Because the state suppressed two statements of Carter, its most important witness that were inconsistent with Carter’s trial testimony, and then presented false, misleading testimony at trial that was inconsistent with the suppressed facts, we have no trouble concluding that the suppressed statements are material. Carter made several inconsistent statements throughout the investigation and pre-trial period. In some he denied all involvement, in some he implicated himself and Graves, and then, just before he testified against Graves, he gave the statements at issue in this appeal accepting full responsibility as the sole murderer and another statement placing his wife Cookie as an active participant in the murders. If the defense had known about the statement placing Cookie at the scene and given Carter’s continuing condition that he would only testify if he were not asked about Cookie’s involvement, the defense could have explained every statement implicating Graves as a means of protecting Cookie. As indicated above, these statements are particularly important in this case because Graves’ conviction rests almost entirely on Carter’s testimony and there is no direct evidence linking him with Carter or with the murder scene other than Carter’s testimony. In addition, Carter’s statement that he committed the crimes alone is important as the only statement he made exculpating Graves while implicating himself. The combination of these facts leads us to conclude “that the favorable evidence could reasonably be taken to put the whole case in such a different light as to undermine confidence in the verdict.” Kyles, 314 U.S. at 435. Stated differently, disclosure of the statements “would have resulted in a markedly weaker case for the prosecution and a markedly stronger one for the defense.” Id. at 441.
Relief granted on Brady grounds by the Fifth Circuit
A jury convicted Anthony Graves of singular incident in which six people were killed. The only real evidence linking Graves to the crime was the testimony of co-defendant Robert Earl Carter. On the night before the trial, Carter told prosecutors "I did it all myself, Mr. Sebesta. I did it all myself." Charles Sebesta was the lead prosecutor. The State never informed counsel for Graves about the statement or other exculpatory evidence.
Opinion here [Note that in the moments before his being executed Carter confessed to framing Graves. Congrats go out to his counsel Roy Greenwood & Jay Burnett, as well as the University of Houston's Innocence Network who had amassed new information in the last three years showing Graves is innocent. I am told there is an Army of additional people who deserve credit, but I will leave that to others.]
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