Dawnna Dukes’ defense opposes trial delay

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes in court on Aug. 21, 2017 where two of her attorneys were asking a judge to allow them to withdraw as her attorney. That motion was denied. (KXAN Photo)
State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, left, in court on Aug. 21, 2017 where two of her attorneys were asking a judge to allow them to withdraw as her attorney. That motion was denied. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lawyers for Rep. Dawnna Dukes filed a document Thursday afternoon protesting the prosecution’s request for more time to build up a felony case against her, saying the District Attorney has had plenty of time to build up a case and that “no ‘further investigation’ can change the fact that the State’s case has fallen apart.”

Dukes is accused of corruption, and she will be tried Oct. 16 on misdemeanor charges. However, on Tuesday the prosecution filed a motion of continuance for the 13 felony counts against her, which allege she made false entries on State of Texas travel vouchers that said she traveled to the Capitol outside of the legislative session, allowing her to collect a total of $799.50 in per diem payments.

The prosecution explained it needed more time after it discovered a witness from the House Business Office had provided a letter to Dukes’ defense team in January, saying a member of the House of Representatives is not required to physically work in the Capitol building in order to receive per diem payments between legislative sessions.

Dukes’ defense argued the prosecution should not have more time in the case because it argues the D.A. did not do enough before handing down the indictment, and that it only recently interviewed the House Business Office witness.

“[D.A. Margaret Moore’s] failure to interview witnesses and adequately investigate the case before indictment is not a ground for a postponement eight months later on the eve of the trial,” the defense’s response stated. The defense also said the State previously denied it a two-week postponement in January on the felony indictment.

D.A. Moore said she is reviewing the defense’s response.

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