Megan Winfrey: Texas: Former deputy Keith Pikett dog-scent case: Appeal court issues an acquittal. (Texas Tribune); Grits For Breakfast asks" "How many more are out there?"
STORY: "Appeals court issues acquittal in dog-scent murder case," by reporter Brandi Grissom, published by the Texas Tribune on February 27, 2013. Thanks to Grits For Breakfast for drawing attention to this important story.
GIST: "The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday issued an acquittal in the case of Megan Winfrey, 24, who has been behind bars since 2007 in a murder case in which her conviction was based almost entirely on evidence from dog-scent lineups. Winfrey, along with her father, Richard Winfrey, and her brother Richard Winfrey Jr. were charged with the 2004 murder of school janitor Murray Burr in Coldspring. Richard Winfrey Jr. was acquitted by a jury in 2009. Richard Winfrey Sr. was convicted in 2007, but the Court of Appeals acquitted him in 2009, ruling that the dog-scent evidence was insufficient for his conviction. The court’s decision Wednesday in Megan Winfrey’s case was based largely on the one it issued when it acquitted her father, finding that the state’s evidence against her was insufficient. In her case, the San Jacinto district attorney had argued that along with dog-scent evidence, her suspicious behavior amounted to enough evidence to support her conviction. Prosecutors alleged, among other things, that she attempted to thwart DNA testing by shaving her pubic hair and that teachers at her school overheard her make threatening remarks about Burr and his money. The court disagreed with the prosecutors. “Basing a finding of appellant's guilt on this evidence and all of the other evidence is, at best, ‘mere theorizing or guessing’ about [the] appellant's possible guilt rather than a reasonable inference based upon evidence and facts presented,” the court wrote in its majority opinion.".........San Jacinto County District Attorney Richard Countiss said he would review the court’s opinion and make a decision about whether to seek a rehearing, which could delay Megan Winfrey’s release. But he added he was not optimistic that such a request would be successful."
PUBLISHER'S NOTE I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:firstname.lastname@example.org Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.
My interest in forensic pathology began with my Toronto Star investigative reporting into once famed since disgraced former doctor Charles Smith. I began this Blog after retiring from the Star in 2006 in order to follow the aftermath into the independent Goudge inquiry into many of Smith's cases. I have now begun to focus on cases involving flawed forensic science no matter where they occur (the recent Amanda Knox prosecution in Italy, for example) and am fascinated by the interest in the Blog from people in countries throughout the world. In another development, my interest in "junk science" "pseudo-experts" and the miscarriages of justice they all too often cause has drawn me deeply into the on-going U.S. death penalty debate where so many troubling cases involve issues relating to DNA and other developments in the world of forensic science. For all of this I rely on my experience as a reporter at the Toronto Star, my work as a lawyer in Ontario's criminal courts, and my abhorrence of injustice. Please send cases and developments which may be of interest to this Blog to email@example.com. Read on! Harold Levy.