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Shreves case settled with two year sentence

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Last week, Patrick ?PJ? Brooks accepted a plea agreement to a charge of criminally negligent homicide with a sentence of two years. {{more}}
Brooks had been indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury on a charge of murder in the shooting death of Ross Shreves, 27, in June, 2013 and faced a maximum of 99 years in prison if convicted by a jury.
both were in school together …
Both were in school together at Kennedale and knew each other. After college, Shreves had returned to Kennedale ISD to teach and was employed at Kennedale Junior High School as a English teacher where he was a popular teacher and staff member. On a summer night in June, 2013 Shreves and Brooks went out to get something to eat and drink at a local restaurant. Before the two ever entered the restaurant, Shreves was shot and died in his car.
The case against Brooks had hinged on text messages that showed that he and Shreves had agreed to go out and that Shreves would swing by and pick up Brooks. A parking lot camera at No Frills Grill and Sport Bar on Little Road in Arlington documents the time Shreves? car pulls in the parking lot and stops. It shows flashing of what would be determined to be gunshots and then shows one person leaving the car.
arrested a few days later …
Brooks became the prime suspect and arrested a couple of days later. He remained in jail unable to make bail until it was reduced almost a year later.

Why was the murder charge reduced to ?criminally negligent homicide?, a significantly reduce charge? According to an email from the Tarrant County district attorney?s office, obtained by the Star

Telegram and reported by Domingo Ramirez, at issue was the strength of the prosecution?s case.

Sam Jordan, a spokesperson for the DA?s office, said in the email that, ?An emerging issue regarding the reliability of a specific form of cellphone tower data undermined our ability to prosecute the case to the satisfaction of a jury,? said Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman with the Tarrant County district attorney?s office in an email. ?The decision to make this plea agreement was difficult, but we believe it was the appropriate course of action under the circumstances.?
hard case to make from the start …
But the case was hard to make from the beginning. Investigators had no eye witness testimony; had trouble locating the weapon used; had trouble establishing a viable motive and intent; and, Brooks wasn’t talking.
With the agreement, Brooks may serve only one year of the two years since he has already served a year. In Texas, the punishment for negligent homicide ranges from

180 days up to 2 years in prison, with no possibility of parole.

More about the charge …

?Negligent homicide is a much lower intent crime and is used as a charge when one person causes the death of another through criminal negligence. The charge does not involve premeditation, but focuses on what the defendant should have known and the risks associated with what he did know. The first element that a state must prove in a negligent homicide case is that the defendant was aware of an unjustifiable risk associated with the events that led to the death of another person. For example, if the victim and the defendant were playing with a gun, and the victim was shot but the defendant refused to call for medical help, the defendant could be charged with negligent homicide because most people know the risks associated with a gunshot wound,?from FreeAdvice.com

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