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Moses Herrera

Other Texas Cases With Mistaken Witness Identifications
On the night of June 10, 1990, 21-year-old Brad Todd Kelly was shot and wounded in front of a house in Lewisville, Texas.

The following day, a witness who happened to be driving by at the time Kelly was shot viewed a photographic lineup prepared by police and identified 18-year-old Moses Herrera as the gunman. Kelly also identified Herrera as the man who shot him.

Herrera was arrested on June 11, 1990 and charged with attempted murder. He went to trial in Denton County Criminal District Court in August 1990.

Kelly and the passerby both identified Herrera as the gunman. The defense called alibi witnesses who said that at the time of the shooting, Herrera was 30 miles away in a municipal park in Garland, Texas. Other defense witnesses who were present at the shooting said the gunman was 17-year-old Manuel Castillo, who lived in the home where the shooting occurred.

The defense subpoenaed Castillo to testify and the trial judge appointed a lawyer to represent him. After conferring with the lawyer, Castillo invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and refused to testify.

On August 6, 1990, the jury convicted Herrera of attempted murder and he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The defense filed a motion to vacate the conviction after Castillo waived his Fifth Amendment right and gave a sworn statement. Judge David White held a hearing in October 1990 and the defense presented Castillo’s statement that on the night of the shooting, Kelly and another man drove by Castillo’s home “to cause trouble.”

Castillo’s statement said, “One of the white guys pulled a board off the fence to use as a weapon.” Castillo said that the other man, who he identified as Kelly, had something in his hand that looked like a gun, so Castillo shot at him.

Castillo provided the defense with a .38-caliber pistol that he said was the gun he fired at Kelly. Ballistics tests were inconclusive, according to the Denton County District Attorney Jerry Cobb.

On October 9, 1990, Judge David White granted the defense motion and vacated Herrera’s conviction and ordered a new trial. On November 13, 1992, the charge was dismissed and Herrera was released.

In 1993, Castillo was charged with attempted murder. He pled guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 10/20/2014
State:Texas
County:Denton
Most Serious Crime:Attempted Murder
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1990
Convicted:1990
Exonerated:1992
Sentence:7 years
Race:Hispanic
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:18
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No