FRANKLIN — Former Robertson County District Attorney John Paschall will have to give up his law license after pleading guilty to a felony charge of misusing money from an estate for which he was an executor.

Paschall — who served six terms as Robertson County’s top prosecutor before going into private practice — will have to report to the Brazos County Detention Center on Feb. 8 to begin serving a sentence that requires him to spend 30 nights behind bars during the week on a work release schedule. He’ll turn himself in at 7:30 p.m. and be released the next morning at 4 a.m.

He was also placed on 10 years probation, issued a $1,000 fine and will be required to pay restitution, though an amount has not yet been set.

Bryan attorney Jim James represented Paschall.

“John Paschall is a good person,” James said. “He’s a friend of mine. He made a mistake and he’s going to go on with his life.”

Paschall declined to comment after the hearing.

Paschall was indicted a year ago on a first-degree felony charge of misapplication of fiduciary property, but the case was negotiated to a third-degree felony with a punishment range of up to 10 years.

Because Paschall had no previous felony convictions, probation was allowed.

Paschall, 62, was accused of misusing money that belonged to the estate of Calvert resident Marium Oscar after he was named the executor of her will. Oscar died in 2004.

The investigation began in 2011 when attorney Ty Clevenger filed a lawsuit on behalf of Oscar’s distant relatives, according to court records. The petition was later amended, naming as plaintiff the Calvert Historical Foundation, which is the nonprofit where Oscar wanted her money donated after her death, according to her trust agreement.

In January 2014, Paschall said in court filings that $86,000 was all that was left of an estate that had been appraised at $300,000. It was money inherited by Oscar after her sister’s death in 1991.

Clevenger called Paschall’s punishment “a slap on the wrist.”

“What kind of message does that send that a district attorney can steal money from a helpless old lady and never spend a day in prison for it?” Clevenger said. “It’s certainly not going to deter corruption among prosecutors or anyone else.”

The hearing to determine Paschall’s restitution is scheduled for early February, unless an agreement is reached before then.

Paschall, who ran as a Democrat, was district attorney from 1980 to 1984. He ran again in 1992 and served five terms, ending in 2012.

Special prosecutors from the Texas Attorney General’s Office presented the plea deal, which was heard by visiting district judge Doug Shaver.

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(5) comments

Comment deleted.
roy g

Speaking of yourself in the 3rd person isn't making you any more believable, ma'am.

Amber Starfield

The more you steal, the lesser the punishment. That's the American Injustice way.

Duke of Earl

A friend of his, a school official in Robertson county convicted of a felony, told a story once. Said a young man named Peter became an architect. Built beautiful churches in the county. That got people's attention. He was selected to build a bridge. It was beautiful and soon he began building lots of bridges. He became known as Peter the Builder in five states.

One night he was caught taking a bribe from a known criminal to use sub-standard materials on a bridge. Those materials would have caused the bridge to fail. After that, people questioned, "when did Peter become a thief?" "Was it when he built the first bridge, the first church?" People stopped using the bridges he built and going to the churches he built. When asked why, a local farmer said "because we do not know when he did good work or bad work". Peter was known as Peter the Thief for the rest of his life.

Despite what Jim James said, no one knows where Paschal did good work or bad work. Who else did he cheat? Who else was in this with him? His friends are now suspect. His family's name is dirtied. His legacy is his felony conviction, just like his buddy that was a Robertson county school official.

Karma bites another greedy, cheating person that misused the trust the people had put in them. He will not suffer much, he sold his soul for some coins a long time ago.

csperson

No Jim James, he's NOT a good person. He's evil and an embarrassment to the legal profession.

John Jacob jingle Heimer Smith

Karma: this guy is a disgrace to all Texas DA's and his racist tactics and cockiness got the best of him in the end, Mr. Paschal if you read this and I hope you do, look what you've done with your life, all this time and effort wasted because you thought you were 10 ft tall and bullet proof. I hope you get the best treatment in the 30 days you spend in jail and by best I think you know what I mean. I don't think Karma is done with you yet, but only time will tell, one thing is for sure you will never be allowed to ruin any others lives by using the criminal justice system. Good riddance ya jerk.

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