12th Court of Appeals weighs next step for Pittman
The 12th Court of Appeals in Tyler now is deciding what will happen next for the last defendant in the Mineola child sex ring case.
Dennis Boyd Pittman, 49, was in the Smith County 241st District Court on Friday, where attorneys discussed portions of some testimony from the transcripts of the trials of two other defendants in the sex ring case, Shauntel Mayo and Jamie Pittman, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Mike West said.
In July, the appeals court requested a disc containing the testimony of one of the witnesses in the trials of Ms. Mayo and Jamie Pittman. West said in July that testimony was of Margie Cantrell, the foster mother of the young children who were the victims in the cases.
But the trial court clerk and the court reporter were unable to locate the disc, so a hearing was scheduled to determine if the missing disc could be duplicated. West said Monday that the court of appeals received the disc even before the hearing began on Friday. The hearing was held anyway, West said.
Still, it is doubtful that Pittman will get a new trial, West said in July.
"A defendant is only entitled to a new trial if a portion of the record is permanently lost or destroyed and the record is 'necessary to the appeal's resolution.' But this rule only applies if the lost exhibit or record cannot be replaced or duplicated in some way," he said.
West said he did not know when the appeals court might rule in the Dennis Pittman case.
The victims in the cases include three siblings, who were a 7-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl at the time.
Six of the defendants involved in the 2005 incidents, Sheila Darlene Sones, Jamie Pittman, Patrick Kelly, Ms. Mayo, Rebecca Pittman and Jimmy Sones pleaded guilty to charges of injury to a child, a third-degree felony, in the 241st District Court in May 2011. The punishment range for that crime is two to 10 years, and they were credited for time served and released shortly after the plea hearing.
Dennis Pittman was not eligible to participate in that plea because his case has been pending before the appeals court. He will be eligible for parole in 30 years.