The Wrongful Conviction of Jason Payne
Help free a man falsely accused and wrongfully convicted
Advocates 4 Wrongfully Convicted
Prosecutorial Misconduct
A significant piece to Tom Bevel's theory on why Austin Taylor Wage's death was not a suicide was that there was NO blood or bio material on the carpet at the side of the bed by Taylor's feet; where he shot himself. Bevel stated that this fact meant the scene HAD to have been staged to look like a suicide. BUT Noel Martin, the only forensic expert to be present at the crime scene DID SEE blood on the carpet and when he tested it with Bluestar technology the blood spots became clearer.. As of August 23, 2012 we can now state that crime scene photo exhibit 6, which was enlarged by one of our case investigators using special photo enhancement software shows blood spots and spatter on the floor by Taylor's feet as Noel Martin stated. To get a clearer look at these blood spots zoom in on the photo. If one of our case investigators was able to discover this why didn't a forensic expert like Tom Bevel think of doing this or was it that he just didn't want to as it would have invalidated his theory of a double homicide? Instead an innocent man sits in prison for the rest of his life because of Bevel's lack of competence, thoroughness and thoughtfulness.

Martin stated, while at the crime scene with lead investigator Lt. Miles Tucker, Ranger Philip Kemp and several Wood County Deputies present that there was blood spatter on the carpet located under and in front of Austin Taylor Wages’ feet and that they personally observed the blood spatter on the floor as it was being processed with Blue Star. The pattern was atomized blood spatter of the type which could only occur as a result of the gunshot wound (GSW) to Taylor. The spatter was also tested with LMG a second presumptive to exclude the possibly of a false positive. The results of that test were positive for blood. Martin explained to those officers present what the spatter was and its meaning.

When Lt. Tucker testified under cross examination he stated that the June/July 2008 meeting between Noel Martin, DA Jim Wheeler, DA Investigator Jerry Hirsch, Asistant DA Brandon Bade and himself lasted less than an hour. Tucker testified when he tried to get Martin to explain why he reached his conclusion of murder suicide all Martin kept saying was that he had seen non-contact wounds many times in suicides and didn’t go into any further explanation. Noel Martin’s recollection of that meeting is quite different than Tucker’s. Martin stated the meeting lasted in excess of two hours and that he presented his findings, including the blood on the carpet analysis, why he reached his conclusion of murder suicide and answered questions about his findings. It is clear by Tucker’s testimony he was trying to discredit Martin. But also present at the meeting was D.A. Wheeler and he knew what the truth was. Martin had no reason to lie because at the time of that meeting he was the state’s forensic expert, listed as one of the expert witnesses scheduled to testify for the prosecution and was just presenting his findings as he knew them to be from his reconstruction of the crime scene. So not only was Tucker lying and trying to discredit Martin’s credibility but Wheeler allowed Tucker to present false testimony and make a false impression to the jury that he (Wheeler) knew to be false.

After that June/July 2008 Tucker, who disagreed with Martin's conclusion which was based on factual and scientific evidence decided to hire a second forensic expert, Tom Bevel who would do his own crime scene reconstruction, based on large part by Tucker's case report of double homicide and coincidentally validated Tucker's theory. Upon hiring Tom Bevel and after Jason's arrest the State would not provide all the forensic reports for Martin to complete his investigation. The remainder of that information was provided to Martin by Jason's defense team.

Bevel when asked at trial if he had access to Martin’s report stated he had the first report but not the second. It might be debatable if the first report stated in detail about blood spatter being found on the floor/carpet by Taylor's feet, but Martin's second report most certainly discussed this. Why didn't Bevel have Martin's second report? Why didn't Bevel have forensic expert Ed Hueske's report in which Hueske mentioned what Martin had found at the crime scene? Why did Wheeler state in his brief to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that Bevel was given all Martin's and Hueske's reports when in fact Bevel wasn't? Why didn't Bevel have the autopsy report when he was conducting his crime scene reconstruction? Why in the only conversation (5 minutes Max) Bevel had with Martin, in which Martin stated to Bevel that he could have a copy of anything he gathered that Bevel never called or asked for any of Martin's findings. Why in that same phone conversation in which Martin explained the case, and his findings that Bevel said "well we'll see about that." Why didn't Wheeler discuss with Bevel that he knew that Martin had found blood spatter on that carpet? Did Wheeler want Bevel to remain in the dark so he couldn't perjure himself at trial and destroy Wheeler's theory of double homicide? Why did Wheeler allow his star witness, Bevel to testify falsely that there was no blood spatter on that carpet when Wheeler knew what Martin had found and that information was provided in Martin's second report?

If Bevel had known about Martin finding blood on that carpet what would it have done to his theory that the crime scene was staged to make it look like Taylor shot himself and committed suicide? If the jury knew that Bevel's testimony about no blood on the carpet was false would it have resulted in a different verdict?

There were two counts of prosecutorial misconduct by District Attorney James Wheeler. He allowed his lead investigator Lt. Tucker to present false testimony thus making a false impression to the jury regarding the content and length of the June/July 2008 meeting, and he also allowed his forensic expert Tom Bevel to testify that there was no blood on that carpet when he knew that to be false. A prosecutor has a sworn duty, as a representative of the state to not allow any witness to present evidence he knows to be false, even if it means damaging his case. It is established that a conviction obtained through use of false evidence, known to be such by representatives of the State, must fall under the Fourteenth Amendment. Wheeler perpetrated a fraud on the court by allowing his lead investigator and star witness to present evidence to the jury he knew to be false. Wheeler further compounded this fraud when he stated in his brief to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that Bevel received evidence and information about the case that Wheeler knew Bevel had not received. Was Wheeler so desperate that he allowed his lead investigator to lie and withheld key evidence from his star witness allowing him to testify falsely just to obtain a conviction? Was it right for Wheeler to convict an innocent person, send him to prison for the rest of his life where he may never see his two small children again? By these acts of prosecutorial misconduct didn't Wheeler ignore his role as a servant of the state to first and foremost seek justice even if it means not obtaining a conviction? Just how corrupt has our criminal justice system become?

Jason Payne is in deprivation of his constitutional rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as stated in: GIGLIO v.UNITED STATES 405 U.S. 150 (1972); NAPUE v. ILLINOIS, 360 U.S. 264 (1959); Mooney v. Holohan - 294 U.S. 103 (1935); PYLE v. STATE OF KANSAS, 317 U.S. 213 (1942); Curran v. Delaware, 259 F.2d 707; New York ex rel. Whitman v. Wilson, 318 U.S. 688; Alcorta v. Texas, 355 U.S. 28