In recent weeks, the 79th District Court has been busy. One trial was declared a mistrial and the second ended with a conviction.
In the case of the State of Texas vs. Ricky Allen Black, District Attorney Armando Barrera presented the case of criminal negligent homicide to the jury.
The case involved a motor vehicle accident that occurred east of Orange Grove on March 14, 2007. The accident resulted in the death of Crystal Dawn Rogers.
“According to reports presented to the jury, it was a foggy day with rain resulting in poor visibility,” said John Lemon, assistant district attorney.
The accident took place at the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 534 and County Road 364.
Rogers was killed when Black’s truck struck the driver side, according to an Alice Echo-News Journal story. Rogers was taking her husband to work and also had the couple’s two small children in the car.
“The report says that Black was passing in a no-pass zone with poor visibility at an excessive rate of speed,” Lemon said. “The truck hit the car with enough force to create a dent into the vehicle 1-foot 9-inches deep.”
Lemon explained the driver’s seat was knocked loose of its braces and moved to the middle of the vehicle.
“No major injuries were reported in the accident,” Lemon said. “But the jury could not come to a consensus and a mistrial was declared after the jury deliberated. Closing arguments were given Thursday and they came back Monday with the mistrial.”
Lemon said the jury was too divided and it would be up to the state to retry the case.
In the case of State of Texas vs. Mark Arredondo, Lemon presented a case of assault of a public servant.
The case alleged that on Aug. 22, 2010, during a routine driving while intoxicated stop, Arredondo kicked a police cruiser door into the leg of an officer.
“The officer arrested Arredondo on felony charges as well as the intoxication charge,” Lemon said. “The defendant refused a plea agreement. We picked the jury on a Monday and tried the case on Tuesday. We closed arguments on Wednesday.”
Lemon said the jury took four to five hours before they came back with a guilty verdict.
“(Arredondo) chose to have the judge assess punishment,” Lemon said. “Visiting Judge Manuel Banales handed down a five-year sentence that was suspended.”
Arredondo was sentenced to five years probation and a $1,000 fine. Lemon explained that additional requirements were added, such as no drinking.