A JOURNEY OF CASES
A Chronology of a Some of Doug Barlow's Cases Spanning Four Decades - Every case is different and thorough examination of all facts, issues and the applicable law is necessary to evaluate and make decisions in each case. These results do not guarantee results in any particular case, but represent a few of the cases handled by Doug Barlow in the '80's, '90's, '00's and 2010's.
2013. United States of America v. Cotton, #12-40563, U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
The defendant/driver was arrested after fleeing following a traffic stop during which cocaine was located inside a passenger door of his vehicle. After the Federal Magistrate Judge ruled the search and seizure to be lawful and the drugs admissible, he was sentenced to over 10 years in Federal prison. Doug undertook the appeal and urged that the search and seizure was illegal under the 4th amendment. After briefing and oral argument presented by Doug before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the Magistrate Judge's rulings and ordered the contraband suppressed. The defendant was released from Federal prison, a free man.
2012. State of Texas v. Dresser, #289719, County Court at Law #3, Jefferson County, Texas, 2012
The defendant, a successful engineer, was charged with assault-family violence. Through vigorous cross-examination, Doug challenged the sworn testimony of the complainant/wife and then presented the testimony of other wtinesses he located through investigation. After Doug argued to the jury that the guilty party was actually the complainant, the jury found the defendant not guilty.
2012. In The Matter of Q.T., Juvenile, [Sealed Case], #C-11864-J, 317th District Court, 2012 The District Atttorney sought to try the youthful defendant as an adult when a female companion accused him of sexually assaulting her. By the use of modern technology, Doug amassed evidence from cellular telephone towers, facebook postings and other emerging technologies that revealed what actually occurred. Faced with overwhelming evidence that disputed the story of the complainant, the prosecutor dismissed all charges.
2011. Maze vs. State of Texas, #09-10-499-CR, Ninth Court of Appeals, 2011
The trial court revoked the defendant’s felony probation and sentenced him to 75 years in prison. Doug undertook the appeal and convinced the appellate court that the lengthy sentence could not be imposed, resulting in the sentence being overturned and the case remanded; the sentence was reduced by 55 years.
2010. United States of America vs. [Sealed Case]; #1:08CR93, United States District Court, 2010
The Federal government conducted an international investigation involving the FBI, Small Business Administration, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice, which led to a 40-count indictment in Federal Court against Doug’s client, a sitting cabinet member of a major foreign nation. Doug asserted the high-ranking foreign official’s innocence throughout the prosecution, rejecting any plea agreement that would imply guilt. Despite the massive investigation and litigation spanning over 5 years, all charges were finally dismissed. After the exoneration of his client, Doug persuaded the Court to seal all documents in the case.
2009. State of Texas vs. [Expunged], 356th District Court, Hardin County, Texas, 2009
A high school educator was charged in 4 indictments with Indecency With a Child, and felony Improper Relationship Student/Educator. As his lawyer, Doug rejected all plea negotiations and demanded trials. Faced with overwhelming evidence amassed by Doug, the team of felony prosecutors dismissed all cases. Despite the dismissal of the indictments, the Office of the State Attorney General took up the cases and opposed Doug’s efforts to seal the records. After a hearing, the records of the cases were expunged by the Court.
2009. State of Texas vs. Podhorsky, #16468, 16470, 17700, 17702, 17704, 17706,
356th District Court, Hardin County, Texas, 2009
In 2003 the defendant was the first female to be accused of Capital Murder in the history of Hardin County, Texas. She was charged in six indictments with Capital Murder, Murder, three cases of Criminal Solicitation of Aggravated Robbery, and one case of Criminal Solicitation to Commit Burglary. Upon the advice of Doug, she refused the prosecutor’s demands that she plead guilty. After 6 years of legal preparation and forensic investigation by Doug, all charges were dismissed.
2007. State of Texas vs. Berry, 233 S.W.3d 847 (Tex.Crim.App. 2007)
The defendant was sentenced to death for the Capital Murder of her infant child found in a dumpster, after the abandonment of a second child some years later. On appeal, Doug successfully argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict and the appellate court reversed the death sentence. The appellate decision has affected whether prosecutors in Texas could seek the death penalty in similar capital cases.
2007. State vs. Klem, #07-1412, 07-1413, 07-1414, Criminal District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 2007
A practicing cardiologist was charged in 3 indictments with separate alleged offenses of Indecency with a Child, each of which had a potential punishment of 20 years imprisonment. Through skillful negotiations, Doug secured a plea bargain agreement whereby the defendant received deferred adjudication probation to different offenses with no convictions. The defendant was able to escape registration as a sex offender. The physician was simultaneously indicted in two similar felony cases of indecency with a child in Houston, Texas. As a result of the agreement in Jefferson County, the Harris County prosecutor agreed to similar dispositions in Houston. The original five indictments were all dismissed. As a result, the physician avoided any prison term, any felony conviction, any sex offender registration, and he was allowed to retain his medical license.
2007. Harrison vs. State of Texas, 239 S.W.3d 368 (Tex.App. - Beaumont 2007)
In 1994, the defendant had been found not guilty by reason of insanity of the Murder of his mother, who he had killed and dismembered. He had remained in Rusk State Hospital for some 13 years pursuant to court orders of commitment. Doug agreed to represent him in on direct appeal. The appellate court agreed with Doug’s argument that the trial judge violated the Mental Health Code by denying his right to a jury trial and reversed the commitment order.
2006. State of Texas vs. DeMars, #244569, County Court at Law#3, Jefferson County, Texas 2006
The defendant was a truck driver with a high security clearance to haul military tanks. A female truck driver complained that he assaulted her in a truck stop parking lot in a dispute over parking protocol; he was later arrested and charged with assault. Doug represented him at trial, and the jury found him not guilty.
2006. Sheehan vs. State of Texas, 201 S.W.3d 820 (Tex.App. - Waco 2006)
The defendant had been convicted by a jury of Resisting Arrest. Representing him on direct appeal from the conviction, Doug argued that being physically uncooperative during the arrest process does not constitute the offense of Resisting Arrest. The Tenth Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the conviction and acquitted the defendant.
2005. United States of America vs. Jones, 421 F.3d 359 (5th Cir. 2005)
The defendant had been convicted of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute in a Federal jury trial, when Doug agreed to represent him on appeal. Doug argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans that the trial judge failed to determine if his waiver of counsel was knowingly and intelligently entered. The Court agreed, reversed the conviction, and vacated the sentence.
2004. State of Texas vs. Granger, #8969, District Court of Jasper County, Texas, 2004
The defendant was charged with Solicitation to Commit Capital Murder. Doug conducted extensive pretrial investigation, and refused all plea offers from the prosecution. After 5 years of preparation for trial, Doug persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss all charges.
2003. State of Texas vs. England, #233361, County Court at Law #3, Jefferson County, Texas, 2003
A physician was charged with deadly conduct when another physician claimed he accosted him with a firearm. As his attorney, Doug investigated the incident and prepared accordingly, refusing any plea bargain offers and demanding a trial. On the day of trial, the prosecutor dismissed the case.
2003. State of Texas vs. Nalley, #221769, County Court at Law #3, Jefferson 14. County, Texas,
The defendant was followed by a local preacher to his home and a DPS officer arrived on the scene moments later. He was charged with DWI and Doug represented him at trial. The jury found the defendant not guilty.
2002. State of Texas vs. C.T., #[Grand Jury Proceedings], Jefferson County, Texas, 2002
Doug represented a prominent school board superintendent who was the subject of an investigation of violation of the Texas Election Code over a bond election. Doug insisted upon his client’s innocence throughout the investigation, which culminated before a grand jury. No indictment was returned and the charges were dropped.
2001. United States of America vs. J.F., [Grand Jury Proceedings], United States District Court, 2001
A Texas state prison official was one of the targets of an investigation of prisoner abuse in the Texas prison system. Doug represented him throughout the investigation and refused the Federal prosecutor’s demands to appear before a Federal grand jury, and to plead guilty. Although other officials pleaded guilty to various Federal charges, the allegations against Doug’s client were dropped.
2000. United States of America vs. Tatum, #1:99CR164, United States District Court, 2000
The defendant was convicted of Federal Capital Murder for the murder of a bank president and an auto sales employee in Longview, and the government sought the death penalty. In a trial lasting over a month, Doug presented the testimony of numerous lay witnesses as well as experts to establish the defendant’s potential for rehabilitation in prison. The jury spared the defendant’s life. The jury verdict is the only unanimous life verdict in a Federal death penalty case in the history of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.
2000. State of Texas vs. Hunt, #72515, 72517, 78803, 78804, 252nd District Court, Jefferson County, 2000
A codefendant had already been convicted and received a life sentence for Capital Murder. Doug’s client was charged with the same Capital Murder, Attempted Capital Murder, and Aggravated Robbery for the killing of a store clerk and shooting of the clerk’s husband during an armed robbery. Doug and the defendant rejected the State’s plea bargain demand of 45 years imprisonment and proceeded to trial. The defendant’s written confession was admitted into evidence. After Doug’s final argument, the jury deliberated for 2 days and deadlocked; a mistrial was granted. In a second trial the jury found the defendant not guilty of all greater charges and convicted him only of simple robbery and assessed punishment at 12 years in prison.
1999. United States of America vs. Sterling, #1:94-CR-134, United States District Court,
With a prior 20-year sentence for murder, the defendant was charged with Federal Possession of Firearms by a felon. A fugitive from justice, he was listed publicly on the “Ten Most Wanted List” in the State of Texas, and described as “Armed and Dangerous”. Tiring of eluding law enforcement for years, he contacted Doug and requested that he arrange his surrender as well as the least sentence possible. He faced sentences totaling 30 additional years in Federal Court. After two years of negotiation, the defendant surrendered to the FBI at Doug’s office and received a 5 year sentence running concurrently with the remainder of his murder sentence.
1999. Welch vs. State of Texas, 990 S.W.2d 876 (Tex.App. - Beaumont 1999)
The defendant had been convicted of Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Deadly Weapon in a Penal Institution. Doug agreed to represent him on appeal and raised 93 issues on appeal including the trial judge’s refusal to admit the extensive prison records of the alleged victim. The Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the convictions.
1998. State of Texas vs. Bordelon, 09-96-305-CR, 252nd District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 1998
The defendant had been convicted of Endangering a Child after the death of a child in her day care center. On appeal, the appellate court agreed with Doug’s argument that the evidence was insufficient and acquitted her. Not satisfied, the State then pursued a felony charge of Tampering With the Evidence from the same tragic event. When Doug represented her at a second trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict, and a mistrial was granted. After the repeated victories for the defense under Doug’s representation, the State finally dismissed all charges.
1998. State of Texas vs. Holmes, #75083, 75084, 75088, 75631, 75632, 75712,
Criminal District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 1998
The defendant was indicted in 2 cases of Intoxication Manslaughter, 1 case of Intoxication Assault, and 3 cases of felony Leaving the Scene of an Accident following a collision between his pickup truck and three pedestrians on a rural Jefferson County highway. In the midst of highly publicized media attention, the case proceeded to trial after the State sought maximum prison terms. In a hotly contested punishment phase, the jury agreed with Doug’s presentation of evidence and arguments and assessed a probated sentence rather than a prison term.
1998. State of Texas vs. Bertrand, #8616, 1-A District Court, Tyler County, Texas, 1998
The defendant was charged with Indecency with a Child, a family member. The felony case was turned over the Office of the State Attorney General for prosecution. After Doug and the defendant steadfastly refused any plea offer and repeatedly demanded a jury trial, the indictment was finally dismissed.
1998. State of Texas vs. LeBlanc, #74520, County Court at Law #2, Jefferson County, Texas, 1998
The defendant was charged with the new offense of Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child, after his 12 year old stepson accidentally shot and killed his young friend with the defendant’s handgun from a closet. Doug argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove the charges and the judge found the defendant not guilty.
1997. State of Texas vs. C., #[Grand Jury Proceedings], Chambers County, Texas, 1997
A former elected official was the subject of a grand jury investigation for official misconduct. Doug refused the District Attorney’s demands that he plead guilty to a plea bargain. When the prosecutor presented the case for prosecution, Doug represented the public official at the proceedings. The grand jury no-billed the defendant and the charges were dropped.
1996. Ex Parte Elizondo, 947 S.W.2d 202 (Tex.Crim.App. 1996)
The defendant had been convicted and sentenced to life for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a child in the 1980's. After the defendant served 12 years in prison, Doug took on the case and filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus based on the actual innocence of the defendant. After a 2½ year appellate battle opposed by prosecutors around the State, Doug succeeded in exonerating and freeing Joe Elizondo from prison. The case stands today as the Elizondo standard in Texas and is cited in analysis of actual innocence claims.
1996. United States of America vs. Skipper, 74 F.3d 608 (5th Cir. 1996)
The defendant had been convicted of Possession of a Cocaine With Intent to Distribute, and received a lengthy prison term. On appeal, Doug Barlow successfully argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, that the government failed to establish that the defendant had any intent distribute the controlled substance. The Court reversed the conviction and vacated the sentence.
1996. State of Texas vs. Tinsley, #D950110, #D950113, Orange County, Texas, 1996
The defendant was charged with felony Theft of equipment and felony Criminal Mischief. After Doug obtained a not guilty verdict from the jury in the alleged theft trial, the prosecutor dismissed the other felony case.
1996. State of Texas vs. Wilson, 938 S.W.2d 57 (Tex.Crim.App. 1996)
The defendant had been convicted of Capital Murder and sentenced to death for the alleged execution of an informant. Doug’s argued to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin that the trial prosecutor’s jury argument was improper. The defendant’s conviction and death sentence were reversed.
1995. United States of America vs. Wright, #1:94-CR-108, United States District Court, 1995
Doug represented a Mississippi defendant who was in a vehicle traveling through Beaumont. She was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine after an officer cut open the spare tire from the trunk and found packages of marijuana and crack cocaine. At the jury trial, the judge granted Doug’s motion for an acquittal, exonerating the defendant.
1994. State of Texas vs. Thacker, #A920774, 128th District Court, Orange County, Texas, 1994
The defendant was charged with Indecency with a Child, and Doug was the lead lawyer at the jury trial. Despite the fact that the State introduced several other charges alleging that the defendant committed other acts of indecency and sexual assault of children, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
1994. State of Texas vs. Young, #178977, County Court at Law #3, Jefferson County, Texas, 1994
Doug represented the defendant who was charged with Evading Detention after a police officer chased him down near an apartment swimming pool. The jury acquitted the defendant.
1993. State of Texas vs. Jones, #49612, 252nd District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 1993
After the defendant had been sentenced to death for Capital Murder, Doug argued on appeal that the prosecutor’s explanation of reasonable doubt at trial was incorrect. The appellate court agreed and reversed the conviction and sentence. The State again sought the death penalty in a retrial, and Doug convinced the prosecutors to abandon the death penalty, sparing the defendant's life.
1993. State of Texas vs. Winslow, #53248, 252nd District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 1993
After an earlier conviction for murder, the defendant was charged with Capital Murder of a second individual and was facing a second trial, this time with the State seeking the death penalty. Doug was lead lawyer in the Capital Murder trial and in the closing weeks of trial, the judge allowed the jury to hear evidence of the previous murder by the defendant; most felt a guilty verdict was then sealed. Not to be defeated, Doug presented an impassioned jury argument disputing the State’s case. The jury deliberated guilt or innocence over several days and became deadlocked, a historical event in a capital case according to media accounts of the case. A mistrial was granted. When the case again proceeded to trial several years later, the State abandoned the death penalty and agreed to a sentence lower than his original sentence from the first trial.
1993. State of Texas vs. Young, #167475, County Court at Law #3, Jefferson County, Texas, 1993
The accused Lamar University student was unaware that a deputy sheriff was attempting to stop him for speeding. In the ensuing chase, the sheriff’s car crashed, and the State charged the defendant with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer. Before the jury, Doug challenged the reliability of the testimony of the prosecution witnesses. The jury found the defendant not guilty.
1992. State of Texas vs. Ozio, #164718, County Court at Law #2, Jefferson County, Texas, 1992
After a family violence call to his home, the defendant was charged with Resisting Arrest. Doug represented him at a jury trial and the jury found him not guilty.
1992. State of Texas vs. Granger, #157840, County Court at Law #2, Jefferson County, Texas, 1992
The defendant was charged with Theft from a local mall store. Doug represented the defendant at trial and the jury found her not guilty.
1991. State of Texas vs. Brandon, #56286, 252nd District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 1991
The defendant, a convicted felon, was charged with Attempted Sexual Assault after a neighbor alleged that he tried to rape her in her home. Doug represented the defendant at trial and the jury found him not guilty.
1989. State of Texas vs. King, #138499, County Court at Law #3, Jefferson County, Texas, 1989
The defendant was charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Handgun. After testimony of the arresting officer, Doug convinced the jury that the defendant lawfully possessed the firearm for a sporting activity. The jury found him not guilty.
1989. State of Texas vs. Landry, #49273, Criminal District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 1989
Already with a criminal record, the defendant was charged with Burglary of a police officer’s house and was identified selling the stolen jewelry at a pawn shop the same day. Despite the fact that he had previously been convicted of theft, Doug argued the weaknesses of the State’s case. The jury found him not guilty.
1987. Thompson vs. State of Texas, 729 S.W.2d 132 (Tex.App. - Beaumont 1987)
The defendant had been convicted of Burglary and Doug represented him on direct appeal. Doug argued that the prosecutor’s argument that the defendant had hidden just like the spider tattooed on his neck was improper and outside the record. The appellate court agreed and reversed the conviction.
1987. Mims vs. State of Texas, 732 S.W.2d 95 (Tex.App. - Beaumont 1987)
The defendant had been convicted of felony Theft of Service. On appeal, Doug argued to the appellate court that the evidence was insufficient to establish guilt and that the trial judge incorrectly admitted evidence of another crime. The Court of Appeals agreed, reversed the conviction and ordered the case dismissed.
1986. State of Texas vs. King, #46281, Criminal District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 1986
The defendant, a mentally-challenged black man, was charged with the Aggravated Sexual Assault of a young white female after she was abducted by several males, blind-folded, and taken to the apartment where the defendant lived. The defendant awoke with the female in his bed. Upon questioning by detectives, the defendant signed a written confession to Aggravated Sexual Assault that was introduced into evidence. Doug argued to the jury that the confession was involuntary and that the defendant was innocent. The all-white jury agreed and found the defendant not guilty.
1986. Molenda vs. State of Texas, 715 S.W.2d 651 (Tex.Crim.App. 1986)
After the defendant had plead guilty to Attempted Burglary and received a 10 year prison sentence, Doug undertook the appeal. He initially won in the Ninth Court of Appeals, upon his legal brief and argument that the indictment was fundamentally defective; (712 S.W.2d 525). Not content with losing, the State filed a Petition for Discretionary Review in the State’s highest criminal court in Austin. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with Doug, reversed the conviction and dismissed the prosecution.
1986. State of Texas vs. Powell, #120883, County Court at Law #3, Jefferson County, Texas, 1986
Doug represented the defendant who was charged with DWI. Despite the trial testimony of two police officers that defendant was intoxicated, the defendant was found not guilty.
1985. State of Texas vs. Johnson, #119482, County Court at Law #2, Jefferson County, Texas, 1985
The defendant was originally indicted for the offense of Aggravated Assault on a Police officer, her estranged husband. When the case was called for trial, Doug persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the felony case, and proceed upon only a misdemeanor allegation. Doug was the lead lawyer at trial, and the jury found the defendant not guilty.
1985. State of Texas vs. Jones, #45463, Criminal District Court, 1985
The defendant was charged with felony Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, a short-barreled firearm located in his vehicle. Doug argued that the search was an illegal intrusion of privacy and the 12-person jury found the defendant not guilty.
1985. Dietz vs. State of Texas, 692 S.W.2d 593 (Tex.App. - Beaumont 1985) pdr ref’d
The defendant had been convicted of murder and received a 60-year sentence. Doug was his appellate lawyer and he argued that the trial prosecutor made an improper comment on the defendant’s failure to testify. The Court of Appeals agreed that it was a constitutional violation and reversed the conviction.
1984. State of Texas vs. Journey, #109086, County Court at Law #3, Jefferson County, Texas, 1984
When the Texas legislature created County Court at Law #3, Doug handled the first jury trial conducted in the new court. The defendant was charged with DWI. After the conclusion of testimony and arguments, the jury found the defendant not guilty.
1982. State of Texas vs. Bell, #31678, Criminal District Court, Jefferson County, Texas, 1982
As a newly licensed lawyer, Doug undertook the representation of Walter Bell, who had been sentenced to death while Doug was still a college student. Convicted of capital murder, the defendant had already served 8 years on Death Row, and Doug undertook the appeal before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. That representation was to continue over a span of several decades. Doug handled appeals and the new jury trial that revealed overwhelming evidence of the defendant's mental retardation. Based on the psychological evidence presented by Doug at a new jury trial in 1994 and a later ruling by the United States Supreme Court in 2002, the defendant ultimately received a reprieve from his sentence of death. In 2004, Walter Bell's death sentence was finally overturned, after becoming the longest-serving inmate on Death Row in the history of the State of Texas.