Making a firearm accessible to a child resulting in death / State v T.R.

Not Guilty

Making a firearm accessible to a child resulting in death / State v T.R.

Fort Bend County


1,219 days ago, our client’s 3 year old son was supposed to be asleep, but somehow got up and found his father’s gun in a place that should’ve been impossible to reach. That sweet baby boy accidentally shot himself through the eye and died. Today, a powerful and beautiful Ft Bend jury found our client Not Guilty of Making a Firearm Accessible to a Minor. They all agreed it was a horrible, tragic accident, but not a crime. The jury came out and hugged our client and their family, giving them the closure they needed to heal.

It all started when our client, the loving father of 3 boys under 3, came home after work and put his revolver on top of a very high dresser. He tucked away under the TV. His wife left for church that Friday evening and he cooked pancakes and eggs for his boys for dinner. (The middle boy was out of town with the grandparents.) He made a bottle for the baby and put him in the bassinet. He tucked in his 3 year old. He went down and did some laundry and was fixing the baby gate at the bottom of the steps. Then he heard the BANG. The rest of the story brought me to tears giving the opening and often times in the cross and direct.

This is a good, young family who was not drinking on a Friday or anything. They were taking care of their kids and going to church. He had no criminal history and had a valid LTC. No one ever asked to press charges in this case. The math showed it was impossible for the boy to ever reach the gun standing or how he used to lean on a bench. No one will ever know how he got it, but in examining the evidence, I showed them the missing knob on the dresser. Client and his wife said it was never like that before. And, they had never seen him Spider-Man climb the dresser. (I think that may be how he got it.) But, leaving a gun somewhere impossible to get and the child doing something you’ve never seen before is not Criminal Negligence.

The FBCSO lead detective was a complete moron. He was in the theft and burglary division and still is. He performed no measurements or calculations. He simply opined where the gun was alleged to be was impossible to reach so, the client must be lying. Even though the client is heard on the body cams very early on crying to his sister in law that “he was supposed to be asleep, he got my gun from back under the TV.” The Detective was argumentative and self righteous on the stand in the face of me doing simple geometry (Pythagorean’s Theorum) that proved the gun was out of reach from a leaning child. He also had never seen the 1 missing knob on the dresser that was directly under where the gun was. He had tunnel vision from the start. Luckily, he was so difficult on the stand that I think the jury realized he was worthless.

This case was originally indicted as Reckless Injury to a Child (a felony). And, thanks to some higher ups at the DAs office they realized it was really a Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child (misd). What really chaps my hide is how the Child Abuse division handled this case. People can go out and intentionally drink and drive and still get PTI. However, our guy with no criminal history, who lost his son, with 93 letters of recommendation doesn’t get PTI? Whelp… guess they can take nothing then. The DAs were very overzealous and aggressive in trying this case. They tried to fight all kinds of evidence coming in too. I reminded the jury that the DAs work for the people of Ft Bend and the victims… who packed the entire Defense side. What kind of punishment did they think this father needed to do? They also did absolutely zero calculations and basically one DA argued our client was a liar and the other said it was avoidable and preventable. Shameful.

For 1,219 days we have been waiting for this jury. The jury said where the client put his gun did not make him criminally responsible for the death of his son. He is already punishing himself enough for this nightmare. I honestly don’t know what the DA needed to do more to him. This God loving family needed this closure. God put all the right people in the right seats and justice was finally achieved. Lots of tears and hugs. I will never forget this case. It has literally changed my life in how I store guns and talk to the kids about never ever touching or being around a gun at the house, at a friend’s house, or anywhere. Unless properly supervised.

Thank you to my co-counsel, Elan, for keeping me sane and being the Good Cop to my Bad Cop. I’m not gonna lie, my heart and soul were in this trial. I was leaving my blood on the field and was not going to be stopped. Thank you to John Ramsey for giving me some powerful voir dire examples. Thank you to this family for trusting us. Thank you to the Judge for a fair trial. Thanks to my office and wife for helping me be super ready and holding down the fort while I’ve been out this week. Thank you to that wonderful jury for remaining true to your doubts and giving this heartfelt justice. And thanks to God for putting it all together. 6/21/19-10/21/22… that’s exactly 3 years and 4 months later, on a Friday 21st. Closure. Justice.