Orange County Criminal Defense

Dallas Man Who Spent 17 Years in Prison Was Exonerated

Quintin Lee Alonzo was freed from prison after serving 17 years behind bars for a murder that he did not commit.  The district attorney’s office in Dallas County dismissed all charges against Alonzo, including the murder charge and two counts of aggravated assault after Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals declared him innocent.  Alonzo was originally convicted of those charges in 2003 in connection with the June 2001 killing of Santos Guana and the shooting of his parents at his high school graduation party. 

He was sentenced to life in prison.  Another man, Licho Escamilla, was first on the police’s radar, but a witness picked Alonzo as the killer from a photo lineup, therefore the police falsely determined the killer as Alonzo.  Escamilla fled the country only to return a few months later and kill two people, one of which was a police officer, within a span of a couple weeks. 

Escamilla was convicted of capital murder and just before his execution in 2015, he confessed to killing Guana, setting off the chain of events that led to Alonzo’s exoneration.  State District Judge Carter Thompson ruled that Alonzo had been convicted on false evidence.

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