Michael Short

Falsely Convicted of

Aggravated Sexual Assault and Kidnapping

 

I have been erroneously incarcerated for ten years for aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping of a sixteen year old girl.  A crime I did not commit.     

 

On February 6, 1996, I was arrested by U.S. Marshalls on a fugitive warrant for walking away from a California half way house with eleven days to finish.  During the arrest the Marshall asked, “What’s up with this girl in Houston??”  Thinking he was talking about Leaan, a girl I had a minor problem with, I stated that I asked her if she had wanted to smoke a joint and later had consensual sex with her.  He asked if he could search my home looking for a video of me killing my wife in California.  I consented, stating that my ex wife is alive and well and is going to get a kick out of being dead.  The Marshall told me that the detectives in Houston were making these allegations.  They took all of my VHS videos and returned them all the next day. Nothing was found on them or in my house.  I was booked into the Dallas County jail on a California warrant.

 

Later I was questioned by two detectives claiming to be a DEA agent and an ATF agent.  They wanted “information” so they could help me in my case but later came up with the same question, “What happened with this girl in Houston??”  I repeated the same thing I told the Marshall.  A few days later I was taken from my holding cell at about 5a.m., brought down stairs and held with some other guys.  Finally I asked someone what was going on and he stated that they were there to do a line-up.  After talking we figured out it was me who was probably the intended suspect.

 

When male and female detectives came to bring us out, I asked if the line-up had to do with me.  The female detective said yes.  I stated that I had a lawyer Ray Epps, of Houston and I wanted him present during any line of questioning.  The male detective stated in front of all of the participants that “I had no right to have an attorney present,”  and that if I did not do the line-up now it would be used against me in court to show my guilt, so I did the video line-up.  The participants on either side of me, when it was their turn to step forward, bowed their arms and flexed their muscles like body builders.  Many months later I found out that the main identifier the victim described was a spider tattoo, this would be critical in any identification.

 

When I first called my lawyer I explained about Leaan.  I honestly thought this was who it was all about, so yes, I told him I did it.  I was being up front because it was no big deal.  I knew Leaan was pissed at me; I left Leaan in her van in the parking lot of the Turtle Club because we had fallen asleep.  I left without taking waking her and later the cops cruising the parking lot woke her up, thus extremely embarrassing her.  Needless to say all of her fury was directed at me.  I did not find out until two or three months later when I received the indictment that the complainant was not Leaan but someone I did not even know.  I immediately called my lawyers office, left a message and then wrote him a follow up letter.

 

I paid my lawyer $20,000 in cash after selling my prized possession, my custom Harley show bike and some other items.  My lawyer was to fly out to see me soon as he was paid but he never showed up, in fact, he never came to see me until 30 days before the trial, at which time he did not even know that the indictment was flawed.  He was supposed to hire an identification expert, Steven Penrod, and a private investigator which he never did.  I found out from his wife that Ray Epps was fighting cancer, had two high profile cases on top of his regular case load and was stretched too thin.  He should have never taken on a case as complex as aggravated assault and kidnapping..  Ray was supposed to have hired a DNA expert but never did.  During our only private conversation Ray Epps stated, “We have nothing, they have everything.”  He refused to listen to me telling him that I did not do this crime.  He stated, “Do not try to change your story at this stage of the game.”  I explained I called his wife and I wrote two letters about a month ago and he stated that he got them.  I knew at this time that my attorney was not defending me; He was not even prepared for the trial.  At the end of this a thirty minute meeting he stated that he was going to get the case postponed because of the flawed indictment.  Ray Epps was not prepared for trial and he already knew what he was going to do.

 

On the day of the trial, that was supposed to be postponed according to my lawyer due to the news of the flawed indictment, the Bailiff pushed through the bars a black ball and said, “Get dressed. You are picking a jury.” 

 

I said. “No, we are getting a postponement according to my lawyer.” 

 

He said, “Your lawyer is in the court room – get dressed.”

 

The new suit my girlfriend bought me did not fit.  It was too short and I put on weight so the waist was too small.  The Bailiff refused my black socks so it had to be bright white socks in pants five inches to short.

 

When Ray Epps finally came to the holding cell, that is twelve feet by eight feet with fifteen inmates in it, two already at the doors talking to their lawyers, called out m name and over the heads of the others said, “You have a one time offer of twenty years, you have fifteen minutes to decide the fate of the rest of your life.”  One lawyer looked at my lawyer and walked away.

 

I moved up and said to Ray, “What are you talking about?  What about the DNA evidence?  It will prove I did not do this.”

 

He said the Assistant District Attorney said that it came back negative and inconclusive, “could have,” come from me.  He further stated that the prosecution has thirty two witnesses against me in the hallway.  I stated that we just came through the hallway and only three people were sitting there.  Then Ray Epps stated, “They’re in the court room then.”  I told him that I looked in the court room and there were only three or four people there.  Ray yelled, “They’re in the jury room then!!”  He looked at his watch and said, “You have ten minutes left,” and walked away.

 

All of the inmates in the holding tank started saying all sorts of things like, “That dude is selling you out.”  When I said that I paid him $20,000 they were all shocked.  When Ray came back the tank got quite.

 

Ray stated that I have five minutes left and that if I took the plea I would five years, six max and be out.  If I did not take the plea I would get a life sentence and die in prison.  I would never hold my son as a young boy, never go fishing or even attend a birthday party, you will die in prison.

 

I stated, “Ray, I did not do this crime,”

 

He stated, “Just chalk it up to one of those crimes you got away with.”

 

Again Ray stated that they have thirty two witnesses.  They have everything and we have nothing.  It was at this point that I realized that Ray Epps did absolutely nothing.  He had not even contacted my ex wife so she could show up and show that she was not dead.  He was going to let me go to trial completely unprepared and with an allegation that I killed my wife.  Ray Epps did not even do background checks on any witnesses, not even those who were just making statements against me and going to be used in the states evidence of extraneous offenses, just being arrested and not convicted or just a statement by an extreme alcoholic or a drug dealer was going to be presented as fact and Ray did absolutely nothing to be prepared to impeach their statements even though a first year law student would have.

 

I have recently filed under the state DNA law a motion to have the DNA tested.  The biological evidence, the same that was supposed to be inconclusive and the court had ordered my DNA taken to test against had never been tested, somebody canceled it.  After a year back in the county jail battling the DAs office and their lies, I was granted testing and it was found that I am excluded as a contributor of the biological material.  See the official lab results by clicking the link below.

 

Further I have found that I am taller, heavier, have a different color of hair and my tow truck color is not “orange” but black and red..  Also I have three deformities on my penis that were not described by the victim, of which, the crime allegedly happened in broad daylight while the victim sat in the passenger seat,  The deformities would be clearly visible from the right side.  All three of them are absolutely unmistakable.

 

With all of this new evidence and about twenty five prongs of error and fifty five designated issues to be resolved, I filed an extensive pro-se writ of habeas corpus of ineffective assistance of counsel time two, plus a cruel and unusual punishment claim due to extreme medical malpractice and neglect while in prison.  I had temporary help from a Free World Para-Legal volunteer and a good jail house lawyer that due to new prison rules I can no longer correspond with for help. 

 

The District Attorney’s office agreed with my writ and the judge agreed and ordered the resolving of the designated issues.  From here on out I am completely lost and need legal help badly.  I have been writing to some of the innocent projects but they take years.  I have terminal lung cancer that I currently have in remission.  My new nick-name from the oncology hospital is “Lucky Dog”, as they gave me six months to live three and a half years ago.  God surely looks out for the unfortunate but believers.  There is  a lot more to this case,  If you would like to help, want more information or a complete copy of the writ you can write me at:

 

 

Michael E. Short #774048

1300 FM 655

Rosharon, TX 77583

 

An innocent man called Lucky Dog needs help.

 

Official Lab Results

 

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