Judge Orders Evidence Suppressed in Andrews Burglary Cases
By: Roxanne Avery, Guest Contributor
Visiting District Court Judge Elizabeth Berry suppressed evidence tying alleged professional criminal Justin Joseph Andrews to a string of 28 burglaries involving luxury homes including those of State Senator Jane Nelson, football legend Herschel Walker, pro golfer Brandt Jobe and railroad company CEO Matt Rose.
A home owned by Andrews in Katy, Texas was searched March 6, 2013, pursuant to a search warrant seeking evidence tying Andrews to the Walker burglary. Inside Andrew’s home, detectives found several thousand stolen items including rings, coin collections, necklaces, and designer watches. They seized thousands of dollars’ worth of Louis Vuitton, Coach and other designer purses. There were cameras, I-Phones, a baseball collection and $15,000 in cash.
Even veteran burglary detectives were astonished by the staggering amount of loot.
“When we went to serve the search warrant and we had it signed by our district judge and we went down there, we didn’t expect the volume that we found,” Lieutenant Brenda Slovack, Keller Police Department, said.
Following a hearing this morning, Andrews’ defense attorney Paul Looney of Looney & Conrad, P.C. with offices in Houston, successfully cross-examined police detectives about obtaining the search warrant and was able to show that false and incomplete statements were provided in obtaining the warrant. Because the warrant was issued based on a misleading affidavit by Keller Police Department Detective Matt Moore, all evidence found in Andrews’ home was ordered suppressed.
“I believed in this case from the very beginning. It took a while; Justin served 14 months in jail waiting for his hearing. Finally, he did get his day in court and we won,” said Looney.
Motions to suppress evidence due to misleading or untruthful police affidavits are rarely granted.
“The burden on the defense is huge” says Clay S. Conrad of Looney & Conrad, P.C. “We have to prove the police actively mislead the judge that issued the warrant and if they hadn’t done so, the warrant wouldn’t have been issued.”
Of the 29 cases pending against Andrews across five counties, just one remains because it was not tainted by the illegal search of his residence. A scheduling hearing in that case has been ordered for six weeks from today.