Alright, ladies and gents, I have a few things for you today; first off, Jose Pablo Cabral has created in internet petition requesting another look at Coy’s case. Y’all know how I feel about internet petitions, but this one received over 1,500 supporters in one day, so I may have to rethink my stance.
I have heard that Governor Perry, if you can spark his interest in a case, may take action. Because of this I’m asking y’all to take a minute, sign the petition, and see if you can get a friend to do the same. I’m not going to tell you, “Oh, if we just get x amount of signatures then SPM will be free!”, but I do believe this could be a tool that will grab the attention of a political figure who has the power to ensure that justice is done.
Next up, ThePainted Box’s Angela Nino has designed some much better flyers to be sent to the DA’s office. They are eye-catching, concise, and I really encourage you to download a couple and send them to the political figure of your choice. Today I’m writing to Jani Jo Wood, the candidate for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals I talked about last week, and I think she could use a little art in her life, don’t you? Please, print one out & send it in.
For all three, use the link below:
These will download as PDF files, about 3MB each. If there are any problems with the download, please let me know in the comments. Pass them around to anyone that might be interested.
This is the letter I’m sending to Jani Jo Wood; it’s a synopsis of the case, just a brief overview that will hopefully pique her interest.
Jani Jo Wood
Harris County Public Defender
1201 Franklin St., 13th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
I'm writing to you about the case of Carlos Coy, #908426. You may not be familiar with this case, but I hope you will take a little time to learn why I, and many like me, believe that he did not receive a fair trial. We would like very much to obtain a new one for him, so that justice may finally be done. Texas has made some very encouraging strides towards correcting wrongful convictions. I hope that someday Carlos Coy, and his family, will directly benefit from these ground-breaking movements.
In 2001, Carlos Coy was 31 years old, the CEO of his own local company Dope House Records, and had just signed a deal with Universal Records, which is a national company; from what I understand, it was a big deal for any rapper, but especially a Hispanic one (there were very few at the time.)
In April 2001, Coy submitted to a DNA test and was declared the father of a child whose mother was 14 years old when she gave birth; Coy was 22 at the time. He did not contest paternity, and as far as I know has never tried to hide this because, as he himself admits, he believed she was of age. There was never a criminal case brought against him for this, just the civil case to procure child support.
On Labor Day, Coy’s daughter Carly had a 9 year-old friend sleep over. Sometime that night, the friend told Coy’s wife Gina that she didn’t feel well, so Carlos drove her home, and stayed a little while to have menudo with the girl’s family. At some point between the 1st and the 7th, a report was filed claiming that Carlos Coy had touched the girl inappropriately.
September 7th, the child and her mother went to the police station. The girl was interviewed, and the mother wrote out a statement. This interview was recorded, but in court the officer, Heidi Ruiz, claimed that the audio malfunctioned; likewise, she testified that the mother was distraught, uneducated, unable to write, so that written statement was discarded.
Three days later, the child underwent another Interview at Houston’s Child Assessment Center, and another statement was taken from the mother. At this point, the accusation changed from being touched to ‘the mouth of Carlos Coy contacting the sexual organ of the child’. In court, Officer Ruiz insisted that both interviews were consistent.
Around September 25, Coy was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of the 9 year old child, and also of Jill Odom. The latter was never prosecuted. As far as I can find, no attempt was made to obtain DNA evidence in the 9 year old's case, which may be because the Houston Crime Lab was currently embroiled in its own scandal and was either shut down or about to be.
After the trial, Coy’s defense lawyer Chip Lewis suggested that the District Attorney’s office had ‘advertised’ for more victims; I don’t know if he meant this literally or figuratively, but several more came forward, all of them claiming to have been molested around the age of 14. No other prepubescent children accused him.
For example, in February of 2002, one of these girls claimed that she had sex with Carlos Coy, who was out on bail. This was used to revoke his bail, although his lawyers filed documents indicating that, although the girl claimed they had unprotected sex, she had not passed on her venereal disease, and that she had a history of trying to extort money from Coy:
Coy’s trial began in May of 2002. The judge was Mark Kent Ellis, the prosecutors were Denise Oncken and Lisa Andrews. Coy’s defense lawyers were Chip Lewis and Mark Ramsey, although I don’t believe Ramsey appeared in court.
I do not have access to the trial transcript yet, only bits and pieces available from Coy and a few online documents such as his appeal. The child testified that she wasn’t sure what had happened, that she couldn’t really remember, and that it might have been a dream. She made these statements to the prosecutor and to the defense lawyer. According to the transcripts she was being seen for tension headaches, sleep disorders, and possible hallucinations as early as 8 months before the accusations, but her headaches and insomnia were portrayed by the prosecutors as proof of abuse. She was also taking a powerful anti-depressant that, at the time, had not been tested in children under 12.
Coy was supported by his friends and family throughout the trial, but was eventually convicted and sentenced to 45 years in prison; there he remains, until the justice system decides to revisit it's past mistakes and provide him with a new trial.
If you've read this far, ma'am, I appreciate it. I am encouraged by your work in appellate justice, by your involvement with the Innocence Project of Texas, and your obvious respect for the rights and liberties of individual citizens. I hope very much that you will consider Coy's case for review, but either way I support your bid for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.