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Grand Jury??? Weapons, Guns, Firearms

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by armymom100412, Jan 7, 2013.

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  1. armymom100412

    armymom100412 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Our 22 yr old son was involved in an altercation turned deadly on 10-4-12 and he was gunned down in his neighbor's yard. The shooter was released after a few hours with no charges filed. We were told it could be presented to the Grand Jury...how long before they possibly do this and do we get a chance to be there to speak? Our son and his friends were unarmed but we have been told that he said he "feared for his life" and that is that. I am very much a believeer and supporter of our constitution but I live in another state and don't understand how someone can just gun someone down (2 people actually) and not have to answer to anybody.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    First of all, my condolences on the loss of your loved one.

    I suggest you speak with the district attorney in the county where this occurred.

    You should also speak with the detective investigating the case.

    Normally, they are very forthcoming with the families of victims in cases like this.

    Grand Jury proceedings in Texas are held in secret.

    You are only allowed to speak IF you have knowledge relative to the case being pursued.

    You don't have such knowledge.

    Please reach out to the district attorney and the investigating law enforcement agency.

    By the way, depending on the county, the intervening holidays, the complexity of the case, it hasn't bene too long.

    I have seen these cases take one or two years before an indictment is issued.

    I suspect the delay is caused by getting witnesses to testify to what went down.

    If the stories aren't forthcoming or believable, there is nothing a district attorney can do.
  3. armymom100412

    armymom100412 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. Patience is not easy but I will pray that our legal system will not let us down. The shooter is a 33 year old prison guard who should know how to handle himself in any situation. And you are right, one of the victims is fresh out of the hospital and hasn't even been fit to be questioned yet so I imagine we could be in for a long wait.
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Without revealing names, I respect the memory of the victims.

    We also don't want to accuse those who have not been convicted.

    In what county did the shooting occur?

    Besides your son, were there any other victims?

    Can you tell us, being as protective of names as possible, what is believed to have went down?

    Thank you.
  5. armymom100412

    armymom100412 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Good morning, there was another victim-my son's roommate was shot 3 times and spent about a month in the hospital. He is still expected to need at least 3 more surgeries and he will most likely lose his career in the US Army (he cannot pass his PT exams, as well as his psychological issues). There was also a 3rd friend with my son and roommate who was not injured-he tried to save my son's life. I have little information because these 2 young men haven't been able to talk about it and my husband is nowhere near ready to hear the details-I wish I knew everything!! It was in Bell County I believe (I have actually had to rely on the internet for information as we are still trying to obtain police report). From what I know, my son and his friends were having a few beers and it must have gotten loud because there was a noise complaint from the neighbor. This somehow escalated into a verbal altercation (some news stories say there was a physical altercation as well) that then turned into the neighbor going into his house to get his weapon, coming back outside, and firing. My son and his friends were not armed with any type of weapons (except their 22 yr old egos I presume).
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Okay, I know the story. I know the DA in that county. His name is Henry Garza. I know him, and he's a very competent DA. He operates in the best interests of the public.

    Bell County (as do all Texas counties) provides a victim's assistance office.
    Here are those details.
    It is a good idea to reach out to those people.


    As a victim, or the parent of a victim, you have rights under Texas law.


    Texas CrimeVictim Rights
    (a) AVictim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a
    deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the
    criminal justice system:
    t. The right to receive from law enforcement agencies
    adequate protection from harm and threats of
    harm arising from cooperation with prosecution
    The right to have the magistrate take the safety of
    the victim or his family into consideration as an element
    in fixing the amount of bail for the accused;
    The righC if requested, to be informed:
    (A) by the attorney representing rhe state of
    relevant court proceedings and to be informed if
    those proceedings have been canceled or rescheduled
    prior to the event;and
    (B) by an appellate court of decisions of the court,
    after the decisions are entered by before the decisions
    are made public;
    The right to be informed, when requested, by a
    peace officer concerning the defendant's right to
    bail and the procedures in criminal investigations
    and by the district attorney's office concerning the
    general procedures in the criminal justice system,
    including general procedures in guilty plea negotiations
    and arrangements, restitution, and the appeals
    and parole process;
    The right to provide pertinent information to a
    probation department conducting a presentencing
    investigation concerning the impact of the offense
    of the victim and his family, by testimony, written
    statement, or any other manner prior to any sentencing
    of the offender;
    The right to receive information regarding compensation
    to victims of crime by Subchapter B,
    Chapter 56, including information related to the
    costs that may be compensated under that subchapter
    and the amount of compensation, eligibility
    for compensation, and procedures for application
    for compensation under that subchapter, the
    payment for a medical examination underArticle
    56.06 for a victim of a sexual assaulg and when
    requested, to referral to available social services
    that may offer additional assistance.

    7. The right to be informed, upon request, of parole procedures, to participate in the
    parole process, to be notified, if requested, of parole proceedings concerning a
    defendant in the victim's case, to provide to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for
    inclusion in the defendant's file information to be considered by the board prior to
    the parole of any defendant convicted of any crime subject to this subchapter, and
    to be notified, if requested, of the defendants release;
    8. The right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from other witnesses,
    including the offender and relatives of the offender, before testifiing in any
    proceeding concerning the offender; if a separate waiting area is not available, other
    safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim's contact with the offender and
    the offender's relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedinp;
    9. The right to prompt return of any properq/ of the victim that is held by a law enforcement
    4tency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the property is no
    longer required for that purpose;
    10. The right to have the attorney for the state notify the employer of the victim, if
    requested, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and testimony in a proceeding
    that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;
    I l. The right to counselint, on requesq regarding acquired immune deficiency syndrome
    (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HlV) and testing for AIDS, HIV
    infection, antibodies to HlV, or infection with any other probably causative agent of
    AIDS, if the offense is an offense under Section 2l. | | (a) (l), or 22.021, Penal Code;
    12. The right to request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the victim seryices
    division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and
    13. The right to be informed of the uses of a victim impact statement and the statement's
    puryose in the criminal justice system, to complete the victim impact statement"
    and to have the victim impact statement considered:
    (A) by the attorney representing the state and the judge before sentencing or
    before a plea bargain agreement is accepted; and
    (B) by the Board of Pardons and Paroles before an inmate is released on
    (b) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entided to the
    right to be present at all public couft proceedings related to the offense, subjea to the approval
    of the judge in the case.
    (.) The office of the attorney representing the state, and the sheriff, police or other law
    enforcement 4gencies shall ensure to the extent practicable that a victim, guardian of a victim, or
    close relative of a deceased victim is afforded the righs granted by Subsection (a) of this afticle
    and, on requesq an explanation of those righa.
    (d) A judge, attorney for the sate, peace officer, or law enforcement agency is not
    liable for failure or inability to provide a right enumerated in this article. The failure or inability of
    any person to provide a right or senrice enumerated in this article may not be used by a defendant
    in a criminal case as a ground for appeal, a ground to set aside the conviction or sentence, or
    a ground in a habeas corpus petition. A victjm, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased
    victim does not have standing to participate as a part in a criminal proceeding or to contest the
    disposition of any charge.


    His office details and contact numbers are posted below.
    I also gave you a link to his online information.
    I thought something was odd about that case, and it could be that the "shooter" was employed as a corrections officer. That said, I have rarely seen a reluctance to prosecute a good case.

    Stay in touch with the Army and the casualty assistance officer assigned for your son. The Army can provide great support.

    District Attorney, 27th Judicial District, Bell County - Henry Garza

    Bell County Justice Center

    1201 Huey Road, Suite 2100
    Belton, Texas 76513

    Phone: (254) 933-5215 or (800) 460-2355 ext. 5215
    Fax: (254) 933-5238

    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 540
    Belton, Texas 76513

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