Justices uphold Crossroads men's convictions

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

July 9, 2013 at 2:09 a.m.
Updated July 10, 2013 at 2:10 a.m.

Justices with the 13th Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of two Crossroads-area men who contended they received ineffective counsel.

Trinidad George Perez, 36, of Rockport, pleaded guilty in January 2012 to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency of a child. A judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison for each of the aggravated sexual assault counts and 10 years in prison for indecency with a child. The sentences run concurrently.

Perez appealed the Victoria County decision within days, claiming he thought the judge should have placed him on deferred adjudication probation.

Perez alleged his trial attorney did not prepare him to accept responsibility for his actions while on the stand.

Proving his trial attorney fell below professional standards would require speculation because the court is not privy to attorney-client conversations, the justices said in the July 3 opinion.

Perez's claims are a strategy some defendants use to "get a second bite of the apple," said Eli Garza, first assistant criminal district attorney in Victoria County.

Garza said he believes the allegations about Perez's trial attorney, Timothy J. McCoy, are false.

"As a defense attorney, you should expect some clients are not going to be happy no matter what you do for them," Garza said. "This is an agreement he (Perez) had with the state, and he is obligated to abide by it. The appellate court got it right."

Calvin Tillman also appealed unsuccessfully his Wharton County robbery conviction. A judge handed Tillman a 30-year prison sentence.

He claimed his attorney, Philip Hundl, misinformed him he would get deferred adjudication if he pleaded guilty.

Tillman, 48, of Eagle Lake, did not show how the outcome would have been any different if the attorney had not misinformed him, justices said in court documents.

Neither McCoy nor Hundl have public disciplinary records, according to the State Bar of Texas website.

Neither the trial attorneys nor the Wharton County District Attorney Ross Kurtz could be reached for comment.



Powered By AffectDigitalMedia