Exonerated Texas Death Row Inmate Not Eligible For State Payment

Anthony Graves, the convicted killer who was released from death row last year after prosecutors determined the evidence didn’t support his conviction isn’t immediately eligible for more than $1 million in compensation.

State officials say Graves’ legal documents don’t precisely indicate that he’s innocent. ‘

His attorney Nicole Casarez says she and Graves are disappointed and may have to sue the state because the Texas Comptroller’s Office denied the compensation claim.

Last October, prosecutors determined Graves wasn’t involved in the 1992 slayings of six members of a family in Burleson County, about 100 miles northwest of Houston.

He and Robert Earl Carter were sentenced to die for the killings, but the only evidence tying him to the slayings came from Carter, who absolved Graves shortly before his execution a decade ago.

Graves spent two years awaiting trial for the 1992 slayings in Somerville in Burleson County, a dozen years on death row until an appeals court threw out his conviction, and four more years locked up awaiting retrial that prosecutors decided this week they couldn’t justify.

Graves described death row as “hell, hell, hell” but insisted he’s not bitter.

Graves was convicted of helping Carter kill Bobbie Joyce Davis; her daughter, Nicole, 16, and four grandchildren between the ages of 4 and 9 in the family’s home in Somerville.

The family was stabbed, shot and bludgeoned with a hammer and their house doused with gasoline and set ablaze.

The only evidence tying Graves to the killings was Carter’s testimony, and Carter recanted that testimony just before his execution in 1998.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ordered a new trial for Graves in 2006.

He was in the Burleson County Jail in Caldwell awaiting retrial when a report in the October issue of Texas Monthly magazine raised new questions about the lack of evidence tying Graves to the crimes.

District Attorney Bill Parham moved for dismissal of the charges late Wednesday and Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett agreed after coming to the conclusion that Graves was innocent of the crime.




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