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Michael Garza

Other CIU Drug Cases
On August 28, 2014, 28-year-old Michael Garza and 29-year-old Joe Thurman were charged with possession of cocaine in Houston, Texas, after they were arrested and white powder seized from them field-tested positive for cocaine

On September 2, 2014, both men pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court to possession of a controlled substance. Garza was sentenced to 10 months in Texas State Jail. Thurman was sentenced to two years in prison.

On September 21, 2014, the Houston Police Department crime laboratory tested the white powder that had been seized from the two men by police. The tests revealed that no controlled substances were present.

The lab notified the Harris County District Attorney’s Post Conviction Review Unit, which notified defense attorneys for Garza and Thurman.

On October 2, 2014, the prosecution and defense filed a joint motion requesting that Garza’s conviction be vacated on the basis of actual innocence. The motion was granted, the charge was dismissed and Garza was released.

On October 6, the prosecution and defense filed a joint motion requesting that Thurman’s conviction be vacated on the basis of actual innocence. The motion was granted, the charge was dismissed and Thurman was released.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 12/29/2014
State:Texas
County:Harris
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2014
Convicted:2014
Exonerated:2014
Sentence:10 months
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:28
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No