As a former member of the justice system during my years as a New York City cop, I have fond memories of some of the prosecutors I worked with to put away the bad guys. My experiences taught me that the defendants had an advantage because it’s no easy job to present enough evidence to a jury for a conviction. Crimes scenes can be handled improperly (correctly exploited by the defense), witnesses can be unreliable (often because it takes so long to get a case to trial that memories get blurry), and even a confession can be worthless if recanted before trial. But, a strong, competent prosecutor can put enough of the pieces together, sometimes with a preponderance of circumstantial evidence, to convict the guilty party.
Several years ago a veteran Denton cop was suspected of murdering his wife. I read police accounts of the case and felt there was enough evidence to convict. When a grand jury returned an indictment I figured it was a slam dunk. Nevertheless, a year and a half later it was dismissed without every coming to trial, due to insufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case. Four years later a newspaper reporter named Donna Fielder wrote an article which questioned that decision.
Inasmuch as there was a new DA elected, interest in the cold case was revived.
District Attorney Paul Johnson assigned the case to assistant DAs Cary and Susan Piel. Seven years after the victim was found dead in her home from a gunshot wound, her husband was found guilty and sentenced to 45 years in prison. Incidentally, one of the officers who interviewed the defendant was Texas Ranger Tracy Murphree, our current Denton County Sheriff.
Susan Piel, who lives in Argyle with her husband Cary and their 3 children, is running for Judge of Denton County Criminal Court #2. Ms. Piel has prosecuted over 175 jury trials ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. She has been the Chief of the Family Violence Division; a felony prosecutor; Chief of County Criminal Court, as well as other accomplishments in the criminal justice field. Moreover, she is endorsed by some of the top law enforcement professionals in the county. In the video below, Ms. Piel talks about her career and her candidacy for the judgeship. For more info: www.susanpiel.republican
Bob Weir is a former NYPD officer, long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.