Families Criticize Austin Da Garza Over Crime Handling, Express Concerns About Justice for Texas Victims

Dozens of Texas families are protesting uber-liberal Austin DA Jose Garza for 'revictimizing' them by not prosecuting their killers and attackers.

Dozens of Texas families are protesting uber-liberal Austin DA Jose Garza for ‘revictimizing’ them by not prosecuting their killers and attackers. 

Over 70 Austin-area survivors of rape and other violent crimes and their families have organized a group to complain to Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza.

Garza was elected in 2021 after George Floyd, pledging to prosecute rogue officers and overhaul the judicial system, especially for black and brown lawbreakers, with the support of liberal billionaire George Soros. 

‘I assumed he could be kind to individuals found with weed, not that he would let murderers free,’ Conny Branham, whose son was murdered in June 2020, told DailyMail.com.

The five-person group beat Chris Branham, 26, by stomping on his face in a motel. Two suspects drove him to a secluded corn field, where the father of two tried to flee but was shot and killed.

His mother reported his body was mummified after 37 days.  His mob-style beating involved five people, with drug traffickers believing Branham was a police informant, prosecutors said.

The five people arrested were sentenced to prison only three times. Charges were dropped against a guy and teen girl who posted a Snapchat video of herself kicking and fracturing Branham’s jaw.

Kyle Cleveland was initially charged with capital murder, but his charges were lowered and he was handed a 14-year plea deal.

Conny contends the DA’s office didn’t tell Branham’s Garza was offering plea offers until the paperwork was signed.

The devastated mother and her family have attended parole eligibility hearings to keep her son’s killers in prison.

‘It’s pure re-victimization,’ snapped Conny. “We, the victims, have to go to parole hearings, write letters, and relive everything every time to entertain a criminal.”

According to KXAN, Garza refused to prosecute some cases, resulting in charges being dismissed altogether—up almost 50% from the prior DA.

“It’s because he believes prison is bad,” Garza’s opponent, lawyer Jeremy Sylestine, told DailyMail.com.

He thinks he knows more than Travis County jurors. Taking issues to trial and hearing community input is discouraged. He’d rather close a transaction that hits the victim in the face.

The Democrat gave Kaitlin Armstrong, who was accused of jealousy killing her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, a plea deal. 

Armstrong rejected the bargain and went to trial in November. Her 90-year sentence was handed out by a jury in under three hours. 

Many families in sorrow and seeking justice feel humiliated by Garza’s choice to dismiss charges or make plea deals, like the Branhams.

The two individuals who shot Miranda Lopez while she was driving home from supper with her sister were also granted plea deals, despite the families being informed state law permitted prosecutors to pursue 99 years in jail. Lopez claimed Garza declined trial. 

“Over the last three years, the District Attorney’s Office has focused on holding violent offenders accountable and addressing the root causes of violence,” the statement stated. 

Da Garza Faces Criticism for Lack of Experience and Controversial Reforms in Austin

Dozens of Texas families are protesting uber-liberal Austin DA Jose Garza for ‘revictimizing’ them by not prosecuting their killers and attackers.


‘This is one of the safest communities in the country.’ Former federal public defender Garza ran for election promising to be a different DA.

Sylestine continued, ‘He’s someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s no trial lawyer. He has never appeared before a Travis County jury and has not practiced criminal law for most of his career. I don’t think Travis County wanted this in 2020. 

He told a liberal legal newspaper that Garza’s campaign promises were to prioritize serious charges above low-level drug offenses. The Democrat abolished cash bail for low-level, non-violent crimes in his first 100 days.

He’s also reviewing 1985–199 cases with the Innocence Project of Texas, which helps death row convicts avoid the death penalty, the Department of Justice said. 

Garza opposed the death penalty and pledged not to seek it as district attorney in 2020. Garza’s efforts to overturn her niece’s killer’s conviction surprised Kristina Byington and her family.

Allen Andre Causey was convicted of murdering Anita Byington in July 1992. “I don’t understand it– how can you be pro-criminal,” Kristina Byington asked.

Byington alleged the DA’s office didn’t notify them of hearings, requiring them to engage a counsel to analyze the matter. Families interviewed by DailyMail.com complained most about the DA’s family-centered approach. 

Under Garza, 75 of 95 prosecutors have gone, according to his opponent, a former assistant district attorney.

Sylestine said, ‘It’s a large amount of experience and that can’t be replaced quickly, and I don’t know that he has the tools to instruct people in a way that makes the public and victims feel good about who is handling such cases.

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