Texas Death Sentence Overturned

On June 16, 2010, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the death sentence of Adrian Estrada, who was convicted of the 2005 murder of Stephanie Sanchez in Bexar County. According to the San Antonio Express-News:

“… the jury was accidentally given misleading information from an expert witness on the danger he would pose … The mistaken testimony was made by A.P. Merillat, a well-known prison investigator who is often called by prosecutors in Texas to describe future danger issues. Merillat told jurors that after 10 years in prison, Estrada could potentially be given a lower, less restrictive inmate classification.”

At this point, Bexar County plans to conduct a new sentencing hearing and, according to first assistant district attorney Cliff Herberg, once again intends to seek a death sentence for Estrada. Mr. Herberg went on to say that “…logistics, such as finding witnesses, will help ultimately determine if a new sentencing hearing is held or if Estrada is allowed to serve life in prison without parole.”

The opinion can be found at:
http://www.cca.courts.state.tx.us/OPINIONS/PDFOPINIONINFO2.ASP?OPINIONID=19805&FILENAME=AP-75,634.PDF

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