Spring, Texas – November 3rd, 2016: In October 2014, Heather Rankel was driving her Hyundai Sonata westbound in the 9800 block of FM 2920, east of Tomball when she was struck in a head-on collision. The other driver, Heather Michele Green, was intoxicated at the time of the crash and had merged her Nissan Pathfinder into oncoming traffic, striking Rankel’s car. Rankel was pronounced dead at the scene.
It’s been 25 months since the fatal accident and there is still no closure for the Rankel family. Her husband Richie, a military veteran of 21 years, volunteer firefighter and current elected official in Harris County has had to sit on the sidelines after the criminal courts and district attorneys office have prolonged the case a staggering 17 times. The latest setback was the result of electronic case files never being received by the court clerks from the prosecution or defense, nor did anyone ever verify receipt of the records being sent back in late September 2016. All this has caused additional emotional, mental and psychological stress on Richie and his daughters Taylor, 21, and Megan, 18.
Most similar cases take anywhere from 9 to 18 months to resolve, not 25. The Rankel’s wonder why it is taking so long for this to go through the system? Why is this system that so many count on broken? Why has it been 737 days to date without any closure for his family? Richie is determined to stand up for him family and vocally express that the system is broken. He emphasizes he knows his is not the only family stuck in the Harris County court system and hopes that in speaking up, others will follow. The district attorney’s office is understaffed, underpaid and overworked, adding to the problems at hand. This is normal and it needs to be fixed. As an official, Richie does not feel like he can sit back and watch this happen.
The family is pleading that others take a few minutes out of their day to contact the people below in regards to Case Number 144636101010 The State of Texas VS Heather Green, Involuntary Manslaughter (of Heather Renee Rankel). Also, feel free to contact Judge Marc Carters Court Staff.
It has been over two years and all the Rankel family seeks is closure so that they may continue the process of healing as a family. They are hoping their next court date, Friday, November 4, 2016, is their last.
- Clerk: Carli Garcia 713-755-6650
- Asst. Clerk: Teresa Soto 713-755-6650
- Court Liason Officer: Dennis Davis 713-755-0030