Texas is a death penalty state and the punishment for murder is the most extreme.

  • You may receive the harshest possible penalty, a death sentence if convicted.
  • You may be denied bail while your case moves through the judicial system.
  • You may lose contact with family and friends.
  • You may also be ordered to pay a monetary fine if convicted.


When you choose a board-certified criminal defense lawyer like Jacob Blizzard, you know that you are getting a lawyer who is recognized by the State Bar of Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a criminal law and criminal appellate law specialist.

Jacob is noted by the Seventh Administrative Judicial Region of Texas as being one of two lawyers in the region who is qualified for appointment as Lead Appellate Counsel in capital cases in which the death penalty is sought. The full list of those lawyers is here.

His strong belief in advocacy for people is important to him, and he has built a team of highly skilled lawyers to litigate any criminal case.

It’s in your best interest to reach out to the lawyers of Blizzard and Zimmerman for a consultation with our criminal defense lawyers to review your case.


Attorney Jacob Blizzard showcased his formidable courtroom skills in the groundbreaking Taylor County, Texas Capital Murder trial of Damian Cate. Despite facing daunting challenges, Blizzard managed to secure a Not Guilty verdict in a case marked by intense emotional and legal intricacies. Through strategic defense tactics, he exposed Mr. Cate’s misleading statements as a result of intellectual disability and coercive interrogation, effectively dissociating him from the grave charges. This significant legal triumph not only highlighted Blizzard’s determined advocacy but also reinforced the firm’s reputation for securing justice in the face of the most serious allegations.

Read more on this Taylor County, TX capital murder case: State of Texas v. Damian Cate, Client Found Not Guilty of Capital Murder.

The Texas Penal code defines murder as:

  • Intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual;
  • Intends to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual; or
  • Commits or attempts to commit a felony, other than manslaughter, and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempt, or in immediate flight from the commission or attempt, he commits or attempts to commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.

The Penalty Is Severe

The penalty for murder is that of a first-degree felony, which can result in 5-99 years/life in prison, and a $10,000 fine.

If the murder happened as a result of “sudden passion,” passion directly caused by and arising out of provocation by the individual killed or another acting with the person killed which passion arises at the time of the offense and is not solely the result of former provocation, it is classified as a second-degree felony, which can result in 2-20 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.

Murder can also be classified as a capital offense if one of the following conditions are met:

    1. The person murders a peace officer or fireman who is acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty and who the person knows is a peace officer or fireman;
    2. The person intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat under Section 22.07(a)(1), (3), (4), (5), or (6);
    3. The person commits the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration or employs another to commit the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration;
    4. The person commits the murder while escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution;
    5. The person, while incarcerated in a penal institution, murders another:
      1. (A) who is employed in the operation of the penal institution; or
      2. (B) with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination;
    6. The person:
      1. (A) While incarcerated for an offense under this section or Section 19.02, murders another; or
      2. (B) While serving a sentence of life imprisonment or a term of 99 years for an offense under Section 20.04, 22.021, or 29.03, murders another;
    7. The person murders more than one person:
      1. (A) During the same criminal transaction; or
      2. (B) During different criminal transactions but the murders are committed pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct;
    8. The person murders an individual under 10 years of age;
    9. The person murders an individual 10 years of age or older but younger than 15 years of age; or
    10. The person murders another person in retaliation for or on account of the service or status of the other person as a judge or justice of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a court of appeals, a district court, a criminal district court, a constitutional county court, a statutory county court, a justice court, or a municipal court.

The penalty for this would be that of a capital felony, which results in either life in prison or death.

Your defense lawyer  in a murder case is your strongest ally.

Jacob Blizzard and the staff of Blizzard and Zimmerman strive to keep clients informed and formulate a plan to keep them updated on their cases with regular calls, in-office, or in-jail visits if needed.

Jacob takes the time to explain options to clients that allows for informed decisions from his experience and knowledge in these tough cases.

To discuss a state or federal murder arrest, charge, or conviction with a criminal defense lawyer that serves Abilene, TX and nearby areas contact Blizzard & Zimmerman Attorneys.

If you or a loved one is facing murder charges you can rely on Blizzard and Zimmerman Attorneys. Contact our lawyers today to book a confidential consultation.

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