Sexual assault suspect hires attorney; jury to hear case in 90 days

    147
    print

    One of three former student-athletes accused of sexually assaulting a student on TCU’s campus hired an attorney Wednesday, according to court records.Gwinda L. Burns, of Fort Worth, was hired Wednesday to represent Virgil Allen Taylor, 19, against sexual assault charges filed Tuesday in Tarrant County Criminal District Court No. 2, according to court records.

    Shannon Monroe Behling, 19, and Lorenzo Labell Jones, 20, are also charged in the case but had not hired attorneys as of Wednesday afternoon, according to court records.

    Calls and messages left for Burns at her office were not returned Wednesday before publication time.

    Prosecutor Betty Arvin of the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, who is prosecuting the three cases, said the district attorney has 90 days to bring a case before the grand jury and expects the case to be presented before the 90-day deadline passes.

    Because the investigation is ongoing, Arvin said, there is no timetable for when the case will be presented.

    Fort Worth police spokesman Lt. Gene Jones said Wednesday that the scope of the investigation is likely to expand as it progresses.

    “Because of the seriousness of the crime,” Lt. Jones said, “the investigation will be conducted to make sure no stone is unturned.”

    Investigators are still awaiting DNA test results, Lt. Jones said.

    Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said university disciplinary procedures are also progressing.

    He said the hearing committee that will decide the university’s disciplinary actions is being formed and will have a recommendation for Chancellor Victor Boschini by the end of next week.

    Boschini, who will have the final say on the university’s disciplinary action, said he will await the committee’s recommendation before making a decision because “to do otherwise would be to thwart our system.”

    The three former students were asked to leave university property Oct. 19 after school officials received the sexual assault accusations, Mills said. According to a police report, the three men were arrested one day later.

    Behling and Taylor were released from jail Tuesday after posting $25,000 bail bonds. Jones was being held at Mansfield Jail as of Wednesday afternoon on two bonds totaling $27,000, according to jail records.