Defendant suing after evidence destroyed by Precinct 4

Reporter Grace White sat down with the man whose criminal case revealed the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office had destroyed evidence.

A Houston-area man is suing Harris County over the evidence dump investigation at the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office. David Bellamy spoke exclusively to KHOU 11 News Tuesday night.

Bellamy's case was dismissed and a lot of people might think it's a victory for him, but he spent time in jail based on evidence the Harris County District Attorney's Office didn't have.

"We were picking a jury that day," said Bellamy. "I thought my life was over. It pretty much ruined the whole family."

MORE: Attorney calls for federal investigation of Pct. 4, DA's office

It was his case that cracked the investigation into missing evidence wide open. It was later discovered in March that a deputy constable destroyed more than 21,000 pieces of evidence while cleaning out Precinct 4’s evidence room. Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said that deputy constable has been fired.

"That should never happen, man, not to a legal system that's supposed to be just," he said.

Bellamy doesn't try to hide his past, he's a convicted felon.

"I got out in 2012, I haven't been in trouble since," he said.

The district attorney's office pushed for a plea deal in the case, but Bellamy maintained his innocence. Last year, he was pulled over and arrested on drug charges.

"I can't get a bond for months, lost my job, my wife had no way of even supporting her, kids left out there," he said.

Bellamy says prosecutors kept offering plea deal after plea deal, but when his attorney finally asked to see the evidence, there was nothing there.

"Why should the government be held to a lower standard than ordinary people? I can't try to induce you to do something that I know is based on false information. That's called fraud," said Joe Jones, the attorney now representing Bellamy in a civil lawsuit.

The lawsuit holds Harris County and District Attorney Devon Anderson responsible.

"They knew they couldn't try the case, they knew the evidence didn't exist and they pursued prosecution against this man for months," said Jones.

Now, Bellamy is a free man, but left wondering how many others took plea deals based on evidence that was dumped.

"They shouldn't take the law into their own hands and take action against people just because they think they're vulnerable or in a bad spot," said Bellamy.

We are still waiting to hear exactly how many cases were impacted. Bellamy's attorneys believe they never would have known if they hadn't pressed to see this evidence.


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