Case against state rep. dropped after investigator arrested

HOUSTON - Charges against a state representative accused of soliciting clients have been dropped after one of the investigators on the case was accused of stealing evidence in another case.

State Rep. Ron Reynolds, who is also a lawyer, was charged with barratry last year after an accident victim complained that his law firm tried to sign him up as a client.

The case was thrown out on Wednesday because Lonnie Blevins, the former district attorney's office investigator who put the case together, can no longer testify against him.

"He's not a credible source," said Sarah Kinney of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Blevins was arrested in January. He has been accused of stealing more than $100,000 worth of comic books that were seized in another case he investigated.

"We can't be sure he didn't do this in other cases, and we're not willing to take that risk," Kinney said.

The office is reviewing about 125 cases that Blevins and his former partner, Dustin Deutch, handled. That includes the murder case against Jessica Tata, who was sentenced to 80 years in prison after four children died in a fire at her day care. Blevins was not a witness in the case and much of the evidence against Tata came from other sources.

Reynolds was in Austin when he found out the case against him was dropped.

"He was excited. He gave me one of those smiley faces that you do on the phone," said Jules Laird, Reynolds' attorney.

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