On November 13, 2006, 24-year-old Keith Coleman was arrested and charged with possession of less than one gram of cocaine in Houston, Texas.
Coleman, who had previous convictions for possession of narcotics, pled guilty two days later, on November 15, 2006. He was sentenced to eight months in the Harris County Jail.
More than four years later, on February 24, 2011, the Houston police crime laboratory, which was attempting to erase an enormous backlog, finally tested the evidence and determined it was not cocaine or any kind of controlled substance.
In April 2012, Coleman filed a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus seeking to vacate his conviction and clear his record. In December 2012, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and Coleman’s attorney filed a joint agreement to vacate the conviction. A judge granted the motion on December 17, 2012.
On January 16, 2013, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued the writ and the charge was dismissed.
– Maurice Possley