UPDATE (9:30 a.m.): Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins has been held in contempt of court for refusing to testify. Judge Lena Levario will decide what to do about the contempt later. Watkins was scheduled to be on the witness stand this morning. Watkins said he was asserting attorney-client privilege because he represents the people of the state of Texas. The judge told him she was over-ruling that privilege — that’s when Watkins said he would still refuse to testify.
DALLAS (AP/KRLD) – Two Texas courts have refused to stop a hearing in which Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins’ will be asked to answer allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in a case.
The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas issued a two-sentence order Wednesday denying Watkins’ request for a temporary stay of a hearing in the mortgage fraud case involving oil fortune heir Al Hill III.
KRLD’s L.P. Phillips learned that the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals also issued a ruling denying the motion to stay the hearing, shortly before 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. The CCA is still reviewing the writ of mandamus denied by the 5th Court of Appeals.
Watkins’ spokeswoman, Debbie Denmon, said that the district attorney is still waiting for a ruling on his full petition. She says that if there are no other rulings, Watkins will appear in court Thursday morning. But she would not comment on whether Watkins will actually testify.
Hill’s attorneys allege Watkins’ office prosecuted him as a favor to a campaign donor. Watkins’ attorneys deny the charge.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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