Since 1997 most people believed that Anthony Melendez was being taken care of as a client by Waco Appellate attorney, Walter Reaves, and New York Times Best Selling author, Fredric Dannen. After all, Dannen had gone to see Tony and had walked into the lives of many concerned with information that was earth shattering to some and yet, to others, it was verification of things felt yet never voiced.
Never voiced until Fred Dannen. Dannen had gotten Jan Thompson, Aunt of the victim, Jill Montgomery to unload her many doubts and feelings she couldn’t express to others who had “drank the kool-aid”.
Dannen and Reaves, later, got the case of Calvin Washington overturned in the ironic case of Juanita White, the murder, David Spence’s own mother. Dannen and Reaves’ work on gathering and running the DNA in this case led to Texas’ DNA law.
Who would doubt such two valiant men? No one.
So, trust in Truman and Vic was replaced by trust in Fred and Walter Reaves to do the right thing and get the DNA in the Lake Waco Murder run, once and for all.
In 2010, Cindy Culp went to see Anthony Melendez in prison. It was the first visit he had in over 5 years. He also had not had any commissary monies. None. Nothing in years.
Had he gotten letters from his lawyer and Fred Dannen, was he being “taken care of”, when Cindy came back from that visit it was obvious the answer was a resounding “no”.
Letters were written to the Innocence Project of Texas. Dannen and Reaves were asked why this was happening only to retreat into some “self richeous” silence, dubbing those who asked as “crazy” or interested in publicity for themselves. Always deflecting the questions by throwing what could be considered as circumstances more terrible. Dannen retreating to Mexico claiming to be afraid of Simons and Feazell, currently starring in a play in some drama club in San Miguel de Allende.
Anthony Melendez was not taken care of by Walter Reaves and Fredric Dannen.
Other people with less means stepped in and began sending Tony money, he had his first taste of Blue Bell in five years thanks to Social Security checks and the kindness of ladies.
200 jail mail letters later, I can tell you that there are two things Tony Melendez wanted out of life.
One: That his mother find out he was innocent before she died.
Two: That someone believed him.
Anthony Melendez’s mother died last March. Had the Innocence Project of Texas and Walter Reaves run the DNA years ago, 16 to be exact, perhaps there would have been a better ending for Melendez.
Anthony Melendez currently sits in a prison hospital dying of bone cancer.
He is waiting patiently for the Third Court of Appeals and the decision to give Steven Mark Chaney “actual innocence”.
It would appear that perhaps Walter Reaves and the Innocence Project of Texas prefer the cases where the client is dead. The dead can’t ask questions that lawyers don’t want to answer.