Criminal Trials

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2014

    Judge Etta Mullin Has Been Thrifty with County's Money, But Attorneys Say It Comes at a Price

    When a few Dallas cops arrested a woman hanging out in the 4300 block of Colonial Avenue last year, it seemed obvious they weren't catching a criminal who had a ton of money. Officers Charles Moreland and Clayton Edwards were working undercover on March 28 when they came across Amber Buford. Morel ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2013

    Craig Watkins' Contempt Battle a Silly Distraction in Scary Times

    I'm scared. One, I'm scared because of what's going on in Kaufman County. Two, I'm even more scared because of what's going on here, which seems to be one big stupid-fest. You will remember, perhaps, that Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins brought criminal charges last year against Al H ... More >>

  • News

    July 5, 2012

    When Innocent Prisoners Finally Go Free, Their Prosecutors Do, Too

    On the trail for justice with Texas' exonerees.

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2012

    Dallas County Judge Who Ruled Death Penalty Unconstitutional Is Forced To Recuse Herself

    Teresa Hawthorne, the Dallas County judge who ruled that the state's death penalty statute was unconstitutional, must recuse herself from a capital murder case, a judge ruled today. Hawthorne was presiding over the capital murder trial of Roderick Harris, who's accused of killing brothers Alfredo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2011

    Breaking: Mistrial Just Declared in Trial of Colony Man Accused of Murdering His Lover

    Richard Hernandez​His family, defense attorneys -- even the bailiffs and the transport drivers -- noticed something was different about Seth Winder, who is standing trial in a Denton County court for allegedly murdering his 38-year-old lover Richard Hernandez in 2008, dismembering his body and ... More >>

  • News

    March 3, 2011
  • Blogs

    December 3, 2010

    Clay Chabot Pleaded Innocent For Decades. But Suddenly, He Copped to Murder in Court Today.

    Clay Chabot​Behind bars for more than 20 years, after being found guilty of the 1986 rape and murder of a Garland woman named Galua Crosby, Clay Chabot always maintained he was innocent. This morning, that all changed: In a Dallas courtroom,  Chabot pleaded guilty to Crosby's murder. He was p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2010

    Craig Watkins's Campaign Says Danny Clancy's TV Ads Are Misleading Voters By Claiming Watkins Hasn't Prosecuted a Case as DA

    If you've seen Republican Danny Clancy's latest political ad above or his first one, you know what he views as District Attorney Craig Watkins's biggest wart: never prosecuting a felony case. But that's not true, according to Kurt Watkins, Craig's cousin and campaign manager. In fact, Craig exami ... More >>

  • News

    October 21, 2010
  • Blogs

    October 21, 2009

    Dallas DA, DPD Reopen 1997 Murder Case, and Discover They Convicted the Wrong Men

    Dallas County District AttorneyClaude Simmons is one of two men being exonerated for a 1997 murder he did not commit.​Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins's office sends word this morning that two men convicted of murder in October 1997 -- 54-year-old Claude Alvin Simmons Jr. and 39-year- ... More >>

  • News

    October 15, 2009
  • News

    April 2, 2009
  • Blogs

    June 18, 2008

    The Case of the "Straw Borrowers" and Millions Missing in Mortgage Fraud

    Yesterday in Dallas federal court, the U.S. Attorney's Office unsealed a 71-page, 51-count indictment against 11 people the government claims defrauded banks and mortgage lenders out of millions of dollars. Among those indicted: 55-year-old Eric Rulack Farrington Jr., who, if found guilty, could win ... More >>

  • News

    January 17, 2008

    Sharon Keller is Texas' Judge Dread

    When Sharon Keller turned off the clock on a Death Row inmate's last-gasp appeal, she became the most vilified judge in Texas

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2007

    DNA Evidence Ain't No "Get Out of Jail" Free Card for One Man

    More than two decades after being convicted of murder, Clay Chabot will get another trial. Clay Chabot stays in prison -- for now. For 21 years, Clay Chabot has been imprisoned for the 1986 murder of Galua Crosby. But a A DNA test has implicated the state’s chief witness against him, Gerald Pabs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 12, 2007

    A Very Trying Capital Murder Case in Hunt County

    Hunt County District Attorney Duncan Thomas The strange capital murder case of Brandon Woodruff, accused of killing his parents in Royse City in October 2005, has taken another odd twist. A graduate of Rockwall High School, Woodruff, now 21, has been in the Hunt County jail almost two years, unable ... More >>

  • News

    September 27, 2007

    A Devil's Deal in Dallas Court

    A terrible crime plus skaky evidence tempts prosecutors to play a secret game of "let's make a deal"

  • Blogs

    September 18, 2007

    Chelsea's Story

    A self-portrait from Chelsea Richardson's Web site A few new developments in an old story: I was an intern when Glenna Whitley and I wrote about the brutal murder of a Mansfield couple named Rick and Suzanna Wamsley in 2003. Their son, Andrew Wamsley, and his girlfriend, Chelsea Richardson, have bee ... More >>

  • News

    September 6, 2007

    Of Note

    Sloppy record keeping causing headaches in criminal appeals

  • News

    August 2, 2007

    Chains of Evidence

    How did Dallas convict so many innocents? With faulty eyewitnesses, sloppy police work and overzealous prosecutors.

  • News

    July 19, 2007

    Witness for the Prosecution

    Did lack of manpower leave a felon on bail free to kill? Maybe. Sort of.

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2007
  • News

    February 8, 2007

    Mud Wrestling

    Denton County's new district attorney challenged on his claims to be Mr. Clean

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2006

    DA Does Have an Open-File Policy....Not

    Dallas County District Attorney's Office flack Rachel Raya can say whatever she wants, but she may be the only person who actually believes that Bill Hill has a real open-file policy. A few months ago, I spoke to several defense attorneys who describe a haphazard, unpredictable process that clogs up ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2006

    Target Practice

    Brian Gray, at left, says Shelley Hallman is hanging up pictures of him affixed to a shooting-range target. Dude, who hasn't been there? Felony prosecutor Shelley Hallman, who prosecutes death penalty cases and has a knack for acting like a 7-year-old, has struck again. The wife of failed district a ... More >>

  • News

    November 16, 2006

    Accidental Victors

    Wait...we voted for who?

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2006

    All Shook Up

    Prosecutor Shelley Hallman, the wife of Republican candidate for District Attorney Toby Shook, will probably not be asked to write the couple's Christmas cards this year. In this week's feature story about the questionable legal tactics of prosecutor Shelley Hallman, we include a rather unprofession ... More >>

  • News

    October 19, 2006

    Can I Get a Witness?

    The District Attorney's Office gets the right guy for the wrong reason.

  • News

    July 20, 2006

    Craig's List

    Debtors like Craig Watkins used to end up in jail. Now they run for district attorney.

  • News

    April 20, 2006

    Train Kept on Rollin'

    Emily Dowdy's case hangs on a judge's opinion of her own performance on the bench

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2006

    Wamsley: Guilty

    After two and a half hours of deliberations, jurors in Andrew Wamsley's capital murder trial returned a guilty verdict this afternoon. With tears in their eyes, Wamsley's family stared at him as the verdict was read. As he was throughout the trial, Wamsley was stoic when the guilty verdict was annou ... More >>

  • News

    February 16, 2006
  • News

    July 21, 2005

    Oklahoma Railroad

    Accused of killing a cop's son, Emily Dowdy learns the hard way that in Oklahoma City justice isn't blind. It works for the prosecution.

  • News

    January 20, 2005

    Psycho Mom

    Lisa Diaz had to save her "precious babies" from an evil world. She drowned them.

  • News

    October 2, 2003

    Counsel for the Defense

    At 76, flamboyant criminal lawyer Racehorse Haynes keeps doing what he does best--winning

  • News

    June 20, 2002

    Echoes of Hate

    Bobby Frank Cherry is one of the most notorious racist killers in American history. To Tom Cherry, he was just "Dad."

  • News

    May 30, 2002

    Open Season

    Border authorities fear a return to the law of the Wild West as Texas homeowners take up guns against illegal Mexican immigrants

  • News

    December 14, 2000

    Dallas' Kangaroo Court

    In municipal court, they'll plead you guilty when you don't even know you're on trial

  • News

    December 7, 2000

    Sects and Lies

    Did the isolated, unhappy life of an Arlington family of Jehovah's Witnesses breed false charges of sexual abuse? Absolutely, says a family member who never got a chance to tell her side of the story.

  • News

    September 21, 2000

    Innocent as Charged

    After his acquittal on an assault charge, Clark Birdsall questions the system he once embraced

  • News

    June 15, 2000

    Victimless crime

    Bungling thieves, piles of gold, jailhouse snitches, and bloody clothes. Prosocuretors in Madalyn Murray O'Hair's disappearance had everything -- except three corpses

  • News

    May 4, 2000

    Parting shots

    A triple murderer freed from prison runs into his old nemeses on the way back to the pen

  • News

    December 23, 1999

    Good time Charlie

    The don of Dallas criminal lawyers, Charles Tessmer reshaped justice through decades of hard-fought cases and hard drink

  • News

    November 18, 1999

    Dissed robes

    On the prosecution-biased Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, justice isn't blind. It's dumb.

  • News

    August 19, 1999

    A woman scorned

    A suspect in Madalyn Murray O'Hair's disappearance is sentenced, but for which crime?

  • News

    July 22, 1999

    Innocence Lost

    Railroaded onto death row, Kerry Max Cook endures rapes, beatings, and suicide attempts while waiting for justice

  • News

    July 15, 1999

    Innocence lost

    Prosecutors lied and cheated to put Kerry Max Cook on death row for 16 years. He's out of prison now, but still not quite free.

  • News

    August 27, 1998

    Cowtown Babylon

    When Fort Worth oil tycoon Tex Moncrief accused his secretary of embezzlement, she says, he left out one important detail: their 16-year affair

  • News

    August 6, 1998

    Defending Darlie

    Wealthy Waco businessman Brian Pardo spends his time and money helping death-row inmates he believes are innocent. His efforts on behalf of Darlie Routier have raised suspicions about her husband--and about Pardo's motives.

  • News

    December 4, 1997

    Unreasonable Doubts

    Justice may be blind, but Dallas jurors aren't--particularly when it comes to race

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