A Montgomery County Sheriff’s officer pulled over a truck for driving
35 miles per hour in a 20 mile per hour school zone in Magnolia, Texas.
The officer noticed an open can of beer in the console and asked the driver, if he could search the truck. The truck driver, who had several prior arrests and convictions for drug offenses, refused, saying he was doing so on the advice of his attorney.
A drug-detection dog was brought to the scene and alerted near the driver’s side door. The officer discovered a plastic bag of powder which field-tested positive for cocaine.
The truck driver was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. The driver pled guilty in Montgomery County Criminal District court to possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to three years in prison.
The Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab tested the suspected cocaine and no controlled substance was detected.
The lab informed the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office which notified Tiller’s defense attorney. A state law petition for a writ of habeas was filed in April 2016 and supported by the prosecution.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated the truck driver’s conviction. The prosecution dismissed the charge and Tiller was released.