Category Archives: Criminal Defense

  • Men accused of murder to be tried separately

    A criminal court judge ruled last Wednesday, January 11 that 22-year-old Elizabethton, Tennessee resident Aaron Charles Garland and Greeneville resident Dallas Sarden will be tried separately  in court. The two are accused of murdering 59-year-old Johnson City resident Karen K. Parker.

    Garland and Sarden requested different trials, and state prosecutors chose not to object to this motion. Parker’s body was found inside her apartment in the Westgate Village complex on Nathaniel Drive in August 2015. Garland and Sarden were charged with first-degree murder and robbery. Police said they were able to link the two men to the crime by tracking Parker’s stolen bank cards.

    At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we provide legal services in Dallas and other areas of Texas by handling criminal defense cases that involve theft and robbery, assault and battery offenses, and homicides, among others. Get in touch with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • Former mortuary owner acquitted of criminal charges

    The Second District Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, Texas acquitted former mortuary owner Dondre Johnson, whose mortuary was discovered to house eight corpses in a deplorable condition, of felony theft charges.

    The court understood that Johnson acted in an “unconscionable behavior” when it came to his activities at the funeral home when he provided families with the ashes of people who were not their loved ones, but ultimately said that the case was not about that matter, and that the felony charges were about theft and fraud.

    In the opinion of the majority of the jury in mind, the court penned that there had been “no indication of deception other than the fact that we can assume the family members expected the funeral home to do its job in a workmanlike and timely manner, and it did not do so. But there is no evidence of an intent never to perform the services.”

    Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson will now deliberate whether to escalate the case to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

    At Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we know what it takes to effectively represent people in their criminal cases. If you have been charged with a crime in Dallas or other areas in Texas, hire our attorneys today by calling our offices at (214) 845-7007.

  • Two plead guilty to charges of engaging in organized criminal activity

    Thirty-four-year-old Dustin Kyle Garcia and 30-year-old Christopher Lee Chambers both made a guilty plea on Thursday, November 10 to charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony. Chambers will spend 15 years in prison as a plea agreement for testifying against Gracia, who will spend 28 years in prison as part of another plea deal.

    Hopkins County Assistant District Attorney Clay Harrison in Texas said Garcia and Chambers, who he called “common denominators” in the theft ring, must serve half of their sentences before they can be made eligible for parole.

    Garcia and Chambers stole around $80,000 worth of all-terrain vehicles from a Nor-Tex tractor dealership in Sulphur Springs in November 2015 and stored those at the workplace of an accomplice, Harrison said. A week later they committed a similar theft in Leesville in Vernon Parish, Louisiana.

    Harrison said police authorities were able to arrest the two after an anonymous tip was sent to the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office.

    Among the few possible effects of a criminal conviction include loss of job opportunities, destruction of personal relationships, hefty fines, and long prison sentences. If you had been charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or other areas in Texas, seek legal representation from our attorneys at Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team as soon as you can.

  • Minor error in evidence analysis not a hindrance to proper investigation – medical examiner

    The medical examiner’s office in Dallas County, Texas has recently announced that disclosure of an error in evidence analysis that was committed five years ago will not hamper the proper analysis of other criminal cases.

    A trial for someone who had been caught driving while intoxicated was re-set on Thursday, November 3 after a foreign chemist for the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences self-reported sometime in the last week of October that there had been an occurrence of a “sample switching” back in 2012 in regards to the case.

    Dr. Jeffrey Barnard assuaged the anxiety of local residents by saying the “sample switching” incident in 2012 had already been addressed. Defense attorneys have cited their own frustration, saying such problems hurt their client’s.

    Our attorneys at Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, who provide legal services for our clients in Dallas or other areas in Texas, handle criminal defense cases such as juvenile crimes, driving while impaired/alcohol cases, and drug offenses, among others. Seek the legal representation of a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton acquitted of fraud charges

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted of civil charges of securities fraud brought against him by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC says Paxton encouraged investors to give money in a misleading and unlawful way to McKinney-based Software company Servergy while serving as a state legislator.

    In a 29-page ruling written by United States District Judge Amos Mazzant III, Mazzant acknowledged that Paxton “actively recruited investors” for Servergy without telling said investors that he would be profiting from commissions he would receive from their investments. However, the judge says that the action is only legally relevant if the undisclosed information “renders [a] statement false or misleading,”

    According to the lawsuit, Paxton raised $840,000 from investors for Servergy, in exchange for 100,000 shares of the company’s stock from its chief executive officer at the time, William Mapp III. Paxton’s attorneys said he was not required to register with the SEC because he was not an “investment adviser representative.” The ruling will not affect the outcome of the similar state criminal charges that Paxton faces on the same issues. The SEC gave no indication of how they will respond on this matter.

    Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter provide legal services for our clients in Dallas and other areas of Texas, and we handle criminal defense cases such as fraud and theft, among others. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your case.

  • Harris County considering relocation of juvenile inmates

    Executives at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas are discussing transferring 17-year-old inmates to a vacant Limestone County facility to separate them from adults, as required by the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.

    In May 2016, a federal inspector discovered that Harris County had no immediate plan to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, as its 17-year-old inmates “are still housed with adult offenders in a non-compliant fashion.” Limestone County Judge Daniel Burkeen said “It’s never as convenient to keep inmates outside your county, but sometimes it’s necessary.” Juvenile justice advocates say shipping teenagers so far from Harris County punishes them and their families.

    Being charged with a crime can have debilitating effects on your life, both in the short-term and the long-term, including a loss of job opportunities and the weakening of personal relationships. To avoid these negative outcomes, hire the legal services of our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Austin by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • Texas pays $1.9M to Sandra Bland’s family

    Cannon Lambert, the legal counsel for the family of 28-year-old Sandra Bland, said $1.9 million will go to the family to settle the wrongful death lawsuit they lodged against the Waller County Police Department. Sandra Bland died in her jail cell at the Waller County Jail in Texas three days after she was arrested for a minor traffic violation on July 10, 2015.

    The local government of Waller County will provide $1.8 million of the settlement money while the remaining $100,000 will come from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Also, Waller County Jail will implement changes in their operations and in the law enforcement practices they implement.

    State House of Representatives County Affairs Committee Chairman Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) will introduce legislation during the 2017 session, the Sandra Bland Act, which seeks to handle mental health issues in the criminal justice system and provides treatment for incarcerated people.

    At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we provide legal services for our clients in Dallas and handle criminal defense cases. If you are accused of a crime, you deserve fair treatment and protection of your rights. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007 to learn more about how we can help you.

  • Man who assaulted two men at Chelsea restaurant gets nine years of imprisonment

    Bayna-Lekheim El-Amin was sentenced last Thursday, September 15 to nine years of imprisonment and three years of supervision after his release in relation to assaulting two gay men, Jonathan Snipes and Ethan York-Adams, at the Dallas BBQ restaurant in Chelsea, New York City in May 2015.

    Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arlene Goldberg, at El-Amin’s sentencing, said: “The jury rejected your claim of self-defense. That you did not cause serious physical injury to [Snipes and York-Adams] was only a matter of luck. I know that you want to cast this, your supporters as well, as an issue about race. I don’t see it that way…When you picked up that chair, that was a criminal act that cannot be excused.”

    According to Gay City News, El-Amin was seen “hitting the two men on their heads with a heavy wooden chair as they stand with their backs to him,” with prosecutor Leah Saxtein adding, “He used a dangerous instrument to strike them in the most vulnerable part of the human body.”

    Snipes contended that El-Amin had used homophobic slurs to refer to him and York-Adams, as they were in a romantic relationship. However, El-Amin claimed that information could not be factored into the testimony of it being a hate crime due to the fact that he is also gay.

    If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or another area of Texas, contact our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter as soon as possible. We provide you with a chance of getting acquitted or having your charges dropped altogether. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • Man receives life sentence for cutting the neck of a woman

    Fifty-six-year-old Sylvester Bryant was sentenced to life imprisonment last Thursday, September 1 for slashing the neck of Waco resident Clara Wells, a woman who allegedly refused his sexual advances.

    Bryant’s mother, Shirley Mims, told the court that her son came home on August 26, 2014 and said he tried to kill Wells. Wells told the court last Wednesday, August 31 that she met Bryant earlier that day at a gas station and agreed to meet him at her place of residence, where they had a few drinks.

    They then went to his mother’s house and to the C&E Motel on North Loop 340, where Wells met some friends. Afterwards, Wells said Bryant asked if he could have sex with her and when she refused, a struggle ensued that ended with him cutting her neck with a box cutter. Wells said she was let out of the vehicle – which was owned by Bryant’s mother – and left bleeding by the side of the road.

    Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, who provide legal services to our clients in Dallas and other areas of Texas, handle criminal defense cases such as weapons offenses and assault, among others. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your legal options.

  • Dallas criminal attorney gives insight into Freddie Gray prosecution

    Edward Nero, a member of the Baltimore Police Department, was recently found not guilty of assault in connection to the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. Gray died as a result of his mortal injuries while in police custody during a ride in Baltimore inside a police van.

    Dallas, Texas criminal lawyer John Helms said the prosecution was arguing an unusual argument. Namely, they said that since the police did not have probable cause to arrest Gray, and because they arrested him anyway, his arrest can be classified as an assault. Another prosecutor said that a police officer commits assault by arresting someone without probable cause even if the police officer believes he had probable cause for the arrest of a suspect. Nero’s attorneys said they have yet to see an occasion where this argument was successfully used in the state of Maryland. It would therefore be unlikely such a case would be tried in Texas.

    There is a wide range of criminal defense charges that a person can face in Dallas, all of which carry hefty fines or an ample amount of jail time. If you are charged with a crime in Texas, get in touch with our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • Judge denies plea deals for those charged with assaults to police officers

    Galveston County Judge Kerry Neves made a public declaration and order on Monday, July 18 that he plans to reject plea deals in cases that involve assaults and threats to police officers. He will only waver, he says, if there is compelling evidence to grant one. By compelling evidence, he means the officers involved in the case must be okay with the plea deal and the defendant must write a public and sincere apology to the police officers in the case.

    The order would also cover cases involving evading or resisting arrest, escaping and aiding escape, failing to identify, interfering with public duties, interfering with police service animals, attempting to take an officer’s weapon, and possessing banned items in a correctional facility. Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady said in an interview with local news station KTRK that the order would not disqualify Neves from presiding “as long as he’s willing to look at the facts of each case and consider the full range of punishment.”

    A person convicted of a criminal offense deserves basic protection, in a fair and unbiased way. If you are charged with a crime in Dallas, you have a chance of getting it dismissed or reduced if you hire the services of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter. Find out more by calling our offices at (214) 845-7007.

  • Wal-Mart employee arrested for assault

    Police Chief James Waters of the Princeton Police Department reported that 20-year-old Wal-Mart employee Nicolas Martinez was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The charges come after a serious stabbing incident, which occurred around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.

    Waters identified one of the victims as George Wesley Cook, an off-duty battalion chief firefighter with the McKinney Fire Department in Collin County. Cook, who was slashed across the throat, was apparently seen giving aid to another stabbing victim while blood was coming out of his own neck. The firefighter is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery. Wal-Mart commented that, “the associate who did this was arrested and his employment at our store was immediately terminated.”

    The legal team at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter has experience representing individuals accused of crimes. We believe that no matter the charge, every individual deserves competent, effective representation. If you were convicted of a crime in Dallas or another area of Texas, call our offices today at (214) 845-7007.