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Judge denies new trial for Lorenz

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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 12:00 am

SEGUIN — A motion for a new trial was denied Thursday for Cody Lorenz who pleaded guilty to murder while commiting a felony and received a 50-year prison sentence.

The defendant’s attorney, Veryl Brown, on Jan. 10 filed the motion for a new trial, contending that Lorenz did not fully understand what he was doing when he made the plea of guilty to the charge of murder in the death of Amber Robbin, 19, of Gonzales, who died in a two-vehicle collision on Dec. 29, 2011.

With Lorenz on the docket for a jury trial on Oct. 8, 2012, District Attorney Heather McMinn asked District Judge W.C. “Bud” Kirkendall to grant a motion to amend the indictment of Lorenz, removing the words “intentionally and knowingly” from two places in the indictment.

The defendant’s motion asserts that the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure prohibits indictments from being amended on the day of a trial, and Brown asserts that the amendment changed his trial strategy. He filed a motion for a continuance, seeking an additional 60 days to prepare a different defense strategy, but Kirkendall rejected the motion for a continuance and directed Brown to confer with his client for up to 20 minutes before returning to court.

“The court erred in its verdict by not granting the defendant’s motion for continuance in this case which resulted in an involuntary plea on the part of the defendant who did not adequately understand the nature of his plea of guilty due to the short time frame for consultation with his attorney,” the motion says.

Attached to the motion for a new trial are affidavits by the defendant’s parents, Michael and Rebecca Lorenz.

“I was present when my son entered his plea of guilty to the court in this case,” Michael’s affidavit says. “His mother and I were seated in the second row from the bench and could hear clearly what was being said by all parties. I overheard him say ‘not really’ when the judge asked if he understood his plea.

“He has expressed several times since entering his guilty plea that he didn’t understand why the indictment was changed nor really what was happening as it all happened so fast since the judge gave them 20 minutes to make a decision of this importance affecting the rest of his life,” the affidavit says.

Kirkendall’s notes in the case file indicate that the motion for a new trial was overruled.

After Lorenz pleaded guilty on Oct. 8, 2012, Kirkendall ordered a presentencing investigation by the probation office, and on Dec. 12, 2012, Lorenz was sentenced to a 50-year term in state prison. Kirkendall also ruled that a deadly weapon (a vehicle) was used in the offense, and the affirmative finding means that Lorenz will be required to serve at least half of the 50-year sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Ana GunnaTellYa posted at 8:27 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Ana GunnaTellYa Posts: 70

    The parents should hold some responsibility also...This was a MINOR who somehow got alcohol. Where were the parents? The court system was also told that the parents would supervise him if bond was reduced...It was, but he ended up in an accident AGAIN, this being done BEFORE his court date...Where were the parents then?...He's had PLENTY of chances to straighten up, and didn't. Now his parents want the courts to give him ANOTHER chance to change? Let him stay in jail. Make his parents pay for some of their LACK OF PARENTING also. They should have stepped in and done something about his habit the moment they knew he had a problem with drugs and alcohol...had they done so, Amber would still be alive today, and their son wouldn't be in the troube he is in now...

  • Don and Rose posted at 7:11 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Don and Rose Posts: 780

    harleygirl: You are right about one thing...some changes ARE in order...there should be some county jail time and stiff fines for first offenders in cases of driving under the influence...with more serious time for second offenders. Rehabilitation programs don't work when the offender doesn't think he/she has a problem.

  • harleygirl posted at 8:32 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    harleygirl Posts: 5

    Peggy H did it ever occur to you that if the officials arresting and sentencing Mr.Lorenz as well as others would impose more court ordered rehabilitation classes,counseling ect for the offender based on the crime .instead of the in and out 2 h one trip class we wouldnt have so many repeat offenders.Its time for a change around Guadalupe County.

  • gmainc posted at 3:50 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    gmainc Posts: 539

    harleygirl - Elections were just held in Nov and newly elected officials took ofc Jan. 1. Have some faith and give them some time to settle in. Guadalupe County is a great place to live. Their law enforcement, at all levels, is a cut above most counties.

  • PeggyH posted at 3:18 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    PeggyH Posts: 408

    If the "good old boy" system is playing out in the courthouse I sincerely hope an investigation will determine that stiffer penalties should be handed out earlier in a persons arrest history. Cody and his enablers are now facing the truth and it hurts. No more probation, no more dealing for a lighter sentence, no more booze and no more reefers. It might be in Cody's best interest if he exchanged his underoos for big boy pants and take responsibility for his actions. The sentence could be longer if they want a new trial and verdict. The probation/rehabilitation card was played once too often. He committed the crime, he pled guilty, and it's time for him to man up.

  • harleygirl posted at 6:09 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    harleygirl Posts: 5

    Just because the new trial was denied does not mean he's finished, now comes the appeal process ,maybe having someone not of Guadalupe county Good ole boy system to look into matters going on within the county will bring a change to the goings on in the courthouse. maybe then we will all see a change .

  • gmainc posted at 1:58 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    gmainc Posts: 539

    LLT - same one as you, for the past 5 yr's. I'm from Nueces County and totally disagree w/you about the "Good Old Boy System" here. Aransas County is close to Nueces, as is San Patricio County, and you would not believe what I've seen there. I'm addressing the fact that the Judge didn't allow a new trial. You never know what a jury will do.

  • LLT posted at 8:05 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    LLT Posts: 221

    What Guadalupe county do you live in gmainc?

    Lorenz has 22 total violations on record all involving driving, alcohol and drugs. His bond was reduced from 250K to 125K. He was sentenced to half the maximum time.

    This county failed to protect the citizens when it had multiple opportunities to do so and it resulted in the death of an innocent teenager. This case is a blatant example of cronyism and an embarrassment to the legal system.

    The Good Old Boy system in Seguin needs to end.

    I do not believe such a light sentence serves justice in this case. I would welcome a new trial and opportunity for a jury to decide the sentence. I have no doubt the the people of Guadalupe County would deliver a far different sentence that of Bud Kirkendell

  • gmainc posted at 1:49 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    gmainc Posts: 539

    Don't mess w/Guadalupe County. I'm glad I live here. They are tough and rightfully so.

  • Ana GunnaTellYa posted at 8:54 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Ana GunnaTellYa Posts: 70

    I agree with PeggyH and sn14...why waste time and money on a NEW trial when Amber never had a CHANCE @ all?

    Here goes Mommy and Daddy asking their BUDDY Veryl Brown to help any way he
    he can. Mom, Dad, you guys had your chance to help him and have failed.

    I'm glad the judge denied their motion. Let him do his time and learn. He obviously didn't learn the first few times he's been in trouble for drinking and driving.

  • PeggyH posted at 7:31 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    PeggyH Posts: 408

    Why waste money on a new trial? His plea of guilty still stands. His prior history will still factor into sentencing. Another trial might result in a longer sentence. It's about time he realized that the jig is up. Man up and do your time Cody. A minimum of 25 years behind bars is a small price to pay for what he's done. If he still believes that drinking a case of beer, smoking pot, driving, and killing an innocent victim warrants less time in prison he needs a new lawyer. He needs to take responsibility for what he did and live with it. Amber didn't have that choice.

  • sn14 posted at 5:53 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    sn14 Posts: 28

    He had 1200 seconds to make a decision that would affect the rest of his life. Did Amber even have one?