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Tommy Emerson

Other Houston Drug Exonerations
On January 3, 2009, police in Houston, Texas arrested 49-year-old Tommy Emerson after they confiscated a substance from him that field-tested positive for cocaine.

On January 7, 2009, Emerson, who had numerous prior felony and misdemeanor convictions for possession of drugs, pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court to possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

In November 2015, the Harris County District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit filed a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus jointly with Emerson’s defense attorney seeking to vacate the conviction. The petition cited a July 29, 2009, test report from the Houston Police crime laboratory that said no controlled substance was found in the material seized from Emerson.

The trial judge recommended the writ be granted and in February 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated the conviction. On March 8, 2016, the prosecution dismissed the charge.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 3/18/2016
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2009
Sentence:6 months
Age at the date of reported crime:49
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No