MIDLAND COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Midland Judge Jeff Robnett has dismissed charges against three former Midland Christian School administrators, Dana Ellis, Jared Lee, and Matthew Counts were indicted by a Grand Jury in November of last year on Failure to Report charges stemming from an alleged incident in 2021 in which a teenaged student was “accidentally struck in the head”.
Jeff Parras, a Midland attorney representing the three administrators released the following statement on the heels of that dismissal:
“We were elated with yesterday’s dismissal of last November’s unjust indictments of Matthew Counts, Dana Ellis, and Jared Lee. As we’ve said from day one last year, the charges in these indictments were false and retaliatory.
Since the wrongful arrests of 5 Midland Christian educators – including these three – and 4 Midland Trinity educators in early 2022, the Midland Police Department (MPD) detectives responsible for these investigations have somehow been promoted within the Midland Police Department. During that same time, a grand jury of Midland County citizens rejected their first claims against the MCS 5 only to have one of those detectives seek other, unfounded, retaliatory charges against these three citizens whose charges are now also dismissed. Similarly, the Midland Trinity case fell apart and was dismissed midtrial, a rarity, with the district attorney’s office calling one of those same investigators a liar in their dismissal of that case.
Yet somehow these investigators were promoted since the first false arrests of all these citizens in February of 2022. As there is no accountability demanded or exercised at the top of MPD, the elected city officials should take a close look at MPD leadership to determine the problem so that innocent Midland citizens aren’t subjected to this in the future.
We are thankful that Dusty Gallivan – who was appointed to take over the case when the Midland District Attorney’s office recused themselves during the summer – and his staff, who took a fresh, unbiased, honest look at this case, saw it for what it was and dismissed these unjust indictments. Mr. Gallivan and his assistant DA, Carmen Tellez, digested every bit of information offered and reviewed the case with as much information as possible to make the most informed, honest decision possible: dismissal of these cases which never should have been filed.
We hope that this is the first step in Mr. Counts, Mrs. Ellis, and Mr. Lee getting their good names and outstanding reputations back to what they were before these investigators with the Midland Police Department tarnished them with these false allegations.”