Civilian Case Results – Before Joining the U.S. Army

Violent Crimes

 

State of Texas v. Allen Wayne Janecka (Capital Murder) – In July 1979, the bodies of John and Diana Wanstrath and their 14-month son Kevin were discovered in their home in Houston, Texas.  Each had been shot in the head.  Originally ruled a murder-suicide, an extensive investigation ensued, focusing on Diana’s brother, Markham Duff-Smith, who stood to gain a substantial inheritance upon the family’s death.  During his investigation, evidence showed that Duff-Smith hired Walt Waldhauser to murder the family, and that Waldhauser in turn hired Janecka to commit the murders.  Janecka later confessed to the murders when questioned by police, and also in television interviews.  Janecka was tried, convicted and sentenced to death in April 1981.  The case was reversed for an error in the indictment, and Janecka was re-tried in September 1993.  Will Helixon was initially hired as a full-time briefing clerk for the re-trial, and upon graduating from law school, became the briefing attorney for the 3-person capital defense team.  After an eight week trial in the 248th District Court, Harris County, Texas, Janecka was convicted at the retrial, and sentenced to death for a second time on November 4, 1993.  The next day, Will was notified he passed the bar examination, and was sworn-in by the judge presiding over the Markum Duff-Smith trial.  Will was also part of the appellate defense team preparing the written brief to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. After all appeals were exhausted, Allen Wayne Janecka was executed on July 24, 2003.  This case, and the work associated with defending the life of Allen Wayne Janecka, was the catalyst propelling Will’s passion for criminal law and military justice.  This case was the subject of the true crime novel “The Cop Who Wouldn’t Quit.”  Case #642963.

 

State of Texas v. J.D.B. (Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder) – An 18-year-old defendant was arrested and accused of conspiring to kill an acquaintance, C.F., in Fort Worth, Texas.  The defendant was allegedly the last person to see him alive and witnesses accused him of killing C.F. with his brother, a juvenile.  Will Helixon was able to secure a bond in the case, and ultimately have the matter dismissed by the prosecutors for lack of evidence.  Case #05****6.

 

State of Texas v. D.H. (Attempted Rape) – The defendant was charged with following an exotic dancer home from a club, climbing her apartment security fence, attacking her at her car and attempting to rape her.  The victim was able to resist the attack, and the defendant fled.  At trial, the victim was able to identify her attacker and documentary evidence put him at the club the night of the attack.  In a jury trial in the 176th District Court of Harris County, Texas, the defendant was found guilty of attempted rape.  On sentencing, the prosecutors introduced a prior conviction for rape where the defendant was sentence to 5 years in prison.  Will Helixon was able to effectively persuade the jury to not sentence the defendant to the maximum punishment and instead he was sentenced to only 14 years confinement for his second sexual assault related conviction. Case #94-2***8.

 

State of Texas v. S.D.H. (Aggravated Assault) – The defendant was charged with aggravated assault in Houston, Texas.  In the 208th District Court of Harris County, Texas, Will Helixon was able to convince the prosecutor to case dismiss the case before trial based on the expected testimony of the witnesses.  Case #94-1***8.

 

State of Texas v. S.M.W. (Assault) – The defendant was charged with assault in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon was able to persuade the prosecutor of the County Criminal Court of Law 12 of Harris County, Texas, to dismiss the case based on the inability of the State to secure witnesses and prevail at trial.  Case #96-1***3.

 

Drug Offenses

 

State of Texas v. D.P. (Possession of Cocaine) – The defendant was arrested after discovering cocaine in his car after an arrest in Houston, Texas.  The defendant was lawfully parked in a city park under a tree when approached by officers.  Suspicious of wrongdoing, the officers questioned the defendant and searched his car, discovering cocaine.  In the 185th District Court, Harris County, Texas, as co-counsel with his law partner, Will Helixon filed a dispositive motion to suppress the cocaine based upon lack of probable cause to search the vehicle.  The motion was granted and the case was dismissed.

 

State of Texas v. G.C.B. (Possession of Marijuana) – The defendant was charged with possession of marijuana in Houston, Texas.  In the County Criminal Court at Law 12 of Harris County, Texas, Will Helixon persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the charge based on insufficient evidence.  Case #94-4***3.

 

State of Texas v. S.M.W. (Possession of a Controlled Substance) – The defendant was charged with possession of crack cocaine in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon tried the case to a jury in the 184th District Court of Harris County, Texas, resulting in a hung jury.  The prosecutor dismissed the case with prejudice after the mistrial.  Case #6****3.

 

State of Texas v. M.R. (Possession of Marijuana) – The defendant was charged with the possession of marijuana in Katy, Texas.  Will Helixon successfully litigated a dispositive motion to suppress based on an unlawful search of a home and excluded the marijuana resulting in a dismissal.  Case #95-26***3

 

State of Texas v. J.S. (Possession of Marijuana) – The defendant was charged with the possession of marijuana in Katy, Texas.  Will Helixon successfully litigated a dispositive motion to suppress based on an unlawful search of a home and excluded the marijuana resulting in a dismissal.  Case #95-2***5

 

Driving While Intoxicated Offenses

 

State of Texas v. M.J.G. (Driving While Intoxicated) – The defendant was charged with driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas.  In the County Criminal Court at Law 13 of Harris County, Texas, Will Helixon effectively persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the charge after viewing all the evidence, including the intake video of the defendant.  Case #95-0***0.

 

State of Texas v. G.C. (Driving While Intoxicated) – The defendant was charged with driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon secured a jury acquittal in County Criminal Court at Law 13 of Harris County, Texas.  Case #94-4***0.

 

State of Texas v. F.S.K. (Driving While Intoxicated) – The defendant was charged with driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon tried the case to a jury in the County Criminal Court of Law 10 of Harris County, Texas, resulting in an acquittal.  Case #95-1***6.

 

State of Texas v. S.R. (Driving While Intoxicated) – The defendant was charged with driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon tried the case to a jury in the County Criminal Court of Law 13 of Harris County, Texas, resulting in an acquittal.  Case #15-2***8.

 

State of Texas v. K.L. (Driving While Intoxicated) – The defendant was charged with driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon tried the case to a jury in the County Criminal Court of Law 1 of Harris County, Texas, resulting in an acquittal.  Case #95-2***1.

 

State of Texas v. M.H. (Driving While Intoxicated) – The defendant was charged with driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon tried the case to a jury in the County Criminal Court of Law 2 of Harris County, Texas, resulting in an acquittal.  Case #96-0***9.

 

State of Texas v. T.M.G. (Failure to Stop and Give Information) – The defendant was charged with failing to stop and give information after an automobile accident in Houston, Texas.  In County Criminal Court at Law 6 of Harris County, Texas, Will Helixon was successful in persuading the prosecutor to dismiss the charge based on anticipated testimony at trial.  Case #94-1***6.

 

Weapons Offenses

 

State of Texas v. S.A.H. (Possession of a Concealed Weapon) – The defendant was charged with possession of a concealed weapon in Houston, Texas.  In the 185th District Court, Harris County, Texas, Will Helixon successfully negotiated a dismissal based on the anticipated testimony of defense witnesses.  Case #94-2***9.

 

State of Texas v. K.C. (Possession of a Concealed Weapon) – The defendant was charged with possession of a concealed weapon in Galveston, Texas.  In the County Criminal Court of Law 2 of Galveston County, Texas, Will Helixon filed a dispositive motion to dismiss that was granted resulting in the dismissal of the case.  Case #1****0.

 

Other Offenses

 

State of Texas v. J.M. (Criminal Mischief) – The defendant was charged with criminal mischief in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon was able to persuade the prosecutor in the 351st District Court of Harris County, Texas, to dismiss the case based on likely testimony of the complaining witness at trial (non-prosecution).  Case #94-0***5.

 

State of Texas v. J.T.M. (Criminal Mischief) – The defendant was charged with criminal mischief in Houston, Texas.  Will Helixon was able to persuade the prosecutor in the 351st District Court of Harris County, Texas, to dismiss the case based on likely testimony of the complaining witness at trial (non-prosecution).  Case #94-0***4.