Brent Mayr led the investigation into problems with HPD’s Breath Alcohol Testing (B.A.T.) vans, resulting in multiple convictions thrown out, pending cases dismissed, and a grand jury investigation into the DA’s office.
The Houston Police Department was not forthcoming with all the information about the issues with their B.A.T. vans. Brent Mayr’s investigation discovered electrical issue and other problems that compromised the validity of the tests, possibly leading to wrongful arrests and convictions.
In one specific case, Brent Mayr convinced a Harris County judge to overturn a DWI conviction due to the problems with the B.A.T. vans and the failure of HPD to disclose those problems.
“It denied [the defendant] the right to a fair trial, not by mistake or by accident,” said Houston defense attorney Brent Mayr.
He represented a convicted drunk driver who was arrested and tested using an HPD B.A.T. van in 2010. Back then HPD emails show all sorts of problems with maintenance and concerns over potential impacts on test results.
HPD was reported saying that they didn’t see the need to share the information about the B.A.T. vans with the District Attorney’s office.
“Do they need to? Absolutely. There’s no question about that they should’ve told them about it,” Mayr said.
Shortly after the conviction was overturned, a Harris County Grand Jury initiated an investigation into the District Attorney’s office to determine whether they knew of the problems and knowingly failed to disclose them to defendants that they were prosecuting. While the Grand Jury ultimately returned no indictments, they issued a strong rebuke of the District Attorney’s Office regarding their handling of the issue.
To read more about the case, visit ABC13.