Childress – On Wednesday, a Childress County jury found 32-year-old Rafeal Fiscal Jr., of Childress, guilty of the state jail felony offense of forgery, enhanced to a second degree felony.
At the conclusion of the two-day jury trial, the jury sentenced Fiscal to the maximum punishment allowable by law, which was 20 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Luke Inman, the District Attorney for the 100th Judicial District, prosecuted the case for the State of Texas with the Honorable Judge Stuart Messer presiding.
Fiscal was arrested by Chad Ware for the forgery offense, which occurred on Nov. 23, 2012.
The State called six witnesses during its case in chief.
Courtney Selby, a co-defendant of Fiscal testified first. Selby’s testimony was followed by McDonald’s employees that were witnesses to the forgery, as well as two Childress Police officers Chad Ware and Mike Warren.
One McDonald’s employee placed Selby and Fiscal both in the parking lot on the night of the forgery after Selby cashed the check.
While Ware provided testimony regarding the forgery investigation that he conducted, Warren testified to another arrest of Fiscal when he was in possession of stolen goods from an ongoing burglary of a habitation case pending in Childress.
Lastly, the State called Kenneth Malone, a resident of Childress County for over 40 years whose house was burglarized in late November, right around the time the check was passed at McDonalds by Selby.
Malone’s lighter collection, that he began when he was eight years old, was taken during the burglary.
“I know the victim, as well as my office and law enforcement involved, were pleased with the verdict and punishment that this jury handed down against this Defendant,” said Inman. “All Ken [Malone] wanted was to see that justice was done and that the people that harmed him were brought to justice. We all accomplished that goal here today and it is a great feeling.”
All but eight of the lighters were recovered by the Childress Police Department after Fiscal’s arrest in January.
After the close of the State’s case, the jury deliberated for over an hour and found Fiscal guilty.
During the punishment phase, the State called four witnesses.
First, was Chief Deputy Danny Gillem, the leading fingerprint expert in the area who testified that the Defendant had been convicted of five previous felonies.
“We are very lucky to have someone like Danny [Gillem] in this area for expert testimony,” said Inman. “He is not only experienced in fingerprint analysis but provides useful testimony across this five county district to ensure repeat offenders, like this defendant, receive harsher sentences.”
Childress County Judge Jay Mayden, Marci Mills, with the 100th Judicial District Community Supervision Department, and Childress Police Assistant Chief Adrian “Ottis” Garcia also testified regarding previous dealings with this defendant and his reputation for not being a law abiding citizen in Childress.
After all the evidence was presented, the jury gave the defendant the maximum punishment allowable by law, 20 years.
Fiscal was also accessed the maximum fine of $10,000 and court costs in the amount of $385.50.