Another Dallas County man exonerated by DNA walked out of prison today after Judge Lana Myers reduced his sentence on another charge to time served. Eugene Ivory Henton had accepted a plea bargain of four years for a 1984 sexual assault. After serving 18 months, he was paroled.
Later charged with assault and possession of drugs with intent to deliver, Henton got slapped with a lot of time because of the prior conviction for the sex assault. He was sentenced to 20 years for aggravated assault and 42 years for drug possession. But a DNA test ordered in 2005 proved Henton was innocent of the first crime. Myers today reduced his sentence on the aggravated assault charge to 10 years -- which he has already served -- and ordered him released. He's the 13th man who has been exonerated of a crime in Dallas County, more than any other county in the nation.
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The Innocence Project of Texas, students at Texas Wesleyan Law School, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s office are working together to screen more than 450 requests for DNA tests. And it ain't cheap. So to raise some money for the cause, the Innocence Project is hosting the DNA Blues Ball November 24 at the Lakewood Theater. So far the acts include Candye Kane and Mikey Jr. and the Stone Cold Blues. Tickets are $30 -- and with all the DNA cases in the pipeline and Dallas County’s track record so far, they need every penny they can get. --Glenna Whitley