Evidence problems revealed
Williams said he discovered that some evidence hadn’t been tested after he made a request for the complete ffle on Fairs from law enforcement and in July received 4,500 pages, 25 DVDs, reports and photographs.
After studying the ffle he found out there were ffngerprints from the scene that didn’t match the ffngerprints of Fairs and also blood that hadn’t been identiffed, Williams said.
“During the course of preparing for trial, the prosecutor determined that there was additional physical evidence that should be tested,” said Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley. “In addition, there is additional investigation that is needed. In the interest of justice, (the prosecutor) dismissed the case while that testing and investigation take place because it may take substantial time to complete. When completed, the case will be presented to a grand jury for consideration.”
The initial investigation was conducted by the Williamson County Sheriffi’s Ofice, but Williams said the initial prosecutor in the case, Robert McCabe, “had asked for some forensic testing but had not asked for the forensic items we required.”
McCabe couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.
“We want it known that we support any further testing, or retesting of any and all evidence that provides information beneffcial to the innocence or guilt of Mr. Fairs,” sheriffi’s spokesman John Foster said.
Foster and Bradley declined to comment on why some of the evidence hadn’t been tested before Fairs was indicted and extradited from California, where he was living and teaching basketball.
Fairs played for the Longhorns’ basketball team for two seasons in the 1980s after transferring from Odessa Junior College. A 6-foot-5 forward known for his play on offiense, Fairs was named the team’s most valuable player of 1986-87, his senior season. He was also picked in the NBA draft by the Washington Wizards and played in the Australian National Basketball League, Williams said.
When a grand jury indicted Fairs in the fall of 2011, authorities wouldn’t comment about the evidence they had against him. Williams said Friday that the evidence was only circumstantial. Bradley said Friday that “circumstantial evidence has the same value, if not more, as direct evidence.”
Bradley said a grand jury could indict Fairs again “should the evidence support it.”
Estes was a security guard at the University of Texas and the mother of two children. A neighbor found her dead on Jan. 30, 2006, in the Chandler Creek home that she shared with Fairs.
Relatives and acquaintances of Estes expressed dismay that Fairs was released.
Williams said that Fairs was “out and about doing errands” during most of the day that Estes died.
Fairs wasn’t available for comment Friday, said Williams.
“He actually harbors no anger toward (Williamson County) or the system,” Williams said.