There has been a lot of research done about the life of former attorney Catherine Mehaffey Shelton – disbarred for good on May 17, 2007 (this is a link to the State Bar of Texas webpage for Catherine showing her disbarment). A majority of this information comes from CBS News, 48 Hours, and specifically former prosecutor Lisa Andrews, expert attorney Brian Benken (of Benken Law), and investigative reporter Jenna Jackson (48 Hours and CBS). People kept dying around Catherine yet she has never spent a day in jail or prison and no charges were ever filed.
The following information is about Catherine Shelton, the very attorney that represented Christopher Radke – and the very reason we need to examine her past and petition the court for a lack of counsel.
Incident #1 – The death of George Tedesco, the former boyfriend of Catherine Shelton
Catherine and George supposedly dated for about a year (that was disputed by Tedesco’s family). She tried suing him for half of his belongings, claiming they were common-law married. On the very day, George Tedesco was scheduled to appear in court, he was found brutally beaten to death in his garage. After his death, Catherine Shelton broke into his home (using a locksmith to let her in) and admitted to taking a television, some pottery, $140 in cash, her own driver’s license, and an antique sword. Tedesco’s family ended up filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Shelton, but it never made it to trial. This murder is still unsolved.
Incident #2 – Shooting Gary Taylor
In 1979, Taylor was a reporter in Houston covering the courthouse and met and began a relationship with Catherine Shelton. The relationship was short-lived and after only a few weeks, Taylor attempted to break up with Catherine Shelton. She became furious, especially when she found out that Gary Taylor spoke with his friends in the District Attorney’s office – the same ones still investigating George Tedesco’s unsolved murder. Later, Catherine Shelton was caught on tape screaming about the incident.
In early 1980, Gary Taylor’s home was burglarized. Shelton denied responsibility but Gary Taylor says that Catherine Shelton told him she could help him retrieve the stolen belongings if he went to her home. He agreed and once inside her home, Shelton said she had some items for him in a closet. Gary Taylor stepped into the closet and just then the lights went out and he heard a gun click behind him.
Gary Taylor looked through the crack of the door and the door frame, seeing Catherine taking a, “policeman’s position,” pointing the gun at the closet door he was behind. He stated that Catherine allegedly said, “Don’t worry about the next life because there isn’t one.” In a split-moment decision, Gary Taylor kicked the closet door open and grabbed a nearby chair. He approached her with the chair in his hands and as he did so, Catherine Shelton fired a round at Taylor. The bullet shot through the chair and ended up nicking Gary Taylor just above his left ear. Taylor threw the chair at Shelton and ran down the hallway to the front door.
From trial evidence, we learn that Gary Taylor ran out of the home, and then he stated, “When I got to the door I stopped, I clicked the deadbolt, I opened the door. And that’s when I felt the shot in the back.” He was shot in the back in Catherine Shelton’s front yard. Shelton was later arrested and put on trial.
Catherine Shelton denies even dating him and that the incident did not occur. She stated that she and Taylor did go out that evening and had a few alcoholic drinks and ended up going back to her place. While there, she claims Taylor entered a room holding one of her guns, claiming he had loaded the gun. Catherine claims she tried to divert him to her bedroom towards the bedroom closet. She claims she fell to her knees, retrieved a gun from under the bed, and shot him. She states Taylor was running throughout the house and Shelton never stopped firing until he ran out of her home.
Incident #3 – Catherine Shelton on Trial, April through June 1980
Shelton was on trial for shooting Gary Taylor. She claimed self-defense, even though Gary Taylor was shot in the back. The trial resulted in a hung jury – all the men on the jury siding with Gary Taylor, all the women siding with Catherine Shelton. At a second trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years – yet she did not go to prison. Later, this conviction was overturned on appeal. Rather than opt for a 3rd trial, Shelton pled guilty to aggravated assault and was awarded probation.
Incident #4 – The death of Tommy Bell
Tommy Bell was Catherine Shelton’s former client, named along with her in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by George Tedesco’s family. That lawsuit never made it to trial. On May 5th, 1980, Tommy Bell was found shot to death. Bell’s roommate claimed that Tommy Bell was playing Russian roulette by himself in his bedroom. How the roommate would have known this if Tommy Bell was by himself is still a mystery.
Catherine Shelton leaves Houston behind and moves to Dallas
Catherine married a man named Clint Shelton in 1981 and for a time, lived peacefully. She eventually received her law licensure back and began to practice again.
Incident #5 – The death of Chris Hansen
Chris Hansen was yet another client of Catherine Shelton’s. She said Hansen was working for her as a contractor, making repairs in a home that Shelton had not yet moved into. On June 8, 1999, Chris Hansen was found hanging naked in the new home where he worked. The incident was ruled accidental – death by autoerotic asphyxiation.
Incident #6 – Threatening Marisa Hierro
Marisa Hierro was a former employee of Catherine Shelton’s who quit and started her own immigration consulting business. Apparently, Catherine Shelton did not like that Hierro went into business for herself and a verbal feud began. Both accused each other of defrauding their respective clients and Marisa Hierro claims Catherine Shelton began threatening her. Hierro claimed that Shelton screamed at her, “You won’t live to see Christmas.”
Incident #7 – The death of Michael Hierro
Marisa Hierro (as mentioned in Incident #6) and her husband Michael pulled into their own driveway in December 1999 and were met with gunfire. Marisa stated she saw 2 masked individuals – a larger person she believed to be a man – holding a gun, and a petite blonde woman giving the man orders. Michael Hierro was shot dead while Marisa Hierro was shot in the arm. When questioned by police, Marisa told police it was Catherine Shelton, as she recognized her voice. Catherine had an alibi and maintained her innocence in the shooting. Police found DNA at the crime scene – 2 latex gloves and a pantyhose mask inside of a Porta Potty on a construction site near the Hierro home. Clint Shelton’s DNA was on the mask.
Clint Shelton was arrested and charged with the murder of Michael Hierro and the aggravated assault of Marisa Hierro. Clint Shelton was sentenced to life in prison. He maintains his innocence and claims he was not there that night. Catherine Shelton was never charged in connection with the crime.
Incident #8 – Marisa Hierro sues for wrongful death
Marisa Hierro sued Catherine and Clint Shelton for the wrongful death of Michael Hierro in 2001. That suit never went to trial because Marisa Hierro and her attorney never showed up – thus Shelton won by default. Catherine Shelton was also countersuing, stating Marisa Hierro falsely accused her and her husband Clint of the crime. The judge in the case ruled that Marisa Hierro libeled Catherine Shelton and awarded Shelton millions of dollars in damages.
Incident #9 – The death of Sam Shelton
In 2017, a 70-year-old veteran named Sam Shelton (no relation to Catherine or Clint Shelton) lived in Catherine Shelton’s home. He was apparently in poor health and had no family or support. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and during that time, Catherine states that Sam Shelton passed away during the course of that storm of natural causes. Later, Catherine attempted to sign a house lease using the dead man’s name and she was caught doing so. While she states the home was for Sam and a nurse to care for him, the state disagreed and has charged her with a felony for the fraudulent use of identifying information. She is currently facing trial for this charge.
GIVEN ALL THIS INFORMATION…
With all of the controversy surrounding Catherine Shelton, very little has been said or noticed by the media about the devastation she also caused for her clients – one of which was Christopher Aric Radke. Chris was arrested in 1996, just before the death of Chris Hansen (above, incident #5). Chris has repeatedly asked for the courts to grant him a new trial based on ineffective counsel – but to no avail; he was denied each time. However, if you look at the evidence above of everything Catherine Shelton was accused of and involved in – it creates a pattern of behavior that clearly indicates an individual who is far from upholding the law, let alone defending someone within the scope of the law.
Why would a Texas court deny one of her clients the chance to adequately represent themselves?
If we had known in 1996 that she had been suspended from the Texas Bar Association twice, we definitely would have thought twice to hire this attorney. However, in 1996, records such as these were not easily discovered and the internet did not contain information like this. Given that she is also facing a potential of 10 years in prison for a felony, a Texas court should definitely reconsider the disaster of Christopher’s case and grant him, at the very least, a new trial with a competent attorney.