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Stories Added - June 2009
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Appeals court upholds 2007 conviction of Richard Winfrey Sr.
San Jacinto News- Times - June 2009
COLDSPRING – The 11th Court of Appeals upheld the 2007 jury conviction of Richard Lynn Winfrey Sr., of the offense of murder last week. Winfrey was convicted of beating Murray Burr with his hands and fi sts and of stabbing him with a knife. He was sentenced to 75 years for Burr’s murder by a San Jacinto County jury. In two issues, Winfrey challenged the “legal and factual suffi ciency of the evidence to support his conviction.” In upholding Winfrey’s conviction, the appeals court reviewed all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict and determined whether any rationale of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
The appeals court determines whether the evidence supporting the verdict is so weak that the verdict is clearly wrong and manifestly unjust or whether the verdict is against the great weight and preponderance of the confl icting evidence. Writing for the majority, Justice Terry McCall found that since Winfrey Sr. told a fellow prisoner that “some kind of gun and knife collection” had been taken from Burr’s house, Winfrey Sr. had shared information that was not even known at the time by the police.
“Additionally, appellant (Winfrey Sr.,) identified himself as the number one suspect in the murder at a time when the police did not consider him to be a suspect,” McCall stated in the decision. “Under this circumstance, the jury may have reasonable concluded that such information would only be known by the murderer or murderers,” Mc- Call wrote. McCall also found that the canine scent evidence that was presented during the trial was “legally and factually suffi cient” to support Winfrey Sr.’s conviction.