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Gregory Skinner

Other Weapon Possession Exonerations
In May 2008, 36-year-old Gregory Skinner pled guilty in Criminal District Court in Dallas County, Texas to unlawful possession of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to four years deferred adjudication.

Deferred adjudication in Texas is a form of probation, which, if successfully completed, results in dismissal of the charge and no conviction is entered.

More than three years later, on November 22, 2011, Skinner was indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm—a shotgun.

On June 11, 2012, Skinner’s deferred adjudication was revoked because of charge of being a felon in possession of a weapon was a violation of his probation. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

That same day, Skinner also pled guilty to the charge of being a felon in possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In 2017, Skinner, who had been released from prison on parole, was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. At that time, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office discovered that at the time Skinner was indicted on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, he had not yet been adjudicated on the motor vehicle charge.

Even though his deferred adjudication was revoked on that charge, the revocation occurred in June 2012—more than six months after he had been indicted on the weapons charge. As a result, he was not a felon in November 2011, and so his possession of the shotgun at that time was not illegal, the prosecution concluded.

The prosecution informed Skinner and attorney George Conkey filed a state law petition for a writ of habeas corpus seeking to vacate the felon in possession of a firearm conviction.

Assistant Dallas County District Attorney Cynthia Garza, chief of the District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, supported the petition. In December 2017, Criminal District Court Judge Ernest White recommended that the petition be granted.

On November 7. 2018, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated Skinner’s conviction. On December 10, 2018, the prosecution dismissed the charge.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 2/15/2019
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2011
Sentence:10 years
Age at the date of reported crime:42
Contributing Factors:Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No