Former prosecutor represents man charged in Denison death

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Laura Andrade will represent Timothy Barnum this week in the murder trial taking place in the 15th state District Court.

Laura Andrade will represent Timothy Barnum this week in his trial on a murder charge in the death of Denison plumbing store owner Robert Allen on October 31, 2017. Barnum has pleaded not guilty to the crime and a number of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic have delayed the trial. 

Andrade grew up in El Paso and attended the University of Texas at El Paso before graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 2013. She was admitted to the Texas bar in 2014 and worked for the Dallas County Prosecutor’s office for a number of years before opening her own practice last year.

“I’ve always had a passion for helping people so I went to law school with the intention of getting some kind of job that would help people that needed help,” she said about her profession.

She said she went out on her own after working at the DA’s office because she was looking for a change. She made that change in a year that saw lots of changes related to the way people practice law.

That was certainly a challenge she said.

“A lot of our job, I think, is based on face-to-face interaction and relationships and all of a sudden that was just not a part of day-to-day life anymore," she said. "It made it more challenging to communicate with clients and contact witnesses. Almost every facet of being an attorney has been affected, I think, by this.”

A dog owner who loves spending time with her family, friends and pet when she is not working, Andrade said she is an avid reader who is involved in a monthly book club with friends.

She was appointed to the Barnum case last fall and said she likes court appointed cases.

“I really like helping folks. I think everyone is entitled to competent legal representation and I am happy to apply my experience to defending folks who need it.”

Back in October of 2018, Sommers was identified by the Denison Police Department as the suspect in the Oct. 31, 2017 killing of Robert Allen of Denison.

Allen’s body was found inside his family business, Allen Plumbing, when police responded to a call about shoots fired at that location. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Allen’s death a homicide.

Timothy Barnum