Attorney to review actual innocence case of ex-death row inmate Alfred Brown

HOUSTON – An attorney has been named to review the actual innocence case of former death row inmate Alfred Brown, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday.

Brown was freed from prison in 2015 after the state’s highest criminal court ruled his rights were violated by prosecutors who failed to show phone records supporting his alibi in the 2003 deaths of Houston police officer Charles Clark and store clerk Alfredia Jones.

"I'm real happy that he was released," said Katherine Scardino, Brown's court-appointed defense attorney. 

Devon Anderson, the Harris County district attorney at the time of Brown's release, dismissed the capital murder charge against him, but declined to make a determination as to Brown's innocence.

Since his release, Brown has filed a petition to be declared actually innocent.

Ogg said in a written statement that she has named trial lawyer John Raley, of the Houston-based firm Raley & Bowick, to review Brown’s case and present findings and recommendations to prosecutors.

"We're going to leave no stone unturned," Raley said in an interview with KPRC2. "We're going to look at the state's case at the time of trial. We're going to look at the appellate record, we are going to talk to law enforcement officers, we're going to talk to Mr. Brown's counsel." 

Raley normally does not handle criminal cases, but has reviewed similar cases in the past. Ogg said Raley was chosen because of his work in actual innocence cases, including the case of Michael Morton, who served nearly 25 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted in the 1986 death of his wife in Williamson County, Texas.

"The question that we're going to have to try to answer is whether a reasonable jury would convict under the facts as they are currently known," Raley said. 

But Brown's attorney maintained the facts, as presented, speak for themselves. "I don't think [Raley] will find anything. I believe Alfred Dewayne Brown is not guilty of this crime," Scardino said. 

Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers Union, said Brown is the right guy and Raley's independent investigation will prove just that. 

"I think there was a very exhaustive investigation done the first time, which was why he was convicted in the first place," Gamaldi said. 

Alfred Brown said when he was freed that he didn’t commit the crime, but he knew the people who did.

"I'm pretty sure there's many more like me," Brown said after his release. "I truly apologize, even though I didn't do the crime, but I did know the guys who did the crime, and one of them is on death row as I speak."

Elijah Joubert was convicted of capital murder in the 2003 case. He is awaiting execution.

Dashan Glaspie is serving 30 years in prison after being convicted of aggravated robbery in connection with the 2003 case.

About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.