The infamous Mineola Swingers Club cases. A group of people were charged with horrible sex crimes against children. All of them went to trial. All of them were convicted and given life sentences.

I took Patrick Kelly’s case to trial in 2008. It was a profoundly unfair, one-sided, dirty proceeding. For twenty-one days I fought and was threatened with contempt and jail on almost every single day . . . because I did my job, I never backed down, I made my case and I made a good trial record.

On or about 17 July 2010, the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston reversed the conviction in Patrick Kelly’s case. The opinion, which has become infamous across the State, is brutal and harsh in its assessment of the prosecutor’s actions in the case, the judge’s actions in the case, and of the State’s case in general. In all my years as a lawyer, I have never read an opinion like it.

Shortly thereafter, the prosecutor was fired.

Patrick Kelly is a free man today, along with all but one of his fellow co-defendants.

The judge who tried the Patrick Kelly case has become the best criminal judge in Smith County.

And the legal system in Smith County has been forever changed because of the Mineola Swingers Club cases.

I was Patrick Kelly’s lead attorney.


“Booger Red” Is a movie about Patrick Kelly, the man Thad Davidson represented in the Mineola Swingers Club Cases. Check out the trailer below!

State v. Keiuna Roshell Paul

Cherokee County

Cause No. 21457
2nd District Court
Judge Day, presiding

Today a jury in Cherokee County delivered a NOT GUILTY verdict for my client in which she was charged with murder in Count I of the indictment and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Count II.

The jury returned NOT GUILTY verdicts on all counts, including all lesser included offenses. Had she been convicted, she could have received up to 99 years in prison or life.


Justice was achieved today.



RUSK COUNTY, 2011-12

A little old man who weighed maybe 110 lbs., a Vietnam veteran who suffers from severe P.T.S.D., told a woman who was trespassing on his property and pestering him, to get off his property and leave him alone. A trouble maker, the woman called law enforcement. A 250 lb. deputy came to the scene, trespassed on the little old man’s land and shouted at the little old man in an aggressive tone. The little old man told the deputy to go to hell and get off his property.

The deputy then put his hands on the little old man in an aggressive manner and attempted to subdue him.

The little old man whipped the deputy, who was one-third his age and over twice his size.

A poor loser of a fight he started, the deputy charged the little old man with felony assault of a public servant. The State, in its zeal to protect a cop–even one who had done everything wrong–took the case to trial.

The little old man and I fought like hell in the courtroom. The jury agreed with our position.

And quickly returned a verdict of “Not Guilty.”



The Defendant was charged with possession of marijuana and the unlawful carrying of a concealed weapon. A professionally licensed health care professional, the Defendant faced not just the criminal charges against him/her, but also the loss of his/her professional license (and also driver’s license) if convicted.

I conducted an investigation. The marijuana belonged to others. I produced proof of this. As such, the possession of the firearm was legal. Both cases were dismissed.



The Defendant was charged with two enhanced first-degree felony drug-related cases. The Defendant was facing 25-99 years or life in each case, day for day, with no possibility of parole for at least 30 years.

During my investigation, I discovered the lead detective committed perjury. I raised the issue. A few weeks later, the State moved to dismiss the cases and the Court did so. I won these cases without ever stepping into the courtroom.



Felony DWI. The evidence was not good for the Defendant. The Defendant faced time in prison if convicted. Upon investigation, however, the State could not prove a prior DWI misdemeanor conviction, meaning the current case could not be a felony. This and delays in prosecuting the case, which I happily pointed out, caused the case to be dismissed. The client went home without any conviction at all.



Felony DWI with children in the vehicle. The evidence was not good for the Defendant. The State wanted to put the Defendant in prison. After an intensive background investigation of the Defendant’s life, after creating a plan whereby the Defendant could receive treatment for his/her drug/alcohol issues, and after extensive negotiations with the State, the Court approved my plan. The Defendant received rehabilitation and probation and maintained possession of his/her children.



The Defendant is a home health care nurse. The Defendant’s patient was a young child born with severe birth defects. The child became injured, had bleeding in her skull, and suffered one or more broken bones.

I investigated the case. I was able to establish that the Defendant had nothing to do with the child’s injuries, nor anything to do with the child’s severe birth defects, which caused the child to suffer uncontrollable (and violent) seizures. I established that the Defendant did nothing wrong and did many things exactly right. The Defendant, who was facing a long prison sentence if indicted and convicted, was never indicted. The case never made it into a courtroom.


RUSK COUNTY, 2011-2013

The Defendant, who is severely mentally ill and believes herself to be possessed by the Devil, had been rejected by a hospital (probably because the D did not have health insurance, and thus I believe the hospital acted illegally) and was standing on the sidewalk outside the hospital when a police officer approached and put his hands on her.

The Defendant, who was hallucinating at the time, thought she was being attacked by a demon. She fought back. The police officer charged her with felony assault of a public servant.

I investigated the case and the client’s life history. I was able to quickly get the client examined by a forensic psychiatrist, who informed the Court the client was insane (through no fault of her own) and needed to be hospitalized and treated. The Court adopted the psychiatrist’s findings and sent the Defendant to a state mental hospital. The client was eventually released and when she takes her prescribed medications and receives therapy, functions in society. My client was never prosecuted or convicted for the felony assault.



This was an appeal from the State’s Motion to Revoke the Defendant’s felony probation and the Court’s revocation of said probation. In essence, the State wanted to revoke the Defendant-Appellant’s probation for failure to pay certain fees and fines as a condition of his probation. At the trial level, I argued that punishing someone for being poor was unconstitutional and a violation of due process. The trial court revoked the Defendant anyway.

On appeal, the Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana agreed with my position. In a lengthy published opinion, the Court stated the State had failed to prove the Defendant-Appellant had the means to pay and then purposely failed to do so. Revocation reversed. Victory for the Defendant-Appellant.



The Defendant was a young mother with mental health and drug issues. While driving a vehicle with her infant daughter onboard, there was an accident. The police charged the Defendant with felony DWI. CPS removed the infant from the mother. The State wanted to put the mother in prison.

I investigated. Set up a long-term rehabilitation program far and away from Smith County. Got the client into therapy and short-term rehabilitation while the case was pending. Negotiated extensively with the State and presented my findings and my plan to the Court.

The client received probation. She went into long-term rehabilitation. She received her child back from CPS. A picture of the young mother holding her child the day after she completed rehab hangs in my office. In the picture is a small brass plaque with the word VICTORY engraved upon it.



The Defendant was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was facing time in prison if convicted. I investigated the case, pointed out that the complainant was a known fake, flake and liar, and also pointed out that all the other evidence in the case was weak at best. The State, sensing a loss at trial, moved to dismiss. The Court granted the motion. The Defendant went home a free person.



The client was charged with criminal mischief at the felony level and was facing time in prison if convicted. I investigated the case and discovered that the evidence against my client was weak at best and, secondly, that the complainant had a personal agenda against my client which had nothing to do with the criminal mischief case. I presented my findings to the State. The State eventually filed a motion to dismiss the case, which the Court granted. My client walked home a free man.


RUSK COUNTY, 2011-12

The Defendant, who had a prior record and had served time in the pen, was charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. Under his circumstances, the Defendant faced 25-99 years or life if convicted.

There was a video of the robbery, which occurred inside a convenience store. The robber wore a mask (and carried a shotgun). The clerk testified that the robber’s voice was the same as the defendant’s voice. The State claimed the Defendant matched the size, height and physical characteristics of the robber.

I investigated. Literally measured the Defendant with a tape measure. Did an analysis of the robber in the video, and of the height and size and width of counters and shelves in the convenience store. Proved to the jury that the size, height and physical characteristics of the Defendant did not match those of the robber.

The jury returned a verdict of “Not Guilty.”



This was a horrific capital murder case that went to trial. The first objective of the defense team was to get “death taken off the table” in regard to punishment if the jury convicted the Defendant. We accomplished this before trial.

The second objective of the defense team was to obtain a “Not Guilty” verdict or “Hung Jury” verdict at trial. After weeks of hard-fought battle by both sides, the jury found the defendant “Not Guilty” of capital murder, thus sparing the Defendant from life in prison without parole–in other words, the jury spared the Defendant from spending life in prison and dying there. The jury did find the Defendant guilty of a lesser included offense–which was extremely fair, given the facts of the case.

Probably 98-99% of all capital murder cases that go to trial result in “Guilty” verdicts for the State. In our case, the jury returned a verdict of “Not Guilty” of capital murder. This is extremely rare, and was the result of the defense team’s brutal hard work at the pretrial and trial levels, including excellent jury selection before trial.

Note: There were two prosecutors and two defense lawyers assigned to the Laird case. There are only two of us–one prosecutor and myself–left.

Getting Arrested Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty

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