Reginald Matthews, who has been out of jail since 2004, has been diligently researching the details surrounding his case and has recently discovered some shocking new evidence that he claims proves his innocence and should completely exonerate him.
Matthews spent 14 years and 3 months in jail for a crime he boldly and vehemently proclaims he never committed.
Arrest Gone Wrong
On the night of September 27, 1990, Matthews was on his way home from a friend’s house in southwest Houston, when he was stopped by a police officer. Matthews was immediately notified by police that he was being detained because a crime had just been committed in the area, less than 10 minutes prior, and that he fit the description of the suspect.
According to police, the perpetrator removed all of his clothing prior to breaking in the victim’s home and abruptly fled the scene once they became startled. Police were able to recover a major piece of evidence; the clothing that the perpetrator left behind outside of the victim’s home.
The police took Matthews back to the scene of the crime, where the victim was asked to come out and identify the perpetrator. The victim, who was in her early 20’s, came outside and upon seeing Matthews immediately told police that she did not recognize him as the perpetrator that had come inside her home.
Matthews was forced to wait in the back of the patrol car, when after 45 minutes, the victim’s 13-year old sister came out. She was asked to identify the perpetrator an hour later, just as the actual victim, her sister was asked to do; her response was not only different, it was life-altering.
The younger sister, who told police she had only seen one side of the perpetrator’s face for about 3 to 5 seconds, identified Matthews as the perpetrator who entered their home that evening.
From Bad to Worse
Matthews, who was a young, confident 20-year old Black male, never panicked about the situation and never truly considered the severity of the situation involving him, because he knew he was innocent and never backed away from professing his innocence. He had never been arrested for any crimes prior to this incident and in his mind, things would be squared away.
After being taken into custody, Matthews was videotaped as a part of a criminal lineup. It was that videotaped lineup and the subsequent events that occurred, that quickly helped Matthews come to the realization that things had escalated to a much more serious set of circumstances than he initially figured.
Within a week’s timeframe, the sex-crimes head at the time, Houston Police Sgt. Gregg Kuschel, had called in several women to come in and view the videotaped lineup that Matthews appeared in. Before you knew it, Matthews had been identified by several different sexual assault victims as the perpetrator in 4 new serious sexual assault charges.
Sgt. Kuschel proceeded to call in other sexual assault victims to view the videotaped lineup and when all was said and done Matthews had been identified as the perpetrator in a whopping 12 separate sexual assault crimes, with some of the crimes including sodomy and even murder.
Convicted Without DNA Evidence
Matthews continued to claim his innocence and demanded that DNA testing be done. Not only had Matthews never been arrested before or convicted of any other crimes, there was DNA evidence to prove that Matthews was the perpetrator in any case, including the one for which he was originally arrested.
While in jail, Matthews was subjected to DNA testing and while awaiting the results of the tests he was told that he would have to face a jury trial for the alleged crime he was originally arrested for – “Burglary with the Intent to Commit a Sexual Act.”
The initial DNA tests that were done came back inconclusive, which meant that they could not completely rule Matthews out. A second DNA test that was done had not come back yet and thus numerous recommendations were made by members of the justice system to delay sending Matthews to trial until the second set of DNA test results came back; those recommendations were ignored.