Prosecutor Of Exonerated Texas Death Row Inmate Faces Bar Hearing

The prosecutor who tried a case that sent a Texas man to death row for the murders of a woman, her daughter and her four grandchildren faces a state bar hearing that could result in the loss of his law license.

Anthony Graves (File)

DALLAS (July 7, 2014) Former Burleson County District Attorney Charles Sebesta, whose prosecution sent a Texas man to death row for the murders of a woman, her daughter and her four grandchildren more than two decades ago, faces a state bar hearing that could result in the loss of his law license.

Sebesta prosecuted Anthony Graves, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of the six people in 1992 in Somerville.

In 2006, a federal appeals court reversed Graves' conviction after finding that prosecutors withheld evidence and allowed two witnesses to give false testimony.

Graves’ attorneys said Monday that the State Bar of Texas had found "just cause" against Sebesta.

Graves, who was freed four years ago after 18 years behind bars, said Monday he wants to see Sebesta disbarred and prosecuted, but Sebesta said the State Bar has already investigated the matter and cleared him.

Graves and Robert Earl Carter were sentenced to die for the killings, but the only evidence tying Graves to the slayings came from Carter, who absolved Graves shortly before his execution 13 years ago.

Graves spent two years awaiting trial, a dozen years on death row until the appeals court threw out his conviction, and four more years locked up awaiting retrial that prosecutors ultimately decided they couldn’t justify.

Graves was convicted of helping Carter kill Bobbie Joyce Davis; her daughter, Nicole, 16, and four grandchildren between the ages of 4 and 9 in the family's home in Somerville.

The family was stabbed, shot and bludgeoned with a hammer and their house doused with gasoline and set on fire.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ordered a new trial for Graves in 2006.


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