Ex-death row inmate Alfred Brown is innocent, review says
HOUSTON – The Harris County District Attorney's office declared that Alfred Dewayne Brown, the former death row inmate whose capital murder charge was dismissed, and who was freed from prison in 2015, is innocent.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg appointed a special prosecutor last year to take a closer look at the case and determine if Brown should be re-indicted, declared legally innocent or continue with the status quo.
In a case prosecuted by Dan Rizzo in 2005, a jury convicted Brown of capital murder in the 2003 shooting deaths of Houston police officer Charles Clark and store clerk Alfredia Jones.
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.
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.
Enter Ogg and special prosecutor John Raley, of the Houston-based firm Raley & Bowick. Raley said he and his staff have spent 1,000 hours so far reviewing the case, and after multiple interviews from multiple sources, trials and appeals, he believes Brown is innocent.
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.
Ogg said Brown was wrongfully convicted through prosecutorial misconduct. Ogg said she knows the findings may not be what the families want to hear, but it is the truth.
"I understand their anger their frustration I can understand it being directed at us, but it does no justice to your loved ones to have a wrongfully convicted person forever tainted by what a prosecutor did in this case," Ogg said.
Rizz's attorney, Chris Tritico released the following statement:
The best that can be said about the Raley Report is it is a great use of Artistic License used to fit a predesigned narrative. In 175 pages Mr. Raley failed to address the central issue in the entire matter; that this three-way call blows Alfred Browns alibi. Two experts prove that the call was a three-way call and it originated from the Villa Americana Apartments, the location where all three defendants were positively identified by several witnesses both before and AFTER the murders.
"The McDaniel phone record does not exonerate the Defendant, rather it further incriminates him. Ignoring a fact does not make it go away. Because of the threat of a new special prosecutor and a new state bar filing Mr. Rizzo will not further discuss this matter at this time.
"Dan Rizzo served the citizens of the State of Texas and Harris County with distinction and pride for over 25 years. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is climbing over Dan Rizzo’s back to free a cop killer because of a campaign promise. The people of Harris County lost today."
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