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Jeanie Becerra

Other Female Exonerees With Misconduct in their Cases
At about 10 p.m. on September 27, 2014, police officer Jeremy Carlisle-Simons responded to a 911 call made from a home in Topeka, Kansas. When he arrived, the residents of the home, 21-year-old Jeanie Becerra and 34-year-old Arthur Morris, said the call was a mistake and that no help was necessary.

Carlisle-Simons, who was accompanied by two other officers, said the couple became combative and that Morris assaulted him. Morris and Becerra were both arrested. Morris was charged with misdemeanor counts of assaulting a police officer, disobeying a police order, interfering with law enforcement and disorderly conduct. Becerra was charged with misdemeanor counts of disobeying a police order and interfering with law enforcement.

Becerra and Morris went to trial in Topeka Municipal court on November 3 before a judge who heard the case without a jury. One hour before the trial started, the prosecution turned over a video from Carlisle-Simons’ body camera. However, no one—including the prosecution—viewed it prior to the trial.

Based on the testimony of Carlisle-Simons and his fellow officers, the judge convicted Becerra and Morris of all charges.

The following day, the prosecutor watched the video and reported to the police that the evidence contradicted the police testimony. The video showed that Morris and Becerra had not attacked the officers.

A prosecution motion to vacate and dismiss the charges was granted for both Becerra and Morris. Carlisle-Simons was placed on administrative leave in November 2014 and he resigned six months later.

Becerra and Morris filed a claim for damages with the city of Topeka in March 2015. In June 2015, the Topeka City Council voted to award Morris $40,000 and Becerra $10,000.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 6/11/2015
Most Serious Crime:Assault
Additional Convictions:Other
Reported Crime Date:2014
Sentence:Not sentenced
Age at the date of reported crime:21
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct, Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No