91% of violent offense cases prosecuted by Travis County DA

The Travis County District Attorney says his office has prosecuted a little over 90 percent of violent offense cases since taking office. This includes the recent 30-year sentence for De’Ondre White.

A week after the guilty verdict for De’Ondre White, Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza says he hopes the 30-year sentence is what the 15 victims of the 2021 mass shooting on Sixth Street were hoping for.

"We're thinking about Doug Kantor, we're thinking about Jessica Ramirez, and all 15 of the victims in that senseless act of gun violence that took place in our downtown. We're really hopeful that the outcome of last week's trial, the verdict and the sentencing will give some measure of peace and justice to those victims," Garza said.

According to data provided by the Office of the District Attorney, DA Garza says the last two years have been successful in prosecuting criminals like White.

In 2022, the DA’s Office had a conviction rate of 91% for violent offense cases compared to 2019’s rate of 46%. For aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 2022’s conviction rate sat at 81% compared to 46% in 2019. Lastly, the conviction rate for felony family violence cases in 2022 sat at 83% compared to 51% in 2019.


"If you pick up a gun in this community, if you point it at another person and pull the trigger, you will be held accountable, and I think we have worked hard to make good on that commitment," said DA Garza.

However, DA Garza has been called out by critics for not prosecuting enough and dismissing or rejecting certain felony cases for prosecution. 

DA Garza says it is important to note the pandemic made it almost impossible to prosecute cases until the court system re-opened in March 2022. Since then, he says the main priority has been trying cases of violence while other cases are examined on what is best for public safety.

"It is important to us to look at every single case, to look at its impact on the community, to look at the harm done, and to find a solution that is just for the victim of that crime and that furthers our public safety," he said.

He says this could include providing substance abuse help, mental health services, and opportunities to join programs to aid in bettering public safety.

"We have been clear that for some people who don't have extensive criminal history, who have not committed crimes of violence, that if we are serious about the long term public safety of our community, that we have a responsibility to address the root causes that lead those folks to commit crime in the first place," he said.

As for White’s pending 14 aggravated assault charges, DA Garza says the office is still evaluating the next step.