The River Oaks Kidnapping Investigation
Houston, TX based Attorney Patricia “Patti” Sedita represented a defendant charged with attempting to kidnap a River Oaks housewife as she took her morning run.
Houston Police Investigate
The Police investigation identified 4 suspects, although witnesses at the scene told the Police there were only 2 abductors. 2 of the suspects informed local girlfriends they had to flee to Mexico to avoid being captured. The State’s evidence against Patti’s client involves the defendant’s DNA being present in the rental car used in the abduction attempt and a very tentative identification by the victim. During the Trial, we were able to establish that our defendant did hang out with the suspects who fled to Mexico and may have been in and out of the rental car before the attempted abduction.
The HPD Detective Was Unprofessional
The witness identification went from “I didn’t see his face but he had a black hand” in the Police Report to a positive identification of the defendant in a line-up. During the course of the Trial, Patti was able to establish that the Investigating Detective, Brian Harris, had not provided his field notebook to the Prosecutor as the other Investigating Officers had. Patti was also able to establish that Harris had failed to turn over an audio taped interview he had with the Complainant prior to her identification. The trial was halted on February 18, 2011, when this information came to light to give the defense an opportunity to investigate the circumstances surrounding the new information. The Trial resumed in mid-March and after a week, the Jury could not come to a conclusion on the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
It is almost certain there will be a second Trial.
RESULT BASED ON INVESTIGATION: Hung Jury in Kidnapping Case
Return to the April 2011 Investigator’s Newsletter