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Travis County Murder Case Dismissed

JULY 2017

Police were called to a shooting in an apartment complex in Wells Branch, a residential community north of Austin. When they arrived, they found one person shot dead and another person who told a completely implausible story involving a marijuana deal gone bad that resulted in the purported marijuana buyer shooting the decedent and running from the scene, leaving his own vehicle, still running, at the scene.

My client was identified as the purported marijuana buyer. The client contacted me shortly after the incident, and I walked him to the courthouse to turn himself in on the warrant without any incident. He was released within a couple of days on bond.

Evidence was later revealed that established there were multiple significant lies by the on-scene witness, that he had concealed multiple pounds of marijuana at the scene, that there were independent witnesses who saw shadowy characters returning to the scene to retrieve a second firearm from a hidden location, there was social media evidence strongly suggesting gang membership of decedent, and there were additional witnesses who later came forward and told authorities that decedent and the on-scene witness had been robbing dope dealers in the weeks before our case.

The client passed a lie detector test arranged by me that indicated the decedent pulled a gun on him prior to the shooting.

When a person attempts to rob another person, even a dope dealer, and someone dies as a result, the proper charge is generally either capital murder or felony murder. So when the would-be robber’s attempt to rob was foiled, and he was killed, the on-scene co-robber and witness really just became an uncharged murderer himself.

I worked closely with the DA by providing him with evidence and helping him interpret the confusing reports and witness statements. When he fully evaluated the case, he realized that the client would have a strong self-defense claim and that the only witness to place the client at the scene had told a series of lies and was himself criminally responsible for the murder. Ultimately the DA wisely decided to dismiss the case.

Court: 390th District Court