By CHRISTIN COYNE
Defense attorneys for teen capital murder suspect Jacob Ryan Evans, accused of killing his mother and younger sister last year at the age of 17, are appealing an appellate court’s decision last month that allows prosecutors to move forward with a capital murder case.
Evans’ attorneys filed a petition for discretionary review in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, asking that the state’s highest criminal court consider the case.
Authorities say Evans repeatedly shot his mother, 48-year-old Jami Evans, and sister, 15-year-old Mallory Evans, on Oct. 4 at their Annetta South residence before calling 911 and confessing to the double homicide.
Last month a state appeals court rejected an appeal by Evans, who is arguing that his incarceration on a charge of capital murder is unconstitutional.
Evan’s court-appointed defense team appealed to the Second Court of Appeals regarding a decision in January by 415th District Judge Graham Quisenberry to deny a request to release Evans on the capital murder charge he is facing.
Attorneys for Evans, who was also indicted on two counts of first-degree felony murder, argued that he should not be held on the capital murder charge because he was 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense. The U.S. Supreme Court had previously ruled the only two punishments allowed for capital murder under Texas law at that time – death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole – are unconstitutional for those under 18.
After Quisenberry’s decision, Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill into law July 22 that amends sentencing rules to require that a defendant found guilty of capital murder as a 17-year-old be sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 40 years. The legislation is expressly intended to apply to offenses committed prior to that date.
Though Evans’ defense argued that the law cannot be constitutionally applied retroactively, the Second Court of Appeals panel of judges declined to consider that argument in their decision, leaving Quisenberry’s order standing.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has the discretion on whether to consider Evans’ appeal.
By CHRISTIN COYNE
- Aledo ExtrA
Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
Willow Park tackles 11-street project
The Willow Park City Council last week picked a list of 11 streets they’d like repaired as part of the city’s next road repair project, a significant portion of the 17-road, $850,000 list of needed repairs.
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