Suspected drunken driver plows into homeowner checking mailbox.


Lawyer accused

of stealing phone

during bar fight.



Man accusing

off-duty officer of

unjustified beating.



Arrest warrant out for Porter ex-fire chief’s wife.


Grand jury declines to indict Pitts.


Steve Shellist discusses

Jury Selection

on Fox News



Steve Shellist discusses

crime on cruise ships

on Fox News



Suspected drunken driver plows into homeowner checking mailbox



HOUSTON - This time of year, you hear the warnings over and over again about the dangers of drinking and driving. And now, there's another reminder. A northeast Houston woman was hit by a drunk driver -- at her own home.


Fifty-four-year-old Konhkahm Tran had just dropped a gift at a relative's house on Christmas Eve before returning home to check for mail. Gerald Layfield, who is accused of hitting her, spent a few days in jail before posting bond. Now Tran, a mother and wife, will be spending all of the holidays in the hospital.


Most of us think the danger is only on the road, but one family found out the hard way that it can follow you home.


The mailboxes in the 1800 block of Isom now sit on new posts. The tire tracks and skid marks from the crash that took them out are still visible, while Tran's family prays she pulls through.


"I hope she's going to make it, just hope," said Tran's sister Somphone Siviseth.


Tran was checking the mail on her way home on Christmas Eve when, according to court records, an intoxicated Layfield veered off the road, first hit the mailboxes and then her, sending her over the fence.


"She flew up, hit the tree, falling down -- didn't even move," Tran's brother-in-law, Kou Sisavat, said.


The crash drew neighbors out of their homes and away from their celebrations.


"The truck was on the side, like the wheels were facing the street," neighbor Jose Valadez said.


Tran's family has practically skipped Christmas. They've been at the hospital every day since.


"Right now she's still unconscious, so we don't know. Already five days, she still hasn't woken up yet," Sisavat said.


Layfield was one of 156 drivers charged in Harris County with intoxication crimes over the Christmas weekend during another No Refusal Program. According to the district attorney's office, 41 of those drivers had a blood alcohol content of greater than .15, nearly twice the legal limit of .08; and since September 1, a new law now makes that a Class A misdemeanor, which means potentially more jail time.


"If their blood-alcohol-content is .15 or above, they face up to a year in jail instead of 180 days in jail," DWI attorney Steve Shellist said.


Layfield is charged with intoxication assault because of Tran's serious injuries. He faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted, and she faces a long fight.


"They should put him away for a long time so they don't do it again," Sisavat said.


According to Harris County court records, this is the second alcohol-related offense for Layfield. But the first, a misdemeanor DWI back in 1986, has long been disposed. He is due in court in February.

Lawyer accused of stealing phone during bar fight



By Brian Rogers | August 13, 2012 | Updated: August 14, 2012 12:59am


A Houston lawyer is free on bail after being arrested on robbery charges, accused of stealing the smartphone of a man who was recording a bar fight involving the lawyer last month.


Shawn Paul Fox, 40, and two other men are accused of chasing a bar patron out of J. Black's at 110 S. Heights to steal a $400 iPhone and a $1,200 watch.


Attorneys for Fox called the allegations "ridiculous."


"My guy didn't lay a hand on him," said Steve Shellist. "I don't know what the other guy's motive is, maybe he's planning on suing him, I don't know."


Jayson Miller told police he was at the bar in the new restaurant on July 15 when a fight broke out between three men, including Fox, and several bouncers, according to court records.


Miller said he was recording the fight when Fox demanded he stop and lunged at him. Miller ran out the front door then fell as he hurdled a hedge.


He turned around to see Fox hit him in the face, he said. The lawyer and two other men beat Miller while saying, "Get his phone," according to the arrest affidavit.


The men then took the phone and Miller's watch, leaving him with a broken arm, records show.


Shellist faulted police for a "half-baked case" and said surveillance video from the bar that investigators never looked at tells a different story.


Fox and Miller were acquaintances, Shellist said. He said Fox was trying to break up a confrontation between one of his friends and Miller. After the bouncers stepped in, Shellist said, Miller began recording the conflagration.


Fox then approached Miller to tell him not to record him in a bar fight.


"He didn't want to end up on YouTube," Shellist said. He said Miller backed up from Fox, then punched the attorney and ran outside as two other men gave chase, then beat him.


"This guy didn't deserve what happened to him," Shellist said. "But my guy didn't touch him."


Miller later identified Fox in a photo lineup. Fox was arrested Friday and released on $10,000 bail Saturday.


If convicted of the second-degree felony, Fox faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.


Fox, a partner at the Tracey Law Firm, was licensed to practice law in 2003.


According to Harris County court records, this is the second alcohol-related offense for Layfield. But the first, a misdemeanor DWI back in 1986, has long been disposed. He is due in court in February.




June 13, 2012 2:47:54 AM PDT, By Miya Shay


HOUSTON -- Serious accusations are being made by a Houston man who claims he was beaten by an off-duty Prairie View police officer in his own apartment complex.

Courtesy officers who live in apartment complexes are suppose to protect the residents of their community, but Houston resident Jaime Rebolloso says what happened to him on Friday night was exactly the opposite.


"This is every time I kept looking up at him to see who he was, I would see a fist coming right into this , so I kept looking up and a fist would come in," Rebolloso said.


Rebolloso's face and body are reminders of a violent night. He says he was walking his dog, Chester, in his apartment complex when he approached a dark truck driving through the property without headlights. Before he knew it, he was under arrest.


"He gets my head, and he pushes it to the ground, and punches me, and punches me on this side, and I started yelling, 'Help, help' and I just screamed like a little girl, 'Help! Help!'" Rebolloso said.


Rebolloso says the driver is the man who beat him up. Turns out that driver is Clarence Callis, a courtesy officer for the complex and a reserve Prairie View police officer. The Camden apartment complex where both men live have confirmed something happened Friday night.


"We're very concerned about what happened in our community, but unfortunately I can't answer any questions at this time," a spokesperson for the complex told us.


The Prairie View police chief told us over the phone that he is conducting a full investigation. The officer has been suspended, but also said the officer says Rebolloso was the aggressor, something his attorney, Steve Shellist, dismisses.


"Nothing he could have done would have justified that beat down, and what the officer did goes well beyond any type of use of force that would be suggested or allowed for in any police manual," Shellist said.


For now, Rebolloso and his wife, as well as officer Callis, still live in the complex. But Rebolloso says this arrest and injuries were simply unjustified.


"I never resisted anything, it was a one-way beating," he said.


Prairie View police says it is conducting a full investigation.


Rebolloso will need surgery for a broken eye socket. But he's also dealing with a resisting arrest charge stemming from what happened Friday night.





Posted: Monday, August 13, 2012 6:11 pm | Updated: 6:42 pm, Mon Aug 13, 2012.

By Nancy Flake


An arrest warrant has been issued for the wife of former Porter Fire Chief Jody Binnion because of a drug test result last week, according to court documents. Judge Lisa Michalk, of the 221st state District Court, issued the arrest warrant Thursday after a drug test that Rachel Binnion, 30, took Tuesday came back as a “dilute urinalysis,” court documents state. Such a result could indicate tampering, an official previously said when both Rachel and Jody Binnion were arrested in early June for similar drug test results. Court documents show that Rachel Binnion has had similar dilute urinalysis results on three occasions.


For this latest drug test result, Michalk ordered Rachel Binnion arrested and held without bond. She had not been arrested as of early Monday evening, an official with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said. A dilute urinalysis could simply mean that Rachel Binnion drank a lot of water, said attorney Tracy Pullan, who represents Rachel Binnion. “There’s never been a positive drug test for Rachel,” Pullan said. “She does not use drugs."


Rachel and Jody Binnion are both required to submit to drug tests under their conditions of bond stemming from their arrests in December for allegedly lying to a Montgomery County grand jury about a member of their drinking party before Jody Binnion’s arrest for driving while intoxicated in November.

Board members for Emergency Services District 6, which oversees the Porter Fire Department, voted in late June to remove Jody Binnion from paid administrative leave and terminate him.


Jody and Rachel Binnion are each charged with third-degree felony aggravated perjury and face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Jody Binnion requested a new attorney Aug. 1, court documents state. Conroe attorney Gilbert Garcia was representing Jody Binnion since his DWI arrest.

“Jody Binnion has excused attorney Gilbert Garcia and has retained Steve Shellist,” a motion for continuance in Jody Binnion’s case states. The continuance was requested so Shellist could become familiar with Jody Binnion’s case and work with Pullan.


Shellist, with the Houston law firm of Capitaine, Shellist, Peebles and McAlister LLP, said Jody Binnion was satisfied with Garcia’s work on the case but believes a “fresh set of eyes” is needed, in light of the fact that Garcia and Pullan both ran against District Attorney Brett Ligon in the May 29 Republican primary.

“Down the road, that could have presented some problems,” Shellist said. “I think it would have created some conflict issues. (Jody Binnion’s) main goal is to have somebody with a more neutral relationship with prosecutors in the DA’s Office. There will be open communication between us; I think it’s better for both sides.”

In addition to the aggravated perjury charge, Jody Binnion may be looking at potential charges of abuse of official capacity, tampering with government documents and theft by a public servant, stemming from a raid of the Porter Fire Department Jan. 17. The Texas Rangers and Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office seized work schedules, time sheets and payroll records, construction documents and financial documents.


In order to focus on Binnion’s felony aggravated perjury case, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office dismissed the misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge against him in February.. He is due in court in February.

Arrest warrant out for Porter ex-fire chief’s wife




Associated Press | Updated: January 17, 2008, 10:02 PM ET



HOUSTON -- A Harris County grand jury has declined to indict Houston Texans offensive lineman Chester Pitts, who was arrested in November on a felony charge of evading arrest in a motor vehicle.


The grand jury declined to indict Pitts on Thursday. Prosecutors had given them two options -- a felony charge of evading arrest and a misdemeanor charge of fleeing.


"It's a very good day," Pitts' attorney, Steve Shellist, said as he and Pitts left the Harris County Criminal Courthouse, the Houston Chronicle reported in its online edition.


Pitts was one of four people pulled over in a traffic sting designed to crack down on illegal turns but drove away while an officer was writing a ticket for another driver, police said. Officers chased Pitts for less than a mile, where police said he stopped and was arrested.


Pitts had said after his arrest that the incident was a "huge misunderstanding." He apologized and said he hadn't intended to defy the officers' orders.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press


This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index

Grand jury declines to indict Pitts

Jury Selection - Steve Shellist - Fox News

crime on cruise ships - Steve Shellist - Fox News


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