Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Patrick Waller

First Name Patrick
Last NameWaller
Year of Conviction1992
Year of Exoneration2008
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionTexas
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Three alibi witnesses testified in addition to the defendant. A security guard at the apartment complex described seeing the defendant and his girlfriend and her children arrive at home the evening of the crime. Defendant’s girlfriend and a friend of theirs describes how he was home that evening.

Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

Defendant described that he was at home the night of the crime; “I did not go back outside at all until the next day.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(1) Masking
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst testified that the results were consistent with the defendants’ type, and 42% of the population could be a contributor, yet the defendant was a non-secretor.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Cross Racial Identification
  • Victim
Multiple eyewitnesses4
Lineup Procedures
  • Lineup
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Victim not told attacker might not be present ● Suggestive remarks

Quotes from testimony #1

Dallas Morning News found that: “After one witness hesitated to identify exoneree Patrick Waller from a photo lineup, prosecution notes show, the lead detective pointed to Mr. Waller’s picture and said two other eyewitnesses had identified him. The witness remained uncertain and was not called to testify at trial.” One victim agreed she was warned “that you pick out only that person you know to be the suspect in this case; don’t pick anybody that you think might be the person. . .” Second victim told “If you see anybody yourecognize, let us know.”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initial nonidentification ● Discrepancies in description – gold teeth, Waller did not wear glasses, hair length

Quotes from testimony #2

One victim who did not identify the defendant in a photo array testified “I couldn’t look at it. I was scared. I turned pictures over to look at them, and I saw it and I just flipped them back over.”

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Motion for DNA Testing
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
Citations to judicial opinions

Waller v. State, 931 S.W.2d 640 (Tex.App.‐Dallas 1996)

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