by BRAD ROLLINS
Saying allegations of wrongdoing against a prosecutor and a detective “taint” the conviction, District Attorney Sherri Tibbe today agreed to a new trial for a man who pled guilty in March to drug dealing and possession.
Shawn Shipman, 29, pled guilty March 9 to a third-degree felony charge of engaging in organized criminal activity by possessing with the intent to distribute Nubain, a narcotic pain reliever similar to morphine, and two state jail felonies for steroids-related possession. His attorney moved for a new trial after an assistant district attorney accused Assistant District Attorney Chris Johnson and San Marcos police Det. Laray Taylor of concealing that they were tipped off by a confidential informant who consequently avoided prosecution on another charge.
At the onset of a hearing today, Tibbe told visiting District Judge James F. Clawson Jr. that she would agree to a new trial. She also agreed to defense attorney David Watt’s motion that her office recuse itself from prosecuting Shipman in a new trial.
In an interview after a hearing this morning, Tibbe said she remains convinced that neither the prosecutor nor the officer did anything illegal or improper but that “there was a huge cloud hanging over this defendant’s conviction and we don’t ever want that to happen in Hays County.”
“Our No. 1 goal is to seek justice. …Jurors are the best people to decide the outcome of this case,” she said.
Outside the courtroom, Natalie Shipman of San Antonio said she was heartened her son would receive a new trial. “Hopefully justice will be finally done,” she said.Email | Print