Waco – In their zeal to conceal, obfuscate and confuse the criminal record, public officials have written a blank check to the criminal element and the defense bar in McLennan County.
In this case, the blank line when filled in exacted a price of an innocent woman’s life. There is no telling how many similar cases are out there, the details simply unavailable due to red tape.
Nevertheless, the paper trail of the bad acts of David Wayne Zahirniak weaves a tangled streak of malefacation seldom seen as perpetrated by one man.
Oddly enough, one complicating factor – entry of a wrong number on a document outlining condition of bond – may have had a great contribution to the mixups that made the cases fall through the cracks.
A Deputy District Clerk applied a number of a case closed to the document supporting bond in an April, 2008 case of aggravated sexual assault of two girls whom he was caring for at the time.
In November of 2007, Zahirniak assaulted a juvenile corrections officer and wound up charged with official oppression. He was sentenced to a year in County Jail and a $4,000 fine, the sentence suspended, and placed on probation. In the following year, prosecutors moved to revoke his probation, recommending 270 days in jail and suspending six months of the sentence to allow credit for 90 days time served.
In the April, 2008, case of three counts of aggravated sexual assault, Zahirniak remained in jail for more than 90 days without prosecution. He gained his release on a writ of habeas corpus when his attorney applied under the delay in prosecution provision of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
A June, 2009, conviction for less than a gram of methamphetamine netted Zahirniak a sentence for a State Jail Felony.
In April of 2014, he assaulted Caitllyn Reed with a cane, was charged with aggravated assault, and bonded out. Only days later, he went back to her house and engaged in an altercation during which he is alleged to have murdered her with a gun belonging to her father.
In the end, the State of Texas expected her to defend herself with a borrowed pistol.
To subscribe in a reader, follow this link: