New local DA is district judge’s son; defense lawyers concerned

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FAIRFIELD, Texas (KWTX) Defense lawyers in Freestone County say they’re concerned about the possibility of a conflict of interest after the son of the county’s state district judge was sworn in as district attorney.

Brian Evans took the oath of office earlier this month.

He’s the son of 87th District Court Judge Deborah Oakes Evans, who presides over criminal trials in the county.

Defense lawyers say they’re concerned about whether their clients will be granted fair and impartial trials.

"Everything is at stake, their liberties are at stake and life is at stake,” Fairfield lawyer Chad Morgan said.

Morgan and several other lawyers in the county have filed or plan to file motions seeking to have Judge Evans rescues herself from criminal cases scheduled to be heard in her courtroom.

"You have a very small county. You have an elected DA and one assistant DA and their hands are in every single case that comes across and he's the primary person responsible for handling cases in her court. And so, I've never seen any other case where there's a mother presiding over a son,” Morgan said.

Evans has recused herself from hearing the cases of four of Morgan’s clients, who were on the docket Friday in her court, but it’s unclear who will handle the cases instead.

Cases could be assigned to 77th District Court Judge Patrick Simmons, whose district also includes Freestone County, or a retired judge could be brought in.