Walter Roy spent about thirty years in prison for a shooting at Fort Worth. Prosecutors, witnesses, and police agreed that he did not do so.
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals has found a legal technical issue that allows a 46-year-old man to be held behind bars for life for a crime he did not commit.
Prosecutors and police agree that Walter Roy did not commit the crime that led to his life sentence. WFAA told Roy’s story in September.
Roy was sentenced to about 26 years in prison after being convicted of attempted murder and organized crime. He has been held hostage since last autumn, awaiting a decision by an appeals court.
CONTACT: Police and prosecutors agree that the man convicted of attempted murder did not do so. Legal technology can keep him behind bars anyway.
The court ruled that Walter Roy should be given a new sentence for violating his legal procedural rights with false statements made during the trial.
Prosecutors have already agreed to sentence him.
His lawyer, Mark Lassiter, was on call from WFAA Zoom when he received the news.
“I would like him to hear it from me first,” his lawyer told him. “Criminal Court of Appeal gives respite”
His wife, Surnedra Drisdle, is emotional.
“Oh my God,” she said and hugged and kissed her husband. “You’re going to make me cry, Mark.”
“He’s a good man,” Roy said. “Thank you very much. That’s all. It’s nothing but God.”
“You’re not going back to prison,” Lassiter told him.
Lassiter explained that the court had reconsidered its initial decision not to grant his appeal and, based on the evidence, had decided to remand him in custody.
“There will be some formalities. But at the end of the day, we will show up and leave, and you will be a free man, ”Lassiter said.
His lawyer expects the trial to take place next week.
CONTACT: A man held hostage for a crime in North Texas is being prosecuted by prosecutors; now she is spending the first Christmas with her family in decades
“It’s over,” he said. “It’s over … I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”
Walter told WFAA that he hoped his case would shed light on the injustice of the criminal justice system and that others would be in a similar position.
In a statement, the Tarrant District Prosecutor’s Office agreed with the decision of the appellate court.
“The Office of Prisoner Integrity in our office reviewed the case of Walter Roy and determined that he had been charged with excessive charges and severely punished,” the statement said.
The DA’s position is that Roy could have been convicted as an accomplice, but would have received a lighter sentence. Roy’s lawyer, Lassiter, claimed that evidence and statements that Roy was trying to take a gun from a real shooter indicate that he had no intention of participating in the shooting.
The appellate court agreed with the DA’s decision setting a new sentence.
Roy initially denied being a shooter in a 1995 shooting at Fort Worth Park. The number shown to witnesses was false, and there was no material evidence linking it to the crime.
Tarrant County Prison Integrity Unit (CIU) found witnesses who said another man boasted he was a shooter.
State law requires that defendant must include all claims that may be filed each time he or she applies.
The court ruled that it would reconsider the rejection of his original appeal and set a new sentencing hearing. As a result, the court said it did not consider the “different claim” and that the defense did not consider the appeal.
“The legal basis seems solid to me,” said Gary Udashen of the Texas Innocence Project, who briefly explained why he believed the court had allowed Roy’s case to be heard. “The same facts that gave Roya the right to a new trial give her the right to a new trial.”
Udashen said the decision “has a strong majority in the Criminal Court of Appeals, and if they see that there is a clear injustice in a case, contrary to popular belief, they will try to find a way to correct it.”
And here’s the last stroke: Walter Roy wasn’t even his real name. He was sent to prison in the name of his grandfather.
Now he goes by his real name John Drisdle.
Walter Roy learned in 1995 that he would not return to prison for filming
Source link Walter Roy learned in 1995 that he would not return to prison for filming