- Robbery & Kidnapping
On March 25, 1992, a Dallas couple was abducted at gunpoint by two men. The men forced themselves into the couple’s car and had the couple drive the car to another neighborhood, withdraw $200 from an ATM, and later to an abandoned house, where the abductors tied them up and sexually assaulted the woman.
During the assault, another couple unexpectedly drove up to the abandoned house. One of the abductors forced the second couple into the house at gunpoint. The perpetrators soon fled the scene when a school district security officer drove by the house. According to the victims’ testimony, the two perpetrators drove away separately in the couples’ two vehicles.
One week after the crime, three of the four victims picked Patrick Waller out of a photo lineup. The fourth victim would later pick Patrick out from a live lineup. Patrick was identified by the first couple as the man who held the gun during the attack and committed the sexual assault.
Arrest & Trial
Patrick, who was on probation for an unrelated incident, was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping. The Dallas Police Department never identified or charged a second suspect.
At the trial, the four victims identified Patrick as one of the men who attacked them. An analyst from the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences also testified for the state. She said she had conducted blood type testing on a rape kit collected from the sexual assault survivor. She said Patrick could not be excluded as a potential contributor of the semen, while 58% of the population could be excluded.
Based on the eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence, Patrick was convicted on all charges and was sentenced to life in prison.
DNA testing was conducted in his case in late 2007 as part of a joint effort conducted IPTX and the Dallas District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Unit. The results revealed a male profile and excluded Patrick Waller as the perpetrator.
Officials then ran the profile through the national DNA database, and found a match to Byron Bell, a Dallas man serving a 45-year-sentence for a burglary that took place months after the abduction. Bell eventually confessed to the original crime when confronted about it and told police he had an accomplice, who police would soon learn was named Lemondo Simmons.
County officials told local press that Simmons, who had been convicted and incarcerated in 2002 for assault on a public servant and released in 2004, admitted to his role in the crime but could not be charged since the statute of limitations on the crime had passed
Patrick was freed on July 3, 2008, after serving 16 years in prison.
Patrick was exonerated of all charges by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on September 24, 2008.
Systemic Failures Have Wrongly
Imprisoned Thousands of
The Generosity of Their Fellow Citizens Can Provide Them
The Freedom They Deserve.