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Sep 2, 2016 1:58 PM

Hundreds of Texas cases jeopardized after evidence destroyed

The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say hundreds of criminal cases in the Houston area are in jeopardy after a deputy constable destroyed more than 20,000 pieces of evidence while cleaning out a crammed property room.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said Friday that about 150 cases have been dismissed so far because of the loss of evidence. She says more than a 1,000 other cases are being reviewed and that most involve drug offenses.

The deputy cleaned the property room in January. Authorities haven't explained how it was possible to destroy so much evidence.

The deputy's boss, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, says he didn't learn about the loss of evidence until about two months later. He then notified the district attorney's office.

The deputy has been fired.

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