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Thomas Rainbolt

Other CIU Drug Cases
On May 10, 2014, police in Houston, Texas arrested 51-year-old Thomas Rainbolt after they stopped him and found him carrying a cigar butt that field-tested positive as marijuana.

Rainbolt, who had prior convictions for attempted murder and thefts, pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court to a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession on May 30, 2014. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

On June 13, 2014, the Houston Police Department crime laboratory conducted tests on the cigar butt and no marijuana was found. The lab notified the Harris County District Attorney’s Post Conviction Review Unit, which provided a copy of the report to Rainbolt’s defense attorney.

On June 16, 2014, the prosecution joined in a defense motion to vacate the conviction and dismiss the charge. A judge found Rainbolt was factually innocent of the charge, granted the motion to dismiss and Rainbolt was released.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 12/27/2014
State:Texas
County:Harris
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2014
Convicted:2014
Exonerated:2014
Sentence:45 days
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:51
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No