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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
Judge denies third trial for man convicted of murder
Nicholas Christopher Ferro was denied a third trial for the death of Marques Butler in 2009.
Ferro's first trial had ended in a hung jury. In his second trial, he was convicted of murder in the second degree last September.
However, he had asked for a third trial with Miami attorney Carlos Gonzalez pointing out several things, the main of which is that the charges should not have been murder in the second degree because of the scant amount of time that Ferro and Butler have known each other before the incident happened.
According to Ferro's defense, a murder in the second degree charge would require that the perpetrator and victim are familiar with each other thus the need for a time requirement on how long they have known each other basing on the murder laws of Florida.
However, the judge said the amount of time is not required.
With Ferro's demand for a third trial denied, a life imprisonment sentence looms for him.
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.
Murder charge dismissed in shooting death of man from Trussville
The murder charge filed against Freddie Earl Patton,53, for the shooting death of his girlfriend's father, Kenneth Millar, 81, has been dismissed upon the request of the Deputy District Attorney.
An order for Patton's release from jail has been signed, however, he may not be off the hook yet as the DA's office has stated that the case will be turned over to the grand jury in Jefferson County.
The prosecution moved for the dismissal after arguing with the defense who wanted to further question the detective about the autopsy report.
Birmingham criminal attorney John Lentine said that a manslaughter charge should have been filed instead of murder because the shooting was an accident.
If Patton gets indicted, he will have to go back to jail.
NFL player's non-cooperation sees theft charges dropped against woman who stole his jewelry
Theft charges against Subhanna Beyah were dropped after her victim, New York Giants' Shaun Rogers, refused to cooperate with the authorities.
Jonathan Meltz, Beyah's lawyer in Miami, could not be contacted to comment on the issue.
Miami prosecutors believed that Beyah did to Rogers what she did to two other men, wherein she drugged them before stealing their valuables.
According to the police, Rogers had met Beyah at the nightclub of the hotel where he was staying.
Together with another couple, they had gone up to his room where he went to sleep while the others were partying. Before he went to sleep, he put his jewelry inside a safe in the room. When he woke up, Beyah was already gone and so was his jewelry worth almost $500,000.
Rogers had told the prosecution that he was not willing to cooperate during the one time he spoke with them.
Despite the failure of the theft charges to prosper, the prosecution instead will go ahead with charging Beyah for violating her probation wherein she is looking at a 20-year prison sentence if convicted.
Jury clears King of Pop's concert promoter of negligence
A jury rejected a negligence lawsuit brought by Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson, against AEG Live LLC, the This is It concerts promoter of the King of Pop.
Katherine Jackson's lawyers claimed that the promoter erred when it failed to verify if Dr. Conrad Murray was qualified when it hired him as the singer's doctor.
AEG denied the allegation but said that Murray was hired by Michael Jackson himself.
Murray is already serving a jail sentence for the death of the popstar.
Los Angeles lawyer Marvin S. Putnam, AEG's lead defense counsel, said the jury made the right decision.
The Jackson lawyers had pointed out that the promoter was only after its own profits thus it did not bother to make sure that Murray was a qualified physician.
Putnam and his defence team claimed Murray's hiring was the singer's choice and that if their client had known about what Murray and Jackson were up to they would not have gone on with the series of concerts.