away from giving back the money that he received as evidenced by emails showing his intention to pay the money back.
Woman charged in death of fiancé’s two-year-old daughter
Melinda Muniz has been arrested and charged with the death of Grace Ford, the two-year-old daughter of her fiance, who reportedly broke up with her.
Aside from being the fiancee of the victim's father, Muniz was also the caregiver of the little girl.
Muniz's arrest has generated widespread anger with hundreds expressing their disgust for the suspect online.
Robbie McClung, a Dallas criminal attorney who will be defending for Muniz, urged the public to wait for all the facts before judging Muniz.
The police have also stated that Muniz is not considered guilty until proven otherwise.
Philadelphia Church official granted bail after his conviction was reversed
After 18 months in prison, Monsignor William Lynn, may be released when he was granted bail following the reversal of his conviction.
Lynn, who served as a secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia archdiocese, will have to give up his passport. He will also be made to wear an electronic device for monitoring.
The Roman Catholic official was sentenced to between three to six years after he was convicted for endangering an abuse victim of a priest.
However, appeal judges reversed Lynn's conviction because the child-endangerment law which he was accused of violating did not apply to him.
Following the reversal, Lynn's defense lawyers asked for his release which the prosecution opposed during the bail hearing claiming that the priest is a flight risk.
However, Philadelphia defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom said that Lynn would never run away from conviction.
16-year-old charged with hate crime, will be tried as an adult
Richard Thomas may only be 16 years old but he will be facing the charges filed against him as an adult.
Thomas is facing several charges including "hate crime" after he set another teenager, Luke "Sasha" Fleischman, 18, on fire.
Both were riding on a bus when the incident happened with Fleischman wearing a skirt.
Fleischman's parents said their son does not identify himself either as a male or female.
According to police, Thomas had told them he set Fleischman on fire because he is homophobic.
San Francisco defense attorney Michael Cardoza said his client, Thomas, if convicted would be facing a longer sentence because of the hate crime charge.
Man avoids manslaughter conviction
Donnell Deshawn Stean was cleared of manslaughter charges for the death of Bernard Howard Jr. whom he shot during an altercation.
The jury had found that Stean had only shot Howard in defense.
Howard was found to have more than the legal limit of alcohol in his blood while Stean had tested positive of an ingredient found in marijuana.
Howard was one of the people whom Stean found in his apartment when he went home on the night of Nov. 3. They were drinking and helping out a roommate of Stean's who was moving out.
The group got upset when Stean hit an older man who was also living in the apartment.
Howard had punched Stean, who retaliated by pulling out his gun.
Sacramento defense attorney Alan Whisenand said his client, Stean, had felt threatened by the group thus his actions.
Stean was also cleared of seriously wounding the female roommate's brother during the incident.