A former UT and professional basketball player has been released from the Williamson County Jail after serving more than a year for a murder his attorney says he did not commit.
Patrick Fairs was indicted for murder in October of last year. On Friday that charge was dismissed.
Fairs walked out of the Williamson County Jail Friday afternoon flashing the Hook 'Em Horns sign. He said he'd prayed to be released by Christmas.
In January of 2006, Fairs returned from running errands and found his Fiance, Philise Estes, dead inside their Round Rock home. Fairs called 9-1-1. An autopsy revealed the cause of death was strangulation.
Estes was 33-years-old and at the time of her death left behind daughters who were 9 and 13 years of age.
Fairs' attorney says he reviewed the DA's case file and learned the evidence obtained at the 2006 crime scene had never been tested. He says without that they have no evidence to convict his client.
He says the DA's office did the right thing in releasing Fairs. He attributed this to Michael Morton who was released after a wrongful conviction for his wife's murder.
"This is a testament to Mr. Morton's pain and suffering," Jeremiah Williams the attorney for Fairs said. "It was absolutely the right thing to do. I would be shocked if this type of action today and the boldness and the courageousness of the prosecutor who dismissed this case, I'd be shocked if that occurred without Mr.. Morton."
Fairs played basketball for UT in the 1980s and then went onto play for the Washington Wizards and in the Australian national basketball league. He was running basketball training camps in Ontario, California at the time of his arrest.
According to District Attorney John Bradley, the prosecution has recently uncovered new information that could lead to new forensic evidence. Testing that evidence and following up on those leads will take some time.
He says his office did not think it was fair to keep Fairs in jail during that length of time. Therefore the charges were dismissed.
Bradley says Fairs remains a suspect and he could once again be charged with murder and put back in jail.