Corpus Christi attorney indicted for barratry

By The SE Texas Record | Jun 1, 2010

ALICE � A Jim Wells County grand jury returned two true bills of indictment on Tuesday against Corpus Christi attorney Benito Garza, 48, and case runner Timothy Trevino aka "Sugar Bear", 45.

Tuesday's indictment charges both defendants with one charge of barratry and solicitation of professional employment.

According to the search warrant affidavit, Garza and Trevino unlawfully solicited legal employment from family members of a young man killed in an automobile accident.

The affidavit alleges the defendants showed up uninvited at 1 a.m. the night of the accident at the home where the family was gathered and induced them to hire Garza to initiate legal proceedings.

The Texas Penal Code prohibits an individual from soliciting legal employment, either in person or by telephone, for himself or for another, in order to obtain a benefit.

Following the grand jury's action, Garza surrendered himself at the Jim Wells County Jail. Law enforcement officers with the Corpus Christi Police Department and the Office of the Attorney General arrested Trevino on Thursday.

OAG investigators executed an evidentiary search warrant at the office of The Garza Law Firm in Corpus Christi.

Barratry and solicitation of professional employment is a third-degree felony punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and two to 10 years in prison.

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