Anthony Graves Update
10th Court of Appeals says if it has to, it will vacate the gag order that is improperly curtailing the free speech of Graves, awaiting a retrial for capital murder
Graves was convicted and condemned to die for the 1992 murder of six people inside a home that officials said was set ablaze to cover the crime. Graves has maintained his innocence, and last year the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out his conviction and death sentence, ruling that Burleson Co. prosecutors withheld from Graves' defense crucial evidence that could have changed the outcome of the trial. The Burleson Co. District Attorney's Office has recused itself from handling the retrial and instead the case will be handled by special prosecutor Patrick Batchelor, who last week announced he would again seek a death sentence for Graves. How exactly Batchelor intends to do that is unknown, since there appears to be some question about what evidence the state has to prove its case. For example, although the state has said that executed inmate Robert Carter implicated Graves as his accomplice in the multiple murder, Carter more than once denied this claim including shortly before his execution. Now, of course, Carter would be unavailable to testify. Indeed, late last year, Chief Texas Ranger Ray Coffman told the court no fewer than five times, reports the Houston Chronicle that Carter repeatedly told him that Graves was not involved in the murder. But at a pretrial hearing earlier this month, Coffman changed his testimony, reportedly saying that Carter never made any such statement. In short, what evidence there is to conclusively support any of the accusations against Graves is still very much a mystery.
The case is scheduled for another pretrial hearing in Towslee-Corbett's court in Caldwell on April 13.