Kerrville Breaking News

Kevin Franke’s motions to quash murder indictments denied

PIXABAY / KERR COUNTY JAIL RECORDS

The Honorable N. Keith Williams made his decision Tuesday on whether or not to quash the pending murder indictments against Kevin Franke.

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The motion in each case was denied.

In court documents obtained by Kerrville Breaking News, the order denying Franke’s motion on both charges read, “On April 24, 2019, Defendant’s Motion to Quash the indictment was heard by this court.”

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“Defendant Kevin William Franke appeared in person and with his attorney, Richard Ellison and announced ready.”

“The State of Texas appeared by the 216th Assistant District Attorney John Hoover and announced ready.”

“Legal arguments were presented and applicable law and case law were presented to the Court.”

The order then said, “Upon full consideration of the legal arguments and case law, the court finds that said Motion to Quash should be DENIED.”

“It is, therefore, ORDERED that Defendants Motion to Quash the Indictment is DENIED.”

Another motion hearing is scheduled for May 22, 2019, and then Pre Trial on May 23, 2019.

Kerrville Breaking News will keep you updated with any new information and the original article regarding this motion is below.

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KERRVILLE, Texas (May 2, 2019) – The Honorable N. Keith Williams heard the defense’s motion to quash the pending felony murder charges in the Kevin Franke case Wednesday morning.

Kevin Franke is accused of sleeping in Amanda Hawkin’s car overnight while her two daughters, Brynn Hawkins, 1, and her sister Addyson, 2, were sleeping in the car and then rolling the windows up and turning the air conditioner off and leaving the residence.

You can read all prior articles about Kevin Franke here.

Texas Breaking News legal analyst and commentator Marc Tittlebaum breaks down the motion and his opinion on the case below.

Marc Tittlebaum – Attorney & Counselor at Law

“Richard Ellison filed and argued an interesting and potentially game-changing motion this week. I want to give some praise to Richard for his work on this case. Richard stepped up mid-case when he didn’t have to because the prior counsel was elected DA of Bexar County.

The motion focuses on the two Felony Murder charges. These two charges changed the stakes and getting rid of those two would be a tremendous victory period for the defense.

The motion focuses on how the Felony Murder charges were never filed in the juvenile court as the others were.

This essentially took the more serious charges based on the potential life sentence — not the facts of the act itself or the manner it was conducted and avoided a critical constitutional safeguard of its scrutiny as to a juvenile. This is an issue that should be seriously evaluated as it is critical to our rights and our criminal justice system.

This is not a little issue in my opinion. This filing by the State is not necessarily improper or illegal either.

There is an exception that allows for this direct filing into the District Court without stopping to pass the test in the juvenile court first. I have to agree with Richard on that. I don’t think they (the State) get there. Essentially in order skip to the adult court, factors that are evaluated are: whether an alleged offense impacts the community, whether the protection of the community requires a waiver, and whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated or willful manner.

A better example cited is from a legal article that uses the phrases “Juvenile commits capital murder!” “Son in high school kills father!” to frame the exception, and then elaborates that it is only for these types of extreme cases. And wait there is more — when other rehabilitative efforts have been tried and failed — that the State should seek to certify a juvenile as an adult. I don’t know that there was anything addressed here but I think not.

A tale of two boys. Ellison points out that this fact pattern alleged by either side is not one where the juvenile’s alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated or willful manner. In reality, was the offense committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated or willful matter?

Judge Williams will weigh in and the parties will move forward with his guidance, which could even mean that the life sentences are taken off of the table.

There is a lot of positive work happening in the legal system in the tri-county area for sure, on both sides of the spectrum.

Stay tuned for Judge Williams’ decision. Marc Tittlebaum”

The Honorable Judge N. Keith Williams is expected to rule on this motion Friday. You can read the motion in its entirety below.

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