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Patterson appeal: Three judges recuse

After getting her appeal tossed from the Thirteenth District of Texas Court of Appeals earlier this year, convicted murderess Melissa (Palacios) Patterson struck out again at the 13 th , when three appellate judges recused themselves from hearing her appeal. The court letter dated April 9, 2020 reads: “Please be advised, Chief Justice (Dori) Contreras, Justice (Nora) Longoria, and Justice (Leticia) Hinojosa are recused from this cause. Therefore, en banc reconsideration, if any, will be submitted to the original panel.” In plain English, the letter is saying that the original three-judge panel may review the case again for matters of appeal or let its previous decision to uphold the original court verdict stand. The three include Greg Perkes, Jaime Tijerina, and Gina Benavides. It was Perkes (McHi grad) who wrote the 58-page opinion in February 2020, which basically said that Patterson’s attorney, Brandy Wingate Voss, had filed a motion that would not win her client’s appeal. Voss was also a loser this spring when she lost her bid for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court. For Patterson’s appeal, she and her client brought in another law firm to help manage things: Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr (San Antonio). Patterson’s appeal didn’t attempt to convince the appeals panel that she was innocent of her crimes – capital murder, theft from a non-profit, theft from her murder victim, misapplication of her fiduciary responsibility. Rather, her appeal centered around the fact that there was allegedly lack of evidence to support her convictions on the four counts, and that the trial court (under the watch of well-seasoned Judge Noe Gonzalez) issued an erroneous jury charge regarding the law of parties. During oral arguments last October before the appellate bench, Judge Gina Benavides pointed to the court transcript and said that in her opinion, Gonzalez had given Patterson’s defense team more than enough leeway and time to argue that while the trial was still in progress, but failed to do so. Indeed, the murder/theft trial took up almost six weeks in late 2017 before a 12-person jury found her guilty on all four counts. The murder of a 96-year-old WWII vet, Marty Knell, living in McAllen at the time, was done for profit, a jury ruled in early November 2017. Patterson, who was managing a hospice at the time of the man’s murder (he was suffocated to death), had her family behind her, the well-known PSJA-based Palacioses, and had by ...

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