AUSTIN, Texas - The family of a woman murdered in East Austin 32 years ago is outraged at the Travis County District Attorney. They said the DA has betrayed them as he works to exonerate the man who originally confessed to the murder.
The prosecution and defense said Andre Causey was wrongly convicted, but the family of the victim doesn’t think so, and doesn’t agree with how the DA is handling this case.
"It’s like reliving the whole thing," Anita Byington’s cousin Kristina Byington said.
Kristina is back in court to fight for justice 32 years after Anita was found dead near Spring Creek Apartments in East Austin.
"It’s pretty deceitful, it’s misleading, it’s sneaky, and it’s disgusting," Byinton said as the district attorney and defense attorney for Causey presented evidence to the judge to try to prove his innocence.
In 1991, Causey confessed to killing Byington over a dispute about drugs. He was convicted of the murder and sentenced to 50 years.
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"It was great to know that somebody was paying for it and would be for a long, long time," Byington said.
After serving 30 years, Causey was paroled and his attorneys are now trying to clear his name, saying the confession was coerced.
Christopher Ochoa, who was exonerated in 2002 after being wrongly convicted of murder based on a false confession, testified to the similarities of his interrogation with the Austin Police Department to Causey’s.
The victim’s family said they believe Causey still killed their loved one and said neither party in this proceeding is representing their interests.
Anita Byington was killed 32 years ago in East Austin.
"The evidence shows that. What we're seeing here today is cherry-picked bits and pieces, some inaccuracies. There’s a lot being left out, quite a lot, and there’s a lot that points to his guilt," Byington said.
The family said they don’t believe the DA will charge Kevin Harris with murder, who is now the man they say killed Byington. The District Attorney’s office said they do intend to prosecute.
The second hearing for this trial is expected to be at the end of December.