The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will decide the future of a Bell County man who was convicted of robbing a 7-Eleven store back in Killeen in 2009.
George Powell III was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the crime.
During his trial, forensic consultant Michael Knox testified about the suspect's height, which he determined after analyzing surveillance video from the store located at 1000 WS Young Drive.
After being convicted, a complaint filed with the Texas Forensic Science Commission prompted an investigation into Knox's determination. The investigation concluded the testimony and height determination of the suspect being at least 6-feet-1-inch was unsupportable.
To arrive to those findings, the commission hired video expert Grant Fredericks to review Knox's report. Fredericks determined the suspect in the surveillance video was between five feet and five inches and five feet and nine inches tall.
On Tuesday, Knox's forensic analysis became the focal point of a hearing before a Bell County District Judge.
Attorneys Walter Reaves and Innocence Project Executive Director Mike Ware who were representing Powell hope the judge recommends Powell's exoneration.
"Just to be vindicated what he has been saying all this time. That's not me, I didn't do it. Isn't obvious, just to be vindicated on that would mean a whole lot to them and of course, getting to go home, even better," Ware said.
Powell's fiancee Tamara Parsons who initially filed the complaint with the Texas Forensic Science Commission said this has been a long process. She now hopes the next step is Powell going back home.
"It would mean everything.Not just to have somebody with me, by my side to do things with. To have a normal relationship, for once. But also have my daughter have a father figure. She hasn't had that up until now," Parsons said.
In the application one of Powell's attorney filed seeking for relief of final felony conviction, he said a jail informant who provided incriminating information about Powell recanted his statement, saying the convicted robber always insisted he was innocent.
The judge is expected to give a recommendation to the Court of Appeals on how to proceed, which it will take into consideration.
The Texas Court of Appeals could grant Powell a new trial, find him innocent or order him to continue serving his sentence.
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