Gilford Beatty, a man from Houston, Texas, was charged with five robberies that he did not commit. The legal troubles all began when he received a phone call from a bonding company.
The company left a message on his mobile phone saying that he had two outstanding warrants of arrest for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. The problems did not stop there. Beatty was arrested on the account of three more robbery charges, bringing the total to five.
Beatty said that the legal troubles he faced made his family scared and brought them pain and suffering.
The string of robberies were said to have taken place in various mobile phone stores around Humble, Texas. Beatty kept on telling authorities that he was not the man they were looking for, but his efforts were futile.
According to the Harris County court documents, Beatty was the common denominator among all the crimes. Additionally, five eyewitnesses identified Beatty as the robber.
Beatty was put at the scene of the crime when a surveillance video showed him at a location near one of the mobile phone stores. Employees of the mobile phone store also had a record of his driver’s license.
The false accusations caused Beatty his job. He also spent six days in jail and had to pay $15,000 on bail.
The robbery cases against him started to crumble when detectives did further inspection of each crime. When one of the crimes happened, Beatty was paying for his bail. On another crime, he was present at his workplace. Investigators also gathered his cellphone records, and they found out that Beatty was located at least 10 miles away from each store when the crimes happened.
With the evidence collected, the charges against Beatty were finally dismissed. However, it happened a little too late, as he was already five months into the ordeal before results came out.
According to prosecutors and detectives, the system did work, since charges were dropped against Beatty. For Beatty, however, the pain he and his family had to go through was too much. “All mixed emotions; angry, sad, everything,” he said.
Authorities say that the real person responsible for the crimes has not yet been caught.
The Problem With Eyewitness Testimony
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