Court Scheduling Conflict Postpones Bellaire Officer’s Trial
May 3 is the new trial date for former Bellaire Police Officer Jeffrey Cotton, who is accused of aggravated assault by a public servant for the shooting of Bellaire resident Robbie Tolan on New Year’s Eve 2009.
The trial was set to begin today, but another case in the 232nd Criminal Court of Harris County has taken longer than expected. Judge Mary Lou Keel reset the trial for May, when the court will be able to focus only on the Cotton case.
It’s the second time this year the trial has been pushed back. Originally scheduled for Jan. 25, the defense attorney asked for a later date because an expert witness was out of town.
Many facts about the criminal case against Cotton have been kept secret since his indictment in April 2009. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office went to the grand jury and secured an indictment with results from an investigation into the shooting. This bypassed the requirement for a probable cause hearing that would have made public the criminal complaint against Cotton.