Commissioners Approve Annual Public Defender Agreement
Published October 29, 2012 1:05pm by
With four pending capital punishment cases pending in the near future, the decision for Gaines County Commissioners to extend their annual agreement with the The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases office was an easy one.
In a unanimous 5-0 decision Monday morning, Gaines County Commissioners approved of the annual renewal, valued at a cost of $12,900 for the fiscal year.
"This year would be as important of a year for us to renew this agreement than any others in the past, I'd say," said Lance Celander, Gaines County Judge, "especially with the events that have taken place out near the state line."
Celander's reference is related to the May 10 double homicide case being investigated by the Gaines County Sheriff's Office, 106th District Attorney's Office, Texas Rangers and New Mexico law enforcement authorities in which four Hobbs, N.M. have been arrested and each charged with one count of capital murder and one count of murder in the deaths of 30-year-old John Allen and Jay Doyal, 29 on or about May 10.
The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases office is the largest collaborative effort between Counties and a state-funded program in the formative years in the United States.
The office represents only indigent defendants charged with a capital case where the death penalty is sought at the trial level.
With the Administrative office and a trial office in Lubbock, there are satellite offices in Amarillo, Angleton, Burnet, Kingsville, Midland and Uvalde. All offices are staffed with a combination of all positions, each of which is able to fulfill the constitutional requirements of a core team.
Collaborative efforts between counties and state ensures that competent and effective counsel are appointed to represent defendants while also providing counties with budget predictability and stability.
An Oversight Advisory Board comprised of stakeholders in different regions of the State was appointed by the Lubbock County Commissioners’ Court to assist in the operations of the office .
Texas Senators Bob Duncan, R-Lubbock, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, helped secure the $2.7 million grant that enabled the office to be created, which was funded by the State of Texas last fiscal year, and is being funded this fiscal year by the 85-counties it represents.
In the May 10 double homicide case, the four individuals -- identified as Nicomedes Daniel Sosa, II, 34; Bobby Ruiz, 25; Juan "Smokey" Castillo, 32, and; Desirae Mata, 25 -- were all indicted earlier this calender year by a Gaines County Grand Jury for their alleged involvement. All four individuals are in the custody of Gaines County Law Enforcement Officials, and are awaiting the legal process of the case.
In the May 10 incident, Gaines County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a call in western Gaines County, about 1/2 mile east of the New Mexico state line, on an unrelated call at around 3:30 p.m.
While on the scene of the call, GCSO Deputies were approached by an individual from Hobbs, N.M., who was not identified by the press release, who informed officers she had gone to a friend's residence and found the door of the residence open.
She stated she saw a male subject lying inside, who was deceased. The identity of the first subject found inside the house was not released by Gaines County Law Enforcement officials during their initial release of the murder investigation.
A subsequent search of the residence found the second shooting victim deceased in another portion of the residence.
Doyal and Allen were both pronounced dead at the scene on the morning of May 11, at 9:25 a.m., by Gaines County Justice of the Peace Tammy Clark, according to the GCSO report.
Preliminary autopsy results, according to Gaines County Law Enforcement officials, indicated both Allen and Doyal had suffered suffered "several gun shot wounds," and died due to those wounds.
In other action on Monday morning, Gaines County Commissioners approved of the following agenda items:
• year-end financial activities for the FY 2012 calender year; and
• changes to the upcoming Commissioner Court dates, which include new meeting dates on Nov. 14 and Dec. 21 due to upcoming holidays.