Appeal from the 209th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 1620108
consists of Justices Lloyd, Landau, and Countiss.
Maurice Edwards, challenges the trial court's order
denying his pretrial application for a writ of habeas corpus.
In his sole issue, appellant contends that the trial court
erred in denying his requested relief, which he sought on the
ground that the ten-year statute of limitations barred
prosecution of the alleged felony offense of aggravated
reverse the trial court's order.
November 16, 2017, a Harris County Grand Jury issued a true
bill of indictment, accusing appellant of committing the
felony offense of aggravated sexual assault on or about May
2, 2003. Appellant filed a verified application for a writ of
habeas corpus asserting that his confinement and restraint
were illegal because the statute of limitations barred
prosecution for the alleged offense in violation of the Sixth
Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article I
section 10 of the Texas Constitution, and Article 12.01 of
the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Relator sought
"dismissal of the charge as being outside the statute of
trial court held a hearing on appellant's application.
Appellant offered, and the trial court admitted into evidence
without objection, a copy of the complaint, the indictment,
article 12.01 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, and a
Houston Police Department ("HPD") offense report.
The parties "stipulat[ed] to the facts that [were] in
the offense report" for the purposes of the hearing.
report, HPD Officer B.K. Foley states that, on May 2, 2003,
he "was dispatched to a sexual assault [that had] just
occurred," and upon his arrival, "the complainant
was at the scene" and the perpetrator was not present.
He spoke with the complainant, who said that the alleged
perpetrator's name was "Maurice" and she
"[did] not know his last name or phone number off
hand," had met him when she worked at "Moments
Cabaret," and had "gone out with [him] a few
times." On the day of the sexual assault, she
"called [Maurice] to come and pick her up from a
friend[']s house" and he "was going to
eventually give her a ride to [a convenience store] where her
boyfriend was supposed to be waiting." However, Maurice
drove past the store and "into an apartment
complex," where the complainant "tried to get out
of the vehicle" as Maurice began "grabbing her and
hitting her." When the complainant tried to get away,
Maurice started to choke her. Maurice then "took her
clothes [off] and had sex with her."
personnel transported the complainant to a hospital "to
have a rape kit done." Officer Foley "ran the
license plate [number] of [Maurice's] vehicle,"
which two witnesses at the scene had given to him. The
information he received from "r[unning] the license
plate [number]" indicated that "there was a city
warrant on the vehicle for a Maurice Edwards[, date of birth]
11-13-77," along with a Texas driver's license
number. Foley then "ran the criminal history on [Maurice
Edwards] and the [information] matched" the information
that the complainant had given. In his report, Foley
identified "one possible suspect" as "Edwards,
Maurice Ellis." Foley also noted that the complainant
"was very hysterical and hard to interview,"
"often did not answer questions and appeared to not be
telling the whole truth about her relationship with [Maurice]
and how they met both originally and [the day of the sexual
assault]," and "often tried to change the subject
and appeared to be withholding information."
6, 2003, HPD Officer L.D. Garretson, who had been assigned to
the investigation, supplemented the offense report to state
that there had not been a supplement made "regarding the
recovery/tagging of the complainant's sexual assault kit
into the HPD property room." On May 15, 2003, HPD
Officer M. Walding supplemented the offense report to state
that he had stopped a car that matched the description of
Maurice's car, the driver "was identified as Tommie
C. Lewis," and "[t]he passenger claimed he was
Jason Lewis." When Walding asked Tommie "when he
last saw Maurice," Tommie answered "about a year
ago." Walding called the complainant, who stated that
"this was obvious[ly] a lie," and she advised
Walding that neither of the men "fit the
description" of Maurice.
16, 2003, Officer Garretson reviewed "[the]
complainant's sexual assault examination forensic report
forms for [submission] to the HPD crime lab for DNA analysis
and comparison purposes." In his supplement to the
offense report, he noted that the complainant had not
attempted to contact him and had not responded to the
"Sex Crimes Unit Contact Letter" that he had sent
to her. According to Garretson, "[u]ntil this
contact" from the complainant was received, the status
of the investigation was "case cleared due to lack of
prosecution by [the] complainant."
November 7, 2013 supplement to the offense report reflects
that laboratory testing "in association with a request
for outsourced - DNA analysis" was completed. And a
February 5, 2014 supplement to the offense report shows that
a laboratory analysis "in association with a request for
CODIS analysis" was completed.
April 13, 2014, HPD Officer J. Lewis supplemented the offense
report to state that, on March 13, 2014, he had received the
case "for further investigation regarding a CODIS match
confirmation." HPD Officer N. Vo updated the offense
report on August 22, 2017. He stated that he had interviewed
the complainant, who "positively identified [Maurice]
through [a] photo[graphic] array even though the [sexual
assault] happened 13 years ago." He further stated that
the Harris County District Attorney's Office had
"advised that charges for aggravated sexual assault were