After 22 Years Of Wrongful Imprisonment, Two More Days To Freedom

A man convicted of rape in 1987, based largely on questionable HPD crime lab data, and sentenced to life in prison is expected to be released on bond Thursday, according to the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Recent DNA test results show "discrepancies between the new tests and evidence presented" at the trial of Gary Richard, 53, according to the office's press release. Richard's is the first of approximately 160 cases tied to allegedly faulty HPD crime lab analysis to go to court on a claim of actual innocence. If exonerated, he would be the fourth man to be cleared over faulty crime lab testing and testimony since 2003.

Prosecutors and Richard's defense attorney, Bob Wicoff, had previously "agreed to a motion for retesting of certain biological evidence" from his original case, according to the D.A.'s press release. Wicoff is the attorney overseeing the cases that were selected by an independent investigator as needing further scrutiny.

Wicoff told Hair Balls that he hasn't been able to tell Richard, who's being held in Huntsville's Byrd Unit, that a hearing has been scheduled.

"I've tried, but there are all these rules and regulations about waiting and faxing in forms...even for an attorney, it takes 24 hours," Wicoff said. "He'll be back into town hopefully tomorrow. I'm just going to see him then."

District Attorney Pat Lykos stated in the press release, "I promised the citizens of Harris County that I would provide transparency in local government. People can be assured that the office will rectify identified problems as expeditiously as possible."

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