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Megan Alegria

Other Harris County, Texas CIU exonerations
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On November 18, 2011, police in Houston, Texas arrested 20-year-old Megan Alegria after they confiscated cigarettes from her that tested positive for phencyclidine when subjected to a presumptive drug test.

On November 21, 2011, Alegria pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to probation for three years.

In 2014, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office discovered that although the results of laboratory tests in controlled substances cases were being sent to the office, the reports in cases that had already been resolved were not being forwarded or distributed to the specific prosecutors in the cases.

After the reports were discovered, the District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit began notifying defense attorneys and attempting to locate defendants who had pled guilty to possession of narcotics, but whose lab tests were negative.

Among those reports was the lab test result in Alegria’s case. That report, which said that the substance seized from Alegria was tested on January 27, 2012 and was negative for any controlled substance, had gone unnoticed by the defense and prosecution at the time.

In 2019, a defense attorney for Alegria filed a state law petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The prosecution supported the petition and in December 2019, a judge recommended that the petition be granted.

On March 11, 2020, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated Alegria’s conviction. On April 27, 2020, the prosecution dismissed the charge.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/30/2020
Last Updated: 4/30/2020
State:Texas
County:Harris
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2011
Convicted:2011
Exonerated:2020
Sentence:Probation
Race:White
Sex:Female
Age at the date of reported crime:20
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No