Sonia Cacy is one step closer to being exonerated in the death of her uncle and step father, Bill Richardson.
District Court Judge Bert Richardson ruled on June 3 that Cacy was wrongfully convicted in 1993 for his death. Cacy served six years of her term before being allowed parole.
Cacy is accused of dousing Richardson with gasoline on November 10, 1991 and setting a fire to the home the two shared in Fort Stockton. Cacy lived on an off with Richardson, but returned to the home in September of 1991 to care for him after he went through cataract surgery.
Now after all this time, the courts are revisiting the case.
The Innocence Project of Texas have taken over as her defense.
They say a major reason for her conviction was the toxicologist who investigated the case. Joe Castorena said he found gasoline on Richardson's clothes.
The court calls this evidence the most damaging.
The state retested the clothes. They concluded there was no accelerant.
Castorena also admitted that the morgue and lab was contaminated with other chemicals that could have transferred to the samples taken from Richardson's clothes. He also testified he knew of the contamination and continued testing in those conditions in at least 10 other arson investigations.
Ten experts all examined the same evidence from all those years ago. They also found no signs of gasoline.
The court found the toxicologist used poor testing techniques and his original testimony to not be credible.
The court says it gave the jury a false impression and materially affected the judgment of the jury. The accumulation of evidence led the court to believe Cacy's claim of actual innocence.
The findings of this ruling will be sent to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, who will issue the final ruling on whether to exonerate Cacy of the crime.