Rhonda Gainus

On July 12, 2012, 44-year-old Rhonda Gainus was stopped by police while walking in Ellis County, Texas. She was charged with felony possession of narcotics with intent to deliver after a field drug test was positive for a controlled substance.

In December 2012, before the crime laboratory had tested the suspected drugs confiscated from Gainus, she pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of drug possession and was sentenced to three years in prison.

In 2013, the laboratory tests came back negative for all drugs. A state petition for a writ of habeas corpus was granted by the trial court. On May 8, 2013, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a formal decision finding Gainus innocent. The case was dismissed and Gainus was released.

– Maurice Possley

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State:Texas
County:Ellis
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2012
Convicted:2012
Exonerated:2013
Sentence:3 years
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Female
Age:44
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No