Lassiter Client Released On Bond 26 Years After Wrongful Conviction

The team at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter is proud to announce that our client, Walter Roy, has been released on bond after serving 26 years in prison for a crime that police and prosecutors now say he’s innocent of.

In 1995, our client accompanied two men, Edric Davis and Benny Lemmons, to Echo Lake Park where a drug deal was to take place. When two vehicles unexpectedly arrived at the scene, Lemmons, who had brought a rifle with him, apparently opened fire. No one was killed, but multiple individuals sustained injuries, including Davis. The men fled the scene, but only Roy was later arrested in connection with the incident.

Alleging that Roy was the shooter, prosecutors charged him with attempted murder and engaging in organized crime. Questionable police work, conflicting witness statements, and false testimony all eventually led to his conviction.

Now, six different witnesses have all stated definitively that Roy was not the shooter. Instead, they allege, it was Lemmons. One witness even stated that our client had attempted to grab the gun from Lemmons. This only further strengthened our client’s claim of innocence. He did not show up in Echo Lake Park intending to commit the crimes for which he was later charged.

The Turning of the Tide

Both the Tarrant County DA and the Tarrant County sheriff have now stated that Roy should be released from prison. In May of 2020, the DA, the sheriff, and the judge presiding over our client’s case jointly filed a request with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to have Roy’s sentence commuted to time served. They brought up the fact that no physical evidence was found at the scene linking Roy to the crime, and that the six witnesses who came forward had identified Lemmons as the shooter.

In August of last year, the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended clemency for our client. However, five months after their recommendation, Texas Governor Greg Abbott inexplicably denied the request, which was a huge blow to Roy’s case. Abbott has rarely granted clemency in the past; in fact, he has only done so once during his time in office.

Before Abbott denied clemency, the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter filed an appeal with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In the appeal, our client asked the court to throw out his conviction and declare him “actually innocent.”

While the Tarrant County DA’s office initially objected to this, citing the fact that he could have been charged as an accomplice, they changed course when clemency was denied. At that time, prosecutors joined forces with our firm, and since then we have been fighting for Roy’s appeal to be heard in the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Unfortunately, the Court denied the appeal before it could be amended to include a claim that Roy’s constitutional rights had been violated when false testimony was presented (and used to convict him) at trial. The Court has argued that because Roy did not include all claims that could be raised before his appeal was denied, his amended appeal cannot be heard.

Justice For Our Client

Our firm, along with Tarrant County prosecutors and the Innocence Project of Texas, has continued to push for the Court to hear our client’s appeal. We allege that there are legal grounds for the Court to hear the appeal and that doing so would break new legal ground that could ultimately help other wrongfully convicted individuals who are at a legal impasse.

The Court is currently considering whether or not it has the authority to hear the appeal, but in the midst of that legal conundrum, our attorney Mark T. Lassiter wasted no time securing bond for our client. At a hearing in August of this year, Magistrate Judge Charles Reynolds formally granted bond to our client as he awaits the Court’s decision. The next day, we were ecstatic to watch Roy walk out of Tarrant County Jail, where he was greeted by his fiancee and his loved ones.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Mark T. Lassiter Today

If you are in need of a seasoned criminal defense attorney who has secured proven results for his clients in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding areas, contact The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter. We have the skills, experience, and resources necessary to handle even the most complex of cases, and we won’t back down from a fight. Call us or reach out to us online for a confidential consultation today.



Top Rated Lawyer - Rating 10.0
Top 10 Dallas (BEST D)
Dallas Bar Association
Texas Criminal Lawyers Association
Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Super-Lawyers Logo
American Association for Justice
The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Free Case Evaluation