Breaking NewsLaw.com and associated brands will be offline for scheduled maintenance Friday Feb. 26 9 PM US EST to Saturday Feb. 27 6 AM EST. We apologize for the inconvenience.

 
X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Cornelius Sylvester Smith, Jr. was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He, along with several others, required Braylan Curry, another SMU student who was pledging Alpha Phi Alpha, to consume large quantities of water as part of Curry’s initiation. As the result of drinking the large amount of water, Curry suffered convulsions and was hospitalized in intensive care. Smith has been charged by indictment with the felony offense of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. By pretrial writ of habeas corpus, appellant challenged the district court’s jurisdiction over the prosecution. Appellant claimed the charge arose out of a hazing incident, and because the hazing statute is more specific, prosecution should be brought under it. Because hazing is a misdemeanor, appellant argued, the district court has no jurisdiction over the prosecution. Following a hearing, the trial court denied appellant’s requested relief. HOLDING:Affirmed. When there is a valid statute or ordinance under which a prosecution may be brought, habeas corpus is not generally available before trial to test the sufficiency of the complaint, information, or indictment. There are few exceptions to this rule, and they have generally been found only when the complaint is such that it would render the proceedings void. Appellant asserts that his in pari materia claim is cognizable by pretrial writ of habeas corpus because, if successful, the district court would be divested of jurisdiction over his prosecution. In this case, there is a valid statute under which the aggravated assault prosecution is being brought. The appellant does not raise a challenge that would render his prosecution void. He does not assert the aggravated assault statute is unconstitutional on its face or that the prosecution is barred by the statute of limitations. Nor does appellant contend there was any irregularity in the grand jury proceedings or any other irregularity that would render the indictment void. Rather, appellant is challenging the state’s decision as to which statute it will use to prosecute appellant. The appellant’s in pari materia claim, if successful, will not result in his immediate release. If convicted of aggravated assault, appellant has an adequate remedy on appeal to challenge the denial of his in pari materia claim. The court holds that the appellant’s in pari materia claim is not cognizable by pretrial writ of habeas corpus. OPINION:Thomas, C.J.; Thomas, C.J., Whittington and Francis, JJ.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.