Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg’s office let hundreds of dangerous armed robbers get back on the streets and the results should not be shocking to crime victims. More robberies – even murder.
A Dolcefino Consulting investigation shows that since January 1, 2017, Ogg’s office allowed more than 330 criminals convicted of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon to get a plea deal that gave them deferred adjudication – a get out of jail free card.
“What’s wrong with the system?” asks Ken Webster of LaPorte. “People that have committed violent crimes there are not even getting prosecuted. And those that do – half the time they get let out. And yeah, my case was a classic example.”
Webster is one of the thousands of Harris County residents that are victims of a violent crime. In 2017, using a cell phone selling scam, an armed robber held a gun to Webster’s wife’s head and demanded money. Webster shot and killed that robber, but his accomplice and getaway driver, Frederick Gibson, was given deferred adjudication in a plea deal the District Attorney could have stopped.
Frederick Gibson was arrested as part of a multi-state jewelry robbery ring in Louisiana this year, but that is not the only consequence of this soft on criminal justice. In April of 2020, Gibson was charged with the murder of a customer at a Houston pawn shop. Houston musician Austin Thomerson had gone to the pawnshop to search for musical instruments but had a permit to carry a weapon. Thomerson paid the price when he tried to stop Gibson and the other robber.
Vincent Canady is another one of the aggravated robbers given a second chance to commit a crime. He stole a car with a 16- month old baby in it. Luckily, the baby was rescued and unharmed.
Our review of thousands of deferred adjudication sentences makes it clear our get out of jail free card court system is a failure. Thirty-five percent of those convicted robbers have already gotten back in trouble. We traced at least 16 of the convicted armed robbers to 21 new robberies. Those are just the robberies that they have been caught committing.
Dolcefino Consulting has already traced dozens of murders to criminals released on deferred adjudication. Ogg has also allowed the release of some of the violent family criminals.
“The numbers do not lie. Houstonians are being robbed and murdered and the District Attorney has blood on her hands,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “Sure we have elected some judges who are endangering law-abiding folks, but NO violent criminal should get a deal. Period. Let juries deal with them.”