Gilford Beatty of Houston, Texas has recently endured some tribulations that no person should have to. The father of four children was arrested and charged with five different robberies. He spent six days in jail, lost his job, and had to spend $15,000 on bail and an attorney. The problem with this is that Mr.Beatty was completely innocent of all five robbery charges, as KPRC Local 2 News reports.
It started with a call from a bonding company. Mr. Beatty was informed that there were warrants out for his arrest on two felony charges of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. After paying his bond for those two charges of crimes he was wrongfully accused of, he was arrested and charged with two more robberies, quickly followed by another one. He was informed that he had been accused of robbing mobile phone stores in and around Humble, Texas.
Beatty had been near one of those stores that had been robbed, so he appeared on surveillance video. While at one of those said businesses, he had given a copy of his driver’s license. That picture was placed in a photo lineup, and then somehow victims in every case picked him. KPRC went to investigate how so many eyewitnesses could have picked the wrong man. They spoke with one victim, who said that she never actually saw the real thief’s face, saying, “…he was really ducking down so we didn't really see his full-figured face.” Another victim who agreed to be interviewed said, “There were so many pictures in the lineup it was hard. I told the detective it was closest to what I saw."
So how do we know Beatty didn’t do it? The case against him fell apart when detectives looked further into it. One of the crime he was accused of happened when he was paying for his bail. Another happened while he was his place of work. When they looked at his cellphone records, they discovered he had been at least 10 miles away from each crime when it happened. Presented with this overwhelming evidence, the charges were dismissed, five months after the whole ordeal started. KPRC writes, “Detectives and prosecutors said the system did work because further investigation showed Beatty was not the robber and the charges were dismissed.” That’s some kind of system.
Meanwhile, Mr. Beatty is understandably upset about being accused of crimes he didn’t commit. He told the station, “My family was scared; pain, suffering, everything, it just breaks you down.” The person responsible for these crimes is still on the loose.
More info: KPRC