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Prosecutors, defense agree evidence withheld in 1999 bomb trial

FORT WORTH -- Texas Death Row inmate Michael Toney is entitled to a new trial because the state improperly withheld evidence in his 1999 bombing trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed in documents filed Thursday in the 297th District Court.

Toney, who was sentenced to death for killing three people in a mobile-home bombing near Lake Worth, has argued for years that Tarrant County prosecutors withheld evidence that could have cleared him of the murders.

After re-interviewing witnesses, Toney’s attorneys and lawyers from the district attorney’s appellate unit agreed that former lead prosecutor Michael Parrish improperly withheld from trial attorneys evidence that was favorable to Toney.

The state still denies that it knowingly sponsored misleading testimony or that Toney is actually innocent. But prosecutors agreed with the defense that Toney is entitled to a new trial based on the withholding of evidence.

If Judge Everett Young signs an order based on the attorneys’ agreed findings, his recommendation will be sent to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which could either agree with Young’s decision or overrule it.