Guy Miles

County of Conviction:

Convicted of:





case details

Guy Miles was wrongly convicted of a robbery after eyewitnesses wrongly identified him. The three true perpetrators ultimately admitted to committing the crime and they exculpated Guy Miles in the process.

On a day in June 1998, at a Fidelity Financial Institution in Fullerton, California, Trina Gomez and Max Patlan faced a horrifying incident. As they were closing up, two men, Jason Steward and Harold Bailey, knocked on the door, claiming to be there for a payment. Once inside, the situation turned dark – Harold pulled out a handgun, and Jason had a shotgun. They demanded money, taking $1,410 in cash and $4,138 in personal checks. Bernard Teamer acted as the getaway driver, and they left, leaving Trina and Max shaken.

The police faced challenges as the initial descriptions of the robbers were generic. A gardening glove left behind became a piece of evidence. The driver of the getaway vehicle was later identified as Bernard, providing a crucial lead.

However, during the investigation, a detective compiled photo lineups with errors. Trina identified Guy Miles from the lineup, even though there were issues with the identification process. Max, influenced by the detective’s statement about an arrest, also identified Guy. 

At trial, Trina couldn’t positively identify Guy, but after a discussion with the prosecuting attorney, she changed her stance. Max identified Guy, noting a difference in weight. Guy presented alibi witnesses, scientific studies on eyewitness identifications, and DNA evidence that didn’t match him.

Despite these factors, a jury took five days to find Guy guilty. Jason and Harold remained at large, and Guy received a harsh 75-year-to-life sentence.

Eventually, the true perpetrators – Bernard, Jason, and Harold – confessed to the crime. New scientific studies raised doubts about eyewitness identifications, including those of Trina and Max. On January 19, 2017, the California Court of Appeal reversed Guy’s conviction, acknowledging that new, credible confessions would have changed the trial’s outcome.

Faced with the prospect of re-prosecution and longing to be with his aging parents, Guy accepted a plea deal on June 20, 2017. He pleaded guilty under People v. West, allowing him to maintain innocence while avoiding denial of involvement. Guy was freed that very day, his conviction overturned after years of fighting for justice.

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