Criminal Trials

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2014

    Democratic PAC Says DA Candidate Susan Hawk Let a Killer Roam Free. Um, Not Exactly.

    For three years, a confessed attempted murderer roamed the streets of Dallas, going on a crime spree that ended when he killed a man in July 2007. Michael Wyatt had pleaded guilty to the attempted murder in 2004, but the Dallas District Attorney's Office wanted him to testify against his co-defendan ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 29, 2014

    How a Mall Fight Led to Courtroom Drama, a Prosecutor Quitting and an Alleged Cover-Up

    It started out as a case that wasn't very dramatic or high-profile. Latoya Scott, a 26-year-old woman, was arrested by the Irving Police Department for an alleged fight at a mall. Prosecutors said Scott hit and scratched a woman she was dating. She was charged with family violence assault, a felony. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 8, 2014

    Susan Hawk Demands to Know Why Craig Watkins Dropped 30 Felony Charges In Trinity Pig Blood Case

    Earlier this week, the Dallas County District Attorney's office mysteriously dropped all felony charges against Columbia Packing Co. and its vice president, Joseph Carl Ondrusek Jr., for dumping pig blood into a tributary of the Trinity River in January 2012. Counting last month's dismissal of the c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2014

    Grapevine Man Gets Life In Prison For Murdering His Handicapped Neighbor

    Jerry Temple is not the guy you want living in the apartment above you. Especially if you rely on a wheelchair, own a flat-screen TV and value your life. In Temple's case, the unlucky neighbor was Kenneth Alberts, a 59-year-old disabled man who lived alone in a Grapevine apartment complex. Accordi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2013

    Craig Watkins' Reputation Tattered by Judge's Damning Ruling in Hill Case

    Most people have no idea what getting convicted of a crime really would do to them. Really. Not like on TV. As a reporter you catch glimpses. The real damage does not have to do with cops or courthouses. It's not even prison. It's the kid in the window. A man I know told me once about a moment of e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2013

    SMU Student Donald Cuba Found Not Guilty of Rape

    A Dallas County jury has found Donald Cuba not guilty of rape, The Dallas Morning News' Melissa Repko is reporting. Cuba, a 20-year-old junior, was accused of raping a fellow student in a dorm room early on the morning of February 10, 2012. As we wrote this morning, the trial has offered a few glim ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2013

    Katy Trail Robber's Tale of PCP Addiction, "Purse Snatching" Fails to Win Jury's Sympathy

    Dominique Thornton did not testify in his trial for charges that he committed a string of armed robberies along the Katy Trail last May. It probably wouldn't have done any good. He was IDed by victims as the gunman in the heists, and police found Thornton's thumbprint on a stolen purse they later re ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2013

    Two State Troopers Were Indicted Friday over Painful Roadside Cavity Search of Irving Women

    Kelly Helleson will no doubt think twice before performing any roadside cavity searches on evidently law-abiding citizens. In January, the Texas Department of Public Safety fired the state trooper for her unusually thorough probe of two Irving women, a decision that severely limited her opportunitie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2012

    Steven Lawayne Nelson Sentenced to Death for the Murder of an Arlington Preacher

    Update: Steven Lawayne Nelson, who was just handed a death sentence in the suffocation of an Arlington preacher, has flooded his holding cell and the courtroom, according to Star-Telegram reporter Dianna Hunt's Twitter feed. She said he could be heard screaming as water began seeping into the courtr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 30, 2012

    What You Don't Know About Prosecutorial Oversight: Our Chat with Attorney Betty Blackwell

    Michael Morton, free after 25 years of wrongful imprisonment for his wife's murder, spoke about his experience yesterday during a panel discussion on prosecutorial oversight at the University of Texas. Morton's case has become a focal point of any story or discussion about prosecutorial misconduct, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2012

    Ben Spencer Was Arrested 25 Years Ago; His Supporters Visit Watkins' Office

    Supporters of Ben Spencer gathered yesterday on the steps of the Frank Crowley Criminal Court Building, where he was convicted for a crime they believe he did not commit. Monday marked 25 years since his arrest for the murder of retail executive Jeffrey Young at a remote industrial complex. Spencer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2009

    On the Bob's Steak & Chop House Hotline, Bankruptcy and Criminal Cases Collide

    ‚ÄčA couple of weeks back, we mentioned that the U.S. Trustee handling Bob's Steak & Chop House's Chapter 11 reorganization wanted Judge Harlin D. Hale to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee to replace owner Bob Sambol. Because, see, as far as Willliam Neary's concerned, Sambol -- operating here as Sil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2009

    Hacked! Dallas Federal Grand Jury Indicts Electronik Tribulation Army's GhostExodus

     Back at the end of June, the U.S. Attorney's Office sent word that it has arrested 25-year-old Jesse William McGraw -- otherwise known as "GhostExodus," founder and ostensibly the leader of the Electronik Tribulation Army -- for threatening to cause serious damage to the computer systems at th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2009

    Dallas County Sheriff's Deputy to Plead Guilty to Stealing Coke So He Could Deal Coke

    Back in January, we told you the sordid story of Dallas County Sheriff's Deputy Standric Choice, who, with two other men, was arrested for plotting to steal cocaine so they could deal cocaine -- how HBO. Two months and one confidential informant later, the 36-year-old former law enforcement officer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2008

    Bill Hill Goes Both Ways. Again.

    Former Dallas County District Attorney Bill Hill, now in the defending bidness Not that I would pimp my former boss for my current one, but my old colleague and pal John Council at Texas Lawyer brings word that ex-Dallas County District Attorney Bill Hill has risen from the politically expired, chan ... More >>

  • News

    November 29, 2007

    For Love, Aryan Brotherhood Killer Confesses

    The prison gang member and killer stands ready to clear his wife for his crimes

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2007

    DA Watkins: "Justice at Its Best"

    Craig Watkins sure is putting the "DA" in "DNA." This week's Observer cover story on DNA exonerations will be available shortly, but recent news about the case of Clay Chabot proves that these revelations of dubious convictions are just going to keep on coming. And, as District Attorney Craig Watkin ... More >>

  • News

    July 19, 2007

    Almost Home-Free

    Emily Dowdy gets off the Oklahoma railroad

  • News

    April 12, 2007

    Bully on the Bench

    When big-city lawyers appear in the courtroom of Judge Gene Knize, they better be prepared to duck and cover

  • News

    February 22, 2007
  • Blogs

    February 15, 2007
  • Blogs

    December 21, 2006
  • Blogs

    December 20, 2006

    Does the DA's Office Have an Open-Door Policy? Pardon, Open-File Policy.

    Friend of Unfair Park Scott Henson, who runs the terrific legal-issues blog Grits for Breakfast, has a suggestion for Dallas County District Attorney-elect Craig Watkins: "The new Democratic DA should announce an 'open file' policy similar to the one" in place in Tarrant County. The Austin-based Hen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2006

    The Moore the Merrier in DA's Office

    Craig Watkins, above, has named Terri Moore to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office -- a year after she was representing a man who pleaded guilty to a sex crime. Last week, Dallas County District Attorney-elect Craig Watkins announced his transition team; today, we get a hint of what the bra ... More >>

  • News

    September 14, 2006


    A B-actress, computer mayhem and families feudin'! Making a movie with your rich friends is just courting disaster.

  • News

    March 11, 2004

    The Icebox Revisited

    Houston had one of its most shocking race murders 45 years ago. But exactly whose tragedy was it?

  • News

    September 13, 2001

    Make 'em Pay

    Spurred by a horrifying wave of teen violence in the '90s, Texas today spends more money than ever to lock up young criminals. Are we getting our money's worth?

  • News

    June 29, 2000

    Killing machine

    It is 6:07 p.m. John Albert Burks salutes the Oakland Raiders and says goodbye to his friends. Minutes later, he is a dead man. This year's 21st execution.

  • News

    February 3, 2000

    Presumed guilty

    Odell Barnes awaits execution on March 1 -- despite new evidence that he didn't commit the crime

  • News

    May 6, 1999

    The Cult of Darlie

    A cast of Fellini-esque characters claiming they possess new evidence keep the Routier murder case in the national spotlight

  • News

    December 10, 1998
  • News

    October 15, 1998

    The Race Not Run

    Republican Bill Hill is running against Democrat Rick Reed for district attorney. Don't think you have a choice.

  • News

    October 1, 1998

    The Lie Detector

    From the mayor of Atlanta, who was unjustly accused of graft, to a California man wrongly sentenced to life in a Texas prison, polygraph examiner Eric Holden found the truth that helped set them free

  • News

    July 9, 1998


    While Erica Sheppard sits on death row, penniless and convicted of a gruesome murder, her cadre of elite Dallas lawyers tries to prove that the justice system has gone fatally awry

  • News

    May 28, 1998

    Plugging the hole

    A bungling bureaucracy allowed murder suspect Maricela Martinez to escape to Mexico

  • News

    March 5, 1998

    Choosing sides

    The race for judge in Dallas' domestic-violence court raises questions of bias

  • News

    January 15, 1998

    Crime and no punishment

    A legal loophole lets illegal immigrants get out of jail nearly free

  • News

    November 13, 1997

    No joke

    County Commissioner Ken Mayfield isn't laughing anymore about sexual harassment charges

  • News

    October 30, 1997

    Who ya gonna call?

    Lawyer Kenneth Mayfield racks up a winning record in the courts he helps oversee as a county commissioner

  • News

    July 24, 1997

    Publicity Paul

    U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins loves feeding his name to the papers. But what's he done that's news?

  • News

    May 1, 1997

    The lies that BIND

    A Dallas jury is forced to sift through the wreckage of a family destroyed by the infamous Norplant rape case

  • News

    January 23, 1997

    'It's all a matter of power.'

    When Sandy Kress was school board president, he and Dan Peavy held private discussions on how to limit the influence of black school board members. Their conversations were captured on the Peavy Tapes, which Kress has fought hard to keep secret. Now, U.S.

  • News

    October 3, 1996

    The haunting

    To the grief of his children and his wife's family, Walker Railey is resurrecting his story

  • News

    July 18, 1996

    The Dope Bowl

    Lawyers, goons, money--and some very curious sex toys. Laura Miller does the post-game analysis of the Michael Irvin trial.

  • News

    July 4, 1996

    Playing Hardball

    The Feds pitch a shutout in the area's first 'three strikes' case

  • News

    February 15, 1996

    Dead man waiting

    After a decade on death row, Andre Lewis grasps at straws Andre Lewis is a dead man waiting.

  • News

    August 24, 1995

    Who's afraid of Robert rose?

    At the Dallas County Courthouse, everybody. David Pasztor explains why

  • Calendar

    June 8, 1995

    Undue process

    In JP Jones' court, you can be found guilty without even being charged

  • News

    November 24, 1994

    Crime Pays

    How the Feds let S&L swindler Clifford Sinclair get away with millions

  • News

    November 17, 1994

    'Tell Mama Why You Cry' (Part II)

    Sam Krasniqi was acquitted of sexual abuse. So why won't the state let two children have their parents - or their religion?

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