Ev­i­dence prob­lems re­vealed


Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - Pa­tric Fairs was UT bas­ket­ball’s MVP in 1986-87 sea­son. Con­tact Claire Os­born at 246-0040.

law en­force­ment.”

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.

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