Capital Murder Exoneree Anthony Graves Files Grievance Against Prosecutor

Anthony Graves and attorney Bob Bennett
Anthony Graves, who was exonerated of capital murder in 2010 after spending 18 years in prison, has filed a grievance against the former district attorney that prosecuted him. A new Texas law made it possible.

Twenty years after Anthony Graves was wrongfully convicted of killing six people in Burleson County about 100 miles northwest of Houston, Graves says he’s still seeking justice.

“Here today, Martin Luther King Day, I’m here seeking justice for me and my family and for the citizens of this state.”

Graves was released from death row in 2010 after his conviction was overturned, but it had been a long way there.

“All because a man abused his position — a position that we as citizens entrusted him to serve and protect us, to seek justice. Well, I think my mother and my children today can tell you that that’s not what we got.”

The grievance signed by Graves electronically on Monday accuses Charles Sebesta, the former district attorney of Burleson County, of withholding critical information that may have changed the outcome of the murder trial in the early 90s.

An appeals court ruled in 2006 that Sebesta withheld favorable evidence in the Grave case. That was followed by a first grievance by Graves’ attorney but it was dismissed because the State Bar of Texas determined the statute of limitations had passed at the time.

That will be different this time thanks to a bill state Sen. John Whitmire introduced in the last legislative session.

“Now the statute of limitation begins when the inmate is released. All the difference in the world.”

Sebesta says he never withheld evidence during the Graves trial and that the grievance is nothing but a grand stand play by Graves’ attorney, Bob Bennett.

Sebesta still believes Graves is guilty.

“We’re trying to make a hero out of somebody that was accused of killing six people, including four children between the ages of 4 and 9.”

On his website, Sebesta describes his version of the Graves case and accuses the media of being biased against him and for Graves’ innocence.

On the opposite side, Anthony Graves says he also wants his attorneys to file criminal charges against Sebesta.

“For what he (has) done to me and my family. That’s justice. That’s all I want. This is not about revenge. I want justice.”

Bio photo of Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Reporter/NewsLab Coordinator

Florian Martin is the KUHF NewsLab Coordinator. While guiding and overseeing interns, he works on his own stories and is always on call to cover breaking news and other media events...