Innocence hearing being held in Travis County murder case

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Editor’s note: The above video shows KXAN News Today’s morning headlines for Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — More than 30 years after Allen Andre Causey was convicted in the murder of Anita Byington, the 331st Criminal District Court will hear new grounds filed by the Texas Innocence Project on behalf of Causey.

Causey was convicted on July 11, 1992 before being paroled in October 2022. On Oct. 4, 2022, the Texas Innocence Project filed its writ for habeas corpus, according to a press release from Travis County District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Unit.

The Texas Innocence Project’s writ for habeas corpus cited five claims, with two of those already having been litigated. In those litigation causes, the TCDA “agreed that Mr. Causey was entitled to relief,” per the office’s release.

“The Judge has signed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law that the State sponsored false testimony through the calling of a witness who was with the decedent the night of the murder. This claim was based, in part, on two new witnesses who have come forward and offered information potentially implicating an alternate suspect,” the release read in part.

A separate Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law signed by the judge determined the State “withheld Brady evidence at the time of Mr. Causey’s trial,” with the release adding the state “was in possession of information that the same Homicide Unit that obtained Mr. Causey’s alleged confession had obtained four other false confessions.”

Monday’s hearing will center on whether or not Causey’s alleged confession was false. The release said no eyewitnesses or forensics pinpointed Causey to the crime, only his alleged confession.

Christopher Ochoa, now exonerated after he was convicted of murder following a written statement taken by the same homicide unit, spoke Monday morning. Dr. Richard Leo, a false confessions expert, is expected to testify Monday afternoon.

A date for DNA evidence to be heard related to Causey’s case is yet to be determined.

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