Angelina County DA says investigators aren't at fault for flawed death investigation

Angelina County District Attorney Clyde Herrington
Angelina County District Attorney Clyde Herrington
Angelina County Sheriff's Department Lt. Pete Cooper
Angelina County Sheriff's Department Lt. Pete Cooper

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Jarrad Holland walks away from an Angelina County courtroom, innocent of murdering his girlfriend.

"Most of the cases that we try are the cases that are close calls," said Angelina County District Attorney Clyde Herrington.

Kimberly O'Quinn's death was one of those cases. The defense claimed the state's case was based on a flawed investigation.

"I have no criticism of the sheriff's department or the investigators," said Herrington. "Any investigation, when you have months to look at it, you'll find some things."

"Well the old saying, hindsight is 20/20," said Angelina County Sheriff's Department Lt. Pete Cooper. "That goes with anything."

It's been six years since O'Quinn was found dying in the couple's Pollok home and three years since Holland was tried the first time.

"We have now, in place, different type check lists that we go over on crime scene check lists, death scene check lists," said Cooper. "We try not to forget stuff."

"I think the investigators did what they could at the time with the information and resources that they had available," said Herrington. "One of the things that we always hope to do is we look at a case and if we can identify things that could be improved on, we're going to try to work on that."

Herrington said although no crime scene investigation is perfect, he felt like trying the case again is something he had to do.

"I personally don't feel like I had a choice," explained Herrington. "We felt very strongly about the evidence in this case.  It was not something I could ignore and I've always known that this case had problems, that it had issues, but I felt like that this was something that I had to present to a jury."

However, after eight days presenting the imperfect investigation, jurors had reasonable doubt.

Herrington said he accepts the jury's verdict and is thankful for all their efforts.

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