Selected Court Cases

State of Texas v. John Allen Rubio

John Allen Rubio, a Brownsville, Texas native, was charged with capital murder in connection with the March 11, 2003 beheading of three children living in his home, aged 3 years, 11 months and 8 weeks. Rubio had previously been convicted and the verdict reversed in order to properly explore psychiatric and psychological issues. 


The Forensic Panel was retained by the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office to evaluate the defendant’s assertion of a host of claims that spanned pretrial, trial, and sentencing proceedings. Our experts in psychology, neuropsychology, and psychiatry contributed to proceedings focusing on his intellectual ability, competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, and potentially mitigating factors. Cross-cultural themes, including the practice of brujaria, also informed forensic decision-making.


After extensive record review and lengthy videotaped interviews with the defendant by our different specialists, and collateral inquiry that included review of the still-preserved death scene, The Forensic Panel learned of a range of motives influencing the defendant’s decision making at the time of the crime. Our forensic psychiatrist concluded that John Allen Rubio did not suffer from a major psychiatric illness, and appreciated the wrong of his actions. Mr. Rubio was convicted of capital murder. The verdict and sentence have since been upheld on appeal.


Read the appeals court opinion here