By MARY FLOOD
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Lawyer Earl Musick’s 30 years with the Houston Police Department came in handy when he and his lawyer daughter JoAnne Musick not only got their client out of a capital murder charge but helped find the people the government later accused of the crime.
For this, the father-daughter team will be honored next month by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association as lawyers of the year.
The two took the law school admissions test together and even attended some classes together at South Texas College of Law.
That HPD experience was invaluable to a client who hired them in late 2005 when accused of capital murder and aggravated robbery.
Both Musicks, eventually convinced of the innocence of their client and his accused brother, relentlessly went looking for the red pickup truck they believed actually was involved in the two crimes — one a robbery of two people walking from a bus, another a carjacking-turned-murder of a man entering a nearby motel.
They interviewed witnesses, followed leads, staked out at the home of the man they thought owned the truck, and eventually found a red pickup. It was owned by a man who looked more like the suspect sketch than their client and whose truck happened to have bullet holes to boot.
“They did a yeoman’s job of investigating and doing a lot of legwork determining their client wasn’t involved,” said Harris County Assistant District Attorney Lyn McClellan. Prosecutor Tammy Thomas interviewed a witness in prison the Musicks helped find. After that, the client’s brother was released and two other men were charged. Now instead of trying the case, the Musicks may be called as witnesses.