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 braintrust is up to. Watkins this morning announced, through spokesperson Jane Hamilton, that Terri Moore will serve as his first assistant and that Kevin Brooks will serve as trial bureau chief. Oh, and Toby Shook's out after all -- off to pursue other interests. Watkins wishes him well. Of course he does.

According to the release, Moore "is the only woman having ever served as the Deputy Chief of the criminal division in Tarrant County," and "she prosecuted the largest internet pornography case in United States history and targeted identity thieves." But it doesn't mention that Moore has lost two bids to become Tarrant County district attorney, losing both times to looooongtime incumbent Tim Curry.

Nor does it mention that Moore was also one of the attorneys who defended Wirt Norris last year. Norris, as you may recall, was the former Olympic diving coach-turned-prominent real estate agent in Fort Worth who, on May 14, 2005, pleaded guilty to one count of a single charge of indecent exposure after Will Hallman came forward in 2003 and accused Norris of molesting him when Hallman was 12. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "the case revealed that Norris may have abused many more children over the years, but Hallman's fell within the statute of limitations."

Twenty other accusers' claims did not fall within the statute of limitations and were thrown out. This is what the Fort Worth Weekly wrote about what Moore said concerning their claims:

Terri Moore, the third lawyer defending Norris, has suggested that some of Norris' accusers are motivated by money. In a hearing earlier this year, she referred to the civil lawsuit filed by the Hallman family as one in which "rich people ... are going after Wirt's money.'' In another exchange, she characterized the Hallmans as "very wealthy people'' and asked if it's ever "bad business to do something for very wealthy people.''

Moore's appearance on the Norris defense team is one of several strange twists the case has taken. Moore, a Democrat and former federal prosecutor who made a name for herself prosecuting child pornographers, attempted in the last election to unseat Tarrant County District Attorney Tim Curry, a Republican.

Had she won, Moore would be presiding over the very office that is now attempting to convict her client. She was not available for comment.

--Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky