© Julia Reihs/KUT NewsTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been under active indictment for alleged securities fraud since 2015.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton remains on track to be tried for felony fraud this spring after the presiding judge shot down his attempts to have the charges thrown out.
During a Friday court hearing in Houston, Harris County District Court Judge Andrea Beall rejected Paxton's arguments that his right to a speedy trial had been violated.
Beall's decision means that, barring another unexpected delay, Paxton's securities fraud trial will kick off on April 15. The proceedings are much anticipated; the attorney has been under active indictment for nearly nine years. He has pleaded not guilty.
Special prosecutor Brian Wice applauded Beall's decision and said Paxton was the reason these cases have not yet gone to trial."We think that the general's fingerprints, footprints and DNA were all over the delays,"
said Wice, a private criminal defense lawyer brought on to represent the state after the local district attorney recused himself.
During the hearing, Paxton's defense attorney Dan Cogdell
blamed the prosecutors for much of the delay. He said their attempts to be paid — which have been unsuccessful since 2016 — put off the trial for years.
"That's what this food fight has been all about. This case has been pending longer than three out of four of my marriages lasted."
Other factors that led to the delay included the prosecution's successful motions to move the case from Collin to Harris County, Hurricane Harvey and COVID-19.
Paxton, donned in a blue suit and pink socks, sat quietly through the hearing.