Ex parte Owens

Jonathan Salvador worked as a laboratory technician at the Houston Police Department's Crime Lab Division from 2006 to 2012. The Texas Forensic Science Commission (“TFSC”) published a full report in January 2013 detailing problems Salvador had throughout his employment with DPS. The investigation uncovered that there were two cases in which Salvador had made errors in the testing of substances involving marijuana, though those errors did not involve “dry-labbing.” Several reports of Salvador’s work indicated that Salvador’s tenure at DPS began with testing and reporting on marijuana substances. In this case, misconduct by Salvador has again presented questions of the falsity and materiality of the evidence tested to support a possession of a controlled substance charge. The State initially agreed that relief should be granted based upon “Ex parte Coty,” (418 S.W.3d 597 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014)). The trial court did not. The trial court rejected the State and Applicant’s proposed findings and recommended to the Court of Criminal Appeals that relief be denied. Based on an independent review of the record, the Court agreed with the habeas court and denied relief. View "Ex parte Owens" on Justia Law