How forensic center audit will impact more than 60 active cases

- The problems were uncovered during an audit of 88 cases that date back to October of 2015.

They were all worked on by one HPD officer who has since been transferred out of the Houston Forensic Science Center.

That officer’s supervisor who is also with HPD has been temporarily removed from oversight duties.

“To lay all the blame on our people is completely unfair and an M.O. with what happened with the rape kits with the fingerprints and now this,” said Ray Hunt with the Houston Police Officers Union.

Some with HPD say it’s time for the handful of officers still working at the forensic center to leave.

“There’s probably actually cases over there that they don’t even know they have,” Hunt said. “That’s how lousy there tracking system is at the Houston Forensic Center.”

“They’re doing sloppy work with ill-trained people,” said FOX 26 analyst Chris Tritico.

According to the center’s own audit, 65 cases worked by one HPD crime scene investigator had incomplete documentation.

Thirty-two had administrative errors and in eight cases evidence was misplaced.

“What it means for defense attorneys is you have better ways to attack cases because the state can’t prove the science that is necessary to prove their case in front of a jury,” Tritico said.

The impacted cases include 26 homicides and five officer involved shootings.

According to the audit at the crime scene of one 2015 murder, mace under the victim’s leg was photographed but not collected.

Drugs not photographed were found in the back of a vehicle.

Just this past January 21-year-old Jasmine Jones was charged with two counts of injury to a child. Her boyfriend 21-year-old Andre Young faces one count. The audit states,” parent admitted to hitting child with belt before death and pointed it out on scene video but the belt was not collected.”

“When you get to point out that type of sloppiness at any state of the case you get to attack the entire investigation,” said Tritico.

Here’s what the Houston Forensic Science Center had to say:

HFSC has taken measures to address the mistakes made in these cases and to prevent similar errors going forward. Steps are being taken to retrain and increase the technical capabilities of the staff.

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