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Guy Shiflett, Jr.

Other Sex Offender Registration Exonerations
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/PublishingImages/Hunt_County_TX.jpg
On March 14, 1998, 36-year-old Guy Shiflett Jr., was indicted on a charge of indecency with a child by exposure in Rockwall County, Texas.

Indecency with a child under Texas statutes contained two crimes—indecency by exposure and indecency by sexual contact. After Shiflett pled guilty in September 1998 and was sentenced to six years in prison, the judgment was listed as “indecency with a child” with no reference as to whether it was by exposure or sexual contact.

The difference in the charges is significant in part because indecency by exposure carries a 10-year requirement that a convicted defendant register as a sex offender. The indecency by sexual contact charge carries a lifetime sex registry requirement.

On April 5, 2004, Shiflett was released on parole.

On April 14, 2014, Shiflett was indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender. The prosecution alleged that Shiflett had violated the lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. On November 20, 2014, Shiflett pled guilty in Dallas County Criminal District Court and was sentenced to three years deferred adjudication.

In May 2015, Shiflett’s deferred adjudication was revoked and he was sentenced to three years in prison.

In June 2015, just a few weeks later, officials at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the agency which oversees penal institutions, reported to the Hunt County, Texas sheriff’s office that Shiflett was going to be released on parole, that he intended to reside in Hunt County, and that he was required to register as a sex offender.

On August 23, 2015, Shiflett, now 54 years old, was arrested in Hunt County on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender. Shiflett again was accused of disobeying a lifetime registration requirement based on the 1998 conviction.

On June 16, 2016, Shiflett pled guilty in Hunt County Criminal District Court and was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

In August 2018, officials at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice discovered that Shiflett’s 1998 judgment said he was convicted of indecency with a child and that he was “guilty as charged in the indictment.”

That indictment accused him of indecency with a child “by exposure,” a charge carrying a 10-year registration requirement.

On August 18, 2018, Shiflett was released on parole. Subsequently, attorney Kenneth Nash filed state law petitions for a writ of habeas corpus seeking to vacate Shiflett’s convictions in Dallas County and Hunt County.

On September 6, 2018, Hunt County Criminal District Judge Keli Aiken recommended that Shiflett’s conviction be vacated.

Judge Aiken ruled that Shiflett’s 10-year registration requirement based on the conviction for indecency “by exposure” had expired in April 2014—more than a year before he was accused of failing to register in Hunt County.

On November 17, 2018, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated the conviction. On December 17, 2018, the prosecution dismissed the charge.

In January 2019, Dallas County Criminal District Judge Livia Francis recommended that Shiflett’s habeas petition there be granted. The judge’s findings were forwarded to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 1/16/2019
State:Texas
County:Hunt
Most Serious Crime:Sex Offender Registration
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2015
Convicted:2016
Exonerated:2018
Sentence:4 years
Race:White
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:53
Contributing Factors:Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No