Family learns of Judge Angel’s decision on Christmas Day
After reviewing evidence presented at November’s post-conviction appeal for Adam Braseel, Judge Justin Angel announced last week that Braseel would receive a new trial.
“At 11:33 a.m., I heard my phone ring,” says Christina Braseel, one of Adam’s biggest supporters who has worked tirelessly for the past eight years to see her brother receive a new trial.
“I looked down to see Doug Trant, my attorney, on my caller i.d. My first thought was don’t panic, it’s Christmas, maybe he is just calling to wish the family holiday cheer.”
However, Trant had other news for the family.
“He informed me that Judge Angel had contacted him and told him he was ready to tell his decision, for him to send his email address so he could send him a copy.
“He asked me if I wanted to know today or not. I said, absolutely! We both thought that the judge would not deliver any bad news on Christmas. He just did not seem to be of that nature.
“After speaking for a few minutes with Mr. Trant, at 11:49 a.m. I received the best Christmas present that I have ever received. Mr.Trant said, ‘Chris, he granted Adam a new trial!’
“I was in shock, all I remember is telling him that I loved him and thanked him over and over again.”
Christina and her family waited all Christmas Day for Adam to call so they could give him the good news. The call finally came at 5:30 p.m.
“When we answered, we all screamed ‘Happy New Year!’
“He said, ‘what?’
Christina told him he was going to start the New Year in the best possible way.
“I said, ‘What is one of two things you would like to hear today?’ and, he said, ‘I’m exonerated?’
“I said, ‘What’s the second thing?’ and he said, ‘I’m exonerated?’
“I said, ‘No, but the next best thing – Judge Angel granted you a new trial!’”
Christina says emotions filled the room as they were all moved to joyful tears.
“Judge Justin Angel is truly ‘Just-N-Angel’ to the Braseel family. To decide to tell us on Christmas, that’s a true honorable, kind hearted, Christian thing to do!
Braseel’s family is now waiting for the next step. They hope to get Adam out on bond until the new trial.
“Adam has so many people in the prison – guards, teachers, visitors and other inmates – that are excited for him, but are going to really miss him. He is talking about getting a job so he can help support our family. He cannot wait to go visit so many people to thank them and hug them for supporting him and the family for the past eight years. He especially is looking forward to meeting his ‘other mother,’ Ms. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan had started a bible study ministry through Hillsboro Church of Christ. Not only did this help so many inmates, Adam made a best friend for life.”