Appeals court orders convicted Shelby Co. murderer's release

Published: Nov. 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM CST
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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After more than 15 years behind bars for a crime that a convicted murderer claims he did not commit, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ordered he be released from state prison.

According to Gena Bunn, the attorney for Kenneth Boyd Jr., Boyd could be released as soon as Monday.

In the court's opinion, they ruled Boyd be released to the Shelby County Sheriff. Bunn said it is her understanding that District Judge Charles Mitchell has signed a PR bond, which will allow Boyd to return home, pending any further prosecution.

"Basically, it's like he's in the indictment stage and waiting for trial again," Bunn said.

However, as District Attorney Kenneth Florence has re-opened the murder investigation, it is possible the case against Boyd could be dropped.

Bunn filed a Writ of Habeus Corpus in June, a document asking for freedom due to injustices. Mitchell signed the order, recommending the life sentence be vacated.

The order cites a pattern of prosecutorial misconduct including suppressed items of evidence and false testimony. These are some of the same issues that led to the appeals court throwing out Boyd's co-defendant, Rodney Moore's life conviction.

Boyd was whisked away in 1999 following his life sentence for capital murder.

To this day he maintains his innocence, along with three co-defendants.

Witnesses say he was in Jacksonville, not Center, When Brian Brooks, Percy Moore and a sleeping 13-year-old Christy Calhoun were gunned down in 1997.

He even passed a polygraph.

But recommendation for relief extends way beyond that.

Facts and conclusions of law are listed in an order signed by District Judge Charles Mitchell.

It cites the use of jailhouse snitches high on crack, lying witnesses, and suppressed evidence on the part of then-District Attorney Karren Price.

The court disagreed with Mitchell on relief based on innocence, but they did conclude the conviction was invalid based on suppressed evidence.

"Since I became involved two years ago, the more I saw what I believed to be a grave injustice," Bunn said. "This was a reaffirmation in my belief in the system. At least at this point he is going to get the relief he deserves."

Bunn said it was Boyd's mother's persistence in the case which got Boyd out of prison.

"It was really her who basically wore them out until they appointed counsel for Kenny," Bunn said.

Boyd's mother suffered a heart attack on Thursday. Bunn said she is in stable condition at a Tyler hospital.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.