JOHN R. ROACH
CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 16, 2009
Collin County DA John Roach Receives 2008 Lone Star Prosecutor Award
(McKinney, TX) – Texas prosecutors named Collin County Criminal District Attorney John Roach the Lone Star Prosecutor of the Year for his courage and discretion in prosecuting — or choosing not to prosecute — several cases in 2008.
The award, announced in Austin earlier this week, is given on behalf of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association (TDCAA).
The TDCAA recognized Mr. Roach for steadfastly refusing to take on cases contaminated by a network television news investigation called, “To Catch a Predator.” The cases linked to the TV show were mired in controversy because the investigations were conducted under the supervision of television producers, not law enforcement, and would not have held up in court.
“John Roach showed the true backbone of a Texas prosecutor in standing up to a national television network and this show by refusing to prosecute cases tainted by an entertainment-driven ‘investigation,’” said Barry Macha, Criminal District Attorney in Wichita County and TDCAA President.
Mr. Roach was also cited for agreeing to prosecute another elected prosecutor, Ray Sumrow, for abuse of office, resulting in a 15-year prison term; and dismissing charges against the man convicted of murdering young Ashlee Estelle after doubt was cast on the evidence used to convict him.
“The public may not have liked that decision,” Macha noted, “But Roach followed the law in this case. That is his job as the elected prosecutor, to be sure that justice is done. It is this type of work that exemplifies the best in Texas prosecution.”
Mr. Roach said that recognition by his fellow Texas prosecutors as Lone Star Prosecutor of the Year is a great honor, “and doubly so because of our shared dedication to truth, justice, and the rule of law.”
Each year the Board of Directors of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association names a Lone Star Prosecutor who demonstrates professionalism and dedication to the highest standards of prosecution. The award is traditionally presented at the prosecutors’ annual conference every September, but the September 2008 conference in Galveston was rescheduled for January 2009 because of Hurricane Ike’s landfall.