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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
NSA employee accused in adopted son's death
Brian Patrick O'Callaghan is facing murder charges after it has been alleged that he had beaten his adopted son which resulted to the 3-year-old's death.
O'Callaghan is a former marine and a war veteran who now works for the NSA.
The suspicion against O'Callaghan started when police were called to the hospital where the boy was confined.
The boy was suffering from brain hemorrhage and fractures in the skull, injuries consistent with beating.
O'Callaghan had told police investigators that his wife had gone out of town thus he had been caring for the boy.
While under his care, O'Callaghan said the child had hit his shoulder in the shower after falling backwards. The next day, when he went to check on the boy who was napping, he said he noticed mucus coming out of the boy's nose and when he picked him up, the boy started vomiting so he brought him to the hospital.
Steven McCool, a defense lawyer in Washington representing O'Callaghan, is insisting on his client's innocence.
He said the allegations have no basis and that O'Callaghan is disputing that the child suffered several injuries in the head.
Plea deal for drunk driver who crashed boat and killed a soon-to-be wed man
A plea deal had Richard Aquilone pleading to lesser charges and getting just a probation for the death of Jijo Puthuvamkunnath.
Puthuvamkunnath was to be married in a few weeks but he never got to tie the knot as he got killed when a drunk Aquilone rammed his boat with his yacht.
The impact was so great that Puthuvamkunnath's boat was split in two.
Aside from the probation, Aquilone will also be made to serve the community for 250 hours.
Marc Agnifilo, New York criminal attorney defending for Aquilone, said his client has expressed regret for the loss that he has caused the Puthuvamkunnaths.
$600,000 bail set for man who threatened Seattle mayor
Neither the prosecution nor the defense got what they wanted when the judge ordered Mitchell Munro Taylor to remain in jail and set the bail at $600,000.
Eric Lindell, the Seattle criminal lawyer defending for Taylor, had asked for a $10,000 bail saying that his client has not been taking his medicines for Asperger's Syndrome.
This was countered by the prosecution, who sought a $1 million bail.
Lindell was jailed when he posted several threatening messages on Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's Facebook page.
He also posted a threat which authorities believed targeted Kshama Sawant, the first socialist to have become a member of the City Council.
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.
Life sentence looms over woman found guilty of murder
Jeannette Silvia is looking at a life in prison after a jury found her guilty of murdering Michael Ramirez.
The body of 59-year-old Ramirez was found inside a motel room paid for by Silvia and her ex-boyfriend, Joseph Santos-Torres, who is also charged in connection with Ramirez's death.
Evidence presented in trial showed that Ramirez had paid Silvia for sex then a few days later, Ramirez was made to go to the motel where he was found dead.
Sarah Christensen and Phil Dubois, Colorado Springs defense attorneys, downplayed their client, Silvia's participation in the murder, saying that it was Santos-Torres who killed Ramirez and all she did was helped him escape as he had asked.
The jury, however, did not buy it.
Santos-Torres himself is awaiting trial.