Governor Abbott Reappoints Five To Texas Forensic Science Commission

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Texas Border Business

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Jeffrey Barnard, M.D., Mark Daniel, Dennis “Pat” Johnson, Sarah Kerrigan, Ph.D., and Jarvis Parsons to the Texas Forensic Science Commission for terms set to expire on September 1, 2021.

The commission provides oversight over Texas crime laboratories and other entities conducting forensic analyses for use in criminal proceedings and provides an accreditation mandate responsible for establishing procedures, policies, and practices to improve the quality of forensic analyses conducted in Texas. 

Jeffrey Barnard, M.D. of Dallas is director of the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science and chief medical examiner of Dallas County and a professor of pathology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He served as chairman of the Rapport Society at Texas A&M University and is a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners and the Southwest Transplant Alliance. He served a surgery internship and an anatomic and clinical pathology residency at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas and a forensic pathology fellowship in Suffolk County, New York. He is board certified in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology. Barnard received a Bachelor of Science in medicine from Texas A&M University and a Doctor of Medicine from Texas A&M College of Medicine. 


Mark Daniel of Fort Worth is an attorney at the Law Office of Mark G. Daniel. He previously served as assistant district attorney for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office and is board certified in criminal law by the Texas board of legal specialization and the national board of trial advocacy. He is a member and former president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Tarrant County Bar Association, and the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Daniel received a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law. 

Dennis “Pat” Johnson of Austin retired in 2014 after serving as deputy assistant director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) Crime Laboratory Services. Previously, he served as manager of the TDPS Field Laboratories and as the supervisor of the TDPS Lubbock Field Laboratory. He is a member of the Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit and a former member of the TDPS Credit Union Audit Committee and the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, and a subcommittee member of the National Commission on Forensic Science. Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Austin College, a Master of Science in chemistry from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Business Administration from Texas Tech University. Additionally, he received an honorable discharge from the United States Army. 

Sarah Kerrigan, Ph.D. of The Woodlands is chair of the Department of Forensic Science and Director of the Institute for Forensic Research, Training and Innovation at Sam Houston State University. Previously, she was a forensic toxicologist with the California Department of Justice and Toxicology Bureau Chief for the State of New Mexico. She continues to serve on the Forensic Science Standards Board of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science. She is a former President of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists and current member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Kerrigan received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, analytical chemistry and toxicology from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 

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Jarvis Parsons of Bryan is the District Attorney of Brazos County. Previously, he served as chief prosecutor of the 272nd District Court and as president-elect, faculty advisor and presenter for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. He is a board member of Scotty’s House – Child Advocacy Center, TEEX Central Texas Police Academy Advisory Board, Sexual Assault Resource Center and a member of the College Station Noon Lions Club. Parsons received a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications from McNeese State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Maine School Of Law.

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