Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Liar, Liar, pants on fire! (oops, I mean your dog's on fire)

Okay, I have never heard a defense attorney say their client received a fair sentence after a jury sentences them to 20 years in prison. Sylvia, practice being righteously indignant over sentences by the jury when your client goes to prison.

Good job, Steven de Lemos.

20 years for setting own home ablaze
By Chris CobbThe Herald-Zeitung

Estanislado Ovalle Jr. faces up to 20 years in prison for burning down his home and killing his dog.The 32-year-old was sentenced Monday in Comal County District Court, after a jury had ruled Friday that he was guilty of two counts of arson and one count of animal cruelty.“I believe it was a very fair sentence,” said Ovalle’s attorney Sylvia Cavazos. “Hopefully it will give him a chance to be rehabilitated and start to solve some of his problems.”

Ovalle was arrested after setting fire to his home on the 900 block of Sundance Street during the early morning hours of June 17, 2006, causing $50,000 worth of damage and the death of his dog. After almost six hours of deliberation on Monday, the jury sentenced Ovalle to 20 years in prison for a first-degree felony arson charge.

Ovalle also received a 10-year sentence for a third-degree felony arson conviction and two years for being found guilty of animal cruelty, but those sentences will run concurrently.Cavazos said Ovalle could serve less than the 20-year sentence, depending on his success in the parole process.“Arson is a very serious crime,” said New Braunfels Battalion Chief Darren Brinkkoeter. “Charging someone with arson is not something we do lightly; it’s not just setting something on fire. What this did was endanger the lives of other people and of our firefighters. I commend the jury for their hard work and their decision.”

Ovalle set the blaze in his bathroom following a domestic dispute with his wife. “The arson was the just the result of an escalation of a history of domestic violence on the part of Mr. Ovalle,” said Assistant District Attorney Steven de Lemos. “(It’s) pretty lucky no one died and no one was seriously injured.“I think the jury sent a clear message to the community that arson is not going to be tolerated here.”