A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Grand Jury Refuses to Indict in Houston Bus Shooting

HOUSTON -- A man will not face charges in connection with a fatal shooting on board a Metro bus, KPRC Local 2 reported. A grand jury decided Garret Mallot, 24, defended himself when he shot Otis Francis, 31, during a confrontation on the No. 82 bus on Westheimer Road near Royal Oaks Club Drive on March 28. Mallot accidentally brushed up against Francis and got into verbal argument, officials said.

"Mr. Mallot, being significantly physically smaller than the victim, pulled out a knife," Mallot's attorney Alvin Nunnery said. "When he recognized that the deceased was still continuing toward him in an aggressive manner, already announcing his intention to hurt him physically, he (Mallot) pulled out his gun and he shot him one time."

Several witnesses testified that Mallot was defending himself. Mallot did not testify. Mallot had been charged with murder, but the grand jury decided that there was not sufficient probable cause. Francis had a lengthy criminal past and had been arrested on charges of felony assault of a peace officer and fighting on two Metro buses.

"I think he has a history of kind of bullying and intimidating people," Nunnery said. "I think the grand jury rightfully took that into consideration in assessing the entire situation."


When I first blogged on the Houston bus shooting, I felt I should withhold judgement. I finally did make a judgement when the knife was entered into evidence. I have to say that I am glad the charges against Garrett Mallot were dropped. Garrett Mallot will retain his right to keep and bear arms. Mallot was represented by a court appointed attorney, Alvin Nunnery. Otis "Magic" Francis had a history of two assaults on Metro buses, and one assault on a peace officer. Francis also served time for narcotics charges. In 2003, Francis was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but ironically he, too was "no-billed" by a Grand Jury.

Thus far, Garrett Mallot has been a very lucky man. The civil suits have yet to be filed......

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Blogger shooter said...

This was pre-Texas Castle Doctrine, right? Something tells me he has a long fight ahead of him. BUT, he was riding the Metro, about the worst they could do is file a judgement against him and screw up his banking and credit history.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Keith Walker said...

You stated, "In 2003, Francis was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but ironically he, too was 'no-billed' by a Grand Jury."

What did you mean by "no-billed?"

10:01 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

The local race baiter has already indicated that he is going to push for the DA to shop this to other Grand Juries. Quannell X (the race baiter for those who can't tell from his name alone) is well known in Houston as a loudmouth who will do and/or say anything as long as he can wrap himself up in the flag of the oppressed black man. But in reality he is an ex(?)drug dealer. He drives a Hummer H2, and the only visible source of income he has is turning wanted black people into the cops for a bounty.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

No Bill means a grand jury cannot find cause for prosecution to proceed. It is essentially the same as happened to Mallot.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Mike Harbour said...


I think I can answer Keith's question even better: no-bill is what you want to have happen if you're ever in a legally justified self-defense shooting! I've even read it's preferable to have your case go before a grand jury to be no-billed because this will help you if (or when) you're hauled into civil court. Of course, that, too, is a gamble (you could be indicted), but aren't most things?

Mike Harbour
Helena, Montana

6:18 PM  
Blogger Gandalin said...


I'm glad this turned out better for this fellow and for the rest of us CCW permittees. It also goes to show you that you can't really judge a story by the first few newspaper accounts. There is up somewhere on youtube a set of police car videos of the same shooting, taken from two different angles (was it on your blog that I saw this? I don't remember) that shows you there is often much more to a story than what meets one eye.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good news, I was skeptical at the first reports too. I was thinking: "law abiding" people don't do knife fighting. On other hand being Pole without any documented instances of my life or health being threatened I can only carry knife and pepper spray, non of with I put much if any trust into... Anyway I can be a victim of the way of the thinking I present(ed)...


4:52 AM  
Anonymous Wadical said...

I'm glad to see the law allowed for him to demonstrate that he reasonably feared for his safety due to the size of his attacker and despite the fact that his attacker was unarmed.

I'd like to see state laws be more clear on this issue and specifically allow for instances where a physical attack by an unarmed person might well justify a CCW carrier to escalate to deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that person might cause them great bodily harm. At least this verdict should serve as some sort of precedence to that effect...if only in that state.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Kenneth said...

In coming so late to this discussion, I realize my thoughts may go unconsidered, but this case continues to trouble me. So, if nothing else, perhaps I'll find a bit of psychic resolution by writing a few lines here.

There may be no way to answer the question I have about the episode on the bus, but I'd like to know exactly what words passed between Mallett and Francis at the front of the bus. I'd like to know if Mallett was polite or rude. It doesn't matter if Francis was polite or rude, as he was not armed.

I'd like to know if Mallett responded to lip with lip, or if he attempted to diffuse a potentially confrontational situation.

Here's the thing. If a man is armed with a pistol in public, he must make every effort possible to avoid having to pull that pistol, even if it means allowing himself to be verbally humiliated or debased. If he responds to a verbal attack in kind, taking the chance that the situation will escalate to violent confrontation yet feeling no fear because he is armed and will ultimately come out on top, he is reckless and culpable, should the situation culminate as did the one in question.

I don't know if Mallett made every effort to avoid riling a hothead or if he was insulting because he was packing. If the latter is the case, he is a manslaughterer.

12:28 PM  

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