AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin couple who spent 23 years in prison for a crime they say they didn’t commit is still waiting to be exonerated. Dan and Fran Keller were convicted in 1992, accused of sexually abusing children at their home daycare in Oak Hill.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday granted the Kellers the relief the parties agreed on — false testimony entered in the case — but exoneration still hasn’t happened.
“I’m surprised the Court didn’t address the overriding claim on innocence,” says Keith Hampton, the Keller’s attorney.
According to Hampton, this ruling will now allow the Travis County District Attorney’s office to officially dismiss the case, which he expects them to do. While the case being dismissed is a step in the right direction, Hampton said he plans on continuing the fight to exonerate the Kellers.
“I can take it to federal court, but there are some procedural complications I’ll have to mull over,” says Hampton. “Second option: to bring it back to the Criminal Court of Appeals. Third option: District Attorney can also agree to their innocence, which they haven’t done before.”
A judge who issued the concurring opinion said in her closing statement: “If he [Dr. Michael Mouw, who examined a complainant in the case] is to be blamed for the failure to provide applicant with a fair trial, the missteps of other persons and entities need to be examined also. We do not learn from our mistakes unless and until we are required to acknowledge those mistakes.”
The Kellers were released from prison in 2013.