Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Texas Mom Instructs Teenagers to Rob and Murder

From a young age, I noticed my daughter learning lessons from my wife. My daughter watches as my wife prepares her morning hair and daily dress up routine. She mimics her mother's activities all the time. My daughter wants to help with the cooking, shopping, cleaning and phone calls. She pays close attention to how her primary role model treats other people.

But, in the criminal case of Dannette Gillespie, a daughter learns from the woman who bore her how to rob and murder an elderly man. Now there's a wonderful lesson to be passed down through the generations.

Ms. Gillespie, a resident of Pasadena (a suburb of Houston), allegedly told her fifteen-year-old daughter (who has not been named due to her age) and her nineteen-year-old friend Vanessa Ocampo to rob Eugene Palma. Not wanting the young ladies to be unprepared for their violent encounter with the elderly bar owner, Gillespie is said to have supplied her charges with knives. These weapons were used by the teenagers to stab Mr. Palma eleven times in his driveway while Gillespie watched from the backseat of the trio's car. Nothing like getting children to do nasty work for you while you cower behind closed doors. Despite Gillespie's decision to stay behind and babysit the vehicle, she is being charged with capital murder just like the two young assailants.

According to the Texas penal code, capital murder occurs when "the person intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit ... robbery." If found guilty of this crime, the two women (and possibly the girl, if charged as an adult) will face the possibility of the death penalty. I wonder if the $15 that they grabbed from Mr. Palma's pockets was worth it?

At Bertolino LLP, we have criminal defense attorneys who are prepared to handle even the most serious offenses. While we certainly hope you never find yourself in the situation like the one facing Dannette Gillespie and the two teenagers, please know that we are ready for any charges you may be facing. Contact our Austin, Houston or San Antonio office to discuss your case today.

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