Author Archives

  • Ex-drama teacher in Fort Worth makes guilty plea to child porn charge

    24-year-old Watauga, Texas resident Matthew Anthony Keller is facing a statutory rape penalty of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years of federal imprisonment, a $50,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. These penalties come after he made a guilty plea to one count of production of child pornography on Wednesday, October 19.

    Keller, who is a former drama teacher at Southwest High School in Fort Worth, has been in prison since he was arrested in July 2016 on a related federal complaint. He is set to be sentenced by United States District Judge Terry Means on March 2, 2017. According to documents filed in reference to the case, the parents of the victim notified a police department in Macomb County, Michigan when they discovered their 15-year-old daughter was having a long-distance relationship with Keller. They were further worried when they found out that Keller had intentions to fly to Michigan from Texas to have sexual encounters with their child.

    When a search warrant was issued to search Keller’s room, police investigators found sexually explicit videos of the minor victim.

    Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter are ready to provide defense for our clients who have been charged with criminal offenses in Dallas and other areas in Texas. We use comprehensive, competent, and aggressive legal defense strategies to obtain the most favorable result for the case. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007 to learn more about your options.

  • 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.

  • Texas inmate receives stay of execution in death penalty case

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday, August 19 granted a stay of execution for 43-year-old Jeffrey Wood, who was involved in a robbery killing 20 years ago.

    In 1996, 22-year-old Wood sat in a pickup truck outside a gas station as he waited for his friend, Daniel Reneau, to carry out a plan to rob the store. However, once inside, Reneau killed the store clerk. Because of the Texas statute commonly referred to as the “law of parties”, Wood, as a conspirator to Reneau, was guilty of all felonies committed by Reneau, even if he was himself unaware it would happen.

    Wood received a stay of execution after the court ruled that his attorney needed more time to argue that Wood’s learning disability and low IQ affected his ability to make sense of actions and words.

    If you are facing criminal charges in Texas, our attorneys at Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can help you put together a sophisticated legal defense strategy. Call our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • Judge in Brock Turner case recuses himself from another sex crime case

    Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky, who faced wide criticism for giving a light sentence to 20-year-old Stanford University swimmer and rapist Brock Turner, recused himself from making a major decision in another sex crime case.

    In a statement submitted to the court on Monday, August 22, Persky said: “While on vacation earlier this month, my family and I were exposed to publicity surrounding this case. This publicity has resulted in a personal family situation such that ‘a person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial.’” According to a report from Mercury News, Stanford Law professor Michele Dauber welcomed the development. Dauber is leading the public outcry for Persky’s recall.

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

  • 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.

  • Fort Worth sex offender recaptured after escaping from his trial

    Thirty-four-year-old in Fort Worth in Tarrant County, Texas resident and registered sex offender Jayson Neil Sparks has been recaptured and put in jail after taking off from his trial during a break on Friday, August 5.

    A report from the Fort Worth Star Telegram showed that Sparks was sentenced in absentia on Thursday, August 4 to 30 years of imprisonment for continuous sexual abuse. He was said to have broken out of the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center on Wednesday, August 3.

    Assistant District Attorney Sarah Bruner said Starks was literally trying to run away from the consequences of his actions, noting that “the defendant saw the evidence was stacked against him and ran away farther than face the consequences”.

    A person facing a criminal charge can expect to subjected to a loss of personal and professional opportunities, hefty fines, and jail time. Get in touch with our attorneys at Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter if you have been charged with a criminal offense in Dallas or other areas in Texas by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your case with us.