DA explains why perjury charges are dropped against Lufkin counselors

Mark Sutton
Mark Sutton
Juanda Morgan
Juanda Morgan

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A third expert said he could not authenticate what the state says is a critical piece of evidence in an aggravated perjury case against two Lufkin licensed professional counselors.

The state dropped the perjury charges against Juanda Morgan and Mark Sutton. The Angelina County District Attorney, Clyde Herrington, said the decision was made after a forensic audiologist listened to a recording.

Both counselors were accused of lying under oath in an April 2008 child custody hearing. During that hearing Morgan testified Mike Shelfo displayed aggressive behavior.

The state claimed she lied and they had a recording of the session to prove it. Morgan claimed the tape had been edited.

The prosecution's expert was unable to give assurance that the tape was accurate and unaltered.

"Obviously, the first jury had some real issues with the case and unless we have something that's more clear and more definite to present to another jury, I don't feel like it's proper to proceed," said Herrington.

Herrington said he's never had an issue like this on tape before.

It's been three years since the two were charged with the crime. The jury was unable to reach a verdict in the 2009 trial.

Herrington said without the tape, it's just one person's word against another.

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