AUSTIN (KXAN) - There’s growing concern about impartiality of the district court process from the surviving congregation of a pastor and his wife killed in a head-on collision nearly two years ago. Leaders at Dayspring Fellowship fear a simple plea deal is coming for the woman charged in the crash.
“We're concerned this will be swept under the rug and not brought to trial,” Pastor Greg Van Court said.
On Nov. 29, 2011, right after Thanksgiving, Dayspring's founding pastor Jackson Boyett and his wife, Barbara, died in a collision on Hwy 290 near Oak Hill. Off-duty paramedic Terri Munoz-Elmore faces two counts of intoxication manslaughter in the crash in which she was seriously hurt.
Pastor Van Court’s concerns of a plea deal are surfacing in a county some see as permissive toward drunk drivers.
A case in point: this February Gabrielle Nestande was given a suspended sentence and is serving 180 days in the May 2011 hit-and-run death of a woman in West Austin.
Texas state penal code says an intoxication manslaughter conviction can bring a prison sentence of two to 20 years and/or a fine of less than $10,000.
“An intoxication-related trial brings more attention to the hypocrisy that's gone on the District Attorney's office,” Pastor Van Court said.
DA's Office spokesperson Buddy Meyer said Lehmberg's case will have no bearing on Elmore's case which would be "judged on the evidence in the case."
Both Meyer and Elmore's defense attorney Jim Erickson said no plea deal will be presented at the next court hearing set for Sept. 6 in the 427th district court, but say discussions continue.
“Two lives have been taken, we want to see justice prevail,” said Pastor Van Court.
Jackson Boyett founded the Dayspring Fellowship in 1978. He and his wife were well known for their work in the Right to Life movement in Austin.
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy announced Wednesday that COTA will host the first ever RedFest, a three day celebration of the outdoor lifestyle.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
The U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin next year will be held Nov. 2 and F1 weekend will not coincide with a UT Longhorns home football game.
One woman died early Wednesday after several shots were fired at a North Austin mechanic shop.
UPDATE // The two teenage girls missing since Saturday night were found safe at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Leander police said.
FEMA teams will be back in Southeast Austin to assess damage to public property like roads, bridges, and parks.