"Appeals court resets murder trial after finding evidence withheld," is by Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle.
Texas' highest criminal court on Wednesday threw out the 2005 conviction and death sentence of Alfred Dewayne Brown after finding that the Harris County District Attorney's Office withheld material evidence favorable to Brown's case.
In a brief order, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sent the case back to the lower court for a new trial.
District Attorney Devon Anderson now will have to decide whether to retry Brown for the 2003 death of veteran Houston Police Officer Charles R. Clark. Clark was shot while trying to stop the burglary of a
Brown had always maintained his innocence, insisting he was at his girlfriend's apartment the morning of the shooting, and made a land line call that could prove it. But his attorneys presented no evidence to back up that alibi. And his strongest alibi witness, his girlfriend, later changed her story and testified against him after being threatened by a grand jury.
After Brown lost his direct appeal, a private law firm, K&L Gates LLP, took Brown's case in 2007 and began searching for evidence to support his alibi.
Then, in the spring of 2013, a Houston homicide detective found an old box of documents from Brown's case while cleaning out his garage. Inside was a phone record that showed a land line call was made from the girlfriend's apartment exactly when Brown said he made it.
The Los Angeles Times reports, "Texas death row conviction overturned," by Molly Hennessy-Fiske.
On Wednesday, a year and a half after Brown’s trial judge recommended a new trial, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned his conviction and sent the case back for potential retrial. The appeals court found that telephone records bolstering Brown's case were withheld at trial, records that apparently surfaced last year when a homicide investigator cleaned out his garage.
Former Harris County Dist. Atty. Mike Anderson had said a new trial was warranted. Anderson died last year, and his widow, a former judge who was appointed to replace him then elected on Tuesday, said she was still deciding Wednesday.
Anthony Graves, another Texas death row prisoner whose conviction was overturned in 2010, had tried to help Brown win a new trial, speaking with Brown’s girlfriend about the case and to the Houston Chronicle.
An earlier reference to Alfred Brown's case is at the link.
Related posts are in the prosecutorial misconduct category index. The responsibility of the state to provide exculpatory evidence to the defense was articulated in the 1963 Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland; more via Oyez.