Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Neal Robbins: Texas; The Courier of Montgomery County describes this as "the first test case for a new Texas law enabling prisoners to file subsequent appeals based on a change in expert testimony in their case."(Must Read. HL);

STORY: "Neal Robbins attorneys use new state law to request new trial," published by the Courier of Montgomery County on December 15, 2013.

GIST: "In what will be the first test case for a new Texas state law enabling prisoners to file subsequent appeals based on a change in expert testimony in their case, attorneys for Neal Hampton Robbins, 38, plan on submitting a brief in the next three weeks stating Robbins was convicted on testimony that has since been deemed unsubstantiated and subsequently unfair, said Robbins’ attorney, Brian Wice. Under the new law, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 11.073, Judge K. Michael Mayes of the 410th District Court in Montgomery County recommended Oct. 21 that Robbins get a new trial.........Robbins was convicted of Capital Murder by a Montgomery County criminal jury in 1999, for the May 2, 1998, death of 17-month old Tristan Rivet. Robbins’ conviction centered, in part, on the testimony of then-Harris County associate medical examiner Patricia Moore, who in 2007, reversed her medical opinion that had been central to Robbins’ being convicted in the infant’s death. Moore, and a subsequent review by Moore’s former employers with the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office seven years after Robbins’ conviction, later found that they no longer stood by Moore’s medical findings that the infant Rivet was asphyxiated at the time of her death. Instead concluding, as now did Moore, that the 17-month old’s cause of death was “undetermined”. At the time of Robbins’ conviction, Moore’s testimony was a key portion of the evidence in the case that a crime had occurred. In 2010, Mayes recommended the case should go to the state Court of Criminal Appeals based on Moore’s and HCMEO’s reversal of their previous medical opinion, where by a 5 to 4 vote, a panel of CCA judges rejected Robbins’ request for a new trial. Wice said Sunday, he intends to file a brief requesting a new trial for Robbins, who is currently serving life in prison. “The state expert, who’s testimony was responsible for convicting a defendant for capital murder with a life sentence, can no longer stand by the accuracy of her expert opinion,” Wice said. “Therefore you don’t need to be a legal scholar to conclude that the result of the (1999) trial was unreliable, and thus the trial itself was fundamentally unfair.”"

The entire story can be found at:



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