Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Wiley Fountain

First Name Wiley
Last NameFountain
Year of Conviction1986
Year of Exoneration2003
State of ConvictionTexas
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defendant’s cousin testified that defendant was asleep at the time of the crime.

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

“Q: Did you rape [the victim]? A: No, sir, I didn’t.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Valid (Non-probative)
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Analysts testified that blood and saliva tests were inconclusive

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Suggestive line-up – defendant only person with cap and jogging suit like victim had described attacker wearing

Quotes from testimony #1

“Q. And it didn’t help at all that he had those clothes on that looked kind of like what you described earlier, did it? A. Yes. Q. It did help, didn’t it? A. Yes. Q. And he was the only one that was dressed that way in those photographs, wasn’t he? A. Yes.”

Unreliable Identification?

No ● Discrepancies in description – facial hair, moustache

Quotes from testimony #2

One victim affirmatively told police that he did not have any facial hair. “Q. And you’re telling this jury that the person that attacked you kissed you on the neck and then kissed both your breasts for about five minutes, and you were not able to tell anybody that he had facial hair, that is, a mustache? In fact, you told them just the opposite, didn’t you? You told them he didn’t have facial hair? A. Yes.” Later at the parole hearing, she for the first time said that “it looked like he had a mustache, but I couldn’t tell if it was a mustache or just a shadow on his face.”

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Jury Selection
  • Suggestive Eyewitness Identification
Harmless Error Rulings
  • HE
  • NP
Citations to judicial opinions

Fountain v. State, No. 05‐86‐00941‐CR (Tex. App. Dallas 1987)