Intoxicated Manslaughter: Round One
STATES OFFER: 20 YEARS
In this case, my client was driving home after attending a dinner party and allegedly ran a red light at Cullen Blvd and Beltway 8 in Houston, TX.
As a result of this alleged red-light running, my client broadsided a truck with 4 passengers, killing two and seriously injuring two others. Five eye witnesses testified that he stopped at a red light, spun and smoked his tires, then went thru a second red light showing no brake lights and ran into the truck.
Murder – Intoxicated Manslaughter Resulting in 2 Deaths
The prosecution’s offer was 20 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.
My client said he had a green light and that he was innocent.
We set the (intoxicated manslaughter) case for trial (Harris County, TX).
My client was a nice looking man who had graduated at the top of his class in college, was a successful business man, and an honorably discharged military veteran. I spent hours at the scene of the accident taking pictures, interviewing witnesses, watching light sequences, trying to get an idea of what happened. We hired an expert traffic consultant who explained to me in minutes what I couldn’t figure in hours and I knew we had a chance.
The strongest of all the state’s witnesses testified that my client stopped at the first light, waited a few seconds, looked at her, smiled, then spun and smoked his tires and proceeded to the second intersection without hitting the breaks, striking the complainant’s truck.
I cross-examined this witness for quite some time, and out of nowhere, I asked her if she had known any of the accident victims. She looked at the prosecutor with a deer in the headlights expression and after a pause of several seconds admitted that she was friends with both of the deceased.
I had not been informed of this during the pre-trial discovery process. Her reaction cast a pall on her and the other eye witness’s testimony.
I cross-examined the State’s DWI Intoxication Expert about retrograde extrapolation in regards to my clients blood alcohol level, to which she had trouble responding because of the confusion at the scene as to which police agency, HPD or the Harris County Sheriffs Dept, had jurisdiction.
My client was not questioned about when he first and last ate, or when he had his first or last drink, thus it was impossible to accurately estimate my client’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident and the time of his blood sample.
The jury found my client not guilty of intoxicated manslaughter.
CASE RESULT – Manslaughter due to intoxication: NOT GUILTY
Houston DWI Lawyer Jack B. Carroll Will Defend Individuals Facing Intoxication Manslaughter Charges
[Jack B. Carroll – only lawyer in Texas History to win a double intoxicated manslaughter case.]
Intoxicated Manslaughter: Round Two
STATES OFFER: 10 YEARS
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office filed on the second death and we went to trial. The State was barred by double jeopardy from indicting my client for intoxicated manslaughter, so they crossed this hurdle and filed a separate charge on the second death by indicting my client for manslaughter. I thought the case was barred by DOUBLE JEOPARDY, but was overruled. We filed a motion for COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 27.05 DEFENDANT’S SPECIAL PLEA. To wit;
Article 27.05. DEFENDANT’S SPECIAL PLEA
Defendant’s only special plea is that he has already been prosecuted for the same or a different offense arising out of the same criminal episode that was or should have been consolidated into one trial, and that the former prosecution:
- Result in acquittal;
- Resulted in conviction;
- Was improperly terminated; or
- Was terminated by a final order or judgment for the defendant that has not been reversed, set aside or vacated and that necessarily required a determination inconsistent with a fact that must be established to secure conviction in the subsequent prosecution.
During the second trial, the State of Texas came up with a surprise witness, the husband of the State’s star witness who admitted during the first trial that she knew the deceased. The husband was not mentioned in the offense report as having been at the scene and his wife was nowhere to be found during the second trial.
He was a bad witness.
CASE RESULT: My client was acquitted of manslaughter but convicted of a lesser included offense for which he received community supervision.
If you or a loved one were accused of Murder, Manslaughter, Intoxicated Manslaughter, or need a criminal defense attorney to represent you or someone you know in the Greater Houston TX area, give me a call for a free case evaluation. My name is Jack B. Carroll, an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney.
I can be reached at 713-228-4607.