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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
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.
Ex-cab driver agrees to plea deal in murder charges
A plea deal agreement has Broderick Kenyo Smith admitting to manslaughter instead of capital murder in the death of Arlando Maurice Pritchett in 2012.
The plea agreement will have Smith serving just a year in jail for a split sentence of 10 years.
His jail stay will be followed with probation for three years.
Should Smith violate his probation, he could be made to serve the rest of his 10-year sentence.
According to the police, Pritchett had an argument with a cab driver prior to his shooting while Smith admitted that he had been driving a cab during the time of the incident.
Birmingham defense attorney Charles Salvagio said Smith had shot Pritchett because the latter had robbed him.
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.
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.
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.