A lawyer who was convicted of murdering a man by shooting him 11 times has given up his law license rather than facing an attorney discipline case.
Royal Mullins, who is serving a 60-year sentence in Texas prison for the murder, asked the Texas Supreme Court to accept his resignation as a lawyer in mid-November, and the high court granted the request on Nov. 30.
Bob Scott, a Greenville attorney who represented Mullins in the disciplinary case, declined to comment.
Mullins, who is 64 years old, is incarcerated in Huntsville in the Byrd Unit of the Texas Criminal Justice Department. He’ll be 93 when he’s eligible for parole in 2046.
In May 2016, during Mullins’ trial, it took the jury in Hunt County’s 196th District Court about one hour to convict him of murdering Curtis “Topper” Gray of Greenville on July 30, 2014. A local newspaper reported that trial testimony indicated Mullins had been called to a residence where two women had indicated that Gray, 50, was belligerent and refused to leave. When Mullins arrived, he shot Gray 11 times with a 9mm pistol.
His defense attorney maintained at trial that Mullins shot Gray to protect himself and the two women, and the killing was justified under the “castle doctrine.” But the prosecutor in the case argued that the two women had left the house before the shooting, and that seven of the 11 shots were fired from above Gray, when he was crawling and jerking on the floor. Mullins had said the previous night in a text message that he was going to “deliver a 9mm protective order” to Gray, the prosecutor said at trial.
Mullins earned his law license from the University of Texas School of Law in 1986. In the 1990s he was an assistant district attorney in Hunt County. At the time of the murder, he was a criminal defense solo practitioner.