NEWS AND NUGGETS from The Harris County Criminal Justice Center

Welcome to Show Me the Justice!   (Published February 1, 2017).  It’s a blog to offer news and information about what goes on inside the Harris County Criminal Justice Center in Houston, Texas.   We report the winners of all jury trials, keep the public up-to-date on publicity cases and entertain anonymous comments, complaints, compliments and suggestions from participants of Houston’s Criminal Justice System  in an effort to see that justice is done.

Continue reading “NEWS AND NUGGETS from The Harris County Criminal Justice Center”

Verdicts – Trial Victories in the Harris County Criminal Courts

MISDEMEANOR and FELONY TRIALS

Congratulations to the following prosecutors and defense attorneys for their victories at trial.  We extrapolate this list each day from the records of the Harris County District Clerk.  For any omissions, corrections, additions or deletions  or to add or change your photo please email Mr. Ross at jeffross486@yahoo.com.

(Editor’s note: The following are final verdicts only.  What is not shown in the final verdict is the excellent work Defense Attorneys sometimes do for their clients by getting a verdict reduced to a lesser included offense or getting a punishment that is less than the plea bargain offered by the state.  Not all trials are about guilt and innocence. To those trial lawyers … a job well done!) 

VERDICTS - HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL TRIALS
From March 18, 2017 – March 24, 2017

GUILTY VERDICT – 03/23/17 – 248th District Court

Congratulations to Prosecutor ABBIE RUSSELL for a Guilty verdict in Cause #1494617

Criminal Negligent Homicide

the charge – unlawfully with criminal negligence cause the death of the complainant by striking the complainant with a motor vehicle

 Sentence – 15 months in Prison  


GUILTY VERDICT – 03/22/17 – 230th District Court

Congratulations to Prosecutor LAUREN REEDER for a Guilty verdict in Cause #1489890

Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon

the charge – unlawfully while in the course of committing theft place the complainant in fear of imminent bodily harm and death by using or exhibiting a firearm

 Sentence – 50 years in Prison  


GUILTY VERDICT – 03/22/17 – County Court at Law #16

Congratulations to Prosecutor AKINBAYOJI AKINGBOLA for a Guilty verdict in Cause #2094570

Violation of a Protective Order

the charge – unlawfully with knowledge of a family violence protective order violate said order by going to the complainant’s home and refusing to leave

 Sentence – 1 year in Jail  


GUILTY VERDICT – 03/22/17 – County Court at Law #11

Congratulations to Prosecutor VINCE TANZILLO for a Guilty verdict in Cause #2103841

Driving While Intoxicated (.20)

the charge – unlawfully operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated

 Sentence – 1 year Probation  


GUILTY VERDICT – 03/22/17 – 183rd District Court

Congratulations to Prosecutor MELISSA MUNOZ for a Guilty verdict in Cause #1453674

Murder convicted as Manslaughter

the charge – unlawfully recklessly cause the death of the complainant by shooting the complainant with a firearm

 Sentence – 14 years in Prison  


GUILTY VERDICT – 03/22/17 – County Court at Law #11

Congratulations to Prosecutors VINCE TANZILLO and STEPHANIE MORALES for a Guilty verdict in Cause #2096686

Driving While Intoxicated (.10)

the charge – unlawfully operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated

 Sentence – 18 months probation + $500 Fine + 3 days in Jail  


GUILTY VERDICT – 03/21/17 – County Court at Law #13

Congratulations to Prosecutor KATE HILL for a Guilty verdict in Cause #2103711

Theft >$750 and <$2500

the charge – unlawfully appropriate by exercising control over clothing that was valued between $750 and $2500 with the intent to deprive the owner of the property

 Sentence – 16 days in Jail  


GUILTY VERDICT – 03/21/17 – County Court at Law #5

Congratulations to Prosecutor LARA HOGUE for a Guilty verdict in Cause #2081056

Assault on a Family Member

the charge – unlawfully intentionally and knowingly cause bodily injury to the complainant with whom he had a dating relationship by striking the complainant with his hand

 Sentence – 1 year Probation + 15 days in Jail 

TRIAL VICTORIES

Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet for ALL trial verdicts from February 1, 2017 through March 24, 2017Sheet 1 = verdicts starting with the most recent date to the oldest date; Sheet 2 = prosecutors and defense attorneys with last name in alphabetical order; Sheet 3 = county and district courts in numeric order Sheet 4 = in order of “not guilty” and “guilty”; Sheet 5 = in order of “type of offense tried”

Continue reading “Verdicts – Trial Victories in the Harris County Criminal Courts”

Criminal Cases in the News – Up to Date Look at Harris County’s Most Public Criminal Cases

The following cases were reported by the Houston Chronicle.  A detailed look at the facts and circumstances may be found in the Houston Chronicle article by going to the Houston Chronicle link on each defendant’s excerpt.

We will update these cases to keep you informed of court dates and the final dispositions.

     PENDING CASES IN COURT

Defendant: Carlos Ayala

HOUSTON CHRONICLE ARTICLE

Offense: INDECENCY WITH A CHILD

Cause #1544296 – 184th District Court

Carlos Jose Ayala is accused of groping girls ages 7 to 15 in the Denver Harbor area

Court Date: 03/28/17  DISPOSITION:

Defendant: Valerie McDaniel

HOUSTON CHRONICLE ARTICLE

HOUSTON CHRONICLE ARTICLE

Offense: SOLICITATION OF CAPITAL MURDER

Cause #1543814 – 263rd District Court

Leon Phillip Jacob and co-defendant Valerie McDaniel allegedly handed over $20,000 in cash and two Cartier watches in payment for

Court Date: 03/28/17  DISPOSITION:

Continue reading “Criminal Cases in the News – Up to Date Look at Harris County’s Most Public Criminal Cases”

Prosecutors – Anonymous Comments for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Let’s talk about Houston’s Prosecutors and the DA’s office:

COMPLIMENTa Defendant compliments:  Thanks for my diversion program for my shoplifting case.  It was a dumb thing to do with a friend who I don’t hang with anymore.  It won’t happen again.

COMPLAINTA lawyer complains: I do not like this new mail-in system for restitution.  My client says she mailed the restitution a month ago and the division says her payment has not been credited.  Is my client lying about sending payment?  If not, did it get lost in the mail?  Is it sitting somewhere unopened?  Did it get delivered to the wrong P. O. Box? Did something more nefarious happen?  Go back to the old way of accepting payment at the window inside the Criminal Justice Center – please!.


Congratulations to Prosecutor JESSICA MILLIGAN for her hard work protecting our defenseless animals in Harris County and for her national award given to her by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.  See story at Animal Legal Defense Fund


COMPLIMENTA Houstonian compliments:  Bravo for not enforcing the marijuana law.  It will be legal everywhere some day.

Continue reading “Prosecutors – Anonymous Comments for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office”

Judges – Houston’s Misdemeanor and Felony Courts

Let’s talk about Houston’s judges:

SUGGESTION A lawyer suggestsI miss the good ‘ole days when Judge Ted Poe would try some other courts case if his court was not in trial.  He always wanted to be in trial and give defendants their day in court.  I wish some of our judges would try another courts case if they are idle.  I hate always resetting my trial cases when we have available judges who can assist.

SUGGESTION A lawyer suggests:  Judges should not put onerous burdens on defendants while on bond for DWI.    These devices on the vehicles are costly and many people cannot afford them.  It  should only be mandated by the judge if the client is convicted of a class A DWI charge. 

SUGGESTION  –  A lawyer recommends:  I don’t think Judges should forfeit a defendant’s bond simply because they are not there for docket call.  If the defendant appears in court before the end of the morning docket their bond should not be forfeited.  Everybody has been late in their life, including judges.  

Continue reading “Judges – Houston’s Misdemeanor and Felony Courts”

Bail – Anonymous Comments On Bail Bonds and Bond Conditions in Houston

What people are saying about the bail bond system:

COMPLAINT  – A defendant complains:  I went to court and got arrested because my bondsman got off my bond.  I paid them $500 to get out of jail, I went to court two times then they yanked my bond and the judge put me back in jail on my third court date.  That’s not right or fair!


03/15/17 – HOUSTON CHRONICLE – Harris County has approved a program where Public Defenders will be present during bail hearings to assist defendants in receiving a fair bail hearing.

03/08/17 –  HOUSTON CHRONICLE – See how the Texas Legislature is attempting to reform bail bond procedures.


COMPLAINT  –  A defendant complains:   I was charged with shoplifting $150 and my bond was $5000.  I know I have some criminal record, but I thought that bond was too high.  I could not make bond and I had to plead out even though I felt like I wasn’t guilty.  I just wanted to get out of jail. 

Continue reading “Bail – Anonymous Comments On Bail Bonds and Bond Conditions in Houston”

Defendants: What You Need To Know Before You Walk Into The Criminal Courthouse

COURTHOUSE TIPS!

It is a scary experience to get arrested for a crime, bond out of jail in the wee hours of the morning and face the courthouse where you might be convicted and sentenced to go back to that same jail.

Rest assured that this only happens to a minority of people charged with a crime in Harris County.  This post is meant to give you – the defendant – a heads up on the ins and outs of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center so that you can try and become one of those people who do not end up in jail for their error in judgement.

Continue reading “Defendants: What You Need To Know Before You Walk Into The Criminal Courthouse”

Defense Lawyers – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Criminal Defense Attorneys

Let’s talk about Houston’s criminal defense lawyers:

COMPLIMENT –  A defendant compliments: My lawyer Jeff Ross did an outstanding job in getting my case dismissed.  I would recommend him to anybody!  (Thanks)

COMPLAINT – A defendant complains:  I got a public defender and she acts like she is on the state’s side.  I don’t feel like she is helping me.

COMPLIMENT – A defendant complimentsI hired my lawyer for $900 for a DWI and he got my case dismissed.  Other lawyers were charging $2500 and higher.  My advice is shop around because good lawyers don’t have to cost a lot.

COMPLAINT – A defendant complains:  I have been to court 4 times and my lawyer never gets here until 11:00.  I have to sit in court for 2-3 hours waiting for him.  That’s not right.

Continue reading “Defense Lawyers – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Criminal Defense Attorneys”

Police – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Police, Deputies and Constables

Let’s talk about our law enforcement officers:

COMPLIMENTA victim compliments: Thanks to the 911 operator and cops who came in 7 minutes to stop my boyfriend from beating me up.  They took him to jail and may have saved my life.

COMPLAINTA defendant complains:  My cop keeps telling me to do these tests on the street to see if I can drive.  I keep asking him if I am under arrest.  He keeps telling me “no”.  After the last test I asked him again, “Am I under arrest?”  He says “no” then reads me something on a piece of paper that starts “You are under arrest for the offense of driving while intoxicated…”

COMPLAINT – A lawyer complains:  My client was arrested for DWI and her wrist was broken when the officer had the handcuffs on too tight.  Her wrist was swollen for days.  Please be careful officers!

Continue reading “Police – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Police, Deputies and Constables”

Jailhouse – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Jail System

What people are saying about Houston’s jail system:

COMPLIMENTA defendant compliments: I just did my 10 days in jail for a 30 day sentence.  I was a trustee and was treated very fairly.  I got my medications and had my own bathroom.  I was in a tank with 24 other girls and they were all pretty nice.  I don’t want to go back, but my experience in the jail was not bad. 

COMPLIMENT – A defendant compliments:  I was so thankful for the SWEPE Program which allowed me to do my jail time on weekends without actually going to jail.  It allowed me to keep my job during the week and provide for my family. 

COMPLIMENT – A defendant compliments:  Even though I had to do 5 weekends on the SWEPE program it was better than going to jail for 10 days. 

COMPLAINT – A defendant complains:  I am never going back to that place.  I learned my lesson.

Courthouse – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Criminal Justice Center and System

                                                                              

What people are saying about the criminal courthouse and the system:

COMPLAINTA defendant complains: This is all a joke and a game to law enforcement, lawyers, judges, etc. I was even told by a so called lawyer that it all boils down to who files first… it doesn’t really matters if you are innocent or guilty, it is all about money, money, money. They all make their little, sometimes dirty deals and play “chess” with your life.

COMPLAINT – A lawyer complains:  The lay-out of this building sucks.  It’s packed at the elevators and we can’t use the stairs from the first floor.   That means we have to ALWAYS use the elevator to get from the first floor to go up. 

Continue reading “Courthouse – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Criminal Justice Center and System”

Probation – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Probation System

What people are saying about the Probation system:

COMPLAINT – A probationer complains:  My probation officer treats me like crap.  She won’t reschedule appointments even though my work won’t let me off and she never returns my phone calls.

COMPLIMENT –  A probationer compliments:  My DWI probation was very hard but I made it though it.  I haven’t used alcohol in over a year so this was a good thing for me and my family.

Continue reading “Probation – Anonymous Comments About Houston’s Probation System”