Editors’ note: On October 27, 2010, just a month after the publication of this story, the Burleson County district attorney’s office dropped all murder charges against Anthony Graves and released him from the county jail, where he was awaiting retrial.
Anthony Graves was in the middle of writing a letter on Wednesday afternoon when a guard at the Burleson County jail appeared outside his cell. Without explanation, the guard unlocked Graves’s cell and ordered the 45-year-old inmate to follow him. “I didn’t have any idea what was going on,” Graves told me yesterday. “I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t putting handcuffs on me.” Bewildered, Graves was led to a part of the jail that he had never seen before.
In 1992 Somerville authorities made a gruesome discovery in the charred remnants of a house fire: a woman and five children had been violently murdered and set ablaze. In nearby Brenham, the prime suspect—a prison guard named Robert Carter—identified 26-year-old Anthony Graves as the killer, even though no physical evidence or plausible motive linked him to the crime. Graves and Carter were both tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in 1994.
If it’s something you’d just as soon not think about, chances are Pamela Colloff has written about it for TEXAS MONTHLY. Here is a partial list of the subjects she’s covered since coming to work at the magazine thirteen years ago: murder, arson, abortion, heroin addiction, hate crimes, illegal immigration, murder, meth addiction, the Charles Whitman shootings, the Branch Davidian standoff, murder, and war.
If you read Texas Monthly last month, chances are you were riveted by the first installment of “The Innocent Man,” a remarkable two-part story by executive editor Pamela Colloff about the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of Michael Morton. As many people are by now well aware, Morton spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit—the brutal 1986 murder of his wife, Christine. A little over a year ago, he was released from prison and fully exonerated.
The athletic director for Texas A&M University-Kingsville was arrested last week for allegedly pointing a camera up a teenage girl's skirt in a San Antonio Walmart.
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported that Brian DeAngelis, 39, was charged with improper photography after a police officer found video a of woman's undergarments on his phone.
Alligator gar have a bad reputation in Texas: scaly, ornery, and ugly, they look like a creature straight from the Cretaceous Period. But one Florida man recently received nine months in prison for pulling four gar from the Trinity River and shipping them to Japan.
I’ve written many criminal justice stories for Texas Monthly over the past thirteen years, and many of those involved inmates who claimed they were innocent. Some, I’m pretty sure, were guilty; others, I became convinced, were not. Almost all of the deserving ones eventually got justice. Only one of them has never received his due. His name is Richard LaFuente and he was wrongly convicted of being part of the murder of a policeman on a North Dakota Indian reservation 29 years ago.
What has been going on at Lackland Air Force Base?
Would a vampire avail himself of the American legal system? Well, one Texas inmate who claims to be a Vampire High Priest tried to do just that. But he was dealt a blow Thursday when the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed his nine-page lawsuit, dubbing it frivolous. (For a lesson in frivolity, the judges should watch more True Blood.)