WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Wichita County judge granted a motion by the defense team of convicted murderer Justin Love, granting additional time to file a reply to the state’s answer to motions for a new trial and sentence.

Wichita County Public Defender James Rasmussen filed a motion to “reply to late-filed response” on Friday morning, August 12.

The motion was filed hours before the expected ruling from Judge Bob Brotherton, who said his decision would come by noon Friday. The judge granted an extension to August 22 for the defense’s reply.

The day before, an appeal hearing to grant Love a new trial and reduced sentence for the 2015 murder of Domanic Thrasher was held in the 30th District Court.

Love, 33, was found guilty in his retrial for the 2015 murder of Dominic Thrasher in a drug deal gone bad.

Following that hearing, just before 5 p.m. Thursday, the Wichita County District Attorney’s office filed its response to Love’s motion to appeal. In that response, the State lists three complaints the defense makes and addresses why none of them warrant the appeal.

The motion said the defendant’s counsel “is not able to read, write or edit a reply to the State’s Response in only one hour as the CDA apparently accomplished”.

The defense’s motion requests the court give them until Monday, August 22, to submit their response.
Judge Brotherton granted the motion, effectively delaying his decision on the appeal by at least a week.

Love’s latest appeal alleges the jury that found him guilty in June was misguided by the charge the State gave them before they came to a verdict. Rasmussen said structural errors in that charge affected the framework of the trial, and the law was not applied to the facts.

Wichita County’s Assistant District Attorney Kyle Lessor countered, stating common sense would have allowed the jury to interpret the charge correctly. He said there’s no way the jury was misled.

Love’s other motion asks the court to reform his sentence from life in prison.

The defense is asking for a 50-year sentence, Love’s original sentence that was successfully appealed, claiming the harsher sentence given after Love’s second conviction violates limitations set forth in the Constitution.

Lessor said Love’s misconduct between the two murder trials means those limitations don’t apply to him.