Friday, March 1, 2013

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 lineupsWinfrey, 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."

The entire story can be found at:

Grits for Breakfast: ( Heading: "Nuther dog-scent lineup case overturned: how many more are out there?") "The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned another convictions based on dog-scent "lineups" performed by now-retired Fort Bend County Sheriff's Deputy Keith Pikett, the Texas Tribune reported. See the majority opinion by Judge Cathy Cochran overturning Megan Winfrey's conviction and a dissent by Presiding Judge Sharon Keller. The defendant's father's conviction stemming from the same incident wasoverturned 2-1/2 years ago."


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