TARRANT COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A series of motions filed by Anthony Ryan Patterson’s defense team just after midnight on Monday, November 6, 2023, could further inhibit the start of his impending trial for alleged child sex crimes.
Patterson, 47, of Wichita Falls, is the former president of a Wichita Falls automotive group who was first arrested in February 2021 and eventually indicted on 20 felony charges involving child trafficking and child sex crimes.
Patterson’s trial was set to begin on Monday, October 30, 2023, at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in Fort Worth, however, jury selection was delayed at the request of the defense and was set to begin on Monday, November 6, 2023.
The jury pool made up of 100 men and women who reside in Tarrant County was instructed to report to the Central Jury Room at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 6.
Less than 12 hours prior to the scheduled start of jury selection proceedings, however, a handful of motions were filed by Patterson’s defense team, all of which have implications of a further delay of proceedings.
On Friday, November 3, 2023, a sealed motion was filed by the defense requesting a continuance of the trial due to Toby Shook, Patterson’s lead defense attorney, being “seriously injured” on October 29, just before the scheduled start of jury selection.
Additionally, a motion was filed by the defense on Monday, November 6, 2023, seeking that 78th District Court Judge Meredith Kennedy, who has presided over Patterson’s case since he was first indicted, be recused from the case and a new judge be appointed.
In the motion, it is revealed that the delays in jury selection that took place on October 31, 2023, were due to the injury suffered by Shook.
The motion claims that during a phone call between Judge Kennedy, the prosecution, and Kim Laseter, one of Patterson’s other defense attorneys, Judge Kennedy is alleged to have said the case “would proceed on Monday with or without Mr. Shook.”
The motion argues that Patterson’s remaining defense attorneys, which include Laseter, Michael Mowla, and Chuck Smith, were brought in by Shook to handle specific aspects of the case and none were hired to be lead counsel.
Included in the motion is a signed affidavit from Patterson, stating he does not wish to proceed with the case without Shook as his lead attorney.
According to the motion, Shook’s pain is the same or worse now as it was when he first suffered the injury on October 29, 2023.
The motion said that Laseter requested the previously filed motion for a continuance of the trial be heard on the record and ruled upon.
As of the publication of this story, it is unclear if those hearings have taken place, or when they will, if they have not been already. A courthouse source said hearings were held on Monday, November 6, 2023; however, it is unclear at this time what those hearings were in regard to.
Additionally, no new rulings have been filed as of the publication of this story.
Furthermore, at least two of Patterson’s other defense attorneys, Smith and Mowla, filed motions to withdraw as counsel for Patterson, contingent upon them being forced to proceed with the trial without Shook as lead counsel for the defense.
Despite these motions being filed, a jury pool of 100 residents of Tarrant County still appeared on Monday, November 6, 2023. As of the publication of this story, no proceedings have begun regarding jury selection.
It is unclear at this time whether Patterson’s trial, which was originally scheduled to be in the testimony phase on Monday, November 6, 2023, will be delayed once again as a result of the pending motions.