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John Cape

Other Bexar County, Texas exonerations
On August 10, 2017, police in San Antonio, Texas, executed a search warrant at a home at 1315 South Hermosa Drive and discovered nearly three pounds of methamphetamine behind a loose board in a bathroom.

Police arrested 33-year-old Rexina Linan-Juarez, her 47-year-old boyfriend, John Cape, and 45-year-old Louie Garcia on charges of possession of a controlled substance.

The search warrant was based on information from a confidential informant who had agreed to provide information to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in return for favorable treatment on drug charges he was facing.

All three defendants denied knowing the drugs were present and told their defense lawyers that the drugs had to have been planted. They said that before the police came with the search warrant, a man had stopped at the house with a young girl that he said was his daughter. The man asked to use the bathroom and left not long after doing so.

The defendants said the police who executed the search warrant, upon entering the house, went immediately to the bathroom.

However, because there was no proof that someone had planted the drugs, all three decided to plead guilty.

On November 5, 2018, Linan-Juarez, who was in ill health, pled guilty in Bexar County Criminal District Court to a charge of possession of a controlled substance. She was placed on deferred adjudication, a form of probation, for 10 years.

On that same day, Garcia also pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to eight years in prison. And at the same time, Cape pled no contest to a charge of possession of a controlled substance. He agreed to enter the plea and to a prison sentence of 10 years. He accepted a longer sentence than the prosecution had originally offered so that the prosecution would agree that Linan-Juarez would not have to go to prison.

In early 2020, the Bexar County District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) learned that the informant who provided the information for the search warrant had lied in another case for which he provided information leading to a search that turned up drugs.

An investigation by the CIU showed that the informant had a “contract” with the District Attorney’s Office. He had to provide information on two drug cases to satisfy the contract and in return, the informant’s possession of controlled substance charges would be dismissed.

The other case unraveled after the defendant in that case provided evidence proving that the drugs had been planted—as Linan-Juarez, Cape, and Garcia claimed had happened in their case.

At the request of the prosecution, attorney Dayna Jones was appointed to represent Linan-Juarez, Cape, and Garcia. In June 2020, Jones filed state law petitions for a writs of habeas corpus for all three defendants seeking to overturn their convictions.

The prosecution then worked with Jones to draft agreed findings of fact and conclusions of law to support the granting of the writs.

On Friday, August 21, 2020, 226th Judicial District Court Judge Velia J. Meza signed the orders. The cases of Cape and Garcia were then forwarded to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for a ruling on granting the writs. On September 10, 2020, Cape and Garcia were released from prison on bond.

Because Linan-Juarez had been sentenced to probation, relief could be granted by the 226th Judicial District Court. Her case was formally overturned and returned to the trial court docket for a dismissal. However, Linan-Juarez, who had been in hospice care, died before she could be informed that her case was going to be dismissed.

On November 9, 2020, Assistant Criminal District Attorney Matthew Howard, the director of the CIU, dismissed her charge.

On June 30, 2021, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writs for Cape and Garcia. Their convictions were vacated.

On July 21, 2021, Howard filed motions to dismiss their cases. On August 12, 2021, the motions were granted and the cases were dismissed.

In 2022, the estate of Linan-Juarez filed a federal lawsuit seeking compensation. In August 2023, Cape and Garcia also filed federal lawsuits seeking compensation for their wrongful convictions.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 8/23/2021
Last Updated: 8/17/2023
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2017
Sentence:10 years
Age at the date of reported crime:47
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No