Author Archives

  • Harrison County District Attorney Mishandled Child Pornography Evidence in Case, Claims Defense Attorney Mark Lassiter

    District Attorney Coke Solomon

    Dallas criminal defense attorney, Mark T. Lassiter, is representing former Hallsville ISD track coach, Dean McDaniel, in a case involving improper teacher-student relationship accusations. McDaniel was accused of engaging in sexual contact with a 15-year-old student. In planning for the case, Lassiter requested to see all evidence in possession of the prosecution. District Attorney Coke Solomon, mailed Lassiter a disc containing over 80,000 text messages listed as evidence. The messages came from the phone of the prosecution witness, a 17-year-old male high school student.

    Upon reviewing the messages in the course of his case review, Lassiter discovered multiple nude photos of young women, solicited by the witness, one of which is the victim of the charge brought against McDaniel. Appalled by what he was seeing, Lassiter immediately stopped viewing the messages and arranged a time to turn the disk over to the Longview Police Detective, Audrey Wright. As stated by Lassiter, “the Harrison County district attorney is not allowed to distribute child pornography to me by mailing me the disc.” Lassiter blames the District Attorney for mishandling the evidence and not following proper protocol for the kind of evidence that was found.

    As outlined in Texas statute, when evidence contains child pornography, the DA is supposed to keep the evidence locked up, and arrangements have to be made to view it. In this case, the DA, Coke Solomon, did not take the time to review the evidence before mailing it to the defense, disregarding the possibility of sensitive material, and increasing the risk of it being exposed the others. Solomon, potentially unaware of the statutes regarding evidence containing child pornography, incorrectly said that he and Lassiter have the right to view all evidence in criminal cases, which could contain child pornography. In regards to why he did not go through the messages, Solomon stated that he was required to turn the evidence over to the defense “as soon as possible,” according to the Michael Morton Act. When pressed further, Solomon admitted that he did not know the specific time limits in the act.

    On May 23, 2017, Lassiter filed a motion notifying the court of improper evidence and accusing Solomon of improperly distributing child pornography. Longview police currently have possession of the disc. They will review the evidence and determine what should be done moving forward. In a final statement about the shocking images, Lassiter says, “this is child pornography and solicitation of a minor. I have made the DA aware of a crime, and he’s unwilling to do anything about it. The ball is in their court to do what is right.” You can read more about the story here.

  • 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.

  • East Texas lawyer charged with marijuana possession

    East Texas attorney Ken Keith Miller, 59, was taken into police custody on Friday, December 30 and charged with marijuana possession.

    Jail records showed Miller was booked at the Smith County jail by the Department of Public Safety and was assigned a $500 bond. He was released later in the day after posting said bond. Miller is a prominent personal injury lawyer who has offices in Tyler in Smith County.

    A criminal conviction can have consequences in every area of your life. If you had the misfortune of being charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or another area in Texas, hire the legal representation of our criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter. We have dedicated our professional careers to helping people clear their names and receive less consequential punishments for the crimes of which they are accused. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your personal situation and learn more about your legal options.

  • 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.

  • 19-year-old woman claims KFC manager raped her when she was 16

    A 19-year-old woman, identified only as A.M., filed a complaint in Harris County Court in Texas against fast food restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC manager Sean McIntosh, and other KFC managers, on Monday, November 28, and an amended version filed Friday, December 2, said that McIntosh raped her “at hotels, at the KFC store, at the trash Dumpster, in cars, and at other off-site locations” when she was just 16 years old.

    In the legal complaint, it was added that McIntosh “made no secret of his sex acts with A.M.”, noting that manager Shawn Baker “in particular was actually told of the predation on A.M. and did nothing to stop it ‘but aided and abetted it’”.

    Our criminal defense lawyers 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 involving sexual assault and battery offenses, among others, knowing that such charges can permanently affect your personal and professional lives. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • Expediting Dallas domestic violence cases aims to give victims immediate justice

    Maria Escamilla, whose ex-boyfriend raped her and took a knife to her face, breasts, and vagina, did not immediately get the justice she wanted. She had to wait for two years before she was able to face the man who violated her and left her for dead in a Dallas County court.

    A new procedure in hearing domestic violence cases could change how long defendants and victims wait for courts to resolve a particular case. According to Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Shequitta Kelly, long waits for domestic violence cases are injustices in and of themselves. She noted that “even as a prosecutor one of the first things I would say to a victim is ‘this is going to be a long road.’ And that’s pretty sad.”

    Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Brandi Mitchell said when the trial for a domestic violence case gets postponed, it gets harder to resolve the case. Sometimes, victims move and change their phone numbers. Other times, the victims and their violators reconcile, with both parties no longer interested in reopening the case, or the victim moves on and chooses to leave the case in the past.

    Contact our Dallas criminal defense attorneys today at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling our offices at (214) 845-7007 if you need legal representation for your criminal defense case.

  • 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.

  • When domestic violence becomes kidnapping

    It is possible for someone facing domestic violence charges to suddenly find that he or she is being accused of kidnapping too.

    A lot of domestic violence cases start with alcohol on the part of the perpetrator, statistics show. When a person with violent tendencies and an intent to commit domestic violence gets drunk, he or she sometimes resorts to imprisoning a person to prevent that person from escaping.

    When a person tries to prevent another person from leaving an area, a felony unlawful restraint or kidnapping charge can result. In the state of Texas, “unlawful restraint” is defined as “intentionally or knowingly restricting a person’s movements, without consent, so as to substantially interfere with the person’s liberty, by moving the person from one place to another or by confining the person.”

    Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter will protect your legal rights and freedoms when you are charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or another area in Texas. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team and set up an initial appointment by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • School employee accused of online solicitation of a minor

    Fifty-two-year-old Jeffrey Scott Miller, who was a teacher’s aide at Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Keller, lost his job on Friday, October 21 after he was arrested for charges of online solicitation of a minor.

    Miller was one of eight people who were arrested on suspicion of being a child predator by agents with the Texas Attorney General’s Office’s child exploitation unit and fugitive apprehension unit. Miller admitted that he communicated with who he believed to be a woman, 35, and her daughter, 14, and that he went to Rockwall to perform sexual acts with both the adult and the youth, a press release from the AG’s office showed.

    Online solicitation of a minor is a second-degree felony that carries with it a punishment of two to 20 years in jail. Investigators who pretended to be children were solicited for sex by all eight men during the sting operation.

    Being charged with criminal offenses can lead to serious consequences for the person being charged because a conviction carries hefty penalties such as long imprisonment terms and heavy fines. If you are charged with such an offense in Dallas or another area of Texas, seek the legal representation of our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.