Jurors heard on Monday the opening statements of the trial for the homicide of 2014 dedicated throughout A poker sport close to Houston.
Donald Leonetti, photographed right here together with his spouse Jennifer and two kids, was killed on July 17, 2014 throughout the theft of a non-public poker sport. (Picture: Household Photograph)
The accused, Eric Norris, appeared on Monday in Fort Bend County Court docket, the place he faces a cost of aggravated homicide, which can lead to life imprisonment.
A theft in a non-public poker sport is reworked into Violence
The lawsuit includes the homicide of Donald Leonetti, a person referred to as "King of Shirts" due to his well-liked printing firm.
[1 9459001] On July 17, 2014, the 45-year-old participated in a sport of personal poker in a sport. between Stafford industrial with a dozen different individuals when two masked males armed with rifles burst into the room. In line with the police, the 2 males stole about $ 20,000 from the gamers.
At one level within the flight, a minimum of two pictures had been fired. Chuck Olson was injured by one of many pictures, whereas Leonetti was killed by one other when he entered the flight and tried to arrest one of many gunmen.
Two weeks after the assault, the police arrested Norris and charged him. with capital homicide, determine him as one among two assailants. Initially, the trial was scheduled to happen in 2016. Nevertheless, it was delayed by prosecutors who appealed a choice of District Decide Brady Elliot that prevented them from utilizing a lot of the proof that they had. on account of the interrogation that had taken place on the day of Norris & # 39 ;. arrest.
This enchantment was lastly allowed, permitting Norris' assertion to the police to be admitted as proof after six and a half hours. This assertion is more likely to be decisive in arguing towards Norris, as prosecutor Thomas Pfeiffer talked about in his opening assertion.
"The defendant confessed to this offense twice," Pfeiffer instructed the jury.
No second suspect charged with felony
Norris was additionally given the chance to signal a plea settlement in 2016 permitting him to plead responsible to homicide to the primary diploma, thereby giving him the chance turns into eligible for parole after 30 years, though he rejected this feature.
Norris maintains his innocence since his arrest.
"I have no idea why I’m in jail. right here, "Norris instructed ABC 13 in Houston on the time of his arrest. "My household and I do know the reality: I’m harmless. I’ve nothing to do with that. "
Police say that the knowledge collected on the car used after the flight – which may have been captured by a safety digicam from a close-by firm – helped them to designate Norris as the one one. One of many two masked males To today, Norris, 28, is the one individual accused of the homicide.
When the police opened an investigation into the theft and the homicide, it was not the one individual accused of the homicide. was not vital to analyze the poker sport itself. Texas legislation permits actual cash poker supplied that no host earnings from it , and that the police declare to not consider that the sport in query violates these legal guidelines.
These guidelines have resulted in a proliferation of poker golf equipment in Texas, a few of which appear to depend on a extra authorized basis. The World Poker Tour lately organized its first occasion in that state, the WPTDeepStacks Houston being hosted by the FreeRolls Poker Membership on the finish of September.