Death-Row Inmate Finally Gets A Break In Crime-Lab Case

Hair Balls reported in early June that Charles Raby, who has been sitting on death row since 1994 after being convicted of slaying a grandmother, had received some good news in his ongoing DNA challenge.

An outside expert, Patricia P. Hamby, determined that the much-maligned Houston Crime Lab had been, at best, misleading in reporting its blood work during the original trial. Blood was found under the victim's fingernails, and it belonged to neither Raby nor the victim. Yet analyst Joseph Chu reported the results as "inconclusive".

It remained to be seen whether Hamby's conclusion would be relevant within the narrow confines of Raby's challenge. That question seemed to be answered this morning, when the judge decided to both accept Hamby's testimony into the record and hear from her in person.

That means closing arguments, scheduled for this week, will be put off indefinitely -- yet again -- until Hamby can appear before the judge.

"I don't know exactly who's going to pay for it. I don't know whose witness she's going to be. But one way or another Patricia Hamby is going to come down to Houston and tell us what she discovered," Sarah Frazier, Raby's lawyer, tells Hair Balls. "I think it's powerful stuff."

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