Case dropped against woman accused in murder-for-hire plot

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A criminal case for a woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot has been dropped.

Judge Buddie Hahn dismissed the criminal conspiracy case Wednesday against Kelly Daws. The trial was set to begin this week in Judge Raquel West’s 252nd Criminal District Court but was moved to the Drug Impact Court due to the large number of cases currently being tried.

According to information from the District Attorney’s Office, Hahn suppressed video that was to be used in the trial. The court ruled the information from the video would not be admitted because police had not read Daws her Miranda warning.

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Daws was found guilty in 2019 for conspiring to kill her soon-to-be ex-husband Jerry Daws and sentenced to 12 years. Jerry Daws was an off-duty officer with the Port Arthur Police Department when he was stabbed after opening the door of his apartment.

His assailant was later identified as Joal Riley, then of Woodville.

According to previous reports from The Port Arthur News, an appeal was granted in 2019 because the jury had not been given proper instruction on how to weigh testimony of a co-defendant.

Assistant district attorney Phillip Smith is the prosecutor in the case. The defense counsel consists of Cory Crenshaw, Jamie Matsuska and Ryan Gertz.