KILLEEN, TX — A conviction was called into question after a Killeen man spent a decade behind bars.
George Powell, a Killeen rapper, was convicted of robbing a 7-Eleven convenience store a decade ago. However, the court of criminal appeals decided he should be granted a new trial.
“The court of criminal appeals ruled that because the state suborned perjury at trial from their witnesses, and hid exculpatory evidence, that George deserves a new trial,” said Mike Ware, Powell’s attorney and Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Texas.
The crux of the case hung on surveillance footage. An expert who testified in the trial said that the man in the video was about six-foot and one-inch, which is around Powell’s height. But, new forensic specialists say the suspect caught on camera is much shorter.
Ware says he hopes to get Powell out on bail soon. The defense plans on filing a motion as early as next week to disqualify the district attorney.
The George Powell case is garnering national attention after Netflix released a documentary series highlighting shortfalls in forensic science.
Many are wondering what this decision means for other cases that relied on video evidence.
“They are being found out more and more now. And unfortunately, I think there is a tendency in criminal cases for judges to believe the state. Or believe the government when they say, 'I want to put on a forensic expert' because most of the time the judges are not trained in the particular field, so they trust the government, they trust the state and many times their experts are not witnesses at all,” said Ware.
Central Texas News Now reached out to the District Attorney’s office. We have not heard back as of the time this article was posted.
The court of criminal appeals still must issue a mandate.