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Man accused of murder to be released on bond after Dallas Police Department loses data related to pending cases

Jonathan Pitts was supposed to stand trial for murder this week, but the case has been reset.
Credit: Stock photo
Stock photo of jail bars

DALLAS — A man accused of murder will be released from jail, as Dallas police work to determine if any of his case files were deleted in a huge data loss.

Jonathan Pitts was supposed to stand trial for murder this week, but the case has been reset.

Dallas police said Pitts is accused of shooting and killing man in 11000 block of Dennis Road on Jan. 28, 2019. 

Friday night the Dallas Police Department released the following statement: 

"The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office contacted the homicide detective assigned to the investigation on Thursday, Aug. 12, to confirm all evidence was available for trial. The detective advised the prosecutor he would need time to confirm that all files and evidence were available. The detective notified the district attorney’s office on Thursday at 9:50 a.m. that all evidence was available. During the time it took the detective to confirm the files and evidence, the district attorney’s office had to file a motion of continuance with the court." 

In April 2021, the City discovered that multiple terabytes of Dallas Police Department data had been deleted, according to a memo by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

But detectives said Friday night that "all evidence and data files were confirmed to be complete and available" for Pitts' trial. However, the department said when the "State is not ready for trial, state law requires that the suspect must be released on a Personal Recognizance Bond." 

So, for now, Pitts will be able to remain on bond. Yet, as of Saturday night, he was still in the Dallas County jail, officials said. 

RELATED: Dallas police lost about 8 terabytes of files related to pending cases, officials say

According to the DA's memo, 22 terabytes of data were deleted from March 31 to April 5. 

About 14 terabytes were recovered, but approximately eight terabytes remain missing and are believed to be unrecoverable, the memo said.

One terabyte (or 1,000 gigabytes) is equivalent to about 16 iPhones, the 512GB model.

The City of Dallas became aware of the issue on April 5, when Dallas Police Department users noticed certain files were missing, the memo said. 

The City of Dallas is working on a plan to specifically identify affected cases.

District Attorney John Cruezot said his office is now working with the police department to determine how many cases are affected by the data loss. 

 

 

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