District Attorney Issues statement on Murder Trial Verdict

Rod Ponton Disrtict Attorney for the 83rd District issued this statement on the Tony Flint murder trial of Glenn Felts :

I want to thank everyone from Hudspeth County who assisted the 83rd District Attorney’s office during our prosecution of Tony Flint for murder of Glenn Felts. Although I disagree with the jury’s decision, I respect the jury system in our country. The jury told me they had a couple of reasonable doubts about convicting Tony, so they said “not guilty”. The jury did not believe self defense. The jury did not say that Tony did not kill Glenn– in fact, Tony admitted to flinging Glenn against a mesquite tree, punching Glenn four times while Glenn’s head was against the tree, such that Glenn went unconscious, could not walk or stand, and then dragged Glenn to where he lay. So Tony killed Glenn.
There are a couple of misperceptions out there. The Brewster County grand jury indicted Tony for murder, because the autopsy showed 15- 20 injuries, including two different fatal skull fractures, 12 ribs broken on one side, 5 of 12 ribs broken on the other side, a cut diaphragm, and other internal injuries. The drag marks in the parking lot proved no other person killed Glenn– no tire marks, just Tony’s size 14 boots. One or two blows might be manslaughter, but 15 or 20 blows is done knowingly. Glenn’s blood was on Tony’s boots and Tony’s overalls.

Murder is not just intentionally killing someone– murder is also when you knowingly commit an act dangerous to human life, that results in the death of an individual. This is what Tony was charged with. The jury was also given the option of finding Tony guilty of manslaughter, for reckless conduct, as a lesser included offense. So there was no mistake in the indictment, or in the jury charge. We believed that the number and extent of the blows to Glenn showed that Tony acted “knowingly”. The fact that Glenn died of these injuries clearly showed that the acts Tony committed “were dangerous to human life”.

All evidence was presented to the jury. 30 witnesses, 350 exhibits, the Sheriff and three deputies, two Texas Rangers, lab personnel, coroner, and numerous Terlingua witnesses, over seven days. The case was prosecuted by three prosecutors– myself, Assistant Attorney General Tina Richardson (Austin), and Assistant DA Sam Katz. We were assisted by an investigator and two other persons from my office. The State of Texas provided every possible resource to aid in this prosecution.

The State did its job. Although I disagree, the jury did theirs. The only thing to be blamed is our jury system, which, although flawed, is still the best in the world. My heart goes out to Molly Felts Gillespie and the Felts family. We should all say a prayer in honor of the memory of Glenn Felts.

Rod Ponton
83rd District Attorney

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