PLANO, Texas — It was a Sunday night in September 2017 around 6:30 p.m. Spencer Hight sat at a bar getting more and more drunk. Two hours later, his estranged wife and seven of their friends were dead.
After Hight committed Plano's worst mass shooting, he died in a gunfire battle with Plano Police. He can't be punished for his crimes here on earth, but the bartender who served him in the hours before could.
"This charge, I've seen two of these in 22 years. And this is the second one," attorney Scott Palmer said.
He and Rebekah Perlstein represent Lindsey Glass. She was arrested and charged last week with serving alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Glass was behind the counter at Local Public House on that Sunday, September 10, 2017. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission found Hight was there twice that day and had five drinks. He was seen in surveillance footage spinning a knife on the counter. At the time of the shooting, his blood alcohol level was four times the legal limit.
"If we start charging bartenders for doing their job, in terms of serving people who, you or I may think 'Oh, well I saw him stumble or I saw him slip a little and I think they're intoxicated,' that's a very dangerous precedent," Perlstein said.
But text messages from Glass obtained by Plano PD show she told a friend that night she thought Hight was drunk. It's one piece of evidence attorneys for some of the victim's families say shows the bar bears some fault.
"It confirms what we've believed all along that what they did here was grossly negligent," said Dan Garrigan, one of the attorneys who represents some of the victim's families.
Still, Glass' team believes this charge is misdirected anger.
"This is a last ditch effort to hold someone accountable for what happened that evening," Perlstein said.
An evening so painful for everyone it touched.