MURDER JURY MISTRIAL RESULTS IN 7 YEAR PLEA
Police respond to a shooting at a now-defunct hotel near a high drug crime area in Austin, Texas. When they arrive and find the decedent, an on-scene witness who is personally acquainted with the client identifies him as a shooter. The client is arrested a few days later in another state with his baby momma and his girlfriend, all of whom are camped out together in one hotel room.
The trial revealed many parts of the whole sordid tale. The on-scene witness is a homeless drug dealer/user and was very shaky as a witness and not particularly reliable. Facts she adamantly claimed were true contradicted important physical evidence and the testimony of the client’s baby momma. Baby momma was released from a psychiatric/drug rehab facility the very day she testified, and although her testimony was coherent, it contradicted the on-scene witness in important ways. The witnesses’ story was that the client is a pimp; he may have wanted the on-scene witness to recruit girls for him to “manage,” and he likely shot the decedent accidentally. The client’s girlfriend, a prostitute herself, did not make herself available to testify at the trial.
The client has been to prison multiple times so any conviction would automatically require a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
With both witnesses, the state was not certain they would actually show up and testify in this trial or whether they would show up if the case were ever retried.
The jury simply did not have strong faith in either of the state’s drug-addicted, mentally-ill likely-prostitute witnesses, and they were unable to come to a decision. After the judge declared a mistrial, we approached the state with an offer to settle the case. With a minimum potential sentence for the murder of five years’ imprisonment, the DA agreed to a seven-year plea deal. Great outcome for the client who was facing 25 to life, and for the state could never guarantee to the decedent’s family that they would fare any better at a future trial.
Court: 450th District Court