February 23, 2014
by David Nachtigall
I recently provided legal commentary to a publication called Military Spouse Magazine about a case involving a Fort Bliss solider named Corey Moss who allegedly broke into a home and stabbed the pregnant wife of another Fort Bliss Soldier while she was chatting with her husband over the Internet. The article I contributed to had to do with a charging decision made by the prosecutors. In this instance, the prosecutors originally charged Corey Moss with attempted capital murder, and later changed the charge to burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a first degree felony. A public outcry followed the modification of the charge because it was (wrongfully) perceived as being less severe. In Texas, both attempted capital murder and burglary with intent to commit a felony are first degree felonies. They both carry the same range of punishment – 5 to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
It is not uncommon for the government to change the charge initially filed after having sized up its case. Prosecutors are primarily concerned with obtaining a conviction if they take a case to trial. If there is a charge that the prosecutors believe they can more easily prove that carries the same range of punishment, you can rest assured they will seek a new indictment on that charge. This is what the State of Texas did in Mr. Moss’s case.
The link to the article follows: https://www.militaryspouse.com/articles/military-spouse-seeks-justice/