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April Grotton

Other Texas Drug Cases
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On May 23, 2013, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy arrested 37-year-old April Grotton after he confiscated cotton ear swabs – commonly used as a filter for methamphetamine – from her that field-tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.

On December 4, 2013, Grotton pled guilty in Montgomery County Criminal District Court to possession of a controlled substance. She was sentenced to four years community supervision and granted deferred adjudication. In April 2014, the prosecution filed a motion to revoke the deferred adjudication, and on July 11, 2014, Grotton admitted she violated the terms of her original sentence. She was then sentenced to 365 days in Texas State Jail.

In 2016, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office discovered that the Texas Department of Public Safety crime laboratory had tested the swabs seized from Grotton on December 9, 2013—five days after she pled guilty. The tests were negative for the presence of any controlled substance.

The prosecution filed a notice of the negative lab report and asked that a defense lawyer be appointed to represent Grotton. In October 2016, Grotton’s lawyer filed a state law petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which the prosecution supported.

On December 14, 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated Grotton’s conviction. On January 10, 2017, the prosecution dismissed the charge.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 2/3/2017
State:Texas
County:Montgomery
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2013
Convicted:2013
Exonerated:2017
Sentence:1 year
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Female
Age at the date of crime:37
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No