It's another busy week at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in downtown Fort Worth with at least four notable trials underway.
In Judge Ruben Gonzalez’s 432nd District Court, John “Johnny” Hummel, 35, is accused of killing his pregnant wife; disabled father-in-law; and 5-year-old daughter on Dec. 17, 2009, and then setting their Kennedale house on fire. If convicted of capital murder, Hummel will face the death penalty.
Directly next door, in Judge Scott Wisch’s 372nd District Court, a 1986 cold-case capital murder trial is going on: Jay Thayer Williams, 66, a Dallas real estate agent, is accused of fatally shooting and trying to rape 27-year-old Sandra Martin inside her southwest Fort Worth home almost 25 years ago as her two children played elsewhere in the house.
Meanwhile, in Trial Room B on the seventh floor, Larry Kirk Pointer is accused in the 2009 stabbing death of Michael Wells at the Presbyterian Night Shelter in Fort Worth, where both men were staying. (Update: this case ended in mistrial. http://bit.ly/jLLnFe)
And finally, in Judge Robb Catalano’s Criminal District Court No. 3, jurors are hearing an intoxication manslaughter trial. Dennis Wayne Blanchard is accused of driving drunk and causing a wreck in unincorporated Tarrant County in 2009 that killed Denise Montague, 47, a passenger in his vehicle.
There are other trials going on, of course, but those are the ones with the most public interest. The Star-Telegram has been providing daily coverage on the Hummel and Williams trials, which began last week.
All courtrooms are open to the public.
- Melody McDonald