HOUSTON, June 13 (UPI) -- A former Texas prosecutor lost his law license Friday after the State Bar of Texas determined he withheld evidence and falsified testimony to win a capital murder conviction against now-exonerated death row inmate Anthony Graves.
A three-person panel determined Charles Sebesta committed "professional misconduct" when he prosecuted Graves in 1994 for the slaying of six people, four of them children. While the conviction was overturned in 2006, Graves wasn't released until 2010, after spending 18 years in prison, 12 of those on death row.
"This is a great start, by disbarring a prosecutor who attempted murder on my life," Graves told the Houston Chronicle. "We should rejoice that today a man received justice in the criminal justice system, and the state itself helped me to achieve that."
In the six-page ruling, the State Bar's disciplinary panel said Sebesta failed to provide evidence that may have cleared Graves of wrongdoing, including withholding a co-defendant's testimony that he acted alone in the murders. Robert Carter, who was executed in 2000, had originally said Graves was key in the murders, but later recanted the testimony.
Sebesta has long maintained he did nothing wrong, authoring a "Setting The Record Straight" website where he gives his side of events.