Emanuel Dominguez’s fiancée, Jessica Cavender—a Marine like Emmanuel—was nowhere near when, according to this account, “Emmanuel Dominguez began backing away with his hands in the air when [Christopher Ernest] Braughton opened fire, shooting him once in the torso.”
Now Christopher Ernest Braughton is charged with murdering Emmanuel Dominguez (Indictment—PDF), and is set for trial August 11, 2014.
So why is Christopher Ernest Braughton suing Jessica Cavender, the fiancée of the Marine he killed, for more than $200,000 (Original Petition—PDF)?
Here are the allegations of the lawsuit:
The Plaintiff was damaged as a result of the actions of the Defendant
CHRISTOPHER BROUGHTON’S CLAIM FOR NEGLIGENCE
Defendant was negligent
DAMAGES FOR PLAINTIFF, CHRISTOPHER BROUGHTON
Plaintiff, CHRISTOPHER BROUGHTON, was caused to suffer , and to incur the following damages:
- Actual Damages
- Special Damages.
A lawsuit is supposed to give the defendant notice of the allegations against him. This does not do so. It makes no sense at all until you look at the signature block at the end of the Plaintiff’s Original Petition:
M.T. SANDOVAL & ASSOCIATES
By: /S/ Mark Sandoval____________ M.T. Sandoval
Texas Bar No. 17624500
P.O. BOX 1187
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77251
Tel. (713) 654-1050
Email: [email protected] WWW. MTSANDOVAL.COM Attorney for Plaintiff CHRISTOPHER BROUGHTON
I wrote about Sandoval here in 2008 after he filed a lawsuit on behalf of a criminal defendant, Elizabeth Shelton (Elizabeth Shelton Indictment—PDF), against the people whose car she had rear-ended causing the death of her boyfriend, Matthew McNiece. At the time Sandoval represented the family of Mr. McNiece as well. (Sandoval then nonsuited that case. Elizabeth Shelton Nonsuit. This case, Sandoval may not get out of so easily: I’m reliably informed that Cavender will be countersuing for intentional infliction of emotional distress.)
It gets even more interesting: the father of Elizabeth Shelton, Pat Shelton, who used to give Sandoval juvenile appointments when Shelton was a juvenile court judge, is Sandoval’s cocounsel on Christopher Ernest Braughton’s murder case. Cozy.
(Notice that Sandoval misspelled Mr. Braughton’s name—as “Broughton”—when he filed the current lawsuit. It may have been inadvertent, but that way Braughton’s name is less likely to turn up in searches. In 2008 I noted, “Her boyfriend, Matthew McNeice (the Chronicle renders it McNiece, but the District Clerk’s civil records have McNeice), is killed in the crash.” It appears that Sandoval misspelled the McNieces’ name in that civil suit as well. Cute.)
(Update: Sandoval’s lawsuit has been removed to federal court.)