Unlike civil law, there are no time periods in which the state must bring a case against an accused for a criminal case. Thus, due to cold case investigations, individuals may require criminal defense for a crime committed years or even decades ago. This is why the Harris County Sherriff's Cold Case Unit was permitted to bring an eight-year-old murder charge against a Texas man.
The murdered woman had been honorably discharged from the military years ago. She subsequently followed a man to Houston where she turned to prostitution. This is where she reportedly met the accused, who lived in her neighborhood. Her body was found on July 21, 2004 in Harris County, Texas. Until recently, the accused man was never a suspect and was never even interviewed.
However, the man only months ago, was charged with a different crime, theft. His DNA was drawn at that point. Investigators then linked his DNA to that of the woman's killer. This new charge was filed in Harris County on Wednesday by the Harris County Sheriff's Cold Case Unit. The unit was recently revived in 2009 after years of dormancy.
Since the unit's resurrection, the group has charged 13 individuals with murder. Like some of those before him, the Texas man faces the death penalty now.
A strong criminal defense is crucial for the man at this time. In spite of what many crime shows on television may lead viewers to believe, DNA evidence is not always reliable. At times DNA evidence can be inaccurate due to invalidated or improper forensic science. Thorough case investigation is necessary in order to defeat these potential issues.
Source: KHOU, "DNA Evidence Links Texas Prison Inmate to Cold Case Murder," Nakia Copper, September 5, 2012