The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has reversed a conviction for murder based solely on dog scent testimony. The case is Winfrey v. State; PD-0987-09 and involves a Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Deputy named Pikett. Pikett had a scent “line up” where three dogs sniffed 6 cans that contained clothing from white males. Clothing from the murder victim was placed in one of the cans. The dogs then sniffed a scent pad from the suspect. The three dogs “alerted” on the can with the victim’s clothing in it.
Picket testified that a dog alert only establishes a relationship between objects and not person to person contact. This was the only evidence connecting the suspect with the crime. A jury sentenced Winfrey to 75 years TDCJ.
The Court of Criminal Appeals says there has to be more evidence to support a conviction. I believe this was the right decision.