Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you as a Judge. Whether the Court is the 292nd here in Dallas, or the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin, I promise I won’t forget that little note taped to my bench:
BE HUMBLE – This bench does not belong to you. It belongs to the people.
In Florida this month, Ashley MacArthur was tried and convicted for first degree murder. 33-year-old Taylor Wright’s body was discovered on a 30-acre tract of land owned by the Defendant’s family. The former police officer’s body was buried underneath a concrete slab covered with potting soil. The investigation lead to Ashley MacArthur, a former crime scene technician. Among other pieces of evidence presented by prosecutors was a video of MacArthur buying quick dry concrete and potting soil a day after the victim was missing. Read More
Jim Leavelle survived Pearl Harbor, testified in the “Trial of the Century,” retired a legendary detective, and attained the age of 99. While researching “The Assassin’s Assassin,” the tall man in the light suit wearing the Stetson hat in Bob Jackson’s famous, Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph told me all about his experience with Jack Ruby, the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Today, in his honor, I’ll share that with you.
Sport unifies powerfully. Hustle and effort are admired and revered. Cheating is abhorred. The rules apply the same to everyone. We don’t care where our teammates came from, what they believe, or what they stand for because we stand together. Jerseys make skin color invisible. We stand united against attack. We cheer. We applaud. We pick up the fallen. We encourage the mistaken. We all feel the sting of defeat. Read More
He was tall, handsome, and raised in a religious house. As a youth he worked in his father’s grocery store. He was a star athlete at Farmersville high school in Denton, a Texas state record holder in the hurdles. He pledged Pi Kappa Alpha at UNT. And if he hadn’t hitchhiked down Sunset Blvd. in the summer of 1968, he might never have met Charlie Manson. His name is Charles “Tex” Watson, and 50 years ago today, he began a mission of murder called “Helter Skelter.”
I watched the 2019 legislature with great hope, convinced that the bipartisan call for meaningful bail reform in Texas would finally be answered. Ultimately, however, it was not. As such, I offer this open letter to 2021 lawmakers addressing why we need bail reform, and how to do it.
In South Carolina, Timothy Jones Jr. was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering his 5 children, ranging in age from 1 to 8. He plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Let’s discuss this case and the insanity defense in Texas. Read More
The most common response I get on the campaign trail when I tell folks I am running for the Court of Criminal Appeals is, “Congratulations! … What’s the Court of Criminal Appeals?” The short answer is that it’s the Supreme Court for all criminal cases in Texas. Below, we’ll discuss a little about how cases wind up there, the history of the court, and a unique type of case the court automatically hears.